A breast cancer illness narrative by Carol Pairaudeau
Collection of artist books
In 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a lot to take in and process and I was keen to be suitably informed for any decisions I needed to make. On the pages of a breast cancer support website I found answers to many of my questions, but I also found something else - a group of women in a particular thread of a discussion forum all in exactly the same scenario as me and starting their treatment at the same time. The tone of their discussions appealed to me. It was informative and supportive and I introduced myself. Over the next weeks and months this group of women became close friends and provided valuable support to each other. We checked in daily, compared notes and shared tips on coping with side effects of treatment. There was much laughter as well as the occasional melt-down. It was a safe space in which to share concerns that were difficult to voice to others.
A year later several members of this group travelled from various parts of the UK to spend the weekend together, a pattern that was to be repeated many times over the coming years. Almost 10 years on and the friendship and support remain although there are lives which have been lost and some face further treatment.
This series of artist books documents aspects of individual journeys and shared experiences. Read more...