This video is a poem by spoken word artist Shayne Koyczan, produced for the Canadian Cancer Society. If you or anyone you love has been touched by cancer, dig out a big box of Kleenex right now.
Today I have my regular quarterly appointment with my medical oncologist at the cancer agency. In a windowless treatment room, she will examine me for signs that my cancer has metastasized. I’m told they no longer use scans to find evidence of spreading disease. Instead a human doctor will scan me herself, asking me pointed questions about headaches and back pain while I watch her carefully with my unblinking eyes.
Shayne says poignantly: “We must steady ourself on the shoulders that science provides…a doctor becoming a weatherman, trying to forecast your end, trying to bend time into an answer and give it their best guess.”
This is how art evokes emotion – to express the things we dare not – to help us to slowly heal.
Ps: If you are interested in art and healthcare, check out Vancouver Island artist Carole Reid’s Instagram account, where she is documenting her experiences having breast cancer through her art, the HUSH Foundation, an Australian organization dedicated to creating calming music for stressful hospital environments and visual artist Ted Meyers’ Scarred for Life project.