About

Born in Liverpool at the end of WW2, but raised in Skelmersdale.

 

I first studied art in Southport from 1960-63 and worked in graphic design till I married.

 

In December 1969 I moved to Zambia with my husband and two young children. There I taught art in the local girls school, illustrated for the National Correspondence College and did all sorts of other artwork, paid and unpaid.

 

In 1985 I became ill and the following year cancer was diagnosed. There was no treatment available in Zambia and so I had to go to the UK. After recovering from a radium needle implant I went back to Zambia, but 18 months later the cancer recurred and it was off to the UK again for radical surgery.

 

A few months later I applied for a degree course, as I would have to work to support my family and myself and re-educating seemed a good idea. The western art world had changed so much in the 17 years I had been living in a sleepy little town on the edge of the African bush.

 

I applied to Liverpool Polytechnic and soon after I started I was diagnosed with carcinoma in situ of the cervix (totally unrelated to the previous cancer).


During my second year I became ill again and could hardly walk or lift my left leg. After many months it was discovered that the original tumour had metastasised to the bone and my pelvis had fractured. Radiation, surgery and chemo followed, but I graduated on schedule in 1991. This was all made possible from the support of my new partner, who would drag me back to the hospital when I was ready to curl up and die. Sadly he died very suddenly and unexpectedly shortly after Big Ben chimed in 2007 – and I remain devastated.

 

Because of my experience of cancer and surviving against the odds, I try and help others cope with their devastating diagnosis and prognosis. It is now 25 years since my last cancer treatment.

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17 thoughts on “About”

  1. I still admire your work.. our copy of Madonna and Kylie cheer me up…my 86 year old mum chose them at the school auction…she could also pick a winner!

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    1. Hello Anita – how lovely to hear from you!

      You might have gathered my mum died in January.

      Are you still in the same place? My family moved a little nearer to the city a few years ago.

      So glad to hear you and your mum are still enjoying the prints. I haven’t done much two dimensional stuff just recently, as I’m always being sidetracked into DIY since Paul died. (Used a very heavy hammer drill for the first time today!). However I do try and spend one day a week doing sculpture in my friends’ basement workshop. It’s so nice to be able to just leave things as they are, rather than making a mess in the kitchen as I used to do!

      Thank you for contacting me and do stay in touch.

      Very best wishes.

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  2. I tried writing to your original email address pp.art@virgin.net which just bounced back.. my poor mum died 2 years ago… with dementia.. unrecognised by docs but felt by us… end of tether at the end I had to put her in a home.. so I DO sympathise with your story. What a sad end for all these poor old . brave people… I could write a book.. but probably won’t.. keep in touch
    anita

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    1. OH heck – I’m afraid you might have to wait awhile. I’m afraid I’m not the most consistent blogger. So much to do and such little time… . Realising it is 30 years since my cancer journey started, I decided to blog about it at http://www.willowilliams.wordpress.com and what a monumental task that turned out to be. I should be interested to hear you cancer story. Have you written about it on your blog? I’m afraid I haven’t yet gone to the beginning.

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      1. I wrote everything down by hand and did a few sketches. That is out of my system now – I suffer badly now with chemo-brain and was forced to leave work because of it. I take pictures of places I used to go to as a form of therapy. Also use http://www.lumosity.com (the free part) which has helped me to regain concentration. When I type it is easier to correct – I get confused with words when I speak and find that it can make people angry – sometimes the opposite of what I want to say comes out. Lots to read on your blog – glad it is there – thanks.

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      2. How long since your chemo? Coincidentally I mentioned chemo-brain in my last willowilliams blog. At the time of my chemo the docs said they hadn’t heard of ‘those symptoms’, but as you know, it is very real – and now well documented.

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      3. Have only really skimmed your site – now that I have found you shall read every bit over time. I had Hodgkin Lymphoma stage 4 in 2009. Spent nearly a year in hospital with occasional lets home – was allergic to most of the chemo. Was part of a clinical trial partly funded by Cancer Research (who I now volunteer for). I thought I was going to die and gave nearly everything away. I was cured but it left me about 20 years older – arthritis, balance problems so kept falling over and ending up in A&E and after 3 years my brain gave in and had to retrain it. What you went through looks worse.

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      4. Strewth! I haven’t previously met anyone with Hodgkin’s, but have known two friends with non-Hodgkin’s (one much older than me and one much younger) and know how appalling their treatment was. The older one of my friends also suffered from bi-polar disorder and had to be taken off his Lithium during the course of the treatment. This left him quite manic and at one stage he even tore the Hickman Line from his body, with devastating consequences. In spite of all this he recovered and went on to live to a ripe old age. The other friend was only in her 20s and though desperately ill for a long time, has now recovered. I am in awe of all three of you. I’m sorry to hear you are left with so many nasty side effects.

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      5. Yes, we who are on borrowed time need to make the most of it – and count the blessing of close family and friends. Unfortunately my sons are miles away – the nearest is 200 miles off and the furthest is in Hong Kong. However, I have two grandchildren at uni within 65 miles and one of them is here with me for the weekend (currently writing up some notes, but it is lovely to have her here).

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      6. Well he’s my husband’s grandson technically. He finished a geology degree at Liverpool University and became a meteorologist – went to Chile and the Antarctic. Must put up a post about him some time. Great that your grand-daughter got on with her course-work

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