A Treat …….

  I have been thinking about writing here for so long but my stubborn nature meant that in my determination to put the last year behind me, all I really wanted to do was to move on forward and try and forget about all that had happened. For the most part I had managed to do that – on the surface at least. But there was always that nagging feeling that this all felt a little ‘unfinished’ and that there was and would be more to write. Then I broke down in tears when talking to a friend last week and I realised for certain that actually there is more. Whether anyone will read it does not really matter in some ways. Primarily this blog is for me to gather my thoughts and experiences. Should anyone happen to stumble across this place who is going through the same or a similar thing, then I would like to think they would find a thought or two that will help them along their own path.

So there is a huge gap of a few months to possibly fill but I shall not tackle that today – instead I shall write about what is on my mind today and then I will hopefully return to cover old ground and get back on track to writing about what is going on now.

I  have a treat planned for this afternoon. I am off to the hospital again – not for the endless days of treatment that were my journeys to the hospital at the end of last year – but this time for an afternoon of a skin-care and make-up workshop which is called Look Good Feel Better. For some silly reason I feel slightly shy and nervous about this. I have always loved make-up although I have found since working from home for much of the time recently that I wear less and less. But I know that I am looking forward to a bit of a boost. The weight gain from the hormone treatment (none of my clothes are fitting me and I have no funds to buy more) and the fact that my skin seems to have aged about 10 years in the last 6 months along with my desperate need for a hair-cut (although of course I am so grateful to still have my long hair) mean that I am not exactly feeling at my best.

 I guess what I am most nervous about is the fact that I feel more emotional and delicate about the whole rollecoaster ride than possibly at any other time since my diagnosis. I have tried so hard to put it all behind me but tears come easily and the frustration of ongoing fatigue means that I don’t feel quite me. Spending time with other people who have been through the same experience is a reminder that it all really happened and that no matter how much I try and forget it and move on, there will always be occassions where I will be forced to think about this last year and the repercussions that it has for the rest of my life. The most obvious of these being the uncertainty that we will ever have children. The other is the worry that it will come back.

There is so much good in my life right now. I am by all accounts cancer free. My relationship with Mark is spot on, my work is picking up again after a difficult year whilst dealing with this illness. The bunnies make me laugh every day. I have many people who care about me and I am thankful for all I have. I guess the difficulty with writing this blog is that this is the place for me to vent and share my worries and get a bit emotional – something that I try so hard to not to do in my everyday life. That results in this place seeming like the hub of all that is negative and for anyone coming here – they might think that this is me all of the time. But if I am to continue to keep my other blog and this one separate then that is the risk that I run.

Unless your read both blogs then there is no way of showing that there is a balance and that I am always hovering somewhere between the two. I could twist myself into knots thinking about it! There is also the fear (that I have never quite been able to get my head around) that really should I be writing about this in such a public way anyway? Will people think differently of me, knowing my innermost thoughts. I guess the idea that no-one reads this is a big help with that problem!

Anyway – I have finally come here to update and that I shall do over the coming weeks. I have also acknowledged that there is still more to write even though the worst is over. Now it is off to the hospitable for that treat and to return with a smile and get back to the studio to painting – another of things that I am most grateful for.




About gillianleesmith

A lifetime fascination with storytelling, history, fairytales and folklore, has led me to create imagery based on the everyday whirling mind of a person who does not always wish to be rooted in the realistic present. Themes of times gone by and reminiscence are especially evident in my designs and my work often delves into the expression and characterisation of our human nature, which we may hide away and only ever glimpse at when prompted by a reflection of our inner selves. My character sculptures in particular are a nod towards my own imaginations, avid reading and childhood dreams. They are a way of seeking the perfect representation of our character. Each tells an original tale, with a single image that endeavors to embody a whole life story in an uncomplicated way. My most recent work begins to explore ‘dwelling places’, a place where we can truly be content and again the setting that truly represents our character and history. Each material used is carefully chosen to create layers of texture incorporating textiles, paper, paint, hand painted imagery and meticulously detailed hand embroidery. The combinations of varying media help me to create many layers and textures, which are evocative of the memories and history that is integral to my work. Graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in Performance Costume in 2005, I have since been working on my own creations as well as teaching workshops with community groups. More recently, I have been coordinating a project involving reminiscence work with older people. This has been a huge source of inspiration to my latest artwork and themes of memories, dreams and childhood.
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One Response to A Treat …….

  1. Lora says:


    Hello Miss Gillian,

    I’ve pretty much stopped reading blogs, even those of my bestest friends. So, if you mentioned anything of the above in your other blog – I’ve managed to miss it entirely.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your difficult year and that you had a cancer scare along with the treatment that blasted it into submission. I’m so very glad to hear that you’re free of the threat now. My Mother died of breast cancer in 1978 when I was 21. It’s a terrible disease (all forms) and we’re lucky now that there are so many more treatment options than there were 30 years ago.

    Venting here is a great idea. Getting out whatever thoughts are in your mind, both good and not so good, will help your heart to heal as well as your body has.

    Best of luck Gillian. Hope your beauty treatment was a treat! Although you don’t need make up to gild the lilly of your artistic soul. Blessings.

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