Exposure and time can tarnish and change the surface of copper metal. Cancer can do the same to our bodies and our lives. While experiencing this disease can tarnish and ruin, it can also highlight our strengths: a positive attitude or a powerful will to survive. That is why I chose to make the bust appear as though it was shaped from copper, which, even when tarnished, has a unique turquoise and green beauty. Sunflowers growing tall over the garden have always held a special place in my heart; I chose to use a single sunflower to embody the beauty of life.
Why did you participate in Bust a Move?
I have experience with cancer and I will support any cause that eases the struggles brought on by the illness. How can readers find more of your work? AlexandrArt.tripod.com and Art by Alexandra Hall on Facebook.
‘Behind the Bust” Survivor: Wanda Gentry
Any thoughts you’d like to share about your treatment and recovery?
I chose the ‘radical’ path of mastectomy and reconstruction, which is a tough and scary decision. I can honestly say I feel very lucky. My cancer was caught early, was treatable, I had very little pain after surgery and I healed quickly and completely. The experience has taught me to be more conscious of what I put in my body and to seek out healthier food options and natural products for my body and home.
If you have one rule by which you now live your life, what would that be?
Don’t dwell on the small stuff… and after cancer, it’s ALL small stuff.
What advice might you have for women facing diagnosis and treatment?
Nothing is as bad as you think it’s going to be. Do your research and choose your medical team well. Most importantly, once you’ve absorbed the shock of a cancer diagnosis, keep a positive attitude. Being afraid or feeling sorry for yourself is not going to make your cancer go away. I sincerely believe that a positive attitude made my journey 100 percent easier.
Is there anyone you wish to thank?
Yes and thank you for the opportunity to do it publicly. Of course a BIG shout out to my magnificent husband, Frank. We were only married a little over a year when I was diagnosed. Poor guy, but lucky me, because he was with me every step of the way with his unfailing love and support. My sons, Matt and Josh, and too many family and friends to mention individually, who stepped up and took care of things without having to be asked. Cancer Services and my advocate, Danielle, who provided help and support that I didn’t even know I would need. Lastly but so importantly, my medical team: Dr. Deladisma, Dr. Berning and Dr. Berning’s nurse, Michelle, whose skill, guidance and compassion were the foundation of my recovery.