© 2005-2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.
Anita Finnegan, Cancer Survivor, Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Hope, Night and Day
The brilliant colors in Anita Finnegan's Prismacolor mosaic Hope, Night and Day are a clear expression of hope. In Anita's words, they convey “hope for another day, joy of simply being, love of life and for all the people who kept me going. For all the people who kept thousands of loved ones going. Simply, it is a mosaic of life.”
Anita received a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) four years ago, and spent most of the last four years in the hospital, fighting tooth and nail against a disease which ravaged her body. “For weeks and months [my doctors] battled my leukemia,” Anita said. “It was horrendous. I don't know how I could be that sick and still be alive.”
With the help of her doctors, Anita was eventually rid of leukemia and able to undergo a bone marrow transplant from a matched unrelated donor (MUD). “Post-transplant days and months were touch and go,” said Anita, but after about 14 months, she is able to “do all I can every day.” She and her donor are also very close: “She is the twin sister I never had.”
Now, Anita draws, makes other artwork such as assemblage art, takes long walks with her dog Tito, and spends time with Ron, “the love of my life, devoted caregiver, and best friend.” Since overcoming AML, she continues to be “amazed by life,” adding that she and Ron “lost everything except life. We are here and have a chance to rebuild. As long as we live, we have a chance.”
More information about the Expressions of Hope calendar is available at www.cancer.net/expressionsofhope.