Still Here

These days I just assume everyone knows, and that does seem to be the case. My prognosis was months, not years, but even though I was supposed to die in August I am still here. After two more rounds of chemotherapy that has kicked my ass so intensely (even with a break in Hawaii) that will be all my body can stand, and then we look for clinical trials. Being treated for terminal cancer in a pandemic has been interesting. I haven’t been able to really make art or paint since July.

While my many tumors have shrunk enough to things being visible for once, they won’t ever go away. As it stands, my back in the worst pain, and it makes sense; the cancer is now in my lung, kidney, hip, lumbar area, bone of my spine, abdomen, shoulder, and let us hope I don’t develop cognitive issues too soon.

There are a few things I like the most; throwing parties and travel. I’d be doing a lot of those if it weren’t for the pandemic being drawn out. So I take all the idle time in-between being confined to bed for sick to do all the boring tasks related to my upcoming demise. The things I’m sure everyone — mainly my husband — will be glad was laid out for them. I’ve updated my will, made instructions for the funeral, updated an inventory of artworks, written an outline for my obituary, and designed a commemorative t-shirt for the burial. I’m also laying out another little book, a book of portraits that I think needs to be published and out in the world at least. I’ve done so much work, I don’t want it to be forgotten.

People ask how they can help and here are the ways below:

I have several paintings and drawings I’m selling at a discount here and I am now a typical American in that I have a GoFundMe My husband left his job of 15 years to help take care of me. I can’t even drive anymore.

  • GURLS is once again available for your sassy reading pleasure! (and other art catalogs too)
  • I’ve created a whole lot of open edition art prints and stickers, among other things: Society6

I’m very honored to have received a Satellite Fund Award from The Andy Warhol Foundation and SPACES Cleveland, a Rauschenberg Foundation Award, and an Arts Cleveland CARES award. These have helped so much.

I hope I can paint again, do an exhibit again, do a residency or two. When the pandemic is over and the pause undone for everyone else, they get to go back to their scheduled programming. I don’t know where I’ll be, what my condition will be, or if I’ll be.

portrait of Arabella Proffer

1 thought on “Still Here”

  1. Hi Arabella. No, I didn’t know. I’ve been away from social media for the most part. I’m glad to hear you are still with us and I wish you all the best. I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed seeing your art over the years and hearing about your exhibits and other trips. I’ll definitely send you postive thoughts.

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