For almost a year now, I have been struggling with cancer. At first, I did not know I had cancer, but by the end of last February, doctors started tests for it. I had blood tests, scans, and biopsies that revealed that I had a highly treatable form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. On the first day of Spring, this year also Shushan Purim in my Jewish Faith, I began chemotherapy.
Shushan Purim, part of the Purim Jewish Holiday for people who live, as I do, in historical walled cities, holds symbolic significance that suggests the chemo would prevail. The treatment concluded at the end of August, and two recent PET CT scans show no active lymphoma.
However, during the treatment process, it developed that I may have a second type of cancer, prostate. I expect to find out the results of a biopsy later this week. The artwork here has been done during the time from my lymphoma diagnosis, through recent days, as I wait to hear about that biopsy.
[Update: Two days after publication, I met with my doctor. The biopsy results, while good overall, showed inconsistencies from the specific area showing in MRI and ultrasound imaging…so for now, wait six months, more tests, if the tests continue to show issues, probably another biopsy. For now, the doctor says there is plenty of time… —17 December 2019, Jerusalem]
I also have a third PET CT later this week, to confirm that I am in remission for the lymphoma.
I assemble these selected artworks here to reflect / express an ever-shifting perspective toward life, spirit, body, mortality, and creation as a whole. A swirling series of distortions in my own personal time-space continuum, this experience has changed, and will no doubt continue to change, my perspective on life, spirit, and creation.
I chose 18 images for this online “gallery exhibition,” because in gematria, the number 18 corresponds to the Hebrew word “chai,” meaning life.
—Michael Dickel / All artwork ©2019
Click on an image to see the images as a “gallery.”
Michael Dickel is a contributing editor for The BeZine. He writes, creates art, and teaches in Jerusalem, Israel, where he lives with his wife and two young children. The World Behind It, Chaos… (WV? eBookPress, 2009), one of his first books, includes photographs and digital artwork from photos in a free PDF eBook format. His resistance chapbook of poetry, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism (locofo chaps, 2017) can also be downloaded for free as a PDF (or purchased in paper). His latest collection of poetry, Nothing Remembers, came out from Finishing Line Press in September, 2019. Other books include The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden, a collection of Flash Fiction (art by Ayelet Cohen), and War Surrounds Us, a collection of poetry, both from Is a Rose Press.