In sickness and health.MY FRIENDS HOLLIS SIGLER AND PATRICIA PATRICIA Practical Algorithm To Retrieve Information Coded In Alphanumeric
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PATRICIA PApilloma TRIal Cervical cancer In young Adults LOCKE HAVE INVITED me to their 20th-anniversary party this coming summer. A friend with a villa in Greece has offered to play host, so they've been polling their inner circle to see if we'd fly as far as the Mediterranean to celebrate. "If we make it," adds Patty.
For some couples the phrase would be a sotto voce fear that they could break up before then. Not this one. Holly is already in possession of a terminal-cancer diagnosis. Patty is merely admitting that the question of completing 20 years together is not entirely under their control.
Hollis Sigler is an artist whose paintings, drawings, and prints have been shown everywhere, from the National Museum of Women in the Arts The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), located in Washington, D.C. is the only museum solely dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. NMWA was incorporated in 1981 by Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay. in Washington, D.C., to the Whitney Museum of American Art Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York City, founded in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. It was an outgrowth of the Whitney Studio (1914–18), the Whitney Studio Club (1918–28), and the Whitney Studio Galleries (1928–30). in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. . Patricia Locke is a jewelry designer with a fanatical Chicago following and a national presence in such stores as Marshall Field's and Bloomingdale's. A smart and stylish couple, they've been a beacon of hope for years in the lesbian wasteland of dysfunctional relationships and fashion deficit disorder. More to the point, they've demonstrated how to look mortality in the eye.
In December, I visited Holly and Patty at their home just north of Chicago. Their golden retrievers, Tennessee and Harper, frolicked around Holly's dormant herb-and-vegetable garden. Upstairs Patty's workroom work·room
A room where work is done.
Noun 1. workroom - room where work is done
room - an area within a building enclosed by walls and floor and ceiling; "the rooms were very small but they had a nice view" was a tangle of shapes in progress, while Holly's studio had an unfinished canvas on one wall and a new drawing nearby. This would have been their typical domestic scene, except that I had arrived the day after Holly's latest diagnosis. New tests had just shown tumors in her liver -- 12 years past her mastectomy mastectomy (măstĕk`təmē), surgical removal of breast tissue, usually done as treatment for breast cancer. There are many types of mastectomy. In general, the farther the cancer has spread, the more tissue is taken. and chemotherapy, seven years past the radiation to her other breast, and more than five years after her bone cancer, when her tamoxifen tamoxifen (təmŏk`sĭfĕn'), synthetic hormone used in the treatment of breast cancer. Introduced in 1978, tamoxifen is used to prevent recurrences of cancer in women who have already undergone surgery to remove their tumors. and Arimidex regimens had sent her into total remission. As we talked about the news, I knew that after my visit Holly would start on chemo and Patty would contact their doctors and lawyers.
Back home, I am struck by how little we have in the public record to chronicle lesbian couples' coping with catastrophic illness. We've all seen the articles, in the gay and straight press, profiling heroic gay partners' coping with AIDS-beset loved ones. How rare, by comparison, are images of lesbian partners' sustaining one another through the months or years of a terminal diagnosis. Apart from this magazine's 1997 cover story and Yvonne Rainer's 1996 film MURDER and Murder, attention paid to lesbians with breast cancer is virtual nonexistent non·ex·is·tence
1. The condition of not existing.
2. Something that does not exist.
We lose thousands of lesbians each year to this disease. Do we even know the names of their drugs? Holly is starting on methotrexate methotrexate, drug used in halting the growth of actively proliferating tissues. Introduced in the 1950s, it is used in the treatment of leukemia, psoriasis, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. and 5FU. I immediately dubbed it "5 fuck you." Holly knows that this chemo regime is her new life sentence. She's hopeful that her new protocol, a drug cocktail that combats chemo's effects on healthy cells, will help maintain her energy.
For Holly, energy is instantly recycled into images and words. Since her cancer metastasized into her bones in the early '90s, Holly has been incorporating cancer into her art. As in her 1996 painting I'd Make a Deal With the Devil A deal with the Devil, pact with the Devil, or Faustian bargain is a cultural motif widespread wherever the Devil is vividly present, most familiar in the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles, but elemental to many Christian folktales. , Holly's brightly colored interiors and landscapes could serve as stage sets for a fantasy opera of the soul. A night sky, a billowing bil·low
1. A large wave or swell of water.
2. A great swell, surge, or undulating mass, as of smoke or sound.
v. bil·lowed, bil·low·ing, bil·lows
1. dress, a pool of lamplight, all framed by hand-lettered statistics on breast cancer.
In 1997 Holly commissioned 52 artists nationwide to design a unique deck of cards, inspired by cancer and mass-produced to raise money for the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization. The original drawings, exhibited in a show that opened in November at Chicago's Printworks Gallery, sold out before the show even opened, and more than 3,000 decks of cards have already been purchased. Titled "A Game of Chance," the show now begins a two-year national tour. Projected earnings: more than $200,000. That's cancer therapy, Sigler-style. She's not complaining. She's too busy changing the world. Thus did the winter solstice pass in the lives of me and my friends, and you and yours, as the lesbian cancer wars of the late 20th century rumbled on. Happy anniversary in advance, Holly and Patty. And, yes, I'm buying that airplane ticket to Greece.