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Changes & Updates: A springtime blog post

Well, Hi.

The more time that passes between posts, the more I feel like I have to explain, which leaves a lot less space for unique observations or insightful insights or nice words about nice things. Please bear with me while we get caught up.

In my last post, published almost exactly a year ago, I reflected on the one-year anniversary of my bone marrow transplant.

My whole cancer experience seemed like such an Event at the beginning. Of course, there was the big Event of being diagnosed, walking through a doorway and never being the same again. At least for me, having cancer has been less like a car accident or an avalanche, and more like a slow moving brush fire. So scary and so boring, not unlike the pandemic. Often the heroes and innovators and fire fighters get things under control and the rain comes, but awareness of changing seasons keeps us vigilantly watching the embers.

After a summer of what felt like endless wildfire in Montana, my leukemia came back during a months-long upper respiratory infection. In October, I was airlifted out of Bozeman in the middle of the night for the second time, with my kidneys in near-failure. By November, I was back in California getting better treatment near family. Chemo was injected into my spine on a Friday. On Saturday, a dark, blurry spot appeared in my left eye. By Sunday I was stubbornly walking through an art supply store nearly blind. My best friend took me to the ER the next morning, and I didn’t leave the hospital for two weeks. Just before Christmas 2021, I was discharged from the bone marrow transplant unit after undergoing an experimental Car-T-cell transplant. At the time of writing, I am ten sessions into twelve daily sessions of radiation targeted at my eyes.

I’m in remission and can see fine now, though the last few months have been a blur. 

It’s somehow mid-March. I’ll turn 28 in a few weeks, just after Taylor, Norah, and I plan to move from Bozeman to Salt Lake City. The hope is that we can exist somewhere affordable and close to the outdoors, where I can walk or drive to the hospital instead of being loaded onto a helicopter.

Moving will definitely be bittersweet, I’ve spent ten years in Montana and have been so many different versions of myself there. But I’m ready for a new beginning, and so excited to explore Utah and be a little bit closer to the desert, the southwest, and a real airport(!).

I’m also excited to have enough room in our new apartment to set up a more legit studio space, as I’ve been making art out of a desk in the closet of my childhood bedroom, and the closet of our tiny chicken coop before that.

Once I get settled in, I’m looking forward to getting some prints and a collection of artwork I’ve been working on all winter available to purchase. I have a lot of exciting ideas that I just haven’t been able to execute because of… you know, see above.

If you’ve been following this blog because you’re my friend interested in Cancer Updates, that’s cool and I’m sure there will be plenty of that sprinkled in going forward. For now, I’m planning on posting a blog/newsletter style update each month with storytelling, art, and notes from my life.

Thank you for reading. I know there’s a lot going on in the world right now. I hope you’re hanging tight through it all.

You can follow more of my artwork on instagram at @littletinyegg
My first large painting in a long time- 18’x24′ acrylic on canvas.
I did some sketching while back in Montana, we got to stay with friends at their cabin near Yellowstone, which was so cozy.
experiments in block printing.
my sketchbook is my happy place, always.

7 thoughts on “Changes & Updates: A springtime blog post

  1. Kristen, I love your writing and your amazing art. What a talent you have.

    1. Thanks Jan! I appreciate that ♥️

  2. Thank you so much for the update, Kristen. I, too, love your writing style and hope this cancer will soon be in your distant past so you can focus on blogging about all the adventures ahead. As much as moving isn’t all that fun, SLC really does have a lot of beautiful places to check out! Good choice! About a hundred yeas ago, I spent a summer working for the Ashley National Forest in the Grandaddy Wilderness as a horseback patrol/garbage picker upper/trail mtc., etc. …that was one crazy summer and I can guarantee it’s very beautiful 🙂. Looking forward to your next post! (..and happy early Birthday🎈)

    1. Thank you so much!

  3. Hi Kristen,
    I am so glad for an update and what a time you’ve had. I think of you often. You are such a gladiator. Powering through some of the toughest things. I love your blog update and your art is amazing. In April we still go to Snowbird. I say I think we’ll be going this year because we take care of Mikes parents so always a gamble. I would love to see you and connect. Well be in touch closer to the dates which is April 16. Love, hugs and strength to you. Utah will have many gifts for you. I will keep prayers and happy thoughts for you. 5304176981
    Love Jodi Slaight

  4. So lovely to see a post pop up! I’m happy you are in remission. What beautiful art from a beautiful soul. The colors are happy and vibrant and make me smile. Love to you and Tayler.

    1. Thank you Sally!

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