Monday, July 18, 2022

Rough Waters

Rough Waters by Sara Harley
Rough Waters - work in progress - Stage Series

Sometimes it's difficult for me to decide how much of my personal life to share and I generally try to just post about my creative process. However, the two are tied together in my life so I decided to talk about it.

I was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of April...a huge shock to us as I have never smoked. Apparently 10-15% of the people diagnosed with lung cancer are non-smokers.

Despite the horrid state of the Nova Scotia health care system, I was rushed through many tests and had surgery on June 10th. This was followed by a second surgery on June 11th to fix some complications from the first surgery. I must be the luckiest person in Nova Scotia...a mere six weeks between diagnosis and surgery.

Did you know that the left lung has two lobes, and the right lung has three lobes? I didn't. My surgery removed the lower lobe of my left lung. The good news is that when you have surgery, you don't have chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Although I was told to expect recuperation from surgery to be a long and painful process, I can't complain. I'll kid you has been tough. The past week (four + weeks since surgery) was a significant turning point for me. I have been walking every day since I was released from the hospital, and I am now able to walk with my normal stride and not look like I have been beaten up I am sore, but not hurting. I can walk 3 to 4 kilometers each day. I still need a nap most afternoons, but am down to only 2 Tylenol each day. Progress!

I created the above image, Rough Waters, just before I went in for surgery. It is part of a "Life is a Stage" series that I have been working on. You may have to zoom in to see the details. I don't think it's quite finished yet, but I created it with my general philosophy that making art is a healing tool.


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing "Life is a Stage" as it is completed.

  2. Sorry to hear about your medical adventures, but at least it was caught while something could be done about it. I hope your recovery goes well. Looking forward to seeing your next works!

  3. So sorry to hear of your diagnosis - so happy to hear you got in and dealt with quickly...and that your recovery is going very well (brilliant job getting back up and on your feet, Sara). Sending hugs and best wishes for continued progress <3


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