1. Belcher, David

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W aking Up, a watercolor by artist Judit Safcsak, was chosen as the cover of The State of the Science on Nursing Approaches to Managing Late and Long-Term Sequelae of Cancer and Cancer Treatment , this supplement to AJN 's March 2006 issue. Waking Up was one of more than 400 entries in Lilly Oncology on Canvas: Expressions of a Woman's Cancer Journey, an international art competition and exhibition sponsored by the Eli Lilly Company and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) to raise awareness of art as a powerful therapeutic tool for women with cancer.

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Safcsak, a 43-year-old Hungarian artist who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 20, painted this watercolor in 2004 at her Budapest home during a winter dawn.


"Through a barred window, over the leafless trees, the sun painted all colors of the rainbow on the sky," Safcsak says. "I felt right away that this depicted waking up after an operation-when you start to see your life from a different perspective."


The image is the ideal metaphor for surviving cancer, she says, not only in her own life but among numerous friends and family are survivors.


"Breaking through your own barriers, you give new value to your own needs, which are represented by the bars on the window, and to the expectations of your environment, depicted in the leafless trees," Safcsak says.


In her 23 years as a survivor of cancer, Safcsak has undergone numerous operations, several of which required her to give up her lifelong dream of bearing a child. Her artwork, and particularly this image, has helped her heal and has inspired her to help others do the same.


"I had to find new goals: to live without fear for the sake of others and myself and to fight all the side effects-medical, emotional, and financial-of these treatments," she says.


Having recently appeared at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the exhibit is currently touring the world, and Lilly and the NCCS have called for entries into the 2006 competition, which is open to anyone who's been touched by cancer: patients, their families and friends, cancer advocates, health care providers, artists, and art students. Deadline for entries is July 31, 2006. For more information, call (800) 734-4131 or view artwork from the 2005 exhibit at