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The Cancer Club by Eni Oken

Eni Oken
In today's world plagued by breast cancer, my story might sound like a cliché, but it is true: I am a survivor of stage 4 breast and liver cancer, and declared in remission in November 11, 2011. After going through a grueling battle for so long, I was a little lost -- even though I have been an artist all my life — it was difficult to get back into a creative mode.

My mother suggested (doesn't it seem like our mothers always have the best suggestions!?): "Why don't you just draw a little?"

I accepted this apparently simple suggestion, not know that I'd be opening Pandora's box. A FLOOD of emotional drawings have poured out on every sensitive topic: not only cancer (which I call lovingly "The Cancer Club"), but also about other issues I had seen or experienced through others and thought were long gone. Pain and emotion can gushing through my pictures.

Although the drawings are gruesome and a bit graphic for some people, it seems that others who have gone through extreme experiences of loss or pain find them calming and even funny. I never know what kind of reaction I'm going to get!

Creating these pictures continues to help me to find inner peace, as if all the poison and hurt of this disease is being purged out from my soul on to the paper, in a continuous healing process.

View more of Eni's artwork at Eni welcomes email at


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