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Anthony Ciambella

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Anthony Ciambella - One Step Ahead of a Tumor
Anthony Ciambella
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

One Step Ahead of a Tumor
Oil on rag board
8 x 10 inches
1998
Catalog No. 5A

Anthony Ciambella - Self Portrait

Self Portrait
Ink on cardboard
13 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches
1981
Catalog No. 5B

On Friday, October 9, 1981, I was diagnosed with cancer. Four days later a large tumor and 10 inches of my colon were removed. I was 32 years old. It all happened so fast. Why me? I remember being shocked -- filled with anger, hate, rejection, fear, everything. Everything except confusion. I've always had a sense of direction in my life. I have my art and I'm living my second life.

I drew Self Portrait a while after my surgery. This piece points to the vulnerability of life and the urgency to prioritize.

On Sunday, December 28, 1997, my father died (at home) from the complications that occur from prostate cancer. It was not an invisible death -- it was horrifying. It was like watching my own death.

For One Step Ahead of a Tumor, whenever I ask cancer survivors if they think about getting cancer again, they say, "Yeah!"

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