Photography Helps CancerCare of Maine Patient Focus on the Important Things

07/14/2009

Susan McLaughlin started taking photos when she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2005. “It was really relaxing for me to go down to the dock at sunset to think or try not to think. Taking photographs was just an extension of the thinking.” Most of her photos are taken around her home in Newport. Her favorite is the “Sunset on Sebasticook Lake” photo that is currently displayed across from the reception desk on the ground floor of EMMC’s CancerCare of Maine.

“The diagnosis really hit me the first time I came to CancerCare,” Sue remembers. “I walked down the ramp and saw all these people in the waiting room and thought, ‘this many people have cancer?’ All three waiting rooms were full.”

Sue raves about the care she received at CancerCare, but especially the staff. “The people here are incredible – everyone goes above and beyond. I’m not just a patient, I’m a person.”

After her diagnosis, Sue reprioritized her life, “I’m much more accepting of so many things. I just don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. There are days my husband will say to me – you better hurry and get down there – there’s another sunset and you know that no two are the same,” Sue says.

Sue’s cancer is considered dormant right now. “They call it ‘watch and wait,’ but what am I waiting for? It’s very anxiety producing.” While waiting, Sue concentrates on her photography which helps focus her attention away from her cancer.

Norman Stern is displaying oil paintings in the Webber 1 intake office. His paintings include everything from landscapes, still life, to animals. Norman gets much of his inspiration at his home in Hampden on the Penobscot River. He has had five one man shows in Maine and won many blue ribbons at local fairs. Both exhibits will be at CancerCare through the end of July.