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So much for hope and optimism as 2004 closed !

On February 25, an auspicious birthday, in excruciating pain and unable to move, I went into a tailspin when I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow. Two vertebrae were crushed. I couldn't walk.

I spent 5 months in hospital and the whole year in a bubble trying various types of medication.

I hated having no hair and not much flesh on my bones. I was down to 70 lbs.

Many of the works in this album were created in January and February before I knew of my diagnosis. It is significant that these works were done with a very limited palette of black and white, almost as if they knew more than I did, at the time.

In the hospital undergoing chemo and heavily sedated, a portable piano was rolled into my room. Art therapist Mona Rutenberg coaxed a few paintings.

Other paintings were completed in sudden bouts of enlightenment many months later when I returned from the hospital.

It was a difficult time. I was in a severe depression for the whole year.

One dreary grey, blustery November afternoon, alone and racked with feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness, I came inches close to taking my own life.