When I think of lives touched by cancer I think of windows. A window reminds me of the fragility of life. It needs the support of a strong frame as we need the framework physically of a strong, healthy body and also the support of friends and family. This framework is even more important when bodies and lives are weakened by cancer.

A window gives us a view of life and the world around us. A window is a blessing for those confined to their homes or hospitals to be able to enjoy the sunshine and flowers and trees. But the view through a window may be misted and cloudy as with life when we cannot see or understand why and what the suffering is for.

Not only can we look out through a window but we can see in through a window into a home filled with love, comfort and cheer or suffering and despondency. A window also symbolises the ability to see into people’s hearts so we can help and understand their needs. We can also see when and how to give solace.

In a window we can also see the reflection of our lives and ourselves. We can think about how we manage in times of distress or we can reflect a light to give us and others warmth and hope. The reflection can be clouded and unclear but sometimes we can wipe away the mist and look out to the future. Often we want to cover the window so we cannot see what lies ahead; we pull down the blinds and become blind.

A window pane can be cracked or shattered, as can lives touched by pain of cancer. Sometimes the glass can be replaced and the window can be as strong and good as new, at other times the window cannot hold together and so needs even more support from family friends and carers.

But we need a window to give us a clear view that can enable us to look out to the future with hope. Hope that research will find means for early diagnosis, prevention, effective treatments and cures for cancer.

'Windows' - I wish to dedicate this painting to Michael