In late April of 2005, author and artist Richard Harvey sat in the stands watching his softball team play. Staples reinforced a suture running top to bottom on his right temple. Two weeks days earlier a brain surgeon had removed a racquetball-sized tumor and an aggressive margin of brain tissue from his brain. The phone rang. It was Harvey’s oncologist. The tumor was a malignant stage-three astrocytoma. Each time the fears came up that day and during days and weeks to come, he clung to a feeling that it wasn’t his time, that he had more do with his life.
Another Major Life Challenge:
In 2013, creativity and connectivity helped Harvey to process once again . This time it was a divorce. He found healing and re-connection with his true nature while he created many of the paintings for 20 Poems 20 Paintings A Creative Warrior’s Journal. His original intention to publish a book of poems and paintings quickly evolved into a desire to develop an interactive platform that recipients could co-create in and share out of.
Almost immediately Harvey began sharing his work with other cancer fighters, survivors and their support people. The satisfaction of connecting with other people in need inspired Harvey’s sense of purpose. He could see that fostering communities of creative support was improving his quality of life. Recipients confided that his words comforted and empowered them.
Read a Collection of Poems by Richard Harvey posted on Oncolink.
Late in 2005, he published a chapbook of the poems called “Lemonade – Notes To Cancer.”
It went through several runs. He met hundreds of people experiencing situations similar to his at cancer and brain tumor conferences while hosting survivor tables and distributing books. At these settings he provided a large variety of support literature from empowering organizations he discovered while searching for healing.
His desire to help others avoid obstructions to healing that he had overcome inspired his emerging advocacy role. Soon survivors and their support people were interacting and writing their own original words to process their challenges and sharing them back.
Symposium For Neuro-Oncology, March 7th, 2007