Celebrating Life after Cancer

Celebration of Life Mural-The mural was created to honor those surviving the disease of cancer. The mural’s tiles are inscribed by cancer survivors and represent the continuous flow of life.

a wall decorated with inscribed bricks and a metal floral sculpture

I went with my husband to a routine medical appointment and instead of sitting in the waiting room I wondered around outside. I came across this lovely garden area and was immediately intrigued by the decorated wall.

I was curious and decided to take a closer look; and of course, take some photos to share with you. I think the display speaks for itself, so browse and enjoy.

Celebration of Life Mural

June 1995-June 1997

The mural was created to honor those surviving the disease of cancer.
The mural’s tiles are inscribed by cancer survivors and represent the continuous flow of life.
Celebration of Life Mural
a wall decorated with inscribed bricks and a metal floral sculpture

Why a butterfly on a thistle?

You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they?

Matthew 7:16, New English Translation

thistle-the cancer survivor’s determined will to live

butterfly-transitions from difficult circumstances to a new life experience

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
“Expect a miracle”
“Love isn’t Love until you give it away.”

Celebration of Life

The butterfly and thistle sculpture is made possible through the generosity of the “Just Say Ho” Clown Alley.

Photographed by Dr. Aletha at the Troy and Dollie Smith Cancer Center, Integris Baptist Medical Center , Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“God is Good.”
“We don’t choose how we die but we do choose how we live.”

exploring the HEART of health through art

I’m honored you joined me to celebrate these cancer survivors’ lives and thankful for their willingness to share their journey with us.

Take time to enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget to smile.

Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Butterflies are not only beautiful, but also have mystery, symbolism and meaning and are a metaphor representing spiritual rebirth, transformation, change, hope and life. The magnificent, yet short life of the butterfly closely mirrors the process of spiritual transformation and serves to remind us that life is short.

Gardens with Wings

Book recommendation

If you or someone you know is facing a cancer diagnosis, this book may help. Here is my review.


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Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

20 thoughts on “Celebrating Life after Cancer”

  1. Oh, the wonderful things we can find when we set out on an adventure, even just stepping out of a waiting room. Thanks for sharing these inspiring thoughts from inspiring people. None of us know what will eventually take us out, but we can find encouragement from each other while we’re still here.


  2. What a beautiful way to encourage those facing the cancer journey to live hope! The thistle and the butterfly symbolize that hope – when my husband found out he had lung cancer – discovered during pre-surgery testing for a heart-valve replacement at 59 years old, my husband never prayed he didn’t have cancer. He trusted God had the “all is well” (2 Kings 4:26) solution. Keeping our eyes on our Father during the journey has made all the difference – a thistle and butterfly difference!


    1. Thanks for the comment abut the post.

      Peabea, Regarding the site posting, I’m curious too. It’s nothing I am doing on purpose, it must be a WordPress glitch. I will investigate and see if I can give you a real answer.Thanks for telling me about this, and thanks for sharing your site link.


  3. Such a beautiful way to honor those who have persevered through cancer and its treatments. It is also an inspiration for those who will need to yet go through the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. We appreciate your shares. They have been Tweeted Pinned. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn


  5. Stunning tribute to those who fought to make it through the grueling process of cancer treatments, surgeries etc. I work in hospice and palliative care and see many cancer sufferers and their resiliency is inspiring.


  6. What a beautiful tribute this work of art is to those who have bravely fought and those who have fought and survived!
    Thank you for sharing your post at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy.
    It’s my honor to feature you this week. #476


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