© 1993, Janice M. Thielbar
My art piece is a shocking realism. It is a stark example of what women are faced with after a mastectomy!
The fallen breast represents the physical tragedy of this heinous disease; while the drapery banner conveys femininity and protection from the emotional pain.The title "Journey" represents my life's new pathway, beginning the day of my diagnosis. As an artist, in making things beautiful again, my recovery is channeled, and even enhanced, through the creative and artistic processes.
When faced with the diagnosis of breast cancer, I began to investigate my options after a mastectomy. Faced with the reality of pre-fabricated, boxed breast forms, I knew I could create a replacement for myself. I endeavored to create a breast that looks and feels real. With a background in special effects and make-up artistry, I had the knowledge and insight to begin a six year journey of research and develeopment to create the custom breast prosthesis Belle Amie, meaning "Beautiful Friend."
My journey through this disease is ongoing and one that I am faced with on a daily basis at my center. My creation, Belle Amie, however allows me to realize the good I can do. I help women return to their pre-cancer lifestyles; with their attitude, balance, posture, and determination restored.
I think all of us dream that we can make a difference and surviving breast cancer gave me the path to a better understanding of my purpose. I often pray that this devastating disease did not have to touch my life, but I would not give back the many rewards it has brought me.
Jan Thielbar, August 1993