Creative Corner

The stress and the joys of the CLL journey have led many to a creative outpouring through their artistic efforts. Enjoy their poems, stories, and paintings. Please feel free to submit your own by emailing [email protected].


How I See It

By True Ryndes, ANP ret., MPH
CLL Patient

During the decades I worked in hospice and palliative care, my husband Jim and I simultaneously lost a landscape of friends and acquaintances to AIDS. During this uncommon exposure to grief and loss, I would, every so often, repaint rooms in our home, heeding some call or need. I’d get a new color in my head and obsess over it until it was on the walls. Creating a new visual environment was calming, a visually pleasurable change I could control in the face of so much cellular and emotional chaos.  Fortunately, Jim understood the connection and would help move the furniture.

I stopped painting rooms when I retired in 2007 and began painting canvases. I’d expected to be painting large expressive landscapes, similar to those we collected, but what spontaneously emerged were precise-edged compositions, mostly of squares, classic symbols of stability.

It was as if some internal gyroscope was still attempting to reckon with the various forms of disruption I’d previously experienced. “Let’s put some right angles on all that.”

Keep Reading…


by Mary B. McAllister – Patient Waterfalls of Grace My glass has always been half-full— A clear and inborn vision. It isn’t something I have earned, But a blessing I’ve been given. Being raised in faith and prayer Instills a higher view. For knowing God, is trusting Life, In
 painted by Christina Fisher – Patient During my recent stay at OHSU, I was encouraged to participate in the patient art program.  I painted “CLL Set Me Free” because it’s always in our heads, it’s such a deeply personal and individual journey for all of us who typically appear
By Valerie Vickers – Patient Life in Limbo Lethargy finds expression in a yawn No words or symbols–this heaviness swallows all that is colorful The world in light and dark before diagnosis and after No treatment for dormancy The shadow spirals outward in gray arcs leaves flashes of awareness