Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cancer Tips for Patients/Caregiver and Mindfulness Research on Stress

The intent of DonnaBellas Angels art is to help create emotional healing and wellness through the use of inspirational art images.  The art helps to create in coping with the stress of managing a chronic or terminal illness as a patient or a loved one supporting a patient.  

At the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, they created cards for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their caregivers, as well as, patient tips post treatment.  The cards included mindfulness ideas.  DonnaBellas Angels allowed the cancer center to use the art on their cards.  

Here is the text for "From Us to You" card for patients:

Fellow cancer survivors offering tips of support to help you deal with the fears, con
"From us to you" tip card for new cancer patients
fusion and anxiety you may be experiencing.
1. Develop a daily ritual of those things that give you comfort; comforting music, special people and meditation.
2. Gather a support team to assist with appointments, transportation, meals.  Choose someone to communicate updates to family and friends.
3. Speak with a person who has had a similar diagnosis as you and has completed treatment.  Contact organizations such as Cancer Hope Network and the American Cancer Society.
4. Use your iPod to record, access, or play guided imagery, music, or messages from family and friends.
5. Enroll in classes such as Successful Surgery or Guided Imagery for Radiation and Chemotherapy.

Live your life to the fullest and do what you want now and are able to do and keep your “to do’s” realistic.  Don’t stop and just smell the flowers ~ stop and smell the rain, the morning dew, the evening fireflies.  Trust in God and enjoy life.

Here is the text for "10 Tips for Caregivers" card:

If you are caring for a loved one

1 Caregiving is a job and respite is your earned right. Take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. Reward yourself with respite breaks often.
2 Watch out for signs of depression, and don’t delay in getting professional help when you need it.
3 When people offer to help, accept the offer and suggest specific things that they can do.
4 Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition and be a partner in healthcare decisions. Attend medical appointments and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
5 There’s a difference between caring and doing. Be open to technologies and ideas that promote your loved one’s independence.
6 Trust your instincts. Most of the time they’ll lead you in the right direction.
7 Caregivers often do a lot of lifting, pushing, and pulling. Be good to your back.
8 Grieve for your losses, and then allow yourself to dream new dreams.
9 Seek support from other caregivers. There is great strength in knowing you are not alone.

10 Stand up for your rights as a caregiver and a citizen.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
-Leo Buscaglia

Packages given to new patients with either a scarf, key chain, or bookmark.  The items were made by previous patients.  The package includes a "From Us to you!" card with cancer management tips.

Read more about DonnaBellas Angels art donation to the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center online at:

The importance of mindfulness and stress management was studied by U.C., San Diego researchers.  They created experiments to determine if mindfulness helped U.S. Marines better deal with the stresses of combat.  Below are excerpts from their research about it:

“Mindfulness training won’t make combat easier,” said Martin Paulus, MD, professor of psychiatry and senior author. “But we think it can help Marines recover from stress and return to baseline functioning more quickly.”

Scientists describe mindfulness as a mental state characterized by “full attention to the present moment without elaboration, judgment or emotional reactivity.”  Mindfulness training, traditionally practiced through sitting meditation, attempts to cultivate this mental state by quieting the mind of extraneous thoughts.

“That we can re-regulate the activity in these areas with so little training is this study’s most significant finding,” Paulus said. “Mindfulness helps the body optimize its response to stress by helping the body interpret stressful events as bodily sensations. The brain adds less emotional affect to experiences and this helps with stress recovery.”

Read more about the UCSD research with Marines on mindfulness online at:

Read UCSD Moores Cancer Center 25 Tips for Patients:

Thank you for viewing DonnaBellas Angels art!  Donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Peace Inspirational Word Art Paintings

DonnaBellas Angels has created multiple painting featuring the word "Peace".

Peace Word Angel Art Painting
The word for "Peace", is painted in shades lavender with purple, blue, and gold accents. A dove floats above the word peace and there are multiple hearts on the angel. The acrylic painting has a textural contrast and sparkle from a light layer of glitter.

Peace Word Butterfly Art Painting
The inspirational word "Peace" appears over the wings of butterfly. The soft purple background is complimented by pink and blue bands of color on the butterfly's wings. There are small accents of silver glitter. Painting was rendered in watercolor. 

Peace Word Inspirational Art Painting
The word "Peace" is painted in a soft golden yellow against a pink and purple background. A dove of peace holds an olive branch in its beak. The watercolor painting has a textural contrast and sparkle from a light layer of glitter.

The inspirational word painting series are taken from the text used in other DonnaBellas Angels paintings.

"I choose to embrace peace" -My Life, My Choice

"In my life I choose to welcome my peace" -Feel Beauty

"It cannot destroy peace" -What Cancer Cannot Do

These peace art images are designed so as to provide reflection and meditation on a single word. The idea is to think about the painting and it will help you have a positive attitude associated with that word which will be emotionally healing to a person. You can also combine them together to make your own word series for meditation/ contemplation.

The purpose of DonnaBellas Angels is provide inspirational art to the general public.  You may share the images on this page for personal use/ non-commercial as part of our goal in helping others to provide a healing support.

Art may be requested on the DonnaBellas Angels website. 

Art can also be purchase at DonnaBellas Zazzle Store or DonnaBellas CafePress Store.  The non-profit earns a royalty on each sale.  Below are samples of some Peace Word art items.

Peace and Dove Art Sympathy Condolence Card

Thank you for viewing DonnaBellas Angels art!  Donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Joy & Peace Beach Angel Art Painting

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wall of Inspirational Words Classroom Art Project

Wipe Out Cancer Angel Art

We were fortunate to have three of DonnaBellas Angels art pieces donated to our classroom to use this past week as part of our biweekly parent docent lead art lesson program offered in my daughter’s 2nd/3rd grade class.  DonnaBellas Angels kindly let us borrow the "Hope Inspirational Angel Word", "My Life, My Choice Diabetes Butterfly", and the "Wipe Out Cancer Angel" paintings. 

Hope Inspirational Angel Word Art
We talked about our experiences in going to the doctor and what the hospital rooms typically looked like.  I shared with the children the powerful way in which DonnaBellas Angels' art is used at cancer treatment clinics around the country.  The children all agreed that if they were in a hospital room they would enjoy looking at DonnaBellas Angels’ artwork and it would bring much needed comfort. 

My Life, My Choice Diabetes Butterfly
We were able to look at the original DonnaBellas Angels works of art in comparison to looking at them as a printed image on the computer or on a postcard.  Being able to see (and even FEEL*) the stroke of the paint brush, the purposeful placement of the color sparkle around the painting and the size of the art made such a larger impact than what we could ever get from seeing a DonnaBellas Angels art print.  (*Thank you for your permission to touch the "Wipe Out Cancer Angel" artwork).

We focused on DonnaBellas Angels' Meditation Words series and used the image of "Trust" and "Laugh" to have a discussion about concepts such as:
Trust Word Art

  •   Using Art in Therapy
  • Color Palette and placement (use of contrasting colors to highlight words, white glass sparkle placed on white outline of angel wings)
  • Lettering (sanscript vs. script; ALL CAPS vs. lower case; Block lettering)
  • Symbols (repetition; overlapping; outlining)
  • Abstract vs. representational (hearts surrounding word Laugh vs. more free form strokes around TRUST)
  • Laugh Word Art
  •  What words inspire you?

We then created our own inspiration word art using colored markers and oil pastels and used our discussion to help guide in making our own original art.

Thank you to DonnaBellas Angels for letting us be surrounded by your art.  

Your art truly uplifted us and inspired us to create our own masterpieces.  Here is our “Wall of Inspiration” that is our gift and our Thank You to you.

- Denise, Classroom Parent Art Docent

Wall of Inspiration - Children's Art of Inspirational Words
Thank you for viewing DonnaBellas Angels art!  Donations are always welcome and appreciated.

What Cancer Cannot Do Rainbow Heart Poem Painting

The text of "What Cancer Cannot Do" radiate out in rainbow colors from concentric hearts. The painting was rendered in watercolor.

What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited...

It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendship(s).
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage. 
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the spirit.
-Author Unknown