Staying Alive by Sherri VanSchaick. All Rights Reserved. The world stopped for me January 2001 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Somewhere out of the fog of surgeries, chemo and radiation treatments there emerged the idea that I would need to fill the rest of my life with meaningful ‘stuff’. Not being sure what form this ‘stuff’ should be I began reading and taking classes at the Pebble Creek Arts and Crafts Center starting with ceramics, one-stroke painting, colored and graphite pencils, acrylics, pastels, oils, charcoal, calligraphy (gosh, did I leave anything out?) Oh, and pen and ink drawing. This makes me smile that I almost forgot the pen and ink drawing because that is my most favored, combined with colored pencil. I have given away all of my ceramic paraphernalia along with the pastels, charcoal and oils, keeping the acrylics because I still paint the odd picture now and then.