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Inside of Me


Graduation project 2012

In collaboration with Catharina hospital Eindhoven, the Netherlands 

Role: Author

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“Many of the people here have another type  of disease, I have nothing in common with them. Everyone has different experiences. You carry your own suffering home, nobody takes any notion.”

Communicating the ​many different perceptions of an illness

This book is a tool for people who are dealing with cancer, helping them to recognise emotions evoked by the disease and its treatment, enabling them to express those to their loved ones and health workers. This book illustrates the experiences of people with cancer during chemo therapy treatment. 


The challenge 


The cancer is always there and perpetrates every aspect of daily life. Not only the patients are forced to give it attention day after day, but also the people around them are influenced by it. The illness brings many different emotions with it. It is very isolating when you can't find the words to communicate to others what you're going through. The name of the disease may not change, people's experiences differ one by one. The way people perceive their disease, influences the way they get through the process of recuperation and therefore deserves attention during the treatment. 


It is essential to find a way to talk about your experiences to the people around you, both your loved ones, and the health professionals who provide your treatment. This book covers a wide range of themes and how they're experienced by different people: the relationship with others, the relationship with the hospital, the most difficult and the most beautiful moments, the body, the tumour, the small annoying things, the concerns, the future, gratitude and pain.


“Together you are stronger. I am glad to have my husband, that we go through this together. It makes everything easier. When you can tell somebody about it, it suddenly is not that bad  anymore. Even an injection is less painful when I can tell him.”

The journey 

I spent many days on the oncology ward at the Catharina hospital in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, listening to people while undergoing chemo therapy treatment. Getting chemo is often a moment of intense boredom for people, and many don't bring family and friends because they don't want to burden them. I was a welcome distraction, and had many beautiful and challenging conversations. 


I combined people's quotes with drawings. The quotes concern the way the illness influences daily life, the drawings communicate the emotions and experiences people encounter. They do not only illustrate how the hospital visits and treatments are experienced, but rather concentrate on what patients experience in their every day lives.

The impact 


The book was self published with support of the Catharina hospital in Eindhoven, and RISO radiology institute in Deventer. The books are available in several hospitals around the Netherlands, and have been sold all over Europe. 

If you are interested in buying a book, please contact me

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