Cancer Diagnosis - Posters by Rahel Meyer

rameyer

With the posters in this publication, graphic designer Rahel Meyer recounts the impact that cancer has on her life – also after completion of treatment. Using simple elements, she illustrates how cancer affects everyday life and provides insight into her world of thoughts and feelings. Despite the gravity of the subject matter, a healthy dose of subtle, life-affirming humor resonates in the posters.

CANCER DIAGNOSIS

Posters by Rahel Meyer


CANCER diagnosis

Posters by Rahel Meyer


CANCER DIAGNOSIS

Every year, approximately 37,000 people in Switzerland are confronted with a diagnosis of

cancer. Along with the diagnosis comes shock, fear and sadness, besides having to endure

time-consuming therapies with consequential side effects, the outcome of which remains

uncertain. Even when treatments progress positively, the fear of cancer recurrence often

remains for the rest of one’s life.

Generally, this reality plays out behind closed doors at home, in waiting rooms and in

aseptic treatment rooms. For those on the outside, it is often difficult to be able to relate to

what the diagnosis unleashes in a person suffering from cancer and the plethora of questions

he or she has to deal with.

With the posters in this publication, graphic designer Rahel Meyer recounts the impact

that cancer has on her life – also after completion of treatment. Using simple elements, she

illustrates how cancer affects everyday life and provides insight into her world of thoughts

and feelings. Despite the gravity of the subject matter, a healthy dose of subtle, life-affirming

humor resonates in the posters.

Rahel Meyer is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.

She lives and works in Lucerne, Switzerland.


DIAGNOSIS

Before a diagnosis can be made, a patient has to undergo numerous examinations.

This means waiting over and over again – endlessly and anxiously – for the results.


positive test result

=

bad news

NEgative test result

=

Good news


OPERATION

Treatment for most cancer patients involves an operation. The goal of an operation is to sample

tissue for diagnostic purposes and – if possible – to remove the tumor as completely as possible.


ChemotherapY

Patients treated with chemotherapy receive medications (cytostatics) that inhibit the growth

of cancer cells or even kill them. Cytostatics can be injected, administered by an infusion

or ingested in the form of tablets.


Whatcha doin’?

I’m on a drip in the oncology clinic.

Oh! Is it like really bad?

So-so. Chemo takes about 1½ hours.

11:13 33

Chin up! You can do it!


SIDE EFFECTS

Most cytostatic agents destroy not only cancer cells, but also healthy cells – especially those that

divide rapidly: for example, the mucosal cells in the intestine, or hair roots and blood cells.

Many cytostatics cause side effects: for example, diarrhea, loss of hair, anemia and

increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Chemotherapy can also cause nausea,

vomiting and fatigue.


nerve damage

loss of appetite

aching muscles

hot flushes

skin and nail problems

taste changes

blood count changes

diarrhea

hair loss

fatigue

nausea

vomiting

I accept that there are possible side effects:

Yes

No


CHEMOTIONAL


EMOTIONS

A cancer diagnosis is for patients themselves and their surroundings a serious emotional

crisis. How do you deal with such conflicting emotions as hope and hopelessness?

With fears of loss or even the fear of dying?


at home

en route


HAIR LOSS

A frequent side effect of chemotherapy is the loss of hair on the head and the body.

The eyebrows and eyelashes often fall out as well. Replacing lost hair with a wig helps

many cancer patients – especially women – feel more comfortable in day-to-day life.


Hair

As soon as the body breaks down and eliminates the medications, the hair begins to grow

back – in most cases, faster and stronger than before. Sometimes it is softer or curlier,

some people have more grey hair, others less.


AFTER-EFFECTS

After chemotherapy, many patients suffer from cognitive impairment, which is commonly

referred to as "chemo brain". This manifests itself in, among other things, memory lapses,

a lack of concentration or slower thinking and decision-making processes.


RADIATION THERAPY

Radiation therapy (radiotherapy) involves the use of high-energy rays directed at the tumor.

These rays – for example, gamma or electron radiation – damage the genetic substance (DNA) of

the cancer cells so that they can no longer divide and subsequently die. The rays damage not only

the cancer cells, but also the cells in the surrounding healthy tissue, which is also irradiated.


Side Effects

The skin reacts differently, depending on the kind of radiation therapy (location, amount,

single dosage and total dosage). The daily treatments can extend over a number of weeks.

Treating breast cancer or a tumor in the mouth or neck area requires a relatively strong dose

of radiation. A skin reaction resembling sunburn may occur after two to three weeks.


RADI

NT


FAMILY

DOCTOR

ONCOLOGY

GENERAL

HOSPITAL

NOVEMBER 14th

RADIOLOGY

APRIL 20th APRIL 21th APRIL 22th APRIL 23th APRIL 27th

MAY 8th MAY 15th MAY 22th MAY 29th

JUNE 4th

JULY 16th

BREAST

CLINIC

JANUARY 23th

FEBRUARY

MARCH 7th

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JULY 30th JULY 31th AUGUST 2nd AUGUST 3rd AUGUST 6th

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JULY 18th JULY 19th JULY 20th JULY 23th JULY 24 JULY 25 JULY 26th

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JANUARY 8th JANUARY 14th JANUARY 29th

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DECEMBER 18th

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MARCH 8th MARCH 9th MARCH 13th MARCH 16th

MARCH 29 APRIL 11th APRIL 18th

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MARCH 26th


CALENDAR

Everyday life for cancer patients is shaped by hospital appointments with doctors and

therapists. For many weeks and months, their life is largely determined by the treatments.


CHECK-UPS

Even after treatments are completed, patients are still confronted with cancer. Emotionally

processing such an experience is one thing, but the regular follow-ups – generally for one’s

entire life – are another thing, because they are often coupled with the fear of cancer

reappearing. For instance, there is a higher risk of developing a secondary tumor especially

after radiation therapy – even many years after the treatment.


PERSONAL APPROACH

All cancer patients deal with the disease in their own, individual way. With repression, fear,

courage, withdrawal, a fighting spirit – and sometimes with humor.


IMPRINT

Idea, concept and design: Rahel Meyer

Texts: Rahel Meyer, Petra Meyer

English translation: Sharon Kroska

Purchase: info@meyer-grafik.ch

Contact: meyer-grafik.ch

© Rahel Meyer, all rights reserved

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