The Things We Lost is a collection of prints and digital collages exploring my diagnosis and treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. After carrying out interviews with other people in their 20s and 30s I had built relationships with through attending local Trekstock meetups I eventually used their interviews as a jumping off point to explore my own illness and the feeling of perceived loss and trauma that had come with it.

“The Things We Lost
1 September to 13 October 2018

‘The Things we Lost’ was inspired by Josh Moir’s diagnosis with leukaemia and the challenges he faced living as a Young Person with cancer. Reaching out to other people affected by cancer, Josh realised that there were similarities in their stories and challenges they faced. Exploring the theme of perceived loss after a cancer diagnosis, Josh also celebrates the many young people who are facing their diagnoses with bravery and striving towards ‘the new normal’ many clinicians discuss with them.

Josh discovered that although there is loss, there is also hope.

“I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2015 at 25 years old after a short illness. I had no understanding of leukaemia at that point as was terrified what my diagnosis would mean for my life. My diagnosis was an unusual case; most people with this rare type of blood cancer are diagnosed either in childhood, where it presents as a different illness, or later in life. During my time in isolation in the Haematology Ward in Ninewells Hospital, I was in a collection of liminal states, one between health and sickness, living and dying and young and old. I was too old to be treated in a Young Person’s Cancer Unit, but also too young to fit in with the other patients on the ward.

After reaching remission and being discharged from the ward I set about getting in touch with other Young People affected by cancer to try to understand the situation I had been through. Through these relationships and conversations I discovered that although our stories and journeys to that point had been incredibly difficult, there was a similarity to the challenges and struggles we faced. These interviews also helped me identify that I was trying to understand my own experience of cancer through the shared experiences of others, as mine was too raw and too difficult to face. This led me to produce this body of work which, although incredibly personal, also represents the challenges faced by all young adults with cancer. Using direct source material gathered from my own hospital admission such as blood slides and bone marrow samples I have created a series of mixed media work incorporating both text and imagery exploring the parts of my life which have changed since my diagnosis which speaks to the shared experience of many young people with cancer.”