Fox River, Illinois, USA


Alice Van Housen with photography by Thomas Van Housen. The dog in the photos is Monberg, he is from Denmark.

I have had a lot of river images/messages since I found out I had breast cancer in early July [2006.] I am having the IV chemo now, only four treatments and then 7 weeks of radiation, then five years of hormone pills. It’s not as bad as it sounds. It was early and small and I almost escape chemo altogether. I’ve had a lot of powerful things happen and a lot of gratitude, and the river messages are all part of that. I was having them before I got your first email, which just enhanced the whole thing. Among other things, I identify with a friend who had cancer two years ago who said “the gift of cancer, which nobody tells you, is that it opens up your river of compassion.

Then I planted a river birch tree (which I’d been wanting to do ever since we moved out here by a river) and got an email from my niece that she has a river birch leaf tattooed on her spine.


The embroidering will help me stay in flow, which is very important right now.
[Alice is embroidering each fabric with the name of the river, location and date. Thanks and graditude to Alice for her wonder and kindness!]