My colors of cancer

A positive approach on combating Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Ribbon

Pink Breast…Pink Nipples

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan


Pink Breasts…Pink Nipples by Esther “esty” Pagan 4/16/14


Pink Breasts…Pink Nipples

Fuchsia to be exact, that vivid, red, purplish color.

That’s right my own Hostess Snow Balls

Like the marshmallow coconut pink clouds of aspiration

With devils food chocolate cake

And white cream filling

Filling my life full of joy and hope 

Yes that is what My Colors of Cancer has led me to

Till this day…today where I will never forget my Threat of picking which to choose from

 The boobs or the breathing

The boobs or the breathing

The boobs or the breathing

Yes my breathing became shallow

So shallow was I

I almost became “Invisible”

“Invincible” and “Invisible” and “Invincible.”

 I could not see myself sometimes

I did not want to look…did not want to feel

Could not feel…did not see

What was happening to me.

I was numb sometimes…

Bumped into walls sometimes…

Which I still do sometimes…

It will never go away sometimes…

But I played the game

The game that needed to be played

Of pretend façade

To Beat and Win

And come back to my reality of

The boobs or the breathing

The boobs or the breathing

The boobs or the breathing

Am I alive



I pretend that they are still there.

Then I see that Bride of Frankenstein Scar

My war wounds

Across my chest

Missing my Nurturing Pacifiers

On my Twin Towers

Oh…how I miss them so.

Tomorrow will come when my pretend façade

Takes me to number 7

That’s how many times

I played the game to…

The last and final stage

Of my fight and flight

Of My Colors of Cancer.

Yes that color…that hue.

Fuchsia to be exact, that vivid, red, purplish color

Will take me to conclude my fight with the Big C

Who doesn’t even have a face

But I will never let it forget mine

For I am here with my Machete at hand

The Red, White and Blues

Rice and Beans coming from

My Soul of Boriqua Badness

Don’t you ever forget me.

You…Big C

I beat You.

You never had a chance with me.

I was never going to let up


Never was going to let you win.

I am the one left standing.

You see me

Look at my face

I am not Invisible

Invincible am I.

Pink Breasts…Pink Nipples.


My Dad, my best friend on the planet…I miss you

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan
Seeing light...even in the dark.

Seeing light…even in the dark.

My father past away a year ago on 4/4/13…he was in the last stages of Altzeimer’s living i a wheel chaired prison of his brain for the last 8 years.  Those who knew him loved him and knew how much he loved life.  My father was my best friend on the planet.  He was always there for me, always listened and never judged me.  More than anything he loved me…me for who I am.  I miss you Papi. In Catholicism we as Puerto Ricans pay homage to our loved ones when they pass with a Mass in their honor.  I am Buddhist but wanted to partake in my fathers honor.  I remember as a child growing up how we were told not to do certain things because God sees everything and he weeps.  ”No haga eso que Papa Dios llora.”  Well my father taught me it was ok to be mischievous for he was mischievous.  Being at his honorable mass and thinking back to my childhood has inspired me to write this poem for I know my dad has gotten in trouble with Papa Dios.  But I also know he and Papa Dios hang.  Here’s to my best friend on the planet…Mi Papi.

Mi Papa Dios must be Puerto Rican, my Puerto Rican Papa Dios.  by Esther “esty” Pagan  4/4/14

Mi Papa Dios must be Puerto Rican, my Puerto Rican Papa Dios.                                                                      

I know he’s Puerto Rican.  He showed me the flag one day.

The arroz con gandules red, white and blues con Pernir Y Cuero. Pasteles Clouds con Queso Blanco y Guava Paste.

Mi Papa Dios must be Puerto Rican.

His olive caramel skin shines my Taino Boriqua rays from sun rise to moon hays.

His auburn color curls of luster locks feels like silk running through my finger tips.

His rainbow smile shows infinite laughter, lightening. listening with thunder hugs from the heart.

His humble abode welcoming…welcoming Salsa Dancing.   As he dances to the tunes of Tito, Hector y Celia paying homage to his Primos y Primas… Los Santos y Don.

Bodega boxed dreams driving a red convertible Chevy with Papa Dios in the back seat.

Picking up La Virgen Maria…Bendita tu eres entre todas las mujeres y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre Jesus.  Yeah La Virgen Maria…Papa Dios Lover Like no other…Emaculate Conception.  She must be Puerto Rican.

El Cielo is the best disco in town, “Heaven.”  Papa Dios is spinning vinyl House, Disco, R&B and oh don’t forget that Gospel music.

Stripper Angels stripping our doubts of who we were, what and where we came from.  Clear, invisible, flying free spirit breeze of nothingness.

All comining down to having that, “Last Supper.”  Just before knocking on the Door’s Gate of 777 Heaven’s Lane on Cloud 9 till the end of time. 

I know deep in my heart and the pit of my Boriqua Stomach that…Mi Papa Dios must be Puerto Rican, my Puerto Rican Papa Dios.


Working with Ed Cabrera

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan
Esther Pagan free spirit in the blue always smiling from the heart.

Free Spirit

Free Spirit 
Working with Ed Cabrera as he is teaching me Word Press.  He is a martial artist of 30+years as well as being a physical education educator for 26+years in NYC.  He also is a creative artist with technology and communication…teaching me Word Press.

Soledad Speaks and Cicalese Side Swipes

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan

To Vivian Vasquez>Good Morning my love.  I just wanted to say thank you for coming with me last night for our little exciting endeavor escapade.  I’m sorry your humble vehicle car got injured in the interim. That Mother Freaker!!! Cicalese Trucking Company from Cranford, NJ.   The Hunter Green 18-wheeler cap that side swiped your car and kept going.  Hit and run on the intersection of Tremont & Westchester Avenue in the Bronx.  Yeah the one with the 40ish white male with balding black hair sporting black frame glasses driver who refused to stop. I must admit it felt like we were Mission Impossible and Charlie’s Angels speeding to get him.  Yeah and do what…stop an 18-wheeler cap with your humble abode vehicle car?  I would have done everything and anything in my power to make it happen, you had my back.  I loved the chase, trying to chase him down to stop him and he wouldn’t stop.  That Mother Freaker!!! He just drove around us like we were scurried little insects trying to get a nut.  Yeah it really made my blood boil.  Thank you Police Officer Delgado from the 12th precinct for taking our report. But I hope everything turns out ok for your vehicle’s skinned knee.  I also want to thank you for giving me your listening ear as the Black Sheep…I want to term my situation…Black Sheep.  I will continue to search for the answer to the question…what purpose does it serve you? Hope you and Rick got home ok.  You must admit our little escapade makes for great Cafe con Leche Coffee converstaion. ;) xo TQM=Te Quiero Mucho.  To Soledad Speaks>you girls rock, amazingly Fucking Fantabulous (using the term Fucking as a term of endearment).  Linda Nieves-Powell your ability to put this all together so beautifully with class and conviction with humor and historically correct was on point.  I thank you, thank you, thank you.  My tears are flowing as I speak/type.  The tears of joy are also flowing as I speak/type to know that not only I am the only one who could say how proud I am to be who I am.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me find that identity.  All the performers, you were all amazingly, funny, witty, convicted in the raw.  But mostly, powerful! I love you all!!!  Peggy Robles-Alvarado, I wanted to hug you so hard for your performance of you being you and putting it out there the way you did.  You made me laugh and cry, thank you, thank you, thank you.  You are amazing.  JF Seary, you too were amazing as were you all.  I just wanted to share my experience of you all touching my heart at this time and helping me put my icing on my cake. Soledad Speaks needs to be on, “The Big Screen.” I will put it out in the universe for you all with my power soul spirit heart might xoxo.  



Papa Rose

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan

Today I spoke with my ex-husband, Rosario who I like to call Rose.  After 15+ years of marriage, getting divorced, going through adversity with trauma…we have grown to really become best of friends.  He will always have a special place in my heart.  He is and will always be in my life.  My daughter adores him (he is not her father) more than her own father.  My grandchildren call him Papa Rose and I am happy that it took 15+ years for us to become, “Besties.”  He told me he went to the doctor, yes the doctor that I referred over 20 people in the past since the 90’s.  Yes the doctor who checked my pe-pe, kaki, my carotid and my heart.  Yes the doctor who told me of my Breast Cancer diagnosis over the phone.  He told Rose that Cancer is on the rise, more than Heart Disease and any thing else.  Cancer is on the rise.   



P90X Beach Body

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan

Today I started working out the P90X Beach Body.  Evita is doing the program and she is seeing results.  I have a cousin, Stephanie Burgos, daughter of Elizabeth and Victor Burgos, who is a physician in the main Boston Hospital’s emergency room.  She was always unhappy with her image as a child growing up.  She made a change.  She married her passion to her genius and she became a physician working towards helping others make better lifestyle choices.  I am proud of her and her mother who has also made a change.  She too married her passion to her genius and is working towards getting certified as a nutritionist.  I see this mother daughter team in the route to success Kudos to Liz and Steph.  I started the chest and back workout today.  I need to get back into shape.  It will be 18 months in April of my Breast Cancer Reconstruction.  I must cleanse my body of all the poisons and toxins that were pumped into me for the reconstruction process.  I have not been able to exercise due to allowing my body to adjust every 3 months after surgery (building block starting from scratch).  In the interim if I would have tried to lift, push or pull more than 5lbs., my breasts would have shifted towards my armpits and Dr. Torina would have to start all over again.  SMH.  So I have been good to follow instruction that has eaten me up inside and I am out of shape and weak.  Now it’s my time to get strong…and get strong I will.  I want to be Stephanie’s case study in this program so she can inspire more Breast Cancer Survivor’s to get up and get strong!


Fuscia Pink…

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan

I went to see Dr. Torina for a follow up visit and he has given me a date for my last and final procedure.  My nipples will be tattooed with color.  I have chosen a dark Fuscia color.  I wanted something in the pink family to remember my journey, battle, ordeal and triumph. This will be April 18th, 2014.  Right before my birthday, I can’t wait.  I have strategically waited it out so as to have all my procedures done, heal and go on.  It is almost finally over.  Will I be the same person? No ever.  I will be a better person.  I am a giver and doer.  I will continue to do and give of myself and become the successful individual that I deserve to be.

It is a shame that I have endured all the anguish to come to terms with my recovery with Breast Cancer.  I am still advocating with the HRA regarding payment of all the procedures.  It makes me feel minuscule in the realm of things with all the billions of dollars that are raised and come into conjunction with Breast Cancer.  I feel minuscule.  My spirit is crying right now.  I would have endured 7 procedures total to be able to smack Cancer in the ass.  In the interim I feel I got smacked too by our society.  These penned papers of my feelings relay, cry, laugh, get livid, and are written from the heart in the raw.  I do not wish my experience on my worst enemy let alone someone I love.  I hope my story gets a buzz and things change.  We need change…are you listening.  Big brother is getting away and we are slowly dyeing.  I will not throw the towel in…I will not die. 


Screw and Colorless Nipples

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan

I have been doing a lot of soul searching for my future.  The future looks very dim.  The economy is suffering.  The 1% keeps getting richer and the rest of us are suffering.  I must do my own, I must hold my own, I must be my own.  At 13 years old I knew that my life was going to be difficult.  I knew that because I was a poor, beautiful, intelligent, Hispanic female…life was not going to be easy.  At that age I knew I had to emanate the rich white man.  Go to the best schools, work for the best corporations and invest in the best products.  Work for the best corporations and study their infrastructure so you can use for yourself when you are ready to start your own business.  Research, research, research.  So I looked in the mirror and began to follow suit…ever since I was 13 years old, that was my mind-set.  Today I am a young starving artist because it is my mind-set.  My job options are not many as in the rest of the 99% of us.  But I will succeed and be my own.  I will take my passion and marry it to my genius.  My hands are my livelihood.  My hands will lead the way.  I have been keeping a photographic journal of my Breast Cancer Reconstruction and I am almost at the end of my journey.  I call it, “Picture Poetry.”  I was walking down Tremont Avenue in the Bronx where I reside in my mother’s house where I grew up since 16 years old.  Remember my mom is 81 now my dad past and my siblings live in FL.  I am caretaker and one hand washes the other.  I was walking the Post Office to mail some letters and as I past the McDonalds’ I noticed a large screw that was engraved in dirt on the corner curb.  It called out to me it was like I was magnetized to it.  I love playing with Boy Toys.  I was such a Tomboy growing up.  I never played with dolls.  I just set them up in my room like my room was a museum.  I never played with them or allowed any of my family members to enter my room or play with them either.  I love getting my hands dirty.  I love playing with metal.  It fascinates me.  I guess that is why I make hats out of metal.  Well, I walked over the Post Office and ran my errand.  As I was walking back home I knew I had to pick up the screw and take it home.  I knew it had a creative job and I was the one to make it happen.  So as I neared the curb I bent down and dug the screw out of the dirt.  I noticed a homeless man observing me wondering what I was doing.  I walked home and cleaned my new found Boy Toy and knew exactly what I was going to do.  Picture Poetry, I wrote a poem about Screw.  Here goes.

Screw by Esther “esty” Pagan 2/24/14


Screw you

Your screwed up

Stop Screwing around

Your gonna get screwed

Fuk…screw me

I’m screwed

Screw the nuts and bolts in my life

That screw doesn’t fit

The screw in my joint is too tight

How many screws does it take to fix it?

What else sounds like the letter screw to you?

Screw it.


Esther “esty” Pagan 



I also wrote this.


Colorless Nipples by Esther “esty” Pagan 2/24/14


With scars across

Tainting my heart

That’s what I am today.

No more Nippleless

But full of nipples am I.

But, with no color.

My colorless fate still strings along my destiny.

My every three months of do this…do that.

I can’t do this, I can’t do that.

My bureaucratical political Life’s Chess Move;

Has my Queen, “Butterfly Mermaid With Wings of Fire”

On Check Mate.

I must do what I must do.

To look and feel what I am use to.

My fear of the Big C

Took it all away from me.

The cancer in my heart and breast

The part I bid farewell many months ago.

Still waiting in grief

For the end to come.

To take that mirror

Inside of me.

And look to see

What I am today.

Colorless Nipples.

Esther “esty” Pagan 



Livia Nieves…my Taino Sun

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan

Now there is Livia Nieves.  I cannot remember the first time I met Livia Nieves but I remember being at functions where she was present, participated and performed.  Livia Nieves is a wonderful Beautiful Puerto Rican Spirit full of Love and Laughter…Artist!!!  I saw her dance at a Bomba y Plena performance with Norka, founder of Bomba Works at El Fogon, art gallery in the South Bronx.  My dear friend Mia Roman, also a wonderful beautiful Puerto Rican Spirit of Love and Laughter was curating an event of female photographers who exhibited their work of pictures of woman at work…from all over the country.  It was a very moving event and I remember seeing Livia as well as my dear Mai Vanderpool aka Mai Butterfly Reyes (another spirit of love artist) dancing that day.  The next time I saw Livia was at my opening exhibit.  There is where I really met her presence and felt her warmth.  I knew she was an artist but I had never seen her work, I only saw her performances.  Later on I became affiliated with Norka and Bomba Works at Fogon.  I will write about that later.  My exhibit was phenomenal and I remember Livia.  We later got together again at Mai’s house for New Year’s Eve as we saw Mai’s husband, Ruperto Vanderpool, up and coming “Blacktino Comedian” and we all cheered in the New Year 2014.  I found out Livia was a Web designer and teacher for Cuny.  In my interim writing this blog, “My Colors of Cancer” I bumped into technical problems with the company that was hosting my information.  I decided to switch to another company.  I did everything I had to do to go through the transition with much help from both companies, but then I became stuck and I became stagnant with my writing and posting onto my blog.  I needed help.  I reached out to her because I knew what had to be done could only be done by a technical person (I am computer mentally challenged sometimes).  We finally met at her humble abode. OMG, I had no idea what beautiful music Livia put on paper with her Taino Symbols which are a favorite of mine as well.  They are magical.  I love them, they calm my spirit and soul.  Her take on the Taino Symbols focus on the Taino Sun.  She is the Taino Sun…I saw it the moment I walked into the warmth of her home.  She takes this wonderful piece and tranforms it into many vibrant hues and colors incorporating various techniques with various mediums meshing it on various papers.  Super!!!  That is Livia’s favorite word…and she is Super!!!  We started meshing our brain art together.  She helped me save and allow my blog to come back to life.  She actually baptized my blog because now I know where I must go with it.  She also inspired me to continue to grow as an artist and allow those around me to grow with me.  Yes, My Colors of Cancer…they can be sweet and tender.  It is what I want them to be.  I wrote a child’s bedtime story inspired by my beautiful granddaughter, Izabelle.  She is a, “But why girl?”  I was babysitting her one day trying to put her to sleep and she was putting me to sleep with her, “But why Mamacita, but why???”  My grandchildren call me Mamacita, I forbade them to call me Grandma because it made me feel old at 40 becoming a grandmother.  I know what you guys are thinking.  All you Latino’s know what I mean.  I have friends that tell their grandchildren not to call them Grandpa, they say, “Call me Tio.”  The female Latinas tell their grandchildren to call them Mami.  My grandchildren call my daughter Mami and my mother (their great grandmother) Mama…so I am Mamacita.  It all works o.k.  I wrote this wonderful bedtime story called, “Why does the dragon breathe fire?”  I have not published it because I have not found an illustrator that has my vision and creative flow to make this story happen.  Yesterday a magical thing happened and my story just found its illustrator.  I am happy to say that Livia and I will be collaborating together to make this one of the best Latin Bedtime Stories Ever!!!  Mark my words and Livia’s illustrations.  More details to come later, super!!!


Ricky Bruen…Carivagio

posted by:
Esther M. Pagan

A while back when I was in my creative photographic and designing mode.  I married my passion with my genius and put it on paper.  I started photographing all my designs as art combining nudity.  I have always been fascinated with the human body…hence I am a body worker.  I am vane.  I was always teased and taunted as a child and teenager growing up…hence my vanity.  I love my creations and never want to part with them…hence being a young starving artist.  I like to document what I am creating from beginning to end…hence the before and after pics, start to finish.  I was my first top model…hence my nude pics with my creations.  It is my own art, my own way of putting me into my passion and marrying it to my genius.  Just saying…that’s me.  My exhibit of, “My Colors of Cancer marry all of the above.”  It is a breathtaking exhibit if I must say so myself.  I met a wonderful talented young man in the program that I had the pleasure to participate in, “The Art Handlers Training Program through Bronx Council on the Arts.”  His name is Ricky Bruen.  He is a beautiful Afro American Artist.  His work is like that of Caravaggio the Baroque/Renaissance Artist.  Ricky’s work is stupendous, magnificent spectacular…he is a virtuoso on canvas.  I remember we had an assignment in class one day and we had to paint a work of art on canvas.  This was my first time doing this with no experience.  For some reason, I knew he was talented.  I saw Ricky go to a corner of the room to isolate himself from the rest of the class.  I went by his now claimed space and asked if I could work by him.  He looked at me as said, “No.”  I felt so hurt but respected him for his honesty.  I let it go.  Another day we had another assignment.  We had to make specialized boxes out of large sheets of cardboard.  I was not experienced being an artist on canvas, but with everything else, my hands had the experience of getting down and dirty.  I was very studious and love to own and use my what I like to call, “Boy Toys.”  I had tools galore and loved handling them.  Ricky had none that day.  He hunted for a workspace and claimed a spot besides me.  I was working like a bee.  At one point he looked at me with the same helpless eyes I had looked at him in the past and asked, “Can I borrow this?”  For that second in time I stopped.  I thought, “How should I handle this?”  I had no animosity towards him or his talent as an artist.  In fact I felt he was a genius and the best in the class.  His finished work of the canvas project was awesome.  He painted a young child in monk garb.  You could see the shimmer and light of his eyes.  You could see the dirt underlying his fingernails.  I was like Wow!!!  So at that point in time I felt honored that he wanted to claim his space next to me and use my, “Boy Toys.”  I responded, “Yeah you can use what ever you need.”  We became very good friends from that point on.  One more story, no two more.  Another project. We had to make a gallery with ¼ inch Styrofoam board.  We had to hang whatever art in the gallery…everything true to size.  As an artist, I throw my imagination creativity and passion into the mix.  I really enjoyed working on this project.  I made a gallery as a Hexagon (3 rooms).  It was covered with various decorative papers according to the architectural design.  My gallery had Casement windows, doors with doorknobs, an awning, a gazebo swing, gardens, outside speakers, an ecological office and storage outside made out of rock. In the middle of the assignment Gary requested we make an office space and storage as part of the gallery.  Fuuuuucccckkkk, I had already started on my Hexagon idea and did not put that into the plan. So I made my ecological idea work, besides my gallery was in the Caribbean, P.R.  With the remaining decorative paper, I sculptured miniature hats.  That is what hung from the ledges of the walls of my gallery.  I made special tables and coat racks to hang the hats.  I had hatboxes I made mirrors.  I had a blast.  I even made a miniature artist bio and Apple Macbook laptop (A replica of mine) for the top of my desk.  I found a miniature picture of the Mona Lisa.  I found a decorative piece of the American Flag and the Puerto Rican flag.  I sported all in front of my ecological desk.  My story was the following:  I had this wonderful hat gallery in the Caribbean, P.R.  My clients were the elite who travel every three months from  NY, Europe, the Caribbean, P.R., the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard, Fire Island, Aspen, CO etcetera.  My gallery was a stomping ground for the elite to relax and order my one of a kind Avant Garde Couture Hats.  While you’re at it you can be photographed with your hat in the nude.  You have a double whammy, a hat and a picture work of art.  I was the Puerto Rican American Mona Lisa, my pieces where one of a kind with lavished price tags.  My finished project was larger than my mother’s dining room table.  It took almost 45 minutes just to set up and two months to complete.  I think the rest of the class forgot the due date of this assignment accept Ricky.  When I walked into class some people started clapping.  Gary was amazed at what I had created.  After I set up my project and finished my presentation, no one else but Ricky was prepared for they’re presentation.  Everyone said they got their dates confused (B.S.) Ricky looked at me as I was bringing in my project, took his project and threw it in the garbage.  He said, “Thanks a lot Esty.”  I laughed but this encouraged everyone to go home that evening and work on they’re projects.  The following day everyone had a story to tell about their individual artistic dream.  It was awesome and I think it brought everyone closer together as a group.  Ricky and I became friends.  When I had my exhibit at the Longwood Gallery at Hostos Community College, we had lunch together and we talked about art.  I told him about my fantasy of having a great artist paint me in the nude.  I told him I thought he was a great artist.  I asked him to paint a portrait of me in the nude.  He agreed.  I commissioned him to paint me.  I still had not undergone my nipple reconstruction.  I was at surgery 5.  I wanted a portrait of my pain yet powerful stance of a fighter and survivor.  We met on 3 occasions for photo shoots reference for the painting.  He brought a sword from home for me to model with.  I wore nothing but my Breast Cancer Survivor scars and a pink rose in my hair as I posed holding the sword.  Every time I would touch base with Ricky, he would say, “The pictures are not perfect I want to photograph you again, the shadowing is just not right.”  I always agreed to give this genius virtuoso what ever he wanted.  The third time he came to my house with the sword and a machete.  He told me he wanted to photograph me with each and pick which ever he thought agreed with his creative thought process.  His thought process of wanting a shot of me with the machete because I was Puerto Rican was brilliant.  I agreed.  Those were the shots we both agreed the portrait should portray, me as a Puerto Rican Breast Cancer Survivor fighting with her machete.  I loved the idea.  I can’t wait to see the finished product.  Ricky takes up to 6 months to finish a piece.  I want his work to be featured in my book…it flows with, “My Colors of Cancer.”