Session 4, Week 1

Sounds like a TV series, perhaps I should say “Season 4, Episode 1” to more fully align with modern day news exchange. I mean…what will we do when Game of Thrones, “The Final Episode” is aired and Bran is on the Iron Throne…really? Now you know, I really don’t know anything about how GOT will end.

Chemo was yesterday and took longer than normal. From a purely customer service viewpoint long waiting isn’t perfect until you consider the reason they were taking longer was that the chairs were unexpectedly  mostly full. We were glad to be there, of course, because “Chemo is our friend” as an old Bird Dog bandmate and cancer patient says but he adds,  “Although, a cruel friend,” ahhhh, a Game of Thrones-like friend! It all went relatively well except for the port “tube” that goes from the mediport to an artery deep in my bride’s body. Because of scar tissue and other things, the tube must go on top of the clavicle, clearly visible to even the most casual of all observers. And also not protected by the bones and body like many of mediports. But, this was the least intrusive option and that’s what we have. The issue is some swelling and some psychedelic color effects around the tube (not the port). There wasn’t a color show during chemo, that was last week…but…they want us to check. And so we head off to find out about this side effect by getting an ultrasound. Ah, side effects, ya gotta luv ’em! The medical folks all say it’s probably nothing but we need to check.

She’s still doing great, staying busy, taking care of the family and the house. Tonight, however, the “bad shot” will hit and she will take a break for a couple of days. Then we get to take care of her!!

Many years ago I went to Chicago. I wanted to juxtaposition the old with the new and the best way to do that was to look up. And for us, finishing “Seasons 1-3” means things are looking up here, too!

Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline

 

 

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Color or B&W

A friend recently challenged me to appreciate color images a bit more. In fact, I do appreciate them…but mostly when they’re done in black and white! Hah…not really.  I believe that some of my images are more properly viewed in B&W. Remember my three stories: my story when I found the image, the story in the image, and the story of those that enjoy my image? I am drawn to color more when action or sparkle or joy is the theme or story I see and feel. When the story is more about the mood, the ambiance, the humanity of the story…then I will usually switch to black and white. Not always. The image below is one of the times I am on the fence, I felt the slow flow of the Accotink Creek heading for the Potomac. No overwhelming action feelings or even sparkle but the thought of this little creek adding to the power of the Potomac made me see color.

This is the end of Diane’s third week, the good one. And she’s halfway through the chemo process. Each three week “course” gets crappier and crappier while she gets scrappier and scrappier. Chemo is over in mid-June then she gets a month off. Then surgery. Then a month off. Then a month of radiation. And that…is when cancer’s ass is kicked!!

Accotink Creek

Slow moving Accotink

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Session 3, Week 1, Day 5

Things are on track. Which is an understated way of saying things are really not good at all. I guess the hopeful news is that since she is on track, tonight things will start to improve…but in the meantime…not a lot of fun for her right now.

Kelsey stayed with her all day yesterday; I took a brief break to run out to Oxon Hill Cove Park and Farm. My artist friends had been there earlier in the week and I am trying to keep up. Except for the wind, the day was gorgeous. Of course, since I’m from South Dakota, wind is the norm so I barely noticed the vibrating leaves. I found the textures, angles, and context of this building perfectly matched my mood for the day.

Oxon Hill Farm Shed Door

Oxon Hill Farm Shed Door

 

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Week 1, Day 3

Well, things are low today; Diane is still sleeping and hopefully that will continue for quite a while. She was mostly good yesterday. Kirsten and Paul headed back south. Kelsey and I were in school for a while. Kyle is somewhere down by Myrtle Beach playing baseball. Well, playing baseball 2 hours a day. Diane’s day got worse in the evening as the Neulasta robo-injector blasted her with bone marrow stimulants to increase the white blood cells that were killed by the chemo. The bone pain is excruciating…she just smiles. Then I broke a tooth in half, a rear molar. I just smile. I can’t have it pulled because of the weird medicine I’m on for the stent (which I cannot stop until August). Can’t do a crown. I’m wondering about super glue.

A friend asked why I didn’t do color images in the springtime when everything is discovering winter-hidden glories of color. I actually do color when I’m trying to express my memory of motion, ambience, and place. This image is from Green Spring Park in Fairfax County and I’m hoping the viewer is momentarily transported to the sights and sounds and smells of this peaceful setting and wants to visit in person.

Green Spring Park Pond and fountain

Green Spring Park Pond and fountain

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Half Way Through Milestone

Well, sort of halfway. The real chemo halfway point is in three weeks when she is through with this cycle. Then three more cycles, 9 weeks, to go until chemo is complete! We are wonderfully comforted by all the support, prayers, well wishes, visits, flowers, magic bunnies, sunshine boxes, and more that have been directed our way.

Last weekend was Diane’s birthday! Kirsten and her fiance, Paul, came for a long weekend which was a complete surprise for Diane. Sadly, Kyle is off on a week long high school baseball trip to South Carolina. Well, sadly for us since he wasn’t here, but we’re guessing he’s having fun on a beach somewhere! Kelsey, Kirsten, Paul, Diane and I played many card and board games, and all of them I failed to prevail. Like none. I believe there must have been a secret conspiracy against me.

Our basement is finally coming together after the freeze damage in January. We still have a mess which perhaps is the norm and not the new, but…things are better. The walls are up, the floors are in, and parts of the cabinets have been replaced.

Kirsten and I sat with Diane during her chemo session yesterday. Although they are “shorter” now, they still last 5 hours. There was a power failure in the building and considering how big the building is (11 floors), that’s a big deal. Fortunately, all of the chemo machines have immediate battery failovers so the only impact was no air conditioning/ventilation.  Isn’t life interesting?

I find myself suffering writer’s/creator’s block. I haven’t really been out thinking writing, photographing much lately. I vow to change that over the next few weeks. The downside for me is that the snakes are coming out of their dens and I am not a snake fan! A few weeks ago, Kelsey and I went to a bookstore next to the Eastern Market. We stopped by the market and much of it was closing. These counter stools were stacked upside down on the counters and begged me to tell their story.

Eastern Market Bar Stools

Eastern Market Bar Stools at closing time.

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