F Cancer

So it’s been nearly a year since I’ve posted. I said I wouldn’t start off another post with the whole “it’s been too long since I posted” intro, yet here I am again. However, I actually have a good reason this time. A lot has happened in that year since the last time I updated this blog. Starting from the date of the last one when I had just wrapped shooting a wedding. That was actually the beginning of an unplanned rollercoaster ride that I’m still on.

Many of you have been following my journey on social media where I’ve been recounting my personal health journey. No need rehash it all here again where many of the same folks probably still follow it. Just to give you the Cliff Notes version, I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lyphoma. It started when I was on the road from recovering from a simultaneous bout of flu and pneumonia that hospitalized me late last year. While on the mend, I noticed an unusual lump on my shoulder blade. Then another one gradually popped up on my other shoulder blade. Next thing you know, after a series of tests later, I discover I have cancer.

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Treatment consisted of 6 sessions of chemo therapy. They are just as bad as everyone always makes them out to be. Not the actual treatments themselves though. Those were fairly painless. But those side effects that kick in later that last for nearly a week sucked. That wasn’t even the worst part of it. Not for me. For me it was the emotional baggage of having the unfortunate recollection of my mother going through chemo in her final days. Each time I went in for a session, those images came storming back for me. The physical stuff was nothing in comparison to that.

To bring everything full circle to the photography connection, this whole ordeal took me out of commission of shooting for quite a while. I’m talking several months. I couldn’t ever plan any type of shoot because I never knew how I would be feeling on any given day. I didn’t want to set something up with a client then the day of shoot would come and I’ve got chemo side effects sidelining me. I would pick up the camera occasionally for different quick family things (my son’s graduation, for instance) but those were few and far between.

The next phase of my treatment was supposed to be radiation therapy. The way the doc explained it to me was the side effects from that should have been minimal at best. Of course that didn’t happen with me. It almost seemed like the radiation was harder on me than the chemo. It also seemed like the only time I got sick was when I did radiation. After careful consideration, I came to the decision it was in my best interest to stop that process. I’ll find out definitively at my next PETscan if that was the right thing to do. I’m physically feeling confident that it was.

Finally getting to the point where I’m able to get back to shooting regularly. Just in time for what turns out to be Lymphoma Awareness Month this month. As such, I figured there was no better way to celebrate my return to shooting than with a Lymphoma Awareness themed shoot to commemorate the occasion. The response was so overwhelming that I had to have two different days. What you see here is a fraction of the models and friends who came out to show their support. This fight may not be an easy one, but it is a little easier to bear with the help of family and friends…