Today is the exact three month anniversary from June 25th when I received the horrible news from the doctor saying the C word. My life changed and came to an immediate halt at that moment. My travels stopped cold and I miss globetrotting the world so much. That has been my calling in my career.
This photo above of wild horses that I shot in wonderful Iceland makes me want that freedom again! I sure do plan on traveling again, leading my BTO group on adventures, and shooting — things I love and live to do.
This has been a busy week — actually the only busy activity week in the three months. I went out to my Orlando Camera Club banquet on Thursday night, and it was my first time “out” since I started the cancer treatment. It was so great to actually be seeing so many of my friends and laughing with buddies. The speaker, David Hume Kennerly, is a major hero of mine — his book “Shooter” was one of the reasons I stayed in photography for my career. I was considering law school when I read that book, and I sure made the right decision to continue into travel photography and explore the world on assignments for the last 35 years.
Then on Friday I went out shooting video & stills for the first time in over three months! I went with my studio manager Michele, and we shot in small Florida towns of DeLand and Cassadaga. It felt so good to actually be WORKING again, and the video should be sellers at my stock video agencies. I was a little weak, but I felt productive again! Sure beats sitting around the house resting.
Tomorrow I get the 7th of 10 treatments of Chemo. I know the drill well by now, and I know I will hit the wall sometime this week in energy & appetite & rising temperatures. I also in the next two weeks will get IV drips of Vitamin C and also ALA. These are both Alternative Methods of fighting cancer, as I am going after this disease with both Traditional & Alternative methods. I have taken so many detox and cancer fighting pills also, so I feel we will get good results when they do the next CAT Scan. Please say a prayer for positive results in fighting this tumor.
I send hugs to all of you. Think positive… as I will each day. That is the important thing in life whether you are in perfect health or not — you determine how most of your days go.
It is Monday and usually I have Chemo. But this week I have off from the chemicals. I should feel stronger this week with more energy & appetite. I hope so.
This saying at the top of this blog is so true. Whatever your dreams & goals are in your life, don’t put them off constantly thinking you have so much time to do them later. Since I received the word that I had cancer, I have even more than before realized that we are NOT promised unlimited time in our lives. Things can change, unfortunately, in the blink of an eye. It sure did for me on June 25th, 2016 when I heard the horrifying cancer news.
This past week I seemed to drag a little more than usual, especially Friday & Saturday. Most of you know me and motivation to do things has sure never been a problem for me! For a couple of days this week, I sure had trouble getting energy to do things. I know the Chemo has an accumulative effect, so I feel that was the problem. Let’s hope I have more energy now.
I plan on doing two things this week that have me excited. My life has been photography & travel all of my adult life. I miss that so much. So one day this week I plan on going with my studio manager Michele to some town close by (DeLand or Mt Dora probably) and shoot both stills & video clips for my various stock agents. I am excited just to be shooting! I will not overdo it — something I have done often in my life 🙂 I will take it easy and rest if I get tired in the heat, etc. But that will allow Michele & I to have something that we can work on in the studio with our editing & computers. If it goes well, I will do it again the following week.
The second thing I plan on doing is going to my wonderful camera club banquet on Thursday night, if I feel as well as I should. I love the Orlando Camera Club and have missed meetings now for over three months. The banquet speaker is one of my heroes, former Vietnam news and later White House photographer, David Hume Kennerly. I got the chance to speak with him several years ago and to tell him that he inspired me so much in his book called “Shooter”. I read that book in the late 70’s and it kept me from going to law school and staying in photography that I loved. So thrilled that I was able to tell him that he inspired me …. as many of us lecture or write books, we most of the time never hear that we had any effect on peoples’ motivation or life changes. So it meant a lot to both him & me to be able to share that with him.
I close this blog today saying to all of you that I am doing my best to keep my spirits positive. I hope that you will live your daily lives fully and doing what you desire. There is one person that makes your day good or bad — and that person is you!
Had a stronger Chemo yesterday than usual after one week off from the chemicals. The doctor suggested we go stronger and put 20% more of both Chemo drugs into my port (oh whoopee) since we are going every other week. I want to continue to attack this tumor, so I said go for it. We are also attacking this with so many other alternative things. I won’t know the effects for quite some time when we do another CAT Scan… so please say a prayer for really good results.
Last week was my best week since I started with the Chemo. When I have a week off (2 weeks between Chemo) I seem to get more strength and appetite, in addition to more energy. But last week was the best… I actually gained a few pounds — which I needed since I have lost so much weight since I started. I have lost weight because food just doesn’t taste pleasing and I look it at more than eat it. But last week I actually enjoyed several delicious meals completely. A real joy for me.
I feel pretty well today also, despite the additional chemicals. I have a feeling I will feel it tomorrow tho and will also have to watch my temperature rising. I seem to be learning what to expect and when to expect it as I progress. I am now 6 out of 10 of the original program schedule (yeah!) …. but he said yesterday that is subject to change. I fear he doesn’t mean less! I am still so positive that we will beat this. I am looking into a possible other treatment in Seattle (with immunotherapy — programming my regular immune cells to attach the cancer cells). I will fly there if it seems to work for the pancreas. And maybe even flying to Mexico for some other series of treatments. I have my alternative doctor (a friend of 30 plus years) checking both treatments and I trust his wisdom & expertise completely.
So, now I rest the next few days. I am battling this disease with my positive spirit, with chemo, with prayers from many of you, with alternative means, with determination, with rest and with all the means I can muster.
I thank all of you for what you mean to me. I can not state powerfully enough how much your prayers, emails and concern means to me. When you go thru something like this and you have people write and say how they are thinking of you, it adds a strength to your resolve and determination. So, keep these thoughts and prayers coming.
The saying at the top of the page is something that we all need to be reminded of, almost daily. We all think that life could be better if we had more money, if we had a better job, if we had a better anything… if the grass were greener. We need to see that life is yours here with what you have and what you are — only YOU can make that positive and fruitful. Every day one person determines how good or bad your day is — and that person is you!
Cheers to all of you. I send hugs…
No Chemo yesterday so I should feel better this week than usual. The important word is SHOULD!
Had the same problems with this week as others — the temperature issue was later this week (Friday & Saturday mostly), but it really persisted. Had to several times relax in a cool Epson Salts bath to cool my temperature down. Common with this type of chemical.
My appetite is still not very good. And, of course, the stomach issues and lack of real energy. I handle all of these things, but it is not easy for sure. As I have said many times in the last few months, Chemo is not for the meek. I will continue to go thru it with the hope that all the pain is well worth it when I get the results. I keep my eyes on the goal for sure!
I have had so many emails from people and that really does help. Many are people or families going thru health issues, and they have found my blog and are becoming more positive. That makes it all worthwhile to me!
Then, of course, there are emails from friends & loved ones. Those are extra special to me. To really know that so many people are pulling and praying for my recovery really helps me maintain the positive attitude that I have always lived in my life. So I thank all of you — I do read and smile from each email I receive.
Connie, my best friend, has flown to Baltimore to prepare for her move down to Florida permanently, but her daughter Kim has been here all week from Tennessee to take care of me. My ex-wife Cathy and our good friend Lee are coming for two days this week to replace Kim before Connie returns … so I am well taken care of indeed. I am so thankful for the love they all have and the time & dedication they have so beautifully shown to me.
I send hugs and smiles to all of you. As the photo at the top says, that does set everything straight. I send positive vibes to all that need that smile or that lift! Cheers…