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Exploring the Beauty of Ohio and Beyond...

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I know it's been a really long time since I've blogged. I think after you read this you'll understand why. Because I had so many things going on, health-wise, earlier this year I had to put together an email list to let core people more quickly than I could write a blog. So, for those of you on my email list, much of this you will already know. Contact me privately, if you want to be on this list. I originally had a completely different idea for this blog and had even started writing it when a friend called me the title of this blog.


The first several months of 2021 have been very hard. I was hospitalized three times in January thru early February. I am dealing with a wound around my colostomy, dealt with high calcium, and had a blood transfusion. During all this, I developed severe pain in the back of my right leg that they weren't figuring out. It eventually led to a fall in my bedroom and an ambulance ride to The James. Come to find out it was an abscess which was badly infected. They cleaned it out and I have a drain and am on continuous IV antibiotics till at least mid-May. During the procedure, they yanked out my left nephrostomy tube. So two days later, because of the amount of pain I was in, I had to have it put back in under general anesthesia instead of the normal sedation.

I lost a lot of strength and with everything else going on we decided a rehabilitation center (Altercare) was a good idea. The night before I was supposed to move there, I was in terrible pain and suddenly started bleeding. I had a branch arterial bleed. That morning was a little touch and go until it could be cauterized. I do not know the total blood units and other blood products I received but it was definitely a balance of keeping my pain under control and keeping my blood pressure up because pain medicine lowers blood pressure. I spent two days in the ICU and then moved back to the normal floor for two days and then to Altercare.


I was expected to be in Altercare for at least a month, but I made amazing progress. Insurance was basically saying "go home" after just a week and a half. I'm on IV antibiotics for a while yet, but the home setup is easy, albeit a bit annoying. I feel a lot more like myself now that the infection is being treated and the pain is well under control. I also got my second COVID-19 vaccine shot (yay!) and finally got my hair cut. Most of you know I wear my hair short and still grows like a weed even after all the cancer treatments. The last time it was cut was November 2020! I hope to return to work from home next week and also get some new art from my portfolio ready for 3060 Gallery. I haven't yet been able to get out and create some new photos, but more and more it's looking like a possibility.


So why am I a rare, unique rose?


During all this, I applied to OSU's program that matches you to a patient who has been through similar medical issues. They could not find a match for me. When I told my friend this, she called me "a rare unique rose". However, I know I'm not rare or unique in terms of suffering, especially given the events of this last year. But with suffering we become aware of problems and, hopefully, we can work to resolve them. If I'd have ignored the pain and just pushed on with the way things were after I fell, the infection would not have been found and treated. If I had not been in pain and was asleep when the arterial bleed happened, I might not have realized it. The pain caused me to act (calling the nurse) which in turn set them into motion that saved my life. Don't ignore the pain in your life and in the lives of the people around you. Get help if you are depressed or have anxiety. Ask what you can do for a friend or family member in need. Push for answers to problems in your community.


Finding a photo to go with this blog was hard as I haven't photographed roses in several years, nor are there very many rare roses in our parks. However, I came across this one in my older photos. I thought it fit the theme in that while the buds appear to be pressing on and distorting the shape of the rose, you might even say "stressing it", it still retained a unique beauty that caught my eye and caused me to pause and photograph it. Look for those rare, unique things in your photography and your life.


I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
Song of Solomon 2:1 NIV



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