Sunday, August 22, 2010

All I needed was a Reminder...

Hi all! or those who read this blog. I haven't been keeping up with this blog quite as often. I guess the " storm " of my life has passed on and I'm just living life! But I do have to say it was awesome storm! I love a good storm (in nature) with the rumbling and lightening. The reason I say it was an awesome storm is that it woke me up! It brought attention to me the many talents God has given to me and I wasn't using them, and now was a good time to persue them. I'll never know why I, a 32 years old(@ the time)was stricken with a disease, that is suppose to be for people much older than me. But I do know, God is going to use this in such a bigger way, I never thought he'd use it. Maybe he is doing it right now, but I feel like I'm still waiting...
It always seems that when we go through something incredibly hard and we look back on what we just went through, that we find in ourselves a great sense of power, strength and accomplishment. Almost like that red Staples button"That was easy". Though I would love to take the credit for the "grace and strength" many of my friends and family complimented me on during my journey, I give all my glory to my God. Only HE got me through the "valley". My hope is that if someone is going through what I went through, That I can be an inspiration to them and they see a hope like no other (in Christ, through me).
Im not sure if I mentioned to you all ( I m talking as if thousands read my blog lol) but I'm not the only one cancer has stricken. My mother was Dx with thyroid cancer last year, and had her thyroid removed. Since then, tests and scans have showed a clean bill of health! Praise God! Just more recent, after Fathers Day, my dad had routine blood testing, since he is diabetic. He showed high white blood count(WBC). This showed for concern and the DR. sent him to a hematologist for extensive testing. The results showed CLL: Chronic Leukemia ! So they suggested a CT scan and a bone marrow test. He is on the "low" spectrum of this disease. Apparently, CLL gradually get worst over time and MANY people live long with this condition. There is really no treatment for it unless it get worse . As for alternative therapies,( and I favor alternative therapies;-) taking Turmeric, Alpha liopoic acid, and green tea/black tea, & vit.D. can greatly show an improvement! I guess if you are at a "wait and see" stage, might as well try!

As for me, I've finally gotten my photography website up and running. It even has a shop feature where you can purchase prints. Im soon going to bring an Etsy shop into the picture, to reach that base of people. Still waiting to hear from Lily Oncology and if they have picked finalist( who gets to travel to NYC to accept their award! ) I was recently published in a Michigan publication,called, New Art Review. Hmmm, let's see, what else, had a busy summer traveling to Missouri, to Va. to IN to MI to up north MI, to IN and back to VA! Yeah, too much time in the car! But had a great time Finding new images to capture !Im also working on an eBook featuring the quirky TTV photography, so keep your eyes out for that!
okay, I hope to keep at this blogging more, thanks for keeping me in check and reminding me to blog more often!

Monday, March 01, 2010

" Do you think of it everyday?"

On the eve of Colon Cancer Awareness month, my husband asked," Do you think of cancer everyday?" my reply was "yes" . So people may think that once treatment is over it's all done with. Think again. Not so much right when I wake up, but when it's time to take my vitamins and supplements that can have an anti'cancer effect, when I hear the blender going and making a green smoothie filled with phypto-nutrients, filling up my glass with alkline water to boost my PH in my body, exercising(knowing that it dereases by chances of a reoccurance, as an artist I'm always thinking of ways to bring awareness of cancer through my photography or art, reminders on the Colondar that I a colonoscopy scheduled, or an up-coming PET scan, and when you hear of people in the world getting dx with cancer and even worse, your dearest closest family members. The list could go on for me and what triggers a thought of cancer. I hope is that one day on this earth that we wouldn't have to worry about getting a disease, but for me it has made me stronger, and more aware of what I eat and avoiding all the "bad" stuff I can to keep healthy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Colonoscopy #3

Well I had my yearly screening on Friday,Feb.12th. I always feel a bit nervous going into these things. I have those "what if's" lingering in the back of my head. Cancer is one of those crazy diseases with a mind of it's own. My colonoscopy results were clear and and the "connection site" (where my surgeon reattached my colon to my rectum) healed "beautifully". I didn't know a colon could be pretty? Anyway, On the drive home, we were listening to Christian music and we drove past Panara Bread and a flood of tears came down face. You see it's in that parking lot,2 years ago, where my husband and I sat sobbing, not knowing my outcome, fearing death and the worst. Recalling that memory and knowing where I am today gives me such hope and thanks for what God has done in my life. So now I look forward to my pet scan in March, which by the way is good ole' Colon Cancer Awareness Month! Go BLUE!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mountains and Valleys of Life AFTER Cancer

So the past week or so, it's been a little stressful, emotional, and one of giving praise and thanks to God! I've made it 2 years since my dx of colon cancer and along with it comes a paper trail of medical bills. Through this whole process we have been blessed beyond imagination, for that, I know God has my back . Not to get too detailed, a ramaining bill was needed to be paid off and not knowing where a chunk of money like that was going to come from I literally sat a prayed for help. That day I received in the mail information regarding my 401K/ mutual fund/ IRA( when I was working) It was basically sitting there...for me to use? it was a resource that I could use and well, I did! I only took out a small amount to pay off that bill. I felt relieved and could breathe easy.
So, today I had talked with my mom and found out that my Uncle Richard had a huge polyp removed from his colon and that it was colon cancer. That was heart-breaking to hear. I pray for a hopeful outcome. Cancer is not something we want to get. My mom is undergoing thyroid surgery on Wed. to remove a cancerous thyroid. So what do you tell your remaining family members who DON'T have cancer to do to be proactive? GET A COLONOSCOPY! GET A MAMMOGRAM! HAVE YOUR ANNUAL PAP! GET GENETIC TESTING( I myself am working on that one)! PLEASE!
Then,( today), I get a message from one of the bills I'm paying off and tell me to call their office. I think , great now what? I've been paying on my bill . Come to find out, my bill had been greatly reduced(and I didn't even realize or know it) and my balance is $15.oo !!!!! I was so overcome with joy and emotion I started crying( on the phone)! There is something about having a financial burdend lifted. I don't care what anybody says, I totally believe it was a "God thing"! I praise him for meeting my financial needs!
So, as you can see,for me, I've have a few "mountain and valley" days, but I know I can handle all things through Christ! So when you think you are in the valley(AND I HAVE BEEN DEEP IN THE VALLEY in the past) there is always a mountain to look forward to!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2 years ago...

So it was this month, two years ago I was told I had colon cancer. I was in the midst of cancer chaos. Dr. appts here and there, out patient surgery for a port so I could start chemo, radiation started immediately, Cat scans, PET scans, Chemo before Thanksgiving, out of town family at our felt like a slow motion tornado, if that make any sense at all?...Like in the movies, they show someone walking in slow-mo and everthing around them is moving FAST and tornadic! I've come a long way baby! Cancer free with in a years time, and staying that way. As I look back , and in this month of giving thanksgiving, I do give thanks to ALL who helped along this journey and still continue to encourage me as I make new paths. I don't think I would have really gotten much accomplished in arts(before cancer), but as I got better my husband encouraged me to push myself, use my talents and share them with the world. I've been fortunate to be in numerous shows since Feb. of 09 and hope to continue my artistic endeavours. I hope continue my creative photography and use it in a mixed media, enter the oncology on canvas 2010, and once again apply for the 2011 Colondar!
Blessed to be alive!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

"Tootin' My Horn" in more ways than one...

This post has more to do with my photographic art than my cancer but then again it is indeed part of my journey! Since being set free from the cancer chaos,I've taken hold of my artistic endeavors. I've always wanted my art to have something special to say . I've entered about 5 art shows since Feb of '09. I just recently received an "Emerging Artist" award at the Roanoke City Art Show. 370 pieces were submitted and only 50 pieces were chosen and 2 of them were mine. I was so excited! As you can see I'm posing with my picture. (It's all my hospital bands I received during my cancer journey).I used the same shot that I use for this blog . So, I'm tooting my horn for surviving and getting an award! In the future I envision a photographic series dedicated to the subject of cancer and it's statistics through my perspective and my lens of course. My hope is that the titles speak louder than the images . I want to thank all my friends and family for their support! Especially my husband, Chad in believing in me, you inspire me to "go for it"!

Monday, June 01, 2009

My Artistic Interpretation...

This weekend I attended the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. It was their 25th birthday! How awesome is that!? Of all the many happenings going on at Relay, the Lumanaria Ceremony is a very poignant time. It gives you time to remember those who lost were lost, those who are in the midst of their journey and those who are living
proof of hope. I took a stroll along the campsites looking at all the lumanaria glowing in the night. As a cancer survivor of Colon cancer, I'm always finding ways to bring awareness to colon cancer. I found myself thinking, how many of these people had colon cancer? Wouldn't it be neat to have a colored bag to signify that! So Back home after a tiring night,I was reviewing some photos I had taken. And I digitally added blue, the color that represents colon cancer.
So here in this picture, is my interpretation of a colon cancer stat: 1 of 18 people will diagnosed with colon cancer. So in this shot of 50 or so lumanaries about 3 people have/had colon cancer. As an photographic artist I want my work to reach people is some way. I hope in this photo,the awareness to the cancer that I had is the 2nd leading cancer killer of America.