Sunday, July 1, 2012


06.09.12 by colemama
06.09.12, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Part of the base of a palm tree reveals the rough hewn remains of a palm frond, as well as the smooth dotted bands of previously dropped fronds. Looking at the variety here, one hardly misses the more featured feathery fronds that are the tree's signature.

So, it has been awhile...and likely will be sporadic for the summer's remains, but I plan to be back more often than not. I have missed my daily handling of the camera, the pure pleasure of composing some of nature's beauties, the sharing of images with Flickr friends and the conversations they often bring, and even the more difficult task of writing about my submitted image.

My life turned so upside down in the last month or so that not even the camera could soothe. Struggles with a triple whammy prevented me from seeing the world as I previously did...and to be honest, it hasn't been pretty. The short story of my three-fold 'excuse':
1) After about a month of not feeling well with various symptoms, doctor visits and tests, I landed in the hospital in early May with near renal failure (a long back story on the ineffectiveness of my then PCP) and a diagnosis of lymphoma, non-Hodgkins type, stage 3B. The good news is that the prognosis is excellent. The bad news is that chemo sucks! I have had 2 of the 6 aggressive treatments and the side effects of fatigue, nausea, 'chemo fog', headache, and more lead to considerable apathy. Thankfully, there's about a week to 10 days where I'm back to 'norm' before being zapped again.
2) About three weeks after my diagnosis, I headed to the east coast of FL to prove to my mom (who is 90, but acts like she is 70 and has a social calendar of a 20-year old) that I was ok. Unfortunately, she had a stroke and was in ICU for a week. Complications from the initial 'clot buster' medication have set her back, but she is trying to get well enough for therapy and is in an inpatient rehab facility now. After the initial week of staying with her, I had to get back home for chemo and have been too vulnerable to infection so far to visit/help again - frustrating!
3) Then, just when you think nothing more can happen....Saving the 'best' for last - my principal decided to 'give' my job to another person in the district (one whose position was recently cut due to budget decisions by the School Board). Though I still have a job, I don't yet know what it will be...I'm negotiating to 'turn these lemons into lemonade' - Time will tell.

But barriers are only what you make of them. Sometimes we need to tweak our own attitudes, sometimes we need to gently massage the environment and generally we need to bond with others through serendipitous or cultivated means, but such obstacles do not have to hinder. I am not a very good 'victim', but I've had to convert all that I have to fight these events of the last month and have sadly neglected my camera and all that it brings.

Breaking ground back into Flickr today is an accomplishment, but I know it won't be daily (the onslaught of chemo alone changes the inner core of me). The therapeutic nature of photography will be tapped when there is strength to be dedicated there, but in the daily posting absence, please know that everything I have must be committed to overcoming these consecutive 'whammies'.

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