October 20, 2011
I was driving to Guelph on Monday for an appointment with my sleep doctor and as I was driving I began to reflect. First, I began reflecting on this blog. Although, I started it when I was first diagnosed I really didn't get serious with it until November 1st last year. Since then it has grown much bigger in a year than I had imagined possible. I am not one of the bloggers that is always checking my stats out as an ego boost, although I would be lying to say I didn't used to (at one time or another everyone gets obsessed with it :) ). With that said I am always looking to grow this blog with readership that enjoys what I have to say.
This thought pattern slowly morphed over to how the blog has evolved. It was originally just a place to update friends and family on my progress so I didn't have to write a million emails. Eventually the progress updates got farther and farther apart but everyone liked hearing from me so I started adding some of my thoughts to my posts. From there it has merged to what the blog is today, reflections and lessons that my journey with cancer has taught me about life. What I like most about it now is that it is applicable to everyone, you don't have to have cancer to get something from this blog...In fact, the goal is you use the reflections and lessons in your own lives to make positive changes instead of waiting for that catastrophic event to cause you to start making drastic changes.
I continued my reflection and started thinking about the past 6 weeks or so and was trying to come up with an idea to write about. I started thinking about what my recovery from the bone marrow transplant can teach us about life. The first thing that came to my mind is it is HARD. I wanted to dig deeper though because you don't need cancer to tell you life is hard. What has made the recovery the hardest is the unexpected challenges that come along. I wasn't prepared to have as a slow of a recovery as this has been. I half expected to be back to normal after a couple months.
October 19, 2011
A little over a week ago in my post "Remembering to Feed our Roots" I discussed how important it was to once inawhile feed our root system. This is the base of who we are and is what keeps us strong during life's toughest storms. Many of you had some amazing comments about what you do to feed your roots. With everything that has been going on I could feel my roots were getting weary, because I was getting mentally weary. I just knew that I needed to do something to get back to normal, and so over the thanksgiving weekend I focused on correcting this.
Leading into thanksgiving had been tough for me. I had been battling with stomach problems for weeks by then. The problem wasn't actually all the "lost" liquid (you guess the end) but it was more a tiny prison. Because of my situation I could never be far from a bathroom. This stopped all forms of pleasure in my life, by constricting my diet to the blandest thing you can imagine, and taking my photography away. I just couldn't go out taking pictures without a tow along porta potty :)
This isn't a post looking for empathy or to complain, just trying to give some context. I made it through, mostly smiling so everything is all good :) But back to the story.
Leading up to thanksgiving there were two drastic changes in my situation. First off, I sold my Leica camera and bought another system (more on that in my photography review of October). The second was the doctors started to get a handle on my stomach and I was making my way out of that dark valley. The tuesday before thanksgiving I was given an IV bag of fluid because I was so dangerously low and started on a cocktail of drugs to try and fix the problem. I had to go back to the hospital for Friday for a second appt. This is the first time I had two appointments in one week and had an IV bad since my first 90 days post transplant. The Friday appointment was to determine if I was getting better or whether I was going to get admitted to the hospital for thanksgiving weekend.
October 17, 2011
|My Two Favourite Ladies|
Well I bet you are going to know what I am going to say for June before I even start but I switched cameras again. The big red dot was calling me and with me spending more and more time shooting street photography I figured I should give the tool a chance. So I sold off all my gear again (I actually enjoy the haggling on kijiji trying to make profits) and began looking for a leica. In the meantime while I waited for the right deal, I got a Ricoh GRD III.. This is a time point and shoot camera but I must say I had some of the most fun shooting with this camera than any other camera I had to date. It was so small, light and quiet I could take photos inches away from people without them even knowing. It had a few limitations but it is definitely one of the best street cameras I have ever shot with. I didn't get it right away and had some health issues in June so I didn't shoot too much. But I did get out and during a Bollywood inspired flash mob to take some pictures....My whole goal with this exercise was to push my comfort zone boundaries and get as close to my subjects as possible. The ricoh only has a fixed 28mm lens so you really have to get in close for great shots.
|The Centre of Attention|
Improving My Street Photography
I was having so much fun with the Ricoh and hadn't found the right deal on a Leica yet that this camera lasted throught July too. I continued to use it to push my street photography both compositionally and personally. I added a viewfinder to it so I could get away from the dreaded shooting from the hip model. This allowed me to really starting focusing on compositing the pictures properly in camera and not just shooting for luck. The improvement in quality of my pictures was dramatic, my hit rate went up and love of street photography increased dramatically!
|An Afternoon Break|
|The Long Walk|
|Waiting for One More|
|Faces of a Street Artist|
|A Graffitt's Kiss|
|A Coffee Break|
The Camera isn't only a Street Machine
I also found out as I was playing with this little camera that it wasn't just a street machine either. It had a macro capability that allowed me to get really creative get some great results as well.
|A bumble bee's heaven|
|Mac Makeup - taken for Amy|
|Reaching for the Sun|
Well that concludes part 5 of my journey. I hope you are still enjoying the photographic journey. Which images were you favorite in this series? Again I will provide my favourite image from each section in the comment section once I know what yours were :)