A Chrismas to Remember!

I am starting a new project. I know this doesn't surprise you. I am going to start doing some self photo journaling. I have no plans on becoming a photographer. My skills are limited to "point and shoot". Honestly, I never would have thought of this on my own. As a matter of fact there have not been too many pictures of me over the last 3 years or so. Some occasional ones with friends and family but not very many. Who wants pictures of themselves looking sick, emaciated and vulnerable? This was my attitude until this last hospitalization. On my first day out of intensive care on the oncology unit at Via Christi my day shift nurse was someone who had cared for me before. When she came in to introduce herself she said "I have your book and I read your blog faithfully!" She had another nurse (Stacey) "shadowing" her that had relocated back to Kansas and was working to fulfill the requirements to re-instate her license. Labor and Delivery was her real love Stacey informed me. This ended up being helpful because I had the epidural going and she was very comfortable in it's operation. I immediately had a good report with both of them. Towards the end of the shift Stacey came in and closed the door behind her. She asked if she could talk to me about something. "Sure" I said. "I don't mean to be forward or offend you" she started. She told me she had read some of my blog and it had got her thinking about something. She asked me if I had been taking many pictures the last few years. I told her no. She then told me she was a professional photographer as well as a nurse. She then said she thought I should be taking pictures of my cancer journey. She understood that it seemed kind of strange and even a bit awkward at first to do it, but felt that photos like that become precious to family. Stacey wanted to take pictures of me and family and the events in our lives. She wanted to take pictures of me getting my tests and visiting my doctors and in the end she would put them all together in books for my family and friends. She offered this to me as a project we could do together. She told me there would be no charge and I would have access to all the photos she took for use in my blog or anywhere I wanted/needed to use them. I told her I never thought of it that way...that my experience wasn't being recorded except in my writings. We all know how precious photos can be. I immediately agreed to do the project. "There are no 'chance meetings' in life." Tears welled in her eyes as we spoke. I knew I was meant to do this with her. She wrote her e-mail on the card BDM left behind for me. I have pondered over this new project for the last six weeks or so. I am excited to do it. "But what if you live 10 years? (or 20)?" you might be asking yourself. So what? The pictures will still be important. Either the pictures will be a way to remember a difficult time in my life and my grandchildren will look into my softly wrinkled face and know that I toughed it out and lived to tell about it. Or my grandchildren will be able to look through albums of me and get to know who I am. They will see the struggle and the hope and the courage I had. They will draw strength from that and face life's challenges with a smile. When they accompany their grandfather to my final resting place on a Memorial Day they will know that I rest there as "one tough cookie" that I fought the good fight and never gave up until my last breath. So Stacey and I started my project right with a family photo because my kids were all home last week. It was fun! She will accompany me to my CT scan this Friday and to see my oncologist next week. She plans on coming along on girls night out and birthdays and picnics and...life. Watch for pictures out here on my blog. We started the project out right...with a Christmas to remember!
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This sounds like a wonderful idea!!
Michele likes this comment
Oh my. What a wonderful idea!! This is the best idea ever. Young, old, sick or healthy, this is the kind of thing that you cannot put a price on and it cannot be duplicated. This will be cherished for generations and generations. This is the ultimate family heirloom. Can't wait to see some of the pictures. Linda
Michele likes this comment
My husband was the shutterbug in our house. A couple of years after he died, I realized I had no pictures of me or much else from that period and have made a conscious effort to snap more. I think you are pursuing a very good thing.
Michele likes this comment
Pictures are a great idea! I have more pictures of me through my cancer journey than I did before cancer. I was always the photographer and somehow when my cancer struck my sons took over the photography duty. My daughter in law and I were going through old pictures to put some together to tell the history of each of my grandson's relatives. It is a history book for him. When we came across my worst cancer days including my bald days she said what she saw in these pictures were my strength and fighter side. I am so glad this period of my life was documented. I never wore wigs or scarves. I chose to embrace my baldness so when he was born my hair was extremely short and was just starting to grow back.
Michele likes this comment
 I embraced my baldness as well!
I can't wait to see the pics!
Michele likes this comment
What a wonderful idea. I too take all the photos in our house so there are not many of me about. I gave my daughter an album at Christmas filled with my grandsons first year - his birth (Dec 1st)/first christmas/christening/first birthday. Apart from the birth ones she had not seen any of the others and got quite emotional looking at them. So much for computers - photo albums are still precious. Annabelle
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Vital Info


October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3


As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp


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