OK, so my Birthday was in May. Those of us that use film know that rolls sometimes aren’t finished in a timely fashion. But these were beautiful, sent to me by my eldest brother and his wife………….Back in May. It was my 60th Birthday, so I wanted to highlight them:
From my X-700, HP5 Film and 50 mm Minolta MD f/3.5 Macros Lens.
I’ve been living like this for more than a year. I was told that 3rd Cranial Nerve damage was always allowed a year to see how much it might recover. Monday (August 24th) was my surgery day………….
The next two images show how much progress I had made. Here my eye closed without the glasses. Imagine wondering around for a year with your eye closed….no depth perception, for example:
Waiting the year (and having the Botox treatment) did make my left eye and eyelid a bit stronger. Before the surgery I could keep my eye open, but didn’t because the eyes were not aligned………
Since the eyes were not aligned it caused double vision. Below, my immediate post op photo:
The wound continued to drain overnight, ;eaving my eyelids stuck together by morning. I had to use several hot, wet face cloths to soak my eye (instructions say NO RUBBING), Finally the eye was open:
I will still need still need special glasses to restore near normal vision, but for now I have a ‘sweet spot’ in my current glasses that allow me to see stereo vision. Each day my vision and the coordination between my eyes is better,
Now moving on to the MORE…….That more being further complications from the original tumor. Or rather, complications from the Radiation Treatments. I had very high levels of radiation with the Proton Beam, resulting in Necrosis defined as:
“The brain tissue necrosis is a delayed effect of radiation therapy and can occur several years after the radiation treatment, but it usually occurs within the first 1 to 2 years.Jul 8, 2020“
This Necrosis results in cysts growing in the Cranial Space and surrounding tissue. They started growing sometime after my 6 month check up, appearing in my May exam. The follow-up is every 8 weeks. I have that 8 week check in last week. Some cysts are smaller, some unchanged, and a few new ones have appear (but they are very small). So another MRI at the end of October and we’ll see where we are……
No Palms for Palm Sunday, but something to think about during our time of social distancing……..I recently read the Alyssa Chiarello article “5 Photo Books for the Quarantine Life“, as recommended by Jim Grey. Social Distancing does not mean that you never go out unless your goal is to go crazy!
And so I have been inspired by Alyssa to go out and document what life has become under these quarantine conditions. And as she suggests, look back at those photos in a few years and see what is different. I decided to start with photos of my current state of being, AND the often called for Masks…….These are leftover from my days as a geochemist when I was processing rock samples for analysis. Seems like they’ve found a new use.
It is also important to remember that “stay-at-home” does not mean that you lock yourself up at home. It means maintain proper social distancing when you do have to go out. The need to go out includes getting some fresh air at the local parks, or taking a safe ride in the country.
My February Frugal Film shoot started out with an Urban Renewal Theme, but ended up with portraits from my Valentine’s Day Bouquet. The Image above will be posted on the Frugal Film Project Site. The Features image, as shown below are not the same roses and show a slightly different perspective.
Themes proposed for the first two months this year included Texture (January) and Structure (February). I missed texture for the first month because I had already planned my own theme using my fisheye lens. So I invite you now to enjoy the texture of the flower petals and the structure of the roses themselves.
Some of the roses were beginning to fade, so I have started a new series highlighting the Roses as they dry…….and below a little Inner Monet…..somewhat out of focus.
I wanted to work on a “Facing 60” project. I also wanted to recap my Mayo Clinic experience. So for Part I, I am summarizing my treatment experience at the Mayo Clinic, and my recovery during the the first year through a series of portraits taken by my Husband.
Where it all Started on October 31, 2018:
Above, after my first 14 hour surgery. Puffy faced, but still with hair. I was growing my hair back in hopes of having small dread locks….but that won’t happen for a while.
I had a second surgery at the end of January (only 6 hours) and I was well enough by Valentine’s Day to Celebrate:
And actually I did quite a bit of Photography. I had several types of 35 mm film to test and write about. And I purchased a Fuji GW690 III to experiment with. See more here.
Facing the second surgery, this time through my forehead, I did a precut. The results of that below:
The shave, incision and surgical superglue:
Post Surgery #2
Below, I trimmed the back of my head as my hair begins to grow back so I can have even regrowth.
Keeping it short for Radiation
My last week of treatment; still no hair loss due to the radiation treatments; my special Proton Beam Mask in hand. I have to wear a hat to keep the UV away from my treatment areas when I’m outside:
And officially “Ringing Out” of the Mayo Clinic………
Had my follow-up in September and Stopped by Santa Fe, New Mexico to vist friend Nathan on the way home:
After My Mayo Check up in September……..I kept wearing my old favorite hat. Only a bit more hair happening here than in my pre-surgical haircut. My Surgeon successfully talked my out of trying a hair transplant. So we’re keeping as is. But by the end of September I was beginning to experience more serious vision problems with my left eye.
Alas, my vision travails continue….I am working with the Vision Clinic at Anschutz, the local University of Colorado Medical School. No worries, not going blind, but we’ll catch up on that in my next posting.
I am Reposting this for Veteran’s Day 2019. Didn’t quite get the response I had hoped for last year……
Over the past 4 years of the 100th Anniversary of World War I (The War to end all Wars, except that it didn’t). I had hoped for some thoughtful reflection on the Root Cause of Conflict. I am aware that some of this occurred Across Europe. But nothing here in the USA.
WWI History is barely touched upon here. I know much more than the average America due to an excellent AP European History class I took in High School. It was taught by one of my most memorable teachers, Mr. Knab, from the perspective of the root cause of conflict and how it directly led to WWII.
An opportunity lost……..
So I am Honoring My Father’s WWII Service in a Segregated Army, in Italy. 1st Lt Vernon Johnson. An Army He later helped to Integrate under orders from President Truman. He worked in the Army Reserve, ‘helping’ white soldiers get used to taking orders from African America Officers. At the out break of The Korean War, he was like other WWII veterans, exempted from further service because he had a wife and child. At least back them they did not want to make more Widows and Orphans.
Notably my Father was also a Buffalo Soldier…..And he loved the Bob Marley song. He felt Appreciated and Respected.
My Father always talked about the Children he met in Italy………
And Training at Ft Huachuca, Arizona…….
We’ll end with a Photograph of my Mother. The one that my Father carried with him through the War. I found it in his old foot locker along with many of the images above: