dpb photography hiatus 2018

Last month I was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  It's settled in the lymph nodes under my arms, neck as well as my spleen and bone marrow.

Sounds scary, but the doctor at City of Hope doesn't seem intimidated by the diagnosis and has given me an 80% chance of a complete cure.   My husband and I feel very fortunate we were able to get admitted immediately..

Unfortunately I will be unable to take any jobs for the remainder of the year so I can focus on treatments which hopefully will stop in July; and then subsequent healing and building back my strength.  And, of course part of the required post-chemo therapy will be lots of massages and facials, mmhhhmm.

It's challenging to go on such a long hiatus: I've worked so hard to build my business.  But I can't give clients my 150% effort at a photo shoot until I am completely well.

However, I will still be at my desk in between chemo treatments, working on some client files and retouching.  My wonderful clients have been so patient with me and I am deeply appreciative.

Life is so unpredictable and it can dramatically change in a matter of weeks or days.

So I am meditating and taking it one at a time.  Well, I am just pretending to do those things, hoping that it will actually happen for real!

But what I never pretend to have is my faith and my unfailing sense of humor.  It gets me through the dark and scary times and it alleviates boredom.  I've already met some very interesting people and heard their messy, traumatic and ultimately uplifting life stories.  They've kept me entertained and distracted through multiple transfusions, chemo drips, biopsies and scans.

Another silver lining to getting a life threatening disease is how much richer and more meaningful your family and friends' relationships become.  So many people have reached out in the sweetest and most unexpected ways. 

I already sense a closeness and a beautiful honesty that I can share with them without fear or judgment.  It is liberating.

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For beauty and inspiration, here is one of my favorite pictures taken on a stormy fall night looking over the Arroyo to the San Gabriels.  In spite of the purple swirling menacing sky and threat of a big downpour, the mountain is lit by the setting sun and a small rainbow emerges, reaching up and stretching to cross the sky.

By the end of the year I plan on roaring back even more energized, more creative and more compassionate.  

Blessings, and hold your loved ones tight.

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Dana Bouton