Spring is here!

It's been awhile since I've posted about my health and thought it was time to update you all on my progress.

I'm halfway through my chemo treatments which includes six treatments at City of Hope, five days each time in the hospital. The PET scan looks clear of all the cancer in the lymph nodes which is great news to celebrate!  And I feel so much better.  

Hopefully after all the treatments the bone marrow biopsy will be clear and I'll focus on healing and recuperation and getting back to business. 

I didn't realize how big my community was beyond just a few friends and family members.  I have been amazed and sometimes overwhelmed by the number of people who sent flowers, brought over books, soaps, wine, candles, food, cards, blankets, pillows and clothing.  Anything for me to make me feel comfortable, well fed and happy.

I've been given lots of advice on how to visualize the cancer and create brain waves to make it disappear, what herbal supplements to take, cannabis remedies, and lots of offers to do healing yoga and meditation in person and online.  Well, I’ve tried to take it all in and offer up these ideas to my doctor, but she is strict and says no to just about everything.  Since she’s saved my life, I am sticking with her protocol.

To be honest, walking in the fresh spring air and breathing in the orange blossoms while listening the birds chirping is better than anything I can think of when I'm out of the hospital.  On each little walk I take outside I revel in the tiniest blooming bud, the glow of a ruby throated hummingbird and the lush green moist grass that spreads out like carpet.  I can hear the little kids up my street squealing with laughter and then crying in frustration and it all sounds like pure joy to me.

The biggest mental challenge is remembering my blessings while getting the chemo treatment, and finding things to do inside those four walls while tethered to my new best friend.   You have to block out the comings and goings of large groups of family members going to the room next door because you know they're saying goodbye.  You have to block out the burnt orange colored chemo bag slowly dripping into the tube to your arm.  You have to block out the measuring cups in the toilet and the mushy broccoli they serve as a steamed vegetable.  So that requires focus and concentration to what's exactly in front of you.  I should sit and write profund and deep journal entries or read my thick new books but all I do is watch rom-coms on my new iPad. Apparently the only advice I am taking seriously from my friends is what series and shows to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  I am woefully behind since I never sat down to watch TV at night and never ever during the day.

I've often thought of picking up the camera and documenting this difficult phase of my life, but it's hard to do a good selfie when you're bald.  And I don't think you want to see a hospital room and a hospital gown with my feet sticking out.  So I'm figuring out what pictures to take that are funny and/or inspiring.

So bear with me these next few months while I endure the chemo and stay entrenched into the Western world of medicine with all the intravenous poison and the numerous amounts of little white pills that I take.  Believe me, it's a vast improvement to the condition I was in before I was admitted.

When I'm healed, and yes I will be just fine, we'll be back in touch with a renewed vision, a buzz of energy, a little more hair and some new camera equipment.  I miss my clients and the joy I had creating those special moments, whether it was a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a family shoot, daily life at the best  private schools in Southern California or just doing a head shot with my simple gray background.  

In the meantime, enjoy your families, roll in the grass, skip a stone, eat ice cream and have a Happy Spring!



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Courtesy of Colleen Schwab, taken along Brookside Golf Course

Dana Bouton