Tuesday, December 11, 2007

day +112

Yep, that's me on Sunday, Day +110. My hair is continuing to grow back quite well. It's the typical baby-like hair that grows back following chemo treatment.

For about two weeks now, there have been darkened, dry spots on both of my shoulders. I'm not sure if they're rashes or just a symptom of dry skin but I'll notify the medical staff when I see them again on Monday. I've noticed another one of these dry areas below my right pectoral. Otherwise, my skin looks pretty good. After showering, I apply the Eucerin lotion all over my body which I have continued to do since the transplant.

I hadn't been on the stationary bike for about a week before this past Saturday. I was busy taking care of so many different things, but that's not really the full reason. The real reason is that I was a bit down wearing my pajamas inside the apartment for most of the day.

On a very sad note, I learned recently about the passing of Sha-lou Soledad Biray, a friend back at Vassar who graduated the year after me as a member of the Class of 2003. Not until reading the latest issue of the alumni magazine a few days ago did I find out that he had died from complications following a stem cell transplant for leukemia. I assume it was an allogeneic SCT, but I'm not sure.

During the past several days as the sky has been gray and unwelcoming, I haven't ventured out to take any new shots other than these which I took back on the Monday, December 3rd. I'm really happy that I was by the Willis Avenue Bridge that afternoon as the winds were unusually high and the clouds were thick. The strong winds blew the increasing cloud cover across the area at quick speed making for some very interesting shots as moments of sunlight interspersed between the moving clouds.

This afternoon I spoke to the Assistant Press Secretary at the NYC Department of Transportation asking if there's a way that his office can notify me in advance of when the Harlem River bridges open either for maritime traffic or maintenance testing. He said he'd get back to me. He hopes that a 1-2 hour advance notice could be given before a bridge opens. Most of the Harlem River spans, such as the Willis Avenue Bridge, Macombs Dam Bridge, and 145th Street Bridge, are movable. They're swing bridges. The Broadway Bridge, on the other hand, is a vertical-lift bridge.

Though some are well over 100-years old, the NYCDOT operates and maintains them so that they are fit to move (according to U.S. Coast Guard regulations) when needed.

Yesterday I spent two hours with Joe Standart, an accomplished professional photographer, whose present project is Portrait of America of which its first part - "Portrait of a City: The New London Project" - can be checked out here. In his office, he shared his insights about the basics of exposure and he also reviewed a number of my Harlem River bridge photographs. I found his feedback about photography and publishing to be most helpful and I'm grateful to Clare for introducing us.

Most of my time, however, during these past days has been spent on a variety of matters: writing thank you cards to family and friends for this kindness following my grandmother's passing; writing holiday cards; creating a photo book as a Christmas gift for Su using Blurb; archiving all my bridge photographs; saving my computer files as I plan to clean my hard drive and start all over again; and getting a handle on all my UChicago student loans which are in their grace period at the moment, but for which payment will begin in mid-January. Other than reading the news (religiously), I haven't been able to read much of anything else.

Art's New Superpower More about Chinese artist, Yue Minjun, and his colleagues who have helped to make contemporary Chinese art into a heavy weight in the auction capitals of the world.

No Longer the City of 'Bonfire' in Flames Very interesting!

Oprah the Believer

All Brains Are the Same Color

Researchers: Human Evolution Speeding Up

Voyager 2 Finds Solar System's Shape is 'Dented'

Alcohol - An Ancient Medicine (Enjoy in Moderation)

Mental Reserves Keep Brain Agile Yet another in the stream of articles that documents the evidence that exercise helps to preserve the acumen of the brain.

Gore Urges Bold Moves in Noble Speech

Oil-Rich Nations Use More Energy, Cutting Exports

Mugabe's Presence Hijacks European-African Meeting

Rare Look Inside Baghdad Museum

I've been trying to finish Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, a gripping novel which I've started and stopped a number of times. I also started to read Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Revised Edition) by Bryan Peterson in my effort to learn more about the fundamentals of photography.

I will go for my second imaging scan post-allo SCT - the so-called "therapeutic PET" - at Sloan-Kettering tomorrow morning and then, I'll see Dr. Barker on Monday. And my regular weekly meeting with Dr. Roberts will be on Friday instead of tomorrow.


Comment Blogger Veronica said...

Hey Duane - glad to hear you're being so busy. Life's never dull!!
Hope Su doesn't read about her present and ruins the surprise :-0

Take care, Duane..........xx

3:56 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

I hope she doesn't read this too! ;)

4:54 PM  
Comment Blogger Kevin said...

I love the photos of the bridge with the clouds! I'm beginning to really understand the appeal your bridge-hunting!

8:03 PM  
Comment Blogger Miss Melanoma said...

Hi Duane,
Thanks for dropping in on my blog and commenting. It's a little peculiar b/c I've from both you and Duane (of TalkingaboutCancer.com)this week and I've been reading up on y'all for a while. So it's nice to finally meet!

Keep us posted on the PET scan.
Best wishes,


11:06 PM  

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