Sunday, January 13, 2008

day +145

I just finished watching the Giants' upset over the Cowboys. I missed most of the first-half as I was out taking long exposure shots on the 145th Street Bridge, but I got back in time to see the rest of what turned out to be quite a good game. Next up: the Packers in the NFC Championship. Go G-Men!!!

Yep, that's me on day +145. Actually, that's me on day +144 as I took this photo last night but I don't think my appearance changed much within 24 hours.

My hair continues to fill in and its texture is still very soft like baby hair. I like it though. As it is now, it has a lot more movement than what my hair used to be. If it was significantly longer, I might even have been able to make it look like the hair of one of those troll dolls.

The rashes on my shoulders and chest remain but are better. They don't itch and it looks as if they are continuing to dissipate. Also, I haven't experienced the pressure in my chest and abdomen that I described in the weeks leading up to my recent scan though since Thursday, I've felt a knot-like tightness in the area just above my left arm pit. On Thursday, I called and spoke to Ruth, one of the nurses in Dr. Castro-Malaspina's office, about this. If it persists, she said, call back. It remains though the tightness has decreased significantly.

This weekend for the first time since prior to transplantation in August, I ate fresh pizza. Su was over for the weekend and we ordered one large pie with one-half cheese and the other half with mushrooms and green peppers from Domino's. I had eaten frozen pizza with her at least twice at points before Christmas, but I stayed away from fresh pizza until I was given the OK from the medical staff. At last week's appointment, Alli (not Ally as I thought it was) said pizza from Domino's, Pizza Hut, or any other joint was fine as long as they did not slice the pie as I can't be certain about how the pizza cutter has been used. So, when I called to order the pizza I reiterated my wish for the pie to not be sliced. Thankfully, the pie wasn't sliced but when we ordered again the following evening, the pie was sliced this time so I was forced to not accept it when it was delivered.

Since my last post, I've continued to photograph my neighborhood bridges. I've been to the Macombs Dam Bridge, Willis Avenue Bridge, and 145th Street Bridge. At some of these and the other bridges, birds are regularity and to my surprise, I've become eager to photograph them whenever possible.



I've learned quickly that my point-and-shoot camera makes it very difficult to take photographs with a short depth of field (DOP) as it lacks "the goods" necessary to do so. In reading more about the basics of exposure, I've learned about the cool effects that a short DOP can have but I'll just have to do with what I have. I'm continuing to experiment with long exposure photography in the hope of perfecting my captures of those really cool traffic light streaks as well as my photography of snowy and/or icy landscapes. A snow storm is supposed to pass through the area tonight dumping a few inches of snow. If when I wake up tomorrow morning, there's a fair amount of snow on the ground I plan to go to the nearby Franz Sigel and Joyce Kilmer Parks. I don't know how many snow days there will be this winter, so if possible I'd like to take each opportunity that arises as a time to photograph.

BTW, fellow prizefighter and Hodgkin's survivor, Jennifer, has been having a very tough time recently. Please visit her site and offer her words of support and encouragement here.

9 Comments:

Comment Anonymous EFG said...

hi Duane
great photo of you and also the ones you took yourself.
by the way, I loved your analogy to a "troll doll". I used to collect those.Bet your hair and is nice and soft these days.
Stay warm and keep those photos coming!
xx
EFG

7:57 AM  
Comment Blogger One Mother with Cancer said...

I'm glad that you are doing so well.

9:31 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Many thanks!

4:02 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duane,

I'm glad to hear about your fresh pizza experience.

Maybe this is naive of me, but I don't understand the sliced versus unsliced pizza. How does slicing make a pizza unacceptable for you post-transplant?

Sorry I can't figure it out myself! :P

I hope the new year is treating you fantastically.

~Sarah formerly up the street

3:50 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. -- my mom's hair is growing back too, and is fine like baby hair. She thinks it is coming back in white, but my dad says he thinks it is just really light blonde, which is what it was when she was born.

Mom had her last chemo last Thursday, so now she is on to radiation only.

(Soon you'll be able to do the disney-fairy-tale-prince hair toss, I know it!)

Sarah formerly up the street

3:53 PM  
Comment Anonymous Jane @ My Life with Hodgkin's Lymphoma said...

Hi Duane,
Sorry its been so long since I have left a comment. You look great! The pictures you took are wonderful, I love them. I know what you mean about your hair, mine is coming back in and it is super soft. I have met a really nice guy named Tony who has been battling Hodgkin's since 2005, if you don't mind I would like to give him the address to your page. Duane, I hope your doing well and I promise to stop by more often.
Take care,
Jane

6:15 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey Jane,

Please by all means pass my blog along to Tony.

Wishing you the very best!

8:03 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey there Sarah,

Regarding the pizza, the medical staff cautions me from eating a sliced pizza pie b/c I can't be sure about the cleanliness of the cutter as an unclean cutter poses a potential infection threat to me, someone with a weakened immune system. At this point, the medical team is trying to reduce any possible infection risks which in a healthy person would be acceptable as their immune system would be robust enough to fight off any bad guys, but mine and others like me on the other hand may not be able to. So, it's just precautionary for the time being.

Miss you, Sarah! I hope to make it down to D.C. at some point.

Much love,
Duane

8:09 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pizza slicing mystery...most likely if they do NOT wash the pizza cutter EACH TIME they use it it will grow bacteria on the residue of pizza just sliced. This wouldn't be a problem for the rest of us but could be a problem for someone immune deficient. This is the same reason wooden butcher block boards are not good to cut meat on as the bacteria gets right down into the knife and cleaver cuts and can multiply. UNCLEAN butcherblocks are one of the things that the health department looks for in an inspection of a restaurant...they really are not just tryiing to hassle someone. Pretty simple really. Bacteria starts to grow very easily in a warm environment when there is food residue. You wouldn't use a dish that had the remains of food stuck to it so think of that and the pizza/sauce/cheeze/pepperoni residue on the circular blade of the pizza cutter...yuck!

4:57 PM  

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