Tuesday, August 05, 2008

day +352

Before heading to Sloan early yesterday morning, I made my second pre-dawn visit to Randall's Island for a dawn shoot of the Harlem River. I had great difficulty achieving the correct exposure for a panoramic shot at sunrise, so unfortunately I didn't get what I had made the trip for. This is something that I'll need to work on. Despite this, I managed to capture the early morning light on the marsh at low tide. When I was there last week, I don't remember the water being so low nor do I recall it like this when I visited the western bank of the river during the winter months. Yesterday morning, I saw a couple of ergets, seagulls, and several other birds which I can't identify but unfortunately, they were too far from the shore for my telephoto lens to pick up well. This realization that ergets, which I had tried unsuccessfully to catch at the salt marsh at Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan several days ago, also congregate off of Randall's Island was exciting. This industrial, unglamorous corner of the Harlem River - an unlikely place to observe the beauty of nature - looks like a pretty interesting place after all.

And this is how is happens many times. I'll go to a location with the intention of photographing one thing and leave having photographed something entirely different. That's the beauty of just getting out and exploring. It's amazing to see what interesting and unexpected things will turn up.

From Randall's Island, I went to Sloan for a scheduled blood draw. I told Alli about the continuation of the diarrhea. Due to the persistence of this problem, my visit was turned unexpectedly into a regular office appointment in which I saw Dr. C-M. As a consequence, I don't need to seem him on Thursday although I still will need to return for more labs.

I lost 2 lbs since my previous visit, which isn't surprising considering what's been happening. The stool analysis hadn't returned yet. Nevertheless, he thinks the diarrhea is due not to over sun exposure as I postulated but to a bacterial infection. C. difficile, a very common bacterium, is a likely suspect, I was told. If it is C. difficile or another bacterium, most likely antibiotics will be prescribed.

When I return to the hospital on Thursday, I'll drop of a letter for my donor. With my one year anniversary just around the corner, I had been thinking that it was time for me to send my new friend another message of thanks and appreciation. I didn't want to frighten or overwhelm him with all the details of my recovery, which is why I tried to keep this letter brief. I hope to meet him at some point.

August 4, 2008

Dear donor, dear friend,

I hope this letter finds you well.

Today marks 351 days since my allogeneic stem cell transplant, the day you saved my life. As my one year anniversary approaches on August 21st, I want to thank you once again for your remarkable generosity and kindness. You gave me the greatest gift of all: the gift of life.

I am doing amazingly well as I come up on my one year mark. Overall, my doctor is quite pleased with my progress. As I look forward, I’m starting to think about what I may want to do with my life. Do I want to return to school? What type of employment may I be interested in? Though the recovery process has been difficult at times, I remain hopeful about the future and feel blessed that you were there to help me at such a crucial moment.

My family and I hope to have the opportunity to meet you in person.

I wish you and your family health and happiness.




Comment Blogger Breast Cancer Survivor! said...

Hey Duane!
Just read your latest blog. I love the picture of the marsh. The light in the relection of the water is so beautiful.
I hope your blood work comes back with the answers you are looking for and you get well soon.
Keep in touch.

8:28 PM  
Comment Blogger Breast Cancer Survivor! said...

oops, i meant "reflection"

8:29 PM  
Comment Blogger Kelly Kane said...

Hey Duane-

Hope you start to feel better soon! Also, super nice note to your donor, just enough detail and optimisim and thankfulness! :)


10:04 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your letter is perfect - just perfect.

10:09 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks everyone.

Yeah, I hope he likes it. I think simplicity is probably the best way to go about writing the letter.

I'll of course let everyone know when I hear back from him.

9:34 PM  

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