Saturday, December 26, 2009

day +858

I hope everyone had a joyful and memorable Christmas. We did. Just my parents, sister, and me. Low-key but good.

The snow that was left behind after the massive Nor'easter is mostly gone. Today's steady rain has helped in this process. However, as promised, I went out early three consecutive mornings immediately following the storm in search of capturing the snowy landscape of the city. Since it had been some time since I last photographed in Spuyten Duyvil, I went there mindful of the unique vistas this area offers for snow photography. South of Riverdale, north of Inwood (Manhattan), and east of the Palisades of New Jersey, Spuyten Duyvil sits at the crossroads of the Harlem and Hudson Rivers. This part of the Bronx is particularly hilly and navigating its winding, narrow streets can be quite confusing. This neighborhood is steeped in history (most notably Dutch) too.

At the base of Spuyten Duyvil beside the waterfront is a Metro-North station that serves commuter service along the Hudson River. While people were gathering on the platform for their morning commute to Manhattan, I was snapping away trying to not get in anyone's way. I'm usually a bit self-conscious at moments like this. At the back of my head, there is always the thought that someone might think I'm doing reconnaissance for a terrorist attack and call the police. But I try not to let these thoughts bother me. I took shots of the Henry Hudson Bridge that towers above the station spanning the Harlem River as well as the seemingly frail but beautiful Spuyten Duyvil Swing Bridge nearby.

This is of the Church of the Good Shepherd, which is in Inwood just across from Spuyten Duyvil.

And I took the photograph below on the very first day after the storm. It's one of the many impressive statues that adorn the perimeter of the Bronx County Courthouse, one of the great architectural gems of the Bronx.

While I'm on the topic of my work, you might be interested to know that several of my photographs are included in Lehman College Art Gallery's recently launched website, Bronx Architecture.

Check out my photos:

Harlem River Bridges

East River Bridges

On Tuesday, I saw my nurse practitioner in clinic at Sloan for the first time. Having "graduated" to the survivorship program, I'll be seeing Dr. C-M less often. The appointment went very well. My counts were normal. I didn't have any physical issues to raise except for the continued neuropathy and stiffness in my feet. Although my podiatrist described my pain as a mechanical issue meaning that it was a consequence of how I was walking, I still have great doubts about this diagnosis. I feel as if I've been walking the same way as I always have. As I expressed to my nurse practitioner at the appointment, I really feel it is GVHD-related. My feet were absolutely fine for months following transplantation until the GVHD arose. It is at this time that my skin began to change color and my feet first began to give me problems. Before GVHD, all was dandy. So, if I'm right, the hope is that in time as the GVHD lessens the discomfort should ease.

My medication list wasn't changed. I continue to take 7 medications daily. Prevacid had been number 8, but was discontinued at my previous appointment.

I haven't had a pulmonary function test (PFT) since the time when I took all those exams in preparation for my transplant and have never had a bone density test. So, she made appointments for me to have these two exams on Tuesday. These tests weren't scheduled out of any particular concern. They're simply, as she said, part of the monitoring that begins in the post-treatment/survivorship phase. While at Sloan next week, I'll also have my blood taken again. My creatinine level was higher than normal, so labs will be taken to test this once again.

I've been good about making regular appointments with my cardiologist, ophthalmologist, dentist, and general practitioner, but hadn't really thought about my dermatologist. She gave me kudos for being vigilant, but said it's important to also see a dermatologist at least once a year. So, I went ahead and scheduled an appointment with my dermatologist for Monday. Especially since I have GVHD, an appointment with my dermatologist might be very helpful.

Wishing everyone health, hope, happiness, and love in the coming new year!


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