Who would’ve thought California sunshine would become such a rarity, even during this time of year! With a lot of rain recently, it’s been difficult to scratch this constant itch I have to go out and shoot. I’m not complaining though, our grass is loving it, and also the drought.
So when good weather finally showed up yesterday, we decided to spend the afternoon in SF at the Palace of Fine Arts and Sutro Baths. I guess a lot of people had the same idea, including a few couples taking wedding and engagement photos, because boy were there crowds of people. Definitely a lot to work around but hopefully I made it work. 🙂
You can check out more photos here.
Almost a year ago around this time I became really sick. Then one morning, I got a call from one of my doctors. He was concerned about my dangerously high calcium level. He sent me to the infusion clinic right where I worked. I sat in the waiting area and a nurse approached me. I can tell she was trying to be gentle and careful to not offend me, but I guess there was no way to really mentally prepare for the question she was going to ask.
“Do you have cancer?”
“No. Well, not yet? No that I’m aware of?”
I wasn’t offended by her question, just surprised, followed by understanding. Infusion clinic is where patients usually go to receive chemo. I was there to receive fluids to help dilute my calcium level. She only asked to be sure I take precaution as to not pass along any illnesses to the already immunosuppressed cancer patients.
I was there for two hours. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think that this was some sort of sign, prophecy, of what my future may look like. At that moment I felt I was merely waiting on the official cancer diagnosis. Is it leukemia? Breast? Thyroid?
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the only sign I thought I received. One of the first abnormal labs were my low blood count. I called to schedule an appointment with my hematologist. While booking the appointment, the receptionist forgot and said “oncologist.” I was confused and asked, “Oncologist? What do you mean?” As if maybe he knew something I didn’t. Like maybe he saw a cancer diagnosis in my chart that I haven’t been informed about. He quickly appologized and corrected himself. The following week, on my way to see the hematologist for the first time, I then understood why the receptionist said what he said. I had entered the cancer or oncology department. The waiting area to see my hematologist was filled with cancer patients. Needless to say, I felt very out of place. I was the only one in her late 20’s in an area filled with 80 and possibly 90 year olds. I remember wondering if they saw me and felt some sort of pity assuming what my fate was.
After 3 months, it took a team of doctors (hematologist, endocrinologist, urologist, nephrologist), a lithotripsy that landed me in the hospital for a few days, bone marrow biopsy, mammogram, and a parathyroidectomy to safely say that I did not have cancer. Hallelujah. Praise Buddha.
However, 3 months was quite a long time to be thinking that you may have cancer. During that time I thought about the life I would want to live depending on the severity of my prognosis. I thought about whether I would refuse chemo. I watched a documentary on how to die with dignity in Oregon. Then proceeded to research how to become a resident of Oregon. I was certain I would choose quality of life over anything else because what good is it to live an extra 3 months if during that entire time you’d be puking your guts out. I was confident I would prefer to choose to go peacefully and on my scheduled time. Maybe it’s coward thinking. Call me a coward but wouldn’t it be nice though to decide when you’d want to say your goodbyes. For me, there’s a sense of comfort in that. You get to seek closure of needed.
Anyway, sorry to be so morbid. It’s been a year since it all happened and I wanted to finally take the time to reflect and count my blessings. And perhaps, to my 80 year old self, this will serve as a friendly reminder that, yes, 2016 was kinda crappy. Just kidding. Maybe just half crappy. 😁
If you’re a sucker for his speeches, you might like this last one he gave. My apologies for any tears it may induce.
Because life can be bland without one.
Making it official!
I’m excited, nervous, anxious, also kinda want to vomit butterflies at times, but I love every bit of this process.
Thanks in advance for the support and kindness. Hit me up if you want to add modeling to your resume. 😉