Thursday, May 31, 2007


I met with the lung doctor yesterday and it looks like we probably won't be doing the broncoscopy/biopsy. Apparently, there's a pretty high risk that I could end up on a ventilator and in a nursing home after the surgery, because my lungs are already compromised. He also said that he didn't think that we would gain that much more information about my current situation (and treatment for it certainly wouldn't be different either). It could only confirm what they already suspect (slight infection on top of GvH in the lung). So, after hearing that, I have to say that the trade-off is SO not worth it. I don't think that I could handle this situation getting any worse, and being on a ventilator and in a nursing home....well, sunnuva gun. Let's just say, I feel like I dodged a bullet by having a doctor who had the presence of mind/education to suggest not having this procedure.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Next steps for lungs...

Today, I had my appointment with Lister. We got the results from a CT scan which showed something they call "BOOB" on my lungs. It's typical of GvH for this to show up, and they are apparently nothing additional to be worried about. There is a possibility, however that it's an infection (like a fungus or bacteria) or that it's Hodgkin's presenting in the lungs (although this possibility seems very unlikey according to Lister and the radiologist who reads these reports for a living). In order to figure out what it is, he wants to do a lung biopsy and a broncoscopy, probably sometime next week. Not fun for me, but at this point, I really will do anything to breathe better. And GET THIS, if it IS an infection that is showing up on there (rather than just more BOOB from the GvH) then they theoretically could give me a pill and I'd start being able to breathe better. Wouldn't that just be the miracle of the year?! I honestly don't think this is it. I can imagine that I have a small infection, and that treating it will help me breathe *better*, but I don't get the feeling that it will clear up my breathing problems completely. I think that's going to take some more substantial treatment/attention/time/etc. Fingers crossed and prayers shouted!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Finding my voice

As I've said before, I'm currently working on a series of floral pieces. There's been a lot of experimentation with this series, mostly because I had been trying to figure out how to make the flowers interesting to me. Sure, representing flowers is tricky all on it's own, so just learning how to paint them normally is the first challenge. But, I didn't want to just render the flowers in paint, from a photograph. I have always felt that it's cheating a little to do it that way. Plus, I can hear my mother in the background saying, "Why not just take a photograph instead and be done with it?" On the other hand, I didn't want to produce something "edgy" just for the sake of not wanting it to look like a photograph. So, then I'm kind of left standing somewhere in between.

I've been going around in my head about this part ever since I started painting a couple of years ago: what is my "style?" Am I a figurative painter? Am I a photo-realist? What's the difference between illustration-like work vs. fine art? The questions have been abundant and I've gone back and forth on how I feel about the stuff that I have produced. A couple of nights ago, however, I produced something that changed my perspective on "my art." I painted this field of flowers. It was an image that "came to me" one morning, upon waking, about 3 weeks ago. So, it was interesting for me to produce this piece, because there was no photograph to reference, only the memory of a feeling and a visual in my head.

The revelation occurred to me as I was painting the field of flowers. I *wanted* it to look a certain way. To feel a certain way. I wanted it to be something that I was very comfortable with. Something that _I_ would want to look at on a daily basis. I put things in the composition that I would like to see and painted it the way that I thought it wanted it to be, rather than what I thought it should be. The revelation was this: paint/draw/etc things that somehow could be with me for a while and something that I like to look at. This may sound obvious, but it's really not. It's so easy to just produce what you are able to, or to produce what others may like, but it's much harder to figure out what you personally want--out of everything that's out there.

Of course, I figure that you must be curious about this field looks like, but you'll have to wait a little longer. There's something missing in the composition, still, and I don't want to ruin the first impression of it until it's done. Soon!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Life Goes On

It's funny, because I'm not sure what I want to say tonight. There have been a lot of changes lately--friends moving away, others starting families, some marrying, some divorcing. Everyone seems to have something in their lives--their own drama, if you will.

This morning I found out that a friend of mine is getting divorced from her husband with whom she has been with for over ten years. Her wedding was the first of my friends and her marriage is the last one that I would have anticipated to end. I've spent the day thinking about this and remembering that no marriage is created equal and that things aren't always what they seem. In times when things are going so rough in life, it still goes on. Sometimes the fact that it just continues on feels wrong. Like everything should stop until things are okay again. Other times, the fact that it does still go on, forces you to get back up and keep on going with it.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Remember this song? It was popular when I was in junior high in that small town in New Hampshire. I heard it again today when I was doing my daily treadmill walk. The chorus seemed so right:
"...Sings the songs that remind him of the good times, songs that remind him of the better times...I GET KNOCKED DOWN, BUT I GET UP AGAIN. YOU'RE NEVER GOIN' TO KEEP ME DOWN!"

I'm turning this up LOUD. I can hear nothing else above it right now.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Chemo #13

Please, God, let me breathe normally again.
Please, God, let me breathe normally again.
Please, God, let me breathe normally again.
Please, God, let me breathe normally again.
Please, God, let me breathe normally again.
Please, God, let me live normally again.
Please, God, let me breathe normally again.
Please, God, let me breathe normally again.
Please, God, let me breathe normally again.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

My Google Horoscope for today...

"Your fate may be in the hands of others now, for events seem to take their own course of action no matter what you do. But don't give up; you can impact your future by developing a healthy sense of detachment. Making too much out of nothing can set you up for unneeded disappointment. Don't worry if you aren't seeing the results you desire yet. Give yourself time."
Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Picking paths

As I previously wrote, I'm currently working on some floral subject matter for painting/drawing. It's interesting. I still love people as subjects, but I've felt that I need to make sure that I feel comfortable with or at least try to perform in other types of subjects. As I have done this, I've noticed that it's like a "Pick Your Path" book. Remember those things from childhood? "If you think Susie will choose to walk home, go to page 30" etc? Well, I kind of feel like what I'm doing now is like that. Each thing that I produce, I can see spinning off into a more indepth study. Like, the other night, I decided it was too cold to open the windows (for proper ventilation of the acrylics) so I pulled out my watercolors. I started painting a flower. The overlapping of the petals of the flower made me think of stop-frame sequences of motion or activity of an object. There's a whole area that I could experiment with on that--not to mention the idea of using the actual pigment to highlight certain areas of the motion that I believe to be more important. I'm not sure if that makes any sense here, but I think it's got some real potential.

However, I'm still in the middle of producing the floral stuff...and I have at least 4 other paintings (non-floral) that are pacing around in my head [impatiently] waiting to be produced. Since I still only have a few hours of actual painting/energy a day, it takes time to get onto the next project and I find that I have to pick a path rather than try everything. It's interesting stuff, but it takes time to do it well.