My Soul

5/1/11

A bit about me. I believe that at the tender age of 45 I am finally coming into who I was supposed to be. I do wish that I had discovered it about 20 years ago but as they say “Better late then never.”

I believe that I was meant to be a Nature photographer.  Nature, flowers in particular, brings so much peace to me.  I realized that I loved photography about 8 years ago when I brought my first digital camera.  I was always interested in photography but film was expense to buy & process especially when you are divorced young and have 3 children to raise on your own.

Being a Breast Cancer Survivor (2 x’s), I needed to find an outlet for all of the mental games that I was torturing myself with. Yes the doctors did a wonderful job at healing my body but my mind was a wreck.  Dealing with all the thoughts that go on in one’s mind you have to find a release or you feel like you are gonna explode.  So I treated myself to my first digital camera a Canon PowerShot A510.  I found my sanity again.

I began to photo everything and everyone, it felt great to take the photo, upload, edit and then print them all in about 10 minutes or so.  I slowly began to specialize in taking nature shots concentrating on flowers.  I view flowers as “Reflection for my Soul”. I feel truly at ease when it comes to flowers. I have no clue why but they make me feel relaxed and at peace with myself.

I hope that you like the photos that I have taken and will offer your critique of my work.

Update 4/1/12

I have been going to the doctors since January to try to get my blood pressure under control.  On January 1st it was 213/114.  I thought it was high due to the fact that I was just fussing with my son and had a lot of other things on my mind.  So I went back to Walgreen’s on the 3rd and checked it again.  This time it was 211/113 needless to say I went straight to the hospital and had to get it checked out right away.  I had no symptoms at all.  The doctors there were able to get it down enough for me to go home but of course they stressed that this is the silent killer especially among African-Americans.

I made the appointment the next day and to get things on the right path again.  Over the course of 2 visits we finally got the Systolic (top number) down but still need to get the Diastolic (bottom number) down.  So my doctor ordered some blood test and put me on a some new medicine.  (I truly hate giving blood, I have a tendency to faint especially when they “fish” for a vein.)

When I went back for my last appointment on friday to see if the new medicine was working I was informed that it stabilized the systolic number(130), the diastolic number was still high (90) he decided to double my dose and wants me back in a week for another checkup and hope that this is now working.

Once he finished with the high blood pressure stuff and began to go over the blood test results. This is the part that I was dreading and this time I wasn’t wrong.  He started asking when was the last time I was at the Oncologist  etc etc …?  It has been about 18 months since I have been at the oncologist.

I have been cancer free for 9 years and I got comfortable and just didn’t go back.  He states that some of my numbers are high and that I need to go back to get checked.  All of a sudden I feel the weight of all that cancer stuff coming back on me.  I was (so I thought) cancer free.   The thoughts of dying young where getting less and less often, the thoughts of cancer period were getting less and less.  But now the thoughts are flooding back in.

What if it is nothing and I got myself all hyped for nothing?  But again what if it is back with a vengeance?  They always say that the third time is a charm.  They say that all the chemo and radiation side affects don’t show up for at least 10 years later and it is just over 12 years since my last chemo treatment (12/2000).

Positive thoughts.  I am trying to be positive but how are you when the doctor begins to explain some of his low points when he was sick.  I felt like he was saying “I survived and so will you”.

My appointment is scheduled for 4/23/12 ………………..

 

Update 5/17/12………………

Well I went to the oncologist a couple of weeks ago and I scheduled to have my bone scan and mammogram.  I finally relaxed my mind and accepted that all was good.  So when the radiologists office called Tuesday and said that they needed to do another mammogram and ultrasound I was not ready.  When ever they call you to “schedule” another appointment it is usually something.

So I go to the appointment on Wednesday and they say that they do see a lump and they believe it is a cyst and they want me to come back in 6 months for a recheck.  Well with my history I need more proof than its a cyst and we’ll recheck it in 6 months.   I went to my oncologist today and told him I want to be safe then sorry.  So now I go see a surgeon next week to schedule a biopsy.

So the saga continues….

Update 10/10/14

This is long over due.  I did not realize that it has been over 2 years since I last update “My Soul”.

In brief I had the biopsy and it turned out to just be a cyst.  I am so thankful.  I do not know where I would be if it had turned out to be breast cancer again.

But this now leads me to another issue.  When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 the treatment was for me to take tamoxifen for 5 years as it was unsafe for me to do chemo again as it can harm my heart.  So I took the medication daily (almost) for the next 5 years.  I was finally finished in May 2008. All was well…..

I lost my glasses in 2013 and had to get a new pair so I made an appointment with a new eye doctor and explained my history to him and the different treatment programs that I was on.  He asked me if I had any trouble with my eye sight and I said yes.  He went on to do more testing and explained that one of the side effects from the drug tamoxifen is Drueson.  This is when the eye does not flush out all of the “waste” properly and it can clog the eye and it can possibly cause blindness.

Needless to say I was diagnosed with having Drusen.  So I go from one major issue to another.

Has anyone ever met a blind photographer? I am not claiming this but it is a potential reality.

Right now it has not progressed much and it can stay where it is for the next 20 or more years with no major impact to my vision or it can progressively get worse.  The fact that this a wait and see (no pun intended) disease is the part that is hard.  I would like to know for a fact what will happen not a bunch of maybe’s.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

  1. lovely…I hadn’t read this page before and didn’t know you are a cancer survivor…what an inspiration you are to everyone…I bet your family is so proud of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! Your blog has been chosen to receive The Versatile Blogger Award! Please check out my latest post for your blog review and acceptance steps. Thank you for your participation. It’s been a pleasure reading your blog!

    Melanie at http://www.sweetsimpleliving.wordpress.com

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  3. wordsfallfrommyeyes

    This ‘about you’ is very soulful – I actually clicked on it because it said ‘My Soul’. Absolute strength to you for surviving breast cancer twice. I’ve had cancer in my family too. It’s pretty rife and you see it all around you but no-one, no-one can know how it is when it strikes YOU. I really wish to give you a big hug of warmth for your survival, and for recognising the mental craziness that went on in you, and for taking charge.

    I dropped by obviously because you subscribed and I was curious who you are, but I’m honoured, and I thank you. It will be a pleasure to view your photography. I saw a stunning picture a week or so ago – oh the COLOUR on the leaves of the tree, it was absolutely beautiful.

    Thank you so much for giving me your time, by reading. Now, for a little cruise through your pages 🙂 ….

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  4. Believe that everything will be ok and it will be. I know it from personal experience. Love is with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope everything is OK and will stay that way! Love and all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi. Your story touched me – my mum also went clear for about 7 years, then had another “episode”. After the first partial, she then had a full mastectomy. That must have been about 15 years ago now – time flies. She is now coming up 82, and still going (not quite as) strong. And may you be going strong for many years to come. You (& my mum), and other women like you, are a source of inspiration and hope.

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    • Thank you for your kind words. I have never thought of being source of inspiration and hope to anyone other that my kids and family. Thank you again. I do wish the best for you and your mum.

      Like

  7. Lovely and very inspiring. you are right- Better late than never.
    Thank you so much for stopping by at my blog, I hope you enjoyed your visit.

    xx
    Aanchal

    Liked by 1 person

  8. elizabethweaver

    I love your gravatar image. Also, I’ve gone through something similar and am sorry you have as well. In case you’re interested, the best books I’ve read on BC are the Mayo Clinic Book on Breast Cancer and Fighting Cancer from Within by Martin Rossman. Thank you for your blog and candor. Be well and may your loved ones be as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. The image was from a pillow my grandmother had. It reminds me of a sassy older lady with style…LOL

      I am sorry to hear that you had a similar experience. No one should have to experience cancer or any other major illness. I will check out Rossman’s book.

      I am learning to take one day at a time and finding something positive each day. It can be hard at times and even harder on other days. However it is still my goal.

      I wish you and your family the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the visit.

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  10. It was a wonderful journey through your blog with colourful as well as black and white pictures. Great job! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My younger sister has had breast cancer twice… she tries to stay positive also. I hope that you are doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Do you have a recent update? I hope it was just a cyst, but man that must wreak havoc in your mind, having to deal with all of this. Your profile is very poignant. It’s wonderful that you discovered your affinity with nature photography and flowers through all of this, and are now sharing with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Elizabeth I do apologize for not responding timely. I did not realize that I had several comments here until I did the upgradre on my phone.

      I have been meaning to update this page but procastination is my middle and sometimes first name. Yes the lump did turn out to just be a cyst so I am very thankful.

      Flowers and nature gave me piece of mind and allowed me the time to get out of my head and focus my attention on some of the beauty that was right in front of me,

      How is Arizona treating you? I lived in Peoria for a couple of years and I really miss it. I am hoping to make a trip early next year.

      Like

  13. Thanks for visiting and liking my post. You are positive and brave. Sometimes it’s hard. Take care. Keep sharing wonderful photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My mom is a cancer survivor as well and just last year I went through the scare of having to go through a biopsy myself, thankfully it was benign. Cancer is in my family so this is something we have to deal with. I have so much admiration and respect for you as a survivor. 🙂

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    • Hi Ivy I apologize for the delay in responding to your comment.

      Thank you for the kind words it is very much appreciated!

      I am glad to here that your lump was benign and that your mother is a SURVIVOR! .

      Like

  15. Hi Robin, Cancer does make one look at life differently, I just beat Lymphoma myself. I don’t know which was worse, the cancer or the chemo. No matter now, thanks to VCU & Massey Cancer Center in RIchmond, Va. Their staff is top notch. They kept me on this side of the sod, for which I am grateful. 🙂 Congrats on beating your own monster, too. Here’s to a new day, everyday! Cheers, Marcy

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Your story is really inspiring! Kudos to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Waiting is hard, but I hope your decision to focus on something relaxing and positive helps. Keep being strong!

    And thank you for spending time at my blog; I appreciate it very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Love your photography! I actually know a photographer who has severe eye problems but he just keeps right on going and says he’s thankful for autofocus. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Really nice blog. Thanks for dropping by mine. I am happy to have found you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi Robin. I just read this page and the word Tamoxifen jumped off the screen. My wife is a BC survivor and like you took Tamoxifen for five years (2007-12). She does not have Drusen (touch wood), but has narrow angle glaucoma. As a result there are many drugs she cannot now take because they can aggravate the condition. I will keep my eyes and ears open, without mentioning something else which may cause stress. Thank you for visiting my site too. Grace & Peace, KenP

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are very welcome Ken and thank you for visiting as well.

      Drusen is one of those rare side effects that very few get (from what I am told). I would not worry your wife with one more thing that may or may not happen.

      Best wishes to the both of you and live life to the fullest!!

      Like

  21. First of all, thank you for visiting my blog. 😀
    2nd, I wish you the very best of health! You are awesome and a hero to many – and I love your photos. You inspire me.
    cate b

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Saying a prayer for your eye health. When one sees the fingerprints of God in nature, it’s hard to imagine life without it.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh. I hadn’t read your about page before.
    Are you ok, now?
    (As much as possible!)
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Wow, what a testimony of perseverance! Thank you for sharing your “soul” and will be praying for you! Thanks for liking my photo challenge photo, Depth!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. jacquelinerosamond

    I agree – thank you for sharing your soul with those of us privileged to read your blog. I had a light bulb moment when you mentioned the side effects of Tamoxifen on your eyes. I’m taking Arimidex, another anti-cancer drug (for nearly 3 more years). I was startled to be told about 3 months ago that I had incipient cataracts at age 57. Huh? A quick scan of articles about side effects revealed this might be the reason. There’s no proof for Arimidex as the cause of cataracts or for the vitreous detachment I had year ago, but my eyesight had been excellent until that time. I guess being alive is the important lesson I’ve learned and, like you, still have thoughts of not being around for as long as I would like. When I get down I like to lose myself in writing or gardening. I think your photos are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I don’t know how I haven’t been to this page before. Just found it randomly now. You’ve been through so much more than I realized. You are a strong woman and inspirational. I sincerely hope there are no more health scares.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you Jacqueline. We take all the medicine that the doctors prescribe generally with little to no questioning. We rarely question the possible side effects that the treatment can have. When we do question the possible side effects we are told that it is very rare so we do not need to worry. Then it happens and we second guess our decisions for the initial treatment. I don’t regret the decisions I made but wish I was made aware of “all” the possible side effects.

    I still have my moments of doubt too. When they come on I escape into my camera. I have thousands of pictures that are a result of my mind messing with me.
    The most important thing is that we are still here to enjoy all that life has to offer.

    I am glad that you were able to find writing and gardening to help release the stress.

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  28. jacquelinerosamond

    Thanks for your lovely response. I have a tough one on Friday – ultrasound and mammogram 5 months earlier than usual. Just a bit anxious – and having been a nurse I do know a great deal more than average person. Perhaps I should take the Hunger Games approach and pray the odds are always in my favour? I’ll be like a cat on a hot tin roof until I get the results….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish you well on the test that you are scheduled to have. From personal experience I know just how much our minds can get us all worked up and completely out of sorts when our health is in questions. I recommend that you focus on something that gives you pleasure while you wait for answers. It off course won’t make the thoughts go away but it can lessen the impact.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jacquelinerosamond

        Thanks Robin – my tests are all clear. Phew! My mind is at peace again – I did lots of reading to take my mind off difficult possibilities and lost myself in a women’s “commercial fiction” book or two.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am truly glad to hear that all turned out well for you! Getting caught up in others lives, fictional or not, can truly help with the thoughts that one might have.

          I hope you went out and celebrated and celebrated the good news.

          Liked by 1 person

  29. Wishing you well, Robin.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. jacquelinerosamond

    Celebrated with a glass of wine and a relieved husband and children

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Thank you for stopping by my new photography blog so I could discover yours. Wishing you wellness. 🙂

    https://juliabenjaminphotography.wordpress.com
    http://womensfootwearinamerica.com

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  32. What a strong person you are! How’s your blood pressure now? I hope you still find peace in your photography. I have enjoyed visiting your blog. I am 8 year survivor myself, still taking the tamoxifen . They say stay on it for 10 years now, I had not heard about the possible eye condition before, thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! My blood pressure is being managed by meds but all is good. When I was taking Tamoxifen they told me there were no benefits to it after 5 years. It is something how things change. The eye condition is something that rarely happens according to my eye doctor.

      I believe that all survivors are strong. We all have to deal with the mental issues on top of the physcial concerns.

      Like

  33. Robin, your photos are beautiful and you are truly awesome! Thanks for sharing your story and putting your heart out there but remember this: you are soooo loved!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I love your site. I wanted to recommend it to more people via the Blogger Recognition Award. I know not everyone participates in the awards system, and if you don’t, I completely understand. But you can find the details at http://wp.me/p6s2CE-8i if you’re interested. Either way, please take it as a sign of my regard for your site!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. This is a lovely piece. Thank you for sharing your story and the updates. I came here through the meet and greet, and I look forward to more.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: One Lovely Blog Award | Dazzling Whimsy

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