Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Message of Thanks

As 2011 draws to a close, I pause to give thanks for the many of my global Facebook and Blogger friends and family who I’ve made special connections with, whose support during my journey through cancer has uplifted me and given me added strength to fight. In sharing my plight so publicly, I hope that the lessons I’ve learned and shared have been the just gift for your own hearts and lives to help overcome your own adversity, or impart to others. This year, I’ve learned the valuable lesson in friendship; that this special bond is not based on the material or tangible even, but that which reaches across this medium and touches the heart, caresses the soul, and gives the mind some much due peace.

This year, I have loved and been loved like no other; by my wonderful partner K, my family, my friends and even strangers who have now become part of my extended family. I have become a stronger believer in the human spirit, and trust that whatever it is we need, we receive by sharing openly and honestly. There are always those willing to give of themselves in a true act of HUMANITY.

For all the love I’ve received this year, I hope I’ve been able to return in a way that nurtures the soul and restores hope in humankind. I am so full of gratitude for my friends, my family and even for cancer. Cancer has made me keenly aware of my strength and desire to live a life of giving, for these attributes have not waned, even as I reached my weakest point, only to rise and rise again. Thank you to all of you for giving me your time, your good words, sharing your spirit and your love with me. I am forever thankful and blessed, and I look forward to a healthy, creative, and prosperous New Year for all of us!! Make 2012 the year of WINNING and OVERCOMING all personal battles! AWAKEN to a New YOU!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Times Square, NYC Christmas night

New York City Greenwich Village, 6th Avenue, looking south at the new World Trade Center Twin Towers rising into the sky.

Happy Kwanzaa!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Half way point--PET scan tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning marks a defining moment in my cancer journey. I am set to get a PET scan which will reveal whether or not the 8 chemo treatments I've received so far has worked in ridding myself of cancer cells and shrinking the enlarged lymph nodes in my body. I am praying for an "all clear."
Am I nervous? Yes. But I'm not worried. I believe this whole experience with cancer has served a purpos...e, but it is by no means the end of my story. I look with amazement at all the self-portraits I've created since my diagnosis in July and recognize the guidance and healing contained in each one of them. There is a force greater than me at work, and I know I am protected. Whatever the results reveal tomorrow, it doesn't change the fact that I am a fighter and a winner!

Monday, December 19, 2011

My thoughts, prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to those who have lost loved ones who fought courageously against cancer. I thought this poem would be appropriate for all those who have experienced the loss of beloved family, friends and acquaintances. As much as we celebrate survivors of cancer, I do realize there is also loss. This time of year always brings up the pain of that loss and ...I want to acknowledge and soothe that pain with a poem shared in my Lymphoma support group. We will continue to keep those we have lost forever in our hearts.

If Tomorrow Starts Without Me

When tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
... all filled with tears for me,

I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
and each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too.

But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
and said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.

I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
and all the fun we had

If I could re-live yesterday
Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne.

He said, "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew

I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same way
There's no longing for the past.

You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things
You knew you shouldn't do.

But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.

Author believed to be
David Romano

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

At chemo#8: battling the beast. knocking cancer on it's ass!

Chemo#8--In the bag!

Chemo#8 in the bag (emesis bag that is! I have sooooo much nausea!

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are. Man, and I learning that lesson and so blessed for it!

Friday, December 09, 2011

non, je ne regrette rien.

non, je ne regrette rien.

I have nothing to reconcile,
no regrets and focused on forward
Non ! Je ne regrette rien
because my life, my joys
they begin with me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Believing in myself also means that I trust my spirit to comfort and take care of me. When faced with adversity, this is when I rely on the comforts of spirit the most.

Friday, December 02, 2011


I'm happy to announce that for the second year in a row my work was selected for CurateNYC, a city wide artist call! Out of over 1500 artists, 150 were selected and I was one of 'em! I was only sorry to miss the reception at RUSH arts gallery in Chelsea last night. Chemo was calling my name...

New York City is a global arts center, but maintaining that status means cultivating the city's creative talent.

To advance the cause, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Full Spectrum Experience, Inc. bring you the Second Annual Curate NYC – a showcase for New York City visual artists.

Curate NYC is a juried exhibition and online platform that exists to heighten exposure and opportunities for New York City visual artists. The project also helps promote New York City’s image as a vital cultural hub.

Last year, Curate NYC attracted 1,190 entries in three weeks. All entries were reviewed by a panel of judges, and 150 works were reproduced for exhibition as 11x6” postcards. The opening, held at Rush Arts Gallery + Resource Center in Chelsea, was hosted by NYC Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, NYCEDC president Seth Pinsky, and entertainment/business mogul Russell Simmons.

The website also generated 600,000 hits in three weeks, and positive news in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The L Magazine, and on The Brian Lehrer Show.

In 2011, Curate NYC will again exhibit postcard reproductions of the top 150 entries selected by our Panel of Judges. We will also feature more entries per artist, and online sales of their work. Guest curators will organize online shows, while live exhibitions will be held at five galleries, one per borough, featuring actual works by Curate NYC artists.

We look forward to seeing you here online, and at Curate NYC exhibitions held across the city.

Your Friends at Full Spectrum,
the New York City Economic Development Corporation,
and Curate NYC

My winning image: "Awakenings"

CONGRATULATIONS to the other artists selected for this great opportunity! Check the link below and see the list and works of all those selected (in alphabetical order).


Chemo #7 under the belt,
at the halfway point to healing
and wholeness.
never deterred,
resolved to win
through grace
and dignity.
no surprise here,
i choose to stand
in the light.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Sickness...

A saving grace to me in dealing with cancer is that I’ve been very public about my battle. My job, my friends, my family, and my global Facebook family knows the deal. So if and when I don’t feel well, I miss days or weeks of work, I lose my hair, etc, I really don’t have to explain myself to anyone. In fact, being public about my bout has gotten me generous support that I might not o...therwise have had if I remained quiet and/or reclusive.
Healing for me is all in my approach to dealing with cancer; I can either curse it or embrace everything. Chemotherapy is helping kill the cancer cells, but my creativity is helping me to cope and rise above fear and uncertainty.

Chemotherapy treatment #7 tomorrow—I’m at the halfway point to ridding myself of this dis-ease!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The light was speaking to me ever so a hushed whisper.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks giving dinner for those in need

You don't have to be ashamed or feel embarrassed. If you need a hot Thanksgiving meal, check your local churches and food banks. If you're Uptown, St. John's Baptist church located on 152nd street b/t St. Nicholas and Amsterdam Avenues will be happy to serve you and your family.

The crossing guard

Descending from the clouds

One day in the 'hood

Getting a check up by my doc in between my chemo session. Chemo every other week. Doc's visit on my off weeks.

Not the best picture, but more important than the picture is the message: Listen to your body and believe what's it's saying to you. MEN, PLEASE get regular check-ups whether you're sick or not. It's worth mentioning also that I was mis-diagnosed A YEAR before I got a proper diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which means I very may have had cancer for a whole year before getting diagnosed! I never accepted what the doc was telling me (everything is ok, you only have a minor lung infection which doesn't require treatment), yet my body was telling me otherwise. I listened, changed doctor's and now am getting the proper care that i need. Chemo is a bitch but it may very well be saving my life!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Desiderata Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all people. Speak your truth quietly and clearly;and listen to all even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive people, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself to others you will become vain and bitter; there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to the virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have the right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. ~ Max Ehrma
“Every moment you get is a gift. Spend it on things that matter. Don’t spend it by dwelling on unhappy things.” ~Unknown

Monday, November 14, 2011

Message to me and you

To give, receive.
be the wet, fertile valley
That rivers of life flow through.
The full will be emptied
The empty, filled.
So be empty, that you may be filled.

The greatest healer shares all
And becomes yet greater.
One who wants to be healed
Must become a healer.
And one who wants to be a healer
Must first seek healing;
Suffering gains meaning only when
And healing is meaningless
Until it is shared.

To receive, give.

--Haven Trevino, The Tao of Healing

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2nd Avenue Diptych

Last night's moon

Checking neutrophil count (Chemo #6)

Getting my blood drawn before chemo, checking for the neutrophil (White blood cell) count.

When you have Hodgkin's Lymphoma (like me) that has spread to the bone marrow, it's imperative that your white blood cells stay at a normal level. If these numbers dropped, they would leave me susceptible to all sorts of infections. Fortunately, my numbers are good!