Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

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bright sources
illuminating a path
in multiple ways
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Different light sources exist in this photo.  Artificial light illuminates from the ceiling and reflects off the metal elevator doors, and natural light coming through large windows to the left adds brightness to the inside of the building.

This is the inside of the cancer hospital where we spend a lot of time for my mother’s cancer treatments, procedures and tests.  It certainly doesn’t look or feel like a hospital, but that was the intended design – to make the patient and family feel like they were NOT in a hospital.  Even the individual patient rooms give the feeling like you are in a nice hotel room, only with a hospital bed.

I interpret “Let There Be Light” in two different ways for this posting.  First, providing light inside of the building, and second, hoping that the visits here will help provide bright light for us at the end of the tunnel with my mother’s cancer journey.  There is nothing significantly new since the last posting.  We are continuing her regular aggressive treatments and waiting to see what the next scans and tests will tell us.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

Scrub Jay Visit
Scrub Jay Visit, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Chickadee Feast
Chickadee Feast, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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powerfully alluring
nature is my meditation
a nourishing addiction
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How can one resist the daily solicitations of treats from visitors like these?  The bird in the first image is a scrub jay that has been coming quite regularly for the last three years, begging for peanuts.  A definite routine.  He has a charming personality.  Some days he will boldly let you know if you haven’t noticed his arrival yet or are ignoring him.  Other times, he will wait patiently.  When I took this image, he had been waiting for me to finish snapping photos of other wildlife around the yard, but perched himself in a very conspicuous area for me to see him.  Perhaps he knew I was aware of his presence and was confident I would not forget his treats.

The chickadees, as with the scrub jays, are year-round residents in our area.  They also come everyday, seeking their treats from the various bird feeders.  Occasionally they will take off with a peanut half their size, as one is attempting to do in the second image.  Their flight is wobbly with that heavy load, but they usually manage to get their feast to it’s destination.

Nature is definitely addictive.  But that’s a good thing.

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Hummingbird Profiles #4 – Amazing 素晴らしい

Hummingbird Profiles #4
Hummingbird Profiles #4, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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endlessly enduring
achieving the amazing
single parent
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I’m finally able to catch a few moments to post and visit a few blogs today.  Although I haven’t been able to respond to each of your comments, I continue to appreciate all your kind words, encouragement, visits and likes.  Thank you.

We hit more bumps in the road recently with my mother’s health, and her cancer chemotherapy treatments had to be postponed two times in a row now.  In addition, there is more cancer growth, another metastasized spot detected from an MRI scan taken a little over a week ago, more procedures, and radiation.  We continue to hope that we will receive some bit of good news in the near future, instead of worsening news.  These still remain scary, hectic, and gut wrenching times.

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Here is the fourth image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series I did last year.  This is a female broad-tailed hummingbird.  An image of the male broad-tailed hummingbird was posted here.  Hummingbirds in general are quite amazing, and their dense, cuplike nests have been described as “amazing architectural creations that protect and nurture some of the most delicate birds.”  Hummingbird nests are built by the female, entirely by the female bird, spending several hours a day for up to a week collecting materials to build the nest.  Also, the females raise the chicks – single parenting.  The male hummingbirds are not involved in raising the young after the act of copulation is complete.

I continue to dedicate this hummingbird series to my mother.  My mother, who became divorced and a single parent when I was too young to remember, raised, supported and nurtured me, AND worked full time and multiple jobs to provide for me.  She has overcome many hardships over the years, and is one of the most compassionate, sincere and generous people I know.  She is also one of the most AMAZING and beautiful people I know!

I’m including two Japanese words to represent “amazing”

素晴らしい  (すばらしい), which is read subarashi
(superb; fantastic; marvelous; wonderful; terrific; amazing; great)

and

凄い  (すごい), which is read sugoi
(amazing – of strength; great – of skills; wonderful; terrific;)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning

Sharing Breakfast
Sharing Breakfast, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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bathing in pollen
before autumn awakens
summer breakfast
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Whenever I can, I like to get in a dose of nature as part of my morning routine – regardless of the season or weather.

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Hummingbird Profiles #3 – Powerful, Strength 強力

Hummingbird Profiles #3
Hummingbird Profiles #3, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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a new chill on my skin
colors change before my eyes
autumn migration
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Yesterday was the start of my Mom’s second chemotherapy treatment.  She will have 12 total treatments over the next six months, minimum.  There are certainly side effects, but not to the extent we expected so far.  She is not brutally ill like we anticipated.  She is doing ok overall even though it is still a struggle for her, especially for the first week after the treatment.  We are all well aware of the physical and mental power and strength needed to make our way through this journey, including all the other hurdles we have going on at the same time.

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Here is the third image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series I did last year.  This is a male Rufous hummingbird.  The Rufous is a later arriver at our feeders, first appearing in the middle of July, and is also the first of the hummingbird species to leave.  Although a few hummingbirds are still here at our feeders, the Rufous in particular have already departed.  I did not have the opportunity to enjoy seeing and photographing the hummingbirds as much this summer as in previous years, but I at least got a couple of photo sessions in this past spring.

Since autumn officially arrives here in the northern hemisphere in a few days, on September 22, I thought the beautiful coloring of the Rufous hummingbird was appropriate to welcome the new season.

A common symbolism of hummingbirds is powerful energy and the ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible.  They are built for power, with about 30% of their weight consisting of flight muscles.  Some migrate impressive distances – up to 500 miles nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico.  Two behaviors separate the Rufous from other hummingbird:  1) It ventures farther north during the migration than any other, reaching the southeastern coast of Alaska, and 2) It has the longest known migration of any bird species, traveling over 3,000 miles between Mexico and Alaska.

Hummingbirds symbolize Powerful and Strength
(in Japanese, it is 強力 (きょうりょく), which is read kyouryoku

I also saw another translation of 強力 as “herculean strength.”  I believe it, given the strength and stamina these little hummingbirds need for their long journey!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Point of View / Update

Cancerous Aphids
Cancerous Aphids, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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voracious monsters
destroying vitality
metastatic cancer
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Cancer – Any evil condition or thing that spreads destructively.

These voracious, ravenous aphids extracted so many nutrients and vitality from some of our plants, that they became very, very sick.  We saw more aphids than we had ever seen before in our yard, and as a result, we also saw more ladybugs than we have ever seen, attacking the cancerous aphids.

…..

As I wrote previously, we are in the middle of a frightening cancer battle.  My mother was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer…4 out of 4.  What is Stage 4?  Per our surgeon, it means cancer has metastasized from it’s original site to other organs.

Each doctor visit and surgery result over the last two months brought worse news, showing more and more spread, and leaving us in an endless nightmare.  The cancer is extremely rare, aggressive, and high-grade, for which there is NO standard treatment and no clinical trials because of its rarity.  There is no known cause.  It is not curable.  The prognosis is……….well….…all I will say is that people have been known to beat the odds and we are hopeful and determined that she will beat it.  It is a very scary time.

Cancer treatments began this week.  Two weeks ago, we made a quick trip to another high rated cancer hospital for a second opinion, and were more assured we are headed down the right path with her initial treatment plan.  Because of the cancer’s aggressiveness, we needed to start as soon as possible after recovery from her last surgery.  The treatments are a rigorous regimen of two days of chemotherapy every two weeks for a minimum of six months.  It’s too soon to see what the actual side effects will be since everyone reacts differently to the drugs, but we know what the common side effects are.

Hopefully the treatments will turn out to be a swarm of ladybugs focused on and succeeding in obliterating the cancer!

Again, I will not be as active in the blogging world but will do my best.  Thank you for all of the wonderful well wishes you continue to send for my mother and for staying with me through these tough times.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Point of View.  I’ve used the theme in two ways – one in the photo itself, and one regarding focused treatment.

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Quick Update

I’m not able to include a photo or haiku with this posting, but I wanted to provide a quick update about my absence.  Those of you who follow this blog may have read about my mother’s new cancer battle.  Since my last posting, each new test result and doctor visit brought worse and worse news.  Her situation has been a top priority for us, and I have been unable find time recently to blog or take photos.  I was also without an internet connection for several days.

It will be at least another one to two weeks before I am able to post a better update.  We will be traveling this week to obtain a second opinion. Next week we will be faced with more doctor visits and another surgery, and then rigorous treatments starting next month.  This is a very frightening time.

Thank you for all the well wishes you have provided for my mother, and thank you for being patient and staying with me.  Thank you also to all the new followers to this blog.  Much appreciated!!