Friday, July 27, 2012

WARNING Very Graphic Photos of Melanoma

I have shared with you how my friend of 35 years who I met when we were 7 years old has stage 4 melanoma.  She has shared some photos of new tumors.  I have never seen anything like it.  It made me think that if someone were to see these photos, they might decide to quit using tanning beds and always use sunscreen.  Maybe this post can save a life. 

When we were growing up, I went with her and her family for many many long lake trips.  Moms didn’t think about sunscreen back then.  It was until we got blisters on our shoulders and noses, that anyone thought to cover us up or make us wear sunscreen.  Tanning beds became popular when we were in high school.  No one worried about cancer then like we do now.  The warnings weren’t as prevalent and to tell you the truth, even if they were I am sure we had the attitude that melanoma would never happen to us.  But it did. 

My friend first discovered her melanoma about 2 years ago.  When she showed the doctor he didn’t seem very concerned, but because she was he removed and biopsied it.  It was stage 1 melanoma.  It was finally removed, but then discovered they needed to remove more than they thought and she went back and was left with an indention in the back of her arm.  It was gone, she was glad and life went on. 

In May, she noticed a lymph node under her arm that was tender and swollen.  She feared the worst and her fear was correct.  The melanoma was back.  Of course insurance didn’t want to help her right away with a PET scan.  So finally she was able to get a CT scan which confirmed the cancer and then they got to pay for a PET scan too.  Dumb insurance.  She had the lymph node under her arm, a few other smaller ones and a few spots in her lungs.  She was told if she didn’t get accepted into the trial in Maryland, then her chances of survival were slim to none.

Thank goodness she was accepted.  They tried to remove the lymph node tumor and harvest cells that would later help fight her cancer, but they were unable to remove all of it.  While waiting to get the PET scan and get into the trial, it grew.  They got what the could and left the parts connected to nerves, muscle, blood vessels, etc. 

She went home and about a week later growths appeared under her arm. 


You can see the incision area where they tried to remove the lymph node/tumor. 

Of course she is very concerned.  She returns back to Maryland and they do more tests and she qualifies for another trial.  She starts to take Zelboraf.  It can help shrink the tumors.  We are thinking great.  She needs some relief and they need to shrink. 

A few days later her underarm looks like this.


Then the next day this happens.


Another view.


She is worried and goes to the ER.  They tell her it is the medicine working.  We hope that is the case because a week after taking the meds her underarm looks like this now. 


Side view.


Yes it hurts.  She is on morphine.  The above pic looks like she has grown another breast.  She can’t put her arm down.

She goes next week to start her chemo which only kills good cells, not cancer cells, but it will make room for the TIL  treatment.  She will be gone for the month of August. 

Please pray for my friend Rosa that she has healing and comfort.  And please avoid tanning and make your children aware of the dangers of tanning.  And if you have a suspicious mole get it checked NOW. 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Texture Tuesday-Outdoors

I haven’t had much to post about and haven’t participated in many photo linky parties lately so I thought I would share my peach pics with you. 


There is the cutest little peach tree down the street from me.  I decided to run down and take pics of it Monday night.


I love the shape of it and the size.  All the pretty peaches are a bonus. 


I used Kim’s texture chase on my first and the next pic. 


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It’s a great texture. 


Linking to

Texture Tuesday @ Kim Klassen Cafe

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I just felt like sharing a few things.  First I wanted to thank those of you that reached out and wanted to help my friend with her cancer battle.  I thought you might like to know they benefit raised $5000.  Her family is so cute and country.  I got a pic of them at the benefit and wanted to share. 

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See her dad’s Santa beard?  It’s about to be gone.  He has cancer too and is starting chemo on Monday.  My friend is the one on the top row with the white shirt and blonde hair.   Her parents were like my parents and her brothers and sister we like mine.  It felt good to spend some time with them. 

I read somewhere that the best camera is the one that is with you.  My camera is so big and bulky that I often leave it behind.  I usually use my 24-70mm lens so I decided to find a bag that I can carry as a purse and store my camera.  I guess I like rugged manly looking bags and I hate paying a ton of money for a purse so I found this on ebay.


A cool thing about this bag is the insert is removable, so it might work in another bag as well.



I think I will take the middle pads out and lay my camera with attached lens longwise in the purse.  There are plenty of outside pockets for my phone, keys, etc.  My wallet can probably can behind the removable insert.  I will know more when it comes in.  It’s called a BBK-3.  It is the midsize.  It’s coming from China so I may not have made a good purchase, but I am crossing my fingers that this will work. 

Speaking of needing your camera.  I asked my husband if he would take me for an overnight trip to Santa Fe, NM so I could walk around and take photos of all the unique and historic churches and buildings there.  He agreed.  It’s our first trip alone in over 12 years.  We are going in September.


I guess that is all for now. 


Friday, July 13, 2012

How I Photographed The Water in The River While in Colorado

I had a request to share how I captured the water shots during my photography lesson in Colorado recently. 



Other than a DSLR camera, the most important piece of equipment is a tripod.  I found out mine pretty much sucked.  One day I will get a tripod with a ball head on it.  The photographer and I both used zoom lenses.  Prime lenses are not good for landscape, they are for portraits.

It was about 6:45 am in Colorado and freezing cold.  It’s a good thing I had a tripod because I was shivering, but the real reason you need a tripod is you must have a really slow shutter speed to capture these images.  The next photos will be straight out of the camera (SOCC) which means no editing. 

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The above pic is same shot.  Notice how different the water looks? 


This one was shot at:





We reduced the ISO from 100 to 50 and the shutter speed from 1/15 to 1/2

I also used a 2 second delay to prevent camera shake while pushing the shutter release button. 

The next photo is the one you saw above.  This one is SOOC.



It was shot at:


The lens I used was a zoom 24-70mm.  My teacher had a 24-105mm.  And we used an aperture of 22 for all of the images.  He told me the sweet spot was f11 for my lens, but we needed to use f22 for these shots.  I wish I could remember why, but I think my brain was shaking while I was shivering and it made me forget. 

I am still grasping all this info.  It takes a long time for apertures, shutter speeds, ISO, etc to all sink in.  The more you practice and read the more you will understand.  Take time to know your camera.  You spent a lot of money on it so use it to it’s full potential.

If you would like to see some of the images by my photography teacher, Allan Ivy, then go here.  They are amazing. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Necklace For My Friend’s Silent Auction and Our Friendship

When I was 7 years old we had a Great Dane named Charles.  He helped me meet my best childhood friend, Rosa.  She was too little for the 10 speed bicycle she was riding one handed while carrying a box of dog food she borrowed from her aunt in the other hand, this caused a big problem when Charles decided to come steal her dog food while she was riding the bike.  He knocked her down and the dog food went everywhere.  While he gobbled it up she came crying to our door.  When I came to the door she recognized me from school and we became fast inseparable friends.  Her family became my family and vice versa. 


(image via pinterest)

Of course we grew up and grew apart but we have always remained friends. 


(image via pinterest)

I stop by her parent’s house just about every Christmas Eve.  When my mom took her life 12 years ago she was there taking care of my one year old because I couldn’t while we said goodbye to my mom.  Now it’s time for me to be there for her.  Two years ago she was diagnose with Melanoma.  They thought they got it all.  It’s back and it’s stage 4.  She was accepted into a clinical trial in Maryland and is waiting to go there for treatment.  She may be to travel back and forth several times from Texas to Maryland.  She has already been there twice.  She has to pay for her travel expenses and they add up. 

Her second trip to Maryland was to remove a tumor in her lymph node under her arm and to retrieve cells that will later be used for her treatment in the trial.  They couldn’t completely remove it because it has grown and in is wrapped around muscle, nerves, etc.  Now new growths are showing up on the outside of her arm, not to mention other lymph nodes and her lungs. 

The benefit is a dance, BBQ and silent auction. It will help raise money for her travel expenses and medical costs.  BBQ is big in Texas as well as turquoise, gaudy and leopard print.  The dance will be country and western so I tried to design a necklace that might appeal to those that will be attending. 


I took the photo with my phone.  It’s been so long since I made anything I thought I better share this.  Smile

And I wanted to ask you for prayers for my friend.  Her motto to fight this is “Prayers in numbers are answered prayers”. 

I know you can’t attend the benefit, but I am asking you to say prayers for my friend.  I am hoping to get a sign made with her motto on it before Friday.  If I do I will share it. 

Thank you


Monday, July 9, 2012

Bunny in the Flower Garden Makes Me Smile

I looked out the window and spotted this cute guy in my backyard flowerbed. 


I grabbed my camera and captured a few pics of him.  I even caught him nibbling on my flowers.


My son got some carrots to see if he would eat them instead and he ran right past them and hid.


I thought it was cute watching my teenager son look for him.


I can’t help but think of this famous line, “Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting wabbits.”


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Simple Summer Fruit Salad and a Secret Ingredient

When I was 14 which was a looong time ago, my friend’s mom made this fruit salad and I have loved it ever since. 


I use:

Container of fresh strawberries (slice them in quarters)

Container of fresh blueberries

Bunch of red grapes

Large can of pineapple tidbits in it’s own juice. 

You can use other fruits, but these are the ones that I like.

The secret ingredient is 1/2 a package of Crystal Light Lemonade mix.


You can use more if you want your fruit salad to be really tangy.  I put all the fruit in a bowl.  Sprinkle on the Crystal Light and then pour the entire can of pineapple juice on top of the fruit and add only 1/2 of the can of pineapple.  I gently mix it all together.  It can be eaten right away, but seems best when it gets to sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. 

I hope you enjoy it. 


Friday, July 6, 2012

Colorado Summer 2012

We have been in the beautiful area of Gunnison, Almont and Crested Butte for over a week.  We go home tomorrow.  We were suppose to go home today, but I wasn’t ready to return to reality so we stayed an extra day.  It’s hard to leave this view.


The dogs went on vacation with us again.  It just doesn’t feel right if they aren’t around. Izzy loves to hike and walk across the rocks on the river.


We played in the river in Gunnison.  They have made a fun area where people and dogs can swim, sunbathe and kayak.  The dogs don’t kayak though.  At least I didn’t see any.  They love to play though.


David body surfed down the river.


And my husband fished.  This is a smaller fish that he caught, but I happened to have my camera when he got this Brown trout.


People also run, walk and bike in the area.


The river at our ranch has a ton of huge trout.  It is hard to pull my husband away.


He didn’t want to go to the Gunnison observatory because he didn’t want to miss an evening of fishing so David and I went and learned about the gas planets and saw Saturn in the big telescope.



I did my photography lesson on an early and cold morning.  I am using my camera entirely different that before and trying to practice my new way of shooting.  I did get a few great shots while on my lesson.



I always wanted to learn how to make water look like this.  Smile

We visited Lake Irvin area and Crested Butte.

Here are a couple of pretty views around the camp area of Lake Irvin.



There are 2 buildings I love in the town of Crested Butte.

One is called Izzy’s.  Can you find Izzy at Izzy’s?


And I love the license plate house and coffee shop next door.



The town has beautiful flowers everywhere, but it is so crowded.


We have had some fun family time.  My husband tried to teach my son to shuffle cards.


We viewed the Black Canyon.





I love seeing the wildlife and the domestic animals.


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My favorite domestic animal is Izzy.  She has loved spending time with me.  This is how she acts when she sees me. 

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My son learned to fish in ponds and the river.  This is a pretty little pond in Gunnison.


He thought he would try net fishing at one point. 


My husband is hardly seen without his pole.


We are all tired by the end of the day. 


Back to reality tomorrow.



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