Exploratorius Redux

Atelier Aquarell & Fotografie

Tag Archives: Leica

Embrace The Suck — Radiation Therapy Begins

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Orchids
Parrish, Florida — December 2012
Sony NEX-5R + Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH

My journey with prostate cancer continues, for today marks the beginning of daily radiation therapy to kill the remnants of the tumor that were missed during the surgery I had back in late March (earlier posts on the subject can be found here and here).

Each weekday afternoon for the next 7-weeks I’ll show up at the treatment facility, get oriented horizontally with my legs braced in a special foam cast, the radiation technicians will fine-tune the targeting using my three new “dot” tattoos (outside left upper thigh, outside right upper thigh, and lower abdomen), then I’ll wait as the huge linear accelerator weaves its business end all around my pelvic region for 10-15 minutes, then I’ll be finished for the day and return to work.

At least, that’s the plan.

I’ve been told that I should not expect any side effects for the first two weeks or so, but then they will begin to build after the initial grace period.  What will the side effects be?  I’m told that they can vary widely according to the individual.

I’m fond of a quote from Mel Brooks classic dark comedy, Young Frankenstein, where Marty Feldman’s character Igor says, “Could be worse.  Could be raining!”  Only in this case I seem to be catching the rain a lot more than not.

Due to the prep requirements for each daily session, I predict I’ll drop a lot of weight by the time I’m finished, as having to cleanse every morning with Milk of Magnesia will do that.

Let’s hope that this puts an end to the tumor; if it doesn’t, then chemotherapy is the next step.

And I really don’t want to do that.

Endangered Vista Near Chaco Canyon

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Buttes near Chaco Canyon
Whitehorse, New Mexico — November 2009
Leica D-LUX 4 + 24-60mm

If you have any interest at all in the incomparable vistas of the American West, there are some real beauties near Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.

Fracking locations near Chaco Canyon
April 2018
Image credit: Sierra Club

Sweeping… vast… open… empty…

For all who crave the big skies and vast emptiness that the West can offer — this region offers flat-out stupendous panoramas that appear to be utterly devoid of human activity.

But I don’t know how long they will remain that way, as the current administration seems hell-bent on destroying the Federal protections to the region and handing everything over to oil and gas firms.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the following map of all the fracking operations that have already begun to encroach most of the northern and eastern sides of Chaco Canyon.

When we last visited Chaco Canyon nearly a decade ago, there were a few solitary oil rigs visibly dotting the landscape every now and then while we drove for hours through the area… but nothing like the density of the fracking operations that exist now.

Some articles to read for further details can be found here and here.

Because… Science!

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Submillimeter Array (SMA) radio telescopes
Summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii — April 2009
Leica D-LUX 4 + 24-60mm

Yes, this is the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Yes, this is considered to be in the tropics.  Yes, that white stuff is SNOW!  And YES, this is posted to show support for the March for Science in Washington, DC — today!!!

Were I not still recovering from my recent prostate cancer surgery (science), I would be an active participant in the march down on the National Mall later this morning.

I benefit from science each and every day — food that I do not raise or grow myself, electricity to illuminate the darkest parts of where I need to see, potable water to drink from the tap, fire from the gas cooking range, a warm home that is safe from the elements, the automated cleaning and drying of clothing and dishes, canned goods, computers, the Internet, refrigeration, air conditioning, automobiles, cameras, life-giving surgeries (multiple times), vaccines (YES!), the list is endless.

The attacks on science and technology must end, as without science and technology our lives would surely be snuffed out.

Embrace The Suck — The Big C

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Orchids
Parrish, Florida — December 2012
Sony NEX-5R + Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH

Whenever I’m stressed, I look for bright and intense colors to help me deal with whatever is bothering me.  And that’s my theme for this morning.  By the time you read this, I will be in surgery today for prostate cancer. Continue Reading →