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Melenoma. It’s been three years . . . Annual test results are in . . .

It seems like yesterday and at the same time it seems like forever, since I was first diagnosed with melanoma.

Most days I don’t think about it all that much. My leg, while it will never be what it was, gets me where I want to go and even lets me garden on my knees these days. When my camera is in my hands I don’t even think about my leg, even if I’m photographing a wedding for hours on end. It still acts up after I’ve been really busy, but I’ve been blessed by the fact that I can set my own schedule. I know that after a busy day on my feet I will spend the next day doing much quieter things. I’ll hang out in my chair with my leg up and read books or watch video lessons on various aspects of photography. (On extra special days, I’ll do ‘research’ for my fantasy digital pieces by watching The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. Ahem . . .)

But these last few summers, as I get close to the time to have my annual x-ray, ultrasound and blood tests, I find myself feeling . . . a little uncomfortable. Kind of like there’s a low level buzzing going on. I don’t actually realize what’s happening, I just feel like everything is just a bit too busy, too noisy, too out of control. I become overwhelmed much more quickly and peace gets harder to find.

Then it’s time to take the tests and I wrap myself in God’s promises as I visit the labs.

My melanoma doctor is wonderful. You know how normally when your doctor orders tests they don’t call you unless there’s something wrong? ‘No news is good news’? My doctor’s belief is ‘No news is no news.’ His office always phones with test results! Mine is good news once again. No sign of cancer recurring anywhere.

And then I realize where that discomfort and overwhelm came from. And that, for another six months I can let it go. (My check ups are every six months. Full on tests are once a year.)

This year, as I’ve been taking my Photoshop Artistry course I found my self creating things that showed how I felt, even though I didn’t really acknowledge where those feelings were coming from.

It’s oddly comforting. I made this piece after the news really sunk in . . .

Life is vibrant and filled with hope.

I had made it originally to match several others I had been working on and it love the ‘quieter’ version as well but, something about the beautiful vibrancy, light and texture in the first one really appeals to me today.

Version one

These pieces were made while I struggled with those uncomfortable feelings of everything being just a little bit too much:

I find it interesting to see the differences in what I made.

It’s becoming clearer everyday that this is going to be an ongoing journey. I will never get rid of those ‘uncomfortable, everything’s too . . .’ times in my life becuase we are still living ‘in the world’ with all the hardship and sorrow that sometimes brings.

And that’s okay. Because no matter how I feel, or what’s going on around me, I know where my help comes from. That peace, and the joy that comes with it, are enough.

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; 8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

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