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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday update & plug for a fantastic photographer

So this is day 3 of chemo and this morning was the worst day in terms of symptoms--I literally woke up nauseous--as in, if I didn't do something about it ASAP, I'd be hugging the porceleain goddess--probably dry heaving since I ate very little yesterday: small bowl of multigrain cereal with some blueberries and milk, half a luna bar (the nut-cranberry type), 3 peanut M&M's that tasted stale, a tiny bowl of homemade mulberry ice cream that now tastes like cardboard (3 days ago it was yummy), half a bowl of bean soup, 2 small pieces of bread, 4 olives, and a small portion of cucumber salad tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon. I have to tell you, this is pathetic in terms of what I'm normally able to pack away (and those of you who have been with me in my grazing sessions KNOW THIS).

Anyway, I've taken all the anti-nausea pills at my disposal, am wearing sea bands on my wrist to help with nausea, and my Mom made me a yummy cup of ginger tea (which steeped in boiling water for 10 minutes) and flavored with honey (which I will apparently no longer be able to tolerate when my white blood cell counts go down since honey has a natural occurring amount of botulism that healthy people can deal with and not-so-healthy people can't).

Other symptoms: my bones hurt. Literally. It's because I got a shot of this drug, neulasta--administered to me 24 hours after my chemo. The shot costs a whopping $3000! But if you get it administered through the Lineberger Center, it's free. So off I went at 2pm yesterday (Matthew waited in the car downstairs parked around the corner since it was supposed to be an in-and-out operation but truthfully I didn't walk out of there until 3pm--thank you hospital administration!

Anyway, 50% of people who get this shot experience severe pressure and pain in their long limbs (legs and arms) because the neulasta stimulates white cell production in the bone marrow--and so literally I could feel something happening yesterday night--I could FEEL my bone marrow--it was trippy! While the pain wasn't severe (I took 2 alleve when I started to feel the first twinge--tip from the nurse who gave me the shot), it was definitely uncomfortable--and still is a bit. Oh Joy. Now we can add bone pain/pressure to the list of symptoms we know I'll have the day after chemo.

But lets turn to more pleasant pastures, shall we? Specifically, 2 weeks ago we became Mr. and Dr. Jennifer Ho! I joke with Matthew about this because I am clearly NOT taking his name--even if I did it personally, I wouldn't nor shouldn't change anything professionally -- can you imagine the confusion? All of a sudden Dr. Jennifer Grady is publishing on Asian American culture and literature on racial ambiguity??? Too confusing. And besides which, I just don't feel like a Jennifer Grady--no offense to the lovely Grady clan. I am and shall ever be Jennifer Ho--and the tradition, in the conservative traditional sense, has always been that you do the highest title of the married couple--which in our case happens to be my faux-Dr. status (I say faux only because I mislead so many people the very few times I use the prefix "Dr" on a form--after all, what can I possibly repair except for a comma splice? Even though I did work hard for that PhD damn it!)

Anyway, we're married and it has been great and they always say that one of the ways to capture the fun and festivities of the weekend is through photos--a way to relive memories. And Matthew and I will be able to relive many MANY fond memories thanks to the fabulous, fantastic photographer we found through our friend Lynn York.

So let me introduce you to JEN YUSON.

Jen is in the far left taking photos--can't see her very well, but she's got this old school camera, a rolleiflex that she uses to shoot with REAL FILM!

I can't say enough great things about Jen and her husband, Shawn Baugess, who was also snapping photos (some great candids) and who also does graphic design at UNC Greensboro. Jen and Shawn were great because they blended in and fit in so well with both the low key vibe at the ceremony @the NC Art Museum Park and the more festive upbeat vibe of the Saturday party at Johnny's. Especially at Johnny's, half the time I had no idea where they were or what they were doing, yet the photos they produced showed how hard at work they were--because they put up 640 photos between the 2 days of wedding festivities (and if you really have a ton of time on your hands and REALLY want to see all 640 wedding photos, email me off-line and I'll send you the link and password that you'll need to access that archive).

Anyway, besides being a fantastic wedding photographer, Jen is an artist. I mean seriously, you should check out her website (click here).

And this article written about her in the Greensboro newspaper (click here).

I'm not getting a thing from Jen in return for plugging her. I just like her a lot, as a photographer/artist and as someone I can see myself hanging out with and eating noodles and lumpia with (when my appetite returns). And she said the nicest things about me and Matthew on her blog, and that's the last word I'm going to leave you with about Jen Yuson, except to say that if you are considering a professional head shot for your book or professional web site, if you think you may be getting married in the NC area, or want to document a big life event, Jen is your woman--she's reasonable, she's flexible, and she takes amazingly beautiful photos that capture a moment in time. Plus she described me on her blog as a the kind of person who kicks butt and takes names! But see for yourself (click here for the blog entry about Matthew & Jennifer).

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