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Showing posts from August, 2013

Amanda's in the hospital again, and on TV!

Amanda woke up around 5am Thursday with chills and a fever. We were warned at the start of chemotherapy that fever + chemo = infection = UH OH. They gave her a laminated yellow card to take to the emergency room which basically tells the doctors "DO THIS RIGHT NOW."

She thought it was a bladder/kidney infection -- so did the doctors at the walk-in clinic the night before -- but tests at the ER seemed to dispute that. There was no disputing the fever and general feeling-like-crap symptoms.

After six hours in the QEII emergency room and the administration of the ass-kickingest antibiotics on the shelf (Cipro and a combo I can't remember the name of), she was admitted to the gyno-cancer floor at the VG site. That's where she spent the initial recovery time after her debulking surgery. They also sent her for CAT scan.

Meantime, Friday, reporter Julia Wong from Global Maritimes came by to shoot a story they'd been in communication with us about for a day or so. Here&#…

The rose that wouldn't die

This rose just won't give up.


Amanda Simpson's friend Donna gave us a potted rose plant during the winter. She brought it to the IWK Hospital on the day our son Gordon was born.

We've been going through some very difficult times since, and despite the water we gave and the winter sunshine, the rose plant appeared to die.

It was put outside to be out of the way and the intention was to eventually dispose of it when the weather improved.

It's been left without water, without food, without care and without attention.

Yet it has survived and endured, and this week, bloomed.

It's a reminder in our home that life has a way of struggling through, even when all odds are against it. And it can turn out beautiful.

IP chemo hits a bump in the road, lump in the belly

I'm sitting beside Amanda at the Victoria General Hospital. We're on the 11th floor. It's the chemo floor. She's reclining in a padded green armchair that looks like it's designed for people to sit in all day as they're hooked up to intravenous pumps. That's exactly what people in this big room do.

I count eleven of these chairs, plus one bed. There's a separate room at the end of this ward, behind a sliding glass door and a curtain. That room has a bed. She jokingly calls it the "VIP" room. It's for people who get intraperitoneal chemotherapy (IP). That's where we're supposed to be today.

IP chemotherapy delivers the cancer-killing chemicals right into the abdominal cavity via an implanted port and catheter. It bathes any remaining tumours or floating cancer cells in deadly fluids, rather than waiting for intravenous chemo to reach the bad guys through the bloodstream. Once she's filled up like an old waterbed, she's turne…

Shooting KISS in concert in Halifax NS

Another concert shoot! Just weeks after photographing Rush at the Halifax Metro Centre, I got to shoot KISS at the same venue. Two songs, no flash. (Psycho Circus and Shout It Out Loud.)

I shot more than 500 images and managed to turn that overwhelming pile into more than 20 processed pictures before bedtime last night, when I put them together for an article on News957.com.

Check it out here: KISS rocks Halifax Metro Centre


Because of the conditions of the photo release, I can't publish the images here or on Flickr or Google+. Head over to the radio station site to have a look.

Rock on!

I'm still brand new at this, so the experience was so intense that I didn't really "hear" the music and probably shot way too many frames. The results were impressive, though.

And for the photo-curious, and as a lesson to myself when I get another chance to do some concert photography in the future, here are the settings I used for these pictures: Canon T4i with 18-135mm STM lens,…