Nature's Soul Captured on Print

Photography And The Bigger ‘Picture’ of Life

I am not really much of a writer, as I usually let my photography speak for me. But as the year has progressed along, there are some things that cannot be expressed merely through photos and images, so on this New Year’s Eve I will share these with you. First of all, for those of you who have been following my photography site throughout 2011, this is also a chance to meet you and introduce myself. I want to thank you all for taking this journey of photography with me, as it is not something to keep to oneself, but instead it is meant to be shared!

2011 has been a year like no other, both behind the camera, and also away from it. My Dad, who was a huge fan of my photography, battled bladder cancer since 2010 and continued this year. He passed away on September 2. Before I could catch my breath and grieve that loss, I was faced with another setback and shock. I found out the night before, on Sep 1, that I also have cancer. My first thought was, “Is this really happening?” I was adopted by him at a very young age, and there is no trace of cancer in either bloodline. But I had to accept the diagnosis that the doctors told me which is a stage IV Medullary Thyroid Cancer.. a very rare and tricky cancer. This all was the result of a small bump on my neck that I asked my doctor about, and never felt sick.. not even for one day. This kind of news shifts your priorities and thoughts in a hurry.

I had an 11 hour surgery in September and the entire thyroid and 50 lymph nodes in the neck have been removed. I am very thankful to have expert doctors at the University of  Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center who have treated many from all over the globe with this disease. In March or April of 2012 I am set to have another complete neck surgery to remove more affected lymph nodes, as multiple surgeries is the only true “cure” for this cancer. So I have re-developed my “warrior” attitude that I had during my days in the USMC. I will need it to fight this.

I write this today to encourage you all to enjoy each day under the sun and to enjoy life. Do not sweat the small stuff (and there is LOTS of small stuff)!  Take things one day at a time. Trust God, love your family and spend LOTS of time with them, tell your loved ones OFTEN that you love them, and treat others with respect and love. When unexpected things happen…BREATHE !! Remember to make memories and TAKE YOUR CAMERA everywhere you go.. some of the best images I have taken are from where opportunity and preparedness have met. So don’t leave it at home.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me, and I plan on sharing many more images with you throughout 2012 and beyond. Happy New Year, and God Bless..

“Be still, and know that I am God..”  –Psalm 46:10



5 responses

  1. Mickie Jones

    Rob this is amazing and beautifully expressed for someone who professes to not be a writer. God is very much so working through you, your words, and your photography. You are a true encouragement. Praying for you daily. Trusting God one day at a time!

    December 31, 2011 at 5:07 PM

  2. This brought me to tears! I agree with the above comment Well Said Rob! I will take your advice and try not to sweat the small stuff. God Bless You, God is surely using you and your Talents for such a time as this! Looking forward to more “InSpiring” images from you in the years to come my friend!!! In His Love, Michelle & Family for Northern Cal 🙂

    December 31, 2011 at 6:49 PM

  3. Beth Brownell

    Rob, you touched my life when you, your brother Jon and Carol, my sister-in-law had dinner with my dad, daughter Jessie and me after your dad’s funeral. You are an amazing man. Your photography is breath taking, but when you told me your beautiful life story, about your love for the Lord and how you trust him and how he has blessed your life, I was so sorry to hear of your cancer. But I know your faith and love of the Lord will get you and your family through your trials right now. I pray the Lord will bless you again and seventy times seven.
    Love, Beth, Jessie and my dad Robert

    December 31, 2011 at 9:31 PM

  4. My sincere wishes for your health and happiness, Rob! This is very touching to read. I have been following you on facebook and I think your photos are stunning. Many, many blessings to you.

    January 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM

  5. You have touched my life with the beauty that you have captured in your photographs and my heart with your story of the cancer that we have in common. My blessings are being to you and also a prayer to have comfort and strength during your journey with medullary thyroid cancer. Your words on FB and the other shared support groups is always a comfort to those of us who are members. Take care dear sir. Always remember your camera!!!

    January 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

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