Sunday, 29 December 2013

1 in 3 and the other parts of life

you might be wondering where I've gone...
Well I've been through the works - I feel a little bit cut up, but on the plus side... I've had a month of fun in athens.
the long and the short of it is that some time at the end of october my doc (a very lovely dutch lady, who unfortunately has closed her clinic and returned to holland) told me that i have a tumor on my breast that needed operating with some urgency. she also said i had them in some of my lymph nodes.
i was kind of prepared for such a verdict but it was still a shock. especially for my nearest and dearest.
anyway, my friend maria within days found me a oncological surgeon at a clinic in athens who was also a woman and part of a really exceptional team and i went under the knife. ok surgery doesn't bother me, but anesthesia does my head in completely (though this is a dichotomy as surgery without the anesthesia would also do my head in) and this was no exception - if the younger surgeon who was there when i woke up and was trying to persuade me to breathe had told me that she had just pulled me out of the deep freeze where i had been for the last 50 years i would have believed her. but things like that are soon forgotten and i was out the hospital after 2 days despite some difficulties they had with stitching me up - as i didn't have any fat and no elasticity in the skin because of it, so they had to do some creative tribal style slicing around the wound for the skin to give - yep pretty gruesome but it all adds up to a killer scar. i stayed for a week with my mother at a hotel near the clinic, then they left and i went back to maria's - where she and her friend stella looked after me like i was a princess - taking me out and showing me a side of athens i have sorely missed. i got to play a tourist in a city i love to bits - i even went to the parthenon after 35 years.
the cancer was stage 2 breast and 4 of the 8 lymphs they removed - the tests showed that it wasn't anywhere else and also that its a slow creeping variety - lucky me - known as HER2 negative. they said i needed to do chemo, radiation and hormone therapy but I've opted to go my own way on that one as i personally do not believe in these treatments, and have witnessed the distruction first hand.  i do believe in a viable lifestyle change and a bunch of natural treatments - and at the end of the day what we believe in is more likely to work.
in the meantime i got back into a bit of film photography - which i had sorely missed for about a year having not had time with one thing and infinitystop jewelry making and even got myself a new toy.

and now to the pics as i prefer them to writing anyway :)

self portrait - embassy hotel - nov 14
hasselblad 500c kodak portra 400 

self portrait as suggested by john - taken by stella - psirri athens
hasselblad 500c ilford fp4

thiseion train station 
rolleiflex 2.8 planar ilford 3200

iPhone moments 

The new toy

Treasures I found

Stella and Maria 

Well there are many photos, though I'm rusty with the film shots, and not so happy with the results - aperture from what I've posted here and a couple more - and obviously there are too many iPhone pics to choose from, but i might post some more in the coming days or I might not, I might just re-engage with making things before I get too bored.

I do want to wish everyone a fun and eventful 2014 


  1. may your recovery be peaceful. happy new year!

  2. Wishing you full and speedy recovery, Alek. Sending much love.

  3. Alek, I wish you radiant good health in the new year! The photos are beautiful and evocative, as always. I've also been through the cancer initiation and chose the path of viewing it as a profound teacher rather than an adversary. Believe in the path you choose and you will be fine.

  4. you will do great, Alek! -hug-

  5. Alek, I was just thinking about you as I riffled through some of the ephemera you had sent me, I was thinking I needed to reach out to some of my old pals as I have been doing less blogging it seems. So surprised I am to read this account and I am wishing and sending you the any light and love that I can offer on your journey to health and recovery. All my best. Kim

  6. Alek, I send you wishes for expedient healing and great comfort. You are a lovely presence here and we treasure you.

  7. We live in a world of wonders, do we not?
    Wishing you and yours a fun and LESS eventful 2014--
    xo j

  8. Alek I wish you a sweet and wonderful 2014, with no more surgery and pain. HUGS

  9. Heartfelt blessings to you. Stay strong, positive and continue to let your art and the love of those close to you help in your healing journey.

  10. I'm sorry to hear what an ordeal you have endured. A strong woman is you. Sending much healing energy from my little quiet space here in New Zealand to you Alek. Your Rollei has come at a good time. I see mine as my family. I got it 12 years ago now, I always said if I could walk down the aisle with anyone / thing - that would be my choice. ;) Beautiful work, I love your creations and imagery. In NZ the Maori have a saying 'Kia kaha' - which means 'stay strong' - I'll leave you with that. xox

  11. I'm thinking of you! May in 2014 all your wishes come true! (which are mine as well too!!!)
    Keep strong,powerful,creative and as we say in our language "ΟΛΑ ΚΑΛΑ"
    Love, Athina

  12. "Perastika" Alek.. You are a strong, beautiful,creative woman.... Keep going...
    best heart wishes

  13. Your self-portrait reminds me of a Hockney painting--very beautiful as are all your photos.
    What rotten luck, Alek, but lucky it's the slow-variety, and I hope it's been nicked. A big hug to you.
    Athens--what a vivid place--first time I saw almonds growing on a tree--really something you never forget. A great city.

    1. By the way, Alek, congratulations on getting on Explore in Flickr--beautiful stirring image.

  14. your writing is so straightforward and devoid of any apparent emotional upset- you are freaking tough, lady. go you. and your photos are gorgeous. how are your chemo-alternatives working i wonder?