The last year has been a bit challenging. As many of you know, I've been undergoing chemotherapy treatment nearly every 2 weeks since late 2018. Particularly troublesome is one of the side effects of a drug called Erbitux. For me, it caused a rash that covers my head, neck, and chest in acne-like spots – not fun. I was being ravaged from the outside in. The drug's side effects also impacted other areas of my life that you might not expect.
One beloved activity of mine was affected by the rash far more than others, photography. I love to take pictures. Capturing pictures of myself, my family, and all the cool things I come across is my way of freezing memories in time for us to enjoy when we revisit them. Having the rash is something I don't want a memory of, though, so I made a special effort to go back and edit my pictures to eliminate it. My wife calls it "beautifying" the pictures. Whatever you call it, let's say I was getting pretty good at it. However, I won't be needing this skill any longer.
You see, the effectiveness of a cancer drug decreases as the cancer figures out a way to get around whatever that drug is meant to do to it. This is what has happened with Erbitux; my cancer has figured out a way around it. Now I am navigating new drugs and new side effects with the hope they will tame the abnormal activity inside me. Now I am being ravaged from the inside out.
I'm on a new journey that will challenge me in new ways, but I'm ready and able. I will do what I can to make sure I'm around to enjoy those pictures I've taken and reminisce in the memories they bring back. And for now, I will enjoy not having to beautify my pictures. From now on, I'll be unfiltered.