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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Venus, but not cancer?

I'm saving two more chapters from our trip for future days so that I can tell you about some things at home first. K had her first acupuncture treatment yesterday to try to help her leg pain. It's hard to say if it helped or not because we've changed so many things simultaneously in a vigorous effort to prevent her pain from escalating. She's taking new pain meds, she's less active, and now she's getting acupuncture.

Regardless of which thing is making the difference, her limp is becoming less pronounced. That makes me feel very good because it means that the pain is receding. Even though her lung mets are beginning to slow her down and limit our hikes, I feel happy that her leg isn't hurting much, except when she first gets up from a long nap. A sparkle is back in her eyes.
In the photo above, she was bathed in sunset light just after a thunder storm. The sun barely peeked through the gap between the clouds and the mountains at sunset, shining directly on my sweet girl with yellow flowers blooming behind her. Despite the ravages of cancer, K is still beautiful to me.

The ensuing sunset was magnificent as the sun's rays beamed upward from behind the Continental Divide.
We sat and gazed at it, listening to the birds singing at the same time. My favorite singer, the Hermit Thrush, has recently arrived so his flute-like song wafted down from the treetops. Then, we noticed a graceful and long-winged bird, perhaps a Swift, playing in the sunset light.
K has lived, so far, for 5 months with osteosarcoma. Every day has been worth living, precious and love-filled. Even if we haven't been able to slow her cancer down very much, we certainly have extended this high quality phase of her life. That's been worth every penny. This sunset felt symbolic of our journey.

I do find myself wondering why humans precisely understand the movements of faraway planets while we haven't figured out how to defeat many cancers that kill humans and other animals. Very odd. I'm guessing that biological systems are constantly changing and adapting, making understanding them much harder than predicting a planet's movements.

We watched Venus transit the sun the other afternoon, using precise predictions of exactly when Venus would pass in front of the Sun. Here is a series of photos that I took over several hours of intermittently cloudy weather. The clouds barely parted enough to let me see the sun as Venus first appeared in front of it, at the very top of the orb. It looks like a mouse took a nibble out of the sun.
Then, the black dot moved inward and to the north in the spooky cloud cover.
Much later, the Labraduo and I headed out to find a view of the sun because it was no longer visible from our house. Now, Venus was well within the Sun's orb, in the midst of clouds and some tree branches.
A little bit later, the color of the sun became more orange as it began to set. The other dark spots aside from the big one (Venus) are sun spots.
Then, the sun set below the clouds. This was my last photo before Venus was covered by clouds. None of us will be alive the next time that Venus appears in front of the sun.
The Labraduo was there with me the whole time while I photographed the Venus Transit. I think that they were confused about why I wasn't pointing my camera at them! So, I took one photo of them so they didn't feel left out.
Tomorrow, more about our Utah trip because there were a few more exciting events plus a stay in a Mars-like canyon that holds great sentimental meaning for K and me. It was the first place that we ever mountain biked together years ago...


  1. Amazing photos. I'm glad K is in less pain. Thank you for your kind words about Charlotte

  2. To start, I continue to be inspired by the courage you (and K) show. While we both don't know what will happen tomorrow, today is the day to be grateful for and not waste a moment of.

    Second, I am totally jealous of your pictures of Venus! WOW!! I was all set to take some of my own, but we had clouds--So, since I didn't get any of my own, I am enjoying yours!

  3. THanks for sharing the pictures! We had a big storm yesteday, so I didn't get to see any of it.

  4. Beautiful photos of the sun. Really spectacular!

    When Bart has had acupuncture for his pinched nerve it has taken a couple of treatments for the change to be noticeable, but then it seems to keep working.

  5. We had way too many clouds around to even try and snag a glimpse -

    Thanks for sharing your magical views!

    I have my opinion of why the evil c is able to beat 'us' - sadly, it is rooted in the evil of profit - I mean, just look at the evil c drug shortage now - the affordable drugs aren't available - the ones with low or no profit

    Okay, down from my soapbox -

    Hugz to ALL!

  6. Your photos of the sun and Venus are awesome.

    We are happy to hear that K is managing a bit better with the new regimen of meds and treatment. You are just so good to her, but we understand why. And yes, she IS still beautiful.

  7. We missed the Venus show due to cloudy conditions. Boo hoo!

    Glad that K's pain management is working and she still has that sparkle.

    Mango Momma

  8. Amazing group of photographs. I checked the progression on my computer. There was a real-time app for iTouch but I thought that was a bit much.

    These days will live in your hearts forever. Positive proof that you made the right decision in providing the medical intervention but allowing K to live her life and chart her course.

  9. The photos of Venus are stunning, down here there was so much cloud, I'm sure so many will be very envious of those pics. Not for another 100 plus years!!! Hope the pain is less, and each day is enjoyed to its utmost. Cheers from Jean

  10. I'm so jealous! We had a cloudy day here and couldn't see the sun. Your pictures of Venus are fantastic!

    I'm glad that whatever the reason, K is feeling better. She certainly looks very happy in your pictures! I hope that you have a lot of happy days left in front of you, and even if you don't, that the days left are sweet and wonderful!

  11. What awesome pictures....
    Benny & Lily

  12. Ann.. from...THE OUTER BANKS OF NC..said...Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is absolutely beautiful... such stunning pictures of the Sun and Venus..although this won't happen again until(December 11,2117) but however.. the transit of Mercury will take place (May 9,2016)..In the picture I can see a sparkle in K's eye..grace upon grace.. I'm glad she feels better.. she is beautiful to me too and so is R..there are so many gifts in life to cherish..enjoy your day will be thinking of you all

  13. Those are some awesome pictures of the sun. But not as awesome as the Duo.

  14. We have never seen anything so spectacular as your venus/sun photos!
    Thank you so much for sharing that with us.
    K is looking happy, and we are happy along with you that she is feeling better.
    K will always be beautiful to us also- forever and ever,

  15. What exciting sun/venus pictures you got. We were all cloudy too, like so many others, and glad we had you and the duo to take these great pics for us.

    It seems like K is winding down and we are happy for whatever can help her manage pain and keep going. She is a joy of a dog!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  16. Isn't it always that we humans are great at understanding things remote and at a distance but falter at the microcosmic universe within ourselves and those we love?

  17. Thanks for sharing your amazing photos. I'm glad K has that sparkle back in her eyes. She is beautiful.

  18. I am glad that K is having less pain and I hope it continues. Those pictures are incredible, they are better then the ones I saw on TV. Wow, is all I can think to say.

    Anne and Sasha

  19. A limp that's becoming less pronounced and a transit of Venus . A great day !

  20. The shots of the sun are amazing..but the Duo are the best!

    Heaps of positive thoughts that K is helped by the latest treatments to her pain relief.

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  21. What spectacular shots of the sun and Venus! and of course of K and R too!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  22. Came over from Mangos to read about K. Do hope her pain is controlled and you all get some enjoyment out of a truly difficult time.

    Beautiful blog and superb photos.

  23. It's good to hear that something is helping K's pain to diminish, no matter what it is, or a combination of all of them.

    The Venus photos are spectacular. We missed that show and guess we won't get a repeat!


  24. Hi Y'all,

    Playing catch up with your adventures. I didn't even check to see if the Venus passing was visible in the east because it was pouring rain all day and most of the night. Special thanks for taking the pictures and sharing them!

    BrownDog's Human

  25. Your photos of the Venus transit are spectacular! Thank you for sharing. But still the most spectacular photos are of your beautiful K and R.

    We hope the new treatment does continue to help and keeps that special sparkle in her eyes!

    Joan and the Barkalots

  26. Thanks for sharing those stunning photos! And we're glad that you're sharing the gallant K with us, and even more importantly, that the sparke is back in her eyes.

  27. Your photos of the sun and Venus are the best I've seen online. Heres to grabbing life's wonders!

  28. Don't know HOW you got those incredible pictures but they are STUNNING! You are an amazing photographer - of flora, fauna and heavenly bodies apparently, as well! Of course the photos of the duo are especially beautiful; love that photo of K in sunset with yellow flowers. So glad to read that some combo of treatments is making K in less pain; good news. You make some very awesome observations about what scientists know about things so far-distant, but fail in some areas as close as their noses, sigh.
    Big Hugs to you all xoxoxo
    Sammie, Avalon and Mom

  29. I'm so glad K has her sparkle back. Venus...... just another moment in time you got to share with K. :)

  30. Great pictures of Venus. I couldnt get it on a photo. Here they have to have special gear to look at the sun, with normal gear it was out of the question. Our time difference was good for you to take pictures.
    Hugs from us in Sweden.

  31. Those are THE BEST photos of Venus transitting the sun I have ever seen! Spectacular!

    I am happy to hear that K is enjoying a reprieve from her leg pain. It just occurred to me that when the time comes, K's passing will be as if she is becoming one with the sunset.

    In the meantime, we shall treasure every moment with her, as you do!

  32. K is winning the fight cancer, because she is truly living. Her spirit and the joy she has experienced over the last five months is a tribute to the love you share

    urban hounds

  33. I love seeing the sparkle in K's beautiful eyes. She is amazing (and so are you)! I'm glad you are finding ways to keep her comfortable and pain free. As always, your photos are breathtaking! It would be hard to pick a favorite--the swift flying against the spectacular mountain sunset backdrop, the Venus transit, and the pictures of the duo are all awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  34. What amazing photos of Venus and the sun! The best we've seen!

    K is still stunningly beautiful to us, and will always be.

  35. Loved looking at he 1st landscape photo with the sunset wedging between the the mountains and clouds...fierce! Just plain love it. The Venus transition was great to watch...too cloudy here. Thanks for sharing again!

  36. Rock On K (but please be careful doing it.) We were relieved to hear you scared away those coyotes. Whew... That was scary.

    Your adventures are amazing and we really enjoy going on them with you.

    Lily Belle


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