27 October 2009

Just call me "Muto"

Posting has been pretty light lately. Sorry about that (again.) It's been another round of medical madness these last few weeks. So, what's the story? I had my last scans prior to leaving for Africa and basically nothing had changed. Same results... a couple of things were smaller, a couple slightly larger, most were unchanged. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed. I really felt like the IL-2 had been working and then just slowed to a crawl. I had been under the impression that with IL-2 it was an all or nothing deal, and when I saw a few tumors go away, I'd always figured the rest would follow... right?

Three days into our vacation I found a new lump in my breast. A week after that, I found a new one on my left hip. A week after that, something tiny in my right breast. The writing was on the wall. We came back from the trip and I had scans a few days later. Luckily everything new seems to be in soft tissue (aka not in my organs,) but because anything new is developing it's time for a new plan.

There is a new drug that is currently in Phase 1 of clinical trials called Plexxikon. About half of all melanoma patients have a certain mutation in their cancer cells. This drug is supposed to stop your body from producing that cell. So far they've seen a response in about 70% of patients. That is a huge number! So... we had my tissue tested, and I'm a match for the mutation. I'll be heading back into the hospital Wednesday for more scans, blood work .... running the whole obstacle course, but in the end I'll be starting a trial where ... wait for it .... I TAKE A PILL! That's right, no shots in different states, no inpatient week long visits .... pills twice a day which I can take at home. Can you image being able to manage cancer with a pill? As long as I don't show disease progression, they'll keep me on it. It's not a cure, but it has the potential to keep things in check until a cure is found. I just have to make it to that finish line.

Along with the new drug plan, I've also taken on a new diet. No, it's not for weight loss. While in Africa I met with a traditional healer and she really emphasized nutrition in terms of getting myself cancer-free again. It's something that I can do for myself and feel like I have a bit of control over this situation. So, Dade and I have gone granola. I've given up as many processed foods as I can. I've not had a coke in weeks (the horror.) I'm juicing. Carrots have become my new cookie, and beets are my new potato chips. We're buying from local farms. I thought it would be harder than it is. To be honest, other than having a coke a day I've never been a huge junk food eater, but I've never gone organic either. It's a little bit of a mission thinking about everything I eat rather than just eating without thinking, but I'm starting to get it... Hopefully, combined with my normal work out routine this new diet supports my immune system to be able to fight harder, and encourages cancer cells to die.

So... that's my body in a nut shell. I have photos from 4 weddings I'm in love with sitting on my desktop ready to post, as well as fun new items, info on our upcoming sale and on and on... I'm on a mission. I'm going to get these posts up! Thanks for hanging in there with me.

14 October 2009

Jessica + Felix | Bayville, New York

As I've mentioned before, one of the greatest parts of my job is getting photos back from our clients. We LOVE to see where these items end up! I was delighted to return to the office last week and find an email waiting for me from one of our favorite brides from last Summer, Jessica. She and her fiance Felix were married last July at The Crescent Beach Club in Bayville, New York.

A note about Jessica's dress. Her mother has worked with the lovely Nicole Miller for over 15 years, so naturally she knew which designer she was heading to when she got engaged. The gown was custom made for her by Nicole (who was also a wedding guest) and will be a part of her 2010 Bridal Collection. How cool is that? All photos below courtesy of Duet Photography.

12 October 2009

Photo Editing for Fun

One of the first things I do after a trip is start the tedious task of going through photos. We take more frames on vacation than more weddings. I think this time around we blew through 15,000. It's easy to do in certain situations! Anyhow, so that they don't just sit in my computer I start flipping through them right away, narrowing them down to the best and then making folders on my desktop for the best shots in each location. The goal is to put together a coffee table book (I use blurb.com) that we can pick up anytime.

I know that many of you want to be able to edit your photos from your weddings to do the same exact thing with. I started thinking about the most cost-effective way for people to do this last night and realized you can really get very professional results for free these days.

Step #1: Download a 30 day free trial of Photoshop on the adobe website, and install it

Step #2: Download groups of "actions" (the wondrous filtering and lighting techniques that make all those photos you swoon over look so amazing) via Pioneer Woman Photography

Step #3 : install the actions and have a ball...

Here are a few results I got this morning. Sorry, I didn't have any wedding related images on hand so you'll have to bear with me ...

You can see many of the orginals below. I like both, but for variety when you're putting a book together I love these actions!

11 October 2009

My Favorite New Show

Up until yesterday I was pretty sure that travel writer would be my dream job. Now, I'm not so sure. Man Shops Globe on The Sundance Channel follows Keith Johnson, a buyer for Anthropologie, as he travels the world looking for unique pieces. If you're as big a fan of the store as I am, tune in!!

08 October 2009


4 glorious weeks!!! I can't believe we're back home. I think we covered just about everything we did over on our travel blog, but I've included a few snapshots from our journey below. For anyone trying to figure out a memorable honeymoon destination, South Africa has definitely cruised to the top of my list. If you want any info, contact me anytime for recommendations.

For now, the office is open for business as usual though my brain is still on African time. I was up at 4am and will be shocked if I'm awake past 8 tonight. A new collection of invitations will be unveiled next month with proceeds going towards a couple of NGO's we were lucky enough to find along the way. We'll also be starting a new collaboration with the women of the Masai tribe in Kenya and Tanzania, and will be selling jewelry pieces that they hand craft for weddings. That should be up and running around the holidays.

New wedding related posts coming up tomorrow...