Many moons ago, I worked at an alternative school. It was formative, fun, challenging and I met my husband there. I also met some of the most amazing people ever there. Kindhearted, sweet and funny souls. Tracy was one of them. She has always had a giant, sparkly smile and is quick with a laugh, a real laugh, the kind where the person throws back their head and makes you join in with them. I’ve always been crazy about Tracy, as has my husband. A genuinely good person. I feel lucky that we reconnected on Facebook a few years later, because she’s not the kind of person you want to lose. We chat sometimes and I always feel happy when we do.
In the fall, I was leaving a freelance photo job and got an email from her. I got into my car and started reading. She’s given me her permission to share it with you here.
I miss your face, but LOVE seeing your brain via your FB posts
Here’s the story – My husband John was diagnosed last November with an Acoustic Neuroma. For your inquiring mind:
“An acoustic neuroma is a slow-growing tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. This nerve is called the vestibular cochlear nerve. It is behind the ear right under the brain. An acoustic neuroma is not cancerous (benign), which means it does not spread to other parts of the body.” As that handy little description stated, it is benign and slow growing, but a MRI from last week revealed that it is in fact growing. This can cause a bunch of issues – hearing loss, metal taste in mouth, a constant buzzing in the ear, and if left untreated, partial facial paralysis. There are a few options to treat it which include surgery or radiation. The surgery carries the risk of cutting the facial nerve, causing partial facial paralysis, almost always includes losing hearing in that ear, and it can take a year to regain full balance. The radiation is much less invasive, but has not been around long enough to determine what the long term effects are, and it is possible that the tumor will only re-grow, making the surgery then more difficult b.c of the scar tissue.”
So…we are in a bit of a pickle. Being the active, handy, and hard-worker that John is, all of the side effects are scary, but the one that he is most scared of is the facial paralysis. I overheard him telling his brother that it scares him that I might have to look at him half-paralyzed for the rest of my life. That hurt my heart b/c I understand how he feels, as I would feel the same way if the roles were reversed. And of course, with all of this happening to him, he is thinking of how it will affect me. It’s just who he is and why I love him so much. So, all of this lead me to think that we should get some amazing photos done now that highlight his contagious laughter and incredible smile (I just started crying) before he has to make a decision that may potentially take them away from him. When I think of “amazing photos”, I think of you. I just love your work, and I love what you bring out in all of those beautiful people that you shoot.
We have a ton of great photogs up here, but I want you.
Well, I cried. I cried the kind of sobs that sort of take over your whole body because Tracy is made of pure gold. And then I emailed her and said call me and we did this. Wanna see the pics?
This family is just as pure gold as Tracy herself. John is amazingly sweet, crazy about Tracy and crazy about his boys. Gavin is so darling and so sweet and Baby Grant is precious. There were tons of smiles and laughs – this family is great at laughing. I should have known. Look at their mama. <3 I believe John has had treatment and is a complete champion.
I found this quote and I think it feels really fitting. “Family is a haven in a heartless world” – Christopher Leach
I am lucky and honored to be the family photographer you wanted.
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