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For those of you that have been following my blog, and for those of you that recently stumbled upon it and noticed that there have been no new posts for a few months…well, I’m back. During the months of May and into June, I took time to go and be with my parents. My mother had several small strokes earlier this year and was having a delicate procedure performed to keep her from having a fatal stroke. And, I returned home to California just in time for my own surgery. I have been having serious problems with my neck for the past year and it required removal of the disc between C6 and C7 and fusing them together. To fuse the two vertebrae together, decalcified bone from a cadaver is put in place of the disc and a titanium plate is attached to the vertebrae to stabilize them while the graft knits. Removing the calcium from the donor bone makes the bone paste-like and relatively easy for the doctor to work with.

My recovery is going quite nicely and I meet with the doctor later today to see what the latest x-rays say and what the next step is in the recovery process. I’ve been out of the cervical collar for the past week and just a couple of days ago did the first serious shooting with my camera in several months…and it felt great. I photographed five dogs for The Dog Shack, a rescue group that I volunteer my time and skills as a photographer for.

Now that I’m back and as long as there is no setback in my recovery, you will again be seeing routine posts that will cover everything from pictures of cute puppies (CCI breeder dog, Celine, just had a new litter last week), to equipment reviews, tips, techniques and much more. For now, I will leave you with a shot of Rascal, a fabulous dog available for adoption from The Dog Shack.

Update August 14th: I met with the doc yesterday and my recovery is so far ahead of schedule that the surgeon has cleared me to go back to doing most everything including photography. I will see her once again in three months to take a final set of x-rays so she can write a letter to the FAA stating that I’m fully healed and cleared to return to flying…I can’t wait!

Alright Mr DeMille…I’m Ready for My Close-Up! – Camera: Canon EOS 40D – Lens: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro @31mm – Exposure: 1/125 sec @ f/3.5 ISO 100 – Lighting: Camera mounted Canon 430EX set to -1 for fill