Friday, February 18, 2011


Being a photographer, I find inspiration in many things. Looking up at the sky can be very inspirational to me, not always and not in a soul searching way. But when I see a beautiful blue sky with interesting cloud formations, I feel inspired. Inspired to try and capture what I see and inspired to appreciate this wonderful planet we live on. When I am in a lush green field in the very early morning and I spot a deer with her young doe beside her grazing, that also inspires me. It inspires me to capture that beauty and hope that it might influence people to venture out into nature, see what I see with a camera and not a rifle: to enjoy nature and the beauty that surrounds us.

Another thing that can inspire me is the written word. That is one of the things I am looking for when I read a blog, to inspire me, make me learn something new about myself or life.
When I first came upon a blog with the name "Aaron Outward",,  I had no idea what it was about.  I started reading and the second paragraph stated:

"This past year has been quite the adventure with many ups and downs. On February 8th, 2010, I was officially diagnosed with B-Cell Philadelphia Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The hghlights of my past year include:

- successfully completing Induction therapy and achieving remission
- completing a Central Nervous System Intensification Cycle
- completing 10 Intensification/Consolidation cyles 
- completing 2 rounds of Maintenance Chemotherapy
- asking Amy to marry me and her actually saying yes J You can find the story here – She Said Yes
- successfully completing an Unrelated Allogenic Bone Marrow Transplant"

I realized that it was going to take me on a journey and the pilot had a story that would touch not only me, but all of us because cancer has touched us in some way. I find Aaron to be very honest about what he went through and what he continues to go through.  Aaron tells the reader that the focus of his blog is changing as he progresses.

"Going through Cancer teaches us so many things, and most of us don’t get the opportunity to learn these lessons until we are personally faced with a life altering event. But why should that be the case?  Why should only cancer survivors be privy to these lessons?"  

Those words made me smile. It is a very strong couple of sentences. Many would think " I don't want to learn those lesson". So why should you learn those lessons and why should you read his blog?  Well, I think its just because we do not want to learn those lessons that we need to. Unless you are very, very lucky, you or someone you love will learn these lessons. I have not been that lucky. I have loss loved ones to this disease that not only robs you of your life but also your dignity. We need to hear these lessons to understand what our love ones are going through!
If we cannot lessen the pain maybe we can lessen the loss of dignity and the worry that our love ones go through or will go through.  Aaron writes, "I have shifted the main focus of the blog to speak about the wonderful things cancer teaches us about personal growth and self development."

This is a young man who has his head on straight, who understands where his life is at and chooses to find positive lessons in it all and share them with us. I am going to continue reading, learning and being inspired by this young man, his wife and their child.  Please join me as we follow Aaron on his journey.   


Sherry said...

Amen, Jim!! I love Aaron's blog too! He's an amazing man who has much to teach the world!!

sulekkha said...

Jim, I want to thank you for sharing this gem with us. I have been lucky in a way that I underwent biopsy for a growth in my thyroid gland but by the grace of god, it turned out to be benign. So I know, to some extent what goes through a person's mind during such times, I had written goodbye letters to my kids, the day prior to the test. God bless us all.

Anonymous said...

Mari Sterling Wilbur Photography
Your work is amazing! I can learn a lot from following your blog.

JIM said...

Thank you all.
Sherry I agree completely.
Sulekkha as I said WE ALL have been touched. I am so happy yours turned out good. I too have been lucky 3 heart attacks 16 years ago and still going strong ( actually better now)
Mari.. that is the fun part of photography we all can learn from each other. I thank you for the very kind words they are an appreciated.

Sneha said...

great post Jim, Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Great post, Jim. Thanks for telling us about Aaron's blog. I'll check it out. But your post also let us know that you have a generous spirit and an open mind, and that you see beauty all around you!

JP Brandano Photography said...

Thank you so Much Jean. it is a beautiful country, actually world and people should appreciate it and really see it.
Thanks again

Dallying Debz said...

Love that photo.

I'm off to look at Aaron's blog now - sounds inspirational

Mari S. Wilbur said...

Aaron's a wonderful guy! He's motivational, upbeat and has a great blog. I'm learning so much from him.

JP Brandano Photography said...

could not agree more Mari

Anonymous said...

Neneng Tarigan said...
You have lot of breathtaking photographies Jim, such a talented photographer you are! Big heart too, we all care with leukimia, our prayers for Aaron's for his brave sharing his personal experience with all of us.
February 20, 2011 3:34 AM