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The story of my wife and her cancer

So, my wife, Tina, and I have something we've only very recently shared with the world. I’m sort of a public person since I’m an artist with all that social media fun/nonsense, but I don’t put 100% of everything out there. I’m fairly measured and keep a healthy amount of private family time offline.

The short version of the story (you can read the full version over on the blog) is that Tina was recently diagnosed with an unusual form of cancer — the same kind Steve Jobs had. Bad news, to say the least. It struck us especially hard because of our three young kids. It was probably harder on me than I wanted to admit, but our focus was of course on figuring out how to get Tina better. The exact diagnosis was Neuroendocrine Cancer and they found malignant tumors on her pancreas and liver. Super bad news.

Join the Healing NET Foundation Charity Event

To help out, you can join my special charity event! You grab this app called Chatter for iOS (Android version coming in next couple of weeks!). Find me in the app and donate as little as a dollar or even more. Your call! How does it work? First, download the app, open it up, and look for me... I’m the only one that’s not a hot Instagram girl or Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s like a raffle and the winner gets a 30-minute Facetime call with me and we can talk about whatever you wish! 🙂

The charity I’m supporting was created by her cancer doctor, Dr. Eric Liu. It’s called The Healing NET Foundation.

Back to the Story...

Almost immediately, she was scheduled for major surgery in Dunedin, New Zealand, which is about a four-hour drive from our home in Queenstown. We made A LOT of drives back and forth for consultations, prep, and all that sort of thing. Any of you that have had major surgery knows all the logistics and worry that goes into it.

She needed to have a big portion of her pancreas and liver removed. Her spleen had to be removed as well. It was one of those all-day events and everyone was very nervous. But her surgeon, Dr. Audeau, did a masterful job. I remember in all the surgery prep I would mostly just watch his hands to see how smooth and elegant the movements were. They were steadier than mine, so that gave me a little confidence boost.

Fast-forward several months. Tina is back at home recovering and getting better. She couldn’t drive or do anything really for three months. For her, it took a bit longer. We had her parents come in to help while
I went into super-dad mode.

Fast-forward a few more months. Tina is up and moving around and doing quite well! She’s doing a bit of exercise, she’s dropped a ton of KGs (apparently the cancer was making her body do all kinds of bad stuff… she was suffering from all kinds of strange side-effects, from weight gain to double vision to other unspeakable things). So she’s getting better now — great! We got a few CT scans and she looks to be in the clear.

To end, I thought I would share this

I wanted to create something to help me (and others) understand more about life and death and what it all mean. This took about three months to put together, and it was during that three months before the surgery when everything was quite unsure and on edge. Maybe it has some insights about our paths as we all snuggle between birth and death.

I made this video below as a gift for Tina and for you. I love her very much and I love you very much too.

StuckInCustoms.com is a personal blog where Trey puts up a new unique photo every day and writes about the art, the technology, and the story of the adventures. Actually, this is Trey writing about this in third person. Both Trey and I appreciate your support very much!

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I keep a completely FREE HDR Tutorial for Macs and a separate FREE HDR Tutorial for Windows on my website. It is a living document that continues to evolve over the years. It goes over everything you need to get started and is a great introduction to the basics of HDR photography and post processing.

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Some photos from over on the Blog :)

The sunsets in Thailand were amazing the whole week I was there. I don't know if they are always that good, but maybe! I don't think I've been in a place where I had good sunsets for an entire week. Maybe in the Caribbean? Anyway, this place was really special because of all the squid boats. I'll show you some cool shots of those as soon as I get around to processing them!
Burano and Murano - These are two different places! I didn’t know this before I went. Murano is the place to go for all the glass blowing and that sort of thing. Burano is quite a bit further away, but as you can see, it’s more than worth it!

I took SO many photos here. I was already completely overloaded while in Venice, but then I got here and started lighting it up even more. It was about 10x as colorful as Venice, which was already pretty insane!
This beautiful little country home sits in the meadows and gardens of Versailles. I've taken a few photos around this estate, and I really like this arch with the ivy. It made me want to have an arch with ivy at my own house!
One too-early morning brought me to this very important place for the Chinese called The Temple of Heaven. It's the most important Taoist structure in all of China and millions flock to it every year, especially during the National Holiday. It was built in the early 1400's during the reign of the Yongle Emperor.
What a dream come true it was to get to visit Marrakech! Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to go to Morocco to see what it was like. Actually, I was kind of confused by all the Indiana Jones movies and I thought that all the Africa scenes were here in Morocco, but that wasn't entirely the case! Anyway, I was not disappointed. On this particular night, I found a good high spot over the market area and felt lucky to have an amazing sunset falling over the old city…
There's not many places where you can get a colorful sky in the middle of the night. China seems to be one of the best places to have these strange digital phenomenon. This place is called "The Place." It ranks right up there with some of the other awful names of Chinese locations. They should hire a poet or two so these places can sound more exotic. I'd be happier if it was called "Tomorrow Sky" or "The Sea of Matrix."
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