The shot above is the pedestrian bridge at the James River in Bedford County of Virginia (U.S.). The bridge leads to the side of the park where the Battery Creek Lock (built in the mid 1880's) has been restored.
The shot above was taken facing the bridge once I was standing near the Lock. I couldn't decide if the bridge framed the mountains, in terms of the photograph, or was an obstruction. I suppose a little of both.The little bridge above which was on the Cascade Falls trail is more my style. I can appreciate all kinds of bridges but there is something more romantic to me about small ones.
I didn't get any particularly good pictures of the Battery Creek Lock but I found it pretty interesting. I've always had a weakness for old structures that are restored for historical purposes.
I also have a weakness for ruins so I'm never quite sure which way to go. By that, I like the idea of setting aside places that won't get torn apart and replaced by something modern. Depending on what it is, leaving it in ruins is almost as appealing to me as restoring it.
The bridge above is just a bridge I snapped a picture of in Bedford County on the way to the James River Park. Nothing particularly unique about it but it caught my eye. When I started this post my intention was to include some of the photographs which I haven't posted yet from my recent weekend in the mountains, and to write about some of the lingering worries I have about cancer (specifically melanoma). Here I am seven pictures later and I still haven't mentioned melanoma. That's good if it wasn't still simmering beneath the surface of my thoughts. It's better for me to focus on bridges and locks and such. So far as I know, I don't have any active cancer. Considering the fact that I just got finished with my follow up intensive months and have had 5 doctors in various specialties look and listen and poke and prod, I'm sure if anything big was going on that one or the other of them would have tripped over it.
I guess that new normal, I've been looking for, still eludes me and it makes it hard not to have that nagging little voice whispering into my ear. The part I find annoying is that I can't listen to my body. The changes continue. Not all of the changes are worse but they are different. I'm sure most cancer survivors have to deal with that to varying degrees even when the cancer doesn't recur. Side effects from surgery that can mimic more troublesome symptoms. Autoimmune response which can actually aid in the fight against the cancer but muddies the waters in terms of listening to your body.
One thing that helps is enough time has elapsed for me to see patterns. I went through something similar last fall after my string of follow up appointments. That was almost worse because I had scans last fall with some small issues which they didn't think related to cancer but they showed up. I was vastly relieved in March of this year when I had the first unequivocal scans with those all important words: no evidence of metastatic or recurrent disease. The pattern I'm seeing though is after all these appointments, I am not feeling great and that worry meter is bouncing. Part of it may be nerves but I think there is another factor. I don't do great in the summer as the heat aggravates a variety of issues so I don't walk as much. Then the weather cools down and I get more active again and it's an adjustment. It's good for lymphedema to walk but I have a lot of issues that come into play. By increasing my activity level a lot, I set off some of my other issues.
It really boils down to the fact that I can't keep listening to my body. I don't mean that I'd ignore something big and dangerous. I just have to keep bending and swaying and if I do that I may be slightly bent but I'll be less likely to break. Reminds me of a line from an old song, Well I ain't broke but I'm badly bent. I think the song was about finances not health but it works a lot of ways. In the scheme of things I'm not even badly bent.I can fake it well enough with help from prescription medications. That's a whole other issue. I hate the fact that I've needed pain management now for two years but it could be a whole lot worse. I am a little low because I thought if I could get past the string of appointments I have in September and the beginning of October, I would be free of it. Sort of silly. It starts again in December with my 3 month cycle of follow up appointments and before that I have a routine colonoscopy. I fee like a jerk for complaining. I think of people without health insurance or the quality of care I have. On a lighter subject, I couldn't believe all the trick or treaters last night.
I knew we had more children in my neighborhood this year. I bought 4 big bags of candy and still had to turn off my porch lights at 8:00 pm because I was almost out of candy. The children had great costumes too. The didn't look like the store bought ones but many looked like they were made by parents who get into it. I always did that for my daughter when she was young (made her costume). One of my neighbors had a bonfire and invited anyone over who wanted to pass out candy from their yard and hang out. I felt anti social for not joining them but the fire made me nervous. I'm no fun. Although rain and cooler weather stopped all the warnings about outside fire we were getting, it still made me nervous. Besides, I'm lazy. I preferred kicking back at home and letting the children come to me.