My Foundation – 10/25/23

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

My Foundation – There is one piece of my battle plan that underpins all the others. I would not have the strength of spirit, the willingness of body or the courage of heart to face this challenge head-on without my partner, my wife and my love, Bonnie. She has been an angel at my side, and I cannot begin to tell you all that she means to me.

It is clear to me that love is essential to the healing process. The burdens brought on by this challenge are eased with an embrace. Whatever fear or sorrow or hurt may be looking to perch on our shoulders is vanquished when enveloped by love.
I realize it has been a difficult journey for her as well. I am amazed at all that she does to help me keep my focus on healing. I do not stand in her shoes, nor she in mine but the love we share unites us in this fight.

It is indeed a blessing to have someone so close. To feel God’s love through her presence provides me with the strength to understand that I am not alone, I am never alone. And I am ever thankful for that love.

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I’m taking a photo a day to help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer. Like so many, I have known family and friends who’ve battled the disease, including some who continue to fight. This year, I find myself personally impacted, and it occurs to me that this platform offers a way to channel my passion for photography to help relay a personal journey that may resonate with others. Please consider making a donation because every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

A Day Well-Lived – 10/24/23

Photo by Steve Caputo, Light of Day Galleries
Photo by Steve Caputo, Light of Day Galleries

Photographs by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

A Day Well-Lived – A late-in-the-day post, but for good reason. Today was a day well-lived. Our initial goal was to get a jump on the sun. It has been too long since I’ve encountered this one of life’s daily miracles up close, and it never fails to disappoint. Most often I’m flying solo when it comes to shooting a sunrise, so it is something very special when I’m able to witness it next to the one person who has been my very foundation. Bonnie and I spent the day touring around the north shore of eastern Long Island on what has been a long overdue beautiful, crisp fall day. Sunrise, early morning clouds, a hidden autumnal gem and sunset over the Sound. Not to mention a wonderful lunch with a friend and spiritual counselor.

This is the off-week for treatment, and we’ve opted to make the most of these days. For me that includes packing my camera and keeping my eyes on the world we are speeding through. There is so much to see, to experience, to share. Today was a day to look outward, to revel in all of the beauty that surrounds us, to soak in all of the life energy that pulses through nature and through us, nurturing us with hope and strength. Cancer lost today.

Do the things you can do to bring light into your world.

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I’m taking a photo a day to help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer. Like so many, I have known family and friends who’ve battled the disease, including some who continue to fight. This year, I find myself personally impacted, and it occurs to me that this platform offers a way to channel my passion for photography to help relay a personal journey that may resonate with others. Please consider making a donation because every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

Infinite Potential: Donna, Rosemarie, and Drake Media Studios

From far left: Rosemarie Kleupfel, ___, ___, Donna Drake, Chris LaVecchia

Photo at Drake Media Studios by Katheryn Laible

Infinite Potential: Donna, Rosemarie, and Drake Media Studios

I was delighted to recently get to tour the AMAZING Drake Media Studios and learn that Rosemarie Kleupfel is now working with Donna Drake!!! 

Rosemarie Kleupfel

If you’ve followed here for long, or been in any number of go-getting LI circles, you’ve probably met Rosemarie. I think I encountered her first when the Fairway Foundation hosted the Long Island simulcast viewing of a profound full-day international leadership summit featuring the likes of Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

It might have been Rosemarie who first introduced me to SCWBEC, the Suffolk County Women’s Business Enterprise Coalition. I know I found her offerings there of professional development and communications presentations exceptionally useful.

It was Rosemarie who shared with me this incredible adventure bringing builders, interior design experts and others together to make a veteran a home. This was just one of many endeavors to serve veterans that Rosemarie championed with the Fairway Foundation.

A mother of two women, Rosemarie has a particular passion for serving female veterans. Really, she loves helping anyone who wants to be all that they can be.

She sings in the Chuck Evans Band, has been known to write, and is excited to now join forces with Donna.

This is a good match!!!

Donna Drake

Donna is incredibly down to Earth, with an open heart and thoughtful mind to inspire all who will to reach for the stars. Hailing from St. Louis and now a Long Island girl, Donna has grown to become an international award-winning creative artist. She is a writer, producer, actor and influencer. Her beloved, uplifting local production, an enthusiastic invitation to “Live it Up!” is now simply called “The Donna Drake Show.” It has come to reach across the US and 25 countries.

Donna is all about hope, motivation and resilience. Through over 600 episodes, her show has featured over 7500 moving conversations. She has hosted celebrity entertainers, sports legends, top journalists, business moguls, authors, motivational speakers, medical professionals, health and wellness experts, beauty and fashion icons, chefs, and diverse non-profit organizations.

The best part might be the everyday heroes who share stories of triumph, inspiration and perseverance.

Your Opportunity: Drake Media Stories

In the past few years, Donna has also come to own one of the most welcoming video and film production facilities in the USA. Drake Media Studios encompass 8,200 square feet of stages, editing suites, and support spaces. They are equipped with full gear, ranging from an Arri Alexa to a light bulb.

Here’s an online tour. It was so much fun to visit this amazing place. It is a treasure; charming, exhilarating and heartwarming. Valuable memorabilia hang with precious children’s artwork. The furnishings and décor are a uniquely comfortable feast for the imagination. Add in the warm, creative hospitality of Donna (which always seems to include introducing folks to other great people) and you have a good time going!

They offer full service creative production. Whether you are eager to reach the world or host an intimate event, have your own crew or need full support, these folks want you to know they are psyched and prepared. You can rent a customized studio (like totally customizable), or do simple vod (video on demand) or podcast. They can handle production, distribution, syndication, marketing…

If you just want to have an unforgettable gathering, they can help you set the stage.

The possibilities are endless. I can’t wait to see what they do, what you do!

I’m going to follow them. 

The Other Side of the Bridge – 10/23/23

Photo by Steve Caputo, Light of Day Galleries

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

The Other Side of the Bridge – I’m happy to report that the post-treatment funk seems to be lifting. More energy, more appetite, more lightness in my head. It doesn’t hurt that it is a beautiful fall day, and the tunes are good 😉. I intend to use the opportunity to build strength and keep busy, essential components of my well-being.

I’m not sure how to present this thought in a way that doesn’t come off sounding anything but sappy, so apologies in advance. For years, when I was asked how I was doing, my answer would be “Best day of my life.” Corny by some standards, and for others maybe bordering on obnoxious. More than once, the person asking what they thought was a rather innocuous question was stopped by a response that was something other than a perfunctory, “fine”.  This was my way of reminding myself to make the most of that one day, and it still is. We really only have today. It’s here and it is now. You’re using a part of it to read this post, which may or may not be best use, but I am not the one to say. The rest of today is ahead of you, make the most of it, make a difference in someone else’s day if you can, even in the smallest of ways. I believe that’s why we are here.

Love and support to all those in the battle.

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I’m taking a photo a day to help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer. Like so many, I have known family and friends who’ve battled the disease, including some who continue to fight. This year, I find myself personally impacted, and it occurs to me that this platform offers a way to channel my passion for photography to help relay a personal journey that may resonate with others. Please consider making a donation because every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

Listen, hear! – 10/22/23

Photo by Steve Caputo, Light of Day Galleries

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

Listen, hear! – I continue to be overwhelmed and grateful for the response I’ve received from these posts, which are a part of The American Cancer Society’s October Photo-a-Day Challenge on Facebook. The mission of ACS is to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research, and patient support, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. Thank you to everyone who has donated, and all who have supported the cause in general or patients specifically. Sadly, it is not inaccurate to state that most all of us have been effected by this disease in one way or another.

One great blessing from these posts has been learning that others suffering from one form of cancer or another have found comfort or strength from this narrative, which was my goal from the outset. This has all been an unexpected chapter of my story, and as much as it is solely mine, on any day it could be anyone’s. It really is no matter the cards we are dealt, it is what we do with them that makes a difference.

When I really consider how many people have lived and died with this disease, I am heartbroken to think that perhaps I could have been more sensitive or empathetic to the condition, and to those people, even family and friends. But, I think that until you meet the diagnosis head on, it is sort of like a foreign language. You hear it, you may understand a term or two, but most of it is lost in translation.

Everyone is going through something, and for many, it is this. That is reason enough for us not to judge another. When you can, listen… Listen with an ear towards hearing what the other person is saying, what they may be feeling. We don’t have to experience it in order to show empathy or at the least, be an open ear. And for many, that alone is a building block of hope and strength.

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I’m taking a photo a day to help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer. Like so many, I have known family and friends who’ve battled the disease, including some who continue to fight. This year, I find myself personally impacted, and it occurs to me that this platform offers a way to channel my passion for photography to help relay a personal journey that may resonate with others. Please consider making a donation because every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

The Unknown – 10/21/23

Photo by Steve Caputo, Light of Day Galleries

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

The Unknown – We have all, at one point in our lives, stood at the precipice of the unknown and anticipated the worst. As much as I have learned about my diagnosis and treatment, there remain so many unknowns. I tend to ask a lot of questions in order to better understand my situation, but I know that there are harder questions, to which there may be no clear answers at this moment.

• Am I getting healthier?
• Is the treatment working?
• What will my next scan reveal?

Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing, and there is a choice to be made. To worry about these unanswerable questions and imagine unwanted scenarios or to, as the kids will sing, “Let It Go”.

Time is too precious, there is too much of life to live to burn energy on things that cannot be controlled. The peace I pray for will bring with it answers when answers are to be had. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

To all who are facing the unknown, may your inner strength help you move forward.

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I’m taking a photo a day to help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer. Like so many, I have known family and friends who’ve battled the disease, including some who continue to fight. This year, I find myself personally impacted, and it occurs to me that this platform offers a way to channel my passion for photography to help relay a personal journey that may resonate with others. Please consider making a donation because every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

The Cadence – 10/20/23

Photo of a paddleboarder from behind in a field of rippled blue by Steve Caputo, Light of Day Galleries

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

The Cadence – It’s only taken me 5 sessions (my halfway point) to realize that there is a cadence to the side effects and feelings that emerge in the days after treatment. (I should write these down). Sensitivity to cold, neuropathy, dry mouth, loss of taste, unique dizziness when standing up, growing fatigue, general malaise. I’m grateful not to be experiencing nausea so far, and they’ve said that hair loss is not a side effect of these particular drugs. (Though nature may have commandeered the controls regarding that one…) I am told that the effects of my treatment peak between days 5 and 9, so perhaps more to come. It seems that toward the tail end of my time away from treatment, I feel better, more energy, a bit more taste, a little less sensitivity to cold. Again, they tell me that the effects are cumulative in nature, and so each week, they may extend deeper into the week.

By today’s standard, yesterday was a particularly fatiguing day. Energy seemed to drain out of my body, and I slept for hours. Today seems better in that regard, and I am once more ready rejoin the battle.

As odd as it may sound, I am grateful for the challenges I face. God has given me the grace and strength to face my obstacles, and I am learning to accept these gifts with the renewed faith that all I need will be provided. A day like yesterday shines a beautiful light on today. If not for our darker days, the light of this day would not burn so bright. We should not lose sight of the precious commodity that is this moment. It’s raining today, but even that is a welcoming and rejuvenating sign that there is life and joy and love in this day.

For those facing challenges today, we are all praying for you.

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I’m taking a photo a day to help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer. Like so many, I have known family and friends who’ve battled the disease, including some who continue to fight. This year, I find myself personally impacted, and it occurs to me that this platform offers a way to channel my passion for photography to help relay a personal journey that may resonate with others. Please consider making a donation because every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

Dog Tired – 10/19/23

Photo of resting dog by Steve Caputo, Light of Day Galleries

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

Dog Tired. Tomorrow we fight anew.

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I’m taking a photo a day to help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer. Like so many, I have known family and friends who’ve battled the disease, including some who continue to fight. This year, I find myself personally impacted, and it occurs to me that this platform offers a way to channel my passion for photography to help relay a personal journey that may resonate with others. Please consider making a donation because every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

Life Up Close – 10/18/23

Photo by Steve Caputo, Light of Day Galleries

Photographs by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

Life Up Close – As a landscape photographer, my focus usually starts at the horizon, often a great distance away with a broad view that can be miles wide. The view is grand and beautiful, often eliciting the response, “I wish I were there”. Imagining the future is like gazing at that wide-angle vista with the beautiful sunset and miles of open space. So much lies before us, and hopes and aspirations are integral parts of the scene.

Events of late have brought my viewpoint much closer to the tip of my nose, and I’ve found there to be equal beauty and happiness in the here and now. Plans and visions for the future are a big part of what feeds our sense of hope, but they are not guaranteed.

When you realize that they are not promised to us you begin to discover the joy that lives in the moments that are close at hand.

Live every day in wonder and gratitude, you will not have wasted a moment.

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I’m taking a photo a day to help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer. Like so many, I have known family and friends who’ve battled the disease, including some who continue to fight. This year, I find myself personally impacted, and it occurs to me that this platform offers a way to channel my passion for photography to help relay a personal journey that may resonate with others. Please consider making a donation because every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!