Heroes Take the Field: USA Patriot Amputee Softball Team Exhibition Game, Opportunities for Local Youth

Team members of the USA Patriots Amputee Softball team together with Firefly Steve Caputo, who has photographed them for over a decade

The USA Patriots Amputee Softball Team is coming home to Long Island for another round of exhibition games. This year, they are also offering a pre-game youth clinic and barbecue!

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Postscript Post – 11/1/23

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

Postscript Post – You might be interested to know that there were 27,500 people participating in the American Cancer Society’s Photo-a-Day challenge in October. The fundraiser generated over $350,000 for ACS. A very special thank you to every one of you who contributed. As a result, we were the #1 donor group among ALL 27,500 PARTICIPANTS, generating almost $6,000, more than double our goal!!! I am so grateful for your love and support and generosity, thank you one and all, and God Bless You!

This blog started with 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. The month is done, but you can still make a donation because every little bit helps. Thank you for your support!

Trick or Treatment – 10/31/23

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

Trick or Treatment – Laughter as medicine is underrated. They do say it is the “best”, but I suspect “they” might not have AMA credentials. Then again, neither do I, but here’s how I see it. We can’t always choose when we are happy or sad or angry or anxious. But we can choose an approach to living, and it begins with how we opt to view the circumstances we find ourselves in. I cannot control the diagnosis, but I can muster my inner strength to not to let it attack my outlook. Finding grace and humor when it may not be out in the open is a superpower. Can it kill bad cells? Maybe they die laughing. For me, a sense of humor and a sense of well-being are inextricably linked, and I will hang a bag of that alongside my chemo any day.
 
It is a glorious and amazing miracle of the cosmos that we are standing here on this planet right now, playing our part in a world that is bigger than all of us. We are here by no doing of our own, but we can choose how we use the time we have. Make the most of yours.
 
Today marks the end of the ACS Photo-a-Day Challenge, and with it, these posts. Thank you to for taking the time to read, reflect and respond over the course of this month. As I mentioned at the outset, the intention in sharing my story was to offer some trail markers for others on this path, and to share a light of hope and faith for those needing a lift. As for me, following today’s treatment I am scheduled for a scan next week, which will give us a look at where things stand.
 
In closing this monthlong chronicle, I truly cannot say enough about the health care professionals who are caring for me. Their knowledge, aptitude and diligence are matched by their sensitivity, caring and kindness. To a person, each exhibits an empathy that is at once professional and personal. The doctors are resolute in prescribing a course of treatment, and from a patient’s perspective, confidence in that front line of defense is the foundation on which that patient’s positive outlook is built.
 
Those of us privileged enough to know nurses personally know what a rare gift they possess in order to assume the work that they do. Compassion in a most objective sense. Caring because caring is what is needed, regardless of the individual or the circumstance. The nurses in my infusion center have my un-dying gratitude. You are my heroes, and now my friends. Thank you. 
Peace.

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!

All Things Must Pass – 10/30/23

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

All Things Must Pass – As a big Beatles fan, their music is seared into my subconscious. I’ve been known to quote their lyrics in casual conversation as recently as Yesterday, but when I received No Reply I just figured I’m a Loser and I Should Have Known Better. Their words often find a way into my ear canals right when a message of encouragement is needed.

I’ve been very fortunate and grateful to not be experiencing any pain since being diagnosed . There’s discomfort, loss of sensation, and maybe some aches and twinges, but nothing debilitating. I need to remind myself that it is a silent foe that I’m battling. While I trust that the treatments are doing what they are supposed to, their side effects leave me fatigued and generally “out of sorts” for several days afterward. And so, as treatment week and its cavalcade of side effect approaches, George Harrison will steel my resilience by reminding me that all things must pass…

Now the darkness only stays the night time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It’s not always gonna be this grey

Hoping your daylight arrives at the right time

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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!

I’ve Been Thinking – 10/29/23

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

I’ve been thinking back on the events of these last four months of my life, how they unfolded and how I evolved to my current state of mind. With all due apologies to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, I see this journey as The Seven Stages of Hope.

• The Shock – There are no other words to describe the moment I learned of my diagnosis. “We see a malignancy.” My response was not outwardly emotional, more of an internalized, “Wait. What?” My brain took a few beats to process the information, since this outcome was not on the radar screen.
• The Terror – Maybe that term is too dramatic, but the aftershock felt as if a trap door had opened up, and I was in freefall down a bottomless shaft. “What does this mean for me?” In instances when we find ourselves facing new and extreme circumstances, human nature has us imagining worst case scenarios.
• The Fear – So much was unknown to me, including things like survivability and quality of life. What is going to happen? The impulse to want these answers combined with frustration of not having them raises anxiety and fosters fear and along with it, a darkness of thought that can be the gateway to depression.
• The Realization – Time can mitigate the shock and terror. Living with the diagnosis becomes a new way of life. Fear is a tougher stage to conquer. For me, it required prayer and meditation to form a conscious reminder NOT to allow the darkness to speak to me. Only then could I begin to build the inner strength and resolve I will need to combat this challenge.
• The Acceptance – Like the Serenity Prayer petitions, “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.” Accepting the diagnosis meant recognizing that it was beyond anything that I could control.
• The Letting Go – As personality traits go, mine lean toward rationality. Once I accepted the diagnosis, it made no sense for me to worry about it, nor to assign any judgment regarding it. It is what it is. My energy would be much better directed to the things I can control. Things like my strength, my weight, my mental and spiritual well-being.
• The Letting In – As humans, our survival instincts drive us to take care ourselves. What may not be so instinctive is the willingness and the worthiness to accept help from others, to let them in. I have come to understand that it is not something that I need to take on by myself.

I am so grateful for support and assistance that has come from so many sources including family, friends, healthcare professionals and spiritual guides. The abundance of love and prayers from everyone who has taken the time to follow my journey have lifted me up and strengthened my resolve to meet the challenge of this disease head on, and the hope to overcome it. Thank 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!

The Wonder Of It All – 10/28/23

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

The Wonder Of It All – It was almost 80 degrees here in NY today, a rare summer-like day at the end of October. Anyone who spent any time at all outdoors would comment on what a spectacular day it was. And so, with as full a tank of energy as I expect to have prior to my next treatment, I set out for a day of image-making with a life-long friend and photo compatriot. Our aim was to capture the autumn colors at their peak in Central Park.

So, imagine being in one of the most densely populated places on the planet on a day when everyone made it their business to be out and about. A rare sunny Saturday with children pre-gaming their Halloween costumes parading on the mall. A day when every dog in the city has dragged their human out for a walk in the park. A weekend day in the least urban part of the most urban landscape, it just seemed as if the whole city was chillin’. And yet, there was a palpable energy in the air that might be described as the rhythm of life. Everywhere I looked. people were all living in the moment. It was exhilarating to be in the midst of it, spontaneous joy.

Seek joy in the now.

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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!

Lighting the Trail – 10/27/23

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

Peace Through Adversity – The upheaval that I’ve endured over the past four months has taught me a lot about patience, about knowing the limits of what I can control and understanding how to react to the things that I cannot. There is peace in surrendering to the universe that which the universe commands.

In this image, my eye is on reaching the calm that lies beyond the rocks. But getting there requires careful navigation over rough terrain. In these situations I’ve learned not to forsake a helping hand. I’m so thankful for all those involved in my care and support, they are in fact the helping hand of God leading me to the calm waters of recovery. With each step, I am finding it is me and not the stones that becomes bolder.

For all those scaling the rocks, hold fast to those guiding you. You are not alone.

Lighting the Trail – The week continues to be a good one. I feel more energy, more sense of taste returning with each passing day.

As October winds down, so too does the American Cancer Society’s October Photo-a-Day challenge. Posting a photo a day was never the issue for me. The challenge presented itself when I chose to marry those images to a narrative about my current battle with the disease. Why would I want to share my diagnosis at all, much less on a platform like FB? Why would I want to dwell on this condition every day for 31 consecutive days?

Being a cancer newbie and knowing that too many others are being initiated into the fraternity each day, I think I thought that lighting the trail a bit might make it easier for those behind me. To be honest, I did not know where it would lead, or what the reaction might be. In fact, on many days, the words were not easily forthcoming. It was not until I stopped trying to force a thought and started listening (to my inner voice, to God…) and let myself become the delivery vehicle for the thought that the messages began to write themselves.

I will forever associate this exercise with my own healing. Verbalizing my hope and trust and faith has helped galvanize my spirit. Thank you for enduring this with me, I’m looking forward to moving beyond all this talk of cancer, and returning to the task of looking for the life and love and beauty in the world that is all around us.

The love and prayers and support you’ve all offered has been soul-strengthening, and I am eternally grateful for ALL of it. The messages of encouragement for these posts gives me hope that they may act as a beacon to help other travelers to look up from their lives and recognize they are not alone, and that peace is within their reach, no matter the prognosis.

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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!

Peace Through Adversity – 10/26/23

Photo of rocks, water, beach, "Peace Through Adversity" by Steve Caputo, Light of Day Galleries

Photograph by Firefly Steve Caputo, Light of Day Gallery

Peace Through Adversity – The upheaval that I’ve endured over the past four months has taught me a lot about patience, about knowing the limits of what I can control and understanding how to react to the things that I cannot. There is peace in surrendering to the universe that which the universe commands.

In this image, my eye is on reaching the calm that lies beyond the rocks. But getting there requires careful navigation over rough terrain. In these situations I’ve learned not to forsake a helping hand. I’m so thankful for all those involved in my care and support, they are in fact the helping hand of God leading me to the calm waters of recovery. With each step, I am finding it is me and not the stones that becomes bolder.

For all those scaling the rocks, hold fast to those guiding you. You are not alone.

Previous                      Next

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!

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!