In a few days, Derek and I will be forever changed. My internal organs will be modified. Derek’s disease will be forcibly eradicated through the process of complete liver resection and a piece of me will be attached to him, hopefully forever. Physically, we have a long road ahead of us. We need to take care of ourselves to ensure that both of our bodies are encouraged to heal. The matching abdominal scars etched into our bodies will serve as a reminder that we made it through to the other side, together. Derek’s skin will lack the now familiar yellow hue. His enlarged and distended liver replaced with one a bit smaller that will, in time, grow back to full size.
Equally important is the emotional side to all of this. Being present in this moment is challenging; it is far more enjoyable to imagine being able to hike a mountain this summer, or dust off the water skis. But for me and for Derek it is important for us to remember this time before the surgery. So we asked our incredibly talented friend Greta Rybus, who is a freelance photojournalist, to hang out with us for a day and capture a little of our lives with photography. I’ve chosen a few photos to share and I think you’ll notice that we are both serious, thoughtful, goofy, and ridiculously in love. Thank you so much Greta, for capturing us through your lens. These photos are an amazing gift.
All photos by Greta Rybus.