« Another Reason CDs Suck | Main | Nits and Picks in the Digital Age—The Final Chapter »

Friday, 13 July 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hi Mike,

I hope you have a speedy recovery. I know it is difficult for you to post regularly, but please keep us informed of your progress. You have become a valued friend, TOP has been regular reading for some time now.

Best wishes from Australia.

I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery Mike.


Hope everything works out and you are back on your feet quickly. We'll say a prayer for you.


Get well soon, Mike.

I wish you all the best!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Puplet (UK)

You're in my prayers. Get well soon -- that's an order.


thanks for this post, it can't be easy to sit down and type very much...i wish you the speediest of recoveries and apologize for bickering with Ctein ;))) I'll shoot a cloud just for you tomorrow, though i might get a lens full of rain but i'll try!

I'll join many, many others in expressing best wishes for a speedy recovery.

You've helped me to rediscover the pleasures of photography. In consequence of which, I did manage to capture some nice cloud pictures just two evenings past --- doubtless, they weren't the same clouds you saw.

My best wishes for your recovery, Mike. It sounds like you've had quite a frightening and eye-opening experience with today's medical "science".

Well that is a bit of good news. You will be back on top of TOP very soon. This blog has become a very important part of my daily routine. I have learned so much and been helped so much by some very smart and kind people that follow this blog. So, get well soon. Mike did you know that Carl Weese and Working Pictures is off line. Carl is ill, perhaps something like what is bothering you!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I am sure that your physician friend (isn't your brother a physician?) has told you what to expect in regard to your evaluation. You probably have an infection, but you might remember that John Wayne survived lung cancer after having half of a lung removed in 1964. I doubt that you're a "goner", although it sounds as if you might have thought you were a week ago!

I am so sorry to hear that it is more than a virus, please stay focused and stay strong, and get well ASAP, my thoughts are with you.

Nasty, and scary. I echo the others here in wishing you a speedy and complete return to good health.

Wow, what an INCREDIBLY insensitive doctor! You ought to get better fast just to spite him. Best wishes for a benign diagnosis and super-speedy recovery.

All the best.

Sounds like a colleague of mine who was out for months with cryptococcal pneumonia. She also went through a cancer scare and long diagnosis and treatment, since it is a fungal infection that I gather is rather uncommon. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

It ain't over until the fat lady sings.

Put 6 Drs in a room with a patient and they'll all have a different opinion. After working for over 20 years as a nurse I have seen Drs make terrible pronouncements over people with out much factual evidence. Then I have seen others who have given tremendous hope and relief to patients who are in real strife. Seeing the relevant specialist is the way to go, you can take comfort in that they'll have dealt with lots of similar cases over the years and they will be able to get to the bottom of it. When you have recovered as I'm sure you will look into getting the flu vaccination every year. Its one of the smartest things I ever did. Every winter I used to get chest infections that would develop into pneumonia and pleurisy and I could wind up hospitalised and then off work for a couple of months. A Dr I was working with suggested having the jab might make a big difference so I've done it every year for the last 10 years and I've not had a single re-occurence.

Get well soon.

Ditto on the best wishes, but my main point in writing is this: you must do everything short of violence to get proper care for serious illness in this country. Do not ever lose sight of the fact that you are a CUSTOMER who is buying a service. The very first thing one must do is give up the "Doctors, Nurses, Policeman and Fireman Are Always Good People Who Always Want To Help You" crap we were taught as kids. I learned from a watching a family member who fought MS for 30 years that fighting the medical establishment can be vastly more work than fighting a itself disease. Nowhere in my personal experience has the phrase "The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease" applied more than in dealings with doctors, hospitals and their insurance company overlords.

Get better.


Take care. All the best.

Best of luck to you Mike, you have been a huge inspiration to me and I can only hope that you make a speedy and complete recovery.

Ya got your hair, your camera- you're almost there!

I was in a similar situation.

My father died of lung cancer, and never smoked. I was in the hospital room when the surgeon came in and said to him, "We found a dark spot on a lung."

Years later, I was in the ER - brought by ambulance - with an asthma attack. After a X-Ray, the physician came up to my gurney, and said, "We found a dark spot on one lung." I was terrified. It turned out to be pneumonia.

I want to tell you that I read your column every day, and I'm truly sorry that you are ill. I was trying to establish myself as a freelance photographer, and then this past November, I had a stroke.

You can see some of my photographs at http://ubereye.deviantart.com

I'm sure you will recover fully.

Hey Mike,

So sorry to hear about what you're going through. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I'm looking forward to reading your daily posts again... a day without reading your blog is like a day without photogenic clouds.

Jeez Mike. All the best.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Mike.

Hi Mike!
I have been reading your blog for about a year... not only because of the photography, but also because you are basically a good guy who i like to read.

I am so sorry to know about your illness and the things you are passing, hope you get better!


The self-portrait you paint is one of slow recovery. Recovery is good. When recovery is complete, depending upon your personality, you will either try to forget the ordeal, or ponder what it meant. An opportunity to assess where you are, right now.

I enjoy your wit, acumen, and the circus that is TOP. May your vitality soon return, made more potent by this experience.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery from this UK reader. I've enjoyed and learned from TOP for a year or so now and it is the first photo site I check each day, recently promoted above Luminous Landscape and dpreview!

So sorry hear about this Mike. As someone who slightly exceeds you in age and really related to your 'over 50' article in the June B&W Photography issue I can really sympathise with the feelings and concerns you have right now.
Best wishes for s speedy recovery - and I'm sure this speaks for all your readers across the pond.

Your in my prayers Mike.

Keep on keeping on Mike!

Thoughts and prayers are with you Mike....
to a speedy recovery!


Mike: I love to read TOP almost daily, it's like a diamond in the middle of the web. From Colombia, I wish you to get well soon. CQ

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you have a very speedy recovery. TOPS is among my favorite websites and I visit it on a daily basis.

Hi Mike;
This is my first post round here, but I´ve been enjoying in silence this marvelous site for over a year. My life would be quite boring without your brilliant posts, I´ve learnt so much and found tons of inspiration.
I wish you all the best and hope you get better very, very soon.

Many rays are shining through the clouds all over the planet at this very moment awaiting your energy to photograph them.

I hope you get well soon Mike. I miss your writing.
Best wishes from Bracciano, near Rome, Italy.

Best wishes for a full recovery. Do heed the excellent advice above about advocating relentlessly for the best care.

I'm a lurker but will finally chime in.
I just went through the same thing this spring. A golf ball sized mass in one lung. As a pathologist I know that prognosis is dismal for lung Ca so I tried to come to grips with the worst. After the CT, a PET scan [they light up cancers] was negative and it all looks like residual of a fungal Valley Fever pneumonia which is endemic here in Arizona. In retrospect it started with cough, fever and "flu".
Not a very pleasant feeling until the story unfolded.
Hope yours is something similar. All the best.
Your site is one of my daily visits. Thanks.

I wish you all the best!

Good luck, Mike. I had a bout about 7-8 months ago with something very similar to what you're describing. It lasted for months. I chose the stupid way to go about it, and avoided doctors altogether, hoping (and praying) that my immune system would be up to the job. I'm otherwise in good health.

Fortunately, it was, and I eventually returned to normal. But it was sheer hell.

It was probably pneumonia, but I'll never know for sure.

Again, good luck!


Sending you wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

Tel Aviv

All the best!

Hi Mike,
I read TOP every day, it's also the first photo site I go to in the morning! I hope all the best for you and your family. I hope your recovery is speedy and easy, and that the insensitive doctor never has to experience the ruthlessness and rudeness he inflicted on you. Please get well soon!

Sorry to hear about the pneumonia but glad it's not worse. It seems to me that more and more people are getting pneunomia these days when I hardly heard of it growing up. I wonder what's up.

The quality of medical care, whether public health here in Canada or Britain, or private in the US, has gone downhill. I haven't heard a good story in years. Yours is typical, sad to say. If you had slugged that doctor for talking to you that way ("You're a goner!", what the hell kind of thing is that to say?) and I was on the jury I'd acquit. My wife had stomach ailments on and off for a few years. We had to self-diagnose and put up with an angry doctor when our diagnosis proved correct.

Something went wrong somewhere.

Wishing you a speedy recovery Mike. I've been reading your SMP and TOP posts for ages now, they are great fun and make me feel that I'm not alone. I hope everyone's good wishes make you feel that you're not alone during your illness.

Hrmmmm, Mike... There are a number of aggressive pneumonias that can present as masses on CT or X-Ray. You should ask for your CT data so that you can more easily examine/show it to experts. Download an app called Osirix for OS X that will allow you to browse your own data and easily show it to other consultants/pulmonologists.

It sounds like you have someone that can help you a bit, but really having Osirix is a tool that many/most radiologists actually do not have.

Gute Besserung! (= "Get well soon"; and since it's German you can consider it an order.)

-- Nick

Best wishes Mike

Get well whevever you are ready Mike! You will not lose this reader just because of a few days without posting and I am sure that goes for most of us. The very fact that you have posted when you feel the way you do is testament to your commitment to something that really matters in your life.

Right now you and your health really matter more than anything. So take it easy and we'll all be reading you when you are better. Best wishes.

Hello Mike,
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
I'd love to hear good news from you very soon !
Paris France

Wish you well.

Hi Mike.

My thoughts are with you for a speedy recovery to full and vibrant good health.

Your recent story mixed in my memory with the earlier post by Gordon Lewis about photographic legacy. Your travails with the medical system and Gordon's question about the value of accumulated photographs brought back to the front of my mind my own story of eight years ago when I nursed my 27 year-old then girlfriend through six months of cancer treatments that all ultimately failed.

Following her departure from the flesh in her home country, I returned to my base in Hong Kong to reboot my life, and in the process of extracting my home from rented storage, I had to confront the photographs I had taken of the departed lady - especially those I took of her during the two brief re-unions with her five year old daughter on the other side of the planet.

What occurred to me for the first time was that the photographs I had created of her and her daughter were now priceless treasures that would only increase in value over time - not financial value of course, but sentimental - a far more valuable currency.

I'm waiting for the day when her daughter is of an age enough to understand and appreciate the collection of photographs enough for me to hand them over to her.

Reminders of our mortality are good stimulants for re-evaluating who we are and what value we can contribute to society in the ever-diminishing time that we have left in the body.

That story of eight years ago propelled me onwards and upwards with a new sense of purpose for my photography. I realise that I have the power to create priceless treasures. And when I take a good photo of a person, I find a peace in knowing that it will become a priceless treasure to someone sooner or later.

And from you Mike, we all receive great value from your writings. Your written words are a marvellous legacy already, and I trust that we will still be enjoying your new articles and books for several more decades to come.

Good luck.

Craig Norris

We've all heard the saying "You don't miss your water 'til the well runs dry." Well, I'm sure I speak for many when I say I didn't realize how much you and your blog had become one of my daily necessities. That said, your health is far more important than my need for a daily fix of your wit, insight, sagacity, and inspiration. You do whatever you need to do to return to full potency. In the meantime, I'll be waiting patiently and appreciatively for your return.

Hi Mike,
I usually don't like posting the same things as many others before, but rules are made to be broken:
Best wishes for a quick and full recovery!

Good luck and take care,
Avila, Spain.

As a pulmonologist (in Canada) and an avid reader of your column I am both saddened to hear about your illness and outraged at the way you have been treated. Although it sounds unlikely that you have lung cancer given how rapidly your illness developed, your physician's comments about being a "goner" are both unprofessional and unwarranted.

I am glad that you are feeling a bit better. I am even more glad that you are seeing a pulmonologist soon. You should have had a pulmonary consult as soon as a "lung mass" was detected. As several readers have indicated, non-cancerous diseases such as fungal pneumonias, can present as lung masses. The diagnosis can be quite difficult but expert input from a physician with an open mind to alternative possibilities is essential. Indeed, tough cases often need input from several consultants.

Good luck with your investigations. I wish you a rapid recovery and look forward to my regular delight at reading your columns here and your articles in Black and White Photography.

Hello Mike,

Let me join my best wishes for a rapid recovery to those of many others who get so much from your site.


Best wishes in making a full and speedy recovery, Mike. Your column is one of the few internet pages I visit every day. I didn't realise quite how much I'd miss it until it wasn't there.


wishing you all the best from jerusalem, israel!


Hang in there Mike it's all about experiences "good and not so good." We all need you fit and strong to keep some focus on things for us poor deluded camera enthusiasts, no pun intended.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery from a loyal reader in Ireland.

Good luck and get well soon.

Hi Mike,
Wishing you all the best and a real speedy recovery and keep the chin up.
From Israel

Get well soon Mike, and give that initial Doctor a slap from me!!



Dear Mike:

Wishing you the best from Rio, Brazil. Back in 2002 I was found with a huge mass, undoubtly cancer, in my left kidney. Even if considered lethal,since kidney cancer is highly methastatic, and with a lifespan probability of just six months, I retired, returned to photography with passion (after a 35 year sabbatucal, just shooting eventual familt shots). Well, I'm here, having an excelllent life quality, enjoying your column every day, and shooting a lot, both B&W film and digital.
As per my experience: never give up, never hear less than three different docs about antthing, since most of them forget the two most basic things in their area: 1)That they are dealing with a human being, not "a lung" or a "kidney". 2) That each human being is different, special, have it's own characteristics.

Finally, and most important, KEEP ON SHOOTING!

We are, from all parts of this world, cheering for you!

I said it before and I'll say it again: Get well as soon as you can! The photographic community needs you.



Boy Mike, you have a lot of friends out here. .
Count me in.

Hello Mike,
I hope you are doing better. My best to you.

Just chiming in my support. Your one heck of a decent fellow, so hang in there, and my wishes for your speedy recovery.

I was so sorry to read of your illness and hope that you recover soon.

Hey Mike,

This is Scott from The Digital Photography Show. I just wanted to add mine to the many voices wishing you a fast recovery and much good fortune! And thanks for sharing your story - it may help someone else who has similar symptoms more quickly figure out what the problem is.

Wishing you all best wishes for a speedy recovery.


Hi Mike, been reading you for 7 years now since the days of the 37th Frame and photo.net and whatever copies of Black&White Photography I can get my hands on, but I never piped up really, until now. Hope you get better soon, best wishes.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007