I phoned the radiation oncology department to find out the results of my X-Ray from last Thursday. The person who answered the phone said that the results were wonderful! I had her repeat the statement three times just to be sure I got it!
I went to Gail Teehan’s Feldenkrais class in Tiburon this morning and then followed her to her office for a Functional Integration (FI) lesson. The class consisted of standing and kneeling lessons that served to loosen up my neck and shoulders. It was more strenuous than any of the previous lessons because we were standing most of the time. The FI session was wonderful! Her healing hands and gentle manipulations of my body made me fully relaxed.
In the evening, I went to Anna‘s class. She shared her experience at the American Dance Festival, and I was exceedingly happy for her triumph! She sparkled with light as she talked about the performances that she led, and she said that the response was phenomenal!
In the class, we did movements that were so similar to the Feldenkrais lesson that it made me realize the beauty of both techniques. Anna incorporated some movements that were familiar to me from doing the “Strengthening Your Immune System Through Mind and Movement
” exercises described elsewhere. As tired as I was from a full day of activities, I found the movements we did very invigorating and energy producing. Towards the end of the movement segment, Anna had us develop the theme of gathering, lifting, and sending away. Many of the participants drew pictures of their experience of gathering, lifting, and sending away. My drawing was of the goblet that I had visualized in a guided imagery session with Leslie Davenport
. It represents my heart overflowing with love and vital energy. The inverted triangle represents a tap into the universal source of infinite love and vitality.
April 3, 1997 – Healing Support
Today I went to Cancerport again. The group was once again quite small, so just about everyone got a chance to speak. People asked how I was doing, and I had a long opportunity to explain what was going on with me. Basically, I told them that I had not recovered as quickly from the second chemotherapy and radiation as the first, but mentally and emotionally I was doing quite well. I still have difficult periods with my elimination and a lot of tiredness. I explained how my meditation and imagery work kept my mind focused in my body and away from morbid thoughts. I explained how radical cystectomy was the standard of treatment and that I had decided to take charge of my own case by doing the Shipley method and just how that worked. I told them how I used the web to find out information about my disease and as a means of tracking my healing progress.
Someone then asked me about how I felt about having cancer. I proceed to explain that my father had bladder cancer and died at the age of eighty-six from it, but that he had had a tumor in his bladder for perhaps twenty years. I told them about my son’s metastatic Wilm’s tumor, and that it was another form of urinary track cancer. Then I explained my sister’s death due to Leukemia twenty-eight years ago and my mother’s osteosarcoma. Finally, I mentioned that all my aunts and uncles died from cancer. Thus I felt that I had a genetic disposition towards getting cancer and that the stress brought about by the loss of my job two and one-half years ago probably brought it on.
The discussion turned more towards the alternative treatments that I am using and I spoke about specifically about Michael Broffman and Marty Rossman as partners in my care with the Marin Cancer Institute. I tried to explain that one did not have to believe in meditation or imagery for them to work, even though several people insisted that some level of belief was necessary. So I explained that just a people go to work out at the gym to keep their physical bodies in good shape, they could learn to quiet their mind with a little practice. Wonderfully enough, other people with imagery and/or meditation experience backed up my mini-lesson on meditation, and I felt safe enough to share the insight about “healthy cells grow all by themselves.”
From there, I went to Gail Teehan for another Functional Integration session. It was tremendously healing, once again, and Gail and I shared a lot with each other about our lives and our personal growth. I love working with her because she’s so understanding and has such great hands. I bet she gives a hell of a massage!
Tonight I was supposed to meet my wife at M. C.’s house for dinner and a movie, but I really don’t feel up to going out again. I think yesterday was too much for me and I still exhausted from the long drive to Menlo Park.
Well, “enough for today,” as Bhagwan used to say!
February 17, 1997 – More Moving Towards Health
This morning, I had a Feldenkrais lesson with Gail Teehan, a friend of my through D. B. It was preliminary lesson breathing and was followed by a short Functional Integration session. Both of these experiences were comforting and relaxing.
After taking R. to her friend’s house, I decided to try playing tennis and managed to play two sets without too much strain. It was wonderful to be out on the court again. One hardly realizes the value of activities one loves until it becomes inaccessible!
That night, I returned to Anna Halprin’s group at Marin General Hospital. It was another healing experience. The theme of the evening was water, and I immediately got an image of a waterfall I had seen in a photograph or movie. The water was flowing over the edge of a cliff in such a way that there was a substantial overhang, and one could walk through the waterfall and be protected from the water underneath the overhang. I drew a picture of this scene and wrote the following:
Here we have stupid Ninad –
He thinks that because he is empty of self that he is also empty of suffering and that suffering is empty of self!
Wait until next week!!
He’d rather be surfing (the web) rather than suffering.
He should learn to step on the rocks, stupid!
A little explanation is called for here. In the drawing; (which I shall try to scan someday), there is a picture of three stones that one would step on to walk into the waterfall. While I was drawing the rocks, I was reminded of the joke about Jesus, Buddha and Moses. They were walking across the Jordan River one day and Moses kept sinking deeper and deeper into the water, but Buddha and Jesus had no problem staying on the surface. When Jesus saw Moses sinking, he yelled back to him, “Step on the rocks, stupid!” The reference to my personal life was simple: I should “step on the rocks” of those who have gone before me with the treatment of bladder cancer. However, this is not my nature. I want to know what’s happening and have some control of my life.
The name, Ninad, was given to me by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in 1975 – before he was famous. He explained to me that “Ninad” means the sound of the waterfall!