Tea and Pumpkin Cake

This was the first day I felt almost normal! Lucky for that, too, because I had to go to Menlo Park to complete my performance evaluation with my boss. The day in Menlo Park was quite wonderful. The results of my review were acceptable except for one slight disagreement, which we are in the process of working out. Once the review was complete, we went to lunch, as we had done so many times before. Over all, we spent about two and one-half hours of quality time together, talking about business, raising girls, martial arts, and a variety of interesting topics.

In the evening, I went to the final class of Moving Towards Health with Anna Halprin at her studio in Kentfield. I had been to her studio once before about twenty-three years ago with Gabrielle Roth, and it was even more beautiful than I remembered. The night air was cool and comfortable and the setting in the woods was quite inspiring.

After a check in, in which I shared my progress report, we did some movements on the deck. We each walked around the deck for a while to find our “spot.” Mine was at the East end of the deck facing West with a view of the very top of Mt. Tamalpias. It was gorgeous in the early evening sunlight. We made the movement into a ritual by performing the movement in each direction. Then each member was asked to dance their favorite movement and we did each person’s movement in each of the four cardinal directions.

Next, we took a silent walk in the wood around her three acre estate. At a certain point, she asked us to fan out and find our “tree.” We then spent about one-half hour with the tree, asking it questions, feeling it’s growth, and merging with “treeness.” I picked a rather tall redwood, which I was willing to share with one of the other participants, but she marched off to find another tree. I embraced the tree, listened to it’s growth, and tried to encircle it with my arms, but it was too big. So instead, I walked around the tree, which was no easy task, since the tree was situated at the top of a two or three foot embankment. Towards the end of the time with the tree, I leaned on the tree with my back supported by the tree. It was a comfortable position to observe the connection, and it also allowed me see other elements in the environment. When the bell rang, and everyone headed back to the deck, I waited to the end and urinated on the tree. I had asked the tree if it minded the last vestiges of my disease being sprayed on it’s trunk, and the tree said that for decades all kinds of deer, rabbits, skunks, and other animals had done so and the tree felt nourished by each one. My act was a symbolic representation of cleansing the cancer and drugs from my system, as well as a way of claiming my territory in that little woods.

Back at the studio, we drew pictures of our excursion, and then danced what we drew before sharing our drawings. In the dance, Anna Halprin became my tree and supported my back while we moved together. Eventually, we encompassed the whole troop and focused our healing energies around a woman who was not fine when she arrived. It was a group hug embracing a lot of love, and it felt delightful.

My picture is shown on the left. It is called Yellow Stream, of all things! Note that all of the trees grow clearly past the top of the hillside, and all of the little leaves, branches, and other natural elements that are part of the drawing. The tree is in separate from the other non-tree elements. In fact, the tree depends on the non-tree elements for it’s existence. It derives nourishment from the environment, and my contribution was minimal, if not symbolic. When I shared the meaning of my picture, everyone go hysterical. We had a good laugh for a long time.

At the conclusion of the group, Anna invited us into her house for tea and pumpkin cake. This brought the spirit of the group together and we hung out for about another hour. I found myself swinging on a hammock with two women, two of my favorites. We talked about a lot of things and when I told them that I had an alternative title for the book, Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves, one of them said rather enthusiastically, that she would by a book with that name. Then I shared my image of “healthy cells grow all by themselves,” and they felt even more comfortable with the title. So here we have it! The bound version of Yellow Stream will be hereafter called, Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves! It’s the official title now!


stop cancer

The Big Answer

Today, I very nervous. I am supposed to have the catheter removed and receive the results of the biopsy this morning. I even spilled the catheter bag! I only have to wait another hour though.

Back from the surgeon! The preliminary biopsy report was NEGATIVE!
Breathing in,
Breathing out,
HEALTHY cells grow all by themselves!
I am FREE of cancer!

I have been ecstatic all day! A new perspective on combining alternative medicine with standard medical practice should be instituted nation-wide. This is a new theme for my work.

The complete biopsy report came in around 5:00 P. M. Although the results indicated that I had a complete response to the Shipley protocol, there was some new “transitional cell carcinoma, grade II/IV, without evidence of invasion.” This means that my bladder is still susceptible to new growth, and I have to focus on prevention once the next round of chemo and radiation is complete. In essence, we continue with the bladder sparing protocol. This, in of itself, is quite a victory and cause for celebration.

So when I arrived at Anna Halprin‘s class, I was greeted with applause and cheers, and a spirit of celebration. After our usual round of checking in, we did some group movement, continuing the spirit of celebration. We followed this with more floor exercises from last week. Anna had us visualize a deeply relaxing spot in nature, and I immediately went to China Beach at Point Lobos State Reserve, near Carmel, California. The picture I drew was of this very spot. I wrote,

“Guarding the sense gates – I can secure the future by mindfulness in the present.”


Fog in the Bay

I took a break from my normal working day to walk by the water in Sausalito, meditate, and do some of the strengthening exercises for my immune system. I noticed that I could not see San Francisco, Berkeley or Oakland because of the fog, but Sausalito was clear. The meditation period was quite nice, and I felt rather good to be doing the stretches again.

My surgery has been changed to 7:30 A. M. on Friday, May 9 and Julie Motz will attend!

In my session, today, with Leslie Davenport, I dealt with the anxiety I feel about the question of whether or not there is still cancer in my body that represents a threat to my life. She felt confident that this was a good session for more EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and I thought it wise to allow her intuition to guide our work together. Several issues came up with regard to various stances about my current physical condition. The issues that were most prominent in my mind were the unattractiveness of radical cystectomy on the one hand, and the powerful healing session I had with Leslie on March 21 on the other. I needed to break through my resistance to allow the radical cystectomy to be part of my healing, and not seeing it as an invalidation of “healthy cells grow all by themselves.” In the end, I realized that I was doing my best to help my recovery, and that as long as I kept looking deeply into alternatives as they come to me, I don’t have to feel bad about anything I’ve done. It is this attitude that brought Julie Motz into my surgery, and gave me the opportunity to see Don Alejandro.

In the evening, I attended the “Life Threatened” group at the Center for Attitudinal Healing and my wife attended the “Care Givers” group. Our group was quite smaller than last week, and all but one person was there last week. It dawned on me how much worse off each of the other members were than me, and I was struck with a feeling of compassion for their suffering. When it was my turn to share, I offered a copy of Yellow Stream to the Center, and talked about Julie Motz. One of the people there had met her at the home where she is staying and said that she was pretty incredible. I believe her! I also spoke about Don Alejandro and my nervousness over next week’s biopsy.


The First Night of Passover

April 21, 1997 – The First Night of Passover

I was able to play three sets of tennis this morning, but I was so exhausted that it took me more than two hours to recover. I took a long bath and the got into bed for a long “mind story.” Both of these were very relaxing and I found myself quite able to concentrate on my breathing and visualizing healing in my bladder. My poem became:

Lying still,
Breathing in, Breathing out,
Healthy cells grow all by themselves.
I am free of cancer.

The meditation became “healthy cells grow all by themselves” on the in breath and “I’m free of cancer” on the out breath, or simply, “healthy… free.”

In the evening, we went over to A. and S. M.’s house for a lovely sader I was able to participate fully, and even had a few cups of wine. It was a very enjoyable evening.

I’m still having sleep problems, however.


The Frog on the Leaf…

April 14, 1997 – The Frog on the Leaf…

Compared to yesterday, this was a fine day, but I was still haunted by the cost of cancer. I worked in the morning and then went to have a session with Alan Sheets. He worked on my knees, lower back, shoulders, cranium, and bladder. The session was very relaxing and I didn’t feel the need to nap for the rest of the day.

From Alan’s office, I met G. S. at the California Conservatory of Music to pick up twenty copies of Yellow Stream which my son had made for me. These copies go through the beginning of chapter eight, and are expressly for the purpose of finding a publisher for the web site as a book. I might change the title to “Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves” before final publication.

From there, I went to Golden Gate Park for a walk and a time to be alone in nature. I just had a feeling that this would be better for me than rushing back home to get more work done on the Sniffer. On the way to the Redwood Grove, I passed a small pond with beautiful, broad leaves in it. Perhaps they were water lilies not yet in bloom. It was a beautiful pond, and then I noticed a frog sitting on one of the leaves. The frog was as big as the leaf, about three inches long, and two and one-half inches wide. I stood and watched the frog for several minutes. When I thought about it later, I thought about this poem:

The frog on a leaf
In the pond
In the Arboretum
Just sitting
Doing Zazen!

I wandered off to the Redwood Grove and found a place to sit on the stump of a redwood tree to meditate. I was surrounded by redwood trees and sat next to another pond (no frog) for about fifteen minutes. Then I searched out the incense cedar tree that my son and I often visited when he was young. In fact, it was after playing in that tree that he told me something was wrong with his stomach, and a few weeks later he was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor. I hugged the tree and offered prostrations to it for helping heal my son and now I was asking for its help to heal me. The prostration was humbling and healing at the same time. Hopefully, no one saw me doing such a strange thing.

Next I visited the moon viewing platform which juts out over another pond (no frogs here either) in hopes of running into Itzzy, who often does Tai Chi on that platform. Then it was time to go and I slowly left the Arboretum being mindful of each step and each breath.

At night, I went to Anna Halprin’s class and offered her the first printed copy of Yellow Stream. She seemed really grateful. The class got off to a slow start, with Anna’s boom box not working. We sat and did breathing exercises and I noticed that several people were having a tough time. I thought that this would have been a good evening for a long check-in, but we moved forward anyway. Anna spent much of her time with the woman that was having the most difficulty, and I enjoyed dancing to the rhythms of the drums that were playing when we finally had some music.

My drawing came right out of my gut. I looked at the box of crayons and noticed that there was a small piece of a thick, red crayon that appealed to me. I picked it up and started drawing bold, thick curved lines that eventually resembled a large hourglass, but in reality, it was my anger of the cost of cancer coming through. I wrote, “I want to see my anger red!” I wanted to have an intuitive feeling for why I was so pissed off about the cost of treatment, or at least have someone tell me what I was feeling. The expressing of anger in the drawing was quite strong, and I received a lot of good feedback about it during the ensuing discussion.

As people shared their drawings, I felt the group coming closer together. I stated, “I finally feel that the group is coming together. Even though we are still having a tough time, we are having a tough time together.” Many agreed with my statement.

I headed home feeling much better and with a strong desire to write. However, as I walked in the door the phone rang and the call was from New York. I was told about a healer named Winefred Wager, who I’m supposed to call tomorrow to see if she can help me “long distance!” I also had a message from Dean Ornish, but I haven’t spoken with him yet. He is starting a prostate cancer study with Dr. Carroll.


Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves

March 24, 1997 – Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves

I passed up an opportunity to play tennis today because I didn’t want to be too exhausted for my chemotherapy and radiation therapy tomorrow. We still need a fourth and I wasn’t about to play singles. So I spent most of the day working except for a two hour break to visit on of the members of Cancerport who hadn’t be showing up and who sent her husband as an emissary. The visit was something I felt I could do for the lady and I also wanted her to know about Aloe Vera and Cesium Chloride treatments.

Speaking of cesium chloride, I had a rather long conversation with Michael Broffman about the meeting with C. H. and especially about the strategy for what we were going to do after Thursday. Cesium chloride seems like a good possibility.

At night, I went to Anna Halprin’s class only to find that she wasn’t there. The class was taught very capably by two of her students, and I felt tremendous joy as I shared my experience with Leslie Davenport on Friday. I felt totally loved and supported. I danced and drew the experience. In the drawing, I wrote,

Lying still,
Breathing in, Breathing out,
Healthy cells grow all by themselves!
I am free of cancer

Naturally, this was based on the Zen poem previously mentioned.

>>> Next…