The Last Day of Treatment

Today’s treatment was the most difficult for me of all. I was tired from the very beginning and thank God I had good tapes to listen to drown out the ambient noise in the room. A. M. and R. M. came to visit me at the oncology center, and they brought cheerfulness and smart conversation with them.

I came home and went right to sleep (after checking email)! I used Leslie Davenport’s tape and it worked quite well. T. R. is picking me up in a few minutes for the last of the radiation treatments.

I started reading That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist last night and fired off an email to her. I’m looking forward to what she has to say, and I’d even like to have a session with her.

I also fired off an email message to the Zero Balancing page, and it was forwarded to Fritz Smith. I already heard from Fritz and he had a lot of nice things to say!

So now that I’ve done all of this writing, I’m feeling a little better. Each time I get low on energy, I have to resort to “breathing in I’m healing myself, breathing out I’m clear of cancer,” or, more shortly, in the spirit of Thich Nhat Hanh, “healing… clear… healing… clear… ”

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That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist

Bagel and Lox Cream Cheese Spread

March 26, 1997 – Bagel and Lox Cream Cheese Spread

My mother would have been 81 today had she not died of an osteosarcoma almost ten years ago. I have been thinking about all the cancer in our family, and it is really outrageous. Something must be going on here that we have no control over.

Today’s treatment went more quickly than yesterday’s, and lunch was great! All I needed to feel quite good by 6:00 PM was a guided imagery tape of Leslie Davenport and a short nap. My wife and the kids have been very supportive, and I expect to fly through these days quite well.

While the cisplatin was being infused I had another massage with Nora. Because of the IV, and the time limitations, all she had time to do were my shoulders and neck, but it felt good.

In the meantime, I worked on the professional services web page.

I have decided to photograph the drawings I’ve done at Anna Halprin’s classes. One of them was linked into the day before yesterday.

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More Chemotherapy, More Radiation

March 25, 1997 – More Chemotherapy, More Radiation

The second round of chemotherapy and radiation therapy began today. Aside from being a little late, it went quite smoothly. I especially enjoyed the visits of K. S. and Leslie Davenport. I spoke to Leslie about working with her doing guided imagery through the Humanities Program and Marin General Hospital. She suggested that I offer my services over the web. Watch for a new topic on services!

D. B. took me to my second radiotherapy of the day. We had a nice conversation about our common interests and she bought me a book by Sylvia Boorstein, That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist. I’m looking forward to reading it! As you probably know by now, I am a living example of a Jubu – a Jewish born Buddhist.

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That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist

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.

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Guided Imagery Transcript

Marcy 21, 1997 – Guided Imagery Transcript

The following guided imagery session1 was recorded on March 21, 1997 between Leslie Davenport and myself. I have skipped over the portion of the session that induced me into a deep state of relaxation. For an example script of a deep relaxation session, please consult the “mind story” page. If you decide to try this on your own, please be aware that this is a record of my experience, and you may not necessarily experience the same effects. I believe that it is worth trying! Also, please see the notes that follow the transcript. Please note that I have omitted some “yea’s” and “uh huh’s” from the transcript. My comments about the session are found in brackets in italics.


Leslie Davenport [after basic body relaxation was complete]: … And also allow your mind to join in a similar kind of spaciousness… feeling the vastness of the mind. And allowing yourself to let go of the specific thoughts may pop into your awareness… and disengaging from that for a while. Also allowing yourself to notice your emotions wherever you may sense that part of yourself right now… again inviting a kind of settling … and becoming aware also of that deepest part of yourself … that part that’s more enduring than the rise and fall of emotions and the activity of the mind and the fluctuating sensations in the body… Allowing all the levels and dimensions of who you are to be engaged in this process… And then to just bring your intention again of healing… wholeness… into your awareness… And from that place allow an image to form that will in some way be expressive of that… And then when the image appears, I’d like you to describe aloud whatever it is that you become aware of.

Jerome Freedman: Green…

L: What shade of green?

J: Grass

L: OK – say more about it.

J: I think there’s a trail or something…

L: Does the green have a particular shape or form?

J: It seems to be rising a little… going up a hill…

L: Um.. OK… Just stay with that. Let me know anything else you notice about it.

J: A couple of travelers… They seem to be on the way down…

L: OK. What’s that like – traveling on the way down?

J: Like the end of a hike…

L: What’s that feel like?

J: Like… it’s all down hill from here!!!! [laughter from both parties]…

L: OK.

J: That’s a good one!

L: OK. And does that feel right as you say it? Does that kind of match the…

J: It matches the feeling.

L: Yeah! Great! Good! Well let yourself really feel that! Let yourself enjoy that feeling, “It’s all downhill from here!”

J: It’s a good name for the web page! [more laughter]…

L: Yeah… In the way that that brings a little bit of a smile, let that smile be everywhere in your body… You can even allow the feeling to amplify… just with your breath and with your awareness… What’s happening now?

J: I was feeling a wave of bliss as I was thinking about how… the Robert Frost poem2, two roads crossing in the wood and I took one of the paths (I don’t know the exact words) and it made all the difference in the world!!! … It really did! I’ll tell you…this is really great!! The difference is … I took my path and didn’t succumb to the “standard treatment”… and it made all of the difference in the world!!!

L: Yeah! Good! Just be with that! Kind of rejoicing in the path… the rightness of your choice… and the waves of bliss…

J: It’s that obvious!!! [laughter] It’s really nice… It’s also the first day of Spring… and every year this whole week I reminded of this Zen poem. It goes like this: “Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes and the grass grows all by itself!” … One of the things I learned from tennis is that you stay in your body and just let the ball play by itself. Whenever I think too much I don’t make nearly as good a shot as if I’m just totally mindless… And of course that’s the spiritual practice of tennis: letting go of the mind and being in the body… and you know for a fear type3 … a mental type … that’s a real essential thing to do…

L: Where are you right now?…

J. Ready to go deeper!

L: OK! Good! Just allow yourself to then go underneath these images and awarenesses that you’ve been describing… Just go right underneath… and when you’re ready, describe whatever you become aware of…

J: … I’ve been having the momentary… experiences… of emptiness… emptiness in the sense of emptiness of self — of pure awareness… It seems to be physically more like a black hole [whole???] than anything else… and I go into that moment and I say, “Is this real?” and it pops me right back out of it….

L: Can you describe more… the experience of emptiness?

J: I think the best description is pure awareness… the awareness of being aware!… Nothing happening!… It means allowing the grass to grow all by itself!!…

L: Let’s be there a little bit… letting the grass grow all by itself!

J: It’s funny – it started with “green!” Wow! [laughter]…

L: What are you aware of now?…

J: [images of thick, healthy grass with deep seated roots]… I saw this image of grass growing by itself… and that I took that same image … just let it drop down into my bladder… and allow healthy cells to grow all by themselves!!!

L: Yeah! Great!

J: And it’s such an amazing feeling… to know that that’s happening! I can just feel it – I can just feel the energy going in there… I can just feel the healthy cells just growing by themselves with no interference from me!!!… and with no interference from cancer!!!

L: Yep! Yes! Great!…

J: [At this point, I was noticing a deep, penetrating healing energy of bliss which I was focusing on the walls of my bladder. I had transmuted the image of the grass to the image of cells on a microscopic level] … It’s like… I know you’ve experienced these waves of relaxation – these waves of bliss that come from deep meditation and insight and that you just feel that going into those cells revitalizing, harmonizing, catalyzing and … just living!! To know that… follow your bliss!!! In this case directing the bliss to where it needs to be… [long pause while allowing bliss to work in the bladder!]… It’s like with each exhalation, more and more of that healing energy is being pumped in there…

L: Hum… Great!!!

J: … Now I’m beginning to head trip about how great this is!!! [uproarious laughter]… This six mind of mine… always wants to come back into the picture…

L: How do you want to respond to that six mind?

J: By body anchoring… by reality anchoring in the body… That’s the mainstay…

L: To coming back to the body…

J: Right.

L: Is there anything else about this process … about this healing focus that’s wanting to be know or explored or does this feel fairly complete?

J: Well, there’s a few things I wanted to tell you about it…. I didn’t want to speak while it was happening… But I think this is a real teachable phenomenon that I sort of accidentally discovered through doing this process… and it feels like it’s really … to the extent that it induces healing … doesn’t have to be verified medically… but when a person… when I felt this good about the energy going in there I can’t help but believe that if someone else needed that that they could do it too…

L: So there’s something about this experience that’s not only clearly of value for you now but has the component of being of service to others…

J: Yes.

L: Good! Let yourself acknowledge all of that… the whole sphere of what this is about… for you and for others… Lots of levels… Well in a few moments we’ll begin to bring this toward a close… Is there anything else that feels like it was meant to happen before we do that?…

J: I have a sense of deep gratitude… to you… and to this work… and to all this stuff that I’ve done to prepare for this… [see below…]

L: Yes! Good! Take a moment to be with that!… and then begin to bring a closure for now knowing that you can always return again… and that you may be even able to carry the awareness and the benefits of this into different kinds of moments, into different kinds of ways… And the whenever you’re ready just find a transition that will allow you to comfortably open your eyes again…


1It is important to note that I was first exposed to meditation and guided imagery in 1968 while I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, and that I have been consistently practicing some form of these for the past thirty years. This process could be a model for what I might call bliss healing, in which somehow you get in touch with your bliss and allow that feeling to heal your body in whatever way you think is need at the time.

2The complete text of Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, is:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

If you’ve been following my story up to now, you’ll know the significance of this poem. I took the road less traveled by (i. e., choosing the Shipley protocol instead of the “gold standard” of treatment – radical cystectomy), and that has made all the difference. At this point, had I chosen the other path, I would not still have a bladder!

3Another important note is in reference to the discussion about the “fear type” and mention of the “six mind”, above. These refer to my “point” on the enneagram – a nine sided diagram that represents nine personality types.

Please visit the Enneagram Instrument for more information.

I would love to hear what you think about this session. Please write to me with your questions and comments! Have any of you had a similar experience of healing?

It’s All Downhill From Here

March 21, 1997 – It’s All Downhill From Here

Once again, I spent the morning playing tennis. It was very nice to play with J., V., and C. These are some of my favorite partners and we all get along so well. On the court next to us was another foursome that I often play with. D. F. and E. M. even visited me in the hospital during the second TURBT. I felt comfortable and excited to have the opportunity to play again.

C. was having a tough time getting into her game. She had not been playing much lately, because of work obligations, so her game was a little off. I coached her to remain anchored in her body and focus on her belly breath. From then on, her game improved. Nevertheless, we all had a marvelous time!

I had a conversation with my son in which he told me about two productions that he could play in. One is a Victor Herbert production of Naughty Marietta. The other is The Barber of Seville, with the same production company that produced La Boheme. He was telling me that the lead role in The Barber of Seville may be too difficult for him and maybe he should settle for a more limited role. He seems to be quite confused about this matter. So, being a good dad, I expressed to him how I thought that the people who succeed in the entertainment business really stretch themselves and go for the top productions that they can get in to. He is taking my advice under consideration.

In the afternoon I had the best guided imagery session that I ever had with Leslie Davenport! After talking a while about the details of my recovery, I decided to simply see what came up for me in the session, rather than have a planned agenda. The session was so incredible that I decided to incorporate a large portion of it in the transcript of the session (see Guided Imagery Transcript). It really speaks for itself, and I invite you to explore it!

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Tennis, Cancerport, and Feldenkrais

March 20, 1997 – Tennis, Cancerport, and Feldenkrais

Today was an up and down day, with the highs being much greater than the lows. In the morning, I was experiencing some of the side effects from radiation therapy resulting in diarrhea. Even so, I managed to play two sets of tennis with some of my favorite players. Naturally, I had no symptoms while I was on the court!

Later in the morning, I took my wife to Cancerport with me. It was really nice to have her there and experience the people I have become attached to, simply because we share similar life circumstance. I mainly shared my experience of the chemotherapy and radiation, and that I was feeling well enough to play tennis. All three of the leaders commented on how therapeutic tennis could be and I agreed with them by stating that I’d prefer to play tennis than attend a support group. So it is likely that I’ll miss Leslie Davenport’s group tomorrow because I’m scheduled to play tennis at 8:30 in the morning on the first day of spring!

From Cancerport, I went to get my new racket strung and then to Gail Teehan’s for a Feldenkrais lesson. It was truly amazing! She was so attuned to my body that she discovered my traditional places of where I hold tension. Not only that, but I experienced the transmission of energy through my skeletal system as she pressed and manipulated various areas. The climax was when she rolled me up to a sitting position! This was quite remarkable, as one moment I was lying on my side and the next moment I was sitting up, and the transition was made so seamlessly that I felt totally reassured, comfortable, and relaxed. I highly recommend stopping by to have a session with Gail!

When I finally got home, I picked up the mail and became stressed out even before I opened it! I had stressful items to deal with from the IRS, the State Board of Equalization, and Cigna Health Care. The stress I felt was in addition to being exhausted from all my activities. Nevertheless, I proceeded to do a mind story, and felt a little relieved. Then I realized that the best way to deal with the stressful items was simply to tackle them one at a time.

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Massage and Tennis

March 19, 1997 – Massage and Tennis

Today was another wonderful day! I had a massage at the Marin Oncology Center from Nora O’Toole, a Certified Massage Therapist who donates her time and energy to work with patients. This is also a part of the Marin General Hospital Humanities Program, along with the guided imagery sessions I’ve been having with Leslie Davenport.

After the massage, I couldn’t help but drive by Boyle Park to see whether I could play some tennis. I sat for a while, amazed at the empty courts, and rubbed sun block over the exposed parts of my body just in case the 5FU was still active. I was feeling so normal that when the opportunity to hit with someone came along, I took the opportunity! Man, was it fun! I found myself hitting the ball with the out breath, just as planned, but not consciously thought of. I played only for about forty-five minutes, but it felt great!

On the way home, I bought a new tennis racket to celebrate my recovery. After trying out several rackets, I settled on a Prince because it felt intuitively correct for me. This was a direct experience from my study of Practical Intuition.

Later on in the day, I received a call from Jeff Barber, a Reiki practitioner. He was given my name by a friend of ours who utilized his healing abilities for serious burns suffered by their daughter as a result of an automobile accident. They reported wonderful things about Reiki and I wanted to find out how it could help me. Since Jeff also has a home in Lake Tahoe, I wasn’t able to speak with him until today. I have a feeling that the Reiki method is not to different from many of the healing techniques I use with my children.

In addition to telling me about his Zen practice and his exposure to the teachings of some wonderful Tibetan Buddhists, he told me about a medical doctor who had people write about the reasons for their illness in pencil. Specifically, he suggested writing a letter to “Dear Cancer in My Body.” In the letter, you write emotionally about all the things that are bothering you about your illness, especially your anger, irritation, concerns, broken dreams and promises. You are to release all of these things thorough this writing. It should be done in pencil with your own hand writing and later burned with or without ceremony.

The theory behind this lies in the three carbon factors involved: the human body, the pencil (graphite), and the paper, which turns into carbon when burned. He has seen and heard about people walking away from all kinds of physical and emotional distress. Through the process of writing, the incident you’re writing about becomes complete, and you are not holding on to it anymore physically, emotionally, or spiritually. This transmutation of emotion that led to the illness seems to work wonders.

When writing, release all the anger, irritation, broken dreams, promises, and other negative emotions that you have ever felt, as the illness could have be caused by factors in your childhood, and taken decades to develop physically. Release all of this through the writing and burning. The process lets you come more into the present because you are not bringing any of the past into the present. Write about every hard moment in your life and release the emotional charge so that it no longer has a hold on physical body. When writing to the cancer in your body, state that you’re releasing the cancer from your body and there’s no place for it and there is no longer any benefit from it. State that you don’t need the cancer to bring you in to the present moment. Write about anything that bugs you. Write to the fact that you are taking chemotherapy and radiation and they’re not going to have effects that the body doesn’t want. Remind yourself that you don’t have to buy into the results of the allopathic medical doctors.

In the end, he recommended the book, Reclaiming Our Health – Breaking the Medical Myth by John Robbins, heir to the Baskin-Robbins fortune, which he gave up because he didn’t believe that ice cream (as good as it is!) is good for your health!

I am definitely looking forward to meeting Jeff Barber!

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Reclaiming Our Health: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing

One Day at a Time

March 14, 1997 – One Day at a Time

Things are now in motion for the first rounds of chemoradiotherapy to work. The elimination state begins and I feel fair to middling this morning. I’m going to try to do some symbolic cleaning up in my office once I get some more bugs fixed and then try to make Leslie Davenport’s class.

Leslie’s class was taught by an art therapist this time and we built worry dolls. My doll was named Homer and he has to worry about the next TURBT revealing no cancer!

After a nice lunch, I crashed for an hour and a half.

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Chopped Liver

March 12, 1997 – Chopped Liver

The night before last I couldn’t sleep because of the anxiety over the unknown effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was waiting for side effects, which didn’t come! So today, I really exhausted. I hope to get my energy up by the time we leave.

I spent the time listening to guided imagery tapes, Deepak Chopra, and surfing the news groups on the web. I had an interesting query from a reader of the news group,

The second day of 5FU and cisplatin was similar to the first. This time I had a chopped chicken liver sandwich for lunch from Max’s! It went well again, although I fell a little exhausted.

After the chemotherapy, I had another guided imagery session with Leslie Davenport. The session was interrupted by an extremely urgent need to pee. Before then, I was visualizing how the chemotherapy and radiation were helping me either revert the cancer cells back to normal cells, or at their choice, bubble up and degenerate into something that could be easily eliminated by the blood stream, urine, and feces. I got some really good images to work with in the future.

We stopped by M. C.’s house to see the girls before the fly off to Palm Springs for the weekend while I recover from my three doses of chemotherapy and four doses of radiation.

I spent a lot of time trying to fix a bug (work for money), so there’s not much more to say. The fact that I feel like fixing is actually saying a lot.

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