The Latest

1) News

I just finished 5 days of the intensive chemo and it all went well.  I was able to go in for 4 hours to the chemo room at MSK Kimmel center on an outpatient basis and KR had a crack team of folks who drove me to and from MSK and Pawling (many thanks for the rides guys!).   It’s day 6 of cycle 2 and I am feeling better than I did on day 6 of cycle 1.  I think it has to do with not having been in the ICU for 6 days and being further past the emotional and mental shock of the C diagnosis, having more acceptance, and just getting some of the details and routine down.

KR had her first week of teaching classes at her new job and she is enjoying it.  We popped into MSK today for a shot of neulasta which will help my immune system bounce back faster.  We are beginning infection lock down with expected peak of immune danger zone on Wednesday.  Luckily this time my bleomycin shot on Monday will not coincide with my immune crash and they also bumped up my steroid dosage pre-bleomycin to counter-act the effects.  All this to say that I should be able to avoid the emergency room this time :).   THANK YOU everyone for all of the support, thoughts, cards, prayers, soup, visits, rides – it keeps me out of the darkness and on the path of healing.

2) Comedy

Two dear friends of mine visited the week before this last one and it was a pleasure and a boost to see them.  However, they took it upon themselves to “test” my alternative anti-naseau/appetite-inducing medicine.   Then I get this voicemail:

Let it be noted that if I did have such medicine I have not used any to date because my doctor has tuned my cocktail of meds and counter-meds so well that I haven’t had the need!  Let it also be noted that such formulations are precisely crafted for chemo patients and not yahoos (and dosage is one square and not a half bar :).  No worries dudes – it’s all good.

3) Poetry

Since I have not heard any screams of protest after posting my first poem I thought I might share a few more.  I have been pretty much maintaining my practice of doing something creative each day.  It helps me to process feelings in a different way that can approximate some of the more indescribable feelings perhaps more accurately or in a more accessible way.  At least it makes me feel better to get it out.

9/10 (i was tired :)

I have Cancer.
Now I have the Hiccups.


twelve years ago I watched my city burn
and grief pour over the bridges
until we all choked.

today i sat with chemical fire being
poured into my veins to
burn this bloom of death.

Prometheus could not have known
the kaleidoscope of forms his
gift would take – to what depths
a scar can run or
how wide an eye can open.


late summer storm lights up the darkness,
wakes the dog with thunder.
water so full there is no time for it to flow.
what was lawn is submerged sprawling swamp
handfuls of grass islands.

this is the kind of storm that could
wash us clean.

a mist in the morning on the porch,
a crow flying south,
leaving us to begin again.


I walked to the coop this morning in
my underwear and boots.

opening the nesting boxes I saw her
red neck on the wood bottom;
reptile eye mostly closed and

for an instant

she seemed as if she were sleeping in.

you carried her this evening to the
Coyote rocks – laid her down on
wildflowers, burned sage.

an offering to that grey spirit
who inhabits the crossroads and
beckons us to choose.


  1. and may that “chemical fire” get it done baby!

  2. My favorite line is the “workin-man weed”, only to be trumpted by the “I felt a little bad that we ate it all, but I don’t recommend that stuff.” OH MAN! Thank you!

  3. you inspire us all Jay. the poems are great. keep fighting and keep the sense of humor
    cousin Bob in MA

  4. love you jay bird. you heal me. we heal you. it’s a great world if we let it.

  5. Susan Gould says:

    Love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your journey and your creativity. Sad we didn’t get our visit but know it was for the best. Sending you all our love.

  6. Kelly Stineman says:

    You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I have visions of you totally cured leading others in walk-a-thons and fundraisers once you have kicked this! You can do it! Your positive attitude is an inspiration to us all. I also enjoy the poems :-)

  7. alan st. vincent says:

    my prayers and love are with you, you sound good, be great
    love ya
    your uncle al

  8. vm is so funny! fessin’ up. I love your poems. golden nuggets of perfection.

  9. hi! keep writing- they’re fantastic! also loved the vm. Haha! :-)

  10. patty giesecke says:

    This is good news Jay…….exactly on target! Keep up the good work and way to go neut’s.
    Much love to you and KR.

  11. Dr. Robin Lester says:


    Your lovely, intense song lyrics of the George II era have now evolved into a lyric suffered and burned to greater meaning.

    Thank you.


  12. that voice mail is the best!!! Hilarious! Also, I’m loving the poems.

  13. Wow, Jay those are really wonderful poems. I found myself reading them each a couple of times. it was great to see you today! Hope it continues to go well this week.

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