Go Deep

Hey team! Just wanted to check in with the latest. I’ve been feeling great the last week or so and able to go for long walks and do some work around the house: getting the firewood together, clearing trails, etc.

My tumor marker was down to 311 on Monday. The rate of decline slowed a bit from the last period (detail here) but the momentum is good and I’ve got a whole month of chemo to keep getting it down. I believe at these lower numbers the subtler work is most effective: nutrition, reiki, my own immune system, and the energy of all your positive and healing thoughts, vibes and prayers. So keep it coming and thank you!

As I approach the end of chemo I find myself a bit anxious to leave this period. By now I know what the chemo cycle feels like. The routine is familiar, I know the chemo nurses by name, I know when I can do what level of activity and when to anticipate what level of side effects. And there is a major milestone of detailed testing and scanning at the end of chemo that will determine any following treatment and how effective the 4 cycles of chemo have been. A part of me is wary of what lies on the other side.  But I also know what will be will be and all I can do is work to keep up the healing momentum.

KR sent me a great bit from Humans of New York (HONY) which I wanted to share. HONY is a blog/FB page (and now a book) by a fella who posts photos along with quotes and short stories of characters who make up the great tapestry of NYC. This woman’s quote really captures how I have been trying to meet this cancer:

“If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?”

“When a wave comes, go deep.”

“I think I’m going to need an explanation for that one.”

“There’s three things you can do when life sends a wave at you. You can run from it, but then it’s going to catch up and knock you down. You can also fall back on your ego and try to stand your ground, but then it’s still going to clobber you. Or you can use it as an opportunity to go deep, and transform yourself to match the circumstances. And that’s how you get through the wave.”

p.s. my last post was not an open letter to Miley Cyrus but if I had written one I wish it could have been this one by good ol’ Sufjan Stevens :)


  1. Somebody said they saw me
    Swinging the world by the tail
    Bouncing over a white cloud.
    Killing the blues

    Preach Mr. Prine

  2. Theresa Ryan says:

    Looking through some mighty old papers that Rich found in the house he grew up in, I came across this:

    Not once in life, perhaps, ’tis ours
    To reach a long-sought goal;
    But we may pause beside the road
    To help another soul.

    Not once to us may come the call
    To play the hero’s part;
    But we, perchance, may give some word
    Of courage to some heart.


    Courage to your heart.


  3. Laura Sweet says:

    Hey Jay… sending you light and love every day! So grateful for your posts and most especially for those good numbers. Keep healing, and give my special cousin Katie Rose a big hug for me…

  4. Nat & Tisha Howe says:

    Val, if you go to the comments, you can see his other posts. You and Jay have a lot in common about how you look at the world. Tisha

  5. Your good news is very uplifting. I sympathize with the dilemmas facing you in your new world after chemo. It will be an ongoing saga and life affirming for all of us who follow you. I’m sorry I missed your reply about more apples. The season went too quickly but we’ll hope for an abundant next year. Susan did manage to make a tart! XXX to you both, NBH

  6. Hey Jay,
    So glad to hear you’re powering through! Also glad the roofing we did when I was there (which I’m sure must have been against doctor’s orders, or at least out of sight of them) didn’t wear you down too much. Was so awesome to see you and KR and spend time at your mesmerising place in Pawling. Can’t wait to see you guys again soon! Tons of love, Sebastian

  7. Esther Forrest says:

    Hi, it’s Esther, Jamie’s mom. I have been asking about you. I think you know that I’ve had my challenges with having had cancel four times. A positive attitude, rather than feeling sorry for yourself, is a big immune blaster. You will be changed by the experience & see life as B.C. (before cancer) & A.C. (after cancer). I was changed in a positive way & I’m confident you will be as well. My very best to you & your loved ones.

  8. John Swain says:

    Hello Jay,

    Betty and I are so full of admiration for the way you are dealing with this and talk often about you and KR and your extraordinary ability to communicate and share strength and hope. We are in Pasadena right now in our new place which is not too different from the one in Tuscany! We had thought we should be more present as grandparents and since all six of them are on the West Coast we had been looking for an appropriate (low maintenance, smallish, etc) “retirement” condo. What we got was a mediterranean villa built on a grand scale in 1930 by an architect called Gordon Kauffman who also built a number of major edifices in the Tuscan style. We fell in love with it and that was that.

    You guys should come and visit when you are feeling better. You are very much in our thoughts as we go about our lives, thinking we are just fine, as you must have done. My son Tom and his wife Stephanie came back recently from a year of back packing in Asia, which includes Australia and South Africa, a fact not generally known to geography buffs. They are safe and well and getting back to life in San Francisco.

    James Kelly and his gang are five minutes or so away. Xavier is now six and Adelaide is two and very much Betty in a younger and smaller format.

    Will try to add a message or two in future weeks, in the meantime we have yet another beautiful sunny day with an amazing view of the mountains to deal with.

    Lots of love Betty and John

    From: Adventures In Testicular Cancer Reply-To: Adventures In Testicular Cancer Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 13:44:18 +0000 To: Trial User Subject: [New post] Go Deep

    WordPress.com Jay posted: “Hey team! Just wanted to check in with the latest. I’ve been feeling great the last week or so and able to go for long walks and do some work around the house: getting the firewood together, clearing trails, etc. My tumor marker was down to 311 on Mond”

  9. Ralph Linsalata says:

    Jay, thank you for sharing your thoughts and poems. I especially liked the “going deep” concept. I know you will win the fight with your attitude and the support and prayers of your many friends.

  10. Sharon Friedman says:

    Recently had surgery which has included A lot of pain. The going deep is a great concept. I have lost the pain war by standing firm. Thank you for all your courage. Sharon Friedman(Josh’s Mom) I have been moved by your poems.. Sent from my iPhone


  11. This makes me think of our surf house in Barbados. Looking forward to another session!

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