4th Quarter

I am resting in bed on day 4 of my last 3-week cycle. I had a smooth day at the chemo barn at MSK. It took a while to find a viable vein (they get hardened from the chemo) but luckily I only have one more day of the intensive 4-hour drip and then just two shots the following Mondays. I had a great reiki session on the way home and left feeling balanced and calm.

My sister was here the first half of this week with farm-fresh cheese and veggies and now KR’s mom is here. Both such caring, helpful, grounding spirits -country girls who are not afraid of driving in NYC traffic.

My tumor marker was down to 214 on Monday. It’s still moving well in the right direction and for that I am grateful. We have a long way to get to zero – probably 6 weeks or more from now. The chemo will still be working in my body for a while but I feel anxious to be weaning off what has been a powerful tool.  I will have a CAT scan in a couple weeks and my doctors will review that along with paying attention to my marker and determine what additional treatment may be needed. Let’s not give them too much to ponder :)

Keep the healing coming friends and family – it’s fourth quarter time where the game may be decided.

Here’s a poem. It feels like the tip of the iceberg of what I have to say on the matter but it’s a start…


Dear Cancer,
why are you here?
what have I done?
whom did I wrong?
or do you come like the dust
that settles on the windowsill
with no agenda?

Dear Cancer,
you have taught me deep lessons.
grown my heart even
as you have shrunk.
shone a light across my life even
as you have been diminished by it.

Dear Cancer,
you need to leave now.
you have the wrong address,
bad information, an error in data.
your work is done,
let me show you to the door.

Dear Cancer,
have you met my doctor?
he knows you…
watch your back Jack.

Dear Cancer,
I respect you.
I fear you.
You are ancient.
You are sly.
But I will bend
and breathe and
enlist an army
of peaceful warriors.
I will not break.
Let yourself be carried
out in this tide of
white light and love
gathered to meet you.

Dear Cancer,
fuck you.

Dear Cancer,
be an emigrant of this body,
there is no room for you here.

Dear Cancer,
what are you?
you are of me, from me
yet you invade me.
are you are random number
expressing itself?
are you a midwife
come to bring some newness forth?
are you the crack in the sky
i heard when i was young?
are you grief made manifest?
or a weight balancing some
unknown measure?
are you a lesson, a message, a dream,
a phantom, a nudge, a regime,
a fire, a flood, a call,
an evil, a consequence, an invitation,
an ending, a beginning?

Dear Cancer,
get your damn hands
off of Maria and my other
chemo buddies.

Dear Cancer,
no need to write back.
you are packing your bags
and finding your way out.
I don’t want to distract
you any more.



  1. Marcello showed your blog to some of the docs at Rockefeller U. where he works. They said.. “The stage is advanced, but his numbers seem to trend pretty well. His energy to fight on is very important. Keep him positive and feed him as much as he can eat! “

  2. Hi Jay,

    I like your poem. I know you don’t need any more help beating Cancer, but who says it has to be a fair fight. I’m sending positive energy your way. You’re in my thoughts.


  3. Hi Jay – Is there still a need for healing soups If yes, please email me and I will make some and get it up to you. isabellekrishana@gmail.com

  4. Your poems get better as you do! Thanks for including us all. XXX

  5. Ann Bresnan says:

    Jay, you have nailed it. My sentiments, exactly. You have the gift of putting your deepest thoughts clearly into words on paper- a rare thing. You and Kaitie Rose have gone through this very tough course of chemo with perseverance, grace and perspicacity. You are well-loved – deservedly so!!!
    XO All the Benedict crew loves you!

  6. Marjorie Urie says:

    Dear Jay and Katie Rose,
    You two are so amazing and we send you love and light everyday. Thinking of you on the ski slopes yesterday as we woke up to ground covering snow!! Lorraine sends her love, too. XOXO

  7. Jay, Stay strong you are awesome. Glad these full week cycles are coming to an end… Maria was very touched by your mention of her, you know we are keeping the healing coming for you ( and maria and all ) and your are on our mind. See you Soon… Dominic and Maria PS: heres my sister ( Maria Perri ) wellness center URL: http://wellness-springs.com/wellness/

  8. Get your damn hands…

    Sending the light… and a great left hook!

  9. You are amazing! Loved your letters.
    You are in good hands with KR, your sister and mama Lisa!!!! Hugs from the MN Gang. xoxox

  10. patty giesecke says:

    Love and prayers offered at St. Paul’s in London, for you, and you alone! I think it may be time for a ‘dear john letter’…..just sayin…

  11. Theresa Ryan says:

    That’s the way to tell it! xot

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