It’s Gonna Be A Lung Day

Just got scheduled for my open-chest (left) lung surgery for next Wednesday 3/19.  It is sooner than we expected but it will be good to get it done and then have only one surgery left (well, the right one will be left to be exact).   It will be at the main MSK hospital in the operating room next door to where I had the RPLND.

Until then I will be doing my surgery training: yoga, cardio (stationary bike), meditation, deep breathing, eat right and sleep tight.  Hope everyone is enjoying this turn in the weather -amazing days are around the corner.

coupla poems for y’all:



we walk slowly this morning
along the tongue of
grey gravel snaking through a
white and peaceful field

we pass a coalition of robins

(as a rule solitary and confrontational
but this is a long and cold winter)

they are combing the brush for
the few berries left so late

we pause at a small mess
of fur and blood

still red, it must have been
last night’s kill

rabbit maybe

small canine tracks leaving the scene
sharp and musky smell speaking of fox

on our way back we find
some digestive part
frozen like a rock


when I walked into the operating room,
bustling green and blue figures
barely looked up
their faces hidden

perhaps it is better that way,
I could not pick them out of the
line-up or mug book that are
sometimes shown when someone has
been cut and gutted

the table was so flat
with two arms extending out
straps waiting to
hold me in place

maybe even when your mind is held
in the cool clear nothingness
in the under of anesthesia
the body still struggles against
so deep a wound

animal avatar
flailing to be free


now i see the
weeks plod past the window
from my bed

the pain of places that were

incised, clamped, spread
cleaved, sliced, sewn

the memory and fragments

fade like church bells
rung in a sacred act

a blood sacrifice



when i was young i was on fire.
i burned through days and nights
singeing the edges of rooms and
the fingers of those who touched me

i lit the ground in front of me
with flame that left the distance dark

now i feel the quench of stillness
i hear silvery trickles slowly
soothing glowing crackles

i lie back, arms outstretched
to float in cool June water
listen to the wind lightly tickle
newly green leaves and notice
the absence of pain


  1. 3/3 is absolutely beautiful. I keep coming back here to read it. So happy today’s surgery went well — we love you guys (even if we do fall asleep in odd places sometimes) x

  2. Tom Crider says:

    Though we’ve never met, Jay, your Mom and Dad are friends and I’ve been reading your blog and admiring your way with words, your humor, and your strength. Hoping all goes well tomorrow.

  3. You are in my thoughts. Everything will go well tomorrow. Every day is one day closer to a time when this will all be behind you.

  4. love that last one.

  5. patty giesecke says:

    We all will be harnessing our love and good thoughts your way, next week. Another page in the scrap book to be turned. Especially liked the poem on 3/3, As always….sending love.

  6. Courtenay B. Carella says:
  7. soulsurfer3 says:

    Thinking about you, bud.

  8. That is soon indeed! But it will be so good to have one more healing surgery behind you. I hope we can come visit you at the hospital. Lucas, Mila and I look at your picture in our living room every day and send lots of love yours and KR’s way. See you soon and let us know if there’s anything you need while you are in NY.

  9. We will be thinking of you Jay, It’s on the calendar, next Wed,

  10. Thank you again for fragilely and sensibly sharing the depths; we are with you.

  11. Oh, my–and I thought you would never exceed your earlier work.

    Now, to score it. Acoustic guitar. Flute. Maybe Brooklyn Banjo Boy’s unlikely touch, too.

    Thank you, dear neighbor,


  12. Sarah Nestor Welch says:

    You still light the ground in front of you.

  13. You are in our MN hearts too and we’ll all be thinking of you next week. Actually we are always thinking of you and KR! Happy spring is coming your way too. love you xoxoxoxoxoxo

  14. Jay, all my love, prayers and healing thoughts with you for the next chapter… you’re always in my heart of hearts. Love Nadiya~

  15. Go get ’em, Jay! Sending the summery light your way…

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