pondYesterday, after my lung decided to stay mostly inflated (85%) when removed from suction, I was discharged and home by nightfall!

It feels so good to be here, see the animals, go for a walk by the pond, sleep in our bed, witness the vanguards of Spring, not be woken up every few hours and notice a distinct lack of beeping and PA announcements.

That was a solid 15 days stretch in the hospital; making it 24 out of the last 29 days in the joint. I was almost afraid to go outside. Some sort of Stockholm syndrome. Let me be clear though that, despite the suckiness of the environment, the people -nurses, PCT’s, docs, escort services, janitors- made it tolerable with their kind and smiling touch.

Four days ago they removed my smaller (pigtail catheter) chest tube and put in a new, larger one. The procedure was a little painful and the aftermath has brought some consistent pain. The part of the tube that is in my pleural space is about 3/8” in diameter, stiff, and 3” long. As i move and breath it rubs against the inside of my ribs which is no massage. Luckily I have a whole bunch of Oxycodone (hands off y’all!).

The bigger tube allowed my lung to expand to 95% on suction and stay at 85% when I left the hospital. The next 7 days will hopefully bring the closing of the air leak in my lung and a complete re-expansion. I will go back to MSK next Thursday, get an x-ray and consult with Dr. Bains.

My abdomen has healed well from the recent surgery and all systems are moving. Once this lung is all set we will re-evaluate and discuss the right lung thoracotomy/resection but no plans on the that front yet.

Thank you all for the ongoing support – it keeps me afloat.


  1. Thinking of you and Katie Rise this Easter – xo, Stancy

  2. John Swain says:

    Hello Jay and Katie Rose

    We saw John and Karen earlier this evening, looking good. The occasion was very New York eccentric, an evening at The Century to celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th, organized and put on by a Member, with most of the performances being delivered by Members, and a full house of Members and their guests. Jon Richards was the opening declaimer, reciting Hamlet’s advice to the players, and his was the best spot in the schedule since he could enjoy the rest of the evening with us. The program was surprisingly good, typical of the Century in my limited experience, well mixed up, brought to a rousing close by a couple of imported young professionals who performed a section of a play not by Shakespeare about the meeting between Edwin Booth (a Century Member he) and his final love. She was auditioning to play Juliet opposite his Romeo, a part he was reluctant to perform, it seems, and the exchanges mingled with the best known speeches from the balcony scene are hilarious.

    After this cultural injection the plan was to have dinner upstairs. John and Karen demurred, on the basis that we are all getting together again on Friday to celebrate Susan K’s birthday, so the dining team was Jon, Claudia and India, Betty and I. One cannot help wondering at the age of the membership at The C, which on the basis of this evening must average at least 70 and probably more. It’s like going to the opera a few years ago, when I used to think better make the most of this because it cannot last long if these are the only people going. Then Gelb came along and the audience age has dropped remarkably quickly. The Century thing is different. These people are so engaged in life that they last longer.

    Am conscious of this right now as I learned that the father of one of my oldest friends died earlier this month. He was almost 96. When I first met him he was running a fairly significant engineering company as CEO but made no fuss about that, mostly answering questions about it monosyllabically, and concentrating on his roles as husband, father and host. He loved all of that, and when grandchildren came along it got even better for him and his wife. So to his Obituary: he had left Cambridge at the beginning of World War Two, signed on for the Air Force, got a flying start so to speak because he had been a member of the flying unit at Cambridge, and before you know it was flying fighters in the Battle of Britain. He became a Wing Commander at 24, took his Wing to Africa for the North African part of the War, and somehow survived. Medals galore. Though I was vaguely aware that there was some wartime experience, I had no idea he was one of the few, as the English refer to Battle of Britain fighter crews “never in the history of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few” and of course like most of them he would never dream of talking about it. You think you know people but it’s hard to know them fully, since most conversation is about life as it stands today.

    I am procrastinating over the third reading of Liz’s novel. This is merely a third reading of the ending, which I have suggested needs more clarification. I have printed out three chapters which lead up to the final chapter, and the new final chapter, so that I can get a full run at the new final chapter, so it’s not a big deal, it’s just that I so much hope that she has nailed it.

    My turn for lights out I think. We think of you a lot and look forward to seeing you soon Love from us both John

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Hey there Jay —
    Just a quick note to let you know that not only are folks you know thinking of you, but some who you don’t — like me — are as well (we have a slew of shared P’ton friends, which is how I came upon your corner of the internet). At the risk of wading into a bit of cheese, I recently read this passage on having a green thumb from Michael Pollan’s book, Second Nature, and it brought to mind a number of the (lovely) sentiments you’ve expressed here in the face of this thing you are fighting:

    “You might say that a green thumb gardens with a greater-than-ordinary measure of what Keats, seeking to account for Shakespeare’s genius, called negative capability — the ability to exist among ‘uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.’ The green thumb is equable in the face of nature’s uncertainties; he moves among her mysteries without feeling the need for control or explanations or once-and-for-all solutions. To garden well is to be happy amid the babble of the objective world, untroubled by its refusal to be reduced to our ideas of it, its indomitable rankness.”

    Words to live by, both in and out of the garden, I think.

    Keep doing what you are doing!
    Ann Parker McKeehan

  4. Mary Ludington says:

    Oh, so glad you are home again, Jay. Too much,… enjoy peaceful, not-too-painful, days ahead in the woods, with your family. xo

  5. Esther Forrest says:

    So true about MSK. Glad you are home. Enjoy every moment!

  6. Welcome home! Big hug to you both!

  7. Theresa Ryan says:

    Super! Happy to hear you’re home and can spend Easter in your little paradise with Katie Rose. xot

  8. Kristina Gates says:

    Wonderful news ❤ welcome home Jay
    Sending love from the Gateses

  9. march61@gmail.com says:

    Dear Jay and KR, Wonderful you’re home! Thinking of you this Easter weekend and hoping you heal quickly and make swift progress!
    Xo Margaret Kip Blythe

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  10. Ralph Linsalata says:

    Jay, your words are great to read and convince me that Spring is here. Your courage and attitude are a wonderful lesson and inspiration for all of us.

    Happy Easter


  11. Randy Fairbanks says:

    So glad to hear that you’re back home! Sending love to Pawling.

  12. Tisha Howe says:

    HIp Hip Hooray!!!! We are in Seattle , so this is from Seattle Howes and the Old Philly Howes!! We all send our love to you and Katie Rose. We are picturing you two walking to the pond and through the daffodils.

  13. Yay!!!!!

  14. Sending you and your team (loved ones, docs, nurses and janitors) a GIGANTIC bear hug from Austin. So glad you are back home.

  15. Jane Ringer says:

    Grandma is down with us now and we all send a big WELCOME HOME and keep on healing! You and KR are amazing and we can’t wait to see you this summer. Love from all of us and a big smack from Grandma!!! :)

  16. I am so, so, so happy you’re home. Hug those beasts and that woman tight, get rest, feel all the love.

  17. Welcome back! So glad.

  18. So happy that you are home! Rest up and feel good. xo

  19. Deanna Sue Sucsy says:

    I am inspired every time I read your analysis of what is happening to you, both physically and emotionally. Jay you are impressive. Keep it up. Love to both of you and your strength in this incredible journey together. Much Love
    Prayers Sue

  20. Welcome home Jay.

  21. How wonderful that you’re home again Jay. Thanks so much again for continuing to share your brave journey with us all. Your photo is so like a famous Steichen one called ‘Pond Morning.” A new day dawning for you as well. Happy Easter Jay, and Katie Rose too!

  22. So happy to hear you are home and enjoying nature! xoxo

  23. soulsurfer3 says:

    Welcome back! At least you didn’t miss any good weather!

  24. Keith Porteous says:

    Dear Jay, thanks so much for this report. These updates are so inspiring. I did not even know this great resource existed ’till dear Matt Dellinger tipped me off recently. Sending you love and all wishes for full-healing from the Deep South, keith

  25. Hip Hip Hooray! The Daffodils are all singing “”welcome home” . Let the sunshine warm your soul. Love and hugs to you both

  26. patty giesecke says:

    Beautiful photo of the pond, beautiful that you are home where healing will be on ‘speed dial, and beautiful that your spirits remain strong……not so nice that the pain continues but I suspect as soon as that pleura binds….a page in your scrapbook. We send love as always.

  27. Beloved friend, this is THE news I’ve waiting for this week. I almost called you this afternoon, some part of my heart was aching to hear from you, and for this news in particular. Welcome home Jay Erickson. Today I was looking at your Facebook page and that little boy with a white cover on his head spoke to me…he said “I am fierce, make no mistake”….
    Love Nadiya~

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