It turns out that I do have cancer […] of the lung…

Yesterday I shared the letter below on my family’s page on Facebook.
Today I’m sharing it here, so that my friends &/or occasional readers may know about my recently discovered current condition & about how I feel about it.
I’m adding a selfie I just took of me while breathing in some oxygen from my recently acquired lightweight portable oxygen concentrator.
With love to all, & with special love to those I know & love specially, you know who you are.
I hope to follow up with individual communications.

selfie2017-05-20 14-47_150

Dear Each of You in/on Flantz Family

You each of you know I love each of you (each for your special self), & I know each of you loves me (each in your special way). & knowing that does more than sustain me, it helps me feel good not only about the past but also about the present & what future I have left. & I don’t want any of you to be sad about what I write to you here. Every life must end some time, & if we cherish life I feel we should also cherish each ending, especially of the life of someone like me who not only has had a good life, but is lucky enough to have the time & this opportunity of communicating with his friends & loved ones about what’s happening, & the hope of further communications, individual &/or collective. (Thank goodness for Facebook! [& the Internet!])

So: after a chest X-ray (taken when I was hospitalized for a chest infection) showed suspicious shadows, I had a biopsy, a CT scan, & then a PET scan. It turns out that I do have cancer (adenocarcinoma, to be specific) of the lung. Surgery or radiation are impossible because of the already eroded condition of my lungs through emphysema & COPD most probably caused by decades of smoking.

The prognosis of the doctors (a lung specialist & an oncologist): without treatment, I have ±-6–9 months, with who knows what parts of me it will expand to & what accompanying pains, etc; with a form of chemotherapy that is relatively non-intensive & does not have intense side-effects, followed by the new immunotherapy which the oncologist says hardly has any – perhaps up to another 2 years.

I have an appointment with my oncologist next Tuesday, & by then I hope to decide whether to try the treatment or not. My feeling, since my talk with him in hospital, is that I probably will, or at least I’ll start, & we’ll see how it goes. I’m also slowly checking out alternatives, & in the meantime have started taking a daily dose of cannabis oil, which I’ve seen quite a few serious people swear by, & which also gives me a bit of a nice high.

I’m limited in how much I can move physically without getting so out of breath that I need to sit down to get my breathing back to what is now normal for me & my heart rate down from the speed-up it gets from the expending of effort. I’ve purchased an ogygen concentrator which I can use when needed, & that helps.

& I’m in good spirits, glad I’m still here, glad to be home, with Nitza, who’s also in good spirits, understanding, & supportive & loving & brave; near Jonathan & Ora & Emmanuel & Amalia; & nearly near Zohar & Tali & Omri & Shamaya, who love me & whom I love, & not near physically but near in heart to Ohav, & he’ll (hopefully) be visiting in September. In fact, I feel there’s something liberating somehow in knowing I’m in the last stage of my life, in having an idea of how much time, more or less, is left. In fact I feel fortunate to know this, & don’t particularly feel sad or sorry about it, I’m certainly not into raging against it (as young Dylan Thomas thought old men should). I’ve had a good run, I’ll celebrate my 81st birthday in two weeks & two days from now knowing it might be my last, & will try to do the best I can with the time that remains, to connect with whom I love and with what I love, to do the “office” work that still needs to be done, to do what I still can do of what I like doing, to express what I still feel I want or need to express, & to leave as little of a mess as I can for those who remain to deal with.

Did I say I love you all? Well, I do.
Let’s all just keep loving.

My favorite verse in the entire Bible: Micah 6.8 מיכה ו ח ميخا

I’ve loved this verse since I first read it in my early teens.
In the meme below I’ve put the original Hebrew, copied, cropped & pasted from a text with the cantillation marks; the Smith & Van Dyke Arabic translation, & a new English translation (authored by me but otherwise unauthorized). .
& here’s my (also unauthorized) translation of the verses that precede it, which appear in Hebrew above the enlarged lines of verse 6.8, & are also quite wonderful & most apposite, especially the last:

How shall I come before YHVH1 ? Shall I bow to god/son high by coming before him with burnt offerings of yearling calves? Will YHVH want thousands of rams or myriads3 of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn son for my crimes, the fruit of my loins for my soul’s sin?

micah-6-8-meme

قد اخبرك ايها الانسان ما هو صالح. وماذا يطلبه منك الرب ألا ان تصنع الحق وتحب الرحمة وتسلك متواضعا مع الهك
He’s told you, man, what’s good, & what YHVH demands of you: just to do justly & to love kindness & to walk humbly with your god/s.

_________________

1  YHVH [יהוה]: the 4-letter “unpronouncable” “Tetragramatton” that is is read in Hebrew as “Adonai” & is usually translated “the Lord”, & is also a kind of anagram that includes the meanings of “He was”, “He is”, “He will be”].

2  I add the /s to inform or remind readers that in Hebrew the name Elohim, usually thought of as singular & translated as “God”, is a plural noun.

3  1 myriad = 10,000.

Ring out the old, ring in the new […] Ring out the false, ring in the true […] Ring in the love […] & A MERRY SOLSTICE SEASON & A HAPPIER NEW YEAR TO ALL!

ring-meme
Yes, ring out the old, the false, the grief, the feuds of rich & poor, false pride in place & blood. the civic slander & the spite, the narrowing lust for gold, the thousand wars of old [& ongoing & of new]

& yes, ring in the new, redress to all mankind, the nobler [the humane, the decent, the civil] modes of life, the love of truth & right, the thousand years of peace. the larger heart, the kindlier hand [all of which are] the Christ that is to be [& IT’S UP TO (&/OR DOWN TO) US ALL!].

A MERRY SOLSTICE SEASON & A HAPPIER NEW YEAR TO ALL!

nurturance: Perhaps the most important word in (& for) our world today

nurturance meme

I didn’t know this word, as a word, a noun that describes a way of living & of being in the world, until recently.

& when I did meet it, it was in an adjective form, in an article by George Lakoff, who made what I think is the most important & most fecund sociopsychological distinction of our times, between two basic forms (I’d also call them models) of family life – the Strict Father family and the Nurturant Parent family – underlying the two radically opposed moral worldviews he calls ‘conservative’ & ‘progressive’, & which I think I’d rather call ‘right’ & ‘left’.

I don’t know if Lakoff discusses these two forms historically. I had a strict father but became a nurturant parent without even knowing the word, & I see our children & many of their generation becoming nurturant parents.

I think the appearance of the nurturant parent family is a new stage in our human evolution, sparked by the revolution of consciousness that began in our world in the 1960s.

I wanted to make a meme, to highlight & spread the word, but thought first to google it. Lo & behold, according to a wiki graph it appears to come into use after World War II, towards the 1950s, rises rapidly thru our hippy ‘60s & keeps ascending quite nicely until what looks like around 9/11/2001 & its aftermaths, then begins to drop just as rapidly, to a halfway plateau but I don’t know how far after 2010. I do know that the more we see & hear & read & think & say & live by this word there will be more very badly needed nurturance to go around.