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?


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!

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!].


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.