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Reposted from crystal eyes by ZenTrainer
Crystal Eyes (Pete Farr) (with his wife Snapples (Maureen Farr)) experienced the shock of a seizure April 27 which revealed a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor.  May the ongoing diaries of our subsequent   experiences serve to become as  source of information, inspiration, education, and support for all those who also ride the cancer dragon.
What  begins as a challenge of the survival from cancer becomes a call for the transformation of the planet.  The cure for both lies in  learning how to summon and apply our  vast stores of untapped cosmic energy towards healing.
For background info :

I talked with my wife,  Maureen,  about bloging today on the topic of how we are dealing with the cancer as  a couple and share something  about our biological and Panorama extended families.  I asked for her advice.

Her answer was immediate and clear.

"Make it Short. Keep it Simple."

Maureen is the daughter of a Navy Chief who was a Pearl Harbor Survivor.

We were frequent visitors in Al Paulek'™s Southern California home.  The Navy routine of clear decks and polished wood floors was a given.  No clutter and a natural functional way that everything is stowed in a logical fashion and available on demand.  His home was an exercise in thoughtful living.  I'm  certain that my father in law had never read a zen book in his life.
I am  just as certain than he would never need to.   Al is a model for the way forward.  Thoughtful intelligent attention to the detailed  operation of how a well run home should work.  His home would sparkle with homespun care.  Functional uncluttered awareness of the every day moments of home life makes for a strong container.  Because I live in love  with Al's daughter,  I live in a sanctuary where there is  refuge from those wild dragon rides .

Now I understand the electric blue lit toilet seat, the brand new circular stainless steel kitchen waste basket, and the completely reorganized kitchen corner cabinet, With each attack on our routine and normal way of life, my wife engages in a counter attack of order and joyful house taming.

In our house we call cancer "‚"little c"  All the calendars, documents, books, schedules, and confusion that cancer brings into a home is confined to the guest bedroom at cancer central.   "Little  c" is not going to take over our house.  We're back to volunteering, exercising, schmoozing & eating chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. We'™re also looking into joining cancer support groups.  It got in there, but " little" c" isn't calling all the shots around here.  We're taking our lives back one housekeeping triumph at a time.!

Albert Victor Paulek passed away last month in Carlsbad, California at the age of 96 with his loving family at his bedside.  He lived a rich and wonderful life on his own unique terms. Albert always gently taught us by his example why it is iimportant to do things well.

The Chief is sorely missed in our lives, but he is still reporting for duty every day in our home.

Reposted from The Final Chapter by Ekaterin

I've been spending hours and hours over the past few months in deep meditation. Meditation regarding my life, life in general, life on earth, humanity, how my life fits in with humanity... how my life became a part of  humanity....

I'm getting older.... 64.... then at Christmas, another milestone... 65... And, I've come to something... I'm still in process. But something, perhaps my darling Leen, or perhaps God, or God could just as week be called Allah, Buddha, the gods, the goddess.

I've come to some things that I believe, inside me, are important to share...

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Tue May 19, 2015 at 05:03 PM PDT

Community Quilt for Gordon20024

by Sara R

Reposted from Community Quilt Project by ZenTrainer

CelticLassie's quilt.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts...

It is a shock when you learn that a friend has cancer.  Gordon20024 recently learned that he does.  He is a person who is always there for others, as many Kossacks in several groups know well.  So now it is time for us to be there for him...  We can do this with a community quilt, full of words of love and support, that he can take with him to treatment or use anytime at home as he heals.

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Reposted from Community Quilt Project by Sara R

At NN13, a number of our quilt recipients were kind enough to give video interviews about their community quilts and what they meant to them.  Among them was someone who has become a good friend, peregrine kate. At the time we made her quilt, she was undergoing a rigorous treatment for cancer. Today, she is thankfully NED ("no evidence of disease"), and still facilitating the Monday Night Cancer Club which she founded here on Daily Kos, a group for people who have or have had cancer or are caring for someone who has it.  Given the prevalence of this terrible disease, it is a very important and most helpful group, a wonderful place to get information and advice.  We belong to it because a fair number of community quilts are made for Kossacks who have had cancer, as you can see from the listing of our work, below the orange doodle.

Here she is, peregrine kate, in her own words, as interviewed by linkage (who also filmed, edited and produced the video).

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I didn’t really think I’d be rich either, except for a very small part of my brain that thought I’d be rich and famous when I grew up. Like, you know maybe I’d grow up to be a band.

I guess I thought I’d be middle class like my parents. My dad was a fireman and on his off days he had a house painting business. I don’t know what they do now but when I was a kid, firemen worked 24 hours a day. Work a day, off a day, work a day, off 3 days, so most of them worked another job as well. My mother was a secretary.

They did ok. We had a nice house, my parents each had their own car, we had a housecleaner and we went on vacation every year. That was with 5 kids.

Things haven’t worked out that way for me, I’m poor.

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Reposted from crystal eyes by ZenTrainer

The mixing of tribes......

Mon May 18, 2015 at  1:43 AM PT: I posted this today on my community blog  linking my neighbors with DKOS.   That might make for an interesting experience.  Some of my Panorama senior friends are stout conservative Republicans.  They are dear sweet loving  people that enrich my life each day.   We just agree not to let politics get in the way of enjoying each other.  Sometimes our differences are the launching pad for joyous teasing in an ongoing playful game of wits.  

So here they are being encouraged to start reading my stuff on this radical progressive blog.. I wonder what will happen next?  You may be getting some visits from conservative seniors who have never been to the land of orange.  What fun.  Just a heads up and a wish that we treat them with respect and compassion.

Here is what I posted on my Panorama blog.

I am intentionally putting cancer blogging where it will get attention,  gain influence, and boost readership.  The more eyeballs, the more we can bring change.

I belong to a progressive political blog called Daily Kos.

I posted a new cancer blog there.

I list my post here at some risk that my local friends who are politically conservative might feel this to be uncomfortable.  Please don’t take offense.  My brain tumor is apolitical and so will I be an apolitical advocate for cancer healing.

Let me reassure you.  We are all brothers and sisters  who share so much more in love  than when are creating distinctions about what particular brand of  thoughts a person collects.

Cancer does not have a political cure.  Our political system does not work . The United States is behaving as if it had a cancer in the responsibility center of our governmental brain.  I want the special interests out of government but then I want us to heal our political polarization.

Cancer will be cured by the  skillful application of love as brothers and sisters,  secure in their uniqueness,  are holding hands and smiling.

.  Let the mixing of Americans begin.  Let's break up that strata of polarization that keeps us from making friends with those of different values and beliefs.



This is the magic of cancer. It generates a radiant healing love from those who wish to help.  This love melts the frozen energy of identity politics and allows people of all political stripes to be free to love each other as beautiful human beings.
This is how today feels for me.
Something that is supposed to hurt and be a bummer, has turned into a happy buzz of wonder.
Thanks again guys for a beautiful day.


4:24 PM PT: Thanks  to all  you Kossacks for helping me make the rec list.

I'm getting tons of cannabis info and fantastic emotional support.

My community  cancer blog stats are climbing through the roof.

You are helping big time get the word out.

Big Orange was a lifesaver today.

My dear Kossacks, please gather round for a second.
Crystal Eyes( AKA Pete Farr) here on the intercom.
I got some really bad news and could use a hug from my loving cyberfamily at DKOS.
The results of my brain biopsy from the Catherine  Ivy Cancer Center at Swedish Hospital  in Seattle give me a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma tumor on my left motor cortex.  My statistical prognosis of survival is from three to five  years.

My blog-
is about so much more than cancer.
It is about cancer as a launching pad for transformation through awareness, healing and love.

 This week I begin chemo, radiation and cannabis treatments.   I'm getting energy massage and energy counselling.  I'm exploring meditation, and reaching out to alternative healers that deal with cancer as a symptom of a dysfunctional energy process not a specific troublesome molecule.  

On Monday April 27 I was hospitalized for a seizure.
I was on a volunteer crew picking up donated furniture.
My right calf started spasming and the vibrations snaked up my body.
As I fell I remember not being able to breathe.
My friend gave me cpr for what he thought was 20 minutes as 911 response was a cluster f@#k and twice went up and down the stairs of a five story building to to find me.
I have returned to consciousness a changed man.
There is now little room in my life  for all the petty and little things that used to bug me.
There is no room in my life for stage fright, shyness and personal shame.
Time has become a priceless gem of rich and full experience.
Love is taking over my life.
I have been richly compensated for  all that has been taken from me on that Monday morning,

I have been given the gift of profound meaningful personal transformation.
and a powerful taste of universal cosmic love.

School teachers are always big on making lemon-aide out of lemons.   This cancer has inspired me to kick it up a notch.  I'm hoping  to make a magical mystical lemon elixir that lovingly heals cancer.
I want my brain cancer journey to become an educational support for all who have that lightning strike of cancer moment come out of the blue.
I want to explore the medical response to cancer and the non traditional cancer healing that is becoming available.  (On Wed, I hope to begin Cannabis oil to supplement the traditional radiation and chemo)
I want to improve my local health care system and help develop community healing support services.
I want to leave my community a guide blog - cancer patient 101- travel tips learned on the wild and wonderful road of healing.  
(and here's my Kossack coming out)
I see cancer as our primary American social disease.  We have a Koch tumor that needs to be dissolved.  There is a powerful metaphor in understanding that our political behavior is cancerous.  Traditional medicine doesn't understand what cancer is but tries to blindly cut it out with limited results.  Energy healing understands that everything (including cancer) is interconnected energy.  Cancer is healed when the energy flow is restored back to health.
I think our fight against the Kochs will become more skillful when we spend less time blindly striking out against something outside us and more time growing our power to flow healing  energy within us.  Developing the cancer paradigm for political action gives me goosebumps.  It is the rarest of blogging events.  It is actually a useful reframe that brings with it an actual focus for effective action.  Let's cure our collective political mind by understanding energy and how it heals.

Here's the bottom line from my death scare experience.  We are all beautiful interconnected loving eternal energy beings hanging out in these fragile temporary earth bodies lost in the illusion of separate selfhood.  We  are here to love.

Take a sad song and make it better.
Remember to let it into your heart
Then you can start
To make it better.


Life is good

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Fri May 15, 2015 at 10:11 AM PDT

DKos Asheville: Celtic Lassie's Quilt

by randallt

Reposted from DKos Asheville by Sara R
DKos Ashevillians traveled to Tennesee Wednesday to present Sara and Ann's amazing community quilt to Celtic Lassie with Otteray Scribe. A worthy dose of love from Kossacks. Gordon20024 drove down from Roanoke to meet us for the presentation and Joy of Fishes flew in on Tuesday and is there now. She is being the most loving mother hen in the whole world. When she tells you to "shoo" with that wonderful little smile and the twinkle in her eye, you know she means it. I'm sure all of us being there for OS meant the world to him. That's what families are for right? Additional help around the house would always be appreciated if anyone is able to help. Just let me know.

After we drove back to Asheville, we met up with DawnN and SteelerGrrl and Guy and had a nice meal at Rosetta's kitchen, Asheville's premier hippy vegetarian food and love cafe. I am hoping that some of us can get together again today. SteelerGrrl is attending a conference in Asheville this week so I was able to pick up a pair of tie dye sox from her for Celtic Lassie on the way to Tennessee Wednesday.

Please join us below the fold for a few photos. Thanks for being part of this community and please keep Chuck and Brandi and their family in your thoughts and prayers.

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Reposted from Scout Finch by ZenTrainer
Chest radiograph showing a Pancoast tumor
CUBA HAS FOR several years had a promising therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer. The 55-year trade embargo led by the US made sure that Cuba was mostly where it stayed. Until—maybe—now.

The Obama administration has, of course, been trying to normalize relations with the island nation. And last month, during New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s visit to Havana, Roswell Park Cancer Institute finalized an agreement with Cuba’s Center for Molecular Immunology to develop a lung cancer vaccine and begin clinical trials in the US. Essentially, US researchers will bring the Cimavax vaccine stateside and get on track for approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

More on how the vaccine works:
Cimavax works the same as any other vaccine—each dose delivers an innocuous fragment of what we want the immune system to target (virus, bacteria, and so on) along with chemicals that amp up the immune system. The vaccines we’re most familiar with protect us against pathogens that can infect us, like the measles virus.

Cimavax, though, directs the immune system’s defenses to target a protein that our own bodies produce called epidermal growth factor, which cancer cells attract and use to multiply. Blocking epidermal growth factor from reaching the cancerous cells won’t kill the cancer, but could stop it from growing and spreading. (It’s important to point out that Cimavax isn’t a preventative treatment—you can’t take a shot of it and continue smoking without fear of lung cancer.)

Wow! Cimavax could potentially slow or stop growth in other types of cancers as well. Now that it will have proper funding and clinical trials, this could be a very promising development in the fight against cancer.

We have to stipulate right off that your own words of comfort and friendship somehow wouldn't suffice. Blank cards--notepaper--looseleaf--all do exist after all, and you could write your own message.
But for the purposes of discussion tonight, let's say that you're on the receiving end of a card from someone who cares about you, cares enough to send a card at any rate. What would you like it to say?
Perhaps you're already familiar with what I consider the classic cancer card, the one that starts out, "What Cancer Cannot Do." Purportedly, cancer cannot ruin friendships, undermine faith, corrode hope. (Language altered somewhat.) Well--I'm not entirely sure about that, because I've certainly seen evidence to the contrary.
Or, there's the simple but direct statement, "Fuck cancer." Well, yes, but that only gets you so far. Then what do you do the morning after?
There's a new approach making the news these past few days, a line of "empathy cards" that's received a fair amount of play in outlets like Cure Magazine, Salon, and the like. Designer Emily McDowell writes that

The most difficult part of my illness wasn’t losing my hair, or being erroneously called ‘sir’ by Starbucks baristas, or sickness from chemo. It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say, or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it.
Now, 14 years after her diagnosis of Stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma, and 2 years after starting her own greeting card line, McDowell feels ready to share her ideas, in the hope that they will resonate with potential customers--and their intended recipients.
I have to say that they are pretty good, and far more appealing than the syrupy sweet cards that seem to be commonplace. My particular favorite is this one: "I promise never to refer to your illness as a "journey." Unless someone takes you on a cruise."
(I'm not posting this information to promote her site or her business, so that last line I'll leave to you to find--which of course you can do easily by following one or more of the links I've already included.)
So my questions for you tonight are these:
What kind of message would you most want to read, on a card or otherwise?
What kind of message would you be interested in sending, now that you've had a more personal experience with cancer?
What larger lessons, if any, do you think could be drawn about the whole cultural dialogue related to cancer and serious illness?
If you've got another question to throw out there, please be my guest. Or any other topic, because as always this diary is also an Open Thread.
PS--Don't forget to vote in the poll for a MNCC Book Club option! Nominations still open, too.
Monday Night Cancer Club is a Daily Kos group focused on dealing with cancer, primarily for cancer survivors and caregivers, though clinicians, researchers, and others with a special interest are also welcome. Volunteer diarists post Monday evenings between 7:30-8:30 PM ET on topics related to living with cancer, which is very broadly defined to include physical, spiritual, emotional and cognitive aspects. Mindful of the controversies endemic to cancer prevention and treatment, we ask that both diarists and commenters keep an open mind regarding strategies for surviving cancer, whether based in traditional, Eastern, Western, allopathic or other medical practices. This is a club no one wants to join, in truth, and compassion will help us make it through the challenge together.

Which one of these books would you most like to read as our first for an MNCC book club?

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There are worse conditions than cancer. I'll leave it up to each of you to fill in the blank with your own nominations, since what "worse" means is undoubtedly idiosyncratic. Recently, most diagnoses of cancer do not carry automatic death sentences, and most people with cancer don't find themselves stigmatized or ostracized because of their diagnosis.

In other words, things may be better for many people newly diagnosed with cancer here, in the U.S., in the early 21st century, than they were 100 years ago. But there again, I refrain from absolutes, because we can all appreciate that for too many people still, a cancer diagnosis might as well be a terminal one--if lack of medical insurance means no way to get care, of if other circumstances interfere with getting culturally sensitive and appropriate care. We are far from living in a society that supports all of us equally.

Even if all the stars are aligned, however, and you are in a relatively fortunate place--with people who care close to you, health providers who can help you, and money to keep you going--a diagnosis of cancer can be a kick in the solar plexus. Breathtaking, that is, and not in a good way.

Over the past few years, we've published a few diaries as part of the Monday Night Cancer Club series that are aimed to offer advice and support to people who are at the very start of learning how to deal with cancer. Here are a few:

A Provisional Guide to Cancer Support Groups

Getting Financial Help with Cancer Treatment: Part I, Negotiation

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Had Known Then?

Monday Night Cancer Club: "I promise you. I will not let you go."

There are many more--some of them very personal, others more analytical. If you're new here (or even if you're not), please do feel free to take a look at the list, here.You may find one that you've missed--or you may realize that there's a topic missing that you, yourself, would love to address. (That's my subtle way this week of inviting more guest diarists.)

But the real strength of every MNCC diary comes from the comment threads, in which so many of us have come forward to offer sustenance and encouragement to each other.

Some MNCC regulars have been with us all along, and still chime in nearly every week. Others have recovered well, and they have little interest now in frequenting the series. Yet others, sadly, have died. And, of course, there are still new arrivals, since despite advances in some directions, there have been setbacks in others.

So, if you are new, please feel free to ask questions, about anything you like. Every week is also an Open Thread. If you're a long-timer, feel free to weigh in. This applies to people with cancer and to caregivers alike, let me remind you. But all are quite welcome. We're a hospitable group.

Monday Night Cancer Club is a Daily Kos group focused on dealing with cancer, primarily for cancer survivors and caregivers, though clinicians, researchers, and others with a special interest are also welcome. Volunteer diarists post Monday evenings between 7:30-8:30 PM ET on topics related to living with cancer, which is very broadly defined to include physical, spiritual, emotional and cognitive aspects. Mindful of the controversies endemic to cancer prevention and treatment, we ask that both diarists and commenters keep an open mind regarding strategies for surviving cancer, whether based in traditional, Eastern, Western, allopathic or other medical practices. This is a club no one wants to join, in truth, and compassion will help us make it through the challenge together.
Reposted from Community Quilt Project by Sara R

TrueBlueMajority's quilt

It breaks my heart that this quilt is needed -- yet it is needed, urgently.

UPDATE: The situation is dire.  CelticLassie's brother and sister-in-law are on their way.  When they arrive and all the tests are back, hospice will be consulted and decisions made.  We will pull out all the stops to get this quilt done and will need the messages ASAP.
A little backstory: CelticLassie survived cancer as an infant.  Otteray Scribe and his wife (a nurse) adopted her from St. Jude's, determined to save her life.  They lovingly nursed her to health with great success.  Up until now, she's had a very active and happy life.  But the monster (cancer) appears to be back.  Since Christmas, CelticLassie has had some trouble walking and has been in pain.  A few days ago, she fell and broke her hip.   When the hip was imaged, a huge pelvic mass was found.  The doctors think the mass has weakened her bones, thus the fracture.  It is also pressing on other parts.  Long story short, CelticLassie is in agony and is likely to be in the hospital for an extended period.  We are going to make a community quilt to support her spirit through this ordeal and would welcome loving messages from you for her.

Clinic 1989
CelticLassie with her new big sister and mama

1st day B&W
CelticLassie's first day home, here with her father

As you will see below, she grew into a strong and lovely young woman with an infectious smile, a spirit for adventure, and a deep love of her family's Scottish heritage.  She is an accomplished piper, too -- not easy!  Some more photos below the orange cloud...

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Mon Apr 27, 2015 at 05:30 PM PDT

The 4th Row - movies about Cancer.

by ZenTrainer

I used to really love the movies. In fact, I had a show on a local radio station called “The 4th Row”. That’s because I always sat in the 4th row and my friends could always find me. I did pretty high brow intellectual reviews, for instance my review of Pretty Woman was “It sucked”.

When movie theatres all became mega plex’s I stopped going. Mostly because the theatres are too cold for me, especially in the summer with the A/C cranked. No more local ticket taker who knows me to tear my ticket while saying “Yeah, yeah, I know, I’ll go fix the temp.”

I still watch a lot of movies though, it’s just now I get most of them from the library or on line. I was thinking of movies that portray cancer lately and so I looked for a list of said movies. I found one site that is called 265 movies about Cancer.

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