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July
24
2021

Terry's Latest Health Update

Dear Friends,

 

I’ve been looking forward to updating you as soon as we reached clarity on Terry’s next steps, and many details have now come into view. Writing you today brings joy to my heart. I sense the field of love, support, and compassion in which my words arrive. This is an immense blessing and honor; thank you!

 

I can’t adequately convey how profoundly grateful Terry and I are to Craig and Claire for launching and seeding the GoFundMe campaign, and to so many of you for responding with tremendous generosity. Each donation truly makes it easier for Terry to breathe –– quite literally, and also figuratively. He deliberated for several weeks before “feeling right” about receiving this kind of support, and I’m so glad he felt able to do so. It will directly improve the quality, and, we pray, the length, of his life. Deepest gratitude to all who’ve been drawn to take part, or to share the news with others. The sense of being able to rest into your embrace through these tangible gestures is deeply restorative for Terry.

 

The image that comes to mind to describe the past few weeks is running a marathon through a maze. Our team now includes four oncologists, an integrative MD, a patient advocate MD, a pulmonologist, a palliative care nurse practitioner, and two acupuncturists. Their recommendations for treatment protocols, clinical trials, imaging, lab work, healing practices, and supplements cover a range of valuable perspectives, and emanate from a wealth of experience. I love organizing the data, and managing communications and logistics to help Terry synthesize the information so he can make choices with which he most resonates. We agree 99.99% of the time, and we’re discovering so much as we go along. 

 

My tender regard and devotion to Terry grow daily. Seeing his heart remain so open and free while his body is in distress, laughing until we nearly cry as we add yet another procedure to an already-jammed medical schedule, and walking hand-in-hand as he bravely navigates this complex terrain––it's all part of a baptism by fire. My life has greater meaning because I am supporting his. I sense that many of us feel this way.

 

On July 27, Terry begins an off-label three-drug protocol used in a clinical trial with very positive outcomes. He’ll receive two immunotherapy drugs and one chemo drug. Had the pharmaceutical companies not approved him for compassionate use, these drugs would cost over $70,000 per month. Manageable and transient side effects are likely, but so is a positive impact on the cancer. One of the drugs will be delivered via a port, which will be surgically installed on July 29. Lab tests have become so frequent that they're part of the daily, and sometimes twice or thrice daily, routine. 

 

Terry’s symptoms have gotten a bit worse in the last week or so, and he’s eager to begin the next round of treatment. Breathing and speaking have become more difficult, fatigue has at times been a challenge, and the largest tumor causes pain in his chest and back. An x-ray today revealed that his right lung is about 50% full of pleural fluid that will likely need to be drained soon, and/or a catheter placed for easier future drainage. 

 

Despite all this, Terry continues to walk in nature, participate in Zoom and in-person meetings, have conversations for his podcast, occasionally dance with his neighbors (many of whom deliver delicious homemade meals he truly enjoys), bask in the love that is sent his way, and deepen in contact with  the Divine. Last weekend, he enjoyed a wonderful family visit from his brothers, David from Sebastopol and Jonathan from Seattle. Thought you might enjoy these photos of the brothers Patten!

 

Much love,

Deborah

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July
12
2021

July 12, 2021

Dear friends of Terry,

Many of you have asked if there’s a way you can contribute to support Terry’s growing out-of-pocket medical expenses. We’re happy to announce that we’ve created a GoFundMe campaign to help him access the financial resources needed to take advantage of the best care options available to him.

Please visit the page below to learn more and donate:

Terry Patten Wellness Support Fund

Thank you for your support!

Warmly,

Craig Hamilton and Claire Zammit

 

July
4
2021

July 3, 2021

Dear friends, 

This holiday weekend Deborah, Roger and I are all decompressing from a pretty intense week. 

My 2nd PET scan contained both good news and bad. The good news is that the cancer has not spread further outside the lungs, and the few suspicious places outside the lungs even seem to have shrunk. The bad news is that the tumor & lesions in my lungs have grown, not-insignificantly, and other diagnostic data also indicates that the chemo is not really working as hoped. 

That led us to a series of conversations with my doctors. It’s been a busy week. Net-net, here’s the story:  

  • We are canceling the chemo infusion originally scheduled for this coming Thursday.   
  • We are in conversation with very knowledgable and resourceful sarcoma specialists — who are also in conversation with one another — and within a week or 10 days, we expect to have finalized a decision about my next form of treatment. 
  • It looks like that will involve immunotherapy, quite possibly a combination of two different immunotherapy drugs, perhaps as a part of a clinical trial.
  • We’ll schedule the first treatment as soon as we’re able. It might begin next week, or during the week of July 12th. We hope not later.
  • It will be monitored every ~3-6 weeks or so. We have reason to hope that the treatment will reduce the size of the cancer in my lungs, and also we should be able to know fairly quickly if it isn’t, so we can adjust accordingly. 

My breathing & speaking have become a bit more strained, and of course we’re disappointed that the chemo has not been successful. We had been expecting better results, so this has certainly driven home the reality that this is a serious and life-threatening disease, too. All that has been quite sobering. 

But not depressing. I knew all this was possible, all along. And, additionally, I and Deborah and Roger are all confident that I'm getting excellent care, and that the treatments we will be trying next are promising. I’m trusting the process and am enjoying almost every minute of this sacred mystery.

We’ll be keeping you in the loop as we learn more. Thanks so much for caring, and for tuning in. 

Love,
Terry 

June
26
2021

Interview with Terry

Both Terry and I have been feeling it was time for him to communicate something here, and I suggested that I interview him. He thought that was a great idea, so we did it. Here’s a link to the video, and here’s the transcript. Much love to all!

 

June 26, 2021 - Video of Interview

 

Deborah: Terry, I wanted to interview you as a way to connect with everyone following your journey on this site, and offer folks a glimpse of your process in your own voice. 


As I’ve said, as I’ve written here, it’s so inspiring to accompany you on this journey, and I feel totally blessed. At the same time, I feel real despair at the prospect of losing you, and a deep commitment to treasure the precious time we now share. So many people love, respect, and admire you, and I know their care and prayers are with us here as we begin this conversation.

 

So I’m just wondering -- how are you today? What’s top of heart, as you so beautifully ask guests on your podcast? 

 

Terry: You know, all of this has just drawn me to the Divine. All the verbs that are appropriate––gratefully receiving, beholding, appreciating, celebrating, savoring, and more deeply communing with reality. My degree of free attention is not absolutely stable, so I notice my capacity to do all those things sometimes waxing and waning a little bit. So I bring a lot of self-compassion to myself. It’s understandable that I would sometimes have less energy. I don’t need to make myself wrong for that, and yet I really do want to show up as fully as I can. 

 

What is trickiest for me is that I can’t tell how I’m going to feel a few hours from now. Sometimes I have this kind of difficulty with my voice, and sometimes I’m just tired and I need to take naps, and yet sometimes I feel like myself, and I have energy, and I want to bring it. And sometimes I will think I have energy and I want to bring it, and then I won’t. So it’s the trickiness of the fact that everything is so unpredictable, and that I think I have enough energy to do "x" or "y," and then I don’t. And some part of me feels disappointed with me for not having managed my energy better so that I would have more energy at this point of the day. And some other part of me has to remind myself to forgive myself for not being perfect. You know, that kind of stuff. I’m learning something about that. It’s like I kind of knew all that; those are things one learns in the life of practice, in general. But there’s been a big destabilizer of expectations, and a lot of things that I could take for granted before, I can’t. 

 

I had a somewhat difficult day yesterday, where I thought I would make some heartfelt communications that I was looking forward to, and I really didn’t have the capacity to be as productive as I wanted. Some part of me was disappointed with myself, and I had to kind of go through my own frustration and self-forgiveness process. So I think just sharing that helps you get inside what it’s been like. These have been rather ordinary days of late.

 

Deborah: Beautiful. That really gives me, and others, a sense of what you’ve been going through. Just on the more physical level, in addition to fatigue, unexpected at times, how are you doing physically? What has your physical experience been lately?

 

Terry: I have a dull pain at the bottom of my right lung that is noticeable most of the time, sometimes intrusive. Sometimes it goes away and I don’t notice it for a little while. Occasionally, particularly at night, I’ll notice pains in the upper parts of the right and left lungs, too. 

 

I’ve always had a little bit of difficulty with sleeping, and sometimes these other discomforts just make it harder to sleep deeply and well. But part of what I’m doing, like anybody would, is thinking about how are we going to deal with this?

 

There are, as you well know, these different tracks that we’re pursuing here, with Stanford––you might say, the straight allopathic standard of care from a major institution. And there are some more holistic approaches, where I’ve gotten the apheresis and a bunch of the supplements and so forth that I’m taking, and probably some IV treatments. And now we’re beginning to launch into another dimension of all that, which is to go to see a much more creative sarcoma specialist in Santa Monica, who seems to be likely to be able to help me manage the disease more effectively even than the really good doctors at Stanford and at Marin Cancer Care, who have already been taking care of me.

 

I want to express my thanks to you. As you know, this is a full-time job. There are so many different communications with all the different doctors and their assistants, and the other nurses, and palliative care. I don’t really think we’ve adequately counted them, but we must be in direct communication with at least a dozen or more people. And then very often there’s a new test, and that needs to be shared with everybody. There’s all of these things that you’re helping me with, that are really important. Thank God! Just for me to do my part kind of takes a lot of my bandwidth in itself.

 

One of the challenges has been that cancer sort of usurps your agency and sovereignty. I think I’m going to live my life in such and such a way, but something having to do with maybe losing your life, and maybe getting a treatment that’s critical, and the availability of the physician to do the thing that is important then kind of crashes in. And pretty soon, it’s the schedules of the various care providers that are more important than my choices, and my life is subordinated to all that stuff. I don’t like that very much. And there’s something about finding a way of, to some degree, pushing back and having some choice; not just letting my sovereignty be violated altogether. But also, very often, I do have to give in, and there’s a sense of humor to recover, and a willingness to work with the less preferable rhythms of life that result.

 

Deborah: I’ve really admired your capacity to manage the tensions of those polarities, of giving in and flowing flexibly, and retaining your autonomy and authority and agency in the face of all these unknowns, and chaotic dismemberment of your schedule and preferences. 

 

So I’d also like to ask a bit about your practice. How do you access the strength and faith and courage that you seem to be really effortlessly embodying? I know that I, and many others I’ve spoken with, who’ve reached out to me, we’ve acknowledged that in your shoes, we would be experiencing a good deal of doubt and fear and dread, and feel very sorry for ourselves. And I’m wondering if these qualities arise for you, and if so, how do you work with them? Just to hear how your own practice is meeting this moment, and evolving as it goes on.

 

Terry: I think that because when I first found out about it, it seemed as though it was pretty likely that I was going to die really soon. What I had to confront––clearly there was a lot that was unknown. But I had to kind of come to grips with the worst-case scenario pretty much right away. That was certainly a shock, but the starkness served me. It was like, wow, maybe this is it. Maybe this is my time. Maybe I have another––at that time, I had no idea. Maybe I had another few weeks; it was unknown. 

 

That helped make things very clear. It was just clear that I’ve lived a wonderful life. Luckily, I think that question clarified itself only after a day and a half, or two days, in the hospital. A little bit of time. And there was enough time for a number of loving messages from friends and community to arrive, and there was this sense of being held in the loving regard of all the people in my life. People I’ve touched. People I didn’t even know, in a couple of cases. But people who felt touched by me.

 

And it all just kind of telescoped itself down to a simplicity of you’ve lived a good enough life. It was as if God kind of said, “Buzzer! Game over! Yeah, you’ve done good. Good enough. You don’t really exist anyway, by the way. Call it good.”

 

And so there was, I think, a way that I had held a sense of obligation to make a bigger difference. I felt that I’d been given various gifts and transmissions from my teacher, Adi Da, and others. Maybe if I could somehow deliver that better, more fully, I could make a bigger difference, and the whole human predicament might budge a little, and I could redeem my sense of obligation to be in integrity with generations to come. I was carrying a bit of a weight. There was something about that buzzer sounding that just has relieved me of that sense of things. 

 

In so doing, I think I felt well, what is? And what is, is this moment. And this moment is luminous, empty, divine, radiant, endlessly deep, effervescent, full of grace, potentiated with unknown miracles. And so there’s been a really progressive exploration of that.

 

At one point, I found myself noticing that every time I talked to the oncologists, I felt like I was getting a transmission of a scientific materialistic, atheistic, allopathic, deterministic world in which the plane was going to crash. Maybe we could kind of keep it in the air a little longer. Maybe we can get you another few months, another year, another couple years, maybe even three. But you’re going to crash.

 

And the mood of it was devoid of that miraculous quality of the divine. And I realized that this wasn’t my truth, and I wanted to partake of that. And yet, much of the literature about creating miracles tends to be a little too credulous or touched by magical thinking: I’m going to visualize myself fully intact. It’s kind of like the ego versus the bad thing that would happen. And my egoic ability to imagine good things could somehow rule it out. That’s just not my truth. 

 

So I really was trying to tune into what felt true in that literature of creating miracles. And I ran across a little snippet, something I’d heard at least three or four times previously, from Bruce Lipton. He more or less was saying that what creates the future of your existence is your subconscious programming, which tends to be negative. Everybody’s is tending to be negative, because the culture’s programming tends to be negative, and everybody’s got childhood wounds. So the only thing you can do is you’ve got to interrupt that, again and again. Repetition, repetition, repetition. And you’ve got to reorient it. 

 

I found myself feeling into that, and thinking there is a logic to that, but I don’t want to be interrupting. What is it I want to interrupt, for one thing? Well, it is that sense of me being a guy in a situation who is caught in a predicament of karmas, of symptoms getting worse, and being tired, not being able to get things done, there not being enough time, or money, or whatever it is, you know. My karmic enclosure. And that’s worth interrupting. 

 

When I’m oriented like that, I’ve lost the plot. I’ve lost touch with the real nature of reality. And when I wake up, and I open into the divine nature of this present moment, that’s infinitely deep. It’s an endlessly deepening revelation. And it’s full of grace. And whatever miraculous powers might help me have a spontaneous remission, and get all better, and live another twenty years, or whatever it would be, it would come from that anyway. And that doesn’t require me to believe in something or other. It just requires me to wake up from the wooze of the dilemma of the guy in trouble, into the living presence of the sacred nature of this reality.

 

And so I’ve been doing that, and doing that just makes me happy. And that happiness then gives me something I can give to others. So when I encounter people, I’m coming in a happy mood, and I’m brightening the moment the best I can, and my experience of others feeling brightened brightens me further. You know, it’s just a positive feedback loop of goodness. And that gives me a lot of energy. I’m basically running on that.

 

Deborah: It’s truly remarkable to see you doing this. A doctor will come in and say, “I’m so sorry this is happening to you.” And you’re like, “I’m happy, I’m not afraid of dying, people love me, I’m good.” And they’re marveling at encountering someone like you. So I definitely feel you transmitting that recognition and realization, and benefiting people who typically wouldn’t encounter that in the patients they meet. 

 

And it’s just helping me so much in my life, to make sense of my own frustrations and challenges, which are so, so minor and evanescent, compared to what you’re grappling with. At times, I’ve just really struggled with how could something like this be happening to someone I feel is so wonderful, and so needed on this earth at this time.

 

Okay, yes, it’s beautiful you have this recognition for yourself, and yet we need you around to share this––more, longer! So that’s just something that I feel a poignant ache about. Kind of the why do bad things happen to good people question. And you’ve kind of touched on this, but I wonder if anything else comes up?

 

Terry: Well, this has certainly been a most graceful practice intensive for moi. I am being drawn into it. I gotta walk my talk! That has benefited me, and continues to benefit me. And I need to keep practicing. It’s never done.

 

Part of what I’m reminded of is that the symptoms can get grisly. This could push to the edge of what I can tolerate. I may have seen nothing yet, you know, in terms of what’s difficult. So I try to stay humble, and not buy into the story that I’m handling this cancer so wonderfully, and what an impeccable practitioner I am. 

 

Well, I’ve managed to practice reasonably well, given what’s unfolded so far. And what has yet to unfold may test me in new ways. I think that it’s only grounded and realistic to stay appropriately humble. 

 

But then also, as you know, I’ve been acutely aware of the existential predicament of the whole human civilizational project for twenty-plus years. I felt moved, seeing it accelerating as much as it has in the last six years or so. I reoriented my work, I wrote A New Republic of the Heart. I felt that in a way, it was as if we had been collectively given a rare, incurable cancer diagnosis, and we’d better take that in and let it wake us up, and at least talk to each other in a whole different way. And I felt that it had initiatory power to engender a different level of depth, of presence, of receptivity, of vulnerability, and of contact with reality––the sacredness of reality, and also of one another.

 

And so that’s really kind of what my work had been. But it had been hard work, and I’ve not always sailed through it in anything like an easy way. So I’ve been through a whole series of dark nights of the soul. 

 

And now, in a way, this matter of the mortality of us collectively is drilled down into my mortality, and it’s right here in the cells of my body. That has a kind of meaning to me. It’s like I am going to learn about how I can be a force for what’s best in all of us as we engage our passage through this unraveling and great turning, as Joanna Macy calls it. Perhaps in a way that’s informed by whatever I’m able to learn in this personal journey.

 

Deborah: Thank you for weaving that in. Is there anything else that comes to mind that you’d like to say?

 

Terry: Yes. There’s something big that comes to mind. One of the most painful things about this whole process has been that a number of individuals with whom I have a really deep, personal connection, a special connection of one kind or another, have reached out, and expressed something to me, and I haven’t replied to them. And I haven’t replied because I’m blessed that there have been quite a few such communications. 

 

But also, because having cancer is another full-time job, and I’m attempting to hold faith with everybody in my life who counts on me to show up in one way or another, as best I can. I’m obviously doing much less with A New Republic of the Heart, with the nonprofit, with the podcast, with the community. I’m not as active, but I’m really holding everybody in my heart. And I want to tell them! 

 

I want that half an hour to an hour phone call with each of those people. And I want to get current, and I want to feel that hug of connection. They’re reaching out in order to create it, and I’m not reciprocating. And that’s painful. 

 

And, I can handle it. I forgive myself for not being a perfect email or text correspondent.

 

Deborah: Yes. I imagine anyone blessed to encounter you in this form here will feel that, and know that, and join me in just expressing so much love and gratitude for this time with you. I look forward to connecting again in the future in this way to help people feel you and see you, even though not everyone can face-to-face. Thank you so much, Terry.

 

Terry: This was a good idea you had. I appreciate it.

June
13
2021

Second chemo, second apheresis!

Dear friends,

Terry successfully made it through his second infusion of Doxil chemotherapy this week. His underlying vitality and good health really seem to be holding him in good stead, and he’s doing his best to balance his treatments, work, connections with dear friends and family, meditation, exercise, nature walks, and rest. (Of course there’s not enough time for everything, but he’s rolling with it in good spirits.)

The chemo session was preceded by two therapeutic apheresis treatments earlier this week to filter out inflammatory and growth factors elevated by cancer, as well as other lipid-bound toxins like heavy metals. This is a remarkable procedure; it was done to clear out as much inflammation as possible prior to chemotherapy, so the chemotherapy agent can reach its target most effectively without being impeded by the protective barriers generated by cancer. Terry had IVs in both arms for several hours, and was attached to a special filtration machine. The net result was a bag of fluid that looked like it contained a floating jellyfish, which was how the waste material appeared as it coagulated, once removed from the bloodstream (see photo).

Originally designed to remove LDL cholesterol, the apheresis machine can also filter out lipid-bound substances like fibrinogen, a tumor marker, and VEGF, which cancer uses to build its blood supply. Terry’s physician, Isaac Eliaz, pioneered the use of this process to help the body mobilize against many degenerative processes, and has applied for a patent associated with it.

The current moment feels far more stable and harmonious than our experience in April, with the initial shock of the diagnosis, the disorienting changes in Terry’s vitality, and the at-first-uncertain search for trustable guidance and direction in managing his treatment. I sense we are in a good place now, with absolutely terrific support from all corners. Thank you so much for being part of Terry’s network, generously extending care, prayers, holding, contact, and love in countless ways.

I continue to be inspired and informed by my relationship to Terry. Not only his formal teaching work, but also his daily life and practice embody wholeness and integration. More and more, he has been shining with gratitude, humor, unconditional trust, and radiance. I’m honored to be by his side as he goes through this.

Additional consults and treatments lie ahead, and Terry will have a PET scan on June 30 to help us see how the cancer is responding, and determine next steps. We’ll post more updates when we have news to share. 

Love,
Deborah

May
29
2021

An Active (and Interactive) Week

Dear Friends, 
 
Since his last post, Terry continues to mostly be doing well. There’s some variability in his available energy, and some pain, fatigue, and nausea, but really these are minimal to moderate symptoms for someone with metastatic stage IV cancer who’s integrating his first chemo infusion. 
 
This has been a very active (and interactive) week of consultations with several outstanding alternative medical practitioners — a well-trained naturopath specializing in metabolic treatment of cancer, a well-known acupuncturist who has for decades been integrating traditional Chinese medicine perspectives into cancer research and care, and an remarkable healer who is both an integrative MD and OMD, who has been doing pioneering work in cancer and immune health for 20+ years. 

I have been so fortunate to accompany Terry to these visits. Terry and I prepare questions in advance, and debrief afterwards, often with Roger when he’s able to join. We acknowledge feelings, thoughts, questions, and concerns, and Terry reflects on the overall sense of value and resonance he feels from each encounter. Afterwards, I transcribe the conversations, research all the recommendations, and organize the data into our virtual library. I feel blessed to see Terry courageously and creatively engage these knowledgable, caring, innovative practitioners, and to learn about health and healing in the process.

Some of the main takeaways from the week:
  • Develop and refine the keto diet, but perhaps don’t make it the exclusive or central focus 
  • Focus on breathing and exercise to strengthen the body for future treatment
  • Consider IV treatments of high-dose Vitamin C and mistletoe
  • Consider therapeutic apheresis (blood cleaning) to clear inflammation and impurities so the chemo can be (much) more effective
And these are just a few highlights. As you can imagine, there's a LOT to integrate, evaluate, and digest. Some of the treatments are expensive, so there’s that to consider as well. 
 
Fortunately, as we all know, Terry knows how to allow perspectives to rise, fall, land, and settle. He makes choices from a grounded, centered place that make embodied sense, and that’s exactly what I want to support in his healing journey.

He has had some very powerful insights about that journey that he said he plans to share soon in another post.

For now, I send hugs, love, and thanks for being in Terry’s corner! And for being so very kind to me as well.
 
Gratefully,
Deborah

May
14
2021

First Chemo 💝

Dearest Friends,
 
I’m happy to let you know that Terry is doing well after his first chemo session today. As these photos illustrate, his spirit remains irrepressible, his body strong (18 pushups AFTER we got home!), and his mind sharp. He says he is pretty creeped out by the (many!) additional drugs he was given to help his body not experience side effects from chemo (and then again from some of those drugs!) and the cumulative warnings about potential side effects from them all — but that’s just psychological — he’s not actually feeling adverse effects physically. 
 
We have several consults lined up with alternative practitioners and MDs in the near future. Terry experimented with fasting prior to chemo, along with a ketogenic diet. The combination of these modalities has really seemed to help bring more ease to his breathing and energy levels. Yay!
 
His oncologist agreed to make oxygen available in case of need, and said his right lung is about half full of fluid, but his left lung is clear and compensating very well. She is comfortable with Terry not having another thoracentesis unless he experiences further shortness of breath.
 
Each moment with Terry is so precious. He maintains such a positive, loving spirit and attitude, and is so funny and inspiring. It’s a joy to be around him, and I’m thrilled to bring you positive news from this milestone day.
 
Love,
Deborah

May
8
2021

May 8, 2021

Hello Friends,

Yesterday afternoon I met virtually with Dr. Bui at Stanford, accompanied by Dr. Roger Walsh and Deborah Boyar, my very dear and devoted friend, former wife, & medical proxy.

It was an intense session. Dr Bui shared what was mostly bad news. I have a super-aggressive cancer, already widely metastasized (Stage IV), inoperable, and (in their perception) incurable, but possibly manageable for a few years. That’s based on averages. People defy the odds and have miraculous spontaneous remissions all the time. I’m orienting as a “possibilitarian" here. Still, it was sobering to get these facts.

He described a few treatments that can temporarily shrink the tumors, or at least retard their growth, and ameliorate my discomfort and improve my quality of life. He suggested three primary treatment options, to be explored one at a time––chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and possibly immunotherapy––with PET scans every couple of months to see what’s working, and rotate accordingly as needed. He does not advise radiation. The recommended chemo (Doxil, 1x/4 weeks) has fewer side effects than most chemotherapies, and is generally well-tolerated (usually no hair loss, mild nausea, but yes, periods of fatigue.) Chemo would also open the doors for me to enter clinical trials (particularly a promising immunotherapy trial.)

Stopping the cancer's growth and lessening its symptoms will be our first goals in treatment. (I have been getting weaker and my discomfort has been intensifying, so it’s not only about managing the cancer.)

It was a comprehensive call full of information I am only beginning to digest, and of course MUCH to process. Still, I want to give you a summary update without delay.

One thing’s clear: even though there’s a powerful gravitational field around cancer that tends to shrink life down to a focus on survival, life is NOT only about survival. Life is a miracle. What’s important to me is to keep practicing gratitude, wonder, humor, noticing and beholding the sacredness of THIS moment, appreciating, embracing and brightening every happening — and it’s always creative and unpredictable. THAT’s my first and foremost “complementary therapy.”

Thanks for your care, friendship, (so much!) practical support, words of love and blessing, prayers, healing intentions, and love.

Terry