Critical help requested: 4 days before I drive to Newark: A plan to reduce pain, monitor my cancer, and walk again

I have 4 days before driving to Newark, New Jersey, largest city in the 11th largest state in the Union

Newark is a subway ride away from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. At Sloan Kettering, I have the opportunity to:

Arrange for surgical insertion of a spinal stimulator, which together with daily exercise (a term I replace in my mind with DANCE), will make it possible to replace my daily pain level of 7 or 8 with a level of 4 to 5.


Or, you can log on to your PayPal account and kindly enter my PayPal email address: [email protected]
++++The commonly used pain scale is 1 to 10. Ten  means you are in so much pain you call 911 as I did last month and the  ambulance took me to the Emergency Room . I can manage a pain level of 4 or 5. Required is that I be close to my surgeon so he can make necessary adjustments.

Between now and the time I get into the rental car with hand controls on Thursday July 23rd , I must raise $500 to make my Newark trip a success.

The reason I am displaying the donation button so conspicuously is because success on the week-long trip to Newark [where I seek to establish permanent residence] is an essential First Step for my plan to reduce pain so I do not have to take Oxycodone, a dreadful drug, to stop from rolling on the floor in agony [literally].



  1. Maimonides says the highest form of tzedakah [translated  charity; the spirit of the Hebrew term is not demeaning],  is to give a gift, loan, or partnership that will result in the recipient supporting himself instead of living upon others.
  2. With access to state-of-the art medical care, I can reduce crippling pain to manageable proportion, I can be a part of an emerging new medical discipline monitoring decades-long cancer survivors. The radiation treatment [on relatively primative equipment by today’s standards] that prevented me from dying before I was 30 years old had severe consequences. I cannot walk. The radiation treatment also led to the deterioration of the spine causing my six month-long effort to live with extreme pain. The effects of radiation are responsible for my having developed kidney cancer. Because of the quality of the imaging and the skill of my world class surgeon, the malignant tumor surrounding my right kidney was removed in tact. That means I will die of something else other than kidney cancer. The damage done by radiation treatment over twenty years ago poses potential threats to my health.  Being regularly monitored by the best cancer experts means I may be able to avoid further damage that would impair my productivity (not to mention threaten my life). Especially encouraging is the development of recently created medical device that might make it possible for me to walk again.
  3. For me access to more sophisticated medical care currently unobtainable in State College, will make it possible for me to honor Maimonides‘ unstated conclusion that as a recipient, I must be conscious of my obligations when I become able to care for myself.
  4. I must then care for others.
  5. Becoming independent of my afflictions means I can return more productively to my life’s work: creating generational-integrated housing and communities for low- and middle-income elderly and disabled men and women.
  6. Becoming independent means that I say goodbye to State College, PA where I have lived happily for 10 years. As I discussed with Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, I plan to submit to Town Manage Ed LeClair a Patrick Geddes-style study on Sate College and its future.
  7. Becoming independent means I complete the nearly-finished study for the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center on how to renovate existing housing for mobility disabled adults so they can live independently.
  8. Becoming independent will make for my promising business partnership with Amigo Mobility and Gem Wheelchairs and Scooters so I can earn money while working on projects to help the disabled.

For now: –30–


July 17, 2015 Motto

Everyone probably knows about depressive moods from personal experience since they may be expressed as well as hidden by…suffering.

It is easy to notice , if we pay attention, that they hit almost with regularity–whenever we suppress an impulse  or an unwanted emotion.

Then, suddenly, a depressive mood will stifle all spontaneity. If an adult, for example, cannot experience grief when he loses someone dear to him but tries to distract himself from his sadness , or if he suppresses* and hides from himself his indignant recognition over an idealized friend’s behavior out of fear of losing his friendship, he must reckon with the probability of depression (unless his grandiose defense is constantly at his disposal).

When he begins to pay attention to these connections, he can benefit from his depression and use it to learn the truth about himself.

Once we have experienced a few times that the breakthrough of intense early-childhood feelings (characterized by the specific quantity of non comprehension) can relieve a long period of depression, this experience will bring about a gradual change in our way of approaching “undesired” feelings–painful feelings, above all.

We discover that we are no longer compelled to follow the former pattern of disappointment, suppression of pain, and depression, since we now have another possibility of dealing with disappointment, namely experiencing the pain.

In this way we at last gain access to our earlier experiences–to the parts of ourselves and our fate that were previously hidden from us.

Alice Miller

*Suppression is a conscious act, as opposed to repression.


Thursday, July 16, 2015 8:27 PM Spinal stimulator update

Joanna, Amelia, Sarah, Jade, Javier and other loved ones:

Dr. Christopher J. Winfree install a spinal stimulator in early August.



The process takes two weeks.

They should be two pleasurable weeks because the process involves sampling vibrations to see whether they are pleasurable, assemble the happy vibrations inside a spinal stimulator the size of my pacemaker and surgically implant it in my back.

As you know, I am requesting that Mozart’s clarinet concerto in A Major be broadcast to the nerves in my very unhappy L-5 and L-4 area of my spine (where I sit). So, far I have no idea whether the clarinet concerto is an insane idea or totally realistic.


I have survived cancer three times

1. Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system then described as “universally fatal.” 1976

2. Hodgin’s disease again requiring a second round of radiation treatment. 1989 the same year Taylor Swift was born.

3. Kidney Cancer. My local urologist urged me to go to Memorial Sloan Cancer Center “immediately” where Dr. Paul Russo saved my life. 2013


Therefore’ these words are especially significant to me. Tim McGraw’s song Live Like You Were Dying which he co-wrote to me. Ever since 1976 I have had to live as if I were daying. Believe you me that is exactly how I have been living since 1976.

He said: ‘I was in my early 40’s/

‘With a lot of life before me/

‘And a moment came that stopped me on a dime/

‘I spent most of the next days, lookin’ at the x-rays/

‘Talkin’ ’bout the options and talkin’ ’boutsweet time/’





To get to Memorial Sloan Kettering Center from State College PA as a paraplegic is difficult and expensive. To repeat the difficulty repeatedly is bordering on imprudent. I am in the process of permanently relocating to Newark, New Jersey. Newark is the largest city in New Jersey. New Jersey is the 11th largest state in the Union


Why Newark?

It is a subway ride away from Manhattan. Equally important Newark has the third highest murder rate of any U.S. city. Consequently, rents are low.


The relocation process is proceeding smoothly.

I drive to Newark one week from today. I am staying at the Hampton Hotel in Downtown Newark. My reservation is for July 23-July 30th. Heaven is a week in Downtown Newark.


On Saturday, July 24th at 9:30 in the morning I will be attending the op Congregation Ahevet Shalom. Ahevet Shalom is a Conservative Egalitarian congregation housed in the oldest synagogue in Newark. The bema is not wheel chair accessible. If there is a Minyan and if I have the honor of an Aliya, the congregation brings the sheepskin open beatifically calligraphed Torah scroll to me.

Cole Porter’s “Night And Day” by Leo Reisman And His Orchestra


Wikipedia: Leo (F.) Reisman (October 11, 1897 – December 18, 1961) was an American violinist and bandleader in the 1920s and 1930s. Born and reared in Boston, he was of Jewish ancestry; from German immigrants who immigrated to the USA in the 19th century. Reisman studied violin as a young man, and formed his own band in 1919. He became famous for having over 80 hits on the popular charts during his career. Jerome Kern called Reisman’s orchestra “The String Quartet of Dance Bands”.



Like the beat beat beat of the tom-tom
When the jungle shadows fall
Like the tick tick tock of the stately clock
As it stands against the wall

Like the drip drip drip of the raindrops
When the summer shower is through
So a voice within me keeps repeating
You, you, you

Night and day, you are the one
Only you beneath the moon or under the sun
Whether near to me, or far
It’s no matter darling where you are
I think of you
Day and night, night and day, why is it so

That this longing for you follows wherever I go
In the roaring traffic’s boom
In the silence of my lonely room
I think of you
Day and night, night and day

Under the hide of me
There’s an oh such a hungry yearning burning inside of me
And this torment won’t be through
Until you let me spend my life making love to you
Day and night, night and day

by Cole Porter

Disability and Elderly Issues

“Live like you were dying”

Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying (Official Music Video)

Wikipedia: These albums have produced over 50 singles, of which 25 have reached number 1 on the Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts. Three of his singles — “It’s Your Love“, “Just to See You Smile“, and “Live Like You Were Dying” — were the top country songs of 1997, 1998, and 2004 respectively, according to Billboard Year-End.”


Note: This posting is a book report.
Note: This posting is a book review

Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin’s Disease


Amazon: “In the 1950s, ninety-five percent of patients with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of lymph tissue which afflicts young adults, died.

“Today most are cured, due mainly to the efforts of Dr. Henry Kaplan.  Henry Kaplan and the Story of Hodgkin’s Disease explores the life of this multifaceted, internationally known radiation oncologist, called a ‘saint’ by some, a ‘malignant son of a bitch’ by others.

“Kaplan’s passion to cure cancer dominated his life and helped him weather the controversy that marked each of his innovations, but it extracted a high price, leaving casualties along the way. Most never knew of his family struggles, his ill-fated love affair with Stanford University, or the humanitarian efforts that imperiled him.”


He said: ‘I was in my early 40’s/

‘With a lot of life before me/

‘And a moment came that stopped me on a dime/

‘I spent most of the next days, lookin’ at the x-rays/

‘Talkin’ ’bout the options and talkin’ ’bout sweet time/’


Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end/

How’s it hit ya, when you get that kind of news/

Man what ya do? skydiving

And he says:

‘ I went sky divin’/


‘I went rocky mountain climbin’/


‘I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu

[Note: I was diagnosed and treated for cancer in 1976 when I was 28 years old. This is how I described the experience when I was in the midst of my first round of radiation treatment.]
 A New Lease on Life by Joel Solkoff, November 26, 1976
I am 28 years old and I have cancer. Anger comes before anything else. There are times that the anger becomes overwhelming, turns to frustrated rage, because there is no one to be angry at. I can curse God which I’ve done many times, but it is unsatisfying because God doesn’t shout back. Crying helps.
I started weeping in the hospital. An intern; frightened by the emotion, asked me to stop, She said I was upsetting the other patients. I told her to get lost, and when I was done weeping I found her and shouted at the top of my lungs, “You’re what’s wrong with doctors. You have no feelings!” It felt good to shout at someone.
My form of cancer was first described in 1832 by Dr. Thomas Hodgkin—after whom it is named—and its cause is still a mystery. It is a disease of the lymphatic system, clogging the body’s ability to purify the blood and thus to fight off infection.
The cancerous tumors, which are enlarged lymph nodes, may also take over nearby vital organs, such as the liver and lungs. Because the tumors are part of a system that circulates throughout the body, surgical removal generally does not remove the disease. A microscopic piece of tumor may remain in the body, or whatever caused the gland to grow abnormally large may already be elsewhere. Such problems made Hodgkin’s disease extremely difficult to treat and meant that, until quite recently, it was described as “universally fatal.”
In my lifetime, advances in treatment have been so successful that it appears unlikely that the disease will affect my lifespan or that I will feel its effects. Many techniques are so new that we patients haven’t lived long enough to establish whether we’ve been “cured.” The other day, as the technician adjusts my body under the linear accelerator, she said, “If I had to pick a disease to have, I’d pick yours.”
During the months of incapacitation, I have slowly begun to appreciate that I am fortunate to be living in these times.   The process began when a lump under arm right arm did not go away. The lump did not hurt; it wasn’t even uncomfortable, but seeing a doctor seemed sensible. My appointment was on a Friday afternoon, and when the internist grabbed the phone, told me to run three blocks to the nearby surgeon, and then reassured me “not to worry,” I was frightened. Removing the lump, under a local anesthetic, hurt less than I had feared. After an assortment of pathologists had looked at sections of the lump under a microscope and after one misdiagnosis (Hodgkin’s disease is a difficult cancer to identify), my internist’s suspicions were confirmed.
Then came tests. To treat the disease it was first necessary to know where it was located.  I was injected with isotopes So that my liver would show up on a television screen. Marrow was taken from the hip bone. There were blood tests and X-rays. My feet were slit open so an opaque fluid could run through the lymphatic system.
Finally, there was abdominal surgery. Its purpose was exploratory, but the pain afterwards was overwhelming. Screaming for more relief than the drugs could give, I was oblivious to the long-term beneficial result. I had always thought that pain was either avoidable or imaginary.
As soon as I recovered from surgery, the internist prescribed the treatment–radiation. The radiology lab is in a basement, and most of us walk in off the street as outpatients. When patients come in for the first time, their names are placed on a blackboard, with the name of the disease and of the doctor. Etiquette forbids the placing of numbered odds, but most patients do not share my apparent good fortune.
I go into the room where X-rays are sent through my body every day for 12 weeks. The process takes a few minutes and is painless. The rays kill all cells the area at which the machine is focused. Because cancer cells multiply more rapidly than normal cells, the rays do more lasting damage to the cancer cells. However, since cells are killed indiscriminately, treatments make me feel weak and weepy.

I have trouble swallowing. The hair on the back of my neck has fallen out –temporarily. I have severe skin burn. My stomach feels queasy and I spend a lot of energy fighting the urge to vomit. Slowly, I have come to understand that life has been given to me for a second time.

Joel Solkoff is author of “The Politics of Food.”

Complete Lyrics

He said I was in my early 40’s,
With a lot of life before me,
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin’ at the x-rays,
Talkin’ ’bout the options and talkin’ ’bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How’s it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what ya do.
And he says,

[Chorus]I went sky divin’,
I went rocky mountain climbin’,
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I’ve been denying,
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you weredyin’.He said I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn’t.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all the sudden goin’ fishing,
Wasn’t such an imposition.
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.
Well I finally read the good book,
And I took a good long hard look at what I’d do
If I could do it all again.
And then.[Chorus]Like tomorrow was a gift and you’ve got eternity
To think about what you do with it,
What could you do with it, what can
I dowith with it, what would I do with it.[Chorus]
Sky divin’,
I went rocky mountain climbin’,
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin’.
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you weredyin’.To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.

Disability and Elderly Issues

Watch eagles live near Chapel Hill, NC


Watch the Jordan Lake eagle-cam


A camera at Jordan Lake is livestreaming the view of a bald eagle nest. The female laid two eggs around the beginning of March, and the first one hatched Monday afternoon.

The Army Corps of Engineers set up the camera, and there’s a Facebook page.


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Disability and Elderly Issues

From the Zomet Institute: The Electric Wheelchair on Shabbat


Rav Yair Meir
    A. The ProblemB. The Prohibitions Involved

C. The Halachic Status of the Invalid

D. The Suggested Solution

1. The Grama Switch

2. Spring Return

3. Modulating the Current

4. Minimum Current

5. Changing the Duty Cycle


  A. The Problem


In recent years, the use of wheelchairs with electric motors has become common. These wheelchairs use a storage battery similar to that found in automobiles, which is charged by connecting it to ordinary house current for several hours when the wheelchair is not in use. The chair is operated by means of a joystick, which controls both steering and acceleration.

The wheelchair permits a high degree of mobility for wheelchair-bound invalids who cannot operate a regular wheelchair, both in the house and outside. The invalid is able to feel independent and self-sufficient, which is extremely important for his self-esteem.

Two outstanding Torah authorities in Jerusalem approached the Zomet Institute in order to devise the technical solutions to permit use of wheelchairs on Shabbat.


     B. The Prohibitions Involved


Use of an electric motor on Shabbat, which does not result in the creation of light or any other Shabbat creation, is the subject of a continuing discussion among scholars. In our case, where the source of the current is a battery, the problem of power generated on Shabbat does not exist. The battery is not a

generator, and only releases power stored before Shabbat when it was charged. There are three possible categories of Shabbat prohibition that apply:


Disability and Elderly Issues

“I’d rather marry a duck-billed platypus/ Then end up like old Oedipus Rex!”: Song, lyrics, plus


From the Bible to the popular song
There’s one theme that we find right along
Of all ideals they hail as good
The most sublime is motherhood

There was a man though, who it seems
Once carried this ideal to extremes
He loved his mother and she loved him
And yet his story is rather grim

There once lived a man named Oedipus Rex
You may have heard about his odd complex
His name appears in Freud’s Index ’cause he
Loved his mother!

His rivals used to say quite a bit that
As a monarch he was most unfit,
But still and all they had to admit that he
Loved his Mother!

Yes he loved his mother like no other
His daughter was his sister
and his son was his brother
One thing on which you can depend is
He sure knew who a boy’s best friend is

Whe found what he had done
He tore his eyes out one by one
A tragic end to a loyal son who
Loved his mother

So be sweet and kind to Mother,
Now and then have a chat
Buy her candy or some flowers,
Or a brand new hat
But, maybe you had better let it go at that

Or you may find yourself with a quite complex complex
You may end up like Oedipus
(I’d rather marry a duck-billed platypus)
Then end up like old Oedipus Rex!