So, Mike had his PET scan Monday and went for chemo and met with Dr. B. today. She told him there is dramatic improvement in the lymphoma, close to full remission, but not quite. She was very pleased, because at this stage (3 months) into chemo, and not being able to take the revlimid, it is a better response than we could have expected. I know his doctors are great, but I also know that the reason he is doing so well has much to do with all the love and prayers that come his way. There was a time in his life when he would have been very skeptical about the idea or reality of positive spiritual energy, but he has learned through life experience to become convinced otherwise. He says he started to cultivate a relationship with God about 50 years ago, so with an honest effort it would have been impossible to fail to make progress, especially with his attendance at religious services, spiritual readings, practice of a 12-step program, and thousands of hours of talking with others also seeking a spiritual path. I think all this prepared him for a unique experience. I don’t think I have told this story before. He had an experience that reinforced his connection with positive spiritual energy to a profound degree. Of course, he could have blown the whole thing off, but he was ready to receive what came his way. If I have told it before it won’t kill you to hear it again.
In 2010 two people he was very close to were dealing with terminal cancer. One was Michael C., a wonderful man who Mike sponsored in AA for many years. Mike is certain he got more from Michael than the other way around. But, how would you measure such a thing? Michael had metastatic prostate cancer. I will talk about Michael more another time. The other man was Mike’s brother-in-law, Joe B. Joe was Mike’s late wife’s (Gena’s) brother. He had pancreatic cancer. Once Joe was sick, in early summer, Mike called him every day and went to see him every week, down in Jonesboro, an hour each way. Joe was a heavy cigarette smoker, so much so that if you called him and got his voicemail you would hear, “Hello, hello, hello. this is Smokin’ Joe.” That entire 6 months, until Joe died in December, Mike was smelling cigarette smoke in places that nobody was smoking, including at his office where nobody else could smell it. This would occur at random times, several days per week. Mike continued to smell smoke until after the memorial service which was held in early February. Then it stopped. That spring Mike’s brother, Bob, started to lose weight, and eventually was diagnosed with lymphoma. He had a lot of other health problems, and was negligent about getting treatment. His family made a heroic effort to get him to Israel to honor his wish to die there. Mike got a call Sunday October 2, 2011 only a few days after Bob arrived in Israel. He was in a nursing care home/hospital, he had developed respiratory distress, and was on life support. Mike made plans to travel to Israel, and left on Wednesday, Oct. 5. He had a layover at Kennedy airport in New York, and while sitting at the gate at 10:30 PM, waiting to board, he caught a powerful aroma of cigarette smoke. He was very early for his transatlantic flight, and there was nobody else around. And, of course, smoking wasn’t allowed there anyway. Mike wasn’t sure what to think about this, but he did think about it. His plane arrived in Israel the following afternoon. Mike’s niece, Ayala, met him to take him to her house. She told him that her father had died early that morning. Mike asked what time he had passed, and she told him it was 4:30. Given the 6 hour time difference, Mike realized that it was at the exact same time that he smelled the cigarette smoke. He still isn’t certain what he should conclude about this. but, he believes there may have been actual communication to him from some source of energy. He does not know who or what was the source of the communication. He figures maybe one day he will find out. He says it was a moving and meaningful experience, and makes him think he is doing something right in this world. I was not yet around, so all this is very second hand. but don’t forget, I am a cat, and a black one at that. Don’t underestimate the spiritual awareness that we cats are endowed with. Cats simply are more naturally spiritually aware than people. What comes to us naturally and completely, people have to work at to just get a glimpse. Mike says he could do better with his spiritual practice, and believe me, he could, but he at least is open to it, and makes it part of his daily life. Specifically, since May he has asked God every day, in addition to asking God to make him the best person, husband, father, friend,doctor, and sponsor that he can be, to also make him the best cancer patient he can be. And when people tell him they are praying for him, which happens every day, he looks at them, thanks them, and tells them it is working.
Well, I’ll leave it at that for now. I thought I should send out this good news quickly. As for the other goings on in Happy Meadows, there will be plenty of time to keep you informed. Until then, be well, be safe, don’t be angry, feel the love, and be nice to your cats. And I suppose to your dogs as well. Peace!