To Click or Not to Click…

Today was a very nice day! I went to Menlo Park around 11:00 A. M. and spoke with my boss once more about my annual review. Next, my son came for lunch and we had a nice time with the V. P. of my group. I received such tremendous support from everyone at work today that it really made me feel happy.

My little enneagram support group met in the afternoon. This was the first time we were all together for a very long time, and it really felt wonderful. In this group, we use our combined knowledge of the enneagram to help each other through good times and times that are not so good. We were all trained by Helen Palmer and completed our certification in 1991. We have been meeting regularly since September of 1994.

V. R. was describing how she had used email to end one relationship and begin another. At each step of the way, she had to decide on whether or not to send a specific message to one of her friends. This gave rise to the phrase of the day, “to click or not to click!” (Another example of “to click or not to click” occurred in the morning. I had just pressed the send button on an email message to D. K. when he phone me to answer the question I was asking in the email!) As I shared what was going on with me, I felt totally supported, and each of us got enough time to share what we wanted to.


Weird Old Women Who Wear Purple!

April, 22, 1997 – Weird Old Women Who Wear Purple!

Today I went to Leslie Davenport to work on my sleep problem. She led me in a hypnotherapy session which focused on deep relaxation and then led me into several visualizations that seemed to help me recover my ability to let go and allow myself to sleep. The tape recording was messed up, however, so I am going to have to reconstruct the session from memory while it is still fresh.

From focusing on deeply relaxing my physical body she went into deeply relaxing my mind through a technique of unraveling a loosely woven fabric of burlap or some similar substance. The purpose of this was to unravel the mind from it’s objects of attention. Next, we went deeper with a count down followed by a visualization of a relaxing place. I chose China Beach in Point Lobos State Reserve.

The final scene was a library in my mind in which there were books of a positive nature on the right side of me and books of not such a positive nature on the left. The books on the left were stories about stress, illness, heartaches, pain, suffering, and the like. I took each of these books one by one and placed them in a receptacle which was then taken out of the library for good!

I came out of the session feeling very relaxed and as if I had taken a nap. I’m sure there was more to the session, so I’m going to ask Leslie about it and try to recover the tape.

Later, I went to see Gail Teehan. She did a Feldenkrais session on twisting of my spine, which was very good. She also showed me exercises for my back and knees. While we were working together, she spoke about how much Feldenkrais has helped stroke victims. During the discussion, she mentioned that she thought she’d be around to be a weird old lady dressed in purple! I love doing work with Gail, but I won’t see here until May 15 because she’ll be in Feldenkrais training.

In the evening, my wife and I went to separate support groups at the Center for Attitudinal Healing in Sausalito.  The support group I attended was the “Life Threatened” and my wife attended the “Care Givers” group. I first contacted The Center for Attitudinal when my son had Wilm’s tumor back in 1976 and spoke with the founder, Dr. Jerry Jampolsky. Later, 1987 or 1988, my wife and I completed the Volunteer Training, but we got busy with our young children and never did much with the Center.

The support group was different from the others I’ve been attending in that it started and ended with everyone holding hands and one of the facilitators offering a message of hope.  I enjoyed that aspect.  When I had an opportunity to share, I really felt supported. Everyone was interested in my meditation of “healthy… free” and invited me to teach it, but as time was limited, I’ll have to wait until another opportunity presents itself.  I think people felt inspired by my story.



April 20, 1997 – Overprotection

When I was a boy of around twelve or thirteen, I studied and played the game of chess. I studied the masters like Lasker, Reinfeld, Alekhine, Botvinnik and Capablanca. In fact, when Reshevsky played a simultaneous exhibition at Purdue University in 1959, I played him to a tie by playing the Lasker variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. My favorite master was Aaron Nimzovich, who published My System in 1925. This was my favorite book on the subject and I studied it long and hard. One of the strategies that Nimzovich taught was called overprotection. He maintained that if you have a pawn in a strong position, especially in the center of the board, you should do everything in your power to overprotect that pawn, which, in turn would lead to a very strong position. Overprotection became my primary strategy in chess, and perhaps in life.


Overprotection is a good strategy for raising children if you consider expressing your love and affection for them consistently throughout their childhood. I’m not talking about protecting them from the outside world so much as assuring them that they are loved and cared for in a way in which they feel secure and protected. My girls and boy have been raised this way and are wonderful people.

I think that overprotection is a good strategy for healing from cancer also. What I mean here is that the more you can do for yourself, the better. For me, this means being a support group junkie, doing “mind stories,” having guided imagery sessions, doing Feldenkrais and other massage therapies, acupuncture, and all of the other activities I’m engaged in to support and overprotect my health.

I came to this realization early this morning after a very difficult night of little sleep. I was looking deeply into my feelings and remembered how I played chess and bridge as a youngster.

I studied the game so much so that I could feel like a winner. I had felt like such a looser as a child that I needed something to win at and I chose chess. Almost every time I played a good game with a good player with a chance to win, I would get heart palpitations and start to shake. I would get very nervous and feel compelled to win. I needed to win at something. This attitude and nervousness carried over into my college days at Purdue University to the game of bridge. I quickly became one of the best bridge players on campus, but winning was still an issue. When Mike Sears and I entered a tournament in Terra Haute, Indiana, I was nervous and shaking as usual, and we did not win. Mike was very disappointed in me. However, when Charles Goren visited Pudure, I was his partner in a tournament and we won.

Now my life is on the line and I’m playing for keeps. I get the same heart palpitations and shaking when I think of the possibility of actually helping someone with my ideas and guidance. I get nervous when I think about publishing this web site as a book and actually speaking to people about how they can learn to make appropriate decisions for their medical treatment. Now that the word is out, I may be able to control my nervousness and shaking enough to heal myself and realize my goal to deliver this message far and wide. This is serious stuff, and I am committed to getting well again. My girls are still young enough that they need overprotection – overprotection in the sense of feeling loved and protected.



February 27, 1997 – Cancerport

Cancer Port is a support group that meets on Thursdays from 11:30 A. M. until 1:00 P. M. in Greenbrae. The purpose of the group is the emotional support of its members, which varies from time to time. On this particular occasion, there were approximately twenty-five men and women with various types of cancer, including several support people and three group facilitators. There were no other people with bladder cancer in the group.

When it became my turn to talk, I explained how I was diagnosed and what sort of treatment I was about to undergo. I talked about my fears of still having cancer eight weeks after the start of chemotherapy. Seeing what other people suffered with made me feel compassionate for their situations and increased my desire to share the research I had been doing since my diagnosis.

I left the meeting with two important things to do based on what people said. One of them was to contact Dr. Shipley to find out what the side effects of the cisplatin and 5-FU were, and how to counteract them. The other was to make an appointment with Dr. Van Vu for next Sunday. I felt under a lot of stress until these could be accomplished. Instead of breathing into the experience of tension, I drove home, had lunch and only after I made the phone calls did I feel any better.

Later in the afternoon I had an appointment with Dr. Barbara Rose Billings, a special healer who provides “Integration Therapy” which is a “multi-faceted and individualized to help give you what you need to unleash the healing power within you. Its strength lies in its ability to produce profound results by integrating your essence into the healing process.” I had an extremely healing experience with her, in recognizing what I want to do, tuning into my “belly breath”, and being recognized for my own healing abilities.

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