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Jeremy¹s Memorial at Esalen this Sunday 3:00 p.m.

Nov. 27th, 2007 | 02:22 pm

Dear friends and family,

As Jeremy's wife, I would like to announce the passing of my beautiful
husband on Friday, November 23 at 6:59pm. While holding hands and being
held, Jeremy's spirit left in peace to continue his great journey.

In honor of Jeremy, we are holding a memorial at Esalen Institute: a place
that was, and will always be sacred and special in our hearts. We will be
gathering this Sunday Dec. 2nd at 3pm, to honor Jeremy's life. We request
that you please bring a sunflower to hold, as it is a symbol of celebrating
life and love. And pillows and blankets for your comfort.

There will be signs posted at the entrance that will lead you to this sacred
gathering. Please follow the link below for information about Esalen.

If you plan on attending please RSVP by responding to this email, healjer@gmail.com

www.esalen.org

Esalen Institute
55000 Highway 1
Big Sur CA 93920

http://maps.google.com

With Love,
Beth Leigh

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(no subject)

Nov. 9th, 2007 | 06:15 pm

Join us this Sat. in Celebration with Jeremy at Forest Hills Club House
You're invited!   Print Invitation Details
Host:  Ginger Cassady
Location Forest Hills Club House
381 Magnellan Ave., San Francisco, CA 94116 US
Find a Hotel  |  
When Saturday, November 10, 12:00PM
Phone 415-640-7155
Jeremy is inviting friends and loved ones to a Celebration/Commemoration for him this Saturday, November 10th.  This is a time to celebrate and honor Jeremy's life, a time to laugh, play and be with friends and loved ones.  The celebration is planned to be  Forest Hills Club house in Twin Peaks at Noon.  Please join Jeremy for this special event.  It is a potluck, so bring food, blankets, pillows, musical instruments,flowers and greatest, most cherished Jeremy stories.  For those not able to make it to SF, please consider getting in touch with Jeremy and tell him about your favorite memories you share with him!

Do Not Follow the linked Map use this web address or map quest from your location.

http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=381+Magellan+Ave+San+Francisco,+CA+94116&fb=1&geocode=17015610511981729988,37.744918,-122.462864&cd=1&ie=UTF8&z=16&iwloc=addr&om=1

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Voice Post: More information on the living celebration

Oct. 31st, 2007 | 02:40 pm

VoicePost
242K 1:20
“I got cut off on the last post…

I wanted to again extend my gratitude to everyone who has been working to support me, and fundraising. There has been just an amazing amount of contributions from the local environmental groups to personal friends and I am just so grateful for that.

A little bit more information about the celebration:

It’s going to be on the 10th or 11th. We’ll schedule it for Saturday the 10th but maybe if I’m feeling bad we’ll wait a day and do it on the 11th. So try to keep your schedule free for that weekend.

It’s going to be a pot luck, so please bring food, and we’re looking for music if anyone has an idea about musicians. We were thinking of Zack - maybe Zack will be around to play some violin or maybe Yana will play her cello.

That’s it for now, talk to you soon.”

Transcribed by: cauch

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Voice Post: Today, Living Celebration/ Living Wake

Oct. 31st, 2007 | 02:28 pm

VoicePost
934K 5:07
“Hi, it’s Jeremy, doing my voice post again. It’s been a while. I haven’t really been feeling up to focusing on doing a voice post until today, but I do today.

I was in the hospital for a little over three weeks and got out on Friday the 26th. As part of that hospital stay I had a surgery, actually I had two surgeries. One where they placed an intrathecal pump into my side – it looks like a baseball…huge, and they also did some surgery on T-9 where they cleared away some cancer that could have potentially paralyzed me.

So, I’m still walking. In fact, I have gone on a few hikes. I went on a hike with my dad, and my uncle and cousin the other day - that was really sweet. I went up to Lagunitas and walked around a little bit. I’m slow because my feet are swelling and it’s quite painful, but at least I can walk.

…what else…

The pain pump is pretty amazing. It takes care of most of the pain I’m experiencing except the swelling pain; I’ve got this swelling pain and nerve pain shooting down my leg. But I can’t complain - the pump is definitely doing its job.

I also got this “PCA” – a personal controlled analgesic device which is hooked up to an IV in my arm and I can wear this little butt bag and I can basically give myself Dilaudid every ten minutes if I need to, so that combined with intrathecal pump which drips opiates directly into my spine and also all the oral opiates I’m taking pretty much take care of the pain.

I’m still trying to work on the balance of being as lucid as I can be, or as clear as I can be. That’s still taking some work. I don’t like to feel distracted by the pain, not the pain, but the drugs, so I’m still working on that balance.

Anyway, what else have I got to say…

Next weekend, we’re going to have a celebration of my life, a party/ living wake. We’re going to do it at Golden Gate Park, probably at the Redwood Grove which is where Bethleigh and I were married.

You can get more information about that by calling John Picone who’s just been totally awesome in organizing my life.

There’s a new phone number: that is 202-674-5576.

That’s Amazon Watch’s number; they gave the phone to John for this because he’s been running out of minutes. Call that number. Again 202-674-5576.

There’s going to be music, food there and some people speaking about me and also, I want to give people an opportunity to say whatever they want to say to me. And clear up anything or celebrate anything and so this is an opportunity to do that. We’ll have to figure out how to coordinate all of it – I don’t know if there’s going to be time limits or what. We’ll figure it out on the day.

That’s it.
I’m feeling pretty good today. It’s kind of an overcast day today in San Anselmo. It’s beautiful - fall has definitely hit here, so the trees are turning colors and dropping leaves and it’s quite colorful.

I’m just so incredibly grateful for my family and friends.”

Transcribed by: cauch

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Voice Post: After Surgery & RAN event

Oct. 21st, 2007 | 08:17 am

VoicePost
919K 5:11
“Hi, it’s Jeremy, a few days after surgery and today feeling quite refreshed. It’s a sunny day here and I’m feeling more integrated and more like the things that were taken out of my body and the other things were put in are beginning to assimilate a little bit.

I feel generally a little bit more whole and that feels good because it makes me feel more able to communicate and more wanting to communicate, so, here I am on my Live Journal Voice Post again.

The other thing that I wanted to talk about was the wonderful event, the Rainforest Action Network (http://www.ran.org/ ) event that I was able to escape from the UCSF Med Center at the last minute to make it. That was great – we had to do this stealth – I dressed up in my nice shirt and then put a gown over it and wheeled myself down to the cafeteria late at night because the nurses weren’t going to let me leave because they may not have ever let me back into the hospital if I did being it was two days after my surgery.
Even though one of my doctors argued for letting me go if I felt up to it.

We had to do some stealth stuff and we did end up making it there on time. As soon as we arrived, the doors opened at REVEL. My wife was there and she met me on the stage and I was able to receive the People and Planet award from the Rainforest Action Network.

That’s a wonderful gift for me to receive from an organization that I love so much and one that I know stands for the same things, working to target areas where human rights abuses and environmental destruction coincide. Those are the hot spots in the world that we need to focus on. They are all over; they are right in our backyard sometimes.

So anyway, I was also going to read a poem if I was not going to show up at the event.
I’m going to try to read that poem now and bear with me a little bit because it’s long and my mouth gets kind of parched.

It goes:

I come from the forest
I always have
Ever since my mom gave me the Giving Tree I've known
Because near to everywhere I have lived forests have grown
And I’ve fought for them too, almost everywhere
From California my home,
to Alaska and down to the heart of the Amazon sound
In the cloud forests of Ecuador
In the jungles of Burma
I sang with and ate with the families from there.
And learned about their homes
And how their forests have grown
And the dying of peoples, animals and trees
from the violence "they’ve" sown, repeats everywhere.

I come from the forest and I’ll fight since I care
Because there is freedom in the continued existence of bear,
wolf, salmon and eagle and what we don’t know exists
And we can keep using the tree that it gives us as gifts
If we listen and we care
Because they always have been giving
It’s in their very nature
Our shelter, warmth, food, and medicine arrive without asking
Like fruit from their branches, Not to mention clean air
And falling of leaves
like the falling of trees, Shows us
that death is just recycling with the dying of trees
But don’t steal every seed with your money and greed
And turn every forest into a burnt field of weeds

I come from the forest
and I am a tree
and this process is natural, even for me.
In fact, I am not as big or as old as the most majestic creatures
that disappear every day without complaint or lectures
My leaves may be browning, a fire there may be
To quicken my cycle, the life of a tree
But don’t doubt I will see you
and give to you again
because that’s the ever-present process we’re in
And If I have a choice about what’s next to offer
It will be to come back to the beautiful sea, an otter.

~

So that’s my poem to you
A poem I have been thinking about
About myself and also to my unborn child, a child I may never have
And a general poem for everyone.”

Transcribed by: multiple users

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Voice Post: At Mt. Parnassus Hospital

Oct. 9th, 2007 | 02:17 pm

VoicePost
620K 3:31
“Hi, it’s been a while since I’ve made any posts and, in my mind, understandably so, I’ve just been going through a lot.

I’m now back here at Mount Parnassus in the hospital. I’ve been in and out of the hospital a lot, frequently, mostly dealing with pain due to metastasis, and now also looking at surgery due to metastasis because if I don’t try to clear some area around my T-9 (thoracic-9) part of my spine then I could become paralyzed and that’s just, you know, the top of the pile of crap that I’ve been dealing with.
There’s metastasis on my head and I’m getting an MRI of my brain. Needless to say that this is troubling me and Beth and my family quite a bit and everybody has been so incredibly supportive and I am so grateful for all of you for how supportive you’ve been. Thank you so much for that. Please continue to be, not only for me and for Beth Leigh and my family because we all need it right now.

I don’t even know how to look at this anymore. The amount of news I’ve gotten recently has created one of those moments where you just feel like all you can do is laugh because things can’t get any worse than this, you know?

My brain could be metastasizing; I could become paralyzed and there is a new area of metastasis three or four vertebrae up that I have to have irradiated now which is what I’m doing now and have been doing for the last few days. And in all of that I should include getting this other surgery to get an interscalene pump that will reduce the pain I feel throughout my body.

The amount of pain I feel throughout the body requires enough painkillers to, probably, to at least sedate a large animal like an elephant.

What can I say - my spirits – I’m so excited to be alive but I don’t want to suffer anymore. Suffering sucks. If there’s any hard part of this struggle it’s identifying with suffering and identifying with pain and allowing either one of those to overtake the last beautiful, loving moments I may have in my life. It’s my work.

That’s it for now.”

Transcribed by: cauch

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Voice Post: 4th Ceremony and Oregon possibility

Aug. 11th, 2007 | 10:55 pm

VoicePost
860K 4:43
“Well, I had my fourth healing ceremony yesterday, and it was definitely one of the slower, less entertaining ones that I’ve done.

It’s interesting because it’s not a real issue for me because, for me, being in the healing is incredibly intense. Actually, I feel lighter today and less pain in my pelvis, and just a greater sense of knowing I can win this fight, and wanting to stay alive and feeling very loved by family and friends and, especially, all of the people who have ghost danced with me in the past and that continue to now.

The interesting thing is that, I think that, and Miguel and I have been talking about this – he doesn’t usually work with non-Native peoples. Of course, everybody up here, when they hear “ritual”, they think automatically that they are going to participate and/or be entertained, maybe a little more, and not necessarily just be a witness or actually asked to focus and hold the space of love open and just give time and energy to the healing and to what Miguel is doing. This one seemed a bit like that – people were falling asleep and people were leaving, and the energy didn’t really build until third round.

At that point, it kind of exploded. I was so moved and so touched by the people that sang with me in the ceremony and moaned with me and groaned with me and all of that. Not that you necessarily had to, but in this ceremony, that’s what made things take off.

That was really, really healing for me.

I think there are lessons in this. It’s definitely that every ceremony is different, and, you know, the frogs don’t always sing and the Spirit doesn’t always show up in tangible electricity. Sometimes it’s slow and people fall asleep and sometimes things go for a long, long time, and that’s all okay too. It’s still healing for me either way.

What else have I got to say?

Just got back from Oregon and it’s looking like I’m going to head down the path of doing the mini allogeneic bone marrow transplant, and that’s incredibly intense. I’ll talk more about that later. There are certainly big risks but there is also the potential for a cure. With me, right now, there are big risks every single day. Even when I’m not ghost dancing, I’m still dancing in the world of the dead and in the world of the living every day. I’m more attached to my suffering and my agony, and, hopefully find a place on most days to breathe and remember everything is ok no matter what, and that I’m going to be ok no matter what.

What’s most important is to be present and be in contact with people that I love and cherish. I love visitors – visiting is good. Please come visit. That’s inspiring to me because it gives me more reasons to live…not that I need reasons but I need reminders.

I guess that’s it on this post…that’s a lot.
I’ll post again soon.”

Transcribed by: cauch

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Healing Ceremony Tonight

Aug. 10th, 2007 | 04:21 pm

Healing Ceremony Tonight!

At Sunset, please light a candle and meditate on my healing. Focus your energy on my healing and think only about your most favorite moments in life. Send that energy to me. Watch "Fire the Grid" if you have time.

Fire the Grid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqUAluDvuU4

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Jeremy UPDATE 7/06/07

Jul. 6th, 2007 | 11:35 am

Dear family & friends,

What a long strange trip it continues to be. A lot has happened over the past few months that I haven't really felt up to communicating until now. Thankfully I am feeling better and more like reaching out.

CHEMOTHERAPY:
The second chemotherapy trial (Epothilone B and Mitoxantrone) didn't work at all. I started having more distressing symptoms early in this trial. And, honestly, this period was the most difficult time for me so far. The cancer metastasized throughout my pelvis to the point where soft tissue began to put pressure on the nerves throughout my pelvis (called the cauda equina or "horses tail" syndrome). This caused me all kinds of trouble including a lot more pain and a lot less control of my bladder and bowels for about a month..

And it was just bad luck that my oncologist was traveling for a week during this time, plus my MRI results were slow in getting read and sent to UCSF, AND I had a hard time getting anyone at UCSF to take me seriously while he was away. So I ended up having to deal with weeks of unnecessary pain and uncomfortability. Bone pain is very hard to treat and incredibly painful for some people. I have been dealing with this pain since before I was diagnosed. Its like something gnawing at you from the inside, so deep that sometimes you don't even know its there and then suddenly your bones feel like splinters, and the pain surges in your upper legs, arms, shoulders, chest, head - literally throbbing with every heartbeat. When the pain was at its worse, not even 4 times the morphine worked. Not fun. My only respite from it was getting daily ear acupuncture with electric stimulation from Michael McCulloch and Johanna at the clinic which really helped interrupt the pain cycles.

Finally, this horses tail syndrome landed me in the emergency room which included a four day stay at UCSF and 4 more units of blood over a few days time. It also started a 10 day course of radiation therapy focused on my pelvic area and on T-12 (thoracic vertebrae # 12). The radiation actually didn't hurt at all when I got it but the long term fatigue and other symptoms suck. To make it easier for me mentally and spiritually I imagined everyday that it was divine light touching the parts that needed to be healed and protecting the other parts that it was vibrating through. The radiologists were all very nice  (if not a little weird, they do work in a basement all day behind lead doors) and I suppose it made it easier to lay under this big machine when I saw the children's stickers on it that I could play with. And I also saw the children, and even some infants getting radiation daily. Thinking about their struggle made it easier for me to deal with mine. The hardest part about it was that it was over my stomach and my intestines which caused another two weeks of vomiting and other digestive issues. But, thank the Creator, the upside to all of this is that it worked! I now have a lot less pain and complete control of my bodily functions again - which is a relief only known to those who have lost them..

NEW TREATMENTS:
Since radiation I have been on a "chemo-vacation." Instead I am trying two experimental drugs, one called GM-CSF (Granulocyte Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor) and the other DCA (dichloroacetic acid). The GM-CSF works to stimulate my immune system to kill the cancer and the DCA stimulates cellular death inside the cancer cell (apoptosis). In addition to this I am still taking lots of herbs and supplements (when I can keep them down) that Michael Broffman at the Pine St. Clinic recommends. I have no idea if these drugs are working yet but I do know that my most recent PSA  is up again to 460+ which is not a good sign. It actually dropped to 160 three weeks ago - this was probably due to the intense radiation and not from the drugs, but who knows for sure?

SIDE - EFFECTS:
The side effects of these drugs are fairly benign compared to chemo, but sometimes painful. The GMCSF actually stimulates new white blood cell production which can cause a "bone flare" in my chest and other regions where the bones produce blood cells. This just adds to the bone pain. And for some unexplained reason, I have been vomiting about every other day regardless if I am taking anything or not.

PROGNOSIS:
It's really hard to tell. Just because the cancer is progressing does not necessarily mean that I am losing. From the time that I was originally diagnosed to now, we have managed to slow the cancer's progress down significantly. I consider this a victory in the longer battle over time. At the moment I am dealing with a neck / head ache and vomiting which can really wear me down when it is bad. But I have been feeling better for the past week. I just had an MRI of my neck and brain to determine if the pain was caused by the metastasis and if it has gotten into the brain (vomiting) and thankfully it has not gotten into the brain at all. Unfortunately the cancer has spread a little bit inside the skull and neck bone but it has stayed well within the boundaries of bone (which is what prostate cancer usually does, so there is no great risk of it going into the brain). My oncologist is discussing the possibility of a short burst of radiation to help address the pain in the neck and skull. I may do this next week if it is possible. In terms of the nausea, all I can do for now is take anti-nausea meds and hope for it to go away.

NEXT-STEPS:
If the GMCSF and DCA work then I will continue on it for as long as possible. But since my PSA is up again I will probably start another combination of chemotherapy - carboplatin and taxol which is not an easy therapy but supposedly an effective one for stubborn cancers. If that doesn't work, then its back to the drawing board. On September 7-9 there is a conference in LA (The 2007 National Conference on Prostate Cancer) that will bring a lot of the experts together to present the latest treatments for prostate cancer world wide. Beth and I intend to go to this to see what else is out there. There is always the possibility that a new clinical trial may start somewhere in the world that may be very promising. This is the kind of thing a lot of advanced cancer patients face. They go from one trial to the next in order to stay alive until they find a cure.

THE CLOSEST THING TO A CURE?:
There is also the possibility for me to get a "mini-allogenic transplant" which is a type of bone marrow transplant that does not require that you completely destroy your own bone marrow before receiving another one. Theoretically this is the closest thing to a cure that I may have the opportunity to try. The idea is that once you receive another person's marrow that this new marrow /  immune system will take on the cancer and actually kill it. I am excited about this possibility but there are big pro's and con's to this approach because if it doesn't work, if the new marrow doesn't "graft" or take hold and replace my marrow, then I will have that much less bone marrow of my own to fight off any infections, diseases or cancer. Its a big gamble but may end up being more promising looking down the line. I am doing research into this now and if anyone has any experience in this area, please let me know.

WORK:
I am not working and probably won't any time soon. June 5th was the last day of my CA State Disability payments (which covered 100% of my paychecks) and now I am getting 40% less. Thats a big hit for us but at least I do have long term disability (LTD). If Greenpeace hadn't paid for LTD for their employees, Beth and I would have to leave California and I would be only receiving a very small Social Security payment.  In terms of medical bills, etc. I am still getting some $1000 medical bills (from last year!) and depending on the month I'm still paying $500 - $1500 over what I make. This is just counting money spent on medical co-pays, medicine, acupuncture and herbs. I am only able to do this because of your generosity and help with fund-raising, and my savings. I look forward to the time where I can work again and repay my generous family and friends in any way that I can.

Although I have not had the energy for anything steady, I am trying to contribute in any way that I can. I recently co-wrote my first peer reviewed article titled "Antioxidants & Chemotherapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer:"

View it here:
http://www.pinestreetfoundation.org/avenues/avenues18/byoa18.html

And I am now volunteering at the Pine Street Clinic once a week, when I feel up to it. Its great to still be able to contribute when I can. It makes me feel more alive

HELP:
Beth and I can still use all the same types of support with rides, especially during treatment days. We have found Meals of Marin (MoM) which will deliver a cooked meal for both of us (75% organic) up to 7 days a week! The food is good about 60% of the time but who can complain? Any meals or other support that you want to add to this is much appreciated :).

Thank you again to everyone for your love and support. In the face of all of this I am still feeling happy much of the time and I am continuing to explore healing with my traditional healer and friend Miguel. Before the latest healing ceremony, I was feeling like giving up before the ceremony. I had no energy, was sick of suffering and felt overwhelmed by my own life.  By the end of it I felt so uplifted by the love in the room that I was a transformed person. I feel fortunate to have experienced a moment where my closest friends and much of my family have been able to get together to express their Love for me.  To the point where one feels and knows without a doubt that there is enough Love in the world to continue to exist.

Love,
Jeremy

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WEDDING PHOTOS!!!

Jun. 3rd, 2007 | 04:29 pm

Hi Everyone, we've finely posted the photos of both wedding ceremonies. Please look at them at your leisure. Instead of us coordinating the printing of photos for everyone we have decided to make them available for you to download at full resolution and print them yourself. Just goto:

http://www.jeremypaster.com/wedding

1) Click on the first image to open the slide show (they are in order so check out the whole show).

2) To PRINT an image -click "download full resolution image" below the image you want. Then right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) to download / save the image to your computer. From there you can either send it to your favorite printer (we like SF Photoworks -- http://www.photoworkssf.com/) or you can burn a CD and take it to your local photo store.

We hope that you enjoy the slide-show. It brings back memories of the best day of our lives together.

Love,
Bethleigh & Jeremy

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