Update to Family and Friends

September 6, 2001

Dear family and friends--

Hope you all enjoyed the summer. All things considered, I've had a great one myself, doing lots of living.

On the medical front, after four months of chemotherapy, the doctors now say they'll consider me for surgery, which, if I qualify, would mean taking out my stomach and cleaning out any other small cancer spots they see. It's not a common procedure, but given my relative youth and strength, the doctors say it's worth a shot. By no means would it put me out of the woods--even the surgeon says we'll need some "divine intervention" for this procedure to work--but it's the most aggressive course available and would offer the best hope of long-term survival. If I pass one last important test, I'd have surgery on Tuesday (9/11). Surgery would then be followed by more chemo and several months of learning to eat without a stomach. It sounds like a tough road, but I'm feeling good about it. I have this irrational sense that I'm going to be fine.

I've also made a decision to go public with my cancer. If you're interested, you can read more about it on my website, http://www.zenguitar.com. In fact, I'd appreciate any assistance you can offer in getting zenguitar.com off the ground. A lot of people have been asking if there's anything they can do to help me in my situation. Honestly, the most helpful thing you could do would be to devote some time perusing zenguitar.com--I'd ask you to spend an hour or so to go through it--and see if there's a contribution you could make.

Basically, I'm looking to live a life with cancer that has meaning. The way I've chosen to do that is through zenguitar.com. I can't do it alone, though; I need help to make it work. You're such a talented group and you know so many talented people, I'd welcome anything you could do to help out.

Thanks again for your concern and good wishes. I'm sorry I haven't been able to acknowledge them all personally, but please know that they've sustained me and given me strength when I've needed it most. In my eyes, you're all angels. May the heavens reward you with many blessings.

Forward in all directions,