It’s certainly been a rough summer but things are looking up.
Jeff is doing so much better than any doctor predicted. He has had 6 rounds of chemo and his tumors have either majorly shrunk (by 80% as of the last scan) or disappeared, even the ones in his brain, which isn’t supposed to happen on chemo. He started out with more than 25 brain tumors but when he went in for gamma knife surgery a few days ago, they could find only 3 that were big enough to zap. The director of neurological surgery at UCSF said that was not something he’d ever seen before.
Jeff has one more PET scan in a couple weeks at the end of this chemo cycle and then we move into another phase. Everything is always uncertain in life, I know, and this phase seems to be about living with longterm uncertainty. Advanced lung cancer isn’t a disease you treat for a few months and then walk away from unless you are very, very special. We believe that Jeff is in that special group, but just to make sure, there is radiation for various body parts, low-dose chemotherapy and various alternative treatments to keep the cancer at bay. Then if it were to progress, hopefully by that time a drug for his specific mutation (PIK3CA) will be out of trials.
On the one hand, the cancer was and is a terrible blow but on the other hand, I think we are lucky in a lot of ways… Jeff is doing so well and we have YOU, for example. We’ve been blown away by the outpouring of love and support and donations. Thanks to your financial support, I stopped worrying about things insurance wouldn’t pay for and I also stopped worrying about stepping way from my music career for the first time in a decade (those of you who’ve been with me for a while might remember that I only took 2 weeks off when Alex was born). I had a worry that if I walked away for several months, or more, I might not have a career when I got back. Other musicians know what I’m talking about, that feeling like you have to constantly hustle or you’ll have to start over. The stakes feel even higher this time.
So I do have to do a little bit of hustling right now…and I’m out of practice. There are some concerts coming up, scheduled before life turned upside down, and I don’t want to play to an empty house ;-)
Sept 30 - with Jad Abumrad at Benaroya Hall, Seattle WA
October 3 -Aladdin Theater, Portland OR
Jan 11, 12, 13 - Subculture, New York NY
Ticket links are here
That will be it for performances this year, both because I don’t want to be far from home and because I’m spending the next 3 months composing for a TV show called The Returned, which will air on A&E in January.
Thanks and giant hugs,