My Cancer Journey 2/26

Ned Henry February 26, 2021 ·

Noon — Sorry I’ve taken some time off from writing as I try to figure out where to go with this. The writing is therapeutic for me but when I feel like all I’m doing is complaining, I hate to burden any reader with that. I have been a bit discouraged of late due to the neuropathy in my feet. When you can’t feel your feet it makes simple things like walking difficult. And the meds they gave me are not working. So the thought crossed my mind that I might not be able to walk normally again and that was discouraging to say the least. However, today I saw a specialist downtown who gave me some real hope. He did a thorough exam and we have a plan. We will start with specialized PT for neuropathy 3 times a week. They will also do a driving assessment to determine if it is safe for me to drive with this neurappthy in my feet. It mostly affects my left foot so I should get an all clear. At least I hope so. If it is safe for me to drive, that will take a huge load off friends when I have to go to these doctor appointments. He also gave me an Rx for a topical cream and advised that I have not been taking the Lyrica long enough for it to have any positive effect yet. He is also in favor of acupuncture so I will check with insurance about that as well. The palliative care people at the cancer center referred me to this specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. I think it was their last best hope for me to get this neuropathy under control. So we have a plan now which we will begin. Still can’t sleep much at night but first things first. Cross one bridge at a time. Next week I get dose 2 of the Covid vaccine on Tuesday, and a PET CT scan on Wednesday and the next chemo on Friday. The PET CT will tell us if the chemo is working on my bones and spine. I can see it working in the areas of my body that I can see like my gums and my skin. Fatigue is still a significance side effect and not sleeping much doesn’t help with that. Hopefully all these treatments will work better and allow me to get some rest at night. I hate being up all night just concentrating on my breathing until I can finally doze off at 5 or 6 in the morning. None of the meds they have given me for sleep help very much. So there you have it. I will keep writing. I know it helps me process this disease and really my life as I get toward the last of it. But with any luck at all, I’ll have another 20 years or maybe longer. So many have offered so much help and support through all this. I sometimes don’t feel like I deserve all the help. But I am so grateful for it and frankly don’t know what I would do without the help of such dedicated friends. So I’ll just accept the fact that some folks out there really do care about me and what happens on this journey as I face cancer and I owe it to you to keep writing to let know how I am progressing. Since I slept almost not at all last night and had to get myself downtown with John’s help to see this doctor early this morning, I think I am going to take a nap for a few hours if I can. But I’ll be back later. Liz brought me some chocolate croissants this morning. And I’m making some good progress with that book from a cancer survivor which so far is pretty good. Thank you to all of you for your love and support.

FDA panel recommends Johnson & Johnson vaccine: When will it be available in California?

Amy Graff, SFGATE Feb. 26, 2021 (

California Gov. Gavin Newsom wears a face mask as he prepares to give a briefing after touring a COVID-19 vaccination site on Feb. 22, 2021, in Long Beach, Calif.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom wears a face mask as he prepares to give a briefing after touring a COVID-19 vaccination site on Feb. 22, 2021, in Long Beach, Calif.

U.S. health advisers endorsed Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine Friday afternoon, putting the nation on the cusp of adding an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic.

This news came after California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday morning he expects the new single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine to start going into the arms of residents next week.

At a Fresno news conference Friday, Newsom said the Biden administration plans to send California 380,000 doses as early as next week in its first shipment and more than 1.1 million over the next three weeks.

The weekly total will “begin to significantly increase” by the end of March, he said.

The vaccine, still in the final federal approval process, has fewer handling restrictions than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines now being used. Those vaccines require two doses to be fully effective and must be stored at extremely low temperatures.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine appeared to be 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 in clinical trials, and 85% effective at preventing severe illness. The two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have both shown about 95% efficacy at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 after both doses are administered.

The addition of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would come as California is seeing dramatic drops in virus cases and hospitalizations after record highs in early January. The 5,590 people hospitalized now are only about a quarter of the peak total, while the rate of people testing positive in the last week fell to 2.7%.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to quickly follow today’s recommendation from the advisers with authorization for emergency use. Vaccinations are picking up speed, but new supplies are urgently needed to stay ahead of a mutating virus that has killed more than 500,000 Americans.

After daylong discussions, the FDA panelists voted unanimously that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks for adults. If the FDA agrees, shipments of a few million doses could begin as early as Monday.

Distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is contingent on federal Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention action, though Newsom said he is confident that will happen.

Newsom held a press conference in the Central Valley on Monday, where he said 34,000 vaccine doses were put aside for farmworkers and 11 new vaccine sites would be opening. On Friday, he delivered his press conference from one of those new sites.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Amy Graff is the news editor for SFGATE. She’s a Bay Area native and got her start in news at the Daily Californian newspaper at UC Berkeley where she majored in English literature. She has been with SFGATE for 12 years. You can email her at

A third Pfizer dose? The Covid-19 vaccine maker is studying booster shots.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla spoke with NBC News’ Lester Holt about the next steps for the company’s Covid-19 vaccine.

Image: Vaccination of medical staff members against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brussels

Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at CHIREC Delta Hospital in Brussels on Feb. 3.Yves Herman / Reuters file

Feb. 25, 2021 (

By Erika Edwards

Despite the 95 percent effectiveness at preventing coronavirus infection after two doses of its vaccine, Pfizer is now seeing what a third dose might do.

The company announced Thursday that a booster dose is being studied among people who received their first doses of the vaccine more than six months ago.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

In an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the hope is that a third dose will boost the immune response even higher, offering better protection against variants.

“We believe that the third dose,” Bourla said, “will raise the antibody response 10- to 20- fold.”

The new study will monitor the safety and efficacy of a third dose in two age groups: those 18 to 55 and those 65 to 85. The participants come from a group of people who were among the first to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine: people who volunteered for Pfizer’s initial Phase 1/2 clinical trial, which began in May.

During that trial, participants received two doses of the vaccine three weeks apart. The same dose interval is what’s currently recommended.

The third shot will be exactly the same as what participants got a year ago.

Pfizer also plans to begin testing whether a modified version of the vaccine works well against the variant from South Africa.

Indeed, as SARS-CoV-2 changes, the vaccines may have to be tweaked. The Food and Drug Administration issued guidance Monday saying vaccine manufacturers may be able to ease away from lengthy clinical trials to prove safety and effectiveness for vaccines that have been tweaked to account for variants.

That’s not unlike how the flu shot changes from year to year, accounting for the strains most likely to infect people.

“Every year, you need to go to get your flu vaccine,” Bourla said. “It’s going to be the same with Covid. In a year, you will have to go and get your annual shot for Covid to be protected.”

That suggests that even when the pandemic ends, Covid-19 may be here to stay. Ongoing studies of re-engineered vaccines are necessary to understand when boosters may be needed, outside experts said.

“You need to cast a wide net to find Goldilocks,” said John Grabenstein, a former executive director of medical affairs for vaccines at Merck and a former Defense Department immunologist. “You want to look at shorter intervals, you want to look at longer intervals, to determine when is the best time, if needed, to re-vaccinate.”

So far, evidence suggests that the existing Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine remains effective against variants first identified in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa.

Bourla said the company’s goal if and when another variant emerges is to pivot and tweak the current vaccine within 100 days.

Moderna, which makes a similar Covid-19 vaccine, announced Wednesday that it had also started studying the effects of adding a third dose to its regimen and has developed a version of the vaccine designed to target the variant from South Africa.

Image: Erika Edwards Erika Edwards

Erika Edwards is a health and medical news writer and reporter for NBC News and “TODAY.”

Book: “Sacred Economics”

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition

by Charles Eisenstein

Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme—but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.

This book is about how the money system will have to change—and is already changing—to embody this transition. A broadly integrated synthesis of theory, policy, and practice, Sacred Economics explores avant-garde concepts of the New Economics, including negative-interest currencies, local currencies, resource-based economics, gift economies, and the restoration of the commons. Author Charles Eisenstein also considers the personal dimensions of this transition, speaking to those concerned with “right livelihood” and how to live according to their ideals in a world seemingly ruled by money. Tapping into a rich lineage of conventional and unconventional economic thought, Sacred Economics presents a vision that is original yet commonsense, radical yet gentle, and increasingly relevant as the crises of our civilization deepen.

Sacred Economics official website:

About the Imprint:
EVOLVER EDITIONS promotes a new counterculture that recognizes humanity’s visionary potential and takes tangible, pragmatic steps to realize it. EVOLVER EDITIONS explores the dynamics of personal, collective, and global change from a wide range of perspectives. EVOLVER EDITIONS is an imprint of North Atlantic Books and is produced in collaboration with Evolver, LLC.

Virgo Full Moon, February 27th, 2021

Wendy Cicchetti

Virgo Full Moon

The Virgo Full Moon brings perfectionist and nit picky tendencies to the fore, which can emerge in so many different settings. Virgo typically orients towards OCD neatness and order, while the Sun in Pisces, has a more fluid, chaotic feel. Interestingly, both signs can be effective on the creative front, but we might argue that Pisces provides a sea of opportunities and Virgo is uncompromising about which to move forward with. Pisces and Virgo working as a team can derive significant meaning and form by drawing disparate elements together, like the poet presenting unrelated words tighter in tidy rhymes. Planets and the Lights (Sun and Moon) in opposition may seem to be working against one another but can possibly find common ground nearer the center where their differences are not so polarized. Here, we may even find crossover; the seriousness of heavy words lands in a gentler yet still resonant way when the right container appears to manage and hold their weight, for example.

Added to the mix is Venus in Virgo conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon. Venus and the Moon are traditionally thought of as the main “feminine” bodies in the solar system and may literally represent women (or those embodying typically female types of qualities) with very different roles, attitudes, or approaches to life. At a more personal level, the different planetary energies in opposition may represent people-pleasing versus addressing our true needs. Perhaps we feel we must present a happy face or try to keep the peace in a conflict when there is something else going on, underneath, which we feel too vulnerable to reveal.

Virgo sometimes struggles with confidence and an anal approach to projects and can get hung up on a need to get every detail right and present a perfect end result. Yet, who is to judge what perfection is, given that tastes and standards can be so different in varied contexts? Venus might be so obviously present as a reminder that it can be all right sometimes to just do what feels nice and brings a sense of happiness or satisfaction! Let’s try and make the must of Venus’s loving and pleasing energy.

The Moon has also just separated from a trine to Uranus in Taurus, suggesting that it has been fine welcoming in a little bit of innovation, even if this may have altered the expected outcome slightly. Harmonious Moon–Uranus aspects can represent being happier in one’s own company and less troubled by isolation — possibly bringing more space to relax into one’s own way of being, thinking, and doing.

This article is from the Mountain Astrologer, written by Diana Collis.

Book: “Living with Someone Who’s Living with Bipolar Disorder”

Living with Someone Who's Living with Bipolar Disorder: A Practical Guide for Family, Friends, and Coworkers

Living with Someone Who’s Living with Bipolar Disorder: A Practical Guide for Family, Friends, and Coworkers

by Chelsea LoweBruce M. Cohen

An essential resource for anyone who has a close relationship with a person who is bipolar

This book provides a much-needed resource for family and friends of the more than 5 million American adults suffering from bipolar disorder. From psychotic behavior that requires medication to milder mood swings with disturbing ups and down, this book offers a warm and often humorous user-friend guide for coping with bipolar loved ones, colleagues, and friends. The book includes

Guidance for identifying bipolar disorder symptoms and how to get the diagnosis confirmed Strategies for dealing with rants, attacks, blame, depression, mania and other behaviors Crucial information on medication and its effectiveness and potential side-effects Techniques for dealing with attempts to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol How many people with bipolar disorders can care for themselves, get help, feel supported and go on with their own lives This important book contains real-life illustrative examples and a wealth of helpful strategies and coping mechanisms that can be put into action immediately.


Richard Tarnas – “Creating the Future through Understanding the Past” — September 27th, 2020

ArchetypalView Wise counsel on the participatory responsibility of astrological discernment and articulation by Richard Tarnas at the London Astrology Student Conference Sunday, September 27, 2020. “Creating the Future through Understanding the Past” As Kierkegaard wrote in his journal, life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward. This poignant existential truth takes on new, more complex meaning when we bring in astrology. Every act of astrological interpretation exerts a creative influence on the future: This is the great responsibility and challenge bestowed to every astrologer. Richard Tarnas is professor of philosophy and psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is the author The Passion of the Western Mind, Prometheus the Awakener, and Cosmos and Psyche. He was awarded the 2020 Charles Harvey Award for Exceptional Service to Astrology.

Richard Tarnas on the Planets in 2021

CIIS Public Programs We all recognize we are living in the midst of a major threshold of transformation, a profound drama facing the Earth community with tremendous consequences at stake. The evidence of consistent correlations between planetary alignments and world events, as seen through the lens of archetypal astrology, can provide us with a much-needed context for our time. Understanding the cyclical patterns and historical trends that preceded this moment can help us engage with greater consciousness and skillful intelligence the powerful forces now active in the world. In this sense, astrology can be seen as a kind of cosmic extension of the depth psychology project initiated by Jung and other pioneers over a century ago: helping us become more conscious of the deep unconscious, less like puppets and more like co-creative participants in relation to the archetypal powers within and around us. What are the deeper stirrings in the collective psyche today? What is the current planetary situation, and which gods are now in dynamic motion? Join CIIS Professor and cultural historian Richard Tarnas as he presents a “state of the world report” on the archetypal context of our national and global moment. This event is being offered in response to requests for a sequel to Professor Tarnas’s talk in spring 2020, which has now been watched by over one hundred thousand people worldwide. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @ciispubprograms Donate to CIIS:​ The talk begins after the slides at 3:03