Original email from early October

Dear friends and family,

As of recent months, its been harder and harder to keep up with all my correspondence and I noticed more and more emails sliding by and phone messages left unreturned. Its also become harder for Robert to send out general emails, especially when the news is not so good. So I decided on a new format, (not to replace personal correspondence of course!), but just to get the minimum out to the many of you who have been so supportive over the past 2 years.

Don’t feel obliged to respond! I might eventually turn this into a private blog, but as for now, this list will have to do. If for any reason you would rather not receive these emails, let me know and I take you off right away.

Well, after successful brain surgery last May and resection of the biggest and most dangerous tumor, the news that followed were a little less encouraging. The planned “radio surgery” (a form of surgery performed by a high intensive focused radiation beam) was canceled. It was supposed to take the remaining smaller tumors out, but the radiologists changed their minds after all. Instead they put me on oral treatment, that was supposed to attack the problem systemically. By mid-July it looked like the tumors were under control and needless to say we were very relieved. It made the fatigue induced by the oral treatment (rather unbearable I have to say), suddenly much more “justified.” Unfortunately things didn’t look so good again in my September scans. My whole body is disease free, but my brain tumors showed growth again. However, this time, we decided not to give up. (I came rather close to that back in June and that didn’t feel good at all I must say). Instead we began researching the hell out of treatment options, and it looks like I will be off to San Francisco next week meeting with doctors there. Here in New York I am treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering, which is one of the best cancer centers in the world, but it is not the most experimental place, and rather conservative in their treatment approach. Lets see what San Francisco has to offer.

But now to the more uplifting parts of this summer! End of June we were finally able to move into our apartment in New York (after weeks of waiting an becoming acquainted with New York’s co-op politics..), and are quite happy here. Its a beautiful place with plenty of light and for New York standards, its almost quiet.

In July I took a 4 week course in video production at the School of Visual Arts which was quite wonderful. It allowed me to follow through with the production of a new project, a first version of which has now been completed and premiered a couple of weeks ago.

In August I was able to travel to Germany to visit family and friends, which was very nice.

And in September I actually started feeling better! So much better that I was able to really work, go to the gym and get things done. I also decided to respond to a long standing invitation to Finland (Lappland to be precise), to participate in a series of workshops organized by the Bioart Society. It was the most marvelous 10 days I have spent in a very long time! Quite magical actually. And incredibly therapeutic. (Who needs physical therapy when they can climb around the rocks above the Polar Circle?!) I am attaching a few pictures below, just to show off a little and to get you all jealous :), and to share the view of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), which we were lucky to experience 3 nights in a row. And also a panoramic, just of the general landscape over there.