Monday, November 16, 2009

11/15/09 Back on Track !!

It has been a while since I have posted anything and for that I greatly apologize. Peggy and I have been really busy with music and traveling. During October we got to do concerts all over the state including a wonderful concert at Blueseed studios in Saranac Lake, Mt Music Weekend at great camp Sagamore, concerts with the Susquehanna String Band at the Unitarian Church in Cortland and Syracuse and a wonderful concert at the Quaker meeting house in Orchard Park to name a few. Last week Dan Berggren and I performed in Rochester with Carl Heilman. Carl has a new multi media program titled “ I am the Adirondacks”, and Peggy, Dan, and I worked with a wonderful composer and scorer from Rochester Casie Filiachi to do all the music. It really is a fantastic piece and we will have DVD’s available for sale around the second week of December. I continue to do everything I can to keep the healing process moving forward. Eating is still a bit of a challenge but is coming a long way!! I can eat a variety of softer foods and am doing my best to try to put on some more weight. I am seeing a wonderful acupuncturist in Oswego to try to help with some of the Neurological issues that have come up, especially with my right hand. It really seems to be helping, but as she explained to me it takes a long time to start seeing significant change in that area. My strength and stamina are slowly improving and I still need to get plenty of rest to be able to keep up. Last week I had a visit with the ENT surgeon {I see him now every two months}, and he was really happy with the progress that I am making. He showed me where the cancer actually was; it was deep in my mouth at the lower base of the tongue and much closer to my epiglottis than I had thought earlier. He feels really good about the prognosis for the future and is pleased with the healing to date of my neck both inside and out! He feels that with proper screening we should be able to keep on top of all of this.

Someone said to me the other day, congratulations on being a Cancer survivor. It was a wonderful thing to hear and at times it really does not even seem possible. It is hard to believe that all of this started to come to light just about a year ago I really want to do everything I can to help out those who find themselves facing this type of Cancer. I have contacted the American Cancer Society of Central NY and hope to become a mentor for cancer patients dealing with head and neck cancer. I also would hope that the blog can help out those who are searching for answers about this particular type of Cancer. In my travels I am meeting more and more people who have had head and neck cancers or know someone who has and it is my hope that more people will become aware of these types of Cancer. I recently finished an article about my Cancer experience for Dulcimer Player News that will be coming out in the Winter issue, and last week Tom, Henry, Peggy and I recorded “For the Love of Friends", to be included with the CD the magazine offers. I also hope to put the new version of the song on line soon for all of you to down load, it really come out wonderfully.

With each passing day I feel more and more fortunate to be where I am right now. There are still issues to deal with but I am so blessed to have this army of friends and supporters that have been such a huge part of my recovery. I try to stop each day that I can at 7:00 and send a vibe to all of you and to those I know who are battling different types of Cancer and Leukemia. The 7:00 vibe has been such a wonderful and powerful thing it would be great if we could keep it going each night for those who are struggling with their Cancer journey. I will try to be much better at keeping you all updated in regards to my continued recovery. I look forward to seeing you at concerts and workshops this late Fall and Winter and once again a heart felt thank you for your ongoing support of Peggy and I,it means the world to us. This year at Thanksgiving we really do have a lot to be thankful for.



  1. Today, Lunar Samhain, may you connect with all the loving energy in spirit and incarnate that has and will dance you through this healing journey! I think your suggestion for 7:00 is a great idea.

  2. It was wonderful to see you an Peg at Fajita Grill last night. You look terrific and I am so glad that the music is flowing. I look forward to your Oswego performance in January.

  3. When I didn't see new posts, I assumed that you were busy doing good things. I'm so glad you have been making music, going places, and continuing to heal. Keep up the good work. And stay rested too.

    Cindy M.

  4. Dear Dan,
    You are sounding better and better, and that is music to my ears! And what a wonderful thing, to give other cancer patients someone to talk to and to lean on. With your sweet music and your beautiful heart, you are creating an amazing legacy.

    I saw "I Am the Adirondacks in North Creek this fall, and am so excited to hear that you will be releasing it on DVD. Please put a copy aside for me!

    I'll see you in a few weeks in Lake Placid--counting the days!

  5. Hey Dan, glad to read your update... I check your blog often, hungry for news, so I'm happy to get some!

    Fatigue after cancer treatment is so common. Often, cancer survivors, probably more women than men, experience sarcopenia as the result of chemo and surgery, which is the conversion of muscle to fat. It's a condition that affects the elderly, too, but at least we cancer survivors have some chance to reverse it. I really believe that exercise is the only way to do that, because it burns off the fat and rebuilds the muscle. At least it was true for me, and now my friend Bert is in physical therapy because of the effects of cancer treatment on his body.

    I would say continue with walking, which I know that you and Peggy do, but add vigorous cardiovascular exercise, that raises your heart rate, a little more each day, and then when you feel like your stamina is increasing, gradually add resistance training. Maybe someone can sell or loan you a stationary exercise bike or treadmill for home... and you can always buy free weights to use at home, or resistance bands.

    Or, you can do what Bert did, which was get his doctor to prescribe physical therapy, where they are working with him on building stamina and strength. That is what I have been working on since treatment, and it has made all the difference in terms of having more energy and confidence. Also, I have been paying attention to my protein intake, because protein helps build muscle and supports muscle healing, and most diets are too low in lean protein. Protein powder in fruit smoothies is one way that I add protein to my diet.

    Those are my thoughts. Do with them what you will, but I look forward to reading about your continued recovery!!!!

    Love, Maria

  6. Every year, good and bad alike, I am reminded, mostly by the courage of others, that come the harvest there is always reason to be grateful. I am inspired.

    Ben Trumble

  7. Dan:

    Good to hear that you're back in the strum and pluck of things! We all look forward to seeing you in January at the Music Hall.

    Terry Manion

  8. Dan
    Your blog has really helped my husband David and I move through his new diagnoses of head and neck cancer. His treatmetns have not started yet. In fact David has started a blog which is helping him immensley and hopefully others also!!
    Thank you and congratulations on doing so well with your journey