Important Personal News:
October 2018 UPDATE
My best efforts to keep in touch seem to have fizzled. I have sent out two updates, one in April and another in June, both using to old GFM email list that I so carefully transcribed only to have them either returned by Google marked “delayed delivery” or forever aloft somewhere in cyber space. In any event they never seem to have hit their mark. Hence, queries abound and I get back-logged trying to answer them. I don’t like losing touch so my new plan is to post a periodic update on my website front page and direct everyone who is interested to juliaconnor.com. Hopefully the back and forth communication will then be easier to maintain. So, please, bear with me.
First, a brief re-cap. As you recall there was an technical equipment failure during my focused ultrasound treatment in Florida ( Sept. 2017) that kept us from achieving a full ablation of the targeted area. Consequently, it was suggested that I return in June of this year (contingent on MRI findings that were to be done in December). These findings were satisfactory showing a partial ablation of the target area and nothing else untoward. At the turn of the year, I taught a five-week course involving mindfulness, clay, poetry etc. When that course ended I turned my attention to working out at the gym in an attempt to build stamina for the planned June procedure in Florida. In March I came down with an acute virus infection and in May ended up in the hospital for a short stay during which time a spot was discovered on my right lung. Naturally, I immediately contacted Florida and postponed treatment. Due to the nodule’s location, a normal biopsy was not possible. After a long series of tests and consultations, it was decided that surgery was the best course. It did, indeed, turn out to be cancer and the upper right lobe was removed. By now it was late July. The post-op biopsy indicated a stage 1 cancer that requires no further treatment except regular scans, check-ups etc. I am one lucky chicken and most grateful for the astute, thoughtful and gentle care of my physicians.
During my recovery from lung surgery, I became aware of a real concern over my ability, mentally and physically, to withstand a second treatment in Florida, not to mention fear of another malfunction. Hence, I am taking a break, working with some additional medication, and attempting to come to terms with a condition that demands a much slower, more mindful life style. I am increasingly aware of the gift buried inside this challenge. Tremor = teacher.
There is no way in such a short piece of writing to explain how much your continued concern, interest and support mean to me. Please know that you have changed my heart forever.
Dear Friends and Contributors,
At last it’s scheduled!
Jim and I (+ Luna) will travel to Delray Beach, Florida, on Tuesday September 12th. I will have Neuravive MRI guided Focused Ultrasound treatment (MRgFUS) early on the 15th at Sperling Medical Center under Dr.Travis Thierney. It’s all very exciting and a bit unnerving. Last month Dr. Thierney had success with the procedure on a gentleman with a skull density ratio 2 points thicker than mine. That news was, of course, wildly encouraging and gives cause to be a bit more confident than before, though everyone is quick to remind me that there is no guarantee and my chances for success remain at 50/50. Good enough for a try at getting a right hand, say I, as if I was accustomed to rolling the dice at such high stakes.
Your generosity and support continue to light my way. One of you has recently made a generous contribution that will go toward our Airbnb lodging and another has used their bonus points to secure our air travel and rental car. Some would say what good luck. It ‘s much more than that, of course. It is a way of inhabiting the world, and I feel inspired and instructed by you once again.
Update from Claudia Siegel, via facebook:
Our friend Julia Connor was featured on KCRA-NBC news on Saturday. This short segment is a prelude to a longer segment which KCRA will air in April. Thanks to all who have contributed via gofundme at http://bit.ly/2nu4oKA. We're just $5933 short of our goal! I am confident!
Link to KCRA news:
A new medical procedure for an essential tremor is being hailed as a miracle and is giving a Sacramento artist hope. Stanford Neurosurgeon Dr. Casey Halpern explains the new treatment that's available to Essential Tremor patients and how it works.
Click here to donate to help Julia end her tremors. https://www.gofundme.com/tb-help-julia-end-her-tremors
Please read "Catherine's blog," "Manna from Heaven."
Link to GoFundMe campaign to help Julia, created by Catherine's sister:
Julia will receive a new treatment technique for essential tremor. Read about it here:
Whether moved by the terror of life or the beauty of life, one is summoned to respond. This is my fundamental understanding of love and it is what lures me to create, whatever the medium.
Poetry has been my ground. At 16 a poem by W.B.Yeats rocked my world.
I had been a non-participating student. Yeats’ words so penetrated me that they shifted my sense of who I was as well as what language could be. The apprehension of an appointment with poetry lay dormant until mid-life and the dissolution of a marriage prompted me to undertake a study of poetics under poets Robert Duncan, Diane di Prima and others -- an experience that radicalized my being.
For me, a poem had always begun in the studio of my journal; its genesis arising as much from the movement and play of the hand as from the movement of the mind. In 2011 I developed full-blown Essential Tremor, a genetic neurological disorder that reveals itself in tremors of the hand, specifically when engaged in intentional small motor task such as writing. Another radical shift!
Largely in response, I returned to my first love—working with clay. Through early training at Chouniard Art Institute, and more profoundly, through a life-long mentorship and friendship with potter, poet, and educator, M.C. Richards, I found a parallel path to that of writing -- embodying a similar aesthetic.
Painting and drawing have been my constant companions expressing what falls between the timbres and cadences of language, and the star-born earth of clay – the play of line and color.