24 Jun 2003
Shalom Gavriel, Henry and Nachum

I just wanted to touch bases with each of you and let you know what has been happening here.  Not much !  However, after 26 days of downpours in the past 50 days, and after a record 10 inches of rain !  today was sunny, bright and warm.  Some even complained of the heat !  I enjoyed it, and went with Heyward Ehrlich to Central Park and a photo exhibit.

Further, starting before my trip but increasingly back here, my stomach has been growling for attention, and I went in for an colonoscopy last week.  Dr. Groisser looked it over and said it seemed 'normal' enough, considering my long history with Crohns disease [Ileitis].  [It started in 1962, on the day I was graduated from Columbia.]  He wants to do a new procedure.  It is called 'Remicade,' whereby an I.V. drip 'floods' the blood stream with a protein which neutralizes the problem. 

The problem, by the way, consists of overly active white
blood cells [you know, the ones that attack bad things like bacteria and, perhaps, virus, and eats them. Ugh ! !]  So, in effect, my defensive system is attacking, by mistake, me ! !   You can think of it as 'collateral damage,' but, in my case, colonic damage. [Ileum, actually.]  Self-criticism.  Is it any wonder the Ileitis is relatively prevalent among Jews ? 

Anyway, the new treatment tends to neutralize the action of the white cells, thus relieving the disease and the symptoms.  It is said to be effective in 60 - 70% of the time.  I am looking forward, since my present condition is uncomfortable. 

Otherwise, I have a mosaic workshop coming up in July and I need to get my apartment better organized.  I promised I would vacate it in October and let a friend use it.  I am starting to plan a trip to Israel and neighboring places for that time. 

Send me some news when you get the chance.. ..

Much Love    Dad