What has happened up to this point.

About four weeks ago, Tate came down with a nasty cough and was put on antibiotics for Bronchitis. He was feeling well enough five days later to rock out at his 60th Birthday Bash.  A good time was had by all.

The cough wouldn’t go away and his throat was inflamed so he was put on steroids and an inhaler.  His doc ordered a chest x-ray and it came back clear.  Other than the cough, he was fine.

Then about a week and a half ago, while enjoying a lovely theater retreat in Putney Vermont, Tate had a small stroke.  36 hours of tests  in the Brattleboro hospital confirmed this but could not find the source of the stroke.  His heart for instance, looked perfectly fine.

We left the hospital and returned to Hartford feeling as though he’d dodged a bullet.  The only remaining symptom of the stroke it seemed was that he could not move his left thumb (he complained that this put him one thumb away from being a Great Ape but really he felt grateful).  He had an appointment with PCP and she made subsequent appointments to see a Neurologist and an Occupational Therapist. Alas the cough was still there and one doctor suggested it might be heartburn.  A second chest x-ray showed nothing of concern.

Then about five days later, Tate woke up with a lump above his right clavicle. He thought maybe he had pulled a muscle. He had to go to NY to audition actors for Flipside but we he returned, Karen took him to ER just to make sure whatever this was was not related to his stroke.  After many hours, he was admitted.  The going theory was that he had pneumonia.  A third chest x-ray was done and results revealed a “shadow.”

By the next day, still in the hospital, Tate’s voice started to get very hoarse and diminished to almost a whisper. Within that same day, his arm started to swell.  They later discovered that this was due to blood clots. A ha! Blood clots has caused the stroke. But why the blood clots all of a sudden?  And why the bump on this shoulder and why the hoarseness in his voice…and why the coughing.

I could not possible go over every single test he had over the next few days and every single theory that was thrown out.  I will say that almost every hospital department was involved (okay Labor and Delivery never weighed in on the case but that was one of the few departments left out).

On Thursday night we found out it was a malignant tumor.  On Friday we found out is was Adenocarcinoma – Lung Cancer, Stage 3. The oncologist said it was inoperable.

Today is Sunday. There are still many questions yet to be answered  ie. are there more tumors elsewhere? etc.  But the plan now is to start radiation and chemo on Wednesday.  We want a second opinion but we need to blast this thing ASAP as it is growing very fast.  He will get done with that first round on Friday and will go for a second opinion the following Monday.

One good thing we found out – we, as a group, have tremendous connections! Experts from Hartford Hospital, Yale, Washington University, the National Cancer Center and the White House have already been contacted.  No doubt we are going get this man the STAR treatment.  We are also already exploring integrative therapies – ways that he can empower himself to aide in his own healing and ways that we, his family, his friends, his community, can help as well.

I  cannot speak for anyone else but I have never been so terrified in my life.  It feels like nightmare I cannot wake up from. But I keep thinking of what the wonderful pastor said as she passed Dezi, Ashley and me sobbing in the hallway.  She prayed with us (and anyone who knows me knows that this is not a usual occurrence for me but wow did it help). In her prayer she called on all the  strength we had to “not get paralyzed by fear of the future, but instead to focus on what we can do in the present moment.”  Writing for this blog is something I can do. And I will do it as much as I can so that everyone around the globe who loves Greg Tate can participate in his healing.

Please visit this blog as often as you like and/or set it up so that you can receive emails with new entries. My hope is that Tate will write often and so will others who are involved in his day-to-day care.

I don’t think I know anyone else who is loved so fiercely (and that is the key word) by so many people.  We need to use that fierceness to get him through this.

And laughter  – we need LOTS of laughter.

Love,

Julia

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  1. #1 by Nora on February 20, 2012 - 2:32 am

    Insert hugs and prayers here.

  2. #2 by Hannah kluger on February 20, 2012 - 2:59 am

    Hang in there everyone, stay strong. peace and love, Hannah Kluger

  3. #3 by Rob M on February 20, 2012 - 3:00 am

    Thanks Julia. Sometimes its hard to keep track of all the conversations about what is going on. This is great. We love you Tate.

  4. #4 by Leah on February 20, 2012 - 4:26 am

    Much love, courage, and laughter for Tate and his wonderful crew. We love you all, leah, victor, and eli.

  5. #5 by Roger Rosenblatt on February 20, 2012 - 4:36 am

    Hey, Tate,

    Roger here, and there, with you. Being in the same situation, I have perspective, wisdom, but little advice. But what little I have is: you are you; your illness is not you. The medical care system is scary; it is also neither you nor your condition. Don’t let the illness crowd out the reality which is: you are loved, you are alive, you are vibrant, and the world is a transcendent unanticipated miracle.

    • #6 by Ellen Robinson on February 21, 2012 - 6:02 pm

      you are awesome, Roger. Here, here!

  6. #7 by Gitta Schulz on February 20, 2012 - 9:11 am

    I will check with my friend in Germany who is a medical doctor and very well versed in alternative treatments, especially to mitigate the impact of radiation treatment. Give Tate a HUGE hug from me.
    Love to all of you,
    gitta

  7. #8 by Vicky on February 20, 2012 - 12:45 pm

    Thanks for the update Julia.

  8. #9 by lobonick on February 20, 2012 - 12:46 pm

    my prayers and love are with everybody… please let me know if there is anything that i can do..

  9. #10 by jamie on February 20, 2012 - 1:58 pm

    My heart aches for all of you. Tate is one big strong dude and I believe he will surprise us all with how much cancer ass he can kick. I’ve only been with Tate on the family get togethers, but I love him like my own family esp because of how much love radiates from all of you for this man, its contagious.

  10. #11 by river on February 20, 2012 - 2:29 pm

    wow, i’m just learning of this. my heart goes out to you all, and we will offer prayers for greg and all of you as you support and love him through this journey. all i can think is, “what a fortunate man he is”. life will always be full of tests and suffering, but to have such loving friends and such a strong community to help one get through is an amazing blessing.

  11. #12 by Pasha on February 20, 2012 - 4:42 pm

    You are in my prayers

  12. #13 by Rachel on February 20, 2012 - 5:18 pm

    Thank you so much for doing this Julia, it’s such a gift for all of us who are not in Hartford. Sending you all so much love. xo Rachel

  13. #14 by Michael Carreiro on February 20, 2012 - 5:52 pm

    Greg- I’m so sorry to here about what happing to you. I just wanted you to know that thinking of you and sending you good thoughts of strenth and wellness, courage and love. I also want you to know that me and my brothers and sister cared for my mom through her battle with cancer and if you ever want to talk or just have a sounding board please don’t hesitate to call , I’m happy to share my experience with you or those who are caring for you. Peace. MC

  14. #15 by Elvy Stepinoff on February 20, 2012 - 6:04 pm

    For Julia and Tate, and all who love him, my heart goes out to you all, and I identify with the fear. But I also know that fierceness is a great thing, and staying in the moment is a great thing, and that laughter really is a healing force. My experience is that Chemo and radiation are not easy to go through, but we got through it, and many, many others get through as well. Hope and love and good medicine add up to a great recipe for health and life. Love you all, Elvy

  15. #16 by Terry Greiss on February 20, 2012 - 6:51 pm

    If you’ve ever met Tate you have experienced him as a Life Force. We all join in the common prayer to see him through this. Our faith is IN him. Our love surrounds him.

  16. #17 by Gerard on February 20, 2012 - 7:21 pm

    Much much love to you Tate.

  17. #18 by Teresa on February 20, 2012 - 7:25 pm

    Una enfermedad traicionera que el paliativo principal es el amor .Un abrazo grande desde Chile

  18. #19 by Chris O on February 20, 2012 - 7:41 pm

    big love Tate,..sending you BIG love. This has been put out to the world and the web and if there is anyone deserving of the love, light and good energy I hope this blog generates, it is you Greg Tate. BIG love.

  19. #20 by Eliot Nerenberg and Amy Jaffe on February 20, 2012 - 7:54 pm

    Tate and all of his admirers,

    We are continually thinking of you and sending whatever vibrations and good thoughts that we have for your care. You are one lucky man to have so many people who love and care for you. We will come and see you as soon as we return (we are out of the country this week) and as soon as we know you can have, and will want, visitors to continue to fortify you.

    With much love and caring,

    Eliot and Amy

  20. #21 by Anonymous on February 20, 2012 - 9:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing this news. I hope my wishes find their way from DC to Hartford. You are all such a close, loving group – so in addition to great medical care, he’s getting the best spiritual care too.

  21. #22 by Jennifer Zeyl on February 20, 2012 - 9:22 pm

    Tate – Much love and healing prayer from Seattle, my friend.
    Holding you in my heart – Zeyl

  22. #23 by jamie merwin on February 20, 2012 - 9:51 pm

    tAAAAAAAAAte! aw, man…this is a lot! how are you? i’m looking out my window at the sun-shining in philadelphia…hoping that the sun is shining there. wondering if you are stuck in a room, indoors, or what your physical location is? i really love that roger reminded us that you are you! you are NOT your illness. things can happen so fast huh? julia’s account really made me feel how fragile our day-day status is. i am grateful that we have community, that we can reach out to each other now + know what is happening. you stay strong. your voice is always vibrant in my chest, so its ok that you need to rest it for a while now. to heal + find your other strengths. imma keep you humming over here. let me know if there is anything you would like or need? love you-jamie.

  23. #24 by jasbrown on February 20, 2012 - 10:18 pm

    Inserting mine and Alison’s love and blessings. Thanks for the call Julia. Is there a way that we can call? Would love to give him support live and in person.

    • #25 by klkessler on February 21, 2012 - 12:32 am

      It’s really hard for him to talk right now, but I know he’d love email and texts. Thanks for keeping him in your heart

  24. #26 by Fran Miller on February 20, 2012 - 10:18 pm

    Hi Julia, our hearts go out to you, and to all that know Greg. Love and prayers are coming big time from our court!! Fran and Pete Miller

  25. #27 by Terry OgawaTerry on February 20, 2012 - 10:57 pm

    Tate and Julia,

    Love to you and thanks for sharing the news. Blessings for the support this community needs, and for Tate to get done what he would like to do and be as he would like to be! Wishing you love and laughter and strength in the journey ahead. Love and Aloha from Hawai’i.

  26. #28 by Bob Leonard on February 20, 2012 - 11:36 pm

    Love to you, Tate, my favorite room mate. May all the love coming to you float you, bliss you, give you what you need. Thanks for setting this up, Julia. We all find strength in the community we have together. Bless you, Tate, my man.

    Bob

  27. #29 by Mark McKenna on February 21, 2012 - 12:05 am

    Tate – much love and strength to you, brother, It has been a while but you remain a strong presence and model of great gentleness, creativity and conviction in my heart. My son, Liam, is reading the Odyssey in school and had to draw up a comic strip of one episode as an assignment. He chose the encounter with the Cyclops – you should see it, I will try to scan and send it…Reading Julia’s account so far, I think of you/Odysseus and all there in Hartford, huddled together against a malicious unblinking foe, feeling trapped but working together, being WHO YOU ALL ARE, together, creating and conniving to find a way out.

    As Julia described, the connections are vast and I think the cave stretches wide across the sky and WE ALL fill it with you – ready and on call – so that you can reach anywhere you need…I like Jamie’s image, your voice/vibrations are humming here in Bethlehem, too…, Mark Mck

  28. #30 by Colleen Gant on February 21, 2012 - 12:14 am

    Tate…What a support system you have that is transmitting all of this love and positive energy towards you. Life is full of challenges and surprises, and I hope yours will be that you can beat this one…stay strong…you are in my thoughts and heart.

  29. #31 by Anonymous on February 21, 2012 - 12:18 am

    Am holding all of your support network, but especially you, Tate, in the light. And it is a light that is brilliant and warm and FILLED with love. –Sabrina

  30. #32 by susan and jay on February 21, 2012 - 1:19 am

    From Susan and Jay, MISO SOUP! Early and often, mitigates some of the side effects of treatment. And good thoughts and laughter of children!

  31. #33 by Amy Stevens on February 21, 2012 - 3:26 am

    Love, prayer and medical expertise savedmy life more than once — thinking of you on your journey toward a complete recovery. Fight hard!!
    Love, Amy Stevens

  32. #34 by Velina Brown on February 21, 2012 - 6:01 am

    Julia,
    Thank you for this post.
    Greg is so fortunate to have so many friends and family helping him through this challenging time.
    Love and strength.
    Velina, Michael, Zachary

  33. #35 by Anonymous on February 21, 2012 - 11:01 am

    Hi, Greg and Julia–a voice from overseas–and virtual hugs. I liked both of you so very much when we met and wish I could have been with you more–my visits always open a scope of possibilities that can’t be developed, but it’s nice to know they are there. I admire you both and feel for you. Greg–the invitation to come is still on the table, I hope you may really do it. We last met at a “Play in the Park”…that was a great day. Odd, I’m reading “Angel Time” by Anne Rice: a guy who was once seriously religious, because an unbeliever, but in a time of crisis, his guardian angel swoops down to save him. May yours (whether you believe in it or not 😉 swoop down for you, too.
    Elinore Liebersohn Koenigsfled (e-mail: elinoreuri@gmail.com) (Susan Ginsburg sent the link.)

  34. #36 by Anonymous on February 21, 2012 - 2:59 pm

    Thank you Julia, for providing this way to keep in touch with Tate and up to date on his progress.

    Sending Tate and the Hartbeat gang our deepest love and healing thoughts.
    Cathleen

  35. #37 by Anonymous on February 21, 2012 - 3:07 pm

    Julia and Tate, we are sending positive thoughts your way.
    Nancy and Jeff

  36. #38 by Jan Levine Thal on February 21, 2012 - 3:32 pm

    Best healing vibes to Tate from Wisconsin, where he came with the S.F. Mime Troupe on a number of occasions.
    Jan Levine Thal

  37. #39 by Leese on February 21, 2012 - 3:57 pm

    Tate…all of us at Strike Anywhere are sending healing vibes and love your way. We are with you..xoxo Leese

  38. #40 by Norman Stockwell on February 21, 2012 - 4:06 pm

    Be strong! My thoughts are with you – from Madison, and Chicago.

  39. #41 by Anonymous on February 21, 2012 - 5:18 pm

    I will keep you in my prayers. -Eliztaicha

  40. #42 by Nina on February 21, 2012 - 6:21 pm

    Tate and all that love him,

    While the threads that bind us to life may seem delicate and easily broken, this community is testament to the supremely powerful ties that bind family and friends to one another. Just want to add more good vibrations to the pot. Stay fierce!

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers,
    Nina

  41. #43 by Patrice on February 22, 2012 - 1:41 am

    Tate,
    I just read Karen’s email and I am stunned, absolutely stunned by all that you have gone through. However, I am so inspired by your spirit and the support of all those around you who love you. please please please let us know if there is anything Steve and I can do. I will keep in touch via Karen and please know our prayers are with you during this time.
    Love
    Patrice

  42. #44 by Jordan Polon on February 22, 2012 - 4:13 am

    I dedicate my hands to you until you are well again. They will hold your hands if you need them. They will fold in prayer for you if you’re worried. They will make rude gestures at anyone who irritates or annoys you. They will make shadow puppets on the wall if you’re bored. They will applaud you in every victory along the way to recovery. I dedicate my hands to you until you are well again, but after that, I’ll need them back to surf the internet and pick my nose and stuff.

  43. #45 by Rebecca on February 22, 2012 - 5:45 am

    Tate- thinking of you and sending all the love and good karma in my heart. And sending my support to you and all of those who love and support you.

  44. #46 by Laura on February 22, 2012 - 2:58 pm

    I recommend “Love, Medicine & Miracles” by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D. and
    “The Creation of Health” by Caroline Myss, Ph.D. and C. Norman Shealy, M.D.

    Please believe in the power of your body to heal. That does not mean that you refuse treatment, but visualize the treatment working.

  45. #47 by Colin Baker on February 22, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    My prayers are with you Greg, I have no doubt that you will pull through.

  46. #48 by Rebecca G. on February 22, 2012 - 8:31 pm

    Thinking of Tate & all who love him; we pray fir wellness & peace. xoxo Rebecca, Nate, Baya & Esme

  47. #49 by Alfred Pirovits on February 23, 2012 - 1:56 am

    Dear friends who can tell Greg thanks from Alfred and I’m sending love and collecting laughter.

  48. #50 by Anonymous on February 23, 2012 - 7:48 pm

    Greg
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hang in there.
    Donna

  49. #51 by enza.giannone@asu.edu on February 24, 2012 - 9:42 pm

    Thank you for setting this up Julia. My heart is breaking and I am so grateful there is a way for me to stay updated even though I’m so far away. I recently went through a very difficult time in my life and experienced the fear that comes from being within the medical care system and not understanding “why?” But what amazed me through it all was the incredible amount of love and support I received from my family, friends, and otherwise loved ones. It kept me strong and gave me a reason to be positive about life and the exquisiteness of the present moment. I hope that I can be part of that love and support for Tate now. Life will kick your ass, but the strong connections we share as a community are what this crazy-ass life is all about. And they’re never as shiny, bright, and alive as they are in these moments. Tate you have always been there for me. You have always amazed me with your wisdom, talent, and love for life. You are my giant teddy bear who always makes me laugh and who exudes so much positivity and joy that you fill every heart you encounter. I KNOW you will attack this with elegance and that your joyfulness will win. I love you and please let me know if there is anything I can do or if there is anything anyone needs. I know I’m across the country but my heart and thoughts will be with you always. Enza

  50. #52 by Carlton Turner on February 25, 2012 - 12:03 am

    Big Man Tate,
    Sending you much love from the brothers down south. M.U.G.A.B.E.E. will be sending megawatts of positive energy towards the northeast. Know that there are no impossible feats.

    Julia, thanks for keeping us connected and in the know.

    Peace & Love

    • #53 by Alfred Pirovits on February 25, 2012 - 3:08 am

      Greg is the soul that I reached out to to heal my soul. Let’s give him our love and our prayers.

  51. #54 by john hagerty on February 26, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    Anyone who has met you for more then a minute knows what a powerful soul you are. Just the prescription for this sort of thing. Do that other stuff too, just to cover yer bases. And listen to Meatloaf at high volume. Those soaring power cords; very empowering… funtoo. lovebrother. hagerty

  52. #55 by Ginger on February 27, 2012 - 6:49 pm

    Uncle Greg, I have been out of the country and away from FB. I just learned of the challenge that you are facing. Have faith and focus on the present. I know first hand how important it is that you maintain a positive mindset through everything that you have faced and will face. Also, I am a living testimony of the power of collective prayer. We are all praying for you. Through it all, keep the laughter flowing! With much love, Ginger (Wilson) and family.

  53. #56 by Geoff Sheehan on March 12, 2012 - 3:11 pm

    Thinking of you guys, and hoping for a beautiful recovery. Geoff Sheehan

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