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          Suspended Animation           

My email reports from July 2012 onward

 


#1: July 10 -13 2012     SUSPENDED ANIMATION

July 11, Southampton. I spent an hour yesterday writing this first report and then pressed the wrong button and lost it all. Stupido! No way to recapture and now I have to start all over again. I should put up a big sign with 'SAVE!' on it.

In the evening of the 9th, there was a last cocktail party for "repeaters, honeymooners and VIPs" and while champagne is served generally, by being befriended with the bar manager who, like so many others, knew me from Poesia, I was able to finagle a martini. I then played for maybe 20 minutes in the piano bar, before going around, saying goodbye to many people who had become close friends, and some of these leave takings were very emotional and even teary, particularly with Mandy. With her I had arranged to be picked up at 10.15 on the 10th at my cabin, with a wheel chair and someone with a trolley to bring the four pieces of luggage down from the ship.

Early in the morning I went to settle my account on which there were no charges for service, laundry or Internet thanks to Mandy and the hotel manager Angelo. The guys picking me up at the cabin came early, while I was still struggling with the scooter collapse and they helped me with stowing it and its several unwieldy parts in the tight special carrying bag. I was pretty exhausted by that time, because I had been up early with finishing packing etc. and was glad to be able to sit in the wheelchair for the long trip off the ship, over slanting ramps towards the Terminal Building, down an elevator, then through the cavernous baggage hall to the outside, where it rained quite heavily.

The luggage and myself were deposited at a sheltered spot to await the pickup arranged for 10am local time (ship's time being one hour later) by Olivia and Max Landsberg, "children" of my cousin-in-law Sylvia - both had come up from London for the event. They were punctual and I felt sorry for them hefting and stowing the heavy luggage in the relatively small (but BMW!) car. On the way to the B&B Bannister House to unload, I got quite a nice view of the city because both of my saviours not being from here, their knowledge of the city was limited. I was warmly received by Ingrid, the manager and allowed to settle in my room and relax for almost an hour and a half before Max came to get me at noon and took me to Sylvia's beautiful home at 118 Southfield Lane. Another wonderful welcome and a delicious lunch of Shepherds pie, peas and salad. Later an hour's siesta and after the rain had stopped for a while and the sun came out and warmed things up, we sat outside and I could admire Sylvia's beautiful garden in full bloom.

Later I worked on this report which then I lost to my great sorrow and embarrassment. However, the Negroni I was allowed to make for myself and Sylvia was an effective consolation, and so was the Supper with some of my favourite cheeses. Max brought me 'home' for about 9pm and I gratefully went to bed and only had to get up twice during the night of otherwise solid sleep. It is comfortable, spotless, the rooms comfortable and with everything you would find in a hotel costing at least twice as much (except they do not provide facecloth - I am told the people bring their own, but I got one by asking). They serve a generous and complete English breakfast but I opted for half of the offerings.

July 11/12: April weather, complete with thunderstorms, quite a lot of rain and cool temperatures, interspersed by sunny and sudden warmth. I spent mornings at the computer and have good WiFi here at Bannister House. Towards noon Max came and brought me to Sylvia's house, we had lunch (actually the main meal of the day), a little siesta, an extended walk through the beautiful gardens until it started raining again. In the afternoon, through the fact that Max has a very cheap phone card program, I was finally able to speak to Princess USA to cancel the cruises booked with them (they wouldn't accept cancellations by email for security reasons) and was pleasantly surprised to learn that I will get a refund of nearly $ 5,000 when I thought that because of the imminence of these cruises, I would have to forfeit all I had paid. On the 12th I also received the medical reports of my consultation with Mr. Cumming. Things are shaping up nicely.

Sylvia is such a graceful hostess and Max and Olivia so helpful, and I am grateful for this, my "twice removed" family. Tomorrow at 7.30 am Olivia will come by taxi to get me and the luggage and accompany me on the pretty long drive to the London Heathrow airport, where Ken, the third of Sylvia's siblings, will meet us and assist in the check-in procedures. I shudder to think of the hefty excess baggage charges I'll face. Flight departure is shortly after noon and I'll have a 4 hour layover in Toronto which I am not looking forward to but to see Steve again is greatly rewarding.

You'll hear from me whenever I am settled and can report on developments. Meantime, keep smiling. I do.


#2: July 13 2012

I am sitting on the completely sold out plane from Southampton to Toronto, squeezed in the middle seat of a row of three. When it came to seat assignment at Heathrow, I requested one at the bulkhead because it has a little more leg room but the only one available was this. On my left is a guy who watches football on the screen in front of him, drinks beer and hogs the armrest. On my right is a young woman with a cute 14-.month old little girl, who does not scream like other kids on board but squirms a lot and bumps into me and when her mother has her on the lap, the two of them frequently spill over the armrest touching or poking me. In the end I gave up trying to have a snooze, because even making myself as narrow as possible, I got it from both sides.

The plane left over half an hour late. I was mighty grateful for the woolen jacket Sylvia had given me and wore it during the entire flight. And the morning went well: Olivia came with the taxi to pick me up at 7.30 and we got to Heathrow a little after 9, where her brother Ken met us, loaded all luggage on a trolley and had already organized a wheelchair with a driver and we four proceeded to the correct check-in counter through huge numbers of travellers. Without this help of these wonderful long-range relations I really don't know how I would have managed. The excess baggage charge of 190 GBP was quite a shock, as you can imagine, but Olivia said that they originally wanted to charge over 300 Pounds until she "intervened"! We still sat for a little while with coffee and bakery offered by Ken, before it was time for me to go through uneventful security and the plane, only to sit there for another 40 minutes before we took off.

Eight hours later, with a sigh of relief, we had landed. The last time I was at Toronto Pearson airport was last October and now it seemed twice as large! It sure was a long way for the woman to have to push the wheelchair I was in when I got off the plane after the 325 other passengers had left. First to collect the four pieces of checked baggage, get a porter to transport them through the customs control while I went through immigration - all uneventful but reduced Steve's inheritance by a further $ 15. There were almost three hours waiting time before the next flight, but I was happy to find free WiFi and even an electrical outlet and I sat in the wheelchair, sent out some emails and dealt with others.

The flight to North Bay only took about 3/4 hour, and there was Steve, looking great and very handsome with his neatly trimmed beard. So nice to see him again! But the welcome I received from Brandy when we got to the car was amazing, because she was all over me with the joy of seeing me - quite unbelievable and touching since the last time had been 9 months ago. And so to Torbay, where Steve and Joyce had prepared "my" little room, and of course the first I saw when entering the living/dining area was the beautiful, elegant and substantial new staircase Steve had designed and built, which leads to the now complete upstairs with two bedroom and a washroom/toilet. The big bedroom has a balcony overlooking the lake and this is just gorgeous.

14/15 July - Because my future is so unsettled, I am more or less living out of suitcases, but did hang up my suits and some trousers. To get to see a specialist here requires that I be referred to one by a regular GP whom I can only see standing in line at a drop-in clinic, and this is happening this afternoon, with Joyce's help who will stand in line in my stead so that I'll be among the first of the total of 25 patients that will be seen. This morning Steve and I went to the office of the urologist to see whether the printed report I already have from the specialist in Southampton would substitute as a referral, but no dice. But this afternoon I saw the doctor at the clinic who will refer me to Dr. Goldfarb, the urologist, who is however on holiday and it may be a long time until I get to see him.

......................

July 24 2012
Hi, this is Steve Landsberg, Egon's son,
writing to my father's English and German speaking 'Group' contacts who receive(d) his 'reports'.


I am sorry to tell you that early yesterday morning my father had a stroke here at home in North Bay. As you likely know from his reports, he abandoned his cruising to return home 11 days ago due to another medical emergency which would be better serviced in Canada than abroad.

Egon (95) is presently in hospital care here where he will remain for at least several more days. The good news is that he is physically, mentally, & cognitively unimpaired. However at this time he has entirely lost his speech and ability to write. I do not know how his musical ability might have been impacted. He is at this time also not able to select letters from the alphabet to compose words and is therefore unable to use a keyboard such as found on a computer.

As there are hundreds of contacts in his two 'groups', I am sure you can appreciate that I am not able to respond to any of your emails individually. When something more concrete develops over the next while I will again email a communiqué.

The attached pic is from the evening of his arrival, Friday the 13th.
Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers. Regards ~ Steve

Durch Google Translation:
Hallo, hier ist Steve Landsberg, der Sohn Egon, das Schreiben zu meinem Vater spricht deutsch und englisch 'Group', die Kontakte (d) seine "Berichte" erhalten.

Leider muss ich Ihnen sagen, dass gestern früh mein Vater einen Schlaganfall hatte sich hier zu Hause in North Bay. Wie Sie wahrscheinlich wissen, aus seinen Berichten, brach er sein Cruisen zu Hause 11 Tagen zurückgeben wegen einer anderen medizinischen Notfällen, die besser bedient wäre in Kanada als im Ausland.

Egon (95) befindet sich derzeit in Krankenhausbehandlung hier, wo er für mindestens mehrere Tage bleiben wird. Die gute Nachricht ist, dass er körperlich, geistig, kognitiv unbeeinträchtigte & ist. Doch zu diesem Zeitpunkt hat er ganz seiner Rede und die Fähigkeit zu schreiben verloren. Ich weiß nicht, wie sich seine musikalischen Fähigkeiten wurde möglicherweise beeinflusst haben. Er ist zu diesem Zeitpunkt auch nicht in der Lage, Buchstaben aus dem Alphabet wählen, um Wörter zu komponieren und ist daher nicht in der Lage, eine Tastatur wie auf einem Computer gefunden zu verwenden.

Da es hunderte von Kontakten in seinen beiden "Gruppen" sind, bin ich sicher, können Sie schätzen, dass ich nicht in der Lage, auf alle Ihre E-Mails individuell zu reagieren. Wenn etwas mehr Beton in den nächsten entwickelt, während ich wieder senden ein Kommunique.

Das beigefügte Bild stammt aus dem Abend seiner Ankunft, Freitag der 13..
Vielen Dank für Ihre guten Gedanken und Gebete. Grüße von Steve


......................
July 27 2012
Hi Folks, ... four days now... Dad has a fine disposition, is fully aware and appears ok with his situation.
He is now able to write some words, and has also used the computer I brought in to try and type some things. He can navigate on his Netbook, however he is unable still to actually compose proper phrases and so sentences are out of the question at this time. Actually he has difficulty writing or typing most anything he is thinking so we are some distance from his writing of another report or even emails.

He is however very aware (and has read some) of all the emails and good wishes he has received and expresses his gratitude to all of you (as do I). That he can read is wonderful, however what is most wonderful is that his musical abilities have been minimally impacted. Today he played a piano situated in the mental ward of our hospital and this was a delight to both patients and staff and surely must have brought some satisfaction to my father as well. The speech pathologist is also making some effort to tie in some musical expression with speech expression. I also brought in a scrabble board, so imagine it will not be long before he attempts to corral a nurse to a bedside game lol.

He has also seen a urologist regarding the bladder tumour and it is likely that this will be addressed (removed) while he is in hospital, possibly as early as next week but nothing is confirmed in this respect. This tumour is of course what necessitated his abandoning ship and the return to Canada. It is still not clear to me if this is cancerous or not. It is about 4cm x 2.5cm and as I understand it, quite large.

So, all-in-all things are looking up and we go day by day. Please know that you are all in his thoughts and heart. Warm Regards ~ Steve

Yes, the attached photo is of Egon
- taken the evening of his arrival in North Bay,
13 July 2012 - the dog is my Brandy. ;-)

Durch Google Uebersetzung:
Hallo Leute, ... 4 Tage jetzt ... Dad hat eine feine Einteilung, ist voll und ganz bewusst und scheint mit seiner Situation in Ordnung. Er ist jetzt in der Lage, ein paar Worte zu schreiben, und hat auch den Computer brachte ich in zu versuchen und geben Sie einige Dinge verwendet. Er kann auf ein Netbook zu navigieren, aber er ist nicht in der Lage noch zu komponieren eigentlich richtigen Phrasen und Sätze sind so nicht in Frage zu diesem Zeitpunkt. Eigentlich hat er Schwierigkeiten hat, Schreiben oder Tippen fast alles, was er denkt, so dass wir in einiger Entfernung von ihm schriftlich von einem anderen Bericht oder sogar E-Mails wird.

Er ist jedoch sehr wohl bewusst (und gelesen hat, etwas) aller E-Mails und guten Wünsche, die er erhalten hat und bedankt sich bei allen bedanken (wie ich). Dass er lesen kann ist wunderbar, aber was ist die wunderbarsten ist, dass seine musikalischen Fähigkeiten wurden nur minimal belastet. Heute spielt er ein Klavier in der psychischen Abteilung unseres Krankenhauses gelegen, und das war eine Freude für Patienten und Personal sicher und muss eine gewisse Befriedigung zu meinem Vater gebracht sowie zu haben. Die Logopädin macht auch einigen Aufwand, um in irgendeiner musikalischen Ausdruck mit der Sprache Ausdruck zu binden. Ich brachte auch in einem Scrabble-Brett, so vorstellen, es wird nicht lange dauern, bis er eine Krankenschwester am Bett zu einem Spiel lol corral versucht.

Er hat auch einen Urologen bezüglich der Blasentumor zu sehen und es ist wahrscheinlich, dass dies angesprochen wird (entfernt) werden, während er im Krankenhaus liegt, möglicherweise schon nächste Woche, aber nichts ist in dieser Hinsicht bestätigt. Dieser Tumor ist natürlich, was seine abononing Schiff und die Rückkehr nach Kanada erforderlich. Es ist noch nicht klar für mich, ob dies Krebs oder nicht. Es ist ca. 4 cm x 2,5 cm und als ich understandit, recht groß. Also, all-in-alle Dinge stehen gut und wir gehen von Tag zu Tag. Bitte beachten Sie, dass Sie alle sind in seinen Gedanken und Herzen. Herzliche Grüße von Steve

Ja, das war das beigefügte Foto von Egon - entnommen den Abend seiner Ankunft in North Bay, 13. Juli 2012
- der Hund ist mein Brandy. ;-)

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July 28 2012
Hi again everyone, my father asked that I send the item below out to his groups. (He composed these on his netbook). By way of clarification, in this combo of somewhat disjointed English and German he wishes to convey that he will have the bladder tumor removed, likely on Wednesday and as I understand it, his biggest concern lies with the lack of blood thinners prior to the operation and post-operative. He says a heartfelt thank-you to all of you. Please do not be alarmed by his writing style; while his speech is still absent, his typing has improved dramatically from day to day. Lets make it through the coming week... Warm regards ~ Steve ps... the attached photo was 18 July @ my place ( http://torbay.net )

(Google translation/uebersetzung) : Hallo alle wieder, fragte mein Vater, dass ich den Artikel unten senden, um seine Gruppen. (Er komponierte diese auf seinem Netbook). Zur Klarstellung, in dieser Combo von etwas unzusammenhängenden Deutsch und Englisch will er vermitteln, dass er dann die Gelegenheit Blasentumor entfernt, wahrscheinlich am Mittwoch und wie ich es verstehe, liegt seine größte Sorge mit dem Mangel an Blutverdünner vor der Operation und post-operative. Er sagt, ein herzliches Dankeschön an euch alle. Bitte nicht von seinem Schreibstil alarmiert werden, während seiner Rede noch fehlt, hat seine Schreibarbeiten dramatisch von Tag zu Tag verbessert. Lets machen es durch die kommende Woche ... Herzliche Grüße von Steve ps ... Das beigefügte Foto war 18 Juli @ meinen Platz (http://torbay.net)

.......................
(I'm written was mit stroke)

I'm struck speechless and am fustratred. But wie mir groose wunsche gesended habt, hopisital, Steve, Joyce, peatchepholgist, aber is eine langer weg. Dann wird blasen/tomur operiert. Wish me luck. Will keep you in my heart.

www.torbay.net  nicosan4all@gmaiL.com
(beides diese URL und and meail to sent along )

The urologist Sobern . I am operating Tuensbay oh Wednesery.

This neurogolist is stopping all Boodthiners including Babyasperins - slight chance of seond stoke - or of uncultviertel beedings during operation.
Take your pick!

The anetheatliotigst was also here and we have agreed on in spinal tap. I am the operation must be an Wednesday to lemint bleeding. What lack Bloodethiners after und post opertivace concern my most.

Chest xarys of protocoll on operation
.......................

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August 02 2012
Hi all you wonderful people... I have only good news to report (well, mostly good news): Egon went through the surgery without significant difficulties. The tumour was large and deeply embedded and the procedure took twice as long as expected but was fully successful. There is no doubt this was cancerous (and they have sent the entire scrapings for testing to determine the type of cancer), but there will be no radiation treatment due to his age and the inherent side effects.

The operation was actually on Tuesday, and it now appears that he may be released from prison tomorrow since next Monday is a holiday in Canada and so there will be no services for the three day weekend. It is best that he be home then where he can receive some stimulation. It has however not been decided for sure that he is well enough to be discharged and i will not know until sometime tomorrow.

While his speech is still essentially non existent, his writing and typing has improved some. I do not see though that he will be able to compose and send an email on his own for a few more days at least. I am also unsure that his cognitive abilities have not been affected to some degree by the stroke as his thinking processes seem to be just a little less than optimum. Physically he is close to where he was before both significant events of the past eleven days.

And that is about it. He has read most all of the many emails of concern and good wishes & prayers and is most appreciative - as am I. I am quite sure that he will want to communicate directly as soon as he is more able to do so. Meantime know that he is aware of you all and that he will be most pleased to have a home cooked meal (yes, prepared by me ;-) )

Warm Regards ~ Steve

Durch Google Uebersetzung:
Hallo alles, was Sie wunderbare Menschen ... Ich habe nur gute Nachrichten zu vermelden (na ja, meistens gute Nachricht): Egon ging durch die Operation ohne nennenswerte Schwierigkeiten. Der Tumor war groß und tief eingebetteten, und die Prozedur dauerte doppelt so lange wie erwartet, aber war wirklich erfolgreich. Es besteht kein Zweifel war dies krebsartige (und sie haben die ganze scrapings zum Testen, um die Art von Krebs festzustellen geschickt), aber es wird keine Strahlenbehandlung wegen seines Alters und die damit verbundenen Nebenwirkungen.

Die Operation war eigentlich am Dienstag, und es scheint jetzt, dass er aus dem Gefängnis befreien kann morgen da am kommenden Montag ist ein Feiertag in Kanada und so wird es keine Dienstleistungen für die 3 Tage Wochenende. Am besten ist es, dass er zu Hause sein, wo er dann einige Anregung empfangen können. Es hat sich jedoch nicht mit Sicherheit entschieden worden, dass er gut genug, um entlassen werden soll, und ich werde erst irgendwann morgen wissen.

Während seiner Rede ist noch immer im wesentlichen nicht existent, hat sein Schreiben und Tippen etwas verbessert. Ich sehe nicht, obwohl, die er in der Lage zu schreiben und senden Sie eine E-Mail auf seinem eigenen für ein paar Tage wenigstens. Ich bin auch nicht sicher, dass seine kognitiven Fähigkeiten nicht haben zu einem gewissen Grad wurde vom Schlaganfall betroffenen als seine Denkprozesse zu sein nur ein wenig kleiner als optimale scheinen. Körperlich ist er in der Nähe, wo er war, bevor beide bedeutende Ereignisse der letzten 11 Tage.

Und das ist über es. Er hat fast alle der vielen E-Mails von Sorge und die guten Wünsche und Gebete zu lesen und ist sehr dankbar - wie auch Ich. Ich glaube sicher, dass er möchte direkt, sobald er mehr dazu in der Lage ist zu kommunizieren bin. Inzwischen wissen, dass er von Ihnen ist alles, und dass er sich Freut, eine hausgemachte Mahlzeit haben (ja, vorbereitet von mir ;-) )

Herzliche Grüße von Steve

__________________________________________________

I post this for my father:

August 06, 2012
What a wonderful, phenomal, and fanstastic friends I have, I am rich! From far and wide are their emails, wishing speeding recovery, prayer and love - would be impossible in my present condititon to thank them individually and would many month. So to each of your, my heartfelt thanks, I love you all as you have loved me too.

I am wirting this with diffiltulties.
__________________________________________________

29 August 2012
Dear neglected friends,

it has been such a long time since I surfaced! But while I am mostly recuperated from the surgery, the stroke with its many manifistations does take a long time, particularly at my age.

However, in speech therapy I am making progress, and also with this writing I am noting a improvement - dont look too close I am making mistakes. But my walking leaves someting to be desired - I am working hard at walking not the way of old people... And the music - I have
some trouble to remember, but even so I am hoping that with time, it will come back.

Steve and Joyce look after me with great care, I am in Steve's bautiful house with forms part of Torbay Cottages, http://torbay.net . Just now I had a visit for seven days by the dear friend from Bern, Switzerland - it was not easy to see her depart.

What will happen to me after I am healed? It depends on what shape I am then; I am not giving up. Che sera, sera. Keep tuned!
Lastly I would thank you all for so many good wishes and prayers, not only per email also per snail mail - I am sure that this worked wonders!

All my love, dear Friends.

Egon
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20 November 2012
I have to to roost! After I had to cut short my one-and-a-half years cruising in Southampton and fly back to Canada to my son Steve who saw me through the stroke I had on July 23 and subsequent bladder operation to remove a large tumor, for 4 months he and friend Joyce looked after my welfare constantly and I cannot thank Steve enough. They both take turns with cuddling and loving Steve's dog Brandy, instead of each other! Luckily the stroke "only" affected speech and memory but not an arm or leg, so that I was able to function, making my own breakfast and lunch, looking after myself and went daily for short walks, which I forced myself to do, as my walking has somewhat been impacted and I suffer from a chronic backache.

Getting accepted at Marina Point took a lot of signatures, both legal matter as well as operational; also required where pneumonia as well as flu shots, and a TB test. Which meant a lot of running around for Steve, since everything seems to be the other end of town, and I needed him to talk for me. And in between I had speech therapy at the hospital, another trip for several kilometers.

We met the son of the former occupant whom we had told of our interest in possibly buying some furniture from him, and I am very glad with my purchase. I had scoured Kijjiji for both a TV (33", tube type) for $30 and it works perfectly, and well as a nice Microwave for $ 40. Steve was able to supply all missing furniture, dishes, cutlery, coffee machine and toaster and went out of his way to think of anything else I might need.

On the 16th Steve brought all he luggage I had been packing previously, on the 17 and 18, more stuff and on the 17th there was the big move. Joyce's brother-in-low, together with a friend, was able to load everything in his pickup and to rest of the things Steve took in his car (the nice Buick inherited from me). As luck would have it was a sunny day with mild temperatures and the three accomplished the move without mishap and in record time.

I have a 750 sq ft 1 bedroom apartment, a large living and dining area, a full kitchen and a balcony with a view over lake Nipissing (you should pardon the expression) and with stunning sunsets because we face West. I shall attach some photos. Of course I have heat and aircondition which is controlled by me, and plenty of hot water. The fixtures are of the superior kind, there are plenty of electrical outlets and three internet connection. I prepare Breakfast and Lunch myself but most on the time will go down to dinner which is served in a pleasant surrounding and a simmering of elegance. I had only dinner there twice, and was not disappointed.

Well, that is the news a today. I am planning on staying here for 5 or 6 six month, and then will decide. A lot can happen in the meantime.
To all my loyal followers and supporters, thank you, thank you!  I sent my love and best wishes to all!
Egon

My address:
Marina Point
225 Oak Street W.
North Bay ON P1B 0A9
Canada

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December 2, 2012
Report from North Bay

I have been here less a two weeks and I am comfortable in my apartment. It is on the top (4th) floor, close to the elevator, the laundry and the recycling/garbage rooms - an ideal location since the other apartments are much further away to the end of a long corridor. On Mondays two cleaning ladies do their thing and they are pretty thorough.

There is a talking information center which gives you menus for the day as well as daily activities (It has also a volume control). The same panel has also a bright red panic button, which I accidentally touched while groping in the night for the light switch - It worked! Two ladies appeared shortly to the startled me in pajamas. Of course they wouldn't stay to sing me a lullaby!

The food is very good. I have dinner there, and there are always two choices. Breakfast and Lunch I prepare in the apartment. But it's at 5pm sharp which forces me to have my happy hour at 4.30 - kind of crimps my style. Since I have a apartment I have the sign for the meals - as opposed to the majority of people who take all the meals there. I share the table with two fellows, one does mostly talk to himself, and the other is kind of a busy body and knows a lot of what is going on. He says, there at 92 people at the dinner table there, 62 of them with walkers or electrical chairs. He also once told me that some ladies where upset because the only time I have used the Scooter so far, I drove it too fast - that they can even forbid its use - he is, as I said, a busy body. Looking around I try to detect people with animation and hopefully beautiful faces, but I come away with a feeling that there are many worse off than I am.

I have taken to playing the piano of dinner for a little while, and those they know it, gather around appreciatively. But I am experiencing a deficit in playing, some times I can't remember the beginning, the middle or the end of a tune -I doubt that the listeners notice as I am pretty good at "faking". But I do hope that the memory comes back in time, as also my lack of speech which prevent me of making acquaintances.

On the health matters, it is my back that gives me a lot of trouble. I am slated to have a bone scan Dec 10 to ascertain what is wrong. And I have an appointment with two doctors at The Cancer Clinic in Sudbury which is some 70M from North Bay. I write about these in my next report.

I am still taking speech therapy every two weeks. The town has a "Para-Bus" which takes me to the hospital pretty far away, for less than it would cost to drive; but you have to order it two days ahead which limits its usefulness. I am acutely aware (and hate) of this dependency because Steve has always to take me otherwise and often speaks for me. I am really sorry to add to the workload he has with his business. He never complains. But my life would be dismal without the help he gives me.

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January 2, 2013   Happy New Year,
my friends at Cruisecritic! May 2013 be good to you, keep you in good health and happy, and afford you nothing but smooth sailing -er- crusing! Many have sent Christmas Cards and good wishes, which did a lot to my Christmas spirit, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am indebted to Terri Sanders, Fran Gawron, Brenda (Ottawa), Kathy Dayka, Roberta (Marlborough MA), Shauna Mahony, Barbara Elliott, Jo-Anne Herbeck (bless her, she sent 2 Cards!), Joyce Barden, Douglas Partridge, Burm, Gail, Arlene and my drearest friend Patty Roos, who instigated at all!

I am looking forward to this year with mixed feeling. You know already I have bladder cancer, but in view of my age (I'll be 96 in a month) I don't see any value in having chemo or massive doses of radiation. So I have the intention to opt for a Cystoscopy every 5 month or so.

The other thing is my lack of speech - sure it has improved but forget it if you want intelligent conversation. I also hope that my memory loss in music will be better - I sometimes can no longer remember the beginning, or the end or the middle of it - though I doubt that many people notice, I am pretty good at faking! Over Christmas I had a Sing-Along. They have a digital grand piano here, which is also a keyboard and has an excellent organ voice. This is made by Susuki. Isn't it funny that ths company and Yamaha are equally famous for the motorcars and their musical instruments? I play each night after Dinner for 20 minutes and people love it

But, it could be worse. Apart from a persitant backache I have no pain. I am comfortable of where I live, and have a loving son who with his friend Joyce look after me. And most of all, I have FRIENDS, not only from cruisecritic but a lot more from my 1½ years cruising.

All good wishes,
Egon

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January 26, 2013
For those contemplating assisted living!

The building of 82 independent living full service suites and 40 independent living apartments is roughly of a half moon shape, facing West and the Lake Nipissing noted for it's spectacular sunsets on clear days. In front of the building a large parking lot, for residents, staff and visitors. Next comes a rail line (freight only) and then the Memorial Highway which runs along the lake.

I have a one bedroom apartment on the 4th floor with a "Million Dollar" View, with ample living and dining space, a full kitchen with an island counter and a balcony. Breakfast and Lunch I prepare myself, and dinners I have at the restaurant, except once weekly when I have something else. Mondays two cleaning ladies come and they do a pretty thorough job. Further down the corridor is the recycling\garbage room and the laundry room, with soap and drying sheets supplied.

There is a large Flagpole with the Canadian Flag. When a person dies, it flies a half mast three days in a row. This happened two times in last ten days and, together with the temperature outside of -27C (-17F) did nothing to bolster my spirits.

They had a fifth anniversary party the other day, with fancy foods, followed by a few speeches (during which I was honored for my entertaining), followed by a dance. There are quite few activities scheduled, from therapeutic exercises, Fitness Classes, Balance Classes, to Art Classes, Bridge, Euchre, and Bingo to name a few, but I have so far not participated with any of them, mainly due to lack of interest but also lack of speech. Several times a week they have movies, but with my hearing problem (I get a lot of echo) I had to give it up. On the other hand, I have taken to playing the piano from 20 minutes each day after dinner and have quite a appreciative crowd waiting for me. Thank God, they are not critical or for the most part not familiar with the music I am playing, for I have to improvise a lot, be it that I don't remember the beginning, the middle or the end of a tune. That together with the echo in my ears bothers me a lot, and I can only hope that this improves together with communication. I have put a notice to find someone to play Scrabble with, one woman answered and after we played a few times and she lost by a wide margin, I guess she was discouraged. I guess that there are more "Bingo" people than "Scrabble".

As you would expect, there are lots of walkers around as well as a few motorized chairs. I have not used my Scooter since November when the weather was nice and I checked out the neighborhood.

The dining room ist cheerful and the food is generally good. Of course there is repetition, and after a while you are able to predict how every dish tastes. Just about the experience I had on the ship. Sundays they serve wine ($3 glass but you can bring your own bottle anytime for which there is a corking charge of $5). The Sunday dinners, for which I always invite Steve and Joyce, alternate between Ham and Roast Beef, which turns out to be a Pot Roast even though it has a passable Yorkshire Pudding with it. During the week a sit with two fellows, one without teeth, the the other which I discovered is the one to consult whenever a notable event transpired. His is diabetic and does a daily walk through the long corridors of 3 stories. His interests seems to be Dominoes and Bingo.

Looking around I can always see someone much worse off than I am, but understandably I concentrate on the "live ones"!

The staff is dedicated, helpful and friendly, and this goes also with the kitchen and serving staff. And since all of them are young (compared), they are a refreshing sight.

I do not know how long I am staying here. Naturally, I yearn to be able to recapture my recent past, but that is dependent on many things.

So, in order to be optimistic and prepared, I am aiming at Ft. Lauderdale for "Poesia" on April 20, which passes by at New York where I would like to see my good friends Lea and Bill, on to Dover, where I would like to be at the B&B in Southampton, to see Sylvia, Olivia, ken and Max; take a plane direct to Bern for a "Last Visit" and then return to Canada. Could it be?


Egon Landsberg    Apr 16
to bcc: me

Hello to all, this is Steve writing, Egon's son, on my father's gmail.

Sollten Sie umsetzen brauchen, bitte Google Tranlator benuetzen.

This is to update you all on why there has been no further communication from Egon. During the last half of March, father had a declining interest in eating and so gradually diminished his intake of food. As a result he was loosing energy and strength and the loss in appetite remains with us today. The beginning of April saw his decline accelerate and I took him to the hospital where they modified his pain medications but he was not admitted. Since then he continued to weaken, and so there has been involvement with Community Care and ParaMed and others. He is presently stable (with various meds) but still weak and primarily bed confined. While the pain is ongoing and mainly in his back (he has had this for years, is muscle related due spinal fracture, but now seems more pronounced), it appears that the stroke last July continues to take it's toll.

Egon remains coherent most of the time, however I note a gradual decline in his ability and speed to recognize and/or understand. For now he still gets up (laboriously) for bathroom breaks and when someone forces him to eat. He has no appetite and would not consume much of anything if left to his own devices, and actually he eats not enough, even with Ensure ( this is a liquid protein-food product, also used in the hospital). Of course he needs to eat and drink to have more energy than he presently has and he understands this. A recent change in medications (off of morphine and others and now on Oxycontin) is controlling the pain however these, as all pain meds, seem to make him extra tired.

Fortunately I now have quite a few professionals involved since the beginning of April, including ParaMed and HomeCare. There may be further adjustments on meds to find the best product and balance. I am not sure if he is gaining strength or loosing some as it seems to fluctuate daily (and even intraday of course). The challenge with communication due to the stroke is substantial. The situation has naturally consumed much time, fortunately (?) business is slow for me at Torbay for April.

Note: I wrote the above on Sunday. Yesterday morning Dad went back to the hospital by ambulance at his request. Later in the afternoon he was admitted, however I believe it will stay there for only a few days - do an ultrasound, rehydrate, check blood etc. While I anticipate that he will be discharged later this week, it seems to me this is a temporary situation since he is still refusing to eat (for the most part consuming only ensure).

Sorry for the not so good news. Hope all is well by you. ~ Steve

..............................

Egon Landsberg   April 25
to bcc: me

Wenn Sie uebersetzung brauchen, bitte Google Translator benuetzen.


Hi All, this is Steve (Egon's son) with an update to all of you who have an interest by way of Dad's email group(s).

On Monday I received the results of the CTscan performed on the 17th. These results are not good. The tumor load has increased dramatically and the cancer is deemed very aggressive now. There are presently spots on the liver, bone (primarily spine) and lymph (but not lungs). The largest tumor is over 60x20mm. There has been a change in meds again to alleviate some liver/kidney dysfunction and he is now on synthetic morphine to ease the pain. Dad told me a few days ago that the injections help to alleviate the quick onset of the pain (new development). Egon remains in hospital but continues to weaken. Still, he had strong periods of 10 or 15 minutes at a time before being too tired to interact or even respond. On the 24th (yesterday) he was moved to the Palliative Care ward. Also yesterday I read some 50 emails to him that I had printed out (all from you fine folk reading this) and he is very grateful to all of you. He also was able to read on his own my previous 'report' to you of 10 days ago and was quite coherent and capable of flipping the pages himself as well as asking questions and acknowledging the answers. Yesterday I was still able to feed him soup, orange and milk and even a little roast beef at lunch time, he also ate some fruit salad on his own a few days ago. Today, not so much. A few days ago he was still able to get up and stand (with help) - not today. In fact, today there is no food intake at all and communication has mostly waned.

It appears that I was wrong, for until last weekend I was thinking that Dad still had some six months with us, however today I am less confident about this to be sure. When I pressed the Doctor yesterday (before this further dramatic decline since) we came to agree on two or three months. Perhaps the dramatic change from yesterday is temporary, but I no longer anticipate that he might return to his apartment and so visited at his residence at Marina Point to advise. There is apparently a waiting list.

Thank you all for your caring Love ~ Steve

..............................

Hello to you all once again.

The Time arrived and Dad / Egon has passed. His transition to the 'afterlife' was just after 2 a.m. this morning, Tuesday April 30th.

My father lived a long and rich life full of wanderlust, adventure and intrigue, caring, generosity and love. He was gifted with intelligence and talent, sharing all his attributes willingly and freely to everyone who traversed his path. A good listener, he spoke his mind and expressed a distaste for incompetence. Egon was a student of Man, or perhaps more precisely the 'Mensch' in Mankind.

Within the hundreds of contacts of Family, Friends, and Acquaintances in my fathers email groups, many of You were touched by his travels in later years, while some of you have graced his life for 60 years and more. All of you were special to him and there is no doubt that he thanks you for being 'there' for him, even and perhaps especially during the last weeks of rapid decline in his well being. Some of 'his-story' is found on his website at the link below, a site rather incomplete but with sufficient representation of his last sixty years or so.

Dad's wishes were simple, the lowest cost cremation possible, no memorial service, no fuss, and scatter his ashes, together with those of his third wife, Heidy (2006), over the Lake at Osoyoos in British Columbia where they enjoyed living for over 30 years.

I will miss you Dad, may your music and our memories console us. Love ~ Steve



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