Jan 26 1939

Thursday, January 26, 1939

Dear Thelma,

Just this minute received your letter and am hastening to reply.  I can hardly wait until the postman gets here with some mail from you.  It helps me keep up my spirit.  Without your love, kindness and thoughtfulness I’m sure that I wouldn’t be able to stand up under the strain.  I’ve been here going on six weeks and for the last two weeks my watch has been a 24 hour one, practically speaking.  And the end is nowhere in sight.  There are days when Pop feels great and there are other days when he feels dull pains in the chest and then he feels depressed.  The other day in just one of such down-cast moods he told me that he would be surprised if he lasts until March.  I reassured him and called his attention to the wonderful progress he has made in the last three weeks.  What with his stopping of the vomiting and his improved bowel movements etc, etc, there could be no doubt but that he would recover, but naturally it would take time.  I called his attention to a news item that appeared in the N.Y. Times yesterday regarding doctors making plenty of errors in diagnosing cases.  The scope of this article impressed him and he was cheered-up a little.  I am constantly with him Talking, Reading, jokeing etc etc. for the purpose of distracting his mind off of his own condition.  He also expresses to me his opinion of his having Cancer.  So you can imagine what a job it is to handle a case like this.  As I said above your consideration is a marvelous prop for me.  Not knowing when I can come back home, I would be thrilled to have you come up.  And since you can use Eve’s pass that helps considerably.  Please let me know when it will be most convenient for you to come here so that I can meet you.  More on this matter later.

As for Marian Chase matter you are the best judge on the matter so whatever you do or have done is O.K.  Most likely it will turn out for the best in the long run.

If only all this trouble was a dream and I was able to attend that Anniversary Dinner would I have been happy.  Sam + Celia are getting along great and they have finally overcome their difficulties.  From now on it is my opinion that they will be happy.  By the way that N.Y. Times clipping I sent to Celia, ask her to let you read it.  As it is I will dream that I attended that affair which will be the next best thing.

Hope that affair on Saturday nite is a grand success.  The idea is a damned good.  Let me know how it turns out.

Dave’s letters to me were marvelous!  They put the spot light on the proper places.

My mother’s toe is healing slowly.  The information regarding her case in Dave’s last letter is going to guide me in speeding up the healing I’m sure.  As for smoking, he is putting up a valiant attempt to quit.  We are going to cut down the amount gradually.  I’m very grateful for his guidance and interest.  Will write him in a few days.

As for myself I have very little time to doing anything or think about myself.  And I’m sure if I were in Washington I would be useless while my father would be in his condition so I’m consoled by the fact that I’m here careing for him.

Sweetheart, the thought of you coming up here after Sophia’s concert has me all excited.  I can hardly wait until I have you in my arms and kissing you.

I love you so much that from it I derive a courage and strength to go through almost anything.

Write me what you are doing on the piano!  What new repertoires you have attained.

Extend my best regards to James Pershaud.  He is a very fine fellow.  It was very nice of him to take you and your mother to that dance.

Also my best regards to the family.  Each + everyone, even Milton.


P.S. Write me soon and send me some snap-photos of yourself if there are any new ones.  Please don’t forget the affidavit forms.  These are extremely important.

Editor’s Notes: Izzy’s father is ill and feeling the ups and downs that illnesses bring.  In his periods of depression he faces his own mortality, doubting that he will live another month, a very short sentence indeed.  He is dealing with cancer and it is hard for a healthy person to imagine what that means and what thoughts must pass if he truly thinks he is living his final days.  Izzy holds out more hope than his father does, expecting him to recover.  It is unclear what his doctors have predicted but Izzy tries to cheer him up with an article about how doctors make mistakes.

From a 2012 article in the Seattle Times: 

” The Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that 26 percent of cases were misdiagnosed while, according to The Journal of Clinical Oncology, up to a startling 44 percent of some types of cancer are misdiagnosed.” (http://old.seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2018089247_guest29falchuk.html)

The other posits that reasons today for misdiagnosis are having multiple doctors and issues in transferring records, lack of time to spend with patient, and specialization in specific type of cancer leading to over-diagnosis.  Without the 1939 NYT article in front of me I believe the reasons for misdiagnosis then were due to a lack of cancer knowledge and technological advancements.  

The news of other friends and family is positive, full of anniversary dinners, happy couples, and good friends.  Izzy wishes he could be attending events and caring for his own well-being but until his father is better he will not be able to enjoy these things.


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