Megaheart Newsletter February, 2018

Good Morning,

If you missed last month's newsletter it's because there wasn't one. It's the first month since January, 1997 that we've missed sending a newsletter. Not a bad record for a busy Web site operated by thousands of employees. Just joking. Those thousands would be me. Sometimes I wish there were that many to help, but alas the first-on-the-Web and first with a no-salt set of books is being overrun by of all things: Age and competition. Age? Yup. Twenty-one years and still trucking. My 84th birthday happened this January. A lot longer than I was told I'd make it, so something we did was right. I don't have to tell you, that sticking to the low-sodium effort has paid off. The story isn't new to you if you've been with us for more than a year or so, so let's move forward.

I'm not a naturally public person. I worked behind the camera, not in front of it. I don't tell the tales of my personal feelings or events in life, but I have exposed the CHF and other related challenges and how I fought them off. That has proved helpful to thousands of heart patients. That's a good thing.

Imagine listening to tales of a guy who volunteered for the Marines, then later jumped out of perfectly good aircraft or dove to bottoms of oceans or flew his children to a meadow just below the top of Mt. Whitney just to go fishing. Alone. Serene. Challenging. We did a lot of rugged camping. I sought areas that weren't public campgrounds, and yes, we picked up everything and nobody would ever know we were there. But that's the kind of camping I liked and I passed it on to the next generation. That's just the beginning. I've been hugged by an eleven foot grizzly bear (for real), strapped to the side of helicopters to film much milder scenes and way too many other adventures to write them here. I'm not bragging or boasting and hope it doesn't appear that way, but after 21 years of writing new books and managing Megaheart I've slowed down. That's the real reason there wasn't a January Newsletter. I've lived long enough to pick other diseases to battle. On December 4th, 2015 I was diagnosed with cancer in the kidney and ureter. I went through 11 arduous procedures with a new method to "kill" the cancer. Just the opposite happened and it metastasized to both lungs.

After that first year of relatively uncomfortable treatments I ventured into another medical/hospital group and was offered the trial-tested Keytruda infusions. It had just come to the open market. Up to that point Keytruda had about a 20-percent success rating. Not too good, but they couldn't do the standard chemo on me because of my heart condition and probably age. I went for it. Today I learned that the kidney area is "clear." No signs of the cancer. The lungs have cleared 50% thus far and still falling. The infusions continue. Keytruda is magic. The only source of the cancer I have, or cause of the cancer was possibly second-hand smoke or some other environmental element. I have never smoked, don't drink alcohol and have never "done" street drugs. But I did work around many smokers, both while a Marine and while working in tne film business.

There are side effects from Keytruda and I seem to get a lot of them, but we can deal with that. Reminds me of the song in "Paint Your Wagon." Lee Marvin actually churned it out. "Cured from what we're ailing from and ailing from the cure." Isn't that often the truth?

The biggest news is that the medical and pharmaceutical industry have apparently found a new way to combat cancer. Infusions of chemicals like Keytruda. There are others available now too, and more coming. It's a signal that future cancer patients might have a stronger go at recovery. That's a huge upside to some side effects that in time may also be dealt with.


This month's newsletter has a new bread recipe that will knock your socks off. It's also quite unique. Read the instructions through before beginning. If you have any questions e-mail me. I'll be gone Feb 1 and Feb 2 but here the rest of the month. I hope this finds you well and charging full speed ahead.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.

Donald Gazzaniga
Maureen Gazzaniga