Category Archives: His LIFE

Great News

I have some great news! I had an MRI today and the tumor has shrunk by 2/3 to ¾! I am taking avastin but have only taken two doses! The head of radiooncology was amazed at my response. I want to thank those of you who sent prayers for me. I can still feel them. I am determined to live and I think that and the Avastin were the factors that shrank the tumor.

February 28, 2009 Latest Update

Dear Friends & Family,

Thank you for your outpouring of support on my website. I completed my book and have been spending time editing it, planning projects and enjoying a lot of time with family. I am being honored in the next several weeks both by my medical school for the distinguished alumni award and the Saybrook Institute will be giving me a special tribute.

The race between my brain tumor and my treatments continue. I feel well and am walking and talking so I judge how I am doing by those two things. I have embarked on Avastin that I am told fights the tumor so we will see. I would like to schedule another time where we all visualize healing, pray, light a candle, or do whatever you do to send good thoughts my way.
Friday, March 6th at 5 pm, PST

I truly prefer posts on my website rather than cards, calls or emails as those take a lot of energy, which I am trying to conserve at this time. Plus I would love to see the sentiments expressed on this website. As always, I love reading posts from you.

Those of you living in the Bay Area, I am getting frequent platelet transfusions to keep my level elevated. This is important because one of th eside effects of Avastin can be bleeding. If you would like to donate platelets (it doesn’t matter your blood type when donating platelets) you can call the Irwin Memorial Blood Center on 264 Bush St # 136 San Francisco; (415)567-6400 and say you would like to donate platelets to Leonard Shlain. They are setting up a schedule as platelets unlike regular blood transfusions must be fresh and used within 3 days of screening.

Thank you again for your amazing support…it keeps me going.
Warmest regards,

Jan 11, 2009

Dad finished his book and wasn’t feeling well so he’s in the hospital. We’ll keep you posted.
Update: Jan 14 pm, Jordan rescued my dad from the hospital, they just called me from the car and they’re on their way home. Thank GOD. -Kimberly

Jan 1, 2009 Happy New Year

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year! Thank you for all the healing energy sent my way. I can honestly say that I felt it as a tingling in my scalp. I am pleased to report that I am still here. I feel good but being sick is a full time job. I am having some minor problems but none that can’t be addressed. In the meantime, I have finished my book on Leonardo’s Brain! I wrote the last chapter a week ago and feel a real sense of accomplishment. Of course, I have to read the entire manuscript through and take out all the redundancies, put in all the quotes and check the facts but at least I am finished. I plan to hand in the mss on Jan 4th which was the deadline I agreed to back in March of 2008. On another note, my daughter Kimberly posted my lectures to the website and youtube and they add another whole dimension. Jordan and Caroline had a little boy that they named Arthur Leonard Shlain and Tiffany is pregnant and Ken and Tiff are expecting May 28th. My cup runneth over. I also am laying plans to be interviewed by Rachel Maddow, Bill Moyers, Memmet Oz, Lyn Lear, and Michael Krasny. Now that I am feeling better, I can do more things.
Thanks for everything. Best, Len Shlain

Nov 19, 2008–Good news~

You prayed and visualized from San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Paris, New York, India, Bali and China. Artists and Scientists and Suits and Seekers did it, alongside Nuns and Yogis and Buddahs and whole conferences. Wow! People did it alone and together, hundreds at a time. The MRI on Monday, Nov 17th indicated that the tumor had shrunk. We check back in a month. But in the meantime the whole Shlain and Gyemant family, all twenty of us, including eight grandchildren, are boarding a plane to Maui in a few hours to both celebrate and rest from the ordeal. Jordan and Caroline, who are expecting a new baby any minute, will be holding down the fort in California.

Nov 13, 2008 – Pray for Lenny this Friday

Dear Friends,
Our dad has just finished brain surgery followed by six weeks of chemo and
radiation. On November 14th anytime between 3 and 6 PM PST, we’re trying to get as many people as we can to send healing thoughts his way. Either praying, meditating, and or visualizing that the tumor is shrunk or better yet is not there anymore, or just send healing thoughts. We want more than anything for him to get better and are exploring every possibility.
Thank you so much for participating in this “distant healing” experiment.
Much love and gratitude,
Kimberly, Jordan, Tiffany, Annie, & Robby

Health Update 10/29

My Dear Friends,
Thank you for all your warm wishes and support. It means the world to me.I would like to give you an update on my progress. I had emergency neurosurgery on September 6 for a malignant brain tumor. I was having symptoms of confusion, difficulty buttoning my left sleeve with my right hand (I am right handed), and then, one morning I had trouble with my speech. I knew what I wanted to say but I couldn’t get the words out. After the surgery I had some brain swelling which made it more difficult to speak and I had a weakness in my right arm and leg. Wow. I thought these would not resolve but fortunately they did and I now have regained what I would consider about 90-95 percent of my speech and right side. I began chemo and radiation treatments two weeks later. This week is my final of six weeks. I won’t bore you with the details but it has not been a walk in the park.
I can’t praise my wife, Ina Gyemant, enough, for her incredible care and constant love. I want to tell you how inspired I am when I visit this website that my two talented daughters, Kimberly Brooks and Tiffany Shlain, put together. I am moved to tears by reading the wonderful entries wishing me well and telling stories about past encounters with me. My son, Jordan Shlain, MD, along with my many other doctors, are taking excellent care of me. I am determined to finish the book, Leonardo’s Brain, and have been working away on it. I have only three or four chapters to go and have written 18 chapters already.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish to thank those of you who have written to me. The wishes you have posted on the website and the letters I have received are what keep me going everyday.
Warmest regards, Leonard Shlain

MEDICAL ALERT: Leonard Shlain Has Brain Tumor (Sept 15, 2008)

Dear Friends,

On September 4, 2008 you received an email newsletter from Leonard Shlain which included his upcoming Fall speaking engagements and news about the near completion of his fourth book “Leonardo’s Brain: The Left Right Roots of Creativity”.

On September 6th Leonard was admitted to California Pacific Medical Center where doctors removed a malignant brain tumor. It is sadly ironic that he developed a brain tumor in the same location that Leonardo Da Vinci suffered a stroke in the later years of his life.

Leonard is at home resting and will soon begin radiation and chemotherapy. He is canceling his speaking schedule but in typical Leonard Shlain fashion he is determined to complete his book. Leonard is getting stronger everyday and wants us to keep you updated on his progress. Also, Leonard would love to read wishes from you here. Think of it as a giant get well card.

Leonard Shlain’s Family

UPDATE: 9/25
Leonard has begun has daily radiation and chemotherapy treatment at UCSF. He has regained most of his speech and strength in his right side since the surgery. He sings “Zippity Doo Dah Zippity Zippitay Ay” to convey his envisioning of his brain getting zapped by Gamma Knife Radiation on a daily basis. He is looking forward to a family trip to Hawaii the week after radiation.

About Our Dad

Our dad is an extraordinary father and human being and was always fascinated by the brain. When we were young, he would entertain us and our classmates by bringing a human brain in a white bucket of formaldehyde to our elementary school during show and tell. His brilliance and curiousity informs how he has lead his life. In the backyard, instead of a swing set, he built a stained-glass geodesic dome with a hot tub in the middle.

Our Dome Mill Valley c. 1974

Building the Dome, Mill Valley c. 1974

Dinner conversations typically span from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, to politics, literature to a hilarious joke. When we were young, he would diagram the operations he did that day on a napkin; later, his diagrams became more adventuresome and expanded to thought experiments including what it would be like to sit astride a beam of light and how that corresponded with Picasso’s rose period, blue period and cubism. Soon his first book, “Art and Physics” was born and the rest is history. He loves to tell stories and loves to hear them. Reading yours will put a real smile on his face!

Kimberly, Tiffany and Jordan