Steve Alten September Newsletter
To my family, friends, & fans:

Those of you who have been receiving this free monthly newsletter for years know that if it isn’t received the first ten days of the month then I am either waiting to time it with a big announcement or something unexpected happened. Sometimes it might be something humorous—like back in March when home repairs forced me, my wife (Kim) and our 20-year-old son (Branden), to move in with my sister for two weeks where my wife’s laptop proceeded to torture me, refusing to allow me to write the newsletter or anything else.

The word “torture” is apropos for the September 2022 situation. When things like this happen (it seems like I have had to endure my fair share of late), I try to get the play by play down on paper while the emotions are still running hot. That’s where the best writing is found, but definitely not the best insight—insight defined here as one’s attempt to substantiate why things happen, i.e., everything happens for a reason. From a medical standpoint this is true—what happened to me happened because of a past surgical procedure. To read anything more into it can be a dangerous thing because I/we tend to use it to justify my/our actions (yes, my inner voice is speaking to yours right now).

But there is more to this story, and even as I type these thoughts onto the page, I am still not sure how much I can reveal. Best I table that for after you’ve read what follows—here’s what happened:

(The original version of this email was sent to family and friends on September 7. It has been edited.)

SUBJECT: To Hell and Back 

ALL: It’s been a rough week.

As many of you know, our daughter, Kelsey and her beau, Av Shin (pronounced Av-Sheeeen),recently became engaged. I cannot see a better match for my little blonde juggernaut who—upon her arrival during the Superbowl in late January 1994—immediately rose to superstar status (her birth being one of the few things my father, Lawrence didn’t videotape—no worries, I got it.)

Dad passed away about 13 years ago, but he would have approved of Av Shin—who checks off every box in my “Suitor Qualification List” (better known as SQUIRRELS). And my daughter certainly dated her fair share of nuts over the years, my least favorite being the prize who introduced himself with, “Hey bro.”

Av Shin’s sisters generously volunteered to host a Get to Know the In-Laws Engagement Party and the date (9/4/22 at 8 p.m.) and location (NYC) was selected. My wife, son Branden, and I would fly to NYC from Florida on 9/3/22, attend the party the next evening, and then drive south for our annual pilgrimage with our friends, Art & Trish at a beach house in Bethany Beach, Delaware. The beach house represents 30+ years of generosity from Bob Pasquale, Art’s first boss and eventual partner who hired the Widener Law Student and got his U. of Delaware roommate as a player-to-be-named later in the attorney softball LEAGUE (see “Ringer”) For the record, rumors are true that Bob’s youngest son was the first to ask Kelsey to marry him (he was 8, she was 5) proving once more that Michael remains the true brains of that loving syndicate.

It’s also true that I wasn’t crazy about flying to and staying in NYC. Parkinson’s (17 years in) doesn’t lend itself well with long gateways and crowded streets. But Kim was ready—purchasing security passes, arranging wheelchairs to and from the airport gates, and purchasing a walker with a built-in seat so I would always have a place to rest. And it all worked … right up until the night of our first get together.

SATURDAY NIGHT 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

We had to walk two long blocks uphill from our hotel to Kelsey and Av Shin’s apartment building. Aided by my new walker, I had attacked the hill (going slow is actually harder as it throws off my gait) and I noticed my stomach felt slightly sore from the effort. By eight p.m., our group (Kelsey, Av Shin, Kim, Branden, Art, and myself, along with Kim’s favorite cousin Connie and Connie’s husband, Gerald) were seated in a 5-star restaurant, ready for a great meal. By the time we left the pain in my stomach had doubled.

We took Ubers back to our hotel, with Kelsey dropping off Pepto Bismol and ginger ale. Neither helped, the pain getting worse.

Back around 2010, I had experienced a similar ache in my stomach, only not in the middle, more lower left. I waited a day and finally went to the ER in West Palm Beach. A CAT scan revealed a diverticuli had perforated in my colon and was leaking waste into my body. Emergency surgery was called for, nurses rushing around prepping me in what felt like a nightmare, having never undergone major or minor surgery at the time. An ER doctor told me that the surgeon would make three small holes in my lower belly and basically repair the damage arthroscopically. Didn’t sound too bad.

Foolish twit. They wheeled me into the OR which was packed with doctors, nurses, and med students. A fierce-looking black man introduced himself as Dr. Chidambaram. “Mr. Alten, do you know what we’re about to do?” I repeated the ER doc’s info. “No, Mr. Alten. You are leaking poisons into your body, and it is very serious. I am going to cut open your waist, clean up as best as we can, then sew you up. When you wake up, you will be wearing a colostomy bag.”

WTF? Two hours ago, I was at home …now this?

“Any questions?”

“Is there any good news?”

“Yes. The good news is I am going to save your life.”

And he did.

I stayed in the hospital seven long days, the first six without eating or fluids, the pain handled only through Dilaudid, a clear elixir that could knock me out in seconds. I wore a colostomy bag 4 months before it was (thankfully) reversed, but the hole kept having problems healing and Dr. C (my new friend) had to operate again to clean it out.

Why is that story relevant?

By 11:30 p.m. the pain in my gut had crossed into a new threshold and I told Kim that I had to go to the hospital ER. Kelsey and her beau picked us up and just before midnight of the day of our daughter’s big engagement party, I was taken to the ER at NY Presbyterian hospital. There were only a few other patients and we were placed in an ER exam room with two empty beds. For the next two hours I was put through many tests and an IV drip, along with a syringe in my I.V. of my old friend, Dilaudid, the drug that had gotten me through emergency surgery. The 3 a.m. pain on Sunday was far worse, overwhelming Dilaudid, which did diddly-squat.

 A surgeon (Dr. Anton G. Kelly) came by around 3:30 a.m. and told us the not-so-good news: “Scar tissue from the last surgery is causing your colon (small intestines) to twist and that is causing blockage. Three possible scenarios; If twisted but not torn and we can remove the scar tissue, there’s a chance it could return to normal. Or it could be too late and the organ partially died—which means a colostomy bag and rough future. And if it tore open or is dead …

“Oh … one last thing: I saw a spot on the CAT scan of your right kidney … I’m pretty sure it’s cancer. But it’s early and we can treat it after we get you through this.”

I could have gotten upset, I could have reacted … but all there was at that moment was pain … and yes, it was still getting worse as my colon twisted around in my gut like a coiling snake.

Surgery was scheduled for 7 a.m.—the soonest they could assemble a team and operate. It was 3:45 a.m. and the pain continued to increase. (For those wondering about the PD, I was sure to keep the meds going—the last thing I needed was to be immobile).

At 4 a.m., things went from bad to surreally bizarre …

Kim is my rock and soulmate and as tough as they come. But by 4 a.m. she was physically and emotionally exhausted; we had been up early to fly to NYC—and she was angry … This was supposed to be a joyous occasion—she and Kelsey had spent months looking for the perfect dress—making sure all of us were ready. Now her husband of 30 years was in an ER facing the unthinkable, the party in 13 hours which—barring a miracle she’d miss. Exhausted, she laid down to sleep in the vacant bed … the other ER rooms were all vacant.

Enter a new nurse, complete with her own reasons for being angry. “Ma’am, the beds are for patients only, you must get up.”

“Where do I sit?” There were no chairs anywhere.

“I don’t care, but you cannot sit there.”

My wife had done nothing wrong, and no other nurses had said a thing to her since we had arrived four hours earlier. Her husband was in agony—was she supposed to stand next to me until surgery?

But there are times even when you are 100% right when it is best not to poke the bear.

I was in the restroom. When I emerged, the bear had been joined by two police officers. It was NYC at 4 a.m. in an ER—a zero tolerance situation and it was clear to me that my loving spouse was not going to back down.

The handcuffs were less than 10 seconds away as I stepped in between them. “Officers … I want to apologize. My wife is exhausted from traveling all day, and I am in horrible pain. Please … if you allow me I will put her in an Uber and send her back to our hotel to rest …” at least that was what I thought I had said. According to my wife, I threw her under the bus and then backed over her a few more times.

Well, being under the bus is a lot better than being in a jail cell …

NOTE TO SELF: Never attempt to use logic in an emotional firestorm … stupid man. Also, try not to wear a Philadelphia Eagles shirt and matching shorts while in an ER in NYC.

Thankfully, the two police officers left without arresting my wife. A staff member offered me a blanket—no chair for Kim. She sat in my walker until we decided it was best for her to go back to the hotel and get a few hours of sleep before the 7 a.m. surgery.

5 a.m.: The surgeon returned to work a tube up a nostril and down my throat. He described what would happen: “I’ll open your belly with a vertical incision. We’ll remove all of your small intestine and lay it out on a table. We’ll untwist it and check for holes. Then we’ll cut out the scar tissue, check to see if the organ is still working and then replace your insides.”

6 a.m.: I have experienced different types of pain in my 63 years, from severe migraines and convulsive vomiting to second degree burns … and of course the post-surgery gut pain from the emergency surgery years ago. But I have never ever felt or imagined the level of pain that hit me at 6 a.m. … and somehow ticked up!

My stomach muscles were rigid and locked in a muscular convulsion that simply refused to ease up—even after three straight IV shots of Dilaudid. I couldn’t lie flat, curl up, sit up, or stand for more than 5 straight seconds. I begged God to give me strength. I called out to the nurses’ station for more drugs.

By 7 a.m., the pain had hit a threshold so high that I could not have felt any different if it was still rising—I was in Hell—Hell being a non-stop insane agony and there is no difference in burning at 300 degrees versus 325 degrees.

Can pain kill you? In retrospect, I suppose it could have stopped my heart at some point—but my heart was strong, and I wasn’t thinking, I was drowning. I hurt too much to move or to NOT move. I knew only one thing could end the agony—I needed to make it into surgery where the anesthesia would knock me out and I would awaken pain-free.

I locked onto that thought and did something taught to me as a Water Safety Instructor when I was a teen … SURVIVAL FLOAT. If too far from shore to swim, and too weak to tread water—tuck your knees, take a shallow inhale, face in the water and exhale, lift face and shallow breath, lower face and exhale …

Saying “please God” on each exhale, I rocked and held on, lost at sea, experiencing every painful torturous freaking stabbing, twisting seizure of my small intestines, my stomach muscles clenched over my now bulging gut as I did the “survival float”—just breathe and float.

I was groaning when Kim returned to the ER at 7 a.m. She told me surgery had been pushed back to 8 a.m.


For the next 3,600 seconds she watched me writhe in agony. At 8:20 they came for me. Kim attempted a kiss, but I hurt way too much.

The ride to the OR took two minutes. When I arrived, the nurse asked if I had to pee. I said, “no” but felt a slight twinge and figured I better try. So I shoved a urinal under my gown and stood before a half dozen doctors and nurses and finally said screw it … just stick the catheter in. I don’t know how much time passed after I laid back down on the table—I am guessing mere seconds—but at some point, I blacked out after just more than 8 hours of arriving in the ER a lifetime of pain ago.

When my eyes opened, I was a little lost. I was in a large room. A kind nurse (one of many) said, “Steve, you are in recovery. Everything went perfectly. The small intestine was not damaged and the scar tissue was removed.

I closed my eyes. What about the cancer? Oh, that’s something else … You were in pain … you were drowning in it, but you refused to drown …
When I opened my eyes again, I was looking at my beautiful wife. She was wearing a new green blazer over faded jeans … smiling, rested, and looking relieved. “Hon, you are going to be fine. There is a long incision on your belly—any pain?”

“No pain.”

Art joined her a minute later and clarified my situation—all was great. It was 4:15 p.m. They stayed until after 4:30 p.m. when they had to get ready for Kelsey’s party. By then, I was joking, even offering the nurses my favorite pre-op surgery joke: “What’s the difference between driving in fog and performing abdominal surgery? At least when you perform abdominal surgery you can see the asshole in front of you (I think I told it wrong—not being in agony will do that for you).

They wheeled me upstairs to a room with two other patients … blah blah … slept through the night. The next morning one of the doctors—encouraged by my energy level and no pain, removed my catheter and hours later the tube down my throat. By night I was drinking fluids, my breakfast Monday was solid food.

I left the hospital Tuesday evening, my mind set on continuing our holiday vacation in Bethany Beach, Delaware. No beach or ocean, but mostly pain-free with family and friends—thank you God.

We returned home Friday night (9/16), flying out of Philly. Only one incident … Kim’s carry-on luggage was stopped and a potentially lethal snow globe explosion averted—thanks to the heroic efforts of one of the female bomb experts, who was preparing to pepper spray my furious spouse, who only asked to … okay, I’m staying away from this one.

Today (9-23) marks Day 19 since the surgery. What great pearls of wisdom has the perspective of two weeks bestowed upon me that I can pass on? One of the things I thought of often during those last few hours of Hell was Rocky Balboa’s speech to his son about life (I’ve heard the Philadelphia Eagles star center, Jason Kelce refer to it often:
“Life ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”
Parkinsons beats on me every day, but as bad as things can be I still have it better than most. I am still working, still writing (slower granted as I am 63, but the creativity and story-telling is still going strong, as you will find out when I WOW you with LOCH-3: Heaven Lake).
One of the major reasons for this (which I have discussed in newsletters over the last decade), is that I have had access to a natural PD extract that works better than Sinemet and faster… It’s not cheap, but it works without the side effects, and it was created by a brilliant bio-chemist who spent 40 years studying the healing powers of substances found in organic fruits and vegetables

In addition to his PD extract, he created another natural product that supercharges the P-53 gene -- the cell’s tumor suppressor gene. If the P-53 gene is inactivated due to a mutation they make proteins that are less effective at controlling cell growth and/or repair. The result is unchecked growth of damaged or abnormal cells, which leads to uncontrolled growth and the development of cancerous tumors. (Verywell Health).

If anyone reading this would like more information, just email me at

I have access to the wonderful people who produce this product, and I promised I would help them - but we need help. I need experienced professionals in the produce industry. I need start-up experts and investors, and yes, if you are in the medical field and believe in natural cures there may be a place for you too.
If you feel you are someone who can bring something to a potential game changer, email me your name, contact info and resume to SUBJECT: I WANT 2 B INvolved!

If you or someone you know has cancer and might like to learn more, email me at SUBJECT P-53 gene supercharger
DISCLAIMER: Steve Alten is not a medical professional nor a physician, nor is he making any claims about curing diseases.

MEGs vs T-Rex?
If Megalodon was around today it would devour an orca (Orcinus orca) in five bites. Results from their analysis of energetics suggest that having eaten a big killer whale for breakfast, this Megalodon could have traveled around 4,350 miles (7,000 kilometers) before needing to feed again. “It could have swallowed a large great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) whole,” one of the researchers quipped. “Hypothetically, it could have eaten another iconic super-predator, the Tyrannosaurus rex, in just three bites!”

Geez, why didn’t anyone ever create that as a movie scene”
Loch Ness Monster real?
MEGs may have feasted on Orca
Scientists recently discovered just how massive an ancient shark might've been. It is freaking staggering.

Read the full story here:
Recommended Read:
When a giant, building-sized creature suddenly arrives on the side of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the world quickly comes to the realization that there are things that exist on this earth that defy imagination. But the creature is not alone. It is carrying its young atop its back. When it reaches out with an enormous limb and deposits its young onto the Bay Bridge, juvenile creatures as large as the biggest predatory dinosaurs from the past begin to stalk and terrorize all those unfortunate enough to be on the neighboring Yerba Buena Island.

PARKINSON’s patients—to reduce tremor:
As most of you know, I was diagnosed with PD sixteen years ago. I am happy to share my experiences with anyone recently diagnosed. This inexpensive product really works! Gou Teng is a Chinese herb for tremor; be patient—it may take a month or two until you notice NO MORE TREMOR or greatly reduced. This one works best for me: It comes with a scooper, 4-6 scoops to make tea, 2-3 times a day.

Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin:
Music Video of the Month:
“Gimme Shelter” Merry Clayton
The artist who sang with Mick on the original soundtrack shows that she can handle the lead vocals all by herself.
UPDATE: The LOCH: Heaven’s Lake
The emergency surgery pushed things back but I hope to get caught up soon. Better update in October. The LOCH 3: Heaven Lake will be printed by A & M Publishing, the entity that published MEG: Generations.

Copies must be preordered on before we go to print.
Sea Monster Cove members – I have not forgotten about you!
Run Lalya Run is up and working again after a brief technical situation … the best is yet to come.
Sea Monster Cove member’s
ZOOM call with Steve Alten:
Saturday October 1, 2022 at 3pm edt.

Reserve your spot with Kelly at
Recipe of the Month:
Hawaiian Stir Fry
4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and sliced
3/4 cup zucchini, sliced into thin, bite-size strips
3/4 cup fresh pea pods, trimmed, tips and strings removed
2 chicken breast halves, skinless, boneless, and cut into thin bite-size strips
1 cup fresh pineapple cubes
3 tablespoons stir-fry sauce, brown rice, optional, cooked and hot
fresh pineapple wedges, optional, for serving.

In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the red onion in the hot oil for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and the pea pods. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture from the wok. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the hot wok. Add the chicken and stir-fry until the chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. Add the onion mixture, pineapple cubes, and stir-fry sauce to the wok. Cook and stir until heated through and the chicken is cooked through at 165 degrees F, about 1 minute. Serve over the brown rice with the fresh pineapple wedges.

*IF YOU HAVE A RECIPE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail to me at Put RECIPE in the subject line.
Joke of the Month - Curly-isms
If you have a JOKE or FUNNY VIDEO CLIP YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail to me at Put JOKE in the subject line.
IF YOU HAVE A JOKE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail to me at Put JOKE in the subject line.
Stay well, stay safe … and know I appreciate you.

Steve Alten, Ed.D.
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