Founders’ Personal Journey

If you are new to this site, I recommend you visit the Home Page first for an overview of what it’s about, and then return here.

In loving memory of Elana, 1962-2013

This site was originally: “DreamCircle.com – The online workshop of ELANA: creative artist, female geek and breast cancer fighter.
Elana’s online workshop of artistic works, creative ideas and geek perspectives – plus the latest news on her fight against breast cancer.”

She lost that fight. At the end, she had multiple tumors. While making plans to put her historically valuable archive of work online, she was sleeping more of each day and, while awake, dealing with terrible pain and increasing physical collapse and the fears of the impending end.

But I prefer to remember her this way:

birdies

Elana was a wonderfully creative and caring person. And she so loved the birdies! She would talk to them and say, “Oh, you’re so beautiful! You should get all fluffy!” and they did!


Elana had excellent journalism with in-depth interviews with many of the leading artists in the field of progressive electronic music. Sharing her archive of work, and continuing that journalism, will be a primary focus of this site.

three issues

I am now starting the very labor intensive process of scanning and uploading these materials into an archive. My goal is to ultimately have the materials all cross reference, so that musicians, bands, songs, albums, films, places, instruments, companies etc. can all be followed in a personal thread of interest from one interview, article or review to the next. These will appear in the Archive header at the top of the page as I proofread them and get them into the database. For an example, try Dreams Word # 16.

Elana also was an artist with graphic and jewelry design, including her own process for putting her own astronomy collages into wearable art: orion2

Her Babylon 5 “jumpgate” inspired custom metalwork pin work wound up at the Smithsonian:
SPACEPINLARGE


I withdrew from the full time workforce to take care of her. As her cancer journey began, we were able to do some small freelance projects combining our skills (her enthusiastic personable nature and graphic design expertise), and I had some small projects on my own. (My background includes working with software and digital media technology, and making business improvement plans, in several industries.) But as the medical situation got worse and more unpredictable, even part-time work became impossible. From my years of corporate work, I had a couple of years worth of expenses saved up – but, her illness continued far beyond the savings. I had a music rig myself that was lost when we were burglarized. Instead of being able to replace the rig, by that point the insurance money had to go to catch us up on immediate living expenses.

Soon after her death, I unexpectedly became a cancer patient myself. In mid 2014, a four inch (10 cm) tumor was successfully removed. I’m not going to discuss all the medical details here (that’s why I blacked out some specifics I really don’t want to go over with anyone but a health care professional) – but, here are some portions of the medical documentation for my case:
medical2
Over the winter, I had follow up chemotherapy. Fortunately, it wasn’t a kind of chemo that causes hair loss, as she went through; but it was still physically hard in many ways.

I’m scheduled for scans and lab tests every few months for now. The latest results all show that so far, I’m free of any return of the cancer, thank God. (This next picture, in case you aren’t familiar with it, shows the strange way patients prepare for some medical scans: by drinking a radioactive shake!)
chocolate and radiation yum


Emotionally and spiritually, the caregiving was important. Perhaps the most important and certainly the most life-changing experience I’ve had. Financially, however, it was a catastrophe.

There is so much to say, so I divided this overview into several sections. I have only had time so far, in my first few days of safety at long last, to write these essays in order to get the ideas out. I’ll add graphics, better editing and formatting as the winter progresses.

About Elana’s involvement with this creative scene – How it began
From Berlin to B5, via Portland – The international nature of the music Elana loved, explaining the reach of her newsletter
About my lost two years due to cancer and homelessness after Elana’s death, which kept me from working on her legacy until now
How to contact me and what would be helpful now

I will add to this site on an ongoing basis, now that my health and living situation are stabilized.

Thank you for reading, and I hope to hear from you.

Chris