Re: Two announcements about longtime cohouser Joani Blank
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 18:45:31 -0700 (PDT)
Dear Best Joani —

This email is so typically YOU.

I can hear you speaking your words as I read them.

No drama.

You just “put it out there” with no fan fare:  practical and forthright while 
stating your needs.  Even with this prognosis you model a way of being in the 

I honor you for your decision to face this challenge head-on by enjoying your 
life as fully as possible.  I respect you for this.

And … typical you … you included all of your cohousing community.  A mark of 
what cohousing really means to you that you would take us into your confidence.

I won’t tell you about any herbs to take because I don’t know any.

But I will tell you I love you.  And I will tell you how much it meant and 
means to me today that in those early cohousing years you made a place for me 
in your world.  And you still make a place for me.  

Joani with the purple hair and purple clothes … Joani with the big heart … you 
are a wonderment among all wonderments.  I am so grateful you are my friend.

I kiss you and send you hugs.  

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

My password is the last 5 digits of Pi …

> On Jun 24, 2016, at 11:48 AM, Joani Blank <jeblank [at]> wrote:
> I have very recently received a diagnosis of metastatic pancreatic cancer. It 
> is a very aggressive form of cancer with a poor prognosis, and it is likely 
> that I do not have a lot of time left.For that reason, I intend to treat only 
> my symptoms, not the disease itself, because I want to enjoy myself and not 
> feel sick during whatever time remains.
> People often don’t know how to respond to a cancer announcement, so let me 
> tell you what will work and not work for me.
> Please don’t say something like, “Let me tell you abouta book you should 
> read/some herbs you should take/a meditation practice that will help you.” In 
> other words I prefer not to hear advice or suggestions at this time.Instead, 
> try something like, "That really sucks" or "I’m sad/sorry you’re sick” and/or 
> if you are close by, you might offer me a hug.There’s no need to offer your 
> help; I know that I will have it should I ask for it, and I will ask if I 
> need or want it.
> Watch for details of a Celebration of My Life (which I plan to attend) 
> probably in September.
> Believe it or not, I’m turning 79 on the 4th of July!
> This year, I will be celebrating my birthday on Monday, the Fourth at 7:00 at 
> Annapurna, the new Indo-Nepali restaurant at the corner of Clay and 10th 
> Streets in Old Oakland.  Dinner will cost $19.50 per person, including tax 
> and tip. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.
> If you live in the SF Bay area and are going to be here over the 4th of July 
> weekend and would like to  come to my birthday party please let me know by 
> email to jeblank [at]
> In lieu of birthday gifts, I am inviting you to make a donation to one (or 
> more) of five of my favorite nonprofits. (Coho/US  will be one of them of 
> course!) I will provide you with information about them when you RSVP so you 
> can check them out before you come.
> Even if you can't come to my birthday party because you live much too far 
> away or for any other reason, but you'd like to consider making a donation, 
> please let me know and I'll send you the list with the organizations' web 
> addresses, so you can take a look at them.
> Love,
> Joani
> p.s. Local cohousing folk--The restaurant has limited seating, so the final 
> guest list will be _first come first served,_ and I will let you know if you 
> are on it no later than July 1. Apologies for the late notice. Needless to 
> say, my life has been just a wee bit chaotic since June 3 when I had the 
> first inkling of my diagnosis.
> _________________________________________________________________
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