[ Auction Home ]
November 25th, 1998
Dear fans and friends,
The great news is that the Pearl Fund at Goddard College is sitting on a bank account worth $66,000, and growing every minute! You have all done an incredible, astounding job. With this money, we'll be able to fund several scholarships in perpetuity at Goddard, and give people who would otherwise never have the chance an opportunity to change their lives. You are an amazing bunch of people, both those of you who "won" and those of you who did not. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help, and for the wonderful spirit that pervaded the auction.
We had over 40,000 hits to the site in our eight weeks online, with bids coming at 30 a minute during the last two hours. And it's a real testament to your integrity and commitment that out of over 300 winning bidders, only SIX failed to respond to our emails (or as Pat says, "6 jerks tried, unsuccessfully, to spoil the party - that leaves 39, 994 good people on the rolls. Not too shabby!"
Janis getting ready for her show
On a personal note, a few days before the auction went online I went to the doctor because of a recurring stomach ache that seemed to be getting worse. (Of course, being a child of the '60's I figured I was somatizing and that it was just stress - but Pat pointed out that my whole life is one big ball of stress, and I'd never gotten cramps from it before!). After conducting a series of tests (some too embarrassing to go into here...), my doctors discovered a benign tumor on the upper left lobe of my liver. Apparently the discomfort I've been feeling (and I stress the word "discomfort") is because it's pressing on my stomach. I'll be entering the hospital on December 2 to have it removed.
I want to stress that this is benign - it is NOT a malignancy, not cancerous, not life-threatening in any way. But as those of you who've seen me in concert know, I am a very small person ("vertically challenged"), and there's just not enough room for the growth and me to occupy my body together!
Although I could have waited a month or two, this is the best time for everyone who'll be working on my next album, as it will free us to begin recording by next April - and give me a few months to concentrate on my writing. I have every confidence in my surgeon, Pat will be staying with me the entire time, and all in all it could have been a whole lot worse.
I must admit that Ginger and I were tempted to do a press release with headlines like: (National Enquirer version) HEROIC SONGWRITER BATTLES GIANT TUMOR IN HAND-TO- HAND COMBAT WHILE RAISING THOUSANDS FOR UNDERPRIVILEGED ADULTS (Riddle version) WHAT DO TUMORS AND $60,000 HAVE IN COMMON? JANIS IAN IS GIVING BOTH AWAY! (Short & snappy version) GIVE 'TIL IT HURTS (Pat's comment) "What do you think we could get for it on the auction board?"
I'm going to ask you all not to write to me for the next few weeks, because I won't be able to answer for a while, besides which it will drive Pat crazy trying to keep up. And knowing the generousity of spirit (and cash) you've all exhibited these last nine weeks, I am not releasing details of the hospital address. I'm a little worried (and pleased at the thought, to be honest) that I'd be inundated with flowers, which make me sneeze. Instead, I ask that you keep me in your thoughts and prayers through my surgery and recovery.
Anyone wishing to send cards or additional donations (you do NOT have to by any means, I don't know where you live!) can send them to Post Office Box 121797, Nashville TN. 37212; I'll get them when I arrive home.
Some of the singular bids (just two or three) will not get done untl January because of my surgery. The 5-song tapes won't get done until then either. I'm very sorry, I just ran out of time.
I'll try to log back onto the bulletin board as I recover, but since I'm fervently hoping for a morphine drip post-surgery, don't take anything I may say too seriously in that period....
Thank you all again for your wonderful friendship, your good wishes, and your assistance in making my dream come true. It is so much more than I'd hoped for, and miles more than I'd expected. I am in your debt.