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So began Ron’s explanation for Soul Rising, a newsletter that would reveal Ron’s soul – his passion for history, his search for truth and his thought provoking poetry. While recovering from cancer surgery in July 2014, Ron enthusiastically completed his first issue.
It was also his last.
A perfect irony was revealed in December 2012. As the publisher of Active Voice, a tabloid dedicated to free expression unimpeded by “media landlords,” Ron had written a multi-issue series called Kicking Cancer’s Ass. Now, cancer was kicking back. Just as his dad, Denny, was recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous bladder, Ron was diagnosed with rectal cancer.
At the time, Ron had been jotting down notes and working on a new holiday poem entitled Soul Rising. It had been Ron’s tradition to send a poem and/or a detailed year-end retrospective to family and friends at Christmastime.
As his father’s body was systematically poisoned by the chemotherapy that doctors prescribed “to be on the safe side” against cancer’s return, Ron chose to treat himself holistically in lieu of what he considered barbaric conventional methods. His father's body succumbed to sepsis eight months after starting chemotherapy. Numerous tests taken while Dad's body deteriorated into dependence on dialysis, a trach tube and a ventillator revealed no sign of cancer.
Meanwhile, circumstances curtailed Ron’s work on his Soul Rising poem. In the spring of 2013, while continuing self treatment, he began to build a meditation garden in his back yard, which was among the few remaining expanses of nature remaining in a once peaceful area now polluted with asphalt, bricks and noise. It was a way to stay active and absorb the inspiration of the trees, the birds, the deer and other wildlife around the property, the sunshine and God. The southern entrance was an arbor that was to display a simple welcome sign: “Soul Rising.”
During a two-month summer stay at Utopia Wellness, an expensive, and perhaps exploitive Florida cancer clinic that seemed to have had little, if any, cancer treating benefits, Ron felt, he was reminded by a staff member - Mark W. Tong - to embrace the joys and passions of life.
"That… simply said, is why Soul Rising is here,” Ron wrote.
After returning home from Florida, barely able to sit because of the pain in his ass, a holistic physician referred Ron to a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. After the removal of a tumor in December 2013, Ron was enthusiastic about recovery. He returned to work after a long absence and, in July 2014, printed his Soul Rising newsletter, eagerly mailing it to family and friends. He planned to write it monthly and sell it by subscription.
“What comes next and where we go with this is up to you and me,” he wrote. “This is just a start, if we choose. From the content within these pages I can see extended web and Internet coverage, and even an eventual, physical Soul Rising center, featuring educational programs and a museum showcasing everything this newsletter is about. Perhaps we can dedicate ourselves to appreciating the past, present and future, and each other, with love and truth being sacred pillars once again, entrusting a whole new historic village to individual and spiritual liberty.”
Optimism soon faded into disappointment as the pain began to worsen, and it became evident that the cancer was present and growing. Ron’s pain became more excruciating and he was unable to sit during most of his last year. Cancer treatment peddlers at the Cleveland Clinic convinced Ron that although recovery through chemotherapy and radiation treatment was not certain, radiation would shrink the tumor and relieve his excruciating pain. Although an early CT scan provided optimistic results, there was no relief in Ron’s pain. Then the tumor continued to grow.
From the bedroom that he shared with his brother as he grew up, Ron ate Easter breakfast with his family in April 2015. The next day, he began to experience the symptoms of what turned out to be an irreversible bowel obstruction caused by the tumor. He was admitted into Cleveland Clinic’s Fairview Hospital, where he stayed a couple weeks until he went home, under hospice care, to spend his final month with his wife.
Ron left his physical body on Memorial Day weekend, during the dark early hours of Saturday, May 23, 2015.
Ron's soul has risen to the next stop in its spiritual journey. We hope this site will immortalize some of the hopes and dreams that were important to him during the 50 years he spent as Ron McEntee.
That's why this is here.