Gino Pisano

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31 December 2000 :)

Scrumb.Com is starting up again... sorta... he’s starting off slow... it’s still a fave site for me.

Jill and Ricky came up for a short visit with the girls... we went for a walk.... New Paltz looks just like the cover of a Christmas magazine. Melanie and Kris stopped in too.... it was great to see everybody. Kris took Trever and Shawn back to Connecticut - we’ll go get them tomorrow..... meantime.... I feel a little like Mel Gibson in Brave Heart... FREEDOM.... (except I look like shit in a kilt.)

Ian and I ended up getting sushi and watched the ‘Queer As Folk’ Marathon.... A little champagne, some caviar..... just the two of us.... it doesn’t get better than this.

At midnight we called Melanie, Kris and the guys to wish them a Happy New Year.... Melanie said that she thinks that this year will be better than last year...... heh.... I think that’s a safe bet...... yup..... if I got hit by a truck tomorrow I’d STILL be ahead of the game.


30 December 2000 :)

The most beautiful scene is outside right now..... a blizzard...... it’s magical.... life in a snow globe.

It’s my brother Ricky’s birthday today. I drove to see him.... what a mess the roads were.... I went alone.... loving every minute of the drive. I came back and drove around some more. The twins were exhausted from shoveling driveways for money. They had shoveled ours twice and were now going for the third time, (the snow isn’t stopping), so Ian and I went out with them.... what fun... we laughed as we worked and it was great.

At the time of this writing the snow is two and a half feet deep to three feet and the trees are covered.... everything is picture perfect. This is a gift.

29 December 2000 :)

My cousin Greg and his band, Last Perfect Thing, are gonna be in New York playing at Arlene Grocery in the Village tomorrow... depending on the weather I’d like to go.

Ian and I made a fast run to the mall..... then we did some food shopping. The news is calling for 18-24 inches of snow tomorrow.... that would be fantastic. I missed all the snow last year.... never saw any.... well I’m all set to enjoy it this year so.... come on snow.

Ricky and Jill stopped over for coffee... which was nice. The visit was short ‘cause it was ‘family day’ and we were supposed to go to the movies.... but it was Trever’s turn to pick and he changed his mind and decided we should stay home instead.... of course Jill and Ricky had already left by then.

28 December 2000 :)

Quiet day..... Went to the mall with Ricky and the girls...... Jill was visiting her Mom with Mary Grace.

I spoke with my Aunt Rusty..... her doctor wants to run some tests and she’s a little bummed out... we both agreed that it’s way to soon to sweat about it yet... but sometimes you do anyway.

27 December 2000 :)

I went to Never Alone as I have been trying to do on Wednesdays.... There’s something about those kids that just touches my heart.

Later, with Ian’s help and encouragement, I got the best workout I’ve ever had on my SOLOFLEX...... yeah....... lifting it onto the tail end of a truck - I sold it!..... I am best going to a gym...... I bought it in 1990 and this is only the third time I can remember even sweating near it.... the last time I was ironing and hanging the shirts on the bars..... heh.

26 December 2000 :)

My mom called her doctor and asked him to please order a refill for her Prozac.... he told her that he “had a problem with that”.... I called his office and spoke with his nurse in what I like to call ‘real-speak’.... sort of a ‘up-your-ass-while-in-your-face’ approach - it’s patent pending.... she called back to let me know the doctor made a new decision and a months supply of Prozac was called in....... sheese!

I got an email from Scrumb... he can’t make it out just yet.... but he’s hopeful that he will be able to visit in the Spring.

Jill and Ricky and my nieces: Frankie, Olivia and Mary Grace came to our house today... My Aunt Toni-Ann and Kristen brought C.J. and Jenna too. They all played together so nicely and it was so great to have them all here. Trever and Shawn had some friends over later... it was a house of children today...... a happy house.... Jilly wants me to start painting again..... I do miss that.... I know where my brushes are... I just gotta find my energy!

25 December 2000 Christmas Day :/

Santa knew just what I wanted .... chocolate covered Paxil... my favorite!

I couldn’t find my cell phone then I realised that I had let the boys borrow it so we could keep in touch.... they lost it.... I made them get dressed and trudge out in nineteen degree weather and retrace their steps while I called the number repeatedly.... they were thrilled..... Thank God they had left the damn thing on... they heard the ringing in the woods where their fort is... under a tarp.... ugh.

I was a bit ‘grumpy’ today... I dunno why... but Aunt Toni-Ann said that sometimes your mind just knows that it’s safe now, so it starts to deal with it’s depressing stuff.... great timing.... she said that she’s been on Prozac for five years... Ian likes the stuff too. Mom was acting weird today... and sure enough - when I spoke to her later she was so sad, weepy - come to find out she never did get her Prozac.... sounded like she was calling from a ledge (if-ya-know-what-I-mean)..... so we made an emergency Prozac delivery using some of Ian’s supply... *sigh*.

Ya know... if I had the Prozac concession for my family alone..... hmmm......


24 December 2000 Christmas Eve :)

Wow..... It’s amazing to me that it’s Christmas Eve. I had a real hard time getting in the Spirit... why, I don’t really know. Later in the day Ian’s Mom came over to cook a turkey.... we ended up having the dinner at our house. Mariann and Robbie came over here to make it easier and we had a great time. It was so relaxing to just hang out and share the day... Mari and Robbie exchanged their gifts which was so wonderful to witness.... we did the same... Kris and Melanie weren’t here ‘cause they had made plans to go to Marie’s, (Melanie’s Mom’s house). My Mom couldn’t come ‘cause she had made plans to go to my Aunt Pam’s... We were supposed to go there later, but I was too wiped out. I am building up slowly, but by eight o’clock I’m a hurting pup. I took some special vitamins, a Neupogen shot, coffee and I was still dragging. I ended up staying put.... that’s just how it goes.

Sometimes you have to give support to what you believe is right.... even when it’s not well received.... On the 11th of December I wrote how the guys declined to put the tree up with me stating that Christmas was, “too commercial”... well I decided to respect their observation and gave them each a \$100 gift certificate to Old Navy, and some stuff for their stockings.... and that’s it - period. There were some who thought giving them a fraction of what I normally would was not good, reminding me that, “It’s Christmas after all.”.... but I think maintaining my position paid off.... Shawn later commented to Ian that he intends to behave more like he should so that next year Christmas will be more like it should...... yeah.... that works for me!

I wrote my letter to Santa.... as I have done every Christmas eve since I can remember... love that guy... those letters are magic - that’s all I can say.... The boys wrote theirs too.... then we walked to the mailbox just like we’ve always done.... kissed the letters... and dropped them in the mailbox.... checking the flip door twice.

23 December 2000 :/

I dropped Ian off at the Galleria and we agreed to meet by the front entrance in half an hour.... I took off to wash the car.... which is like therapy to me.... after I was done I went back to the Maul, which is how I spell it right about now.... Boy did I see some funny stuff... like a guy in a Honda cut off an older woman in a Mercedes who, I’ll bet, doesn’t normally give the finger with that much gusto.... or the charmer who took the parking space I was standing there for as if he had been waiting all his life for that very spot..... OK... that’s when I said - NOPE.... not doin’ it..... drove to the front , saw Ian, and off we went. Just not up to that silliness.

Ricky and Jill are floating around somewhere... didn’t get to see them at all today.... hope to tomorrow.

22 December 2000 :)

The door bell rang at 9:00 this morning... it was a surprise visit from Jim, the twins Probation Officer, (although he’s a friend now too) He wanted to get a morning urine specimen from the boys... thing is ... I had woke them up only fifteen minutes beforehand and the boys just could not comply. Jim stayed with us patiently for the better part of an hour, then suggested that I take the samples and call with the results.... OK.... Within twenty minutes Trever was ready.... negative. Great. Called Jim and left the results on his machine. Fifteen minutes later Shawn was ready too.... super... but then we realised that one of the tester sticks we needed was missing. Seems that Buddy, the basset hound, mistook it for a chew toy and destroyed it..... Shawn thought we should call Jim and tell him that “the dog ate his test.”..... hrmn..... The way he said it just sounded so, ‘Leave It To Beaver-ish’ - ‘till I remembered the ‘test’ was a drug test. Luckily I had my own test kits handy and he was negative too .... that’s one of my Christmas presents

I went to see my friend Mary... she was a bit concerned ‘cause her doctor examined her and thought she may have cancer but won’t know until several tests are done..... so why tell an eighty two year old woman three days before Christmas? Why not wait until the tests show you what’s what??? Because some doctors are schmucks - that’s why! Please say a prayer for Mary... she’s such a sweetheart.

Ian picked up his car today.... he was excited like a little kid... it was great to watch. The car is really cool looking and he’s thinking of naming it ‘Critter’.

21 December 2000 :)

WoW... The first day of Winter... and the first day of Chanukah.... now the days start getting longer... it’s really a very amaizng day.

It started with me brining Our hero to his day treatment center.... a short stop off at McDonald’s for a fast McMemory..... kinda nice.

Went to volunteer at Never Alone and shared the day with those kids.... the big Christmas celebration....... breaks my heart to see their faces when their family doesn’t show up... I tried to fill in... but you can’t.... not at all. It’s a lousy disease - addiction... all the disease symptoms but none of the disease sympathy..... it just sucks. My dream is that one day there’ll be a cure for it.... and one day there will be.... then these kids will be remembered as pioneers.

I got a call from Ricky and Jill.... they were in New York and heading north. I went to meet them for dinner.... Ian stayed with the guys.... how wonderful it was to see them face to face again..... It’s always too long in between.

When I got home Ian had set up and decorated the Christmas tree.... it’s beautiful... I thought that I wasn’t gonna have one this year.... Ian thought otherwise.... one of the many, many reasons I just love that guy.... what a buddy.

20 December 2000 :)

What a crazy day.... sorta fun really.... just not what I had planned.

It started with Ian and I going off to Saugerties to pick up his Christmas present.... a ‘98 VW bug... really cute.... black. I was planning on waiting ‘till Christmas... but I suck at that stuff. Anyway, the guy at the dealership, who’s a combination of Don Knots and the guy who said, “Quaker Oatmeal.... it’s the right thing to do”, couldn’t get the radio to work. Seems ya need a code from Volkswagen... long story. Since he’d left the car on for two hours trying, (but not running) the battery was now dead.... which made the ‘check engine’ light come on..... bla bla bla..... so Friday, he told us, is the day to come and fetch the critter.... fine.

So there I am in Saugerties.... with Ian.... and he has no way back to New Paltz, (45 minutes away), and I was expected at Never Alone which was only 10 minutes away from where we were.... so after doing these mental gymnastics we decided that Ian could take a bus home. Good... settled. I drop him off at the station.... there’s a bus in 15 minutes..... cool. I head off to Never Alone only to learn that due to expected bad weather they have changed ‘Family Day’ to Thursday.... OK.... I left the baseball caps for the kids that Ian picked up at Old Navy (for 99 cents each - sweet) ... and headed back to New Paltz practically following the bus that he was on. It was a comedy really.... and I was chuckling at how true about, “the best laid plans of mice and men...”..... what I enjoyed most was that it didn’t bother me.... plans change.... God knows that’s my motto these days.... Change - Huh! - I laugh Madly..... Wildly.... Muahahahahaha!, (Calm down Change... I’m not laughing at you ... I’m just laughing with you) ..... ahemm.... (don’t wanna piss off change either.)

19 December 2000 :)

Today I was supposed to have three catscans taken. It was freezing out when I got to the center at 8:oo this morning ready to drink that red fizzy stuff they give me. Problem was that the woman who was covering the front desk couldn’t find the authorization and had an attitude that made it seem warmer outside the office.... if ya know what I mean. After about twenty minutes of being ignored I informed her that the test would not be done today - that I’d rather be somewhere else and will have it taken care of in Florida.... it was the first time she actually looked at me.... I just turned around and left.

My brother Ricky and Jill, and my three nieces, will be heading up from Atlanta to spend Christmas with us.... I can’t wait.... it will be so good to see them. I really only get to at Christmas time... and the odd funeral.... hrmn.

18 December 2000 :)

I’ve known Ian for six years and eight months.... and I’m still more crazy for the guy than the day we met!

Something really special happened today....... I went in to see everyone in my office in New York.... Boy was I scared - I didn’t know how I would handle seeing them..... I wanted to be there earlier, when they were having our ‘Secret Santa’ but I got snagged. It’s been over a year since I was able to enjoy their presence and it was the last place that remembered me the way I want to get back to being.... (does that make sense?). What a fine group of people they are..... it was truly amazing to see them! And without knowing it, they made my Christmas - I was welcomed with open hearts and open arms.... big hugs...... and not one of them could possibly know how much it all meant to me.

They made me feel..... Ok..... normal...... like I did before the world changed. Geeeze.... I’m so excited about getting back into the game so I can play too, (what I do for a living could hardly be called work).

After I left the office I went off to see Marv. He was at Sloan Kettering getting his chemo. I had every intention of kickin’ his butt at Gin Rummy but instead he wailed me!.... Debastard. What a sweet, kind hearted, and loving human being this guy is. It isn’t all the time that you meet folks that are genuinely giving and innately innocent.... Marv is.... and a gentleman too! So please, keep sending him prayers - and his wife Carol too - they’re both such wonderful people.

Speaking of prayers..... Mariann’s mom is doing amazingly well..... she’s out of the woods and talking a blue streak..... so now we’re praying for laryngitis.... hehe

And speaking of Moms... every time I thought of mine stubbornly trying to smoke with an oxygen tube under her nose - I kept picturing this gigantic mushroom cloud where the house used to be.... Since nothing I said was gonna get her to quit smoking - I was planning to just rent a U-Haul and get my stuff outta there..... but.... now the Doctor says that she doesn’t need the oxygen..... pheeeww.... now we can ALL breath easier!

17 December 2000 :)

Boy oh boy what rain... I mean RAIN... with wind that was wicked. That was today. It was Aunt Rusty’s birthday and I headed off to go ‘solo’. The boys stayed home... which was fine ‘cause they were in a real cranky mood. Ya know.... first they’re going then they’re not then they are.... round and round..... finally I just said ENOUGH stay home already.... got in the car and drove away. I got to the end of the street and realized that I forgot the phone and went back to the house... there they were... looking so pitiful.... all sorry for being little shitheads. They told me that they were going after all... grabbed my phone.... said I didn’t remember doing anything to deserve that ..... got back in the car and drove off ..... leaving them to do.... whatever shitheads do...... God it felt good.

I’m so glad I was up to going. I took two Imodium as a preventative.... (in hindsight that may not have been the best idea I’ve ever had.)..... but Aunt Rusty’s party was a wonderful time..... the food was delicious and the guests that came were real fun to be with..... I had a great time.

By the way... If you’re in the New York area on Saturday the 30th of December you may want to check out my cousin Greg’s band they’re hot. They’ll be playing at Arlene Grocery in the Village..... very kewl.

Stopped to see my Mom on the way back form New Jersey.... she was feeling a little better.... and she’s cut back to half a pack instead of three so that’s something.... I guess.... in some twisted way that I don’t fully understand..... Tomorrow she’s going to take the test that will allow her to get the oxygen tank in the house..... oh boy.

16 December 2000 :)

Prayers can sure do amazing things... Mari’s Mom is doing better..... she really is part Irish and part Energizer Bunny... heh.... she may just get past all this after all.

My Mom is doing Ok too... sorta... Earlier she was telling me about how the Doctor wanted to have her on oxygen at home.... she was trying to reconcile using the oxygen and continue smoking, figuring ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’.... I assured her that in this case the ‘will’ would be as in ‘Last Will’.... (although... it would be the biggest bang she’s had in quite some time).... hehe

Later she called to say that she was gonna try to quit smoking but that I was not to tell anyone.... Well.... I didn’t say a word!

I received an email from The Moffitt Center and, Thankx to Val, I have the appointments set up in January to get a complete physical... the works.... and get the portocath removed... (Yes)... at first they were planning on using a local, but I reminded them of the extreme pain I was in the last time they used a local and requested full sensory deprivation this time - with back-up drugs!

15 December 2000 :)

Well.... Mom talked the doctors into releasing her from the hospital... not the smartest move she’s ever made - I’ll bet it’s just so that she could smoke. Meanwhile Mari’s mom, Catherine, is still with us... she’s tough.... she’s lived through a whole lot of stuff.... once she fell down a flight of stairs and broke her leg in two places.... sorta funny really... see she went to baby-sit for a couple who just had a house built and climbed the stairs from the garage to the kitchen... she was banging on the door at the top when she realized that they weren’t nailed together... (they were just laying there to give the carpenter the idea)... too late... and just like a short from the road runner - they shook apart and dropped her (splat) on to the cement. She even had cancer and beat it.... honest... She’s so tough that I always said that she’d probably survive me.... so when Mariann asked me to go with her to visit I insisted we take my Pathfinder - ‘cause it has two airbags!

Starting Monday Trever is taking a cab to and from the day treatment place... I gotta get stuff done and I can’t if I’m schlepping him back and forth.

14 December 2000 Wow... What an Adventure!

This year goes on record as the l-o-n-g-e-s-t year I’ve ever lived......

Yes sir!...... In the last twelve months - I was told I had cancer and only a five to ten percent chance to live, was separated from the twins for two months while undergoing chemo and radiation, underwent an Esophagectomy, watched my dog die in my arms, dealt with my sons running away from home and finally faced the extent of their drug problems, got them both placed on probation, held my son Trever in my arms and watched helplessly as he went through convulsions and then stopped breathing, saw him through two rehabs and endless therapy sessions, watched as both of the twins started to get the idea and come out of it, got to meet and fall in love with my cat Kimo (Chemo), made friendships with some wonderful caring people via this site, saw first hand how many people love me... and who they are, learned more about me than I ever thought possible.... and liked most of what I learned, started a journal, started a book, stepped up to the plate with tough love (finally) for the boys, kicked cancers ass (thanks to God and all the prayers said for me and Dr. Ruckdeschel thinks I may even become a ‘cure’), watched my relationship with the man I love get torn and then mend stronger than ever before, and developed an entirely new appreciation for life and for living and for loving...... hmmmmm..... this HAS been a long year..... and a damn good one!.... yup, yup, yup!


13 December 2000 :/

After taking Our Hero to his day program I went to see my Aunt Joann... it’s been so long since I had the chance to visit with here and it was cool to sit and drink coffee with her. After that I went to Never Alone, the treatment center that had helped Trever so much, and volunteered my time. I am still so moved by the compassion that I find there.

After I picked Trever up I brought him home .... almost in time for the meeting with Jim the probation dude. Shawn had a problem with one of my concerns, (allowing him in the house when Ian and I weren’t there) and choose to get REAL disrespectful - so I grounded him... he laughed - so I grounded him for two days! (who said parenting wasn’t fun?) Later I headed to Cornwall and stayed the night with Mom.... Send prayers.

Please say a prayer for Catherine Kruescher too... She’s Mariann’s Mom, and the Grandmother to my three boys. She’s in another hospital and it’s thought that she may not live much longer.... please say a prayer to help her to pass without pain, (if it’s for her highest good.)

12 December 2000 :)

Ian asked me to run to the corner store for milk so I got up ... got dressed and ran over.... I got outa the car and I saw the most amazing rainbow and the first thing I thought was, “Wow the Paxil really works”, but then I saw other people looking up so I knew that they could see it too.

I called Mom... she answered in the croakiest voice “hello”... (it was painful just to listen to her). I asked if she would stay here if I got her.... “no”.... did it hurt to talk.... ”yes”... you’re not still smoking are you? ... (pause).... “what’s your point?”

Well, later in the day Aunt Toni Ann called me to let me know that she got even worse and they called an ambulance to bring her to the ER. I was on my way to get Trever so I caught up as soon as I got him home. They admitted her.... she has pneumonia..... geewiz. Mom wanted one of us to stay with her... the nurse had a problem with that... (their policy didn’t allow for that)... tough shit.... Aunt Toni Ann stayed with her last night.

11 December 2000 :/

Day four without Paxil...... blech!

I ran Shawn over to school ‘cause he missed he bus then I took Trever to the activity center and left from there to run to Middletown for and appointment with Jeff the Oncologist. He was running about thirty minutes behind... I was the second person to get into his office and by the time he arrived there wasn’t a seat to be had. The woman to my left was unwrapping the cellophane from some candy.... and would not stop.... crinkling.... crinkling..... across the way a woman (somewhere between 80 and a Wal-Mart greeter) sat with rubber boots on... she began to rub the ends together so that she sounded like a four hundred pound cricket.... over and over and over and... ugh.... I tried to be kind.... putting my head down.... rubbing my ear.... I even moaned.... Finally I just stared at her as if to reassure her that she wouldn’t die from cancer..... ‘cause I was prepared to kill her myself.... as if by magic - like she could read the veins in my neck - she stopped.

When I got to see Jeff we discussed lots of stuff.... I told him about the stomach pain I have when I eat spicy stuff, (like the green pasty stuff I get with the sushi) and he ordered an endoscopy to be real sure that it was an ulcer and not more cancer.... since the original tumor included part of the stomach, at the top. He also said that I can join a gym..... I enjoy being a member.... One year Ian joined us up to a gym, I think it was the Dolphin, in Manhattan, \$250.00 a piece.... real close to our apartment... he even pointed out the roof to me once from where we were on the 19th floor... and that’s the closest I ever came to the place.... heh.

When I picked up Trever I told him that I wanted to go home and play Christmas music.... put up the tree... decorate the banister.... make hot cocoa... ya know. I explained why this was the best time... how this was a special Christmas.... What the hell was I thinking? He and Shawn moaned and groaned to the point that I finally said, “Enough. You can choose between pulling together as a family and upholding the time old tradition of bringing Christmas to the Pisano household or just go - hang out with your friends and forget the decorations completely this year.”.... oh well ..... looks like I won’t have to worry about rearranging the living room furniture after all... Shawn mumbled something about not feeding into the commercial frenzy while he was getting his coat - Trever was nodding his head in total agreement.... fine..... I just wanna see if they feel the same way at Christmas .... or ‘Christmas-Lite’ as I’m gonna be calling it. *grin*

Ian called Dr. Stewart himself.... a prescription for Paxil was phoned in.

10 December 2000 :)

We made today ‘Family Day’ and it was Shawn’s choice.... so we went to the Mall.... The Galleria is Ok.... but this time of year it’s a bit of a zoo. The guys brought their friend Timmy and they all played in the arcade... Ian and I had lunch and hung out.... that’s not really what I had in mind for Family Day so maybe by next Sunday there will be a tighter definition.

I went over to see Mari and Robbie’s tree.... looks like Christmas over there... we gotta to it here before the holiday is gone.... maybe tomorrow

Saw the second installment of Showtime’s version of ‘Queer as Folk’.... it was Ok... but not as good as the original English version .... but we’re watching it anyway.... of course.

9 December 2000 :)

I can’t believe that the holidays are so close.... wow. When I was in Tampa last year I met an artist named Carolyn Utigard Thomas who drew and painted the most exquisite angels. I really think she’s talented.

And speaking of talent.... after almost a year and a half of reading his journal, (currently on hold), I spoke with Bret, aka Scrumb..... the young man in Canada who inspired me to do this site almost a year ago..... It was really neat...... He’s planning to come over for a visit next month.... that will be fantastic... I’m looking forward to meeting him face to face. Ya know.... I really have a feeling that one day Bret Barton will be a very accomplished writer.... I have the essay he calls Sloth in the twins bathroom as a reminder for them to brush their teeth.... hehe.

8 December 2000 :)

There was a Winter Wonderland wait for me when I woke up. The boys stayed home since they had closed school in one district.... they so wanted to have the day to play in the first real snow fall.... I said Ok. It turned out to be fine.... they took the cell phone and called me when they wanted to go somewhere else.

There were some events happening today... none of which I was able to attend. One was our company Christmas party which is a good time.... that would have been fun.... and as much as I would have enjoyed it I probably would not have gone - even if my blood were good enough ‘cause today turned out to be the day that the children’s party was planned for too. Every year for the last twelve years I’ve gone... it’s thrown for foster children and orphans and held in a school in New York. It was a lot smaller in the beginning, but it’s grown... last year there were over nine hundred kids.... wow... We