Gino Pisano

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30 July 2000 :/

I went to see Jeff today and they drew blood. Seems that my white cells are down again..... hmmmm.... even with the Neupogen shots.... oh well.

I called Arms Acres to see how Trever was doing and they said that they were going to call me..... seems he was acting real cranky with them... so much so that they were considering inviting him to leave..... (brother).... so I had a long talk with Trever in the hopes of getting him to appreciate his situation - Quitting the recovery process was a guarantee that he would end up being placed outside our home.... he decided to calm down.

30 July 2000 :/

Kris and Melanie came over for breakfast... that was great.

Went to see ‘Our little addict’... he was in much higher spirits.... hmmmm... perhaps I should just say that he was in a much better mood.... yeah.... that’s better. Shawn came too and they talked and talked, Trever really wants to be home. I told him that Dominick, (his and Shawn’s friend) had decided to stay with us for a while.... and had gotten a job at The Bistro. Trever made believe that he was ticked - wanted to know if it was just ‘cause he wasn’t there? I told him we let Dominick stay so that we didn’t have to adjust our grocery bill - that made him laugh.

Gave Shawn and Dominick driving lessons. I am feeling a whole lot better... no joint aches..... thank God.

29 July 2000 :)

Trever was a bit on the grumpy side today.... I guess the novelty is wearing thin and the realization is beginning to focus..... he’s such a good hearted kid.... just gotta get in tuned with the rest of us. I got the ‘Big Book’ today.... *whew*.... what strength is between those covers - it is truly awe inspiring. For anyone who perceives themselves as ‘tough’ - read it!

A letter came to me in the mail from my friend Garrett that picked up my spirits and made me ‘home sick’ for my friends and colleagues in New York. Boy I can’t wait until I get back there.

28 July 2000 :)

I went to Albany today.... on my own ... for the pre-admission testing that they need to do. Next Thursday I am scheduled to have another dilatation. The last time I had it done it only lasted about a week and then started to give me some grief... this time it’s lasted for a much longer time.....Yea.

I spoke to Trever today ‘cause I called him..... He was doing ok.... it was great to hear his voice.... even greater to know where he was! Later I was speaking with another parent.... comparing notes and all.... as she has a teenager too.... I admitted to being a faithful ‘Brady Bunch’ fan but confessed to having missed the episode where Greg became a pot smoking alcoholic and has to be placed in rehab..... hrmm.... or maybe I went to the kitchen for a snack.

27 July 2000 :)

Aunt Toni-Ann came over today and we discussed our idea for a radio program..... this could be interesting.... a lot of work too - but hey..... everything is.

Mariann came over and gave me another Neupogen shot... (I started them on Tuesday)

Today the joint aches that they said I may have ... came....*Ouch*.... guess this is what arthritis must be like... I don’t like it.

26 July 2000 :)

I got up at 5:00 AM to hang out with Robbie..... He and Mari have been so great to us that Ian and I want to give him ‘Wednesday’s Off’... he has them off... but insists on working a couple of hours anyway - so we will do it for him as a treat.

I spoke with a friend today who suggested that I get two books... “The Big Book” by Alcoholics Anonymous and “I’ll Quit Tomorrow” by Vernon Johnson. These will help me to understand Trever’s perspective better. I was able to order the latter one but in order to get the first one the girl needed an author and all we could think of was ‘Anonymous’ - and that didn’t work.

I scheduled another esophageal dilatation for next week as the ‘ol throat seems to be tightening up again.... I’m getting to be an old pro at these things.

Oh yeah... I received a call from the police... Shawn was found on a roof in the middle of the Village trying to shoot off bottle rockets with two friends... all’s quiet now.... for how long who knows.... heh ...... we take it hour by hour over here

25 July 2000 :)

Wow.... what an enlightening day. Kris and I went to Arms Acres for what they call ‘Family Day’... It is simply amazing. There is so much that they teach you (or try to) about the disease of addiction and the way that people handle situations relating to it. Everyone seemed to get a lot out of it.... except our hero who said he was only there to, “beat a court rap”.... Oy ..... but you have to admit he was honest!

24 July 2000 :)

Today was Chemo Day.... my white cell count is 2.9 and was high enough to receive the treatment... but not as high as they real want so they gave me Neupogen. I’ll be getting the shot every day for 7-10 days.... no sweat. Oh.... and guess what... remember that I told you that the white cell was 1.5 - well I was wrong - it was .5 !!! Mariann said that it was a wonder that I walked 1 mile let alone 3 and that I drove an hour and a half each way to see Trever ..... she said that I should have been “wiped out”.... but I wasn’t ..... heh.... It’s not simply mind over matter - all the wonderful prayers that you and everyone else have shared for me.... well... see what they do? Thank you for caring about what happens to me.... it’s so great to be surrounded by so much love.

GREAT GREAT NEWS: Remember the 7 out of 10 lymph nodes that had cancer present...... well they were removed during the surgery!!!! Jeff, (the local oncologist) said that there is no cancer cells in me that they can see on the Cat Scan, (seems you need about one million cells all together before you can see the buggers..... so he wanted to make sure that I knew that this chemo is Adjuvant Therapy (to-be-on-the-safe-side therapy)..... Party Time... yeah!!!!

Tomorrow I plan on going over to spend the entire day at Arms Acres... it’s family day and you get to attend all of the sessions just like the clients do.

23 July 2000 :)

I went to see Trever again and this time Shawn came too. It gave him and I a chance to talk on the way over and back... that’s always a good thing. Trever was really happy that we both showed up. We talked and the time went by really fast. Two of the counselors came over to tell me that Trever was a really positive influence in the place.... that’s always a good thing to hear.

The hair loss is continuous... even Trever noticed the difference from yesterday. Tomorrow I go for the next round of Chemo... I’m ready.

22 July 2000 :)

Shawn and I had planned to go see Trever today..... Shawn changed his mind and decided to stay home and be with his friends. (OUCH) I knew that would hurt... and sure enough Trever was disappointed. I brought him two framed photographs.... one of him and Buddy and one of all of us from the wedding. I also brought him gum.... but they do not allow it.... I’m told that you can get stoned using bubble gum and bananas..... seems you cut a square of the peel and wrap it in gum and let it rot for a week and then chew and swallow it.... huh.... what twisted ‘Mc Guiver junkie’ thought THAT one up?

My Aunt Rusty has a new puppy..... named ‘Treasure’..... she loves him and you can hear the difference in her voice... WOW!

21 July 2000 :)

A bit sleepy today.... Ian went into New York and I stayed upstate.... I went to Mari and Robbie’s to hang with them a while... I saw a fawn.

Speaking of a little deer... Trever called again today ..... he wants me to visit and bring him cigarettes. I really miss the little guy.... but not the aggravation that follows him around. Shawn and I are planning to see him tomorrow.

So much for the ban on romance.... *grin*

20 July 2000 :)

I went to have lunch with my cousin Tiffany, Aunt Pam and Aunt Toni Ann..... while I was there Ian called me..... seems the blood results came in and my white cells are a quart low - 1.5 instead of 5. This really is normal and to be expected. What it means is NO to all of the following: crowds, fresh veggies, fresh fruits, food left over for more than two days, cut flowers, shaving and sex..... *sigh*

I couldn’t visit with my Mom for too long - she has poison ivy.

19 July 2000 :)

Today was quiet.... Ian went into the city and I tried to get some things done.

Trever called to say hi and tell me how he was finding rehab.... seems he’s made friends with everyone around..... and he wants me to sneak him in cigarettes..... yeah - that’s gonna happen. My friend De came over for a visit.... that was fun. And I went on an appointment.... sorta like a test - so far so good.

By the way.... Ian asked me to take off Bill’s last name from a prior entry, (no, your not going crazy) ‘cause the cancer is not public knowledge yet.

18 July 2000 :\

I brought Trever to rehab today. Wow... what an experiance that was. The place itself is wonderful.... tennis, volley ball, swimming pool, exercise room, sauna, etc... and the people, from what I could see, are caring. Trever was upset to learn that there is no smoking allowed and that there was a daily itinerary.... “Do I HAVE to get up at a certain time?” he asked the woman... “Yes”, she replied, “four o’clock.”..... Trever was shocked - “FOUR O’CLOCK?”.... “No” she said smiling, “but now it makes seven thirty sound a lot better doesn’t it?” He didn’t appear to be upset in the least... he doesn’t get homesick like I do.... he’s gonna be just fine. I sat in the parking spot and cried..... what a wuss.

I went with Ian to go pick up his Mom.... she flew into New York today from her holiday in Scotland... in the six weeks that she’s been gone a lot has gone on.... we’ll be playing catch up on the ride home. At the airport there where guys holding up signs with names on them .... so Ian and I held up a sign that we made that just said ‘MOM’ ... she smiled.

Strange part... my hair has started to fall out... really a weird feeling to just scratch my head and have a hair ball in my hand. It’s not everywhere... that would be too easy.... it’s just SOME.... like the top of my head, my abdomen, and the back of my legs.... the hair on my back is staying put! God’s and his sense of humor, “No, no Peter, ya know the hair in his nose and on his back? Let that be last.” .... heh.

17 July 2000 :\

I had the evaluation with a woman from the rehab.... it went well and she said that Trever was in-patient material. I drove to Kingston and signed the papers that made him a ward of the state just for the month he’s in there.

He is looking forward to it a little bit... seems some rapper named ODB (Old Dirty Bastard) is there too - isn’t that charming? I was told that he should bring a bathing suit and work out clothes ‘cause they have a pool and a weight room..... hmmmm.... sounds almost like camp... yeah... ‘Camp Take-A-Toke’.

16 July 2000 :/

Kris and Melanie came over for a short visit so did Mari and Robbie..... it’s always great to see them. The weather was really great, unlike yesterday and Trever really wanted to get off grounding badly. Shawn was fighting for his brother too..... since Trever may be going into rehab for a month. I decided that if Shawn would stand in for his brother by posting bail, (if Trever was allowed out he could not go downtown.... if he did Shawn would agree to a seven day grounding as bail) Trever swore that was fine and Shawn agreed and off they went. Within fifteen minutes they were back.... seems that Trever really had no intention of staying uptown and Shawn refused to accept the responsibility and told him if he didn’t return home with him that he would tell me everything anyway..... Trever was not happy.

Tomorrow we meet with the woman who will evaluate Trever for Arms Acres.

15 July 2000 :)

This morning I was talking with a mom whose son is a friend of my boys. She was telling me how hard it is to handle her son and how hurtful the things that he says to her and her husband are...... I told her that whenever he is here is a perfect example of how a teenager should be... she said, “That’s what EVERYONE says about him.” I told her the same was true about Trever and then remembered how I would gladly do the dishes when I was visiting my Aunt Pam, but how I resented doing them at home.... hmmmm.... that’s when I got the idea......... why not have a law that allowed parents, (with their child’s consent) to swap them for a set length of time - sorta like baseball cards.

I went to see my Aunt Rusty and I was so thankful that she has been able to eat for the last three days... thank you for all the prayers that you have said for her. Ian got a call from New York that someone we know who was also diagnosed with cancer, (of the tongue), was not doing as well as we had hoped.... at all. The funny thing is... it was only last year that the three of us where at Le Cirque while he was telling us how excited he was about the prospect of selling the company, (which he did later... by years end) and retiring from the fashion world, we were all just having a cigarette together, and I can still see Aunt Rusty laughing..... in less than a year I would be diagnosed, then Bill, then Aunt Rusty..... just plain strange. So please when you are saying a prayer for Aunt Rusty, please add Bill to the list as well.... he is really in desperate need of them too.

On a brighter note.... my cousin Greg and his band, “Last perfect Thing” are performing tonight at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park..... very cool.

14 July 2000 :)

You gotta laugh really. Today I let Trever out after very carefully outlining where he was allowed to be and STRESSED that he was not to be downtown...... so when I ran some stuff over to the Salvation Army store.... who did I see at the corner bench downtown... (boy you guessed quick) .... none other than our Hero. I asked Ian to stop the car, and he did.... right there in the middle of the road and bade the lad to come forth.... which he did.... almost happily. Once in the car I informed him that he was grounded - big time. He told me that if he ran away he would “not be coming back”...(he’s such a tease). I called Jill at Social Services hoping that there might be a place that I could simply drop him off at..... but alas, no.

Well there is an evaluation scheduled for Monday and if all goes well he may end up at Arms Acres on Tuesday after all. That would be a good thing.

Tomorrow I am going to New Jersey to visit Aunt Rusty and take the boys to the ocean.

13 July 2000 :)

Today was very eventful. I learned that our insurance plan doesn’t offer an inpatient rehab as an option.... Ok... we can do out patient instead. I met with a charming woman from the Department of Social Services, Jill, who reviewed the services that Trever could avail himself of and stressed the seriousness of the situation with him. She told him how important it was to keep his behavior in check..... heh ..... (Trever doesn’t accept checks.... even with two valid forms of ID).

Mari explained to me that she just cannot have them stay with her and asked me if I could try taking them once more and I agreed to try. I explained to them that from here on out it had to be an atmosphere of mutual respect or a shelter.... staying with me was now to be regarded as a privilege..... YEAH!!!!

I went with Ian to see a move that was the funniest thing I’ve seen in years, ”Scary Movie”..... [[Personal Pet Peeve: the movie they say is funny and show you all the funny bits in the advertisement!]] This movie was nothing like that at all.... a must see if you like satire!!

Guess what.... Later tonight the phone rings.... the receiver is upstairs with Trever and I push the speakerphone button - it’s a kid named Steve A. asking Trever to sell him ‘buds’, (pot) I wait for Trever to set him straight and instead he promises him “Tomorrow”..... heh heh... I announced the bust over the air and then I called his Mom to let her know.... as for our hero - he’s not allowed near the downtown haunt period.... dumb ass.... his wings are clipped.

Hey, at least the he’s consistent.

12 July 2000 :/

I went to see the local oncologist. Jeff was happy to see that all was going well so far.

I saw Trever and let him know that there was a really good rehab with space available that he may get to go into tomorrow. He is plain scared... I can’t blame him - that’s part of it after all.

11 July 2000 :)

I spent today with Kristopher at his home in Connecticut. He had two molars and two wisdom teeth removed..... OUCH.... He was brave.... I was impressed with just how fine a man he’s grown up to be. I stayed until Melanie came home, visited a little while and headed back - it was a fun time... for me anyway.

While I was there Mariann called.... seems that Trever and Shawn had stayed over at her home. Then this morning she took them to the Galleria to shop and then to visit her Mom who has Alzheimers, (I told her that she had a “Mallzheimers” day.... hehe) Anyway, she later checked her purse and.... yup..... $700.00 was missing. She gave it a lot of thought and reported it to the Police. The boys are in deep shit, at least Trever is anyway... *sigh*.

PLEASE, say a prayer for my Aunt Rusty.... she could use it today.

11 July 2000 :)

I spent today with Kristopher at his home in Connecticut. He had two molars and two wisdom teeth removed..... OUCH.... He was brave.... I was impressed with just how fine a man he’s grown up to be. I stayed until Melanie came home, visited a little while and headed back - it was a fun time... for me anyway.

While I was there Mariann called.... seems that Trever and Shawn had stayed over at her home. Then this morning she took them to the Galleria to shop and then to visit her Mom who has Alzheimers, (I told her that she had a “Mallzheimers” day.... hehe) Anyway, she later checked her purse and.... yup..... $700.00 was missing. She gave it a lot of thought and reported it to the Police. The boys are in deep shit, at least Trever is anyway... *sigh*.

PLEASE, say a prayer for my Aunt Rusty.... she could use it today.

10 July 2000 :)

Let’s see.... I’ve decided to keep the kitten. She is fearless and she won’t leave my side.... I named her Kimo (Chemo) and she really is a fighter!!!

Yesterday, at midnight, Trever was picked up by the police and brought to me. He stayed the night and showered and ate and played with Buddy the dog. He told me that he’s decided to go willingly into rehab..... Thank God... so Thursday I will take him to begin the process. Shawn came over in the morning and the house rang with the familiar sounds of the boys in it. Shawn later called me and asked if he could move back home.... I said we could always discuss it.

Tried to put my head into my work.... it’s so hard for me though.... the thought of losing all body hair - even eyebrows and eyelashes - is scary..... doesn’t make sense.... you would think that the treatments would be the scariest part... but they’re not. It seems too hard to consider sitting with folks talking about them investing for the long term when you look like your past your, “Best when used by” date.... ya know? Ricky gave me a great idea - I’m thinking of going back into interior design. It’s just a thought.... I love to create, I would have fun and bald could be a signature look. (It’s far more lucrative than my first idea... being a bell ringer in a church tower)

9 July 2000 :\

Couldn’t go to New Jersey today... darn it.... still not 100%... but I’m getting there. I spoke to her... not the same though.

Today when I was talking to Melanie she said the dearest thing..... she asked if she could write a book about me. Pretty surprising huh? I just thought that was really kinda cool.... *flash* *flash* “No autographs pleeeeease”.... hrmn.... I wonder if Joan Crawford felt the same way. *flash*

8 July 2000 :/

Today I had wanted too go see Aunt Rusty, but I was feeling too out of it to go anywhere. Shawn came over this morning and spent an hour or so. I just held him and he played with the cats and we both apologized and reaffirmed how much we love each other..... then he left. Deep breath...

7 July 2000 :/

Slept for the most of the day.... didn’t feel good at all. Really felt icky. Ed came over and in going out to get lunch I saw Shawn..... standing on the corner talking with friends..... felt so strange. No word from Trever.

6 July 2000 :(

Had the probation meeting with Trever for the PINS stuff. Went over everything.... even about Psycho Mom. This was a really hard day. Later when it was through I sat with Trever on the lawn and tried to reach him.... nothing really seems to.... except Buddy. When I took the brass tag off his collar that reads, “I belong to Trever” and gave it to him as a souvenir his eyes welled up and tears dripped quietly from his eyes onto the dogs face.... I cried too. I offered to hold onto the dog if he agreed to go into a rehab..... he’s gonna think it over.

5 July 2000 :(

My heart broke today.... I don’t even know where to begin.

Got up.... showered... Told Shawn that he could keep his stray kitten..... went on a mile walk when my cell phone rang. It was the Chief of Police to see if we could get together.... he had some information on the incident that took place this past Sunday... so I went to the station. It seems that Trever was involved - he had introduced the two teenagers who wanted to buy pot to the 28 year old drug dealer. Then left. The two idiots ripped of the other animal... who was apparently appalled to find there were folks with less integrity than himself and reproached Trever for his less than good character assessment skills. But wait..... there’s more..... Seems that Shawn, hearing that his pigheaded brother was in possible peril, hastened to the scene with twelve of his buddies (and two lighters.... for what I dunno) and spread the word that he was going to kick some ass.

Well.... as soon as I heard the whole story and got my two darlings to admit to it - I grounded them both on the spot. THEY HAD FITS. I told Shawn to mow the lawn and Trever to paint - They flatly refused.... to my face with some very choice words I might add... I introduced then to my belt after which they went to the police station to report me - fine. I called the station and apologized for not doing it sooner. Screw them.... I want them out. I cannot deal with the stress that they are trying to kill me with. God bless Mariann - she came and took Shawn for today. Trever left to be on his own.

We are saying goodbye to the dog and the stray cat... I’ve had it.

Then a woman from the Child Protective Agency paid a call to ascertain the extent of the problem. She kindly admonished me for strapping the lads. I asked her what might have happened to her at that age if she felt so inclined to tell her Father to “go fuck himself” and she started to cough. I told her that I am not in the habit and certainly didn’t strike out because they looked at me the wrong way or didn’t finish eating their peas. I frankly offered that if she or any of her associates felt they could do a better job - I’d sign over custody, but until that time I had no intention of changing my parenting style. And under the same circumstances would do the same. She looked at me and sincerely said, “but don’t you see that it didn’t help anything?” I had to smile, “Do you see them here?”

Sidebar: Boys I forgive you for your part of this fiasco... I realize that you are just stupid kids right now and that you’ll grow up and grow out of this stage.... and I never stopped loving you.... never would.

Oh, and Slim.... if you can read..... if you choose to approach my kids for any reason or if I learn that you’re selling them any more drugs - I’ll have the pleasure of introducing you to someone very special..... YOUR CREATOR...... THAT IS A PROMISE FROM ME TO YOU!

4 July 2000 :)

Today was cool. We made a new friend.... David.... and invited him over for the day. It was fun... we walked and talked and shared a little supper... really a fun day. I did the full five miles.... plus.

Jeff Stewart, the local oncologist called to ask how I was doing. He was surprised to hear that I didn’t have any joint aches... I told him that I soaked in a spa bath with Epsom salts to be on the safe side. He was also glad to hear that I was not wiped out Monday night.... on the contrary - I rented a movie and was up ‘till 2:00 am. In the spirit of my friend, Joe Hall, I told him that, “I’ll decide what side effects I’ll have!” and he laughed... he said I was a tough cookie.... but hey.... ya gotta be. *smile*

3 July 2000 :)

What amazing day.... It really began late, late last night. Shawn and Ian went to the corner store to get some candy and stuff. I didn’t go ‘cause I needed to take the prep (steroids) for the Chemo that was coming in the morning. OK.... so I took the pills which I was warned could make me hyper and climbed into a hot tub and turned on the jets to relax.... it worked. As I was getting out all dopey and ready for bed...... Ian and Shawn came running in yelling about calling the police. You heard right... seems that five guys stopped in the front and got out of the car (one bearing a razor... not a BIC) and told Shawn that he was, “A dead-man”. Ian got between them and ordered them off the property and told them he would call the Police, (which of course we did), he got the license plate too. I of course get my aluminum bat and head straight outside... I’m not really into baseball - but that’s not important now...... So there I am at midnight.... pacing back and forth with a bat waiting for the officer to come...... so much for resting up... huh? You gotta laugh.... you just gotta.

I got to go to the oncologist’s office in the morning..... with great care they gave the two powerful Chemos, (Taxol & Carboplatin)..... so strong that they had me closely monitored for the first hour..... To see if my heart would stop!.... yikes..... but it didn’t..... See, I made up my mind - I decided that this WILL work and I WILL survive (That’s WILL Power). Today I was promoted to Colonel in the War on Cancer!

I’m so lucky, on so many levels... to be alive when they have so much that they can use to save me.... the honor of knowing a great woman who bore me three sons... and her fiancée who is my every bit my brother as Ricky and Phil, (I tell folks I have three brothers - my Mom gave me two, and God gave me the third). And after 35 years of really knowing what it was like to have NO male friends, (other than my brother Ricky) and praying for a buddy - God brought me to Ian - who is the greatest buddy a guy can have. Now I even have more - like Sourabh and Robbie. I sure am a lucky guy... (ya know... I’ll bet the Paxal is kicking in.... ya-think?)

2 July 2000 :)

Ian and I did absolutely nothing today.... it felt great. Tomorrow is a big day so I’m resting up for it.

1 July 2000 :)

Went to my Mom’s today and got to talk with my Aunt Anne (Anne Levinson, a fantastic teacher of parapsychology whom I have known since I was a kid) She reviewed so much important stuff that I needed to be reminded of...... Stuff that we all know... but in the course of being born and living can tend to forget. We are co-creators.... and as a co-creator with God, (God being inside, of course) I will decide the outcome of the cancer. I will decide who shall exist.... the cancer.... or me..... no one is permitted to create our reality but ourselves.... unless WE GIVE our permission.

I have made up my mind that nothing (no-thing) is gonna mess up the plans that I have for Ian and me and the boys. What a sense of freedom!!!

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