30 June 2000 :/
Last night as I was tossing around I almost decided not to go into the hospital for the surgery. I just didn’t want to..... then something wonderful happened..... I told Ian that I didn’t want to and he just smiled and said, “Then don’t - not if you don’t feel like you want to.“ - and the minute he said that ALL THE PRESSURE WAS OFF and I relaxed.... and figured I would make the decision in the morning.
I was fine to go in the morning and the operation went off without a hitch. I was able to eat a hamburger.... (yea).... and before I went in I was able to talk frankly with the surgeon and stress that from here on out I want no bologna - just the facts..... and he heartily agreed.
Changes.... more changes....... the Chemo regime that the oncologists think would be the best for my situation is a combination Taxol and Carboplatin. They decided that the other chemo was already given to me and didn’t kill all the cancer so they want to use the bigger guns...... Ok....... they also said that they can practically guarantee me that by the middle of the second run (at the latest) I will lose my body hair....... completely..... eyelashes too..... huh.... that’ll be a new look.
29 June 2000 :/
Nothing much today... I felt really tired. Only walked three miles. Tomorrow we head to Albany and I get the operation again that helps me to swallow better.
Ian and I spent most of the day reviewing the pros and cons of buying the property on the lake I had spoke of.
Boy my Aunt Rusty really needs your prayers.... she feels real crappie.
28 June 2000 :/
I started the day by taking Trever to Kingston for some stuff that had to be done..... then I came back and drank some ‘Glow-in-the-Dark’ stuff for the Cat Scan that I took a little later.
I have no idea what I would do without the love of my family and friends...... For all the prayers, and the letters and e-mails..... and the amazing support.... I really am a lucky guy.
I recommitted myself to the war on cancer..... put my mind back to that ‘laser beam’ mindset..... gotta gotta.... hey ... it can be done.... It has been done.... therefore it can and will be done again.....BY ME!
27 June 2000 :(
A strange day. I went over to my doctors office and they had no record of my appointment... ok...... (this was foreshadowing) Later I went to Middletown to meet with the oncologist that can deliver the chemo. He said that this was “very serious” and that they would be aggressive. I was a bit surprised ‘cause I thought this was just a precaution..... Guess what - it’s not. He read the pathology report that was sent from St. Peters Hospital, which was written following the surgery...... seems there is extensive lymph node invasion.... hmm ... that sucks.
Dr. Moorse never mentioned anything about that.... he said that there was no living cancer cell in the tumor, just musin, and that I had a chance of becoming a cure! So now I have a mountain of calls to make in order to get the whole story... this is a bit frustrating. I start the chemo next week.
I’m not sure when my life became so surreal..... but is has.
26 June 2000 :)
Today was a really nice day. Got a lot done ..... work wise. It will be so good to get back in full swing. My brother Ricky called from Atlanta... seems he is planning to relocate up here really soon..... very cool.
I got a certified letter from, “Psycho-Mom”.... but I couldn’t play with her today ‘cause I had to work...... (drats).... so I turned it over to my lawyer.
25 June 2000 :/
Boy do I have a cold... stuffy nose and green stuff too... (blech) I sure hope that I am better by Friday or the operation is off.... and I really need to be able to eat real food soon... the Gerber stuff is getting to be a bore.
My Aunt Rusty really needs your prayers... she’s found her way back to the hospital and .... well.... prayers do magical things and that’s what she needs!
24 June 2000 :)
I went to look at some lake front property nearby. It has four point something acres and four buildings (that need work), but oh what a view.... water. (ahhhhhhhhh) That is what I want. This place needs a real overhaul, but we are considering it. I just fear that our timing is bad... it goes up for auction in two weeks and I still need to finish this chemo stuff.... we’ll see.
Wait ‘till you hear this..... I gotta a call from a policeman in Poughkeepsie - (at 11:45 pm no less) He was calling because he had a woman who was claiming that I was harassing her at work. I asked if it could be ‘Psycho-Mom’ and sure enough it was.... How’s that for nerve!!! This gal is definitely twisted! I spoke to the officer and told him everything.... I mean everything. He suggested that I get a court order for her daughter to stay away from my son.... (which I am already in the process of doing.) By the time I was done he thanked me for speaking with him and understood a whole lot more.... heh. Well... guess now we know where her daughter gets it from!
23 June 2000 :)
Today was interesting.... I received a return call from the Mom of one of Trever’s ‘friends’. What a trip! She has no clue as to the extent of her daughters exploits.... pot, booze, boys, etc.... (the kind of girl EVERYONE wanted to meet when I was in high school... hehe).... “She’s a good girl” she told me, in a rude and huffy tone..... yea.... OK... I told her that the mailing address of the state she was living in would be that of ‘Denial’ and then I wished her a ‘nice weekend’ and that’s when she cleared her throat and hung up....... While I agree that men come from Mars and most women from Venus.... I’m afraid that these two are the stuff that comes from Uranus..... “Hello, this is the front desk with your WAKE UP call.”
Later that day paid a call on the Chief of Police who is a really great guy...... he is a dear friend of a close friend. I feel much better after talking with him..... I like the way he thinks.
Oh... I might have an oncologist that I can work with up in the area.... My doctor in Tampa will call all the shots from there, (this way I can stay close to the boys)... I have an appointment on Wednesday and will know more then.
22 June 2000 :)
Woke up this morning with a sore throat and a stuffy nose... finally caught the bug that Shawn and Ian already had.... my turn.
Bestest news....At 2:09 am today in Florida something really cool happened.... Our friends Carolyn and Jim had their first baby....... a girl. They named her ’Riley’ and she really is a beauty. Ian and I hope to meet this little lady when we go to Tampa.
At 10:15 am the door chimes rang...... guess who..... yup..... Trever! No real excuse... hrmn... seems that his friend offered him a sip of a Big Gulp that, unbeknownst to Trever, contained some hard liquor. In about a minute he was, ‘too inebriated to come home’ ..... (Muhahahahahahaha)
Aint life grand......
21 June 2000 :/
Started back on the road to normality..... made calls for my business. That felt really good. Also painted the garage with a grounded Trever. He worked so well, without complaint that I rewarded him with by letting him out until 9:00 pm. What a fool I am.... really and truly - it’s now 12:30am and still no Trever. I just got back from the Police station..... he is so thick headed..... oh well... guess he got that from me.
20 June 2000 :)
Got off to a bit of a rough start..... Trever did not come home at 10:00 pm. Ian and I drove all over looking for him and at about 1:00 am I finally gave up and went to the Police station.... what else could I do. Then at about 2:30am Trever shows up, very apologetic.... said that he “fell asleep” and when he awoke, realized that he missed curfew and ran home.... He’s grounded for June....... which translate into - “So am I”.
My friend and associate, Al Marciano, drove all the way up here from New York to handle an 8:00 seminar for me. When you figure that it takes two hours to get here and the same back to the city, he spent all those hours on the road to help me out.... pretty cool... huh? I‘m gonna have him and Lorraine up for the weekend soon with God’s help.
By the way, if you should know of a person who has cancer and needs to fly to a cancer treatment center, there is a fantastic organization that will fly them, (and a friend), back and forth.... for free! They call themselves Angels of the Air....... yup.... I’d say the name fits.
19 June 2000 :/
Today is better..... still struggling.... but determined.
There is so much to be angry about..... but what a real drain..... not to mention what a colossal waste of time... heh. You gotta accept life as it comes and forgive when people try their best to ‘hit the mark’ and don’t.... just get over it.... at least it sounds good.
The appointment to meet with the oncologist has to be rescheduled ‘cause Angels of the Air have to coordinate it for me. But the next surgery is set for the 30th..... after which I’m heading straight for an Outback Steak House..... hehe
18 June 2000 - Fathers Day // Anniversary :(
Today sucks!.... (bleh)
There is a great group called Smash Mouth that really wrote what I feel in the song “Stoned”..... and no.... I’m not high, (do I sound high).
I am so depressed for some reason.... it comes over me in waves. I feel so obsolete and alone.. really alone. Ian is handling the stress by smoking cigarettes... I want to do what he does, but I can’t go there and I feel left out.... not a member of the group... so to speak. Well, at least I won’t gain a lotta weight while I’m depressed - ‘cause I can’t fucking swallow!!
At least I got the five miles in today!
.....could be a full moon.
17 June 2000 :)
I walked four miles today.... trying to get it up to five.
Mariann and Robbie came over to pre-celebrate Fathers Day.
Ian went to see everyone in his family ‘cause it’s Uncle Paddy’s birthday... Dinner at Pat’s is always amazing. I couldn’t go.... my stomach is really off and besides - I can’t eat real food.
16 June 2000 :\
I called the doctors office, since it’s getting harder to swallow and his nurse told me some interesting stuff. Seems that although some patients need to have a dilatation, (the procedure where they put a tube down your throat and enlarge the balloon at the end to stretch the opening to the stomach) only once... MOST should expect to have it ONCE A WEEK or EVERY MONTH ... for the first six months.... Now that’s what I call “hard to swallow”!!!!
I went with Robbie to take my ex-Mother-in-law for a cat scan. It went really good ‘cause she genuinely enjoyed seeing me! I guess I should tell you that in the almost 20 years that I was married to her daughter she was not that happy..... (yeah)... but due to Alzheimers she is fun to be around.
15 June 2000 :/
It was a struggle today to keep on things... to get the stuff done that I had wanted to and planned to do. There are days that just go that way. I’m just determined that things go back to normal, (so to speak).
We had our neighbor Mary come over for dinner... I have been having a hard time swallowing again so I got some porterhouse steaks that were thin - any thinner and they’d have come with envelopes..... still I almost choked... (sigh) It is to the point where I wont dine out... ‘cause I’m worried that I’ll make a scene.
I learned today about a property that has four houses on it and is on a lake... gotta go see it.... gotta have the water!
14 June 2000 :)
Ian had a very successful meeting with the Halston design group... he wants to handle their fashion shows and do their PR.... they loved him... no surprise here. They will have another meeting sometime next week.
I’m trying to get the airline stuff settled so that I can go to Tampa next week. We’ll have to see what happens.
Ya know... illnesses can really play hell with your relationships... so you have to look out for that. See..... while one is going through it as THE PERSON HAVING IT, the other one is going through a whole bunch of crap as THE PERSON TAKING CARE OF THE PERSON WHO HAS IT. Conversations to the person who’s ill is, “How are you”... Conversations to the care giver is, “How is ‘so-and-so’” see what I mean? After a while it can take it’s toll - so just be aware of that.
13 June 2000 :)
I got a lot done today... it felt good... almost normal.
I called the Angels Of The Air, a great group that will help to arrange air travel for those who are diagnosed with cancer to and from a cancer treatment center for no charge (for the patient and one guest). They set it up with companies who lend their company jets so it’s really a neat system. If you need more information email me anytime.
I took Trever to the place that the judge ordered for his testing... it went really well so far, although we have no idea about the results..... yet.
12 June 2000 :)
I sat on the porch and looked out into the harbor and watched the boats.... the view from the Harbor House is just amazing. I can’t wait to get back here over the summer.
The Moffitt called me. The doctor wants me to come to Tampa next Wednesday... I’ll be starting the Chemo again real soon. Sooner started - sooner done!
11 June 2000 :)
Today is Kristopher’s 25th birthday.... I have no idea how all that time got past me - it just did.
I’m really glad that we decided to go, Ian and I are really starting to relax.
We went to the beach again today... getting rocks and having fun. I just look at the ocean. I’m really glad the way that things are shaping up.... the boys are being really good.... and they seem to enjoy the fact that we are around.
10 June 2000 :)
The view.... I forgot just how magical it is here. I sat looking over the harbor and just watched the boats go in and out and all the stress that was with me.... left.
It is great to do stuff with just Ian..... and since the guys are at that, ‘God, is my Dad a dork’ stage, we can pretty much count on spending time out unfettered.... (hehe).
9 June 2000 :\
Strange day... Ian and I were having such a rough time.... each of us cranky - for what feels like good reason.... that I didn’t want to go. There was a concern about leaving the boys with Mom, (they are tough) and I wasn’t sure about spending the time alone with Ian. We did end up going.... around 7:00 pm, and decided to schlep the guys too - under strict guidelines.
We got to Hyannis at 12:30 am.
8 June 2000 :\
Today was the day that we had to take Trever to family court..... gee what fun. I was kinda worried.... it being a new experience and all but it was ok. The Judge was a kind woman who seemed to be fair. She asked our hero what had prompted him to take off. Trever said that I sure yelled at him a lot. The Judge asked if that was the extent of it and he replied, “Yeah- he doesn’t hit me, but every time I get into trouble he yells at me.” The Judge just smiled and wants us to return in sixty days..... She recommended that he lead a pristine life in the meanwhile.
I do believe that there will be a big change in the boy over the next two months.... so far - so good.
Ian and I are heading to Cape Cod tomorrow.
7 June 2000 :/
I am so glad that I was able to get to New Jersey and see my Aunt Rusty..... she looked sorta frail and ready to hold up a white flag..... it’s easy to get to that point. I gave her a stern kick in the butt and reminded her that she is a soldier in the war on cancer..... that eating food, (even though it tastes so bad when you‘re on Chemo) is like putting bullets in your rifle.... interesting metaphor.... hmmmmm.
I got a really cool CD.... my cousin Greg Wilkens has a band and they just released their his first CD... The group is ‘Last Perfect Thing’ .... No, he’s not conceited - the title refers to the idea that MUSIC is the last perfect thing......... Ian and I saw them when they performed at CBGB’s in New York....... CHECK IT OUT: visit their site. and you be the judge!
6 June 2000 :/
Ian had to go into New York City for an event that he was handling..... He said that it went really well.... in fact I just saw it featured on FOX 5 NEWS. I’m not surprised - Ian is good at PR.
Mariann and I had to go with Trever to meet his attorney for the court hearing on Thursday. I had told Trever that the appointment was at 4:00 and that he should be home by 3:30...... well, he got home at 4:05 and we had left for the appointment without him. The attorney seems nice.... I think. He is in his sixties, (in more ways than one).... with long gray hair in a ponytail and in his office there is a 9x12 tie-dyed wall hanging of a peace sign.... I couldn’t help but think, ‘yup- Trever’s gonna like this guy’.
Tomorrow I’m going to visit Aunt Rusty.
5 June 2000 :)
Well, Ian and I are gonna take off for Hyannis at the end of the week... . just for a short holiday.... boy do we need it..... whew!
I should be going to Florida soon to meet with the Doctor and start the last leg of the Chemo soon...... real soon. I’m OK with it... it’s just the way it screws up the taste of food and the way it make my body fluids toxic and all that I’m not looking forward to.... but the options really suck.
Bret’s site is doing really great.... and if you have not been there you should go visit Scrumb.
4 June 2000 :)
Kristopher and Melanie came up and stayed overnight..... it’s always so great to have them over. Once your children grow up you see them so infrequently. Kris will be 25 this month..... time really does fly.
I feel so much better today than yesterday.... lovin it.
3 June 2000 :/
It was today that I realized just how sick I am of feeling tired - and how tired I am of being sick - I have decided to simply ‘get over it’...... hrmn.
Today Ian and I puttered around.... he visited with his mom and I did the same with mine. While I was at her house my Aunt Anne said the most interesting thing... that “we are all in the state of becoming more than we are.” That makes sense to me so I thought I would share it with you.
2 June 2000 :/
I rested for most of today... I was really beat.
1 June 2000 :(
I didn’t sleep at all last night ‘cause of the pain medicine that I took reacted by stimulating me so that I was up all night.
While Ian and I are going through our own private turmoil...... trying to get our relationship on track..... my dog, Scruffy, made a horrible howling sound and I went to him right away and he was lying there on the driveway. I held him in my arms and Shawn called the vet - who headed straight over to the house. Then Scruffy started to cough.... and urinated..... and while I held him , telling him over and over how much I loved him..... he died.