Gino Pisano

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31 March February 2001 :)

Tired from yesterday, but went out on appointments anyway. Trever and Shawn are staying overnight at Travis’s house so Ian and I have the night to ourselves.

30 March February 2001 :)

Ya know, taking the train to the city is a fantastic ride... You can see why Barbra Streisand filmed ‘Hello Dolly’ along this very stretch of the Hudson.... on this very railroad track too.... it really is beautiful.

But Oh New York in the rain.... everything looking polished and brilliant. It was good to be back. I got to see John, Soo, Russ, Joey Hall, Marian, Helen, Lou, Greg... and other friends I haven’t seen in... well... forever. There was a lot to cover... Bell spent about three hours covering some of the things I need to know... there’s more ahead. It was exhausting though... *phew*... I tried to hide just how draining it was for me... I hate the lethargy.... I fight that the most right now. On the return trip I couldn’t sleep.... I couldn’t afford an ‘accident’, (that’s what happens when I push myself too far)... Let’s just say that my arrival home had the kind of synchronized precision that would make NASA sit up and take notice!

Please say a prayer for Alma... she’s having problems with her eyes.

Try as I might - there was absolutely no way this son was gonna rise to make the performance of ‘Fiddler On The Roof’.... damnit..... Ian’s never seen it! Oh well.... I’m finishing this entry and crawling to bed.... sunset!

29 March February 2001 :)

Got off to a slow start this morning... it was a struggle to get out of my own way... ya know what I mean? I finally stumbled into the office in my bathrobe (the one in the house) and asked Ian to, “kick my ass”... he turned to me and said in a monotone, “Get into the shower and get dressed you lazy bastard.”... heh... that was all I needed and I was on my way.

Aunt Pam came back from Florida today and Aunt Rusty is planning on heading down to visit Linda and Gary in Key West next Monday.

Had some great meetings with clients... still got tired but figured I’d P-U-S-H... gotta gotta. Tomorrow I’m planning to head into the New York office for the most of the day... come home and nap.... then see a local production of ‘Fiddler’... yeah ... ‘If I were a rich man...’

28 March February 2001 :)

Ended up that a policeman came and unlocked Trever’s car and we were able to go in through the back seat to get the keys after all.... sweet

Jim (the boys probation officer) came over today and we had a long talk about the boys.... they really are doing so much better... come such a long way - I can remember when I thought of him as my ‘bodyguard’... heh... As for me... I’m working on working... making the calls - setting appointments - trying to make it happen.... still getting so damn tired that I have to take naps like a baby.... annoying but temporary I’m told.

Tara and Marco are in New York and might stay a while before heading back to Holland... they might even come up and visit... that would be great fun.

27 March February 2001 :)

Today was a signal that life is gonna get ‘normal’ again.....

I started the day just thrilled that Ian and I are together... we had breakfast just the two of us. Then I headed off to go on an appointment... which went swell. It felt exhilarating to be in the saddle again... although after I was done I was wiped.

Later I brought the boys to their dental appointment... check up time. A few days ago I had cracked a tooth on a fireball.... nothing new for me... I just adore candy and still get the biggest charge that I can buy anything I want - whenever I want and eat it before dinner - after dinner - or even during dinner... hehe... one of the big perks for being a grown-up. So anyway I mentioned it to Peter, our dentist, and the next thing I know I’m in the chair.... $185.00... *Ouch*... ahhh the price for fun.

We weren’t home thirty minutes when I saw Shawn walk by with a hanger... I looked at him questioningly and he just shook his head, “You’re not gonna be happy.”... “Really? How come?” I asked... trying not to bite my tongue which was still numb.... That’s when he explained... Since we were going over to Mari and Rob’s house for dinner and to shoot off some of the fireworks that we bought down south he wanted to get things ready.... Shawn thought they were in Trever’s car and wanted to put them in my car to save time.... but when he looked into Trever’s trunk he didn’t see them so he came back inside the house to ask where they were. It was about here that he realized that he had shut the trunk - locking my keys and Trever’s keys inside.... Ok... need a locksmith - he’ll be here in the morning.... meanwhile in his haste to come ask me he left the garage door open and the wind just about took it off the four hinges that support it.. So when I went out to look at the trunk I found the door... which I had to fix immediately (I did), but while I was out there fixing the door Shawn left the kitchen door ajar and Kimo, (who’s in heat again) escaped. Now, I’m drilling the hinges and Shawn’s looking for the cat (he found her) and Ian comes over to tell me that the windshield on his little VW is cracked.... at this point I had to laugh... yup... this is life the way I remembered it!

The boys and I did go to Mari and Rob’s. We had dinner and then lit some of the most spectacular and beautiful fireworks I’ve ever seen... just amazing... you couldn’t help but feel like life was a celebration... and ya know... it is.

26 March February 2001 :)

I felt better today... but went to the doctors... they took blood and I’ll know tomorrow what the story is.

I spent a lot of time on the phone today trying to set up appointments for work... my stamina is not where I want it yet.... gotta keep working on it.

25 March February 2001 (Andrew R. Wilkins Day) :(

Well, the trip to New Jersey didn’t happen - I felt worse than yesterday. Tomorrow I gotta see the doctor. Having gone through what I did... I think it would be unfair to bring this bug to Stephanie’s house... Aunt Rusty doesn’t need it... and Drew knows I love him and that I’m proud of him.

I gotta share this.... I was talking with my friend Mary, a woman who just hates to inconvenience anyone... picture this.... seems she woke up early, as is her custom, and was making toast... from a loaf of Italian bread, to have with her coffee. Well, the toast burned on both sides and while she was scraping the black part off.... the damn smoke alarm went off and took forever to stop. While this wouldn’t normally pose a problem for most, you’d have to know that she’s in a brand new apartment complex. Suddenly, she heard the guy who lives upstairs running back and forth, back and forth - “He’s a big guy so when he runs it makes such a noise. I felt bad - he usually sleeps ‘til ten.”.... that’s when she saw the first Police car.... yup.... then another one.... but she said her heart sank when the fire trucks showed up... she was opening the sliding doors in the back to air out the apartment and deciding what to say about the misunderstanding ... That’s when she heard the alarms ringing from the other apartments in her building and realized they were all connected.... *sigh*.... At that point she left it up to God and sat down with her toast.... muhahahahah....

24 March February 2001 :(

I feel like hell today... wacked out, sore throat and CRANKY.... grrrr....

I talked to my cousin Chuck today... (I didn’t even know I had a cousin named Chuck)... guess I should explain that I come from a BIG family... anyway... his Mom emails me all the time and had mentioned him... turns out he’s this very cool artist that paints and sculpts action heros... neat huh? I can’t wait to meet him in person... ‘cause we have a lot in common too.

Tomorrow I am hoping to go to Stephanie’s... My cousin Drew is being made an Eagle Scout and Monmouth County has even declared the 25th of March as Andrew Wilkins Day..... wild stuff... problem is that I feel totally yuck... If I still feel this way I’m gonna stay here.

23 March February 2001 :)

Tracy’s Mom Patty needs some prayers too... she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now is the time to rally the troops... she will... we’ll help too - it’s sorta like a club.... heh.... the dues are a bitch.

I worked on the phone today setting up appointments. Looks like I’m coming down with something cold like.... Nyquil to the rescue.

There is a Breast Cancer Wall of Courage ... it’s inspirational and should be shared with anyone going through it... Aunt Toni-Ann will be on it soon.... I entered her today. You can also sign up to be a buddy which can make all the difference to someone.

22 March February 2001 :)

Trever was funny... when Ian woke him up this morning to catch his bus he told Ian, “This school thing is NOT worth it.”.... hmmm.... and it’s only day four.

I too woke up at 6:00AM, and with such with great intentions.... felt real WozZey... took those ‘great intentions’ right back to bed.... hehe.... At 11:00AM when I got out of bed I felt great and worked up until almost 11:00PM... not too shabby.... I’m working with my body from now on.

I had the chance to speak with a very dear fellow... his name is Joe he’s a writer and one of the newer soldiers enlisted in the war on cancer. He’s got all the right components... he’s a fighter who takes no flack.... He lives in Texas and he’s got that southern warmth about him but came to New York to meet with some doctors here... I told him all about The Moffitt... and Dr. Ruckdeschel. Please say prayers for Joe P. he needs them now.

21 March February 2001 :/

The twins have bronchitis too.... and for whatever reason I feel like I can’t get out of my own way.... I did grocery shopping and made chicken soup (ALA Jill Pisano) and felt wiped out... give me a break. Guess I’m just feeling punky today.

Ian’s Mom came over and she had made some chicken soup too... great minds really do think alike.

20 March February 2001 :)

The first day of Spring.... it sure zips by doesn’t it?

I went to Albany and met with a one of the residents, ‘Robert’. He told me that Dr. Moorse is out on leave and due back in about six weeks. After a long discussion about the hiatal hernia we decided that it would be best if he performed the procedure... so I agreed to wait until he returned.

Ian has bronchitis... that sucks... but at least he knows and will take care.

19 March February 2001 :/

Strange day really... didn’t end up going to New York... mostly a mix up. I had talked with John about going in as he suggested: “for even part of the day... like four to six.”... (I figured by that conversation that I was expected from 4:00 to 6:00... and adding in the two hours each way of schlepping back and forth I calculated that I could do it without needing a nap) ... unfortunately John had expected me in at 9:00AM and thought that I’d be staying for 4 to 6 hours... rather than the usual 12 on a Monday... oh well mix-ups happen.

Tomorrow I go see Dr. Moores and hopefully schedule to get the hiatal hernia corrected.... funny.... after all these years of avoiding crunches I picked now to over do it... hrnm.

18 March February 2001 :)

Today Ian and I have known each other for six years and eleven months.... seems like a snap to me. He’s such fun to be around.

Please say a prayer Donna.... Ian’s cousin in England... The doctors found a brain tumor. She’s only 19... Ian’s Mom says that she’s a real fighter... that’s always a damn good sign.

I went to see my Mom today. She was glad to see me and we talked about the trip and the great news and stuff... Later she came over with Aunt Pam and had some coffee. The timing was good ‘cause Aunt Toni-Ann, Kristen and Ali were there too... they brought little Nuah, (the Muslim spelling of Noah) to me for a visit... what a beautiful baby! His little face is perfect and he hardly cries at all, I got to hold him a lot... I’m gonna enjoy watching him grow... hope I get to be one of his favorites.

Tomorrow I am going back to the city and Trever is going back to school... the excitement builds.

17 March February 2001 :)

Hmmmmm..... just a snowy, putter around the house sorta day... I only walked a mile.

Aunt Pam came over and cut my hair... lookin’ good... she’s just amazing. We had a great visit too. She told me that Uncle Bruce was given a clean bill of health... isn’t that great.... an answer to a prayer.

Monday I plan on going into New York... see my friends... get back into the work pool.... it’ll be exciting - especially with the market offering so many bargains like it is now... what a wonderful opportunity. I get the biggest grin when I hear folks freak out when the stock market goes ‘down’ (in price) .... ‘cause they’re usually the same ones who bitch when gas prices go up twenty cents a gallon.... but that’s what I’m going back to... can’t wait either.

The boys have Travis and Mike staying over tonight... they rented a bunch of movies and games. They’re doing so much better than they were... the trip made a big difference... not just being away.... not just being somewhere else... but getting there... the drive was key... the four of us stuffed into a Pathfinder, (hmmmm.... ‘Path Finder’) really brought us face to face with each other... it made us communicate... we would discuss, debate, play games, sing, listen to music and talk radio... and even laugh together too... yup... I’m not sure if the car trip imitates Life... or if Life imitates a car trip... they’re both more about the trip than the destination and over before you know it.

16 March February 2001 :)

We left Virginia early and drove until we reached New Jersey.... we paid a visit on Aunt Rusty and Stephanie.

It was good to see her... Stephanie had a lot going on ... my cousin Drew is being made an Eagle Scout and Monmouth County has made March 25th - Andrew R. Wilkins Day... pretty cool huh? His brother Greg and his band : Last Perfect Thing have got gigs scheduled through out the month and into April... there’s a lot going on at their house.

Stephanie also told me that the commercial I did for Joint-Ritis is getting a lot of play on WABC... heh... good.... the stuff is just plain amazing.

We got home today.... TADA..... it was so great to be back. Ian’s Mom, who had been here to oversee things in our absence, had a delicious dinner ready.... and Buddy was so excited to see us I was afraid he might hurt himself.... Kimo, however was not amused. It took me quite a while to win her over.

Ohmigod - it’s snowing...... ahhhh.... life is good.

15 March February 2001 :/

Mixed emotions today... sad to leave Jill and Ricky... Frankie, Olivia and Mary Grace... but excited to get home too.

We all got together for breakfast... these two are the greatest hosts I’ve ever seen... it is just amazing to me how every thing that they could possibly think of to make the visit more pleasurable - was done. Jill and the girls made another ‘Care Package’ that had everything in it that you can imagine... and then some.

Drove in the rain until we reached Virginia.

14 March February 2001 :)

Funny how things happen for a reason. We had originally planned to head out this morning…. And we would have driven the car that Ricky and Jill had given to Shawn too – Ian in one car me in the other. But we did stay over another day… thank God ‘cause the car had a hidden problem (overheating and refusing to restart – only after you come to a stop)…. I’m so glad we discovered it now ‘cause otherwise I would have found it out somewhere between Georgia and South Carolina… heh… It is one of my core beliefs that if you’re a guy who gets Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar delivered to your home – then you should avoid being broken down in the deep south…. hrmn.

Jilly made another amazing meal… Ricky grilled…. It was so much fun…. We head out tomorrow morning…. But part of me will stay right here…. (and that’s without benefit of surgery).

13 March February 2001 :)

What a fun day! Got up and headed over to Jill and Ricky’s house… they had the coffee on….. the boys were already up – they had stayed overnight with their cousins again…. Yup… a guy could get used to this…. In fact they are having so much of a good time that they asked us to please extend our trip…. So we’re staying another day.

Ricky and Jill are giving us their Corsica… It’s for Shawn… his first car. Ricky and Shawn were working on it today… changing the oil and doing stuff to it…. Guy stuff… it was very warming to watch the two of them getting all dirty and greasy… just doing things together… very cool.

Spring clean-up is in the air… and Ricky and Jill had a thirty cubic yard construction dumpster delivered…. Wow…. The driver who delivered it was a big guy… he got out of the truck and looked up at their roof and said, “Rippin’ off the old roof huh?”… “No…Spring cleaning”, I replied…. He looked pained while he shook his head sympathetically and muttered, “Serious stuff.”

12 March February 2001 :)

In the morning I was feeling good… Ian was sick so I let him rest and went off to the house. Ricky was there and showed me some of the stuff he’s doing… what a brain…. Phew…. Then Jilly came home and she took the boys off to meet their cousins for lunch… at their school… cool huh? She went today ‘cause the boys were in town normally she goes to have lunch with her girls every Friday… Isn’t that the most wonderful thing? Whatta Mom…. That’s just who she is… together she and Rick shower those kids with love… that’s probably why they are such happy and well adjusted.

When I went back to the hotel Ian was just waking up…. I wondered how he was feeling… still punky… he asked how I was feeling… come to find out that he made a small mistake when he put out the medicine bottles last night… instead of taking a Paxil and a Previcid… I took a Paxil and one of his Prozac…. That should make me Mary Freakin Poppins… there was some concern that I might break out into song.

Jilly, my Jilly made dinner tonight… What an amazing cook… unreal…. She made homemade chicken soup – the likes of which I will now have to make when I get home just to see if I can duplicate it. She also made a stew – using pork and red wine, which was not to be believed… I told her to submit it to Emeril ‘cause it was that good.

11 March February 2001 :)

We planned to leave early today… but we got off to a late start. That messed up our plans to see Caroline ‘cause she was two hours away and we had to be in Atlanta by six…. And we were right on time too.

Dinner with Jilly and Ricky…. sigh… just being by them reminds me that I wish we lived closer. The girls adore them and they love the girls too… seeing them together made me homesick for Kristopher…. He just grew so fast… heh…. Me too. I look in the mirror and I see an old man sometimes… don’t know when it happened really… I think I was out’ta town at the time.

This was the first tome that I was at their home… What a place… FUN with a capital F… hamsters, cat and a dog too… TV, toys, cookies, just made for Kids and Ricky and Jill have more patience than any drug-free person I know. The boys asked to stay over at their Aunt Jill’s… so after a polite hesitation I agreed. I figured they would call me if the boys got out of hand and I’d pop over and get them…. but the call never came.

10 March February 2001 :)

Shawn’s finger looks fine and he’s A-OK. Took the guys back to Tarpon Springs..... Then we went to Clearwater so that they could see the image of Mother Mary on the glass... just so that they could see what I saw last year. Since we’re leaving in the morning there is some preparation that has to happen today... ya know.... packing... cleaning... then off to the beach.

My Aunt Rusty is very sad ‘cause her niece Beverly died.... but it may just make her more committed to live.... she sounds determined and that’s a big part of the puzzle. She’s even gonna send her stuff to Dr. Ruckdeschel to have him review it... keep her in your prayers.

I walked eight miles today... felt damn good. I picked my very first orange right off a tree.... wild.

We plan to hit the road first thing in the morning so I’m not sure how I’m gonna update the site, but we’ll see..... I’m getting really excited about seeing Ricky and Jill.... and going home.... going back to work... bopping’ around New York..... WoW... Life is so fucking fun..... It’s amazing how cool things look when you have something to look forward to.... Zig Ziglar really say’s it best, “When there’s hope for the future - there’s power in the present.”

9 March February 2001 :)

I had hoped to see my cousins Linda and Gary, but you know how plans go sometimes... Gary is in New Jersey... he wasn’t up to flying... Linda went to Key West and there’s not going to be any time this trip... maybe in May when we come back.

I heard my cousin Nuah over the phone... he was crying ... what a beautiful voice he’s got.

A quite day... rainy and almost without incident... that is until Shawn tried to cut some dried Italian sausage... yup... cut the tip of his finger... real deep too... blood was squirted all over - just like in the movies. They called me in and when I took his finger and opened the cut poor Shawn... he took a real hard look and then faded to black... fell back in slow motion and smacked his head on the counter. We revived him... looking back it was sorta funny.... HE’S FINE... we called Mariann and she told us just what to do... his head is ok, no nausea, no headache, (we’re keeping an eye on him through the night just to be safe). His finger is all butterflied up and protected too.

8 March February 2001 :)

Today was just perfect..... We woke early and the boys had coffee ready... we got ready fast and headed to The Magic Kingdom at Disney World.... my very favorite place ever since I was a small child... it holds a special meaning for me. I’ve come here more times than I can remember.... I even asked that my ashes be spread around the castle when the time comes..... and last year I quietly asked that the Magic help me get better too.... Hey... every little helps ya know.... today I was there again... better!

It was Ian that reminded me...”It could have been just me and Shawn here this time.” he said.... and he was so right... It made me appreciate all of this so much more. It was so cool going all over with Ian and the guys. First thing I did was to make reservations to have supper at the castle, then we went all over and had some good old fashioned fun. Later when it was time for dinner I asked for a table next to the window and after a long wait we were brought to a table with an enchanting view of Fantasyland... it was perfect.... and since it was around 6:30 when we got to it we were able to watch the sun go down and the lights come up and then came the fireworks.

They were right out our window..... I’ve never seen them from inside the castle before - it was just a magnificent way to celebrate the fact that we were all together.

7 March February 2001 :)

Just had a relaxing day.... did nothing at all - and loved it too.

Uncle Bruce came out of the hospital today.... then he and his son. ‘not-so-little’ Bruce went out to a Yankee game.... amazing huh?

The boys are excited ‘cause we’re gonna go back to Disney tomorrow... this time to the Magic Kingdom... my favorite park in the whole world.

6 March February 2001 :)

Ian and I took the boys to Epcot... we had a fun time. While it’s all beautiful my favorites for their ambiance are Morocco, China, England and Japan... for food it’s Norway, Japan and France (for deserts)... if it’s a sweltering day - nothing beats Mexico - it’s cooler in there. We ate a lot.. too much really... I got a stomach ache.... but when it comes to pains in that area the award goes to my cousin Kristen, (Kissy) back in New York ‘cause today she went into labor and, during a blizzard, gave birth to a long awaited little boy.... they named him Nuah.... he weighs seven pounds, fifteen ounces and is twenty inches long... *Ouch*... Aunt Toni-Ann is now a certified grandmother - and lovin’ it. I can’t wait to get back and meet the little guy.

5 March February 2001 :)

What a day! I went to The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center for a meeting with Dr. Ruckdeschel, (Jack)... what a great guy.... The Moffitt is a spectacular piece of architecture that is vertical in appearance made of a pinkie beige stone with green glass windows.... it struck me as the Emerald City... and he was the Great and Powerful Wizard.... funny.... now I know he is.

I told him of all that I’d learned about myself and of inner strengths and... “Life” he said... yeah... Life. He went on to say that when people ask him if he gets depressed working in the field he tells them not at all.... he understands that lives will be changed when he’s looking at a positive biopsy report, but he also knows that there is an adventure awaiting them that will offer as much or more than it takes.... I asked him what I could do to give something back and he said, “You can help spread the message that cancer is something you can survive.”... (Don’t have to ask me twice)..... We discussed the idea of the book I’m working on.... he liked it and offered his help. I thanked him for all the trials he endured through med. school and for toughing it out when he was tempted to quit.... after all.... that kid who struggled through, what then must have seemed like a Herculean task.... I owe my life to.

While I was there I saw Uncle Bruce.... amazing.... all his tubes where removed and he’ll be out in a couple of days... he’s gonna be so fine.... Thank God.

Aunt Rust needs more prayers... the report that she got was that there is some malignant cells in some lymph nodes... she’s scared.... please send her prayers for strength.

On a lighter note I wanna share something that happened today..... We all went over to visit Aunt Joann and our cousins, Gretchen and Theresa, (and her daughter Riley).... It was so cool to hang around with them. My cousin Bruce has a wonderful home that is well appointed and comfortable too. At one point there was a faint beeping that came from the direction of the intercom.... We all heard it.... Trever went to see what it was about... but it stopped.... a moment later it was back, Ian heard it coming from over there and he pointed - sure enough it was from that direction... “It’s the phone” Aunt Joann said then tried to find it... we all checked our cells... “Now it’s over there.”, Ian noticed pointing to the kitchen .... sure enough - it was over there and all seven of us went in... listening to each appliance trying to locate the goddamn source of it.... Ian heard it again coming from yet another direction - Thank god Gretchen was next to him, “Ian, are you wearing a watch?”, she asked .... ughh... it was the damn alarm on the Verdura watch he was wearing.... we all just busted out laughing... on that note we decided it was also time to say good night.... we laughed all the way home.

4 March February 2001 :)

Woke to the sounds of a tropical storm... it was great! the rain was pounding and the thunder was majestic... great to sleep in to.

I was speaking with Jilly today and she recommended a book called, “Four Agreements”.... Since Trever and Shawn had been asking to go to a mall all morning, I figured I’d get the book then. We took them to a beautiful mall.... we were there less than fifteen minutes when they wanted to return to the house - they were bored.... HA... I just thought it was humorous.

I’m told that at home they are bracing for the biggest, (prettiest) snowstorm in fifty years..... seems strange to hear all that as you watch palm trees sway slowly back and forth. Maybe there’ll be more when we go home.

3 March February 2001 :)

It was nothing less than a beautiful day.... I suspect there’ll be a lot of those. I couldn’t help but reflect back on the trials, the terror and the triumphs of the last fourteen months... I was savoring the feelings of how good I feel now and I was ‘visited’ by the me of a year ago.... I knew that I could remember the big parts but I had to let go of the rest... and I had a long talk with myself and came to understand that the me of a year ago had to be let go... but that he wouldn’t be abandoned - ‘cause Ian, Mom and Aunt Toni-Ann of a year ago were there too... I know it sounds strange, (I struggled with writing it, but I thought I would just put it out there as usual ‘cause it’s real)..... it’s like I was able to make a peace of some kind with myself.

Ian and the boys and I went to Tarpon Springs... we had a ball! Of course we had to go to Paul’s and eat shrimp... it’s a Tarpons Springs must after all.... these were great memories.

Onward... Onward... Onward...

2 March February 2001 YEA! :)

IT’S OFFICIAL - I’m gonna be fine!.... YES-YES-YES.... I met with Larry and Valerie at The Moffitt this morning.... the Catscans are clean, the blood work is fine, the biopsy’s are negative.... while he can’t promise no reoccurrence in the future.... at this point I have no cancer. (It looks so pretty in print - don’t ya think.)... The only thing he saw was a hernia, right below my ribcage, which is nothing after all this... I called Derroch and scheduled a meeting as soon as I get back to New York with surgery to follow...... WHO CARES..... ‘no cancer’... Thank you for your prayers .... you made a difference in my whole life.

There are so many angels that I truly owe my life to.... I thank God for allowing me to know so many... starting with my Ian.... he stuck by me through all of it brother... oh he may have been a weebull who wobbled... but he never fell down. On the Emotional end I have Mariann and Mom and so many loving people that are my family... I have a broader circle of friends that wrap around this little green ball.... like Bernadette and Ricky.... on the Medical end there are a battery of gifted doctors like Jack Ruckdeschel and the amazing team he has at the Moffitt in Tampa.... folks like Larry Kvols and Valerie, Gloria and Andy Trotti, Rich Karl and Mary Alice and there’s all the other doctors who were also part of the team.... Steve Jacobs, Paul Burrows, Steven Heier, Derroch Moores and Jeff Stewart... each of them stars in their own right who worked (and were worked) to extremes to give the best that they could... On the Spiritual end I have a deep love of God and the seemingly endless stream of prayers that were and still are being said even at the time of this writing.... And a special thank you to Santa Clause, who I love to pieces, and who has always answered every letter I’ve ever written to him - each and every year since I learned how to write.

Ian and I got to see Ellen and Timmy.... They live here in Florida now. We all went out to dinner to celebrate the news.... we had such fun.... Timmy brought us to a place called Cody’s where you could draw on the table top... (which we did) AND where you were encouraged to throw the peanut shells on the floor... how cool - I told the boys that they could play with their food and I planned to wet myself to complete the total picture.... how perfectly regressive... the kinda place you dreamed of as a kid.

By the way... I saw Uncle Bruce today and he looked good ... he talked a blue streak... (which was very reassuring). Please say a special prayer for him and Aunt Rusty , Mom and our friend Ellen to, they all need some right now.

1 March February 2001 :)

Good news... Bret has started writing again.... his journal is just the beginning for that guy.... once he starts to realize his talent he’s gonna be a professional writer one day.

I headed over to the Moffitt Center to see how Uncle Bruce was after surgery. I couldn’t find Aunt Joann since we hadn’t made a formal plan to get together. I went to the Surgery waiting area - to the lobby - to the dining room - then out and around the side of the hospital looking... I didn’t find her and thought that perhaps I was ‘here’ when she was ‘there’ and re-did the circuit.... this running around went on for long enough that I forgot why I was doing it ..... that’s when I found her.

Uncle Bruce was in ‘Special Care’... they had removed half of his right lung... and were keeping him under observation.... Aunt Joann said he may be there for four days.... that’s amazing. She also assured me that he’s quit smoking..... smart move.

While I was at the hospital Ian stayed at the house with the boys. They saw another gator...this time it was a baby gator. Trever thought he could entice it closer by throwing a rock in it’s direction and preceded to toss some up in the air. Well, of course one of the stones came down and hit the baby-gator right between the eyes... Clunk... it swam backwards real fast and that’s when Our Hero surmised that since it was a baby gator... there could be a Daddy gator who might not appreciate him as much as the rest of us do..... (cough).... boys will be boys.... (or lunch for a really pissed off swamp beast that’s long on teeth and short on patience).

What’s really cool is that Trever has made a friend of a ‘sticky frog’ and has a routine of catching him and petting him... then tossing him onto a window and watching his stick to it. For whatever reason he’s named him Albert. It’s wonderful to see what real pleasure he still gets from running after geckos and frogs..... (unless it’s ‘cause he wants to lick the damn things).... *sigh*.

Tomorrow I will sit with Dr. Larry Kvols to see what he thinks my prognosis is.... I know I’ll be fine... While I may not be a doctor - I feel strongly that all those years of playing one as kid should not go to waste.... hehe.

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