I started this site on the 14th of December 1999 when I was told I had cancer.... and yeah... the word can still make me nauseous... (blech).... but I’m working on living .... these are my ramblings... if they sound confused remember I’m on some heavy meds....
You’re welcome to follow my adventures with the most current entry... below...
Or.. Start from the very beginning (day one) by clicking here: December 1999
FIRST AND FOREMOST:
And to Ira for being so patient in helping me make this site become a real thing and putting up with my complete lack of cybersmarts.
31 January 2001 :)
Eyoko and Ian worked all day long together.... Shawn stayed home form school with a fever..... Trever’s tutor came by on time.... Jim McGrath came by for a visit. All and all a quite and uneventful day - what luck!
30 January 2001 :)
Aunt Rusty gained TWO and A HALF pounds.... How cool is that!.... (Happy Dance).... and.... providing she can continue to gain weight - no feeding tube! Thankx for all those prayers!
Kris stopped by after he went to Albany.... so great to see that guy.
Our friend Eyoko arrived in New Paltz today. She’s gonna be working with Ian. Eyoko is a sweetheart of a girl who is always ‘up’ and up lifting - she’s just fun to be around.... She’s a designer who works and lives in New York and I think her leather accessories are sharp! Check it out... she goes by the name of Kaia.
29 January 2001 :)
Operation Food Fight... The Finale
Aunt Rusty has a doctors appointment tomorrow so I brought her back to New Jersey today. I think she was kinda happy to be home...(thought I saw her kissing the carpet - but she swore she was just lookin’ for a contact).... hmmmm.... anyway, I’m gonna miss her here and I bet that she will too.
Well Aunt Rusty’s at home in New Jersey - Our friend Mary went into the hospital today for a few days of observation - and Mom is still banged up from that fall she had, (though she’s looking much better)... *sigh*...... looks like we’re back to pizza.
28 January 2001 :)
Operation Food Fight... Day Five.... (The break through)
Aunt Rusty started the morning with an Ensure all on her own.... TADA!.... then she had some bacon and another Ensure... (5 by the end of the day) .... now that’s a job well done.
Aunt Toni Ann called to say that she wanted to come and get her and bring her there... I was not sold on the idea at first... but she and Aunt Pam assured me that they’d help her along too.... and brother did they - over there she ate some grilled cheese, pickles, pork chop, potatoes, artichoke and crackers.... GREAT!.... I bet if she keeps this up (and the food down) she won’t need that feeding tube at all!
Later Mary and Ronnie came over and we played cards and had some fun..... Mary has to go into the hospital tomorrow. Please include her in your prayers too.
27 January 2001 :)
Operation Food Fight... Day Four.
Great start today... she nailed five cans of Ensure AND she had some real dinner.... not bad. When Aunt Marian came over she was perky... her nails were painted and she got dressed in street clothes instead of the PJs.... Then she and I walked Treasure... we even went for a drive to see Mom.... I’m really glad to see her start to get busy. All and all it was a really good day.
Later Ian and I went out for a short while.... just ‘cause we could.
26 January 2001 :\
Operation Food Fight... Day Three.
Another hard start.... it’s the Irish comin’ to the top.... we were both a bit queasy today... hope it’s not a stomach bug ‘cause that would suck..... (she downed no less than five ensures at 580 calories each).... not shabby at all.
My Mom came by to visit which was fun.... and so great that she was up and out of her house.... I was especially happy about that - until afterward (keep reading). Aunt Marion came over too, (Aunt Rusty’s sister) and brought over all kinds of great stuff and cooked up a feast. Stuffed herb roasted chicken and fresh baked bread, potatoes, both boiled and baked, and carrots (that were amazing) not to mention a huge pot of chicken soup.... hmmm... (note to self - invite Aunt Marion over more often)
When Mom got back to her house she had all her dogs.... and their mess.... to contend with. In the process, standing on the carpet inside her back doorway - she slipped outside onto a frozen icy cement landing - breaking the fall with her face.... *SPLAT*.... She crawled back into the house and called Aunt Pam who rushed over to take her to the ER.
When I met her back at her house later she looked like she had been in a bar fight.... a big lump on the left side of her forehead, one eye almost closed from the swelling with a rainbow of colour all over it... accented by a neck brace.... She was in good spirits and laughing... she said it didn’t hurt that much.... but tomorrow’s gonna be fun.
Please say prayers for her... and for Aunt Rusty too.
25 January 2001 :/
My Mom called to tell me that my Aunt Marie, (my Dads sister who just went through the whole cancer thing last year) was diagnosed with more...... geewiz.... it’s almost like we’re lightning rods for carcinoma..... Please say a prayer for her she needs them now.
Operation Food Fight... Day Two.
We started off a little grumpy, (Aunt Rusty has always hated being woken up) but that’s fine.... breakfast didn’t get there until almost eleven, (that’s more like brunch) and she was really fussing about eating today.... “went to bed late”... “tired”.... “not hungry”.... (the usual).... just when I was gonna ask her if she wanted some cheese to go with her whine.... she threw up - *Blwaaaap*.... I felt bad... the breakfast battle was lost... but not the war.
We rallied the troops to discuss the situation and decided to proceed - but rely more on the Ensure and less on the bacon.... guess the grease is a bad thing if you’re feeling WoOZy.... (Ok, Ok - I know now).
The rest of the day was better and we played cards a lot.... but I’m missing a spoon..... I hope she’s not trying to tunnel her way out while I’m asleep.... hehe
24 January 2001 :)
Operation Food Fight... or (When your jaw is moving it should be to chew food... or ask for more.)...... Day One.
A good start..... Today I got her to eat: 4 cans of ensure mixed with Yoo-hoo syrup: 12 strips of bacon, 2 cookies, 4 crackers, one cup of oatmeal, one Sabrett hot-dog, a small salad (baby spinach leaves, blue cheese dressing and pine nuts), and a smidgen of Chinese food for dinner - Tomorrow we’re gonna get serious.
Since nausea was a complaint I called her doctors office and gave her 1 mg of Kytrol - that helped a lot
23 January 2001 :)
I woke up and felt like I was coming down with a cold or something - went straight to bed..... later I did the chicken soup thing.
My Aunt Rusty weighs eighty eight pounds... she was always thin but this is getting silly. If she doesn’t start to take eating a bit more seriously and stop being so stubborn - the feeding tube is a sure bet. Ian and I insisted that she come stay with us for a week..... hoping that I can motivate her to get with the program.... and I will!
I went shopping and got everything that I could find that was fattening..... Mom, Aunt Pam and Aunt Toni-Ann went to New Jersey to see her and brought them back here.... so now Aunt Rusty and Treasure are here.... and operation ‘Food Fight’ begins.
22 January 2001 :)
Let’s see.... I brought Mary to her doctor’s office... while I was reading an article and waiting for her this man of about fifty just started to talk to me about his jacket - it advertised his brothers business.... at first it felt strange, kinda weird... then I realised that he was only about ten years old mentally... he was really sort of adorable the way he was talking about his big brother and his Mom... we talked until Mary was done.
Then I went for a short visit to see my Mom.... Aunt Toni-Ann and Aunt Pam were there too... it’s so much fun to be around the three of them - it’s hard to find the right words... just chicken soup and chocolate... that’s what it sorta feels like..... warm and fuzzy.
They’re planning to go see Aunt Rust tomorrow... she was operated on today so that they could take a biopsy. The doctor didn’t see anything overt... but there’s buzz about a feeding tube, and well... I know she’d like to avoid that. Please say an extra prayer for her.
Justin came over for dinner tonight... he’s Scottish and really nice. We had sushi and Miso. Ian decided to go get a movie.... he came back with some foreign, subtitled, thing that went on and on - ‘till I wanted to rip my eye out of its socket... Ughhhh... (I’m hiding his Blockbuster card).
21 January 2001 :)
Nice day really... woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow.... so beautiful.... the whole world just looks totally magical and wondrous..... I missed all this last year... so glad that I didn’t miss it again this time.
Ian and I were invited over to our friend Mary’s to play cards. What a fun time we had with her and Ronnie..... telling jokes and laughing... it was lots of fun. Later we watched ‘Queer As Folk’.... great show.
20 January 2001 :)
Another snowy day... Ian, Shawn and I went outside to make a snowman but the snow wouldn’t mold for us so we ended up making a snow polyp.... hehe... later Ian went over to Pat’s house for a party... wished I had gone but I stayed home to mind the boys who had a friend stay over. The boys ended up going out to the movies and I sat in front of the television channel surfing.
Well... there’s a new President in the land... hmmm.... I listened to his inaugural speech.... *yawn*.... didn’t hear too much... I was distracted.... prepared to cringe if I heard anything about the thousand points on my license (whatever it was) .... or any reference to the ‘New World Order’.... that shit always made me feel like I should be at Barney’s stocking up on brown shirts.
I think that what the sandwich clerk at the local Subways has to say is more interesting.... I went in tonight for a sub, (why cook for one).... in the course of the sandwich construction process he asked, “Do you want a foot long? Or a six incher that’s thick?”..... *gulp*.... words to live by.
19 January 2001 :)
I asked a select group of friends for some thoughts on how I could better the site.... make it more helpful to other people who are fighting cancer... or their loved ones..... WOW... I was deluged with some amaizng ideas... it’ll take some time to get through some of the stuff - but it’ll be worth it.
It was snowing today... the heavy wet kind...... wonderful.
18 January 2001 :)
We’re together six years and nine months today.... pretty neat. When Ian returned from the city we had a candlelit dinner.
I struggled with computer work and lethargy... ugh..... didn’t take my walks... thought it would save my energy but maybe it’s just the opposite.
Trever has a part time job cleaning for a neighbor. She has a Great Dane named ‘Brooke’ who drools - a lot! Seems he has a habit of shaking his head wildly during the process.... it’s Our Hero’s primary task to stem the tide.... and soak the dried, crusty stuff off the walls..... *blech*..... When I think of how long I’ve been trying to get Trever to stop his nasty spitting habit..... well..... it’s just further proof to me that there IS a God..... and he does ‘stand-up’.
17 January 2001 :)
A woman from the High School called ‘cause Shawn didn’t go in today. I explained his absence twice. She didn’t seem to understand and spoke slow, in a flat monotone.... all the charm of an anal wart.... finally I just said, “Grandmother - dead - funeral... tell ya what - I’ll send a note.”.... oh brother.... Kris and Melanie stayed over with us.... They told me later that the twins behaved impeccably - introducing themselves politely and going over to people who were sitting alone and conversing with them..... Wow - coulda knocked me over with a feather! (Gee... maybe we did something right). Later Ian and I went out to dinner with Jeff and Henry... a couple that we had wanted to get to know on a social level.... they’re both teachers, (God bless’em)... We both had a good time... they seem like fun.
Oh, I got a neat postcard from Bret in Calgary... it’s good to hear from him.
16 January 2001 :)
I hadn’t seen Lucy since my days at Vassar... she came over for a short visit.... it was really nice to spend some time with her.
The results of my catscans are negative.... Mariann thought it best if I didn’t over tax myself by going to my ex-mother in laws wake.... the twins are staying overnight at their Mom’s so Ian and I will have a night to ourselves..... it doesn’t get better than this.
15 January 2001 :)
Ian went to New York.... The boys had their friend, Travis stay over. I worked on the computer all day.... hmmm.... a quite day.... don’t see many of those.
14 January 2001 :/
Mariann called me way early this morning.... her Mom passed away...... the woman who runs the old age home had called her and said that she thought it was peaceful and in her sleep. Ian and I were concerned how the boys would handle the news.... Kris was OK... Trever and Shawn were too.... could just be shock... I’ll be watching them anyway.
Ian decided to go to the mall and buy all of the Charlie’s Angels Dolls..... (the two incidents are not related)... It’s an ‘Ian thing’.
13 January 2001 :)
Spent the day assisting Ian on the b. michael fashion show... I like doing stuff with him. I ran out of steam a couple of times and had to lay down. Friends and family who have been through this tell me that the lethargy is like that last thing to go away... OK - but it’s real annoying.
Trever and Shawn are staying over at their friend Mike’s house.... peace returns to the valley.
12 January 2001 :)
There was some great news today... My Mom called to tell me that she didn’t have emphysema! I didn’t recall her telling me that she was concerned in the first place.... But all’s well that ends well.
Working on the Links page.... lots to research.
11 January 2001 :)
What a really Great Day! For the first time in almost a year I didn’t need a nap! Not whacked out on caffeine... just didn’t have to lay down at 3:00.... Wow.... *doin’ the happy dance*.... Oh and I’ll have you know you’re reading the journal of a guy with eye lashes.... short, little, stubby hairs... but hairs.... yesssss!
Ian left early for meetings all day in New York so I headed off all by myself and had three catscans done.... The technician, (Ray... that’s his name - no fooling) is fantastic.... warm, friendly and reassuring - he made it seem easy.
I spoke with Andy, a friend of mine at CNN... he went through all this stuff seven years ago and he’s fine, fine, fine... thank God. He’s gonna come up and hang out for a weekend... that’ll be cool.
Later... Aunt Pam and Aunt Toni-Ann came over with my cousin C.J. and we had coffee and nibbley things... that was so fun.
Best news of the day - my Aunt Rusty had a biopsy come back ..... Negative... (and the crowd goes wild).
10 January 2001 :)
I went to Never Alone again today.... It is helpful to the parents that are new to the ‘World of Addiction’ to hear from a parent that has been where they and brings a message of hope. It’s really cathartic for me too, I’m not sure just why, but it is. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep going, but I do get a lot in return. Trever wanted to go, but it hasn’t been the full ninety days after his stay.
By the way.... I want to add more and more to the ‘Links’ page so please send me links that I can research. They can be on anything you think might be helpful.... cancer research.... services... protection.... humor.... whatever.
9 January 2001 :)
Well I scheduled three catscans for Thursday and set up to have the esophageal dilation done next week.
Big week for Mariann too.... after about two years she was given an annulment so that she can get married again in the Catholic church..... Wow.... the whole idea that the church can just decide that it should not have happened and therefore it didn’t happen - just goes against the reality that it did.... heh.... So, what happens to the omnipotent one when the church finally grants one.... God’s suddenly like, “Where’s that marriage... c’mon, I JUST had it - in my hand..... Let’s see.... I created the universe... I walked in here.... Ah - to hell with it!”.... yeah, well.... ya gotta love a religion that can call a ‘do-over’..... “where everyone’s a winner!”
Spoke to Mary Jo, my friend at Sloane who helped me understand which doctors were the best qualified and all... she’s gonna try to hook me up with other people who are fighting cancer that might have more information to share... very cool. I was talking with aunt Toni Ann and I gotta make a page just for cancer related links... so.... Tada there it is at the top.... can ya stand it?
Ian and I were going to go to a movie after dinner, instead we just went for dinner and got a video.... I didn’t care.... as long as I’m hanging out with him I’m a happy camper.
8 January 2001 :)
Went and got my blood drawn..... a Monday routine. I walked two miles today... gotta do the five.... keep running out of steam.... think I’ll do another after I write this entry. It’s snowing like crazy.... I never tire of it. This beats the hell out of sunny beaches any day of the week!
The Bill Blass company had asked Ian to do their show again, like he’s done for years, after asking him repeatedly to do the show they wasted almost two weeks to return his call.... poor practice... Frankly ever since Bill sold the company... well... the name stayed but the culture’s changed.... the air of elegance has faded; folks are always frustrated, phone calls aren’t returned.... ya know.... annoying stuff. Ian’s far too busy for silliness.... so he faxed them to withdraw his availability this season.... he decided to produce the b. michael fashion show instead... Hey, you snooze - you loose.
7 January 2001 :)
Happy Birthday Tara!!! .... she called from Holland. It was great to hear from her and Marco. I’m hoping that as soon as they are settled into the house they want that they’ll come back for a visit. There’s so much snow here to play in... they had a white Christmas, but Marco said it’s like fifty degrees. Tara’s gonna take some pictures ‘cause they just got a digital camera and send them along.... very cool.
We made dinner tonight and invited Ian’s Mom and Mary, our friend, to join us... we had a good time.... although I couldn’t swallow the pork roast at all.... I don’t care..... ‘cause on January the eleventh it will be three months since I had an esophageal dilatation.... not bad... huh?
6 January 2001 :)
My Mom stayed overnight at our house... it was fun... we played cards and had Chinese take out for dinner. Later in the evening she was holding a tea cup and talking on the phone while walking into the kitchen. (There’s a gate that’s across the doorway to keep ‘Buddy’ out of the rest of the house.) Poor Mom.... trying to step over that damn gate..... she dripped some tea onto the ceramic tile, (which made it like ice).... next thing I know she’s doing an impression of Oksana Baiul. I didn’t know she could do those moves... and by the look on her face - neither did she.... *BAM*..... she bounced off a wall and fell to the floor ‘ass over tea cup’.... She was a bit dazed... but OK.... The dog was duly impressed - I knew he was thinking -”Again”.... I drew a bath for her hoping that between the Epsom Salt and the whirlpool she wouldn’t be in great pain. Afterward she used Joint-Ritis. We’ll have to wait and see what the morning brings. Meanwhile - no more walking and talking for her..... hehe.
5 January 2001 :)
There was another snow storm today... WoW was it great to watch... Ian and I went walking around and shoveled the driveway too. I couldn’t get enough.... kept remembering how this time last year I missed it all.... I hope that I never forget to appreciate stuff - Ya know I still enjoy drinking water and eating red Jello.... I haven’t forgotten the eight days I wasn’t allowed anything by mouth - water or food, (for an Italian that’s like an eternity).
Ian and I finally made it to the movies... we saw Dracula 2000.... he wasn’t the only thing that sucked - so did the screenplay.... toward the end I was trying to puncture my own neck!
4 January 2001 :/
I headed out to the hotel to see Jill and Ricky off..... the girls were so cute - they were packing and making a game out of it. I’m gonna miss these guys.... I hope that they end up moving back soon. It’s been years - you would think I’d be totally used to the idea.... but I’m not.
Had my first business appointment of the year so far and it went swell.... I have a new client.... yeah!
Later on I cooked dinner.... sorta... I jazzed up some jarred tomato sauce, (forgetting about the stomach pain I get)... a couple of hours later Ian and I were driving on our way out to the movies and I started to get such amazing pain that I had to go back home... Yeowwwwww..... I’ll try again tomorrow.
3 January 2001 :)
Jill and Ricky leave for Atlanta tomorrow.... I went to see them at Mom’s for a little while.
I walked alot today.. it’s really so grand outside. There are some Victorian styled homes here that look so amazing in the snow. It’s the real heavy looking snow - the kind that resembles thick frosting... and the ice sickles are everywhere and they sparkle like crazy. This is one of the reasons that I adore this season... that and ’cause the cold feels so good.
I get to think stuff when I’m walking... alone... with all the beauty of nature surrounding me. I was just in awe of how great the world looks at this time of year... the Christmas decorations so pretty... the mind wanders.... I thought of Jesus and how he never really had to sweat Christmas shopping.... I wondered if he was pleased at how big Christmas is now.... then I tried to imagine what kind of guy he was... did he ever play in the snow?.... did he like the cold.... wondered what stuff we might have had in common... family.... relationships.... the mind wanders even more.... then it dawned on me.... What happened when he was romantic.... and came to ‘that’ point... I mean.... yelling your own name would be weird enough.... and unless you live in Alabama you probably wouldn’t call out your Dad’s either.... hmmm.
I just figure God must have made a warped sense of humor or I wouldn’t have one.
2 January 2001 :)
Today I was doing a whole bunch of stuff.... not all planned. I had wanted to get myself back into a work mode, but there where some interruptions.... The taxi never came for Trever... come to find out that at the end of the year you have to renew your eligibility for the program he was on.... who knew? So, after a handful of calls it was decided that Trever would simply stay home with a structured day. That’s fine... just a major change that I wasn’t expecting.
1 January 2001 :)
I’m gonna make this year mine.... I plan to live it twice as hard and enjoy the shit out of it..... sometimes I feel like a year was stolen... I know it wasn’t ... I know I learned so much and all... it’s just that - I don’t wanna waste a drop...
Ian and I went to pick up the twins. They had such a good time at Melanie and Kris’s house that they almost didn’t want to come home... (what almost - they would’ve stayed in a heart beat.) We all went out to eat and when the boys left the table I asked how they had behaved, (braced for the report), “Great. No fuss - not even an argument” they said.... hmmmm.... maybe we should move to Connecticut..... hehe.
Tomorrow I have to call The Moffitt Center and see if I can wait to get all the follow-up stuff done after Fashion Week in New York... that way Ian can come with me.... I just can’t imagine going off to sleep without him... life is too damn short to compromise on that point without a fight.
By the way... I’m the proud new owner of eyebrows! Tada.... OK so there’s no hair... but there are definitely two ‘gray shadows’ where they’re gonna grow in... everybody can see it - not just me. I’m so excited... it’s like when you see a landmark that lets you know you really are on the right road!