31 December 1999 - New Years Eve :)
Today was wild. Ira worked with me more and look...I can make the coloured underlind things that take you to stuff...pretty neat huh? (Hey Ira - notice how I'm even showing off by making all the names coloured and underlined - you created a MoNsTeR...hehe)
Mari and Robbie came by and we celebrated the 2000 a bit early, but who cares, it's so great to hang out with them. Kristopher and Melanie came over too. Ricky's on his way..poor guy..sorta pissed him off by not being as available as he (and I) would have liked...doesn't matter though...he knows I love him.
I'm not at the Waldorf, no tux, no piano music or obligitory smiles and witty chatter with forced laughter..(that you swear nobody could tell was forced)....just home....home....with the guys..and the dogs..and Ian - THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO DO THE NEW YEAR - Might even do it this way next year too! :)
30 December 1999 :)
Well, I woke up late again - didn't get to sleep before 2:00 AM .. had a 'homesick' evening last night ...while I was at home! Sounds stupid but..hey. Earlier I was at my Mom's, it was Ricky's birthday party, (my younger brother who lives in Atlanta). It was nice to see everyone - I have a really great family - overall I mean...there are those few who..well..nevermind.
MVP, my insurance company let me know that that they did not want to cover the treatments if they are happening in Tampa - that there are plenty of good doctors right here in our area - That I would have to appeal the decision. Great ..huh? You can bet I'll appeal it - you also bet I'll be in Tampa!!
Ira really worked hard to help me get this thing together - this is the day that all of the 'words' really started. He's a young man in Canada whom I also owe so much to - for all of his help in this site's creation. I will try to set up a way to let you, the reader, click on a link that will introduce you to all the people I will talk about...like Ira and Bret, but it will take me some time to learn how. [Thankx again guys :)]
29 December 1999 :/
Hmmm...Went into New York today..mised two trains and a bus...not like me at all. I just did not want to go. Funny, I love New York. Truth is I really miss it at times...miss living there...Ian and I would start each day chatting over breakfast at 'JR's' or 'The Plaza' and it was a really great way to live. I knew it then..I was very aware that we had a lot to be thankful for....but I did miss the boys. I talked to them every day and got them every Friday and had them 'till Monday but still...I just missed them anyway. We lived on the upper east side in a 'wildboyz' apartment (more on that later) and had an apartment in Poughkeepsie that we used every weekend...it looked out onto the Hudson River and the bridge - with the most amazing view. Then the world shifted in August of this year. That's when we moved up to New Paltz and assumed care of the boys fulltime.
ANYWAY about New York - guess I do tend to ramble, sorry. At the office, I tried to make everything 'Business as usual' but that didn't last too long, everyone was real concerned and wondered, very naturally, what the hell was up with my absence...I'm always there and prompt. I got more hugs and sad faces, which I do understand come from a good place - I know - it just made me feel special - in a, "Gee, you NOT dead yet" sort-a-way....does that make sense?
Trying to keep a 'smile on your face' through this cancer crap is like trying to hold six pounds in your hands....not hard....now stand there and hold your hands out straight....don't drop them....let's keep them up..up..up......see?
STILL EDITING ..........I'll get it done....promise......
26 December 1999 :)
I got to hang out with Ricky and Jill. For those who donít know - Ricky is my brother who lives in Atlanta. I love this guy to pieces. He has three little girls, two are twins. Itís really strange Ďcause I have an older son... he has an older daughter. I have twin boys... he has twin girls. Iím married to a great guy... heís married to a great girl - Jill. ďJilly, my, JillyĒ.... She and I are also buddies... since... the beginning of time! She is the most down to earth kid with a sense of humor that doesnít quit. Spent the most of the day just hanging out with them.
This time next week I will be on my way to Florida.... seems so unreal still. I find myself memorizing being in the house... taking pictures in my head .... details... the kitchen drawerís handle... the view into the living room.... the boys rooms.... Stuff like that.. *sigh*
25 December 1999 Christmas Day :)
Mari and Robby came over and so did Kris and Melanie and Ianís Mom
We spent the morning together all opening presents and it was great! Later in the afternoon, we all went over to Patís house, (Ianís cousin). Everyone on his side of the family meets there. Kinda funny Ďcause Pat reminds me of my Aunt Pam, they are both easy going, both girls, similar temperament, and both have everyone come over to their house.....hmmm. Ianís family is the sweetest collection of people too, like mine only Scottish. Still no snow....damn-it.
24 December 1999 :(
This is Christmas Eve. In my family today is even more exciting than tomorrow....in a way. Tonight we will all get together at Aunt Pamís.... (itís her birthday) and we will celebrate the holiday as one big family.
Strangest thing, as soon as I got there I wanted to leave. There was a bunch of people smoking in the kitchen....perfectly normal and acceptable under normal circumstances....but not now. The smell scared me....made me actually tremble. The thought that I could be going through this and that they could casually sit there puffing away made me mad.......seemed cold.
I wrote my letter to Santa, as I always have, (ever sense I could write, that is). I asked him for three things: for the boys to quit smoking, for Marv Hecker to be cured and for me to be cured too. I know that some will think this is a funny thing and thatís ok. I believe in Santa. I know that heís out there doing wonderful stuff, I always have. It must be great to be him. I always get what I ask for too.....isnít that cool? One year it was an apartment.....got it, once it was for college...I got accepted, then it was for Kris to get himself all straightened out....he has, the year they told my Uncle Bruce that he would not live too long I wrote him early..in October or November....heís very much alive. All ya do is write your letter and put it in an envelope and write it to: Santa Clause, Santaís workshop, North Pole....put a stamp on it ...(no return address is necessary) and put it in any mailbox before the sun rises Christmas day. That easy
23 December 1999 :)
Wowzer...Operation: Scrumb was completed....finally....the guy waited long enough!
The Ďstagingí info came back that itís: T=2-3, N=0, M=0...This means good things Iím told....(heh...like I would know at this point). Mari is relieved and said that it means that the tumor is a 2-3 depth with no Ďlymph nodeí invasion..(thatís the tissue around the area...so military sounding) and no Mets..(thatís when the cancer goes off to places it has no business going). Yea!!!
Poor Ian is sick though....flu like. Poor bastard - heís been running around like a nut for me and I guess it just caught up with him...I made Chicken soup...(of course fresh)
22 December 1999 :/
Ouch...noticed that on the blood report they were not only ruling out cancer stuff - but also ruling out AIDS. It came back fine as I would have guessed...(we really are committed to each other)... but if they had told me that - I could have worried.....hmm...does that make sense?
Mari laughed...she is really a great pal of mine...her and Robbie have been amazing....I just love them so....Mari is gonna take care of the home front and Robbie told me to forget anything here and just concentrate on getting all better!
Mari and Robbie are two more super-angels....*sigh*
I have no idea what I did to know all the amazing people I do , and to be so loved, but...hey...itís really neat....and Iím very grateful!
21 December 1999 :)
Today operation: Scrumb was launched and I had the best time with that guy ......all via this web...and it was the greatest fun for me. I was able to surprise Bret with a token gift, really...for all heís done for me that is - and I had the best time ever!
If I could be rich...really rich...Boy would I like to just go around in rags and all, just meeting people, and if someone was kind and nice...and I could see what they really wished for....and be like, ďOK - itís yours.Ē That would be the best!
20 December 1999 :)
Some beautiful things happened today.
I was working on my project, ďOperation: ScrumbĒ as well as researching everything that I possibly could about the cancer stuff too. It was Monday...shoulda been in New York....stayed home instead. The phone never stopped...When people heard what was going on here the caring that came to me was unbelievable....just the most touching experience, really. Someone would say, ďSo and so had that and they tried Shark Cartilage - you should try it too.Ē... and there I was looking up every article on the subject until I could see if there was any merit to it, what abstracts were written ....what the results were...phew...real work. I kept a detailed list of what to do, what to research and who to call - still do.
The experience of having cancer is scary...yes...duh...but there are gifts too...like blue looks ..bluer... and every happy moment is savored, not just swallowed hurriedly. Lovemaking became.....deeper and held even more meanings.....itís hard to try and formulate, word-wise, but itís strangely true. Funny huh?
The amazing thing came from Bernadette she and her husband Ricky are friends of mine. Weíve known each other for going on sixteen years, they live in Manhattan. We were talking and I told her everything ...ya know...Esophagus...bla bla ..cancer..bla bla ...Tampa.. (when she said) ďTAMPA?..We just got a condo fifteen minutes away...itís yours.Ē I told her that I had no idea how long I would be there though, and that she just got it and that this was, after all the season to use it....and she stopped me. In my tracks. And said, ďI donít care, itís yours for as long as you need.Ē IS THAT UNREAL? I cried..... later when I thought about it...really thought about it...itís just so funny how people come into your life...and change it forever.
Bernadette is like a super angel to me....has been since the day we met.
19 December 1999 :)
What a great day!
I was chatting with Scrumb, having a great time and the topic of Christmas and wishes came up... and after talking with him...well typing really...(still don't even know what his voice sounds like)...when he gave me an idea that... Well, let's just say it gave me a chance to get back the magic of Christmas. Amazing... this kind Canadian - who doesn't know he's a writer...(who is destined for greatness, by the way - and you read it here first)....not only inspires me to start this very site, helps to get me started....but on top of that helps to give me back the joy of Christmas, my favorite time of the year...and all the while...he has no clue of the great things he's doing.
See Bret..now you'll understand...thank you...you are one of my angels too. :)
18 December 1999 - The Epiphany :)
Today is our anniversary, we celebrate every 18...we met on April 18th 1994, and married each other three years later...to the day. I have no idea why he puts up with me, but I'm so glad he does.
Today I told my Mother...whewwwww...toughest thing, next to telling my sons, no tougher - 'cause she knows more...seen what it can do....me too...held my Dad right in my arms when he...died. *sigh* (Ok are we depressed enough? Just checking) So, anyway, I was about to tell you a most amazing thing...you see it was while I was driving toward my Mom's home (about 20 miles away)I was thinking about all the stuff in my head that my world changed....and I tried The Work...(it is so amazingly simple and I reccommend it to all who are ready). Our friend Tara Shannon had been over visiting on day....as she often does when she's in town...and just started telling me about this wonderful work that she was really into. I was courious...we started talking and...she explained it to me. (THIS IS A SIMPLE VERSION).....there are five questions that I could remember from that coffee and Coke-a-Cola conversation:
1. What is your statment?
2. Can you KNOW that it's true?
3. What is the reality..("'cause when you argue with reality - you lose...only always.")
4. What do you get for your story? then drop it or keep it.
5. Turn it around.
BUT HERE IS WHEN MY WORLD CHANGED.........
To #1. What is your statment? I should NOT have cancer...(this seemed fair and straight forward
To #2. Can you KNOW that it's true? .....no I could not know the mind of God and hey...I do believe that everything happens for the best..
To #3. What is the reality..("'cause when you argue with reality - you lose...only always.") OK..ok..I do have cancer.
To #4. What do you get for your story? I get to be scared and sad and feel so helpless and alone....and be a victim....then drop it or keep it.... Shit on it I'll drop it....SO I DID...Just like that!
And at last to #5. Turn it around. - and my whole world changed...I should have cancer..get it?.... I SHOULD HAVE cancer - instead of IT HAVING ME!!
I WAS FLOORED...."Of Course, it was there all along"...(by now I'm driving along shouting)..."I HAVE cancer...Goddamn thing - it does NOT have me! And my whole body started to feel lighter and lighter - there was my answer. It was the first moment that I knew I would be OK...that I would live through this nuisance...this cancershit!
Hey Tara: did you know you saved my life?
Tara, is one of my angels. :)
Telling Mom was a whole lot easier....of course I also asked My Aunt Toni-Ann to give me about 40 minutes and then show up...and I slipped out...I'm not stupid.Aunt Toni-Ann is another angel :)
17 December 1999 :(
Got lost in the maze they call Westchester Medical Center - got there almost on time...'cause nobody who works there seems to know where you are supposed to be...it's really a mess. You ask anyone in any Home Depot where some stupid, barely useful thing is and they tell you exactly were you need to go to find it - but I had a guard and an intern arguing over what hall I should go down to get to that department...ridiculous...but such a great reputation for the work!
Best part: Our friend Timmy came with us to be our guide...he didn't need to go just said he wanted to...is that cool!
I was gorked out for the rest of the day
16 December 1999 :(
Spent I have no idea how many hours researching this damn thing and canceling appointments that I had with my own clients. This is really starting to suck. Thank God for Sourabh, my buddy in New York and for John my 'coach'. But my own practice is on hold now.I spent hours again researching on the web, if I meet Bill Gates I'm gonna kiss him!.
Ian, my Ian, is being such a trooper and so are the boys. Kristopher, my eldest, has called me ever day. Trever's bassett hound, 'Buddy' with his big soulful eyes is still urinating on the kitchen floor...proof that life goes on.
Still have not told my Mom...I just can't tell her..Christmas is coming.
15 December 1999 :(
I made a detailed list of everything that I needed to do. I spent the most of today researching this cancer on the web. There is so much information to digest (ohmygod that's a pun - 'cause swallowing is sorta hard - see...it's Esophageal Cancer (I refuse to refer to it as "mine"...it is what it is ..but it's not mine!) I'm only 41.
Talked to Dr. John Ruckdeschel in Tampa! He's the guy I gotta see - he's the doctor who saw my Uncle when other doctors told him he had a month left...in 1991...and he's cancer free even to this day! He's also the doctor who saw my Aunt and guess what...she's also cancer free! He said he would take me on...Thank God.
Pushed and got a Catscan today - Mariann came with me (for those who don't know - Mariann is the Mother of our three sons...and my Best Friend. We are no longer together but we are as close as you can get) and being a nurse she understood all the things that doctors say. It was an easy test - nothing to it really.
Saw Paul, (Dr. Barrows) an hour later. He said that we needed to get a 'E.U.S.' something they put down your throat that takes pictures..anyway..he was going to get that done by the best guy..a 'guru'..Steve Heire..on the 24th. I said, "No, I want it done tommorrow." I had and still have no intention of playing around with this - or - giving undue respect to other peoples' schedules....too bad..lived for years on a schedule that would make you dizzy - this time I was the priority! The appointment ended up Friday at 7:30 in the morning.
Still have not told my Mom...I just can't tell her..not yet.
14 December 1999 :(
This was a really interesting day... I saw my name appear in Scrumb (my favorite web site) I was told that I had cancer (seemed so surreal..scarry...and obsurd - all at the same time. It's also the day I decided to get this website - so I bought it. I thought in the beginning that I'd have interesting things to say..stuff that the guys could, ya know, refer to..later.
See at this point I was not the 'Soldier' that I am now...that came later...days later. At this point I was just scared in a very quiet sort of way!
On a brighter note this is also the day I quit smoking...heh.