Quiet Time

Yesterday was a quiet day after PT just reading and knitting.  Today I have no plans.  Jan has an appointment in NJ and I thought he would drive me there to school or to do something but he is taking his cycle and he does not know how long he will be.  I may get tired so I cannot depend on him returning me home even if he took the car.  So I will spend another day here thinking, reading, knitting, and trying to get my apartment in order to return to work.

Rea asked if I would allow her to give me some advice.  She does not want me to return to work with my arm in the shape that it is in and that my immune system may be compromised with the kids.  I am well aware of my disabilities at this point, but if I do not return to work, my mental state will deteriorate which is worse that the other two issues.  I really miss my job.

I am praying today for my friend, Bonnie, who is having her scans done today.  Please take a little time to include her in yours as well, if possible.  This is an an anxiety ridden time for all of us not only health wise but economically.  It sure is confusing.  A little prayer does a long way.  I plan to say a few of my own this morning.  I am finding that the older I get, the less I know and I have to trust that my higher power knows what is right for me at this moment.  I sure don’t.  I am just playing along with the script in front of me.


Weary and Weepy

Yesterday, I was informed that my friend, Patrice Decker passed away after only a 2.5 month fight against brain cancer.  She had some headaches and then collapsed.  Patrice was 54 years old and was a colleague of mine at Bridgeport U and then we met again when I moved to North Caldwell.  Also, Bonnie is due for her scans tomorrow to check her rising tumor levels, my sister is being scanned this week again and mine are due next Monday.  This disease is running rampant and it frightens me constantly.  Even survivors are seeing that the disease has returned and have to fight over and over. I am overwhlemed.

I am grateful for the lovely visit we had with our Gorsky cousins yesterday and that I am alive and awake this morning to face the bitter cold.  PT is at 9:30 and I will bundle up and walk in the brisk air to get there.

Besides waiting to hear what my future looks like healthwise, we are waiting to hear about Jan and his job. Many decisions will have to be made according to what happens to his employment.  We will know within the next 2 months what we will do or if we will move again.  This time, except for Sloan, I am ready to leave the city and return to suburban life.  We shall see.

In the meantime, I will crawl back in bed to stay warm and begin the daily medication cycle.  It is a miracle I have come this far and I am constantly reminding myself to be grateful.


After another night of very little sleep and a great deal of pain, we are taking it easy again today.  We are expecting our cousins Teri and Bruce Gorsky for lunch and it is also expected to snow.  Snow! I began this journey with snow on the ground.  Time passed by so quickly and I feel like I lost a few seasons in there.

Not much to share except the frustration that this arm seems to be stagnating and not improving.  I am told that one day I will wake up and it will be fine but right now that day seems very far off.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is a tough hurdle to get over and I have jumped some very large ones this year.  But the pain this time is depressing.  I just hope I can get this pain under control before I return to work.  I need to be much better to be able to work with the children all day.

So for today, I will enjoy our company and take whatever medicines of treatments necessary to keep the pain in check.  I am so fortunate at this point that I can just be awake, aware, eat, and have the ability to spend time with people.  For these things I am grateful.

Some Normalcy

Yesterday, I went to school for a few hours and spent time with the children in my classroom.  Then I went on to my friend Bonnie’s home to have lunch with Renee and just visit.  It felt good to be able to do these things but by the time I arrived home, my arm was immobile and in great pain.  Today is PT! Oh NO! This is is so frustrating.  But I am grateful that for today this pain is my biggest problem.

While with Bonnie, her doctor called to tell her her tumor numbers were up and she will have to have body scans next week.  This is a rude awakening and a reminder that once a cancer patient, even if a survivor, each day is a gift.  There is always that suspicion, that fear, that insecurity that this is going to happen again. And if it does, do I have the strength and mental stability to go through the treatment again.  I know that many cancer survivors count years or months they are in remission.  I am just counting today. I still cannot look back without being traumatized.  Every novel, commercial  on TV, even the Wall Street Journal talks about cancer.  It’s everywhere.  It’s almost inescapable in our environment. So staying in the moment is the best way for me to function.

Shira called yesterday and told me that there will be a 6.5 run for Kidney Disease in May in Central Park. She called her siblings and I am told that Shira, Josh, Rea, Katherine, and Stephanie are planning to raise money and run in my honor.  I am such a lucky parent to have these kids and to know that they have turned out to be kind, generous, and caring adults.  I am so proud of them all.  The Legacy.

For today, I will go to PT and get “beaten up” again,(Poor Ralph, my therapist takes the brunt of this pain), prepare for a Shabbat dinner tonight and plan to spent time with my darling Jan this weekend.  For all of these things, I am so grateful.  Wishing you a restful and content weekend.

So Grateful

Today I am feeling pain in my arm and shoulder but it is bearable or I am just getting used to it. So I am going to drive to NJ to drop some things off at school and then have lunch with my friend Bonnie and my sister-in-law, Renee.  It is exciting for me to be able to get out and about.  I have to make sure I don’t over-do it, but January 7th is looming (return to school) and I need to increase my stamina.  Jan is working long hours now and the days drag on so this will be a welcome use of time and make the day go by faster.

For Today I am so grateful that I think I have the ability to accomplish more tasks on my own and drive my car. I may need a long nap when I return home. I am alert and experiencing life and this to me is such a miracle after having felt drugged and zombied-out for so long. I must admit, while I laid in this be for the past 10 months that there were times I never thought I would be able to do anything again.  I have been given a special gift from my higher power,  a reprieve, one that I appreciate each second of the day.  I am so Grateful.


That’s the question everyone asks when they call in response to our great news.  Yes I am reluctantly excited.  I am relieved that for today there is no trace of cancer in the shoulder and am very grateful for this.  I still have the road to recovery ahead and so I am more focused on ridding myself of the pain in the shoulder and arm, having more energy to be able to return to work, and finding a place to sleep through the night.  I don’t want to sound negative but after 10 months, I am starting to get cabin fever big time and impatient when I am in pain.  Enough is enough, according to me.  But I am not in charge and I must remind myself of that every moment.

The plan for today is to go to PT and start reading my friend Susan’s lesson plans.  I need to catch up on what has been done in my classroom so far so I can plan for the next month.  I also need to plan a January Bulletin Board and brush up on my sign language skills.  Small things but things that will keep my mind busy.  It is unfortunate that I have this time on my hands before returning to work and not the energy to accomplish some things I would like to do. C’est la vie!

So for today, I will remind myself how lucky I am to be on the road to recovery and appreciate that I can now look a few days ahead and hope all will be well. 


Within hours of my last posting, the phone has not stopped and the emails keep coming.   I guess many of you were holding your breath as I was waiting for the results yesterday.  I still cannot believe it! And I am still crying.  This journey has been quite a traumatic experience and many times I cannot even look backwards because it scares me so much.

For today I am so grateful for the miracle that is right before my eyes.  I am recovering from this disease and for today and so grateful for all of you.  You have hung in there with me over the long haul (9 months and counting).  Your prayers have saved my life and I cannot ever forget that.  My life is made up of energy and yearning from people all over the world from many religions and cultures.  This is the gift that my higher power gave me and to all of us.  We are all the same and all different but we can pull together to help each other in this world. 


After all the angst and an additional 2 hour wait in the doctor’s office, Dr. Healey has informed us that there is no cancer in the surgical area of my shoulder.  I was so relieved that I burst out crying and could not stop shaking for a very long time.  I still am afraid to believe it!  BUT I have a great deal of PT to accomplish to get my arm back in shape.  He also said that if there is an agreement with the other two doctors, I can return to work in January making sure not to lift anything heavy with my arm.  SIGH.

I am so grateful to all of you who have taken time out of your days to pray and wish for my recovery.  I know that this would not be possible without all that positive energy and yearning coming from you to make me well.  Thank you so much for helping me on this road to recovery and teaching me so many things about human kindness, caring, and commitment. For today, I am relieved.

Ready for the News

Jan’s alarm went off at 5:30 but I was only awake once during the night so it wasn’t so bad.  I have been thinking as usual and I know that there is nothing I can do about the news I am to receive today.  I am so tired of dealing with the pains and aches and fears.  I am so hoping that there will be good news today that will lift my spirits because right now I am feeling very low.  This is amazing to me since I was so positive during the last 9 months and now I am falling apart. Fear is so insidious and eats away at the mind.

I am thinking about returning to work on January 7th.  I know I will not be up to full speed but at least I will have a routine and the children to look forward to each day.  I have too much time to think of myself right now.  I know initially I will be exhausted but at least it will be exhaustion with accomplishment.   There is where my head has to stay after today.  I need to make some more videos of stories, and plan for bulletin boards and lessons.  I am praying that I have the ability to do all of these things.

The holidays with the kids were wonderful and they are such great people.  I am so looking forward to returning to the Cape in 3 weeks. Joshua is supposed to be in from San Francisco so all four kids will be together.  I love watching the interact.  They are my legacy.  

For today, I have to remind myself how far I have come.  I must brace myself for the news of the shoulder and accept it.  I pray there is something else out there in case more treatment is necessary.  But mostly I am praying for sanity and recovery.