Friday, October 26, 2007


A busy day at Blogdom. I wanted to honor my sister before I got into the pragmatics of my health and treatment. Frankly she's much more interesting to write about and to know, but inquiring minds want to know more a well. Also, I've had some technical issues and this posting got delayed by more than a few days. But the success of my first post in this second phase signals a new era in my technical prowess.

So, what's up with my disease?

First off it returned faster than the Drs. expected, about 2-weeks. That signaled to the oncology team that they should abandon the middle course of therapy (methotrexate) and move to the large bore chemo I'm doing now. Originally, for this surprise round, I was to be in the hospital for as much as 60 days running, but that also changed late last week and I'm doing the balance of this segment as an out-patient (out Saturday) until the middle of November when this course is finished. At that point, when I'm determined to be in remission, they'll move directly to a bone marrow transplant while my blood and system are clean- the big show! That's the segment that will spell out how we've handled this little understood and illusive form of cancer. Cancer is a fluid disease and even the ones that are well understood take twists and turns that Drs. haven't seen, a testament I'm sure to to our uniqueness as individuals- mostly alike, but so different in crucial ways.

For this segment I've done well and feel very good, again my tolerance for the treatment is kind of at odds with the severity of what I have. So far, no bad nights, no nausea and the appetite and food eye of a teenager. Since I still have an immune system, I'm hitting the vending machine for all manor of junk food late at night- hey, I've got cancer- eat up.

I was out for 2 weeks and 2 days. MJ and I had our kids here for a long weekend at the end of the first week out of the hospital, her two and my two. What more can be said, we ate, drank and celebrated the release, we sat on the deck, we enjoyed the weather and the sunlight, we connected, we missed connections, we stumbled, we flew, we held hugs too long and some times eye contact was too short, we celebrated the potential of life and thought about the unspoken potential for the other.

That unspoken other is the elephant in the room, this idea of living and dying being so immediate. No matter what, and as it ought to, it colors and shapes all your actions. I Leap some days on the things I can control, remaking files so everything can be clearly understood, double checking insurance things, checking balances and looking at the 401-K to determine if I'm managing it right- you get stuck in a place of "is there enough" is it a 5-year plan or a 20- year plan? What happens first, extravagant dreams or practical planning? A distraction for sure, all this remaking and looking into, a sure sign that I'm running straight into the arms of fear and trying to do something with it that is loving.

But that's this disease, huge lessons every day, challenging your character, your beliefs, your will, your sense of self, your optimism, your legacy. and as a result the blessing; every day you get to think about who you are and why you're here.

Unless, of course your remaking your files.

More to come,


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your wisdom and courage a lesson to be learned and reminded of who we are.
you have blessed me with this
i hope to honor you by praticeing what you shared

together on a jorney
The Lord is with you


Anonymous said...

Arnie - Larry and I think of you often. Your postings are not only eloquent but deliver such powerful messages. You truly have the gift, Arnie, and the fact that you are sharing this with us all, we voyeurs into your life and struggle, only speaks even more highly to your character. We have missed you, Arnie, in our absence from your church, and hence, your life, but you are in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. Take care, and thank you for your words. Jan D.

Anonymous said...

Arnie, everytime I read your updates it brings out every emotion and feelings I have inside. Feelings of sadness, feelings of joy, feelings of laughter, feelings of hope and particullary feelings of wonder. Wondering what impact I have had on people in my life. You certainly have touched everyone you have come into contact with in such a wonderful way and continue to do so. You articulate everything life is made of beautifully even if the subject is something we don't really want to bring to the forefront, but most of all you teach a lesson on what is important in life. Your family is an extension of you, kind, loving and caring. The hill always looks the highest when your at the bottom, but with your outlook on life and your ability to endure what every comes your way, the crest is just around the next bend and it will be all downhill from there my friend

Anonymous said...

Arnie - This site is such a testament to your ability to reach people and affect them deeply, despite even this personal obstacle. It's been so very long since we've spoken, but your influence on me (both professionally and personally) has been far-reaching, and I thought you should know that. Right out of college I couldn't have found a better mentor, teacher, and "boss." As I read through your postings I'm reminded of the depth of insight, caring and unique world view that you've always had and which I continue to admire. I wish you and the family brighter days, warm thoughts, and time around the kitchen table.
Carolyn Schiffner

greg samata said...

I remain in your debt for the courage you have
and the clear and simple life view you bring to every word and moment.

Please know that Pat and I are with you as you move through this.

So good for you to have your families there. They are, as we know, the reason our lives have meaning.

The foundation has been moving throuh new waters. The board is finally being reshaped with Gianfranco's help and we have been able to have Ritu Dhinghra, a powerhouse who I know you will come to love, and Clara Roman the young woman we have helped for ten years. If you remember she is our first set of braces.

The end of the month we are at Deerfield High School for the fund raiser that will benefit the foundation with over $100,000 and the kids will be at the Christmas Party to work the Raffle and the room.

Doing any of this without you leaves me in tears. I can only know you are proud of our stewardship for this great thing you generously created.

We love you Arnie... and we are praying everyday for your strength and ability to rise above this illness and return seated at the table as you choose. You see my friend, we need you, your friendship, your great wisdom and the love you have for all people.

Your eternal friend ...Greg

suraiya said...

Hi Arnie.

Sharon sent me the link you your blog. It is truly amazing.

I have been catching up on your posts with tears and smiles.

It is a blessing to have had you as my very first creative director and I continue to learn valuable lessons from you today.

I am praying for you and your family.

Sending strength, courage, and lots of love from NYC.

Your friend,

Anonymous said...

Hey Arnie,
I've been thinking about you. That was a wonderful post; you are quite the writer!
I hope we get to see you on Thanksgiving.
Scott Lovejoy