Meaning and Purpose

Sunday, May 15, 2016.  Three weeks ago tonight, Jen and I spent the night at White Plains Hospital.  It was earlier that day that I had gone to the Scarsdale Medical Center to get checked out yet again.  Something like my 7th or 8th trip to the emergency medical center and ENT for an ongoing sinus/ear infection that I think started at some point in early January.  I chalked it up to traveling, working really hard and not getting nearly enough rest.  But the fact that I was short of breath and couldn’t run more than 2 minutes on my treadmill (at this point for 3-4 weeks) was strange.  The chest pain started in early April when we landed in St. Lucia on our annual Scarsdale couples trip.  And the pain in my neck and behind my ear was different from what I would typically feel when I did something stupid in the gym with too much weight.

That next morning, Monday April 25th, I had a biopsy on the mass they had found that Sunday morning on my x-ray.  I really don’t remember what I was specifically thinking about that Sunday night.  But I do remember being with Jen, my brother and my sisters/brothers-in-law (all 5 of whom are true brothers and sisters) and knowing — without knowing what was even wrong — that everything was going to be OK.  I feel the same way 21 days later.

Don’t get me wrong, things are different.  Very different.  I haven’t had a cup of coffee in nearly a week, which is strange because I am a 3 cup a day guy.  I don’t sleep that well because of the medicine (also strange because I can usually fall asleep anywhere).  I wake up in the morning nauseous and have trouble getting out of bed, which bothers me because I haven’t had trouble getting out of bed since middle school.  My calves are sore, which is very strange because I still have not worked out my legs — ever.  I am still having a little trouble getting food down because of the chemo treatments.  And I haven’t worked in 3 weeks.  Which still is unsettling to me because I am strange and actually love my job.

But the common theme among these things is that they are all side effects.  And the side effects are all going to go away.  What won’t go away, however, is my new-found perspective.  In just 21 days, my entire life and outlook has changed.  I am happier than I have ever been.  I am more alive than I was before I started getting pumped with chemo.  My conversations with people are more meaningful.  I appreciate the small things that I used to ignore.  I drove without texting today because it is just not worth it.  I watched my son’s soccer game without being glued to my phone and it felt amazing (he scored the winning goal on a sick penalty shot and I screamed like a wild man, which is not new).  I walked around my neighborhood and appreciated that I was fortunate enough to be raising a family in such a great place.  I visited with and spoke to friends and family that are so supportive it fills you with energy.  I had a brief internal call with a few colleagues today on one of my cases and it felt awesome (and normal) to talk strategy and tactics.  I have said I love you and cried more in the last three weeks than I can remember in multiple years combined.  And while I know this will be a marathon, I truly feel like I have the wind at my back and I cannot wait for what is ahead.  Because I know I am going to come back stronger than ever, I am going to work harder than I did before at everything, but I am going to have a different meaning and purpose to my every day life that will help define me in a way that I did not know was possible.  We all live by the “catch phrase,” and everyone knows life is too short.  I am just happy to be living in this moment.  Even if I can’t drink coffee and know I am going to feel like crap in the morning.

13 thoughts on “Meaning and Purpose”

  1. The first thing I do when I wake up is read your blog! It gives me strength and energy to start my day! Love you! 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

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  2. So amazing that you are sharing this with all of us and it shows how strong you are and what a fabulous support system you have! Happy you are home with Jen and the kids and we send you all our love!

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    1. Josh, you have an incredible outlook and your energy is contagious. Thanks for sharing the blog and keep moving forward!

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  3. Josh – I have always felt close to you and have always been so happy that Jen found such a wonderful husband, but seeing you shine in the face of such a difficult situation and watching your energy, strength and love has taken my breath away. Keep doing what you’re doing – you are an amazing man! I’m rooting for you every day! Look forward to seeing you in the ‘dale soon! So much love!! S

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    1. Steph. Who is better than you? Seriously. You know how much I love you. Also, I had some french fries today with mayo.

      When are you coming over? I will save a few of our favorite things.

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  4. Josh, i am so glad that you are home, and am in awe of your strength, inspiration and positive energy. I believe you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. I also know you will find continued strength to face each day from the love that so obviously surrounds you always..sending much love and hugs, Ellen

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    1. Ellen!!! So great to hear from you. Feel like we were sitting as Passover in the basement moments ago! I hope everything is good with you and I really appreciate the perspective. It is so true. I get strength from the wonderful family and friends that have always been around. And you sending love and hugs is good too!!

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  5. Your attitude and outlook is incredible, Josh. You’re an inspiration. I’m so proud of you and Jen and your boys. Sending all of my love, everyday. Love, Sari

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  6. Josh- You and Jen are in my constant thoughts and prayers. You are a rock star and your wife is and has always been a rock and will continue to be. Keep smiling and stay strong. Sending love to all of you and those three delicious boys!
    Venessa

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