Radioactive

Monday, May 23, 2016.  Long but solid day.  We left for the hospital right after dropping off all three kids at school (man I love doing that), and got to the city in no time.  Jen drove as I was definitely feeling anxious.  But it was a good ride.

We had to wait a while on the 3rd floor, which just generally gives me stomach pains.  I remember walking in there for the very first time on April 27, 2016, and thinking I was the youngest person there.  And while I have only been twice since, I find myself scanning the room every time we go back.  But Jen figured out that we are better off sitting in a side room where my eyes don’t wander as much looking around at all the different people waiting for treatment or to see a doctor…..

After having blood work done and getting an IV (both of which I can’t stand), we met with Maureen — one of the PA’s who we absolutely adore — and talked about the day and the next phase of treatment ahead.  June is going to be intense.  But it was good (more so for Jen) to hear the schedule and know exactly when the treatments are coming.  Assuming things move according to the calendar they gave us, it looks like the schedule will work well around Jake leaving for camp.  And with no chemo until next Wednesday, the weekend with the family at the shore is fully in tact; I cannot remember being this excited to get down there and take a huge deep breath after paying the $1.50 toll to get over the Margate bridge.

From Maureen we went to the first floor for a cat scan.  Then we were back on the third floor for the infusion.  I started reading a book and actually fell asleep during the treatment.  Jen sat with me the entire time and, of course, grabbed a nurse each time the IV pole beeped or made a strange noise (at least half a dozen times).  And I am sure the women next to me was sick of hearing Jen directing me to drink the glass of water she left on my little table.  That’s my Jen.

From the treatment we went to a different building for the PET scan.  This is short for a positron emission tomography scan, which is a fancy word for an imaging test.  A radioactive substance (called a tracer) is shot through your body and the test looks to determine if all organs and tissues are working properly.  It takes a long time for the tracer to circulate and you have to just sit there waiting while drinking a gatorade like substance every 10 minutes.  The scan itself takes 45 minutes or so.  By 4 pm, having just got the tracer through the IV, I knew Jen needed to get home.  As much as I wanted to drive back with her, she needed to get back for the boys.  [And if it wasn’t for Jen today — and her making sure everything was scheduled and the next person knew that I was on my way from the previous stop — I might still be in the city.]  So Jen called Mr. Reliable, my brother Drew, who continues to amaze me every day, and of course he dropped everything to pick me up at the hospital and drive me back to Scarsdale (and Alexis, I hope it goes without saying, but thanking Drew is thanking you because you guys are a true team and I know you have your hands full).  Jen of course didn’t leave me empty handed.  Neatly packed in a Quaker Ridge Lunch bag was an omelet she made last night and a bagel with cream cheese and lox.  I ate it pretty quickly after my 18 hour fast (and frankly I have been eating ever since (when I haven’t been sleeping), including making Drew stop on the Hutch at the Dunkin’ Donuts drive through for an egg white/turkey sausage flat bread, to which I added bacon).

I didn’t make it to Jake’s baseball game tonight because we did not get back until well after it started.  And I really don’t think I was in any shape to be there in any event, as I have been pretty lethargic.  I even laid down in bed and fell asleep during the first half of the Cavs game [I woke up and it was close, but they blew it.  That said, a series does not start until the home team loses a game…..]  But I did get a funny text from my buddy Evan, who said we lost 17-3 and reported that Jake told him “my dad’s radioactive.”  Jen had told all three boys that I had some tests today and they needed to keep their distance per the doctor’s orders.  I laughed when I read Jake’s comment in a text as I could just hear him singing the song by Imagine Dragons in the back seat of the car.

At 1:22 pm today I got an email from my doctor (who is truly amazing along with the entire team at Weil Cornell/New York-Presbyterian, including everyone who helped me today).  The subject line was “CT Scan” and the text of the email said: “Looks good! Lymph nodes gone, fluid gone, mass much smaller, no clots or lung problems :)).”  How do you beat that?  You can’t.  Tomorrow is my last day on steroids for a few weeks and I am looking forward to feeling back to normal (no more crazy organizing, eating non-stop and swelling) and hopefully having a desire to start working out.  And after a weekend at the shore, I am ready to embrace this next phase of chemo, even though I sense it is going to be a bear.

And yet all I can think about this afternoon and tonight is the 5 year old kid in a wheel chair that was pushed into the elevator by his young father at Weil Cornell.  They got out on the first floor as I was making my way from the cat scan department back to the infusion center.  A cute little kid with glasses, you could hear him in the elevator struggling to breathe.  Jen knew it got to me as his father backed him out of the elevator.  And when I got back to the third floor, for the first time I was not looking around to see if I was the youngest person there.  I don’t know if this little boy had cancer or lung disease, but whatever it is, no 5 year old kid should have to go through that.  5 year old kids should be running around care free.

I was listening to Radioactive by Imagine Dragons tonight and thinking about the lyrics.  I have listened to this song 1,000 times but have I ever really thought about what they are saying?  It has nothing to do with PET scans and tracers, but instead being locked away without a key and suddenly released into an unknown world (I stumbled upon an interesting article analyzing the song.)  And as I better understood what the song actually is all about tonight, I feel lucky to sit here and be numb to this song as it does not define me or my situation.  I am beating this thing for my family and friends and to live a more meaningful life for many many years to come.  I don’t feel like I am behind bars.  In fact, I have never felt more free.  But I just can’t stop thinking about that 5 year old boy and the more 13,500 kids that get diagnosed with cancer every year.  These kids are in prison.  And once I get myself healthy, I really want to do something about it.

 

 

Overwhelmed (But I have a favor….)

Sunday, May 22, 2016.  I love Sunday’s.  Sunday’s are about family.  Bagels with lox (as well as cream cheese, onions and tomatoes).  Hanging out at home.  Not rushing.  Pizza and wings for the Sussberg family (although I usually order a turkey burger with no bun because I am a donkey).  Good red wine with Jen (sometimes late in the day if we are feeling wild and crazy!).  Watching sports.  Tucking the kids into bed.  And of course, the Sunday Styles section of the NY Times.

For as long as I can remember, the first section of the Sunday Times I read — and sometimes the only section — is the Styles section and, more specifically, the “Vows.” I just love reading the wedding announcements, finding out where people went to school and what they do for a living, and trying to figure out if I know someone from somewhere.  There have been so many times I have opened the section and stumbled upon someone I know.  And every time I feel like a 5 year old kid, running and grabbing Jen to alert her to the fact that I know someone getting married (Jen knows how much I love it, so she always says “cool” or “awesome,” even though I know deep down she thinks I am nuts every time I point it out).

Anyway, this post isn’t about Sunday’s or the Sunday Styles for that matter.  But like every other Sunday, I did read the Vows section tonight.  And I stumbled upon the story of Jennifer Alden and Kirk Spahn.  [Here is a link to the story….  ]

It is stories like these that make me read (proudly) the Sunday Styles section each and every Sunday.  This is a story about true companions (a song best sung by Mark Cohen, a graduate of Beachwood High School and the author/singer of our wedding song called — you guessed it — “True Companion”).  Jennifer’s and Kirk’s story included a cancer scare and blog experience.  This obviously hits home.  Jennifer and Kirk:  I don’t know you guys at all (although I did see Wedding Crashers).  I did, however, get glimpse into who you are on page 12 of today’s NY Times and for some reason I agree you will together leave the world a better place.  Wishing you both good health and good luck!

Overwhelmed can mean a lot of different things.  You can overwhelm an opponent.  Inundate someone with love to the point of overwhelming them.  Synonyms include bury, engulf, swamp and submerge.  But rarely do you hear the world overwhelmed in a positive manner.  That’s not to say it is not possible for overwhelmed to be used in a positive light.  Because being overwhelmed can be a good thing.  I certainly think so.  In fact, over the last 4 weeks I am not sure a day has gone by without the sensation of being overwhelmed — in a positive way — through the support that has been shown by my family and friends.  It is uplifting and appreciated.  And as much as people tell me to stop saying thank you, I only want to, and will continue to, say thank you more.  I am so humbled that is impossible for me to thank everyone who has reached out and offered support.  From long lost grade school and high school friends, to friends from camp, Beachwood, Temple Beth El, Syracuse, Cardozo Law School, current and former colleagues, extended family members, friends of my parents’ and in-laws’, old acquaintances, adversaries, best friends, old best friends, fraternity brothers, ex-girlfriends, even old friends that I couldn’t be there for when they needed a friend the most over the years (and I was probably too busy).  I am simply overwhelmed each day by the outreach and support.  It makes me stronger.

The outreach (as well as the medication) makes you think about a lot of different things, including why you completely lost touch with some or all of these people, each of whom was so important and instrumental at different points along the way. Maybe I am more comfortable in my own skin and being completely open with people I haven’t talked to in years because for the first time I don’t feel invincible.  Or maybe I am so comfortable in where I am in life, with my marriage and with my family, that is it suddenly only to speak to people that I cared a lot about (and still do care about) and let them know that was/is the case.  Suddenly it seems completely normal to offer an apology when you knew you treated someone poorly or without the real respect deserved.  No clue if there is answer here (let alone a right one).

Then there are family members with whom we may lose touch.  Sometimes there is a reason, a fight or disagreement.  Other times people just drift, and six months can quickly turn into six years.  Yesterday I sent an email to my cousin Jason.  Other than sharing a last name and knowing from the internet that he is a filmmakfer, I am ashamed to say I don’t think I would know Jason if I bumped into him on the streets of NYC.  The same can be said for Jason’s dad, my Uncle, and his younger brother David.  We just don’t have a relationship.  And it really is a shame.

I sent Jason an email because I heard that his brother is not well.  I told him it sucked that I was sending an email under the circumstances and that it was shame we did not know each other.  But I said we were family and I was hopeful to lend a helping hand in any way that I possibly could.  His response was pure class.  In addition to lending his support for our fight, he said he was hopeful we could get to know each other once the dust settled from this nightmare with his brother.  I feel so badly about what they are dealing with and the fact that the lack of a relationship makes my family effectively helpless to Jason and his father at a time they need us the most.  It is just too bad that all this time, and the complete lack of interaction, lead to this impersonal communication and inability to actually make a difference.

My intention here is not to sound like a preacher.  But the favor I have for everyone reading this is to pick up the phone and call someone you lost touch with for whatever reason.  Whether it be family (immediate or otherwise), an old friend or colleague, reach out and touch the people that were part of your life but may have disappeared.  Overwhelm them in a positive way.  We have nothing to lose but more time.

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For those of you keeping score, tomorrow is the “make-up” chemo day after Friday’s rain out.  I frankly wasn’t thinking much about it — or the pet scan I am having tomorrow to see the status of the tumor in my chest — until earlier tonight.  That’s because even if I have kankles (from the nearly 4 weeks of steroids) and am feeling anxious, it was still an awesome day.

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Jake scored two goals on the way to a 5-2 victory, including off a corner kick (which I unfortunately missed because I was driving very slowly after yesterday’s incident (and of course got lost)). Here is the video of his second goal:  

Ryan went with his best buddy Noah to the red carpet premiere of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.  And Brandon got to hang out (mostly with his favorite person (his mommy)).

 

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I got this tomorrow (no thinking, just playing)……..Plus I get to ride to and from the city with Jen, and that is making me happy already.

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Distracted

Saturday, May 21, 2016.  When you are distracted, your mind drifts and you cannot concentrate or focus on anything in particular.  It is almost as if your mind is playing tricks on you.

This morning I was focused on one thing and one thing only; making sure I was at Edgewood school with Ryan Sussberg at 8:30 am so I could be in his little league team picture.  This caused me to rush out of both bed (I finally fell asleep around 530 am) and the house, all after taking a fast shower and not having time to completely dry off or otherwise finish what has become my standard shower routine.  Notwithstanding how much I rushed for the first time I could remember, the entire team was waiting — because we were late — and even Ryan noticed that it was well past 830 when we finally pulled in. But we got the picture taken.  And that was all that mattered.

[It’s funny how different life is in less than 30 days.  On Sunday April 24th, on my way to the Scarsdale medical center to get checked out yet again, I was on the cell (in the car on the way to the doctor) dialing around to various people on various deals just to make sure things were moving in the right direction.  Today, I was picking out a new pair of sweat pants  and doing everything in my power to get to team pictures on time.]  

As for the real baseball games today, Ryan played at 9 am and Jake played at 1 pm.  It kills me not to be coaching and really helping out, but I am easily distracted and have trouble staying for the duration of the game.  In fact, I left both games early.  As a result, I missed Ryan’s “second grand slam” and Jake’s legit triple.  It pisses me off that I left early.

But this afternoon I got distracted and frankly freaked out at the same time.  Like Ryan, Jake Sussberg had team pictures today and I was determined to be there.  At 310 pm, I grabbed Jake and my brother-in-law Justin, jumped in my car and we headed back to Edgewood school for one more picture.  Towards the end of Heathcote Road, I either wasn’t paying attention or lost control of my car for no reason, and drove directly into the curb.  I destroyed the rims and need new tires on the passenger side.  And even worse, I was scared, couldn’t figure out why I got distracted, and starting swearing in front of Jake.  What the hell is wrong with me?

Bottom line: I am worried about driving tomorrow.  I could use a good distraction right about now, but all I am thinking about is that I can’t satiate my hunger because of the steroids, I know what highlight they are going to show on SportsCenter before they actually show it, I am getting a “moon face” from the medication, and I’m 24 hours away from more chemo.  And the only song that keeps coming on in my head is the 1991 classic by the Geto Boys, “My Mind Playing Tricks on Me.”

Nonetheless, there is always a silver lining.  The rims and the tires, they will get fixed.  Jackie and Brett got married tonight and it looks like everyone had a complete blast.  I had my family over all afternoon (which is always awesome) and I can’t wait to hang out with everyone at the Shore next weekend. I walked 4 miles with Lenny, and was not nearly as short of breath as I was yesterday.  Corresponded with old friends (who it was incredible to hear from). Had some close friends over for a drink who always make me feel at peace.  I watched the Cavs with Jake and Ryan.

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And finally, I got to introduce one of my closet friends and roommates from college to each of my kids.  Welcome back Stu (bottom left) — can’t believe we let all these years go by.  Let’s not do that again.

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Jackie and Brett

Friday, May 20, 2016.   Don’t get me wrong, it was a phenomenal day.  Really phenomenal.   So many good things happened today that I truly can’t remember everything.  And even in moments of frustration — and there were most definitely a few — the good moments of today undoubtedly outweighed the bad.

Getting a few extra hours of sleep this morning.  Shaving my face for the first time in 4 weeks.  A return trip to the mall for the second time in the same week, this time with Jen in tow (ensuring that I don’t need to go back and return anything).  Never knew you could have that much fun in a mall.  Visiting with friends at the house.  Responding to more texts and emails from old friends and colleagues who continue to offer support (I love every single email, text and conversation).  Driving around town and having lunch with Nicole (she just makes me happy).  Enjoying treats and food dropped off by friends from town.  Running into people on the street and engaging in meaningful conversation (not the typical bs).  Responding to sporadic emails but slowly letting myself fall out of the loop.  Walking around the neighborhood with Jen.  Finally figuring out (via Shai) how to download pictures from my phone to this page (obviously game changing).  Getting some time at the end of the day with each of the kids.  Ordering the MLB Network at Paul’s insistence and still caring that it cost me $199 because I am a cheap (but not really caring about the cost and watching at least 6 different games throughout the night).  Letting Ryan stay up late to watch the Indians vs. Red Sox.  Hanging out with Jen and her best friend Steph all night (who come to think of it is one of my best friends too).  Getting a special delivery from Todd of my most favorite meal in the world — Del Frisco’s.  And enjoying every single bite.  Cue picture #1….

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The frustrating moments were frustrating……shortness of breath following a routine walk in the neighborhood; needing to sit down on the couch in the basement rather than play basketball with Ryan because I was sweaty and lightheaded after over doing it; realizing that my face, after shaving for the first time, is swollen because of the medication; continuing to feel the need to organize and clean incessantly (I even did the dishes tonight and organized the refrigerator without Jen having to ask for the first time in the 14 years (but I still haven’t set up the AT&T booster and Jen is actually starting to get pissed!)); chasing a Syracuse basketball down the street after it fell out of Jen’s car (which I was trying to clean), only to have the ball get stuck under a car nearly 100 yards away and needing a neighbor to help wedge it out with a bat after 20 minutes of unsuccessful recovery attempts and poor strategy and tactics; knowing my stomach would ache after eating Del Frisco’s but eating it anyway.

The day on balance, however, was phenomenal.  It wasn’t even a close call.  In fact, most of these frustrating moments were just that:  moments in time that were gone just as quickly as they arrived.

But I have been sad most of the day.  You see Jen and I were supposed to go to Jacksonville this morning for my cousin Jackie’s wedding.  She is marrying Brett and he is complete A+.  The weekend is going to be amazing.  And my entire family is going to be together celebrating at an open bar.  As much as everyone jokes that my Uncle Mike is going to save money at the bar by not having me there, there is no place I would rather be tonight than Jacksonville, Florida celebrating Jackie and Brett with Jen, my parents, brother, sister-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.  So many relatives that are truly important and a constant in my life at all times.  Not being there hurts badly.  I hate to miss anything let alone something this important.  And while I know we are going to celebrate with Jackie and Brett and all of my cousins in NY next month, we are going to look at pictures of this weekend and remember not being there.  It breaks my heart (and Jen’s) not to be able to share in the real celebration.

We will of course be there in spirit and thinking of you guys throughout the weekend.  I even poured a sip of MaCallan 12 tonight for the special occasion and have raised my glass as I type with one hand.  I need a visual of you guys, so cue picture #2…..

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Jackie and Brett — my glass is raised and I wanted to tell you both to enjoy every second of this weekend.  It is going to be over in an instant.  The good news is you have the rest of your lives ahead of you, and every day brings a new challenge and experience that you will get to share together (all of the sudden I have a free license to say all this sappy stuff!).  Jackie, you rock and look amazing.  Brett — welcome to the family.  Both you and Jackie are fortunate and lucky to have found each other.  Brett, you are also fortunate to be inheriting (and I think you know this) a huge extended family that is nothing short of amazing.  We welcome you with open arms and look forward to everything ahead (including spending more time together in Scarsdale and NYC).  Jen and I will be celebrating with you guys remotely all weekend long.  Who knows, we may even put on our best wedding gear tomorrow (cue picture #3 — and by the way, how gorgeous is my wife!)…..

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Uncle Mike and Aunt Sue — huge congrats.  We love you guys and think the world of both of you.  And believe it or not, I still remember some moments from your wedding (I was 5 and Drew was sick in the hotel).  Everybody (except for Jeff) has less hair, but all you guys still rock those ridiculous mustaches!

Looking forward to speaking to everyone tomorrow.

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Burpees

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Thursday, May 19, 2016.   For those of you unfamiliar, a “burpee” (according to Wikopedia) — otherwise known as a squat thrust — “is a full body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise.”  [The lawyer in me is including the citation just to be careful, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burpee_(exercise)].

The definition on Wikopedia goes on to describe the basic movement of a burpee in four counts:

Begin in a standing position.
Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. (count 1)
Kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended. (count 2)
Immediately return your feet to the squat position. (count 3)
Jump up from the squat position (count 4)

I fu*kin hate burpees.  Anyone who says they like them are full of it.  But they are good for you.  I only did them for a very brief period of time when I joined the gym near the office and got a free training session.  I really liked the trainer and I ended up getting coaxed into buying a few sessions with him.   I had thought I was in shape.  Boy was I wrong.  But the guy made me do burpees every session and I think that (subconsciously) was one of the reasons I ultimately stopped training with him (in addition to thinking I knew what I was doing).  After abandoning the trainer, I would pretend to do a few burpees on my own.  But I totally faked the funk (pathetic when you actually let yourself count by two in your own head!).   I do, however, vividly remember when I was done with three or four sets of 10-12 burpees, and how good it would feel to have them behind you.  Because as bad as it sucked doing each and every one of those burpees, when you were done and sweating your ass off you felt incredibly accomplished.  [By the way, you may be wondering why this post started with a picture of me and Jen.  There really wasn’t a particular reason other than I finally figured out how to include a picture on this page.  But today was all about Jen, so the picture of the two of us will make sense.]

The nerves and guilt of yesterday, together with the anticipation of today’s 1230 pm chemo session in the city, actually had me thinking about burpees this morning.  I wasn’t in a bad mood but I was definitely distracted.   But after having a great breakfast care of Jen as usual (my favorite omelet, four strips of turkey bacon and a wheat bagel); only being nauseous and throwing up for a moment right after breakfast; dropping Jake and Ryan off at school as I planned last night; taking a shower and putting on some new comfortable clothes early this am; having a few minutes to hang out with my mom; stopping at Cherry Lawn for what turned out to be a delicious lunch; and getting to drive into the City with Jen in the passenger seat just the way I like it (all while she dipped my turkey wrap into both honey mustard and Russian dressing), I kind of felt like I would just do the burpees and move on.  So you can imagine how frustrating it was to find out at the doctor’s office, towards the end of the 2 hour visit, that there was a snafu with our insurance and the chemo session was going to be moved to Monday instead of today as planned.  Jen — as she always does to comfort me — immediately shrugged it off and said it really was not that big of deal.  I knew she knew that I was anxious and had agida and was moments away from a complete melt down.  I even tried to convince the people in the check out room to give me the chemo because I had thought I was mentally prepared for it.  [They actually called back one of the doctors who emphatically said no — it would be Monday.]

The interesting thing is Jen is/was totally right.  It really isn’t that big of a deal.  I always described myself as a glass half full kind of guy, but maybe my glass has always been half empty?  Because as much as I said I was pissed that I didn’t get the chemo today (and don’t get me wrong, the whole thing was generally annoying), it really wasn’t that big of a deal when I took step back and really put things in perspective.  And I mean really put things in perspective and not just pay lip service with yet another catch phrase.  Bottom line:  I will get the chemo on Monday.  And as I drove home from the City with Jen, after getting a sandwich at Lennwhich with Jen, my Uncle Jeff and cousin Alex (toasted rye with corned beef, turkey, swiss, mustard and mayo — so good), I realized that the chemo mishap meant another drive to and from the City alone with Jen.  Yet another “priceless” moment to add to the ever expanding list.  We didn’t even need to speak (but we did a ton); it was just great being next to her in the car.  Was it really that big of a deal to have it today vs. Monday?  In fact, isn’t it better to have it Monday?

And my day only got better from there.  Had a visit from some amazing friends that I consider family; got a fake tattoo from my three old son Brandon; read Brandon Curious George goes to the car wash before he went to bed; tucked Ryan into bed; watched the first quarter of the Cavs game with Jake as we high-fived incessantly; and hung out with my Mom and Jen for hours talking about nothing important. [Below is a selfie of Jake and me watching the Cavs starting to lock it down towards the end of the 1st quarter….]

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It feels like I broke my record in burpees today.  And it of course feels good.  If I had to do them tomorrow — while I certainly won’t enjoy them — at this point I will just do them and move on because I think I appreciate that the sweat coming at the end is worth it.

By the way, “vindication” turned out to be a misnomer of epic proportions.  The booster doesn’t work and I have to do a trouble shoot tomorrow with both Verizon and AT&T.   My buddy was over earlier and noted the directions said to put the booster near a window.  My booster is sitting in a closed wood cabinet.

Vindication

Thursday AM, March 19, 2016.  I slept 2.4 hours. But not letting myself mope around or feel useless again.

So the AT&T Microcell booster is in the process of installing itself.  I plugged in all the component parts, followed the directions on-line, and am now waiting for the 90 minute installation process to run its course.  We shall see.  I have not connected something around this house since we moved in 4 years ago.

And now I am going to get myself ready to take Jake and Ryan to school for the second time this week.

Let’s do this today.

Nerves and Guilt

Wednesday, May 16, 2016.   I don’t know if it is in my head, but I think I woke up a little nervous today about another treatment tomorrow.  [I think it’s only in my head because I have had this shot no less than 3 times before and it is really not that big of a deal.]  Nonetheless, after only sleeping a few hours, I woke up coughing and had the same sensation in my throat that I had at the beginning of my late April trip into Manhattan (which lasted for 16 days).  But after sending some texts — including a few to Jen who was also up at 5 in the morning after not sleeping because at least one of the three kids was up throughout the night (a far harder task than sitting at my office desk with Sports Center playing in the background) — I fell back asleep for another 2 plus hours. And I definitely needed some sleep (in the downstairs guest room by the way since I sit up until 3 or 4 am in my office).  Yet as soon as I woke up from what seemed like a pretty deep sleep, that is when the guilt started setting in.

Shouldn’t I be….. taking the kids to school everyday?  Hanging out more with Jen?  Playing with the kids?  Reading literally dozens of books and magazines that I have carefully organized in my office?  Taking a shower and changing clothes before 4 pm?  Working?  Working out?  Apologizing to old friends for acting like an ass or losing touch?  Feeling terribly that people are continually going out of their way to check in and show continued support?  Reading the nutrition files that my father-in-law printed for me over a week ago so I could figure out the right way to eat during all of this?  Returning every phone call?  Talking more to family?  Finally doing something around the house (like putting together a printer or installing the Verizon booster) rather than guilting one of my friends into putting something together as soon as they enter the house?  Hanging out with Drew who drove all the way to the airport to pick up my mom and then to my house only for me to disappear for an hour?  Siting with — and actually talking to — my mother who flew in from Florida yet again to be with me and help out around here?  Sleeping?

If I keep asking myself these questions I am going to go nuts, so I am chalking it up to the nerves.  But when the nerves pass and the medicine runs its course, I know many of these questions don’t stop.   I know this because I used to ask myself some of these questions before this all started.  Most all of the time it was just lip service.  After 5 full days at home, however, I question what I have accomplished other than looking through and organizing anything I can get my hands on.

All these questions aside, today was a really great day.  I hung out with a bunch of good friends throughout the entire day; had a very solid appetite out of the gates; watched an incredible video (at least 4 full times) that everyone from Kirkland put together (which makes you appreciate how fortunate you are to work at a supportive place with great great people); had french fries delivered to me for lunch (without even placing an order!); got in touch with several old friends that I have not connected with in some cases dozens of years; continued to look at old pictures and be reminded of some amazing moments; got a massage in the middle of the day; had my brother chauffeur me around with my mom sitting in the back seat (this happens once in a decade); finally took my college and law school diplomas to get framed; shaved my neckline for the first time in a month (since those hairs are falling out too); had a great conversation with Jake before he was getting in bed; responded to texts, emails and posts all day long, which I absolutely love to do; and once again enjoyed a few hours of complete alone time writing whatever it is that comes to my mind.

Tomorrow is going to start with me taking the kids to school and hanging out with Jen.  The nerves and guilt are just distractions.  Today was indeed a great day and tomorrow is going to be even better because of the way it is going to start.