Random Thoughts

Tuesday, May 31, 2016.  I don’t know where the days go.  Which is a good thing (don’t get me wrong).  There were about a dozen things I wanted to do today that I did not get a chance to do.  One of my favorite things about what I do for a living is the unpredictability of each day.  I like making lists of things, including things I really need to get done.  But when you are restructuring companies, you are a little bit like emergency room doctors and there are emergencies that pop up during the course of each and every single day.  So you can make a list of things to do, but if you look at the list at 7 or 8 pm and are unable to check off any of the items, it doesn’t mean you did not have a productive day.  It means that a ton of shit happened that was more important than the list of things you put together earlier that morning or the night before (and there were probably a bunch of important things to do on that list).  That is what I love.  It keeps you on your toes.  I miss it a lot.  I also miss the people at work and the human interaction that you forget that you have each and every day.  I am a people person.  I enjoy talking to people.  I like being on stage (or in court).  Always did.  So spending this much time alone takes some getting used to.  Not a bad thing, just different.

I do, however, keep myself busy.  And on a day like today, with a long chemo treatment scheduled for tomorrow and the next 3 days thereafter, that is important; every time I think I am fine and have no fear, there is a twinge of anxiety — so I just keep moving and stay busy.

Jen and I are leaving for the city at 730, as we need to be in by 9.  We have to have someone come and help get the kids get ready for school, which I am sure Jake is going to think is strange.  He was asking about whether I would be at his basketball and baseball game on Saturday and I had to explain that I was going to the hospital in the morning and just wasn’t sure at this point.  He took it like a champ, but it kills me to have to tell him I might not be at one of his games.   Jen went out for dinner with her friends tonight and stopped in Ryan’s room to say goodbye when I was reading him a book before bed.  When Jen said she was going out for dinner, Ryan asked her why Daddy never goes out anymore.  Gee whiz.  I didn’t know what to say.  Jen, of course, without missing a beat said “Daddy went out with us last night.” This actually has the benefit of being true, but his comment had much deeper meaning.  These guys know something isn’t right.  But we will get to that in due time…..

  • I have yet to watch a television series or a movie since before this all started.  I intend to, but I haven’t had the time.  In fact, other than a few minutes of Sports Center this morning while I was sitting at my desk, which I don’t watch nearly as much as I used to (I usually watch most mornings when I am on the treadmill), I did not turn on the television today.
  • Got a chance to read the Sunday Styles this morning in bed.  I went to three different places in Margate on Sunday morning around 830/9 am with Jen and Brandon; two of three were sold out of the NY Times, the other store didn’t carry it.  I am cheap and usually would not buy a NY Times when it is sitting in my driveway and already paid for (and now, come to think, I spent $200 on the MLB Network (thanks Basta) and haven’t watched a game since the night I bought the channel!).  Figures on the one day I was ready to splurge (I think the Sunday times is close to 5 bucks), everyone is sold out.  Two wedding announcements caught my eye.  Josh Mankiewicz/Anh Tu Dang        and Abby Volin/Max Polonsky  (links to both announcements included).   They both caught my eye because Anh and Abby are cancer survivors.  Josh and Max stood by their sides as they both beat breast cancer.  Anh actually moved in with Josh when she was diagnosed so he could care for her.  And Max had just picked up and moved to D.C. when Abby was diagnosed.  Two great stories.  These marriages were tested before they were actually solidified.  I wish both couples nothing but good health and good times for many many years to come.  And it is a small small world.  As I was reading over Abby’s and Max’s announcement again just now, would you believe I went to high school with the Rabbi that married them (I would be telling this to Jen right now, excited as can be, but she has been sleeping for 2.5 hours).  Aaron Alexander how the heck are you?  Just looked you up on the web to make sure it was you.  I saw the picture and U Florida religion degree on the AJU site.  It is you.  I am going to get in touch.  You are crushing it.  Congrats.  Got a call yesterday from Dr. J.  Been speaking regularly to Royce and got back in touch with lots of people from the River.  And just to demonstrate how truly small the world is, one of your frat brothers, Jeff Fina, is one my closest buddies in Scarsdale.
  • I did an hour of yoga today and walked 5 miles around the neighborhood.  Listened to some old Counting Crows (one of my favorite bands) during the walk (when I wasn’t talking to a few friends).  I was singing Mr. Jones out loud.  Some guy was getting into his car and just stared at me.  I sang louder.
  • Was sent a story today about David Queesenberry.  David is an offensive tackle formerly of the Houston Texans.  He was waived today with a “non-football injury designation.”  He played his college ball at San Joe State and was drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft.  His non-football injury designation?  Cancer.  But not just any cancer, T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma..  He has been in remission for one year.  He was diagnosed in June 2014; the article in the link above reports a team trainer found his persistent cough suspicious.  I had that same cough.  The article goes on to say, “[w]hile his teammates prepared for the season, Quessenberry battled for his life, going through intense chemotherapy.”  I am sure the Texans had to make a business decision here.  I’m not going to pretend to know what drove this decision or why it was made.  But I feel terrible for David.  That said, I get a sense that David worked out today harder than he did yesterday.  Based on everything I read about him today, he seems to be that kind of guy.  David, I am pulling for you.  You will play again in the NFL.
  • I had eight small (to medium) incredibly healthy meals today.  Humus, anti-biotic free chicken, homemade (by Jen) chicken salad (with hot peppers for taste), greek yogurt with almonds and walnuts, organic eggs with fresh turkey and mushrooms (made by Jen), homemade (by Jen) three bean salad, sweet potatoes, cabbage with carrots, two green teas, lots of water.  Took a trip with Jen to Whole Foods, which was a lot of fun.  Although I got pretty tired at the end (it was after I did yoga and took my walk).  Even packed my lunch with Jen for tomorrow.  We are prepared.
  • Started reading Mark Herzlich’s book (What It Takes, Fighting for my Life and My Love of the Game).  I had trouble putting it down.  Will finish it tomorrow.  What an awesome story and what an awesome guy.  Tom Coughlin wrote the foreword and says he believes “Mark’s story will motivate and inspire anyone who reads it . . .”  No doubt about it.  Mark, haven’t finished the book yet but it is clear you have a higher calling in life.  Looking forward to crossing paths one day.
  • Jen suggested I take Brandon out on scooter ride today.  I didn’t and I should have.  I am kicking myself for it.  Am I spending enough time with my kids??
  • Got a letter and package from a friend of my Dad’s.  They have been working together for 25 years.  I still remember him coming to watch me play basketball my freshmen year of high school in Beachwood (as I told him tonight, I think I went 10-40 from the floor that day; I shot a lot that year.  But Ed Musbach (our coach) told me to hoist it up that season.  So I did.  Knew I shot too much when I led the team in scoring but Streem was the MVP.  Oh well….).  His letter, and the contents of his package, were meaningful in many ways.  But it was the last paragraph of his handwritten letter that will stick with me:  “You ‘keep on keeping on.”  Good things will happen!  I will get the good updates from your Dad.  Stay positive and get 1% better every day.  Enjoy the items.” (emphasis in the original for all my lawyer friends out there).  Hey Dan Harris, isn’t 1% better every day better than 10% happier generally? [Just learned the 1% better every day came from Pat Riley during his Laker days.  Adding it to the summer reading list.]
  • How do people without insurance pay for cancer treatment?  Herzlich dedicates his book to the “twelve million new cancer warriors each year who are searching for hope in the face of fear . . .”  There is no way that all of these people have the means or support to get the necessary medical treatment.  I got a bill today for my 16-day hospital stay.  $233,793.24.  And this will go on for 2 years.  I am one lucky and fortunate guy.  I have insurance to cover these costs.  And I have a support network of family, friends, an unbelievable law firm and a special community of restructuring specialists, all of whom motivate me every single day.  Plus I have an incredible wife and 3 kids and we have a lot to do.  There is no way all twelve million are in the same boat.  I need to and will try my very best to do something about this (and can’t help but think of the lyrics and video for Man In the Mirror).
  • It is 1:55 am.  Jen set the alarm for 615.  As I think about how lucky I am to be going to the best doctors tomorrow for treatment — doctors who will get me back to doing what I am supposed to be doing (but with a whole new perspective on life) — I am not as nervous as I have been.  Although I am feeling better today and know that the next four days are going to have me take a couple of steps backwards, I feel like I turned a corner the last 48 hours.  I have been positive the entire time, but I took hold of a couple of things that I let slip and feel good about it.  No matter how crappy I feel later this week, I’m not letting that happen again.

2 thoughts on “Random Thoughts”

  1. Dear Josh,
    Jon and I read your blog every morning and am amazed at your resilience and determination. Your positive attitude and love shines through in all you do and write. I know in my heart you will beat this and see the world in a different light . We are praying for you and sending love and good vibes.
    All our love, Gayle


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