Saturday (am), June 11, 2016. I turn 39 in January. In my nearly 38.5 years, I do not remember putting anything together. Nothing. Most of the time I don’t even take things out of the box. I think, subconsciously, that is why I moved to NYC; in NYC, every building has a “super” who can be called on a moment’s notice to put things together [and if the super was not available, I would just wait for Helene to come to town]. If you have not lived in NYC, the super is a person that lives in the building and is effectively there to make things better. Clogged toilet? Call the super. Heat not working? Call the super. Someone gives your kid a train track or mini basketball set that needs to be assembled? Call the super. You start a fire in your bathtub lighting old bills on fire (true story)? Call the super. The Sussberg’s called the super for everything. And when we moved to Scarsdale, we worked our way through a few different handypeople (I am being politically correct here, but they have always been men), ultimately landing on one who does everything for us. From the “pop-a-shot” and train set in the basement to house painting, Igor is your man. That was until Friday.
In the midst of enjoying my new found relationship with Amazon earlier in the week, I ordered the Franklin Sports MLB 2-in-1 Pitch Target Trainer Set for the boys. Jake really likes to pitch. But like his old man, he has a good arm and no control. [This is him last Saturday. Truth be told, after one of my trusted co-coaches, Gary N., told me to move away from behind the fence, Jake struck out the side. I thought, like his old man, he would like the camera. Jake is pitching again at 1 pm today. It gives me a stomach ache knowing I won’t be able to be there to both watch and coach, but having my Dad there (still one of the most consistent players to grace the Beachwood men’ softball league) — in the team jersey — is the next best thing.]
I don’t know what came over me, but when I got home from the hospital on Thursday and Jake asked — while we were all having dinner — if I could put the pitching target together, I said of course. So there we were, Allan and Josh Sussberg, putting together the Franklin pitching target in my kitchen. It comes with idiot proof instructions. It does not, however, say how long it should take. [We aren’t completely done (nearly 48 later), but we are really close — just need to hang the MLB target on top of it.] In any event, I got to say it felt good putting this thing together. Maybe it was because I was doing it with my Dad (who is about as handy as me), or maybe because it was the fact that I had never put something together for the kids and I think Jake was pumped that I was doing it. It just felt good. Yes, there were moments of frustration. And the jury is still out as to whether we put this thing together correctly (we may have to call Igor after all). But we did it and, for me at least, it was an accomplishment. Calling the super or Igor was always an excuse for not having the time because I was too busy or not good at putting things together (both of which are true). The reality, however, is I took a short cut and paid someone for something I could have done myself. And for someone that prides himself on working hard and not taking short cuts, this is a pretty hypocritical. Something to remember when I am back running 100 miles per hour……
Another missed post yesterday. Becoming a common theme this week. I’m not an “every other day” kind of guy. But this was one of those weeks. Not complaining, just saying. We have been dealing with low hemoglobin (red blood cells) [also just heard my white blood cell count is low too]. A direct result of chemotherapy. And since I have given up on playing hero and trying to tough things out, I found myself back in the hospital yesterday night (same room that I had on Tuesday and Wednesday nights) getting yet another blood transfusion.
The transfusion started last night during the second quarter and ended at 1 am. While my blood is getting tested as we speak, I am confident the transfusion was more successful than the Cavs offense in the fourth quarter. I am hoping to get chemo this morning and be able to head home this afternoon. Allan Sussberg, a champ of all champs, drove back and forth yesterday (in my re-tired and re-rimmed car that he picked up!) from Scarsdale to NYC not once but twice (I’m still a huge fan of Andrew Dice Clay). Allan really was a champ. He drove me in at 8 am. After waiting several hours for chemo (because my blood was getting tested), he sat with me in the “Fast Track” room. It was only an hour infusion so they had me in the room where 4 others were getting chemo too; obviously coined the “Fast Track” room because they get you in and out. Allan called it: the fast track room felt like McDonald’s with everyone ordering different chemo treatments. As soon as he said that, I couldn’t get that ridiculous McDonald’s menu song off my mind. Do you remember it (click on the this You Tube link for a refresher)? I actually sang part of it to my Dad out loud.
Anyway, I probably should have stayed at the hospital to get more blood, but we left and had to come back after I answered the door bell (after getting out of bed early afternoon) and realized I felt the same way I did on Tuesday. [Lenny and Jen knew from the beginning.] When Allan walked out of the hospital at 11 pm to drive his fourth leg of the day, I felt terrible that he was driving yet again. But there is always a silver lining; he missed the fourth quarter, which was incredibly disappointing. And I got to hang with my Dad and brother for a few hours last night, which is always a welcome distraction. Long week made easier by the fact that Allan and Janet were in town. Jen, of course, did what Jen always does (which is everything). But having my parents in town was key. Thank you guys. I love and appreciate you both.