Shower & A Shave

Saturday, May 14, 2016.  Today was my first full day at home.  It was a great great day.  After having some trouble falling asleep last night, I stared at my wife for a while — realized how lucky I am — and ended up sleeping the best I have in 3 weeks. 

The day went fast, but was packed.  It included hanging out this morning, organizing my newly furnished office with my mother-in-law, figuring out why my new ipad wasn’t getting email (took me one hour to figure out it needed to get hooked up to WIFI), getting to watch my son play baseball outside in the spring sun this afternoon, hanging out at various moments with each of my boys, watching sports, visiting with a bunch of friends, talking diet and nutrition with my father-in-law, and starting to get an appetite back (today’s menu included a bagel with veggie cream cheese and swiss at breakfast, a tuna melt and a few sliders, wings and a slice of pizza tonight).  Cheat day came earlier!  I also got a nice walk around the neighborhood in with Jake and my father-in-law right before dinner.  And I organized my bar and my closet.  Come to think of it, I got a lot done today.   Not sure I remember doing this much around the house since I started practicing law….

But the big event today was my shower.  Actually, it was the “grooming process” before the shower that took the most time.   Think it was 1.25 hours in total.  

I shave my head every single day of the week (and usually once on the weekend).  Cancer has not changed that.  I think the only day I haven’t shaved my head was April 25th.  That was the morning I woke up at White Plains Hospital for a biopsy after getting admitted on Sunday April 24th when a 4 1/2 inch grapefruit showed up in the middle of my chest on a cat scan.  [More to come on that front another time.]  The point is, had I had a razor at White Plains hospital, I would have shaved my head that morning, just as I did every single day at Weill Cornell.  I enjoy it.  It is simply part of my day.  Today, however, was a little different.  

When I got my first chemo treatment, the chemo nurse asked if I had “proactively” shaved my head.  I laughed and told her yes — “ten years ago.”  After she laughed, I asked her if I could ask a serious question.  She said yes.  I then explained to her that I was the type of person that had hair everywhere I didn’t want it, and was wondering whether the hair on my knuckles, ears and back (among other unchoice places) would fall out.  I was dead serious.  She kind of laughed and then started the chemo.  

Well as much I have been shaving my head every day to avoid the ring around my ears that I swore I would never rock (like my grandfather), the hair on the rest of body is in fact coming off.  So I made a decision over the last couple of days and implemented it this morning.  More specifically, I grabbed my Gillette Fusion Proglide Styler/Groomer and went to work.  After tending to my dome, I shaved off the hair on my hands (even my knuckles Chris and Nicole), arms (which will help with the IV’s and blood tests going forward) and my chest.  I just couldn’t do the legs.   Maybe tomorrow.   For those of you that think this is graphic or personal, please don’t be alarmed or concerned:  I did this type of grooming in high school because I thought I would look better at the beach, and I still do some “manscapping” of this nature around our beach vacations.  I know, ridiculous.  Anyway, I kind of like it and Jen at least said she thought it looked good.  And that is all I care about. 

Come to think of it, it was a pretty busy day and I enjoyed every second of it.  Looking forward to waking up tomorrow.                    

I’m home!

Friday, May 13, 2016.  I’m home.  After 16 days at Weill Cornell Hospital in NYC, under the supervision and care of some of the most wonderful people — literally from the top to the bottom — I am home with my superhuman wife and 3 unbelievable kids.  I decided not to post anything on this blog until I was back in my house in Scarsdale, sitting at my desk on my computer in the comfort of my own home.  And as I sit here, finally putting together the words that I have been thinking about for more than 2 plus weeks, it feels awesome.  It feels awesome to be home.  It feels awesome to really feel alive.  It feels awesome to write this as tears roll down my face.  My wife just said good night to me “live.”  I tucked in two of three of my kids (one is sleeping out).  And my mother-in-law is sleeping down the hall.  You never realize how important the small stuff actually is.    

I have been fortunate to have lived an incredibly blessed life and I have been so humbled the last couple of weeks by the outpouring of support from family and friends whom I have met along the way.  There is guilt at first for failure to have stayed in contact with so many different people that were so important to me over time.  But I have realized that the people that mean the most to you are going to be there for you even when you haven’t been there for them.  For that, I am grateful and honored.     Thank you so much to all of you that have texted, emailed, called and/or come to see me.  I love people and I love talking, and I loved every second of each visit, conversation and email/text reply.      

I plan to use this blog to keep people posted about my progress and quest to get back to 100% health as quickly as humanly possible.  Simply put, I have a lot left to do and this is just a speed bump.  But it is a speed bump that has opened my eyes and sharpened my focused.  It makes you appreciate things that you took for granted just 2 weeks ago.  And it makes you realize that nothing is more important than being surrounded by your family and friends.  So I will use this blog to provide information about my fight against T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (see http://www.leukaemia.org.au/blood-cancers/lymphomas/non-hodgkin-lymphoma-nhl/lymphoblastic-lymphoma), tell (at least in my view) some pretty funny stories along the way, and generally let everyone know how close I am to getting back to the court room and lifting weights.

Finally, and while this is obviously something private, my wife Jen is nothing short of amazing.  I still don’t think she is human.  With three kids at home and the biggest of her kids (me) staying in NYC for the last 2 weeks going through regular treatment, the way my wife has handled everything is beyond comprehension.  I am in awe.  I am indebted.  And I am forever in love.  Jen — not sure what I did to deserve you, but I promise there is no way I am ever letting you out my sight.