Sunday, December 30, 2012

What's Happening This Week - December 30th

Dad, Lis, Joe, Mom and Stepmom Denise, Christmas Day '12

Early this morning, Dad, Lis, and I brought Joe to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport. Joe is getting help with hydration and pain management from the incredible team at St. V's.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and Saturday (January 5th) is Joe's 29th birthday!

We will ring in the New Year here at St. Vincent's. Friends are coming by to visit and we look forward to getting Joe home as soon as we can!! (We have plans for an overnight adventure to Mohegan Sun once we have a handle on things.)

As our busy day came to a close, we saw a beautiful winter sunset visible over the snow covered rooftops. Lis and I are keeping careful watch over Joe tonight.

Please keep Joe in your prayers and in your hearts.

Love to all,


Sunday, December 23, 2012

What's Happening This Week - December 23rd

Mia with Santa Billy and Joe Dec '12

Lis, Santa Billy, Joe and Dad Dec '12

It's a cold and windy day here in Manhattan. Mia and I have taken our walk in Riverside Park and picked up breakfast sandwiches from Hot and Crusty on Broadway. The lobbies of the Upper West Side apartment buildings glow with Christmas trees and menorahs.  Sidewalk vendors sell fresh wreaths and trees.  Decorations adorn the shop windows.  And just like home, holiday shoppers search for those last minute gifts.

This December began with an admission to St. Vincent's Medical Center for Joe.  Joe's pain medication was adjusted and Joe received another round of chemotherapy during his hospital stay. A great, big thank you to Joe's physicians (and all the medical professionals at St. Vincent's) for their help. St. V's staff was outstanding in their compassionate and professional care and most welcoming of Mia who may have provided the best medicine of all.

Joe and Mia, St. V's Dec '12

Jenna, Mike, Joe, Lis, Dmitry, and Erika, St. V's  Dec '12

We appreciate your support for Joe and for all of us.  Friends and family continue to visit bringing laughter and smiles and lots of love.  Emails and texts help connect us.  We really are blessed and extremely fortunate to be loved.  It makes a huge difference.

James, Lis, Dmitry, Joe, Melissa, and Dillon, Middlebury, CT Dec '12

Joe has been receiving radiation therapy at St. Vincent's (as an out-patient) for the last week.  Two more radiation treatments after Christmas to help relieve back and hip pain. Joe begins another round of chemotherapy January 3rd.  In between the medical appointments, we have been having some fun and getting into the holiday spirit.

We've trimmed the trees and decorated the houses, sharing meals and spending time together. We are eagerly anticipating a big Christmas eve at Dad and Denise's!  

On Saturday, December 22nd, we were thrilled to attend the Radio City Christmas Spectacular! Super special day and a huge thank you to Sherrie, Tiffany and Clara who made the day magical in every way. Another big thank you to Pete and Annie who hosted the lovely dinner at Ouest, a wonderful French restaurant. Josh and Erin joined us to celebrate in New York City style. A good time was had by all.

Josh, Joe, Tiffany, Erin and Lis, "21 Club" NYC Dec '12

Annie (aka "Portland") and Mia, Riverside Park, NYC Dec '12

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  Hard to believe it's here. 

Merry Christmas and love to all!

Joe, Lis, Doreen, Dad, Denise and Mia, too!

PS Check back later for more pics.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Working Service Dog

It has been a long two weeks.  Check back soon for updates! Thank you for your love.



Monday, November 26, 2012

What's happening this week - November 25th

Leaving for Florida, 11/21/12
Lis, Joe, Mom, Denise, Dad

Hey, hey-
Hope you are all well and had a lovely Thanksgiving.  We returned home from the Florida sunshine this afternoon.  Definitely a fabulous trip.  We left for Fort Lauderdale on Wednedsay morning. Late Wednesday afternoon as the sun began to set, we enjoyed a cruise on the intercoastal waterway on Ray's lovely boat. Mary and Lou, (Denise's parents), were amazing hosts! Thank you for making us feel so welcome and at home.  Mary and Lou went all out preparing and planning and made the holiday and food super special. We all loved the Ritz. Friday night's dinner was at Runway 84, a very cool Italian restaurant which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. The last evening we relaxed at Mary and Lou's home with the best pizza imaginable.

Dad, Denise, Joe and Lou 11/21/12

Mom, Joe, Lis, Mary, Denise and Dad, Thanksgiving '12

We had some very special visitors come to call on us at the Ritz. On Thanksgiving morning, Mary came by and we all enjoyed sitting by the pool overlooking the beautiful blue ocean and wide sandy beach.

Friday afternoon, we hung out with Ahsha, Vanessa, Jahan and Tom.  While keeping in touch via Facebook  is surely a good thing, nothing can take the place of sitting side by side with our family and hearing first hand about Jahan and Ahsha's jobs, and finding out what's happening with everyone.   It was fun to see Vanessa's excitment with the holiday cookie decorating that took place poolside, too. 

Joe, Jahan, Vanessa, Ahsha 11/23/12
Joe, Jahan, Vanessa, Ahsha, Tom, Mom, Denise, Lis 11/23/12

Saturday, Ali Ingersoll, (Lis and Ali go way back to Rumsey days and St. George's, too) and Ali's dad, Ralph came from Miami.  Lis and Ali reminded us of little kids as they eagerly looked forward to seeing one another. We learned about Ali's upcoming plans to relocate to China in March. We will be pulling for you, Miss Ali.  Your will and determination inspire all of us.  Your beautiful smile comes right from your heart!

          Lis, Ali, Joe 11/24/12

Here is what is in store for this week:

Monday morning we are heading to NYC to Memorial Sloan Kettering.  Joe will have a second radiation treatment on Monday morning and a third one on Wednesday afternoon.  The first treatment was last Tuesday. Joe's radiologist decided that the most effective  way to  treat the tumor in Joe's L2 verterbra was with three mega doses of radiation instead of one dose as originally planned. We hope this brings big time relief for Joe's pain.

Saturday, Lis and Joe will be at a lovely wedding as Chrissy and Kevin get married at Fordham and celebrate with a big reception at the Bronx Zoo!

Thanks for checking in and caring.

Lots of love xoxo,

Lis, Joe, Doreen, Denise and Michael

PS A big thank you to Dad, (Mike), and Denise for all they did to make this a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Love, Doreen, Lis and Joe


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thank you for all your love for Joe! And... What's Happening This Week - November 18th

                    Chris, Mike, Stephanie, Josh, Hillary, Lis, Erin, Joe, Watertown, CT 11/10/12

Joe would like to say thank you for all the lovely care packages, thoughtful presents, carefully prepared food, and most of all, for the in-person visits.  These things mean the world to all of us and we appreciate every single thing.  Sending you lots of kisses and love.

Here is what's on deck this week: Tuesday afternoon, Joe will receive a one time mega dose of radiation for the tumor in his L2 vertebrae.  This is an extremely strong dose of radiation that will destroy the tumor and we hope this treatment will provide pain relief for Joe.  A special cervical mold was made a couple of weeks ago during Joe's planning session.  Joe will need to remain completely immobile while the radiation takes place.

If all goes well and Joe feels okay, Wednesday we will depart for Florida for Thanksgiving!  We are ready for some sunshine.  We will stay at the Ritz which is a favorite of Joe's, until Sunday.  Mary, Denise's mom, is going to cook us a big Thanksgiving dinner! Woo-hoo!

Joe is on schedule for chemo the following week, Tuesday, Nov. 27th.

Thanks for sending us positive vibes for the radiation treatment!



Here are some photos from our lovely DC visitors from last weekend :)

Hillary, Lis, Stephanie  11/10/12

Dad and Lis 11/10/12

Monday, November 12, 2012

What's Happening This Week - November 12th

Denise and Michael, Memorial Hospital, NYC 10/31/12

Today Lis, Joe, and I head to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at 53rd St. for 11:15 am.  Joe will have blood work, see his oncologist and receive his chemo treatment.  The day will be long.  Hopefully, we will be back to the Upper West side by 8:30 pm. Joe receives his chemo drugs via his port this afternoon and brings home a portable  infusion pump to deliver another drug over the course of two days.  (The pump fits in a small pack worn around the waist.) Joe will have the pump disconnected Wednesday afternoon.

Mia will hang out in the Upper West side apartment enjoying her new toys and treats from Bone Appetite awaiting her next walk in the park.

Mia, 11/12

Wishing everyone a good start to the week.  Thanks for thinking of us.

Love from NYC,


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trying to Get a Handle on the Pain

Greetings loved ones,

(Thanks Snoop, as in Dog-gy Dog).

Joe and I watched a bit of the news coverage last evening for the 44th presidential election of the United States. What stuck most? Brian Williams, on NBC, mentioning that 1 million television ads aired for this 2012 campaign. Williams concluded this remark saying, “Imagine what disease we could have cured if that [the money spent for 1 million political ads on television] went to science instead.”

We are home this week, trying to get a handle on the pain. Which is what we try to do most every day. Joe is remarkable as per usual, as he never complains - ever.

Joe was discharged from Memorial Monday afternoon. Eight days in the hospital. As Meghan commented, "Surgery and Sandy in one day!" We had some lovely visitors, big shout out to Sarah, Tiff, and Chrissy. Joe’s ladies representing obvi. In addition, Dad and Denise came by dressed up in costume on Halloween, a gangster complete with a pinky ring and a witch, with a very large and feathery hat. From CT, Mia dressed in scrubs, complete with a surgical mask, looking very official and in charge – Joe’s fav doctor.

Mia, 10/29/12

We are very excited to have some DC visitors coming to CT this weekend, Mike and Hillary and their brother along with Josh and Erin, still our favorite newlyweds.

Mia had her first adventure in the snow today and seems to think it’s cool/ something very scary/ a big ice cube she can eat, as she loves ice cubes.

Below are some pics from two recent events, the Cancer Research Awards Dinner at the Waldorf and a Cancer Research Fundraiser at the Village Pour House. Hope you are somewhere warm and toasty.

Thanks for your love for Joe and your hope that we can get a better handle on the pain.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some Weeks Are Like Roller Coasters - Part 2

Monday, October 29th cont.
Normally, one family member for a brief period of 5 minutes at a time is permitted to visit a patient in the PACU or recovery room at Memorial Hospital. With Hurricane Sandy about to hit NYC and since all other patients had been moved from the PACU , the nurses allowed Lis and me to remain overnight with Joe, something we later learned is never done.

Joe said, "Mom, we should book all our surgeries during hurricanes."

The nurses rolled in two extra beds for Lis and me to use.  As I took a power nap, Lis kept Joe company as the nurses cared for Joe and worked to adjust the pain meds since Joe was still in a great deal of pain.

Watching the latest updates on TV, Lis learned that NYU Hospital had lost power and their generators had failed. Memorial nurses told Lis that we should get ready to give back the beds because Memorial would be receiving some of the NYU patients. As the lights began to flicker on and off, Lis worried that Memorial would loose power, too. As you can well imagine, Joe was hooked up to a lot of equipment in the PACU. In fact, Lis asked the startled nurse if Memorial Hospital had an emergency plan, too. By now, Lis figured it was a good time to wake me up.

Memorial Hospital began to receive patients as NYU Hospital was evacuated, 18 patients that evening we found out. Since no patients were brought to use the beds in the PACU Monday night, Lis and I were allowed to stay with Joe.

Tuesday, October 30th
By noon, different pain meds had arrived from the hospital pharmacy and we hoped Joe would have better pain management.  Joe was moved from the PACU to the 7th floor where all neurology patients are cared for.

We continued to hear reports from the nurses about the ongoing crisis in the city. Many of the hospital staff had been staying overnight since Saturday or Sunday.

Joe's roommate on the 7th floor was an elderly man, one of the 200+ patients from NYU Hospital  that had to be carried down many floors on a sled in the dark. Matt, a Memorial nurse told me that one of his friends said the evacuation was very calm and orderly.  Because there were no emergency lights, nurses used flashlights to illuminate the stairwells as patients were transported out of NYU.

This first hospital room was ill-equipped to handle two patients.  As it was an end room, each time Lis and I left the room, we had to walk by the unresponsive patient and his visitors, his rabbi and the volunteers who always kept him company. No privacy, but everyone worked hard to be kind and considerate and as quiet as one could be given that sometimes there were many people in a small space.

Joe rested in his hospital room and later that afternoon, physical therapy came to help Joe get up and moving.  And as extremely painful as you can well imagine it must have been  for Joe to move, Joe was amazing.  As always.

In the middle of the night, Joe had to change rooms.  His roommate was requiring breathing treatments and it was virtually impossible for Joe to rest with the parade of professionals caring for this patient. Against the backdrop of the curtain separating the two patients, Lis, Joe and I could see the nurses tending to this man.  Because of  the back lighting, the hospital curtain served as a scrim with the medical scene playing out in full view.

Luckily, a room was available and the late night move was accomplished with a minimum of fuss.

Wednesday, October 31th

Jack-o'-lantern in Joe's room at Memorial Hospital, 10/31/12
See Lis's next post for latest.
This week, as always, Lis has been an incredible sister doing whatever it takes to help Joe.

Amazing love. 
Thanks for checking in and for loving Joe, too.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Some Weeks Are Like Roller Coasters

Friday, November 2nd 
Joe is getting stronger every day and is on target for discharge today from the neurology floor of Memorial Hospital.  This is the in-patient hospital of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/MSKCC located at 1275 York Ave. in New York City.

As I drove into Manhattan on Sunday, October 28th, I was very conscious of the pending storm and the exodus heading north on the Henry Hudson provided proof. Sunday night ensconced in Aunt Lynn's apartment on Riverside Drive, we listened to the winds howl from the warm safety of the 14th floor. As many of you know we headed off to Memorial for an early start Monday, October 29th for Joe's surgery. 

Check back later today for the rest of this entry. Busy with doctors etc. right now. Thanks for reading and caring. Have a great day. 

Our life is like a roller coaster.  Joe was not discharged as we hoped on Friday, Nov. 2nd.  Not to worry, Joe is ok. In fact, after an exhausting Friday for Joe (simulation/planning for Joe's radiation) it was decided that Joe would not be discharged.  The good thing?  Joe got some seriously good rest Friday afternoon into early evening.  Slept more soundly than Joe had in a long time.  Waking up more handsome than ever, if that could be possible?!

It's been quite an experience being in NYC this week of all weeks!

Monday, Oct 28th 
At 5 am  I called the car service located in our Upper West side neighborhood.  Dispatch assured me cars were available and that the Manhattan streets were desserted.  No problems were expected with getting to the East Side in time for a 7:45 am check-in on the 6th floor of Memorial Hospital. We went prepared with whatever we anticipated needing for the next five days. At 7 am Lis, Joe and I headed to Memorial in the early morning light.

Joe's  surgery (which began at 10:10 am) to install (percutaneously) 4 screws and 2 rods into the L2 vertebra went very well.  It took longer than we originally thought it would.  Mostly because the surgery involves taking images throughout the procedure to ensure proper placement of the hardware.  Sloan has a good process in place whereby a roaming nurse provides ongoing updates to the families of patients during surgery.

Around 3:30 pm Lis, Sarah and I were able to speak with Joe's surgeon who reassured us that the surgery went as expected.  Joe was resting (although in a great deal of pain) in the PACU (post anesthesia care unit) also known as Recovery.

It was close to 4 pm by the time we were permitted to see Joe.  I could immediately tell that Joe was in an incredible amount of pain. Joe, who never (I mean, ever) complains about the pain he experiences, told me his pain was a 15!  Health professionals use a sliding scale from 1 to 10 to ask patients to describe their level of pain. Joe was experiencing a pain crisis and was letting us know his pain was well off the chart. In addition to the pain from the back surgery, Joe has chronic pain to manage, too.

The staff in the PACU worked very well with Joe's pain management doctor from CT, (the dr who knows Joe best) to get Joe's pain under control.  Unfortunately, it took way too much time to readjust the pain meds. Over the next few days, a better pain management plan evolved.

By Monday at 8 pm, the few remaining patients were discharged from the PACU to the 7th floor leaving Joe, the only patient in a 32 bed recovery unit!  Many of the staff had come in early to be on site in preparation for Sandy.  In fact, I was told many of them were given aerobeds to use. All surgeries at Memorial had been canceled for Tues., October 30th.

See next post for continuing saga...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Today at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Joe's surgery went well today. It's almost midnight and Joe still has a lot of pain. Doctors are working to manage the pain. Had trouble with Internet here today.  Will keep you updated as we can. Thanks for all the support and love!

Love from Joe, Lis and Doreen

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What's Happening This Week - October 28th

Forgive everyone everything.

I received an email from a friend.  You know the kind.  You probably receive them, too.  This one was titled, "Good Advice" written by a 90 year old. The list was a long one, 45 pearls of wisdom to be exact.  The one that stuck with me?  Forgive everyone everything... 

We've heard it before.  It's been said many times in a myriad of ways by many famous people,  "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

People misspeak.  Coming  from our own corners, with our personal histories, we misinterpret. Feelings get hurt.  People most often mean well.  Sometimes mistakes are made. But remember, each day every one of us is faced with challenges with which we must cope.

Forgive everyone everything. Try it.  See how it impacts your life.

The last month has been crammed full of doctor appointments, chemo treatments, a 3 day admission to St. Vincent's Medical Center for pneumonia, and surgery (spaying) for Mia, too! Life has been super busy.  And as always, all the  love and the many messages from all our friends and family have helped sustain us.

On Monday, October 29th  Joe will be admitted at 7:45 am to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center/ MSKCC, 1275 York Ave in NYC.  A neurosurgeon will percutaneously insert 4 screws and 2 rods into Joe's  L2 vertebra.  Recovery is much faster from this type of surgery as it is less invasive that traditional methods for back surgery. The total procedure will take approximately 3 hours as  imaging is done to ensure proper placement of the hardware. Kyphoplasty, a procedure to inject a cement-like substance will be done as well.

In September, Joe's CT scans showed that his cancer has spread.  Hence, the change in chemo treatment to different drugs.  One of the areas showed a tumor in the vertebral column.  This has caused severe pain for Joe. Monday's surgery is necessary to provide pain relief from the fracture caused by the tumor and to stabilize this area to prevent any spinal cord compression. The following week, Joe will receive a one time dose of radiation to destroy the tumor.

By the time you read this post, we will be en-route to the Upper West side of Manhattan to Aunt Lynn's apartment.  We will spend Sunday afternoon watching football and relaxing. Monday morning we will be up bright and early to head to the East side to MSKCC. Check back for updates, we will keep you posted.

Thank you for all your love,


PS This afternoon I spoke with the neurosurgery fellow on call. Joe's  surgery is confirmed for tomorrow. Some of the doctors are overnighting at Sloan due to the storm. The stores are jammed with shoppers and long lines as New York prepares for Sandy.

Sarah, Joe, Mia, Brittany, Gabby, Lis, Jeremy, Hannah, NYC,  9/23/12

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Chance Encounter

Make no mistake. Mia is on the job. The other morning, as I came down the stairs, I heard this incredible howling. Oh, yes, a voice like no other. Mia could not see who was approaching as she lay snuggling with Joe on his bed. However, Mia wanted to be perfectly clear that someone had entered the apartment and she was sounding the alarm. Once I rounded the corner and Mia saw it was me, her ears flattened and it was as if she smiled to say, “Aw, it’s only you. So sorry, I’m really happy to see you!”

Yes, it’s true. Late at night, I dropped something in my room and this time a series of rapid barks from upstairs where Mia and Joe were sleeping. Mia wants to be sure we know who is in charge!

Mia brings joy into any room she enters or wherever she goes. It is amazing. Last week as Mia and I waited for Joe outside St. Vincent's Hospital, Mia caught everyone's eye - the children and their parents, the medical professionals coming and going, the guests visiting, and the patients being discharged. One man in particular struck a chord.

As this young guy struggled to get from the wheelchair into the back seat of his waiting car, he caught sight of Mia seating calmly, yet at attention watching his every movement from afar. The man called to me, “Is that really a service dog? I mean, what does she do? Who does she help?”

I smiled and answered, “This is my son’s puppy, Mia. My son has cancer and Mia helps keep him company. We are training her and she goes with my son to his treatments and appointments, and pretty much everywhere.” I wished the man a speedy recovery and he bid me and my son the same. I can’t be sure, but I think caught a glimmer of light in the man’s eyes as a wistful smiled crossed the stranger’s face.

Some days Joe is exhausted and Mia always likes to cuddle.  Guess fatigue goes hand in hand with cancer, though Joe never complains. Joe is always ready with a smile that comes from his heart.

I'll show you courage you can't understand. And one fine dog, too.

Love to all,

Joe, Nancy and Mia, 7/12

Thursday, September 20, 2012

These Days

Do more for others.

Today, don’t wait. Do the messy or un-fun things too, like your 84 year old mother’s laundry and hang those pants on the hanger just the way she likes. Help somebody in your life, somehow.

When my eyes flew open at 5 am yesterday, my mind racing as it always is, my first thought was - I need to do more for others. Tuesday was my birthday and so many people had sent me good wishes and kind words. The merry-go-round of my mind stopped for a moment and I realized I could do more for others.

Each one of us can do more for others. Little things, big things, a few words of conversation, it all counts.

The payback will fill your cup. We talk of time management as if we really could harness time like the Hoover Dam controls the waters of the Colorado River. Drill down. Don’t hesitate. Do something good. Now.

The first thing Joe said to me Wednesday morning was, “Mom, did you have a good birthday yesterday? And, yes I did.  Joe's gift to me?  We went to a really cool (therapeutic) yoga class at Charym in Litchfield. It was pretty  awesome.

Do more for others. And graciously accept when others do for you.

It's because the days of our lives are like diamonds on the water. Have you ever seen diamonds on the water?

One day a number of years ago, I stood at the ocean’s edge watching the waves roll into shore. The bright sunlight reflecting just perfectly, creating what looked like an endless sea of brilliant diamonds on the water. It was intense, almost overwhelming to take in. I watched, mesmerized and within moments, the light shifted and the diamonds disappeared.

These days are like diamonds on the water.


Matt, Trevor and Joe, MetLife Stadium, 9/16/12

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Power of Gratitude

Joe, Doreen and Lis, Paris, FR 3/2/12

This photo was taken as we sat in the garden at the Palace of Versailles eating macaroons. You can see me holding the box of sweets. 

Experts encourage us to keep gratitude journals to record those people and things for which we are most grateful.  Today on my birthday, at the top of my list are these two most beautiful people. I have many people and lots of things for which I am grateful. My list is long.

I love you Lis and Joe!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

What's Happening This Week - September 16th


In fact, we have been doing so much living there has been little time to write or post pics. We have so many great photos we will be sharing from the summer months. (Including a growing collection taken by Joe with his new camera.)

This week there is no treatment scheduled for Joe.  Joe's oncologist from  MSKCC, (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) is changing the chemo treatment plan.  Joe will begin a different chemo regimen on September 25th. The doctors want to use a three drug combination to fight Joe's cancer more effectively.

Joe spent yesterday relaxing with his sister Lis, Sarah, family and friends at Dad and Denise's home with our much loved and adored Mia.

Today, fall is in the air and the Giants play the Buccaneers! Joe and his friends will be there to support the Giants and enjoy the game!

We need to count our blessings because we have so many.

I am sure you do, too.

We will also celebrate life this week as we gather in NYC next Sun., Sept. 23rd for a memorial service to honor my sister, Lynn Darsh who lived a life to inspire us all.


 Joe and Josh, Watertown, CT 9/16/12

Mike, Sarah, Joe, Josh and Erin, Watertown, CT 9/16/12

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mia Leads the Way

We are smack dab in the middle of life, each and every one of us.

We have lots of things to do, yet never enough time to get everything done. Our lives are filled with laughter and funny moments, but plenty of pain to go around, too. We all know someone who could use a hug and a kind word or two, right this moment.

We have joy and we have sorrow, all part of our human experience.

If I had to boil it down…if I could choose only one word out of the English language…or from any languages of the world…just one word that really matters to me – my word would be love. 

We try and we fail. We make mistakes and we have success. We sometimes even hurt someone.

But, we love one another. 

Life seems to be coming at me fast these days. I know many of us feel this way for all kinds of reasons.

Check out the following photo which might well be titled, “Where Are the Dog Treats?”

As I pushed our shopping cart through Fairway Monday morning, I wondered if Mia might leap out. I need not have worried, Mia was thrilled with her vantage point!

Mia acts as though she is leading the brigade. Eyes straight ahead and obviously engaged. 

Maybe dogs have it right, be here right now.

                                                    Mia, 9/10/12


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Love for Joe’s Aunt Lynn

It is with a heavy heart I write to you today.

My incredible sister, Lynn Darsh of New York City died on August 23, 2012 after a courageous battle with lymphoma.  

Words are inadequate to describe the vitality with which Lynn lived all her life.  

Lynn, quite simply was a brilliant, kind and compassionate woman.  

Lynn loved her family and friends with all her heart and soul.  

My dear niece, Brittany wrote today, "Lynn's spirit continues to live in all of us."

I love you Lynn!


Doreen and Lynn, Buffalo, NY, '59

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Having Trouble Posting a Comment?

People have mentioned to us that some of you have had trouble posting comments to this blog.

Technology can be challenging, just like life.

In order to help, please send your thoughts and comments to Lis at or me at

We will can post your comments for you.

Thanks for thinking of all of us.

Blue skies,


Headcount for Labor Day Weekend Party?


We need a headcount for the Labor Day Party on Sunday, September 2nd @ 2pm.

Please respond in the comments or send me a text at 203.994.2134.

Check out details under "Events for Joe" at the top of this blog.

We hope to see you!


Lis & Joe
Lis & Joe at Josh & Erin's wedding at Jameston, RI, 7/27/12

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Just a Little Tease...

Mia and Joe, 8/2/12

Today is day 4 of radiation therapy. Joe is feeling really great today!  Earlier in the week, Joe experienced extreme fatigue/nausea, but thankfully, it's passed.

As you can see from the photo, Mia is totally enamored with her master! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

What's Happening This Week - July 30th

Bruce sang as Joe and I drove to St. Vincent's Hospital and the Swim Cancer Center in Bridgeport, CT this morning to make  a 10:15 a.m. radiation therapy appointment.  "Thunder Road", Joe's favorite Springsteen song played (on the Sirius XM/ E Street station,) as we hit the highway.

Today, Joe began the first of 10 radiation therapy appointments.  Joe will receive these radiation treatments Monday through Friday this week, July 30th through August 3rd, and next week, August 6th through August 10th.  The radiation itself takes less than 10 minutes each day. This morning's appointment took a little longer because x-rays are taken on day one. (Earlier this month on July 11th, Joe had a 30 minute planning session  with the radiation oncologist and the radiation therapy team.)

Joe reported that the treatment room is a bit intimidating with a huge machine and a vault-like door. However, the radiology therapists were great  and they have a good communication system in place. Everything went off without a hitch.

The goal of the radiation therapy is to eliminate the tumor that is present in Joe's left femur. On July 12th, Joe had a bone biopsy that confirmed the June PET scan which had shown a tumor in the femur.

Joe was told that the leg (bone) pain he is experiencing may be a little worse before he gets relief. Dr. I, the radiation oncologist tells us radiation should eliminate the bone pain in Joe's leg, although it may take a few weeks to accomplish. Radiation will help prevent any break in the bone, too.  As my dad would have said, "Joe, has been a real trooper."  And, Joe sure has been.

While Joe settled into the routine for checking into the Swim Center for treatment, Mia entertained patients, visitors, and oncology nurses in the waiting room.  Mia is undoubtedly quite the celeb! As Mia and I boarded the elevator returning from a visit outdoors, one of the nurse's from Dr. V's office came up to us. She  immediately recognized Mia from this blog!

Lots more is going on this week, too!

Uncle Raymond is arriving from Florida on Thursday for a visit.  We look forward to catching up with Ray and attending Great Aunt Sarah's 90th birthday celebration on Sunday with him!

Also happening: We have another visitor, Uncle Ben who had a last minute business trip to Hartford  from Edwards Air Force Base.  Joe's, Aunt Lis and his cousins are coming from California on Thursday. My mom, (known to her grandchildren as "Gabby") had a heart attack recently.  Gabby is feeling much  better and my aunts, (Gabby's sisters) are coming to visit her. Joe's, Aunt Lynn from NYC is able to join us, too. We have some family gatherings planned.

Thanks for checking in! Look  for tomorrow's post with updates on last weekend!


Swing at Chateau du Sureau, June '12