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