I read each and every comment, and they keep me going through the tough times.

Status:  7.5/10.  Good friend and oncologist here at Hopkins, Dr. Christian Meyer, told me when I was first admitted that I’d have my good days and my bad days, and that I was entitled to have my bad days.   Today was a day of entitlement.  Monday’s are the surveillance culture days (the orifice thing), the change your Hickman catheter dressing day, and change all your IV tubing day.  Today was also preparation for another lumbar puncture and intrathecal (into the spinal fluid) chemotherapy injection.  That meant blood work, morning meds, prophylactic meds for platelet transfusion, repeat blood work to ensure enough platelets, platelet transfusion, every 15 minute vital signs, and then the lumbar puncture.  

Events: Lisa was here through all of it, and was the sole entity that got me through it.  The magic of her holding my hand (and rubbing my feet) enabled me to get through a morning with a little too much crammed into it.  If I get through all this, I’m going to start doing some PBS infomercials about foot massages, crystals, and aromatherapy (well, maybe not the crystals and aromatherapy).

Comments:  These days are the low points in both my white count and my physical sense of well being.  My attending physician commented that “there’s something about neutrophils” (the white blood cells that fight bacteria).  Whether they emit good humors themselves, counteract bad humors from other white cells, or modulate the complex chemicals of the immune system is beyond my knowledge base, but I miss them a bushel and a peck, and I’ll welcome them back with open arms.

   There was a refrain that kept going ‘round and ‘round in my head while I was having a tough time of it today – and it spoke to the sustaining force of my life right now.

                     “I’m a little lamb who’s lost in a wood
                     I know I could always be good
                     To one who’ll watch over me

                    There’s a somebody I’m longing to see
                    I hope that she turns out to be
                    Someone to watch over me”

                                    Someone to Watch Over Me

                                                    – George Gershwin 

 I love you Lisa,



24 Responses to “”

  1. Judy and Larry Says:

    We are so sorry that you are having such a difficult time. We hope and pray that each day will bring you closer to good health and without any pain. We continue to keep you, Lisa and your family in our thoughts and prayers. We love your blogs and appreciate you taking the time to keep us all informed of what you are going through. I especially love the way you write so that an idiot like me can understand what you are talking about. You definitely need to write a book when this is all over with. You are an excellent writer. We had dinner with Terry the other night and we all talked about how smart you are and what a great blogger you are.
    Keep your spirits up….we are all pulling for you.
    Love, Judy

  2. Wendy Yaross Says:

    Dear Bruce,
    I continue to be amazed by the intelligence, humor and openness of your blogs. Who knew that this record would be something I’d actually look forward to reading? They are wonderfully enlightening. But Daniel and I are just so sorry that you are enduring this. It really sucks (for want of a more elegant expression). I’m hoping you’re up for a visit Wednesday, but if not, we’ll see you next week.
    Love and warm wishes,
    Wendy and Daniel

  3. winnie price Says:

    Hi Bruce
    I wish you a recovery and less pain.I also want Lisa to know that my arm is around her.
    In case you don’t remember I am Ed Golding’s sister.
    all my love

  4. Hope Says:

    Oh that I could take some of that pain and discomfort for you, I weep for you as I did when you were a baby, mothers cry when their babies and grown children hurt and they can’t fix them,
    Your ever loving Mom

  5. Hope Says:

    Wish I was there to give LIsa a big hug and kiss!

  6. cheryl Says:

    I had these exact lyrics in my head last night, as the saxophonist serenaded the guests over Mother’s Day dinner.

    I love this song. And rightly so…

    It’s very wonderful to have someone watch over you and care for you.

    Keep your spirits up!

  7. Laurie Samuels Says:

    My personal mantra, “Better days ahead.”

    I wish that for you dear friend!

  8. Amy Kaslow Says:

    I’ve been reading and re-reading your daily record for many days. You know that feeling when you’ve truly absorbed words on a page? When, at random times during the day, you drift off to the place where a writer has taken you? Like others wishing, willing you well, I want you to know that as you move through so much, you are the one who is tranformative, Bruce. Your thoughts are so tender, your insights so remarkable, your courage so inspiring. I hadn’t wanted to intrude on this intimate written connection between you, your family and age-old friends. But I simply could not resist. Salve.

  9. Bill Israel Says:

    Bruce – nothing like becoming a human pin cushion in a single day to make one appreciate loved ones, friends, and diversions all the more. Keep it up, friend: this is not if you get through this — it’s when.

    I spent lunch with a colleague today who’s just finished chemotherapy for breast cancer and is four weeks from surgery. She’s nearly as articulate in person about her trials with chemo as you are in print, and so I, anonymously, told her a bit of your story, and how much we appreciate being able to be with you through your blog. I think hearing about your great humor and spirit inspired her. She offered as how she’s changing her life to fight this through to a good conclusion. For you, and for her, I suspect, working out the means and having good support to do it is a bit like Humphrey Bogart and Paul Henreid joining forces in “Casablanca.” As Henreid concludes: “this time, I know our side will win!”

    So, in the spirit, here’s another Gershwin lyric contribution for you, (if badly adapted):

    Somebody loves you — we all know who,
    We all know who she can be.
    Somebody loves you, we know you know –
    No worries who she can be.
    For ev’ry nurse who passes you I shout –“No way —
    You were meant to be his loving baby. ”
    Somebody loves you, we all know who,
    We know it’s Lisa, for you!

    And the rest of us are here to cheer you on and say: we’re with you, Bruce!

    Big hugs from San Antonio –

    Bill and Eileen

  10. wendy Says:

    B while 7.5 is your lowest score..to date..it is far better than how most would rate themselves..I applaud you for your honesty and openess and willingness to share..it’s what makes you human and relatable. For those who have experiences you this way..they are blessed…. You are blessed as so many people seem to have been touched in your life.. and continue to be… god takes care of those who share…love wendy

  11. Johnny & Lake Says:

    Dearest Bruce
    Again we say ‘thank you’ for your generosity and kindness — and courage. Your gentle wit is inspirational (not to mention your PBS infomercials!). Love and sleep and more love – restorative. And Gershwen. And of course, Lisa.

    We love you Bruce and think of you and your fantastic spirited being every minute of the day. xxxx johnny & lake

    ps. your thoughts about crystals, foot massages, and ‘alternative therapies’ are very much a part of the medical world here in London. But it also made me think of the current mad political environment of a ‘(not so well-)hung parliament’ (forgive the pun). There’s an election: no one knows the winner. Then there’s the cozy-ups of the Lib-Dems with the Tories; then the promise of the Prime Minister to leave if the Lib-Dems go with Labour; then the Scottish Nationalists throw in their hat. Meanwhile: Greece is bailed out by the EU putting aside its individual nationalist aims and working together. What is clear — at least a little — is that a so-called ‘coalition’ seems best at getting us through, bail us out. Without stretching this point way too far, perhaps a coalition of meds (alternative/ traditional) + sleep + love are the best combination in fighting this horrific disease. Joined up holistic thinking + Lisa’s great love, not to that of your kids and sisters/brothers and your great Mother’s love, too: you’ll beat this, Bruce! And all your loved ones are with you all the way. xxxxxx

  12. Judie Davidson Says:

    Dear Bruce, I will think of you while cycling this morning. Your writings inspire me to never, ever take good health for granted. Warm hugs to Lisa and you.
    Love, Judie

  13. Lynn Tabernacki (Tomasz's mom) Says:

    Bruce, I just heard to today about your hospitalization and am praying for a fast and easy recovery for you. I know that we have only met briefly, but it’s funny that I thought of you just yesterday at Ethan’s B-game – wondering where you were to give your sage batting advice. As you may have heard, he had a stellar hit and great base-running yesterday. I know you would have been excited for him. I’d be happy to tape the next game for you until you can make it there yourself.

    And by the way, your blog is great. Making yourself and others laugh, as you know, is always the best medicine. (And certainly beats Benadryl).

  14. Ashby Beal Says:

    Dear Bruce,

    Well the gang has been notified. If I could get all of these Adventure Guides dads on horses, we would ride to your rescue! Your blog is a treasure, a real gift. Thanks.


  15. darya Says:

    Dear Bruce,
    I read your blog and think of you every day. Lisa said these days are hard. The good days will be back soon- They will! And you will be back amongst those who love you. I also still owe you that infamous Persian dinner and I am thinking of a “tasting” menu for you and Lisa. We want to come and visit, so anytime you feel like company just send the word and we will be there. Hang in there….
    Much love,
    Darya, Vali and Hossein

  16. Pat Bowditch (St. John) Says:

    Lisa likely did not mention that on Sunday when she dropped Rachel off I opened wide and inserted my big foot – asking why she was running all the errands on Mother’s Day and that I sure hoped it was because you were home slaving over a hot stove making a wonderful dinner in her honor. If only that were so. We’re so sorry to hear about your illness and are praying for your full recovery. We look forward to seeing you at Rachel’s graduation – baseball cap and all!

  17. Robin Miller Says:

    Hello Bruce, I have been sending you healing thoughts every day. I think it is great that you are educating the docs at Hopkins. I have some great ideas for you in terms of alternative healing methods that would complement what you are doing when you get out of there! Love, R

  18. Christi Plaster Says:

    Dear Bruce,

    Thank you so much during this incredibly difficult time for sharing your “experiences” (such as they are) and wisdom. Is it human nature to take for granted each morning when you hit your alarm at what seems to be too early an hour and grumble on the way to the coffee pot instead of realizing your incredible “wealth” of life, or is it just me? I appreciate you helping me recognize today that taking time to smell the roses IS important. Hope you know that we are here for all the Dans, in thought and prayer. Hang in there and show some empathy to those poor nurses; they have a doctor as a patient!

  19. Wayne Pines Says:

    I’m not sure whether the toughest times are behind you or ahead of you, but it takes alot of courage to go through what you’ve faced. Your good cheer surely is acting as a placebo.
    Carol and I are thinking about you and looking forward to a healthy Bruce again.

  20. Warren Says:

    I hope that on Tuesday, you can forget Monday.

  21. Barbara Lehman Says:

    Have been keeping up on your recovery. Love the fact that I can check no matter where I am. You do have a gift for keeping your friends and family informed as well as entertained. We wish we could do something to make the days speed by, but we are sure you will be back at full speed soon. Love to you and yours. Barbara and Bob Lehman

  22. Ashby Says:

    I love it that you read each and every one of these comments. I do, too. And I am pretty sure lots of us do. If it gives you just half as much pleasure as it does me then I am very sure you are getting loads of positive feedback. Since I am in charge of rounding up horses for our ragtag lot, I keep having this image of you on horseback riding to the tune of “he rode a blazing saddle, a torch to light the way . . . .”

  23. frank g. Says:

    I read your blog almost daily now. Sometimes I skip a few days, on purpose, like missing a couple of my favorite episodes of a series, saving up the gems so I can spend more time with your words. If life is a journey, you’re on one hell of a ride right now. It’s not fair to be just a spectator; and it’s too scary to be a participant. But … I can be a companion. I read your entries, I think about you often (I’m drinking only chianti…), I get angry and I get inspired, and today I read through all of the comments to your post. I was moved. Bruce, you’ve got a companion army. And I dare to say, we are all standing at the ready. (ed. note.: i don’t think you’d want me to give you a foot rub though, companion army status or not.) I will cheer, support, and curse with you and your family. Thinking about you all the time, and Lisa, and Ethan and Rachel. Never give up.

  24. joel steinberg Says:

    As I am reading your blog and all the comments thereafter, I glance out my front window to the curb where my garbage and recycling bins stand ready for tomorrow’s early a.m. pick-up. A young Hispanic woman with a little girl in tow roots through my glass/plastic bin and retrieves a few bottles, places them in a large black garbage bag, and trudges on to my next-door neighbor’s bins, dragging the bag behind her. The process is then repeated; and so on till she will get tired; or the bag will become too heavy to drag any further. All for the sake of a few pennies the recycled bottles will earn. I am reminded that life is replete with bad breaks, rotten deals, horrid inequities and random malignity (no pun intended). What makes us human is our ability to stare all that in the face and defy it. You, Bruce, do that so very well. And Margaret and I are encouraged by you. Keep it up. Joel S.

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