Friday, February 24, 2012

The Power of Chocolate

Sometimes I just need chocolate, and when we found ourselves just a few blocks away from Max Brenner's this afternoon, we knew just where to go:

You see, at Max Brenner's, all of your problems are left on the street while you sip, and lick every last drop of, a delicious Italian thick dark hot chocolate.

It is even better when dining with a friend.

But when I start to think about it, Little Man is the real winner because we both got the same amount of hot chocolate, but I outweigh him 10:1.  That would be like me drinking an entire gallon of the stuff... no wonder he isn't asleep for his nap yet.

btw- he finished his entire glass--I am a proud father.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Challenge Accepted

As I have recently received some troubling news from my doctor, the same poem by Edmund Vance Cooke has been circulating through my mind:

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there – that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts;
It’s how did you fight and why?
And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t that fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die?
For the last month, I have had an aggressive growth on my right testicle.  After several blood tests, my doctor has decided to operate to remove the testicle and biopsy the growth to determine what kind of follow-up therapy I will need.  I do not have an official diagnosis, but with complicated jargon, my doctor explained that some form of chemotherapy will be required after the surgery. 
It hurts, and I am scared.  
Part of me wants to pretend that nothing is wrong and live a normal life, but there is another part of me that needs to get life organized to deal with this problem.  Fortunately, I am blessed to be surrounded by loving and understanding people to help me through this problem.  I have a job that is very understanding and will allow me all the time off I need.  My school schedule consists of three seminars (they are great classes!) which requires a lot of reading, but I have a good rapport with the professors, so I do not plan on withdrawing from the semester.  I have a beautiful fiance who is constantly providing me with love and support.  My family is mobilizing to come out to New York and help with Little Man and whatever other needs arise. 
While I have no intention of dying, I am certain that I am going to be thrown around pretty hard, but just as Cooke advises, I will "be proud of [my] blackened eye!"  The silver lining is that my family is healthy--I don't know what I would do if Little Man had this diagnosis.  I have the makings for a fantastic graduate school application (who wouldn't want a student that battled cancer while attending classes full-time?).  My new health insurance through Columbia will cover most all of the expenses, and I live right across the street from the hospital, so I won't have to deal with traffic or the subway in my commute.
I am scared, but I am also strong, confident, blessed, and ready to fight!  This challenge has been accepted! 

Saturday, February 04, 2012


This is Toby:

Toby is a good dog.  We adopted him from a shelter in Syosset, and he is now part of our family.  There are many things that we do not know about Toby.  We do not know his birthday, his age, why someone left him tied to a tree, what his previous family was like, and why he loves other dogs so darn much.  However, there are many things that we do know.  We know that he is very sweet, he loves to eat all his food in under 30 seconds, he loves the dog park, he likes balls, and he will always have a home with us.

We also know that Toby loves his big/little brother.

They like to tease each other.  When Toby is asleep, Little Man will shout "TOBY!" to wake him up and then run away.  When Gabriel is asleep, Toby will bark and try to pull his pillow away from him.  They will chase each other around the house, and it is impossible for Little Man to walk past Toby without getting kissed or pressed against the wall in a big Rottweiler hug.

We love our Toby.