FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–chapter 14

| November 20, 2017

Five months later we were back at Babies for another appointment with Dr. Wolff. A radiologist was already there–an unusual development for us–with Valerie’s latest X-Rays. He clipped them onto the light box in the small examining room and pointed to a faint shadow on her chest. In short order, a second set arrived. The […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–chapter 13

| November 6, 2017

The months passed peacefully or, at least, relatively so. Ed, Val and I would go back to Babies Hospital every three months for Valerie’s oncology checkups. That was always a bit of an upheaval as that trip had us all on edge. But Valerie was seven by then and maturing. Somewhat behind emotionally but the […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Ten

| September 19, 2017

Two days after the surgery that removed her right leg above the knee a physical therapist came into the hospital room to show Val how to use crutches. She could have saved the trip. Squirming around a bit, my six-year-old waited for her to finish, then put the crutches under her arms and took off […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Nine

| August 21, 2017

One week after our talk with Dr. Wolff about Val’s amputation, we were back in the hospital. Surgery was scheduled for the next morning. The children had been told only that Valerie had to stay at Babies for a few days. Ed said, “The bad cells in your leg aren’t completely gone, sweetheart. You need […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Eight

| August 7, 2017

Valerie and her radiation-damaged leg needed a new home. Her limp was worsening and our North Plainfield bi-level had two sets of stairs. Each time Val went downstairs to play in the rec room, I had to trust to the gods that she wouldn’t trip. We needed a house with fewer or no steps. In […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Seven

| July 17, 2017

At last! After three inpatient days at Babies Hospital searching for signs of cancer and finding none, we took Valerie home. One surgical biopsy, twenty-six sessions of radiation and two years of chemotherapy were over. I believed Valerie was made whole, liberated, renewed. “No sign of cancer,” the doctors said. “We can’t say with any […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Six

| June 19, 2017

Traffic into New York City had been bumper to bumper. I was late. Valerie, my five-year-old, was in Babies Hospital one month after her last chemo. It was January 12, 1972, the date marking the end of two long, difficult years of shock and turmoil for my small family. This time, her checkup was for […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Five

| June 5, 2017

Ed and I worked hard. We had no options. Our major medical had maxed out at $20,000—that was gone in an eye’s blink—and the slew of doctor and hospital bills on the corner of Ed’s desk showed no signs of diminishing. Besides that, there was the need to eat. Our new company, E & S […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Four

| May 15, 2017

Valerie has cancer. All at once I forgot about Ed’s reaction to my tears; normally, that would have been eating at me. But his biting behavior in the diner really didn’t matter anymore. I knew he was as shocked, as upset, as I was. And his conduct, I’m sure, was as outrageous as mine probably […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Three

| May 1, 2017

“Stacy, hon. Daddy, Valerie and I have to go into New York again. The doctor wants another look at her leg.” No questions asked; no further explanation needed.  I wondered briefly about my mother; how would she have handled this? But she was not there for me: not to rely upon or to babysit, to […]