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 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 One

| April 3, 2017

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story by Suzann B. Goldstein   PART ONE THE SECRET SITS  We dance round in a ring and suppose,   But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.                                                 ( Robert Frost, 1942)   I don’t remember my mother. She collapsed and died one Saturday night in March while my parents were playing […]

A WOMAN TO REMEMBER

| December 1, 2016

 My cousin Polly died in her sleep on November 19, 2016. And I wept for all we had lost. Polly Wittenberg Rothstein was one month past her 80th birthday. This is not a New York Times or a Wall Street Journal obituary. It is simply my remembrances of a cousin loved for who she was and for […]

The Grief That Howls

| November 1, 2016

 I recently read an article written by The New York Times columnist Jane Brody1 regarding the loss of a spouse and the healing that takes place. It was titled Recovery Varies After a Spouse Dies. The early research maintained that “the vast majority of surviving spouses adjust well.”2 New research suggests, however, that a more […]

GRAND ROUNDS: THE PARENT’S SIDE

| May 2, 2016

A GLIMPSE OF BEHAVIOR I gave the following Grand Rounds speech to doctors and medical students at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in April 2016. My husband Ed suggested I post it on my blog Unexpectedlives.com. I agreed. I thought about what I would say in the days before the speech and A Medical Problem […]

It’s the Bounce that Counts

| April 1, 2016

 Resilience. Let me explain: It’s like a tennis ball. Sometimes in a game the ball skips away from you. You swing but you miss. And you have to work harder, whether it’s the next serve or the rally that follows or it’s the next game. It may even be the next day. You think hard […]

OH, MALLOMARS, MY MALLOMARS!

| March 1, 2016

 NOW FOR SOME SWEET (and SOUR! ) TALK April was particularly lovely that year and my husband Ed and I had one last week in the Florida sunshine before leaving for our home in New Jersey. Four nights before we left, however, I woke up and started itching . Oh, my neck, my neck  . . . […]

A MEDICAL PROBLEM THAT WON’T GO AWAY

| February 1, 2016

 Robert—our daughter Stacy’s husband—and I were standing quietly outside the double doors that led to the medical center’s intensive care unit (ICU). It was early in the morning and Stacy was inside the unit on a respirator. The doors were closed. We had been asked to leave while the nurses took care of the patients. […]