FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story-Chapter Twelve

| October 16, 2017

A pleasant calm prevailed after we moved into our new home. Valerie’s prosthesis became simply another fact of life and all but disappeared from our everyday vision and conversation. I took care of the house, cooked, did the bookkeeping. Ed sold kitchen cabinets and sundry items and the new office, recently located outside the house, […]

FIGHTING BACK: One Mother’s Story–Chapter Eleven

| October 6, 2017

The big question for me? Should we continue building in Warren after Valerie’s amputation or should we sell the half-finished house and remain in North Plainfield? The stressors kept building. We did have the option of selling. One couple drove by the Warren site in a fancy car and offered us a great price. “Let’s […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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. […]