Fear into courage

It was a rough weekend after the ER visit last Thursday night into Friday morning. It’s not easy to have a catheter in your penis 24/7 – makes peeing very uncomfortable, hard to walk, to sleep, to get up and sit down… I had several bad leaks, one in bed and one in my pants at NYU. If you can avoid getting a catheter, do so! Antonio is a saint in helping me in every way that you can possibly imagine: massages, love to the point of not knowing what to do with it all, patience that would test the best of us. I’m not sure I have the qualities he has to put up with me. I try to be as nice as I can, but I am far from the saint that he is!

Miguel came for a visit on Sunday and it was great to catch up with him. I also had visits from George and Chandler on Saturday, including a much needed haircut from George and peonies from Chandler.

Yesterday, I had 2 doctors’ appointments. First was for radiation at NYU Hospital and that went reasonably well. Antonio took me to NYU and the radiation was quick and painless. I had no real sense of what was happening – my eyes were closed and I was locked in under the mask.

We had lunch at the NYU Tisch Café and from there, took the subway to the Upper East for the appointment with Dr. Katz, my urologist. I’m hoping that is the end of the catheter and that my PSA will rapidly go down to normal. My friend Michelle Dannemiller wrote to say “Try not to be alarmed by the high PSA. It’s likely due to the urinary tract infection. That happened to Jim (her husband), too. Once the infection was cleared & his enlarged prostate was treated, his PSA returned to normal. Hang in there.”

We had dinner at EAT near Dr. Katz’s office – it was another planet from our neighborhood. The kinds of people walking around there are VERY Upper East in their mannerisms, dress, etc. It was great to be on our way and walk through Central Park, see Spring in full bloom and take the subway back to Chelsea.

I’m all booked for people to accompany me to radiation now. Thanks to all who stepped forward for that: Susan Locke, Susan Letteney, Carlos Motta, Buffy McDevitt, Ellen Saad, Nancy Raphael, Stewart Schulman, Ed Sullivan and Maie Ayoub. Others who volunteered, but who will not be needed except as back-ups just in case the above people can’t make it are Eric Sawyer, Katia Fisch, Suraj Bhatia, Gib McCurdy and Don Alden. Again, I am overwhelmed by all of the support I am getting! “ As Shakespeare said, “I am wealthy in my friends!”

Antonio and I had 2 hard conversations and I’m not really sure where these will lead. I know that I love him and that he loves me, but I have to say that I do have some hesitations – although not even sure what exactly they are about. Yesterday evening, he was downstairs watching TV and I was upstairs writing this. I’m feeling bad and sad, yet glad that I raised the issue after he asked the question about whether I had any doubts. He thinks it is up to me to decide next steps and I just don’t have a clue what to say about that.

Final thought from Devendri Sandrasagren: “You have great inner strength transforming mistakes into wisdom, fear into courage and defeat into victory. You live by the truth and stand by your values.” I wish that these were all true!

P.S. Working on the glitches with the transition to the blog. For example, once you sign up, you get a message saying that you will get a confirmation email, but that doesn’t seem to be generated by the system. No idea why! So please be patient as we work these glitches out!

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6 thoughts on “Fear into courage

  1. dearest alan, you have always had such determination & direction & clarity .... so it must be hard to NOT have those things at every (any?) juncture in this journey of unknowns ... try to be loving & patient with yourself in not having answers .... sending love & strength your way, steph

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  2. Alan, Devendri Sandrasagren is so right on about you. I have found out that we do not always value ourselves as we should. We do not realize the effect we have on ourselves and others. Sending good thoughts to you.

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  3. HOLDING YOUR HANDSOME HAND ALL THE WAY !

    NOT EASY
    NOT EASY!

    YOU KNOW
    I KNOW

    ON WE GO!

    XOX
    Loads of LOVE BACK to YOU!

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  4. Also, dear Alan, I know you are probably overwhelmed by advice, so I've been hesitant to add mine, but here goes anyway.
    Give yourself permission to fall apart. Drop down in a corner and cry until you can't cry anymore. Then get up and get on with your day. What you are going through is harrowing and terrifying and overwhelming. It's okay to give in to the fear and anger and sadness occasionally. The cathartic effect of a good cry cannot be underestimated. You will need to decide if you want to be alone or if you want someone with you for your "mini breakdown." Personally, I prefer alone, because when I get to that place, I need it to be about me (even though I KNOW others are profoundly affected, too.)

    I think of you everyday, mention your name for the mi Sheberach every week, and hold you close to my heart always.

    Much love

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  5. Alan, I love you dear wonderful man...you have always brought light and laughter to many! I love the child in you....that related so well to my own children and has endeared so many to you. All will be ok. I am so sorry you have to endure this. You will walk away from this in great form. I wish we lived closer to you so we could be of service to you. hugs.

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  6. Alan, my prayers are with you. I wish you strength of spirit and continued support from those who love you and are near enough to help. I wish I was close enough to add my name to your already packed list.

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