Weekend in Philadelphia

Sunday: On the bus on our way back from Philly where we spent a few days with my niece Stef and her beautiful family.

Kaelah performed in the Nutcracker Saturday nite and we had amazing seats – front row of the balcony – to see her. On the one hand – the performance was terrific, Kaelah was great and the dance quality was high,; on the other hand, the music is pretty boring overall, the choreography is same old same old.

It was great to be with Stef and family – they really are special. Sunday morning, for example, we went around the table at breakfast and each person had to say what he/she appreciated in the others from this past week especially. Everyone had a chance to talk. Even Neve, the youngest is learning to express her feelings.

Stef and Justin’s kids are all amazing. Kaelah, the dancer, Mare the reader and gymnast, Lucy – the reader with her big smile. Neve – always adorable and with a gorgeous smile and energy, though being around their energy exhausted me!

Going down to Philly was not so pleasant. We took a bus from Chinatown that was filthy and so packed that we couldn’t even sit together. We sacrificed the return tickets to upgrade to Bolt bus – so much nicer an experience.

Can’t believe I lived in Philly for 4 years – such a small town compared to NYC! Can’t imagine moving back there though real estate is so much more reasonable! We could own a country escape for the cost of a 1 BR or studio in NY.

Did I mention that I love Antonio? Just want to again underline that Antonio still by my side through this journey – could not have anyone more supportive or patient. This morning, for example, after making a real mess pooping, he was there to help me clean up and told me not to worry about it. I’m not sure I would be as patient.

Tomorrow is MRI time and I do hope the results will be either no tumor growth – or better yet – shrinkage!

The day after I see Dr. D’Angelis to discuss next steps

Also have been continuing with all of my therapies: occupational, Physical, speech and psycho. All helpful, but take a lot of energy. I am not responding to a lot of calls or emails – just too time and energy consuming.

My body is weirded out by all that is going on and this week I have had at least 4 accidents of peeing or pooping in my pants. Zeven if I feel the urge, I sometimes can’t make it to the toilet on time.

Good news – I am making more progress, but still I suffer from too much fatigue everyday and still have mild nausea and headaches on an ongoing basis. But that is to be expected with the treatment, so not too concerned.

It’s amazing how many people have cancer. The waiting area at Sloan is packed with people waiting for tests and treatment. The waiting area has all kinds of people – young, old, black, white, Asian, religious Jews, Muslims, and who knows what else. Cancer is an equal opportunity disease.

Weirdly, while I am much better, I still feel each day that I have a long way to go! Strange feeling and place to be! For example, I can shower on my own and walk alone in the streets and on stairs, but still feel somewhat unstable with these basic activities.

A few more things to add:

  • I am getting to the gym almost daily – even if just for a short time and a light workout but even that helps a lot
  • I continue to be very forgetful – where I put things like my phone or keys or glasses and appointments, etc. Antonio helps daily to remind me and to help me find lost objects.
  • My belly is still bloated from the drugs and I hope that soon changes- for now it’s good to have the extra energy to fight off the cancer.
  • I am walking much more and much better and doing PT and OT 3 times per week and all of that helps, too!

Not too much else to really report for now – so that’s the latest update until next week.

The trip to Spain is cancelled for the end of December – visa issues and Antonio can’t travel yet. We will try to go to Florida instead and to Spain maybe in March.

In spite of the setback with Trump winning the election, the world still goes on and the globe still spins even if in less control. We WILL survive the Trump years!

Very proud that the UN for All project I helped develop early in the year has won an award for management innovation.



The UN Cares team has finally finished circling the globe preparing UN staff members on how to deliver the new UN for All modules. After the launch which took place in Geneva in June 2015, the UN Cares core team led 8 regional workshops to train facilitators reaching 262 participants from 107 countries. These facilitators are now delivering the Core module and the LGBT module to UN employees in their respective countries.

The first regional workshop took place in Thailand in December 2015 for the Asia-Pacific region and the last region to host the workshop was East and Southern Africa, with an event that took place in Johannesburg in July 2016.

“The United Nations should be a model employer on inclusion, given the work we do in the world on ensuring the human rights of all are upheld. Some colleagues, who risk discrimination in their own countries, tell us that the United Nations is, for them, an employer of choice, because of its stand on human rights. Some UN for All content may be new or challenging; yet, it has been well received in every location to date, and it will help us to be that model employer,” says Laurie Newell, the Global Coordinator of UN Cares.

The modules have already reached more than 1200 UN staff members around the world including some prominent UN leaders such as: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women; Atul Khare, the Head of the Department of Field Support of the Department for Peacekeeping Operations; and Michael Moller, Director-General of UNOG. Participants often write in the evaluations that the modules should be mandatory for all, and that the experience is eye opening as well as enjoyable. The modules, as we have seen, are a great way for UN organisations to bring their diversity policies into action and to promote insightful dialogues with staff.

Sent out most of the thank you notes post-wedding, though still many more to do.

Getting more requests to start working again, but don’t feel I’m there yet!

Approaching NYC now and cannot wait to be home. Sushi dinner tonite with Miguel and Ronny.

Opened a new bank account after lots of challenges with Chase. Let’s see if Capital One is better. Thanks Aalap!

Ok, all for this week.

This photo from a year ago:


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10 thoughts on “Weekend in Philadelphia

  1. Alan Silvermanlymanlovitchski! Continue to improve and congratulations on the UN All project award.
    Love, Marko Domannlymanlovitchski!

    1. Love that surname, Alan, from Mark above: Silver/manly/man/lovit/chski.

      Love to you and Antonio, Ed

  2. I'm so happy that you had a great weekend. My grandson (Joey 13) will be the Nutcracker Prince this weekend. One of my close friends also has brain cancer. It's eerie. It makes me smile to see you with Antonio. My wife and I had two weddings: a shul one and a legal one on the beach in La Jolla. Many good thoughts for the MRI results.

    1. thanks mindy! - we are glad to have had 1 wedding - that' prob it. too draining to have more.... xoxo

  3. Great update & totally agree!: Philly is small, Stef's family is special, Antonio couldn't be more supportive.

  4. Such an exciting time for you! Congrats on the wedding, card and gift to follow. Wish we could have been there. Love you lots cuz.

  5. You have always lived life to the fullest Alan... and that you continue to do so and share your love with everyone is the greatest gift. Love you and Antonio!


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