On the Upswing

Last night was probably my neutropenic low-point, and I am feeling a wee bit better this afternoon with an unfortunate weekend of chicken and potatoes ahead.

With the end of delymphomatization firmly in our sights, Jacqui and I are beginning to plan for our post-chemo life: events which include a much needed vacation, a baby naming for Sophia, and, of course, the first annual Mike Yudell Lymphoma-Free 5k run/walk/barbecue. As of now, we are tentatively planning the baby naming the first weekend in May and the lymphoma-free celebration the weekend of June 23rd. More information to follow soon. Hope to see you all there!

3 thoughts on “On the Upswing”

  1. Dear Michael: I have debated writing to you several times, but decided that it might be fun for you to hear from a teenage date of your father’s who had a huge crush on him. I was 16 and 17 and I guess he was 19 and 20. I met him at his fraternity house Phi Epsilon Pi. I began dating a fellow Phi Ep and not your dad. I was not all that interested in Hank (the other fellow), but I had hopes of dating your dad and so every tine there was a Phi Ep event, I got to see ALLEN!!!!! I was lying about my age. After all I was just in High School and they were all COLLEGE BOYS! It was my dream to take your father, as my date to my Sweet Sixteen. I was a child actress and was off doing summer stock at the REAL Woodstock Playhouse. Mind you I was not lacking from boyfriends, but I WAS “IN LOVE WITH ALLEN” (not that he ever knew it!!! I wrote him a letter mid summer, confessing my actual age and asking him to be my date for that “SPECIAL EVENT” and he wrote back ACCEPTING!!!!!! We dated a few times, off and on over the next year or two, but alas, nothing BIG ever really came of it. BOO HOO!!!!! Eventually, I got over “my LOVE for ALLEN” and moved on with my life!!!! 🙂 Like you, I have faced a number of adversities. I have a progressive neuro-muscular disease and a number of other physical disabilities. I have a great sense of humor and a very strong will to enjoy my life. My philosophy has been: “I am not physically challenged… (YUCK HOW I HATE THAT! IT IS SO PATRONIZING!) …no “I AM EXTREMLY INCONVENIENCED!!!!” I was shocked to read of your father’s death in the Times Online. I decided to be a voyeur and did some research on your dad and his family. That led me to your Blog. I have read all of it and I must say you and your entire family seem like delightful and super intelligent people, who have faced major adversities with so much strength and humor. It is wonderful! Your father turned out to be a truly super guy from what I have read. I find your stories of him and food and his cell phone hysterical. Your mom sounds like someone I would have picked for a friend. She seems so strong and so good humored. I hope you don’t mind my voyeuristic research, but hey, today no one has any privacy thanks to Dubbya. So it’s all out there. But of course, you, yourself, have put it out there, so I can’t really blame Dubbya for that, only for EVERYTHING ELSE!!!! I can’t believe your dad voted for him TWICE!!!! Where was he coming from???? Well no one is perfect, although at sixteen, I truly believed that ALLEN COULD WALK ON WATER!!! I have been married and divorced and moved to Santa Cruz County (Capitola), CA over 10 years ago to live with a guy who turned out to be an alcoholic. We met online. I dumped him after a year and have lived here ever since. I do miss a good New York Bagel and a New York Pizza, on occasion (imagine pizza with chicken, pineapple and of course the Official Vegetables of CA, avocado and sprouts????) I don’t miss New York weather. I do miss my friends, but I love it here. It is a small, very low-keyed, beach resort in the summer and a small, beautiful and low-keyed place to live in the winter. It is charming, peaceful and fits my now, very quiet life style just fine. I did have a very hectic and full life for years and now I am retired, really due to my health. In a drawer, I have a scrapbook, which has, among other things, a number of pics (from my Sweet Sixteen) of your father with me in his white dinner jacket and chubby cheeks. I broke my wrist a few months ago, but if you would like to see some, I will try to get them scanned into my puter and email them to you. Are you curious? Well, I have been keeping track (daily) of your progress and am so glad that you have come this far! I feel like you are some long lost distant relative. So, I send you my love and hope you don’t mind the intrusion, but find it fun instead! Love, Linda Phillips


  2. Hello Michael, Jaqui and Sophia –A message from a long lost cousin in CA. I learned of this sad event of Allen’s passing from my brother Rob, who I know has been a close friend to you and your family, and you to he and his family for many years. (I have certainly missed out on much). I have spoken to you mom and I am trying to keep in touch with her – she and I were good pals for a time in the 70’s and I remember coming to your house in Roslyn when you were small – have our ages caught up to each other? funny how that happens as we all get older 🙂 I remember you and your sister Andrea in the house with three, or was it four floors? – spending the night while on a layover in JFK, while I was a flight attendant, and going shopping with your mom, who I always thought was one of most striking women I ever met. I remember you dad coming home from his work day and I too, noticed the love in his eyes for your mom. I wasn’t married at the time, but I thought it would be wonderful to find a husband like your dad.I shared with your mom, a few days ago, that when I was only 15, wanting to be more like her, while visiting NY for the 1964 Worlds Fair and to celebrate Grandpa Joe and Grandma Sadies 50th wedding anniversary; and during a visit to your grandparents apartment in Queens, I borrewed (I think I permanently borrowed) your moms lip gloss from the medicine cabinet. I thought at the time, if I wore her lip gloss, then I would certainly be as beautiful and sophisticated as her. :)If you aren’t aware, I too battled with the Big C some 17-18 years ago. At the time of my “battle” I too had a small one to keep me going. My son, Jeffrey, was only ten (10) at the time and I know in my heart that he was the instrumental and and driving force, to my ultimate recovery and victory. One day, when trying to cope with the horrible chemo session, I came to my senses, when a neighborhood child was pounding on my door to let me know that Jeffrey was struck by a car while riding his bike home from school (5 blocks). Of course, my pain and suffering immediately took a back seat while I ran the 2 blocks to the scene. When I arrived and he was encircled by neighbors and ambulence was already on the way and I was relieved to find that there had not been a car involved and that his bicycle tire had hit a slick surface, causing him to fall. He was going to be OK, just a broken leg. Needless to say, we were quite the pair, he with his broken leg and me fighting for my life. I tried my best to make the best of the moments we had together. Riding him around so he could use his new camcorder, standing up in the moving car, through the sunroof, “I Love LA’ blaring from the stereo, in order for him to film a movie. Trips to amusement parks and the live theatre were tough, I felt so sick, but at the time, I didn’t know how much time I would have, my doctor didn’t know, so I hung in. Those were rough times, but we both came through and we were strong for each other! There was no way I was leaving him at the age of 10! Now he’s 28. I wish you all the will and strength to get through these hard times, and from what I have learned and read, YOU WILL! You certainly have the love of close friends surrounding you and a beautiful family to embrace.I have missed alot of goings on with my maternal side of the family. Your grandfather Stanley visited our home when Jeffrey was small and I spent some time with he and Ruth (#2) while on NY layovers. I’m thinking about a trip to Florida, actually thinking about a move somewhere where I can find a life with less stress and also be involved in a sailing community, a passion that I have recently discovered. I don’t know for sure what or when that will come to be.In any event, your mom told me about this “blog”. I’m not sure how to blog but I hope this posts so you can read it and I hope we can get to know each other as well.I am thinking about you and your family!Dianne diannechristman@yahoo.com


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