A bit quieter of a day thus far, although it was a pleasant morning. After some grouchiness from Larry because he didn’t want to eat and take pills while in the bed, and wanted to be moved to the couch, he was alert and wanted to watch Star Wars again. He also ate his French toast that Fran wonderfully made, and it was a good experience. Only made it to about the 1.5 hour mark in the movie though and I could tell he just needed more rest, so he’s sleeping now. He’s wheezing a bit more than normal, and that I guess is to be expected and why we have the oxygen tanks. We’re also expecting a visit from a rabbi today, which may be good.
The rabbi came by and it was a good visit – the rabbi was orthodox, but he was very very personable and relatable. He did some prayers with Larry and Larry was able to repeat and follow along with them. Nicki was also there for this at this time and it was frankly a nice experience. The Rabbi wanted us to definitely do the last night of Hanukkah – which we did. We did finish up the rest of the Star Wars then, and let Larry then sleep.
Nicki hung out with me and watched TV (we watched the first 2 hours of the Witcher) and it was clear by the evening that Larry’s lucidity was wearing away. Who he was in the morning was a far cry from who he was by night. We all watched the movie 1917 (fantastic, btw) and Larry was in and out. I tried to talk to Larry a bit while we were all starting to get to sleep in hopes maybe there was some lucidity – as I wanted to know what he preferred for his final wishes. He just didn’t know. Fran has told me that his grandfather has already purchased plots for him back in New Jersey, and I am good with that being the path forward. I know I’ll be back there to visit him in person, but I also know that I don’t need a gravesite to memorialize him. Mila and I were discussing it today (Dec 30) and I think something like a small garden of sorts on the roof deck would be wonderful. I just can’t fucking believe this. Nicki was flying back to Florida tomorrow, so this was effectively her saying goodbye to Larry. She had a moment crying with me before she left, which was the first time she’s really broken down. I obviously know what she’s feeling. When I left myself truly feel these moments, I can’t help but cry.
The last pictures of us with Larry are below, with him somewhat lucid. It is devastating to know that, writing this from late January. It’s so ungodly fair this happened.
This morning started out with Alyssa leaving and saying her goodbyes with Larry one last time. Later that morning, Stacie and Trent came over to visit with Larry. It was a very nice time spent with them – I’m glad they could do so, as we were able to reminisce a little and just have a nice conversation with Larry. They left before noon and we then got Larry downstairs. It was very hard to have him go up and down stairs. A nurse from True Care was coming at 1pm, and we also had Nicki, Sveta, and Mila coming over. Not only that, I had been able to reach out to friends in the industry (George and Greg, effectively) about a Star Wars Rise of Skywalker screener and Greg had one! He wasn’t in town on Thursday, but managed to FedEx it to us overnight so it got here in the morning today. Not only that, but he also sent Uncut Gems, 1917, and Frozen 2. Unbelievable. The nurse’s visit was good, and she encouraged us to move the hospital bed to the living room level, which honestly made the most sense so he’d have TV, be around everyone, and not have to deal with stairs anymore. So we cleared out the area around where the Eames chair was, moving that over by the dining room table, and made room for the hospital bed to be relocated. The highlight of the day was of course getting to watch Star Wars! It was a lot of fun, a lot of the criticism is warranted, but it’s still one hell of a ride. Very enjoyable, but still like The Last Jedi the best of this new trilogy. Larry couldn’t really stay awake for most of it and was in and out, but I tried my best to keep him engaged.
Afterwards, we all just had a pleasant evening hanging out, drinking wine, telling stories, lighting Hanukkah candles, laughing, crying, playing Cards Against Humanity, eating Taco Bell. I love my friends so much and they’ve been a godsend in this. I don’t know what I’d do without them, as well as Fran and Joel obviously. It was the first night that Larry spent down in the living room and I slept on the couch near him. It wasn’t easy. He peed once in the night which went well as I had him stand up, but the second time he did it laying down into the urinal and it was a mess. Had to change the bed, do the sheets and his clothes, change his clothes to be clean, and then finally put him back to sleep. I’m a little tired today (Sunday).
I’ve been pretty bad at updating, as is my way. So I’ll try to rectify that here, with some pictures and general “here’s how it’s been going” updates. Long story short though, Larry has been doing pretty damn great during Rounds 2 & 3 of chemo.
A brief update on the chemo story: For Rounds 1 & 2 of his chemo, we were doing a “doublet” chemo treatment called Folfox. I’ve linked to a site that kind of explains it so I don’t have to get into the weeds. This treatment approach is the typical standard one for colorectal cancers, and so that’s what our oncologist recommended. The goal though was to see how Larry took to these and if the side effects were going to be too much. Because his port surgery was still within 4 weeks, we did not do the +Avastin though, as that is the drug that inhibits capillary growth, to stop both cancer cells from building out but also good stuff, so healing Larry’s surgery scars would have been impeded. But we did Folfox for the first 2 rounds and while he definitely did experience neuropathy as expected, and of course fatigue and occasional nausea, it wasn’t anything we couldn’t manage. And by the time each 2nd week came around, Larry felt pretty good. So by the time it came time for Round 3, the onocologist (Dr Arzoo, who is an amazing man and doctor) let Larry decide if he wanted to increase the treatment potency. There is a “triplet” chemo treatment that has been shown to be very effective too, Folfoxiri. It’s more aggressive and comes with heightened side effects, namely much more diarrhea. Dr Arzoo was supportive if we were wanting to go for this, and after some consideration, Larry was on board. It definitely adds more time to the chemotherapy process on Monday, and the neuropathy seems to be heightened, but the dreaded constant diarrhea really didn’t manifest for Larry. He’s been actually doing pretty good during this Round, which is certainly hopeful for us. Really hoping that will remain the case as we go into Round 4 tomorrow. All thoughts and good vibes are appreciated!
Here are some pictures from Round 2, on July 30, 2018
Why don’t I have pictures from Round 3 two weeks later? Well, that’s because Fran came in to spend some time with her boy! Only one visitor is allowed at a time, so I stayed home while she went in for the Round 3 super dose. I had told her that it wasn’t such a long day, but Folfoxiri + Avastin does take a long time, so my bad! I’ll get to be there for the long day tomorrow. Anyway, before she accompanied Larry on that Monday, we picked her up on the Sunday before from LAX. Taking advantage of the fact that we don’t typically spend much time on the West Side anymore, we planned an outing to the Century City mall – and went to Eataly for lunch!
Eataly @ Century City on Aug 12, 2018:
We went to Century City’s fancy mall w Fran after picking her up at LAX
This is the line to wait to eat at Eataly
Fran and Larry
We liked these lamps
This mall looks much more different than it did when we’d visit it
Like these closets at the Container Store
As far as other stuff that happened since, here are some pictures and stuff! One of the things Larry & I saw at the Hollywood Bowl was a live performance of Annie – which was amazing. Much like Mamma Mia last year, it’s basically putting on the Broadway show but keeping the sets from being too over the top. In both of these cases, the sets actually were pretty flexible in that they took advantage of rotating sets to great effect. In Annie, the letters themselves were able to be used as various locations by rotating them around to show they were hollow and had sets in them. AWESOME. The cast of Annie, especially the lead and then the celebrity cast that filled in the other main starring roles, were all amazing. Ana Gasteyer was great as Mrs. Hannigan as was David Alan Grier as Daddy Warbucks. The girl who played Annie was fantastic. I love the songs too, and they didn’t disappoint with numbers like “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”, “Tomorrow”, and “Maybe” (and everything else, of course).
Annie @ the Hollywood Bowl, July 28, 2018
Early this month, Larry & I went back to the Glen to see how our house was coming along. No drywall up (although we have heard that has started this week!) but we got to see that all the electrical and plumbing is in, as are all the windows, and a lot of the clutter on the floors was gone, so it was much easier to walk around and imagine the future.
The Glen LA, Aug 5, 2018
It’s coming along – and much less clutter on the floors now
Garage looks more like a garage
In our future office
The shower is still ready
All the plumbing and electrical is in
The purple cords are where the speakers will go
Much easier to see the future
Me and Thais
The day before Fran arrived in town, Larry, my mom, and I went to the Hollywood Bowl to go watch The Empire Strikes Back accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. It’s a phenomenal movie and has one of the more iconic soundtracks – obviously it’s the movie that first used the Imperial March, but it also has such great themes such as the love theme and the stupendous Asteroid theme. It was a pleasure to hear it play out live. Plus there were so many lightsabers in play it was a joy to see them all come out when certain actions or musical moments came on, notably when the Imperial March played.
The Empire Strikes Back @ the Hollywood Bowl, Aug 11, 2018
I have been working basically from home while Larry is going through this. With the stuff I’ve been working on lately, that’s been an option. I do go in occasionally though just to make sure people see me or when others let me know they’ll be in. In this case, my ex-work wife Barb let me know she was going to be downtown one day AND she wanted to take me to lunch! How could I refuse that offer? Fran took Larry duty (I kid, honestly – he doesn’t need such attention) and I went in and met her at her new office neighborhood and she then surprised me by saying we were going to 71 Above, the restaurant which resides at the top of the US Bank building. It was spectacular, and since we got there around 11:45am, we beat the rush and got window seats. It’s kind of nuts. The food was fantastic, and I definitely appreciated her generosity!
Lunch w/ Barb @ 71 Above, Aug 16, 2018
It’s been a blur though, to be honest. I can’t believe we’re on to Round 4 tomorrow, and that Fran has come and gone already. There was fun to be had, as we did go and see Crazy Rich Asians which was awesome (go see it), we’d go for walks to keep Larry active, made dinners at home, Fran and I drank wine, she’d watch a lot of her British Netflix shows, and overall it was just an easy time, thankfully. So here’s hoping the good vibes continue. We’d love to learn that the chemo is doing its job, but we won’t know how well it’s working for a little bit longer. Dr Arzoo has mentioned we’ll test levels after Round 6. In the meantime, positivity and confidence it’s all working out are the order for the day. In random news, I’m in love with this mop I saw at Bed Bath & Beyond:
I got it and I used it yesterday at home and never again will I use those stupid Swiffer Wet Jet things. Such a waste of paper and resources those things are. This mop has a built-in spinner function to help you both wash the mop head and then a salad-spinner thing that helps you rinse off excess water before using it. I’m sad to report that our floors were filthy, but damn if they’re not clean now!
Today, we went over to Mom’s and had a great dinner with Stacie, which she fixed up. Drinking of wine commenced along with a couple of games of Jenga and Rack-o, and all was well in the world. We had a lot of fun, snacking on food and laughing about memories past – it’s also Harv’s birthday, so it was fun to remember the fun (and drinks) we had on his 80th birthday. Anyway, I think today was a lot of fun, and here are pictures I took:
Sunday, May 13, 2018 – Mother’s Day in Duarte
Mom and Stacie
Me, mom, and Stacie
Stister and me
Larry and me
Jenga cares not for your pain
That’s the main picture-worthy stuff from the past week, to be honest. It’s been kind of hellacious the last week or two or three at work for me, much like last May. This is the end of the engagement I’m on and there’s a lot of having to get us across that finish line in ways that both sides agree on. Cross your fingers that this week is it, okay?
The rest of this post will be videos I’ve been loving this last week or so; you’re welcome.
Childish Gambino’s “This is America”:
We saw Donald Glover host SNL last week and he performed, as Childish Gambino, this song as well as one that hasn’t been released yet. The performances were amazing, but the real show was to come in the release of this music video the next day. It’s fantastic and powerful and intense and requires multiple viewings.
Then I saw this mashup with Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me, Maybe” and now I can’t help but think there was intentional synchronization going on:
I had previously raved about the first few singles that Janelle Monáe had released in advance of her new album, Dirty Computer, being released – well, that album has been released and it’s amazing. She also released an entire long-form video containing many of the songs within as well as an interesting tale to stitch these videos all together. If you have 45-50 minutes or so, it’s well worth a watch:
Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer Emotion Picture:
Random videos time now –
First up, this latest season of Survivor, “Ghost Island”, has been okay, but it’s had in its cast one of the hottest men to be cast on this show, ever: Michael. Good lord, he’s fine. So fine. But alas, he got voted out recently and so now he’s on the jury and having to kill time. Lately, CBS has been getting cute and indulging the cast to do fun stuff, so with Michael, they filmed a fake cologne commercial in the vein of Calvin Klein….and they’re pretty damn good with the vibe they create because hot damn this mofo can sell me anything.
Lego videos, especially those around Star Wars stuff, are awesome. Here’s one I previously raved about with regards to the Death Star kit, but this new video is one that isn’t a kit and is made by those folks who collect thousands and thousands of Lego bricks to make any and everything. This guy made the Star Destroyer wreckage as seen in The Force Awakens when we first meet up with Rey….and wow is all I can say. It’s incredible!
Finally, there have been these small animated cartoons being released in the Star Wars world that are canon and cover areas of the lore that may not necessitate a movie on their own but it’s cool to see nonetheless. These videos are called Forces of Destiny and there are more than that I’m showing here – but this one is about Porgs and I love porgs and you must too:
I love it so much.
Alright, that’s enough from me for now. I hope all is well with you out in the world.
The initial idea of this movie seemed like a giant ‘WHY?’ but now that we’ve started seeing trailers for it, especially the recent ones, I am super pumped to see this next Star Wars Story movie! I will keep the excitement in check though, as the memories of Rogue One‘s betrayal (having scenes in the trailer that were NOT in the movie) are still with me. But yeah, these recent trailers are all gold, and I am pretty happy to see that Alden Ehrenreich looks to be a fine Han Solo. He better be, after playing Hobie Doyle in Hail, Caesar!
I’m loving Chewie in these spots…so excited to see more. “I’ve got a really good feeling about this” is a classic line already, as is the possibility that we’ll see how and why Chewie has a life debt to Han.
I am finding that I really love these :45 spots the most – Lucasfilm did these for The Last Jedi and are doing them again for Solo and it’s a wonderful length for a spot without overstaying its welcome. And they keep finding new footage to show off!
Chewie grimacing at Han’s cards is fucking fantastic.
I did love the Super Bowl spots too, especially with the look at what might be the Kessel Run!