I write this now, with a feeling of total remorse, knowing there was no way for me to stop what was happening and continuing to happen, because I would have been stopping heroes who went by, to their chosen destiny!

I’m writing this to record an event that I experienced years ago. At that time I wanted to forget what happened, and just get on with life, but now I think it’s time to tell about that memory. Claire, not yet my wife, and I had traveled with my 1990 Peterbilt that I converted into a Motorhome to Long Island from Florida to visit her family. Being I had not yet visited with my sons in New Jersey, I decided to drive my car, which had been towed behind our Motorhome, to Smooth-on, my older son Trey’s Company, where my Son Michael also worked. Leaving Claire with her grandchildren, I left alone at a time of the day that forced me to take a different route than I normally took. Normally, I would take the George Washington Bridge and travel across New Jersey on I80, then south I287, then onto I78 and on to Smooth-on, but seeing the traffic, I detoured to the Long Island Expressway onto the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, although traffic on it too, was moving slowly, but at least it was moving. If you know anything about the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, you’d know it runs alongside of the East or Harlem River with a spectacular view of the West side of Downtown Manhattan. Creeping along, but enjoying the view that I knew and loved, I noticed smoke billowing from the tip of Manhattan, over the buildings facing me, but coming from further inside. I thought to myself, wow, some building must be burning with a terrific force to create such smoke. After a while the traffic began to stop and go, then eventually stop. My view was just of the smoke because of the many buildings in the way to allow me to see any further and the one that was actually burning. Eventually, we came to a complete stop and sirens were blaring away from all directions. The smoke became thicker and thicker as I watch. Many of us got out of our cars to see what the holdup was. Soon thereafter we watch cars with blue light on their roves, drive on the shoulder of our highway heading south. Across the river too were cars with blaring and flashing lights speeding south to the fire. More and more cars kept coming along the shoulder on our right, some with revolving red lights and sirens blaring and you could see the drivers frantically try to get somewhere, they were firemen. We sat for hours until the highway going north was empty. Then slowly all the cars going south were being rerouted over the center island and told not to stop and go just north. Naturally each driver said “Hey We want to Go South”, the policemen ignored everyone and made it clear that we had no choice “GO, go now!!. looking now for the last time at south Manhattan Island, the smoke really was expanding to cover the whole of tip of Manhattan. I didn’t get back to Long Island till dark, as everything was stopped dead. Not knowing what really was happening, as the radio had confusing stories of a major disaster in the downtown area. Had the highway traffic on my side not stopped until I was further south, I would have experienced firsthand what happened. So, all I can remember of the day are all those firemen who took to the shoulders to get to that fire, and what then eventually happened to them. This memory has been stuck in my mind and the main reason for trying to forget. God!! What happened to all those men who were driving to save others? They were driving to their own death, and the date was                                             9/11/2001.

Once was not enough! … and so, my 2 football stories.

This is a short story about an accident I had in my 40’s, and I’m writing to inform my surgeon who was going to operate in two weeks on my lower intestine, to remove 3″ from it, that has a phase #1 cancer growing on it, and it was to be done at Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan.

Dear Dr. Julio Garcia:

I’m writing this to inform you  of something that happened to me  that I had completely forgotten about for over 40 years. While in a meeting this past week with my general practitioner, Dr Magliullo , we discussed the up and coming procedure that you and your team of Memorial Sloan Kettering  doctors were going to perform on my cancer. In the discussion we talked about some of the happenings I’ve had over the years, and I recalled an event that happened to me in 1973/4. We were at my  wife’s parents home celebrating our annual Thanksgiving Day meal, and my one year old son, Christian, was just learning to walk. As he did so, he was ringing and playing with a 6″ handheld Indian brass bell that was a sample of what I was importing at the time for the F.W. Woolworth Co.  

This is Chris, I’m not sure if it was at the same time of: “the bell”


This bell is very similar to the one little Chris was holding, except the top of the handle came to a point.

After he was tired of playing with it, he left it upright on a chair that was not visible to any of us, as it was a corner chair under the dining room table that was also in a corner of the crowded room. Being so small Chris was able to walk under the table without hitting the top. Later, when the meal was to begin, I, being very agile, decided to sit at the table in that corner, allowing the rest of the family to easily be seated. So, without seeing the bell, I slipped around the side chairs, and raised my right foot over the back of the chair I was going to sit on and sat down with my butt landing directly on that bell. Needless to say, it went straight up into my body between my butt,my penis and my rectum. Shocked! I Jumped up flipping over the “already set” Thanksgiving table, and as I did so, I pulled out the bell which had gone completely inside me, and all the way up to the bell portion. Out came the bell and a lot of blood as well, panicking, I ran outside of the house bleeding through my pants and falling onto the grass, passed out. I was rushed to a local hospital, but by the time I got there my testicles had begun filling up with the blood that could no longer escape out the hole created by the bell, as it swelled, it closed. My testicle sack began filling to the bursting stage and eventually was the size of a football. The doctors at the hospital, could not decide how to proceed,  and they finally agreed it was best to let nature take it’s course. While I was still in the Emergency room, a bed was wheeled up beside mine, and as I turned to see who and what was happening, I saw my son Trey laying there, passed out cold. The person who wheeled him in said “He keeled over just outside in a faint, in the middle of the street,” 

Afterwards, they moved me into a private room in the maternity ward and I was immediately put into a “Sits bath” to relieve the pain, and also allow my new football to float freely. I was there for two weeks as the swelling slowly subsided. At the end of that time, I was released with no further damage to my body. I was 40 years old and strong, and later just forgot about it. However, Dr Magliullo after laughing at my experience, brought up the point that there may be scar tissue in that area of the accident that might effect my operation.
I tell you this with a laugh, but at the time it happened it was not so funny as they make it out to be in the movies, with the people watching become hilarious. Also just to make you aware of  another incident before you operate on me. I have had no repercussion from that accident nor the one earlier when  I was 18.  I was working the night shift in a manufacturing plant that made giant co-axle cables used under the Ocean . My job was to apply a tremendous amount of electricity to try to destroy them and find out their limits on how much electricity that it could withstand. I did this each night and testing different sizes and shapes of cable that became boring, especially when the cable I was testing that night blew very early, leaving me with nothing to do the rest of the evening. One night when a cable blew early, I decided to roam around the plant to see just what was there. I came to an outside wall with very large windows, but they were high and hard to look out of. I notices a place that was higher off the ground and figured it was a good way to look out. Jumping onto it, the cover I landed on gave way as my right foot hit it, but not the rest of my body. What happened next was my crotch hit an edge of what I later found out was a ventilator shaft. When I hit it’s edge, it cut my left testicle in half but not the sack around it, causing the same football affect winding me into the local hospital. Here again no physical affects had changed any of my abilities, especially having children…I’ve had 3 sons. Both incidents happened and disappeared. this is just for your knowledge, and maybe a little laugh.

The White Knight, Keeper of Dragons

My First Job after returning to New York

In 1961, I returned to New York after attempting to start a trucking business delivering fruit with my brother Al and brother in law, Dominic Guerriero, which failed due to crop failures in California. I was able to find a job at a low end retail store( a story about this time is in the works) and worked at it till my wife, being tired of California, left suddenly for New York with my two sons, unbeknownst to me. So, once there, I found a job working for a company called First American Natural Fern Co. They had heard about my abilities from their artificial flower wholesale customers in California, and how I had built a small business into a large volume customer of theirs. So First American hired me at $100.00/week, and had me do the same at Bloomingdale’s in Brooklyn, that is, making flower arrangements in it’s Gift Department for their customers who would either bring in their special containers, or buy those available that I made for sale. It was so busy all the time that one day I actually keeled over from exhaustion, and wound up in a hospital. When hired at First American, I was promised by it’s owner, an increase in salary after three months from $100.00/week to $200/week, so when the time came and upon receiving my pay check, and just after my incident at Bloomingdale’s, I asked for that raise. The owner of First American said “Oh no, not yet, but after another 3 months he would give me the raise”. Naturally, being Italian, I blew up as he had broke his promise to me. I told him to get someone else for Bloomingdale’s, cause: ” I quit”. I said it so loud, that he actually flinched and was very frightened, as I walked out.
I went directly to his competitor, Zunino Altman, another Artificial Flower company, larger and owned by Revlon Cosmetics. (Note: After a few days, the son of the owner of First American, called me and asked me to come back at $200.00/week. I said “No thank you, as I’m now working for ZA, and by the way, watch out at Bloomingdale’s.” Since I knew the buyer there and he knew it was me that made his business grow, eventually, ZA became the company now selling Bloomingdale’s.)
When I arrived at Zunino Altman’s showroom, there was two salesmen talking and laughing, so I excused myself and asked to see the owner, as I was looking for a job. Laughingly, they said that there was no jobs available, but just then, a man entered the showroom. He looked at us and said to me: “Aren’t you the young man who works at Bloomingdale’s?” I said yes, and he then asked me into his private office. He then explained that he went to Bloomingdale’s because he had heard of a young man doing outstanding business working there with a new approach at selling arrangements, He asked why I was in his showroom and I explained it all about the owner of First American and his broken promise. He immediately said “Well, you’re hired here and at $200.00/week, and after 3 months I’ll increase your salary, again”.
Zunino Altman (“ZA” as it was called then) and this man, Josh Rothstein, who had faith in me, gave me the opportunity to be who I became. From the first day I started till the day years later when he contracted Alzheimer and completely lost his memory, we became close friends. He allowed me to spread my wings to create a New Flower arrangement division that became very successful, as well as set up a team of designers to teach Flower arranging to all it’s customers. Every day we traveled together in his car to our homes in Scarsdale, New York. “ZA” was actually owned by Revlon who had owned many smaller companies, and each one had to report at an annual meeting to Charles Revson, it’s CEO and owner at his  building famously called “666 FIFTH AVE”.

One year, Josh asked me to go to this meeting with him and when we arrived it was filled with the President, Charles Revson, and the Presidents and Vice Presidents of all his companies as well as many of those other executives from Revlon. As the meeting went on, both Josh and I realized that he was being ridiculed about how the company profits were not up to par. Actually, Revson was in the process of selling Zunino Altman  to a competitor called J. Markovits Inc. and was playing with Josh, trying to intimidate him into quitting. He actually picked one of the Flower samples we had brought and told Josh to name it. It was a daffodil and Josh said so, but Revson said to all present “OH no it wasn’t, but it was a rose”. He then asked all present in the room to tell him what it was and all yelled “A Rose”. He said to Josh how could you run a flower company if you don’t know the name of a flower. I then stood up and yelled “It is a daffodil and I should know as I’m the designer who creates them”. Everyone in the room was shocked, but I stood my ground and then Josh stood up and said “Sal lets leave this bunch of losers. Naturally he didn’t last a week. After a few very uncomfortable months under a new President assigned by Revson, I got a call from Josh and he asked me to come to work for him at a company he just had bought, called Goldfarb Novelty. Happily I said yes and went directly to the new president told him I was leaving after giving two weeks notice. His name was Irving Bottner, and he was there to distroy the company under orders from Revson, as they wished to write off “ZA” as a big tax loss. He couldn’t believe I would leave and neither did the two salesmen, Ira Klienberg and Bernie Rosenburg, who I had met originally. They too would eventually have to look for jobs at other flower companies. They later worked for my biggest competitors, after I formed my own company, White Knight Adventures. I was able to bring with me The F.W. Woolworth Co’s business, as they knew too I made Artificial Flowers successful at their stores. This set the direction of my eventually starting my own company, White Knight Adventures.

Going Bananas!

Well, one day when I was about 12, my Uncle Tony asked me to come with him on his next run. Naturally I was excited just knowing I was going to be a helper and so proud. Into the truck we went and he drove across town to the lower Hudson River where there were and still are piers that boats could dock to load and unload. Into the gigantically long pear we went and as we did so, it became darker and darker, so much so, he had to put on his lights, as did the fifty or so trucks already waiting in line. We stopped behind the last truck in line and he immediately jumped out and told me to do the same. Up to a desk we went and he registered there, but in doing so he knew who the men behind the desk were as he had done this run many times. With a big smile he began to talk, but in double-talk, which he was amazingly great at. All the guys around would look at him thinking him speaking in another language, but after a while, they all would begin to laugh knowing he was fooling them. He really was good and the best part was that he would speak as though he was asking a question. The men behind the desk would ask him to repeat it and again he would double-talk but maybe add even more gibberish. After a while everybody would laugh and laugh. Eventually when back in our truck, we moved along the line until our turn came and he backed the truck onto a platform where many other drucks were already loading. He said to me “Come on, lets load the truck”. Well talk about a new experience! We walked up a railed platform that led onto a mid sized ship, not a liner, or big cargo carrier, but rather one that threaded between the islands of the south to here in New York Harbor, just to deliver bananas. Onto, and into the boat I went behind my uncle, as we passed, men were carrying stalks of bananas on their shoulders laughing as they did so. Seeing me, a young kid, they laughingly yelled to my uncle, “Hey, Watch out for the big black spiders, they are much bigger this trip than the last one. “Wow”! “What” I exclaimed? Well, now I really had a problem, I had to watch out for spiders, and it was getting darker and darker as we went down and down, with only dim lights flickering, here and there. Uncle Tony turned to me and said don’t listen to those guys, they’re just fooling to make you scared. Yeh, well, they did a good job! As we went down, I notice men who were very, very dark, who spoke in a way that sounded like a song in different language, but it wasn’t, after I listened hard. They were laughing and laughing as they sang, and sweating so much so that their skin shined, even in the dark. I had seen a “colored” man only once before, and that was when my friends and I ran down Mulberry St to Houston St. because we heard loud yelling from people crowding around, cheering, as they moved down Houston St., but never so close as to be involved. When we got there, panting, we saw two guys fighting with long knives, they were very, very dark almost black, swinging their knives at each other with blood running from their bodies as they passed our street along with the loud crowd cheering them on. I say this was the first time because we lived on a street that was closed to anybody not living on it, including “The cops”. At that time they didn’t put “colored people” in books for children to see, at least not in any that I saw. So, I was not too shocked now to see these 2 guys. My uncle’s turn came and he walked up to a stalk of bananas and swung it on his shoulder as one of the Black men pulled the bow out of the knot on the cord that was holding it to the roof of the deck above us. Uncle Tony said to come follow him, and this time if you see any hands of bananas on the floor pick them up and bring them with us. Up we went and sure enough there was a hand that had fallen off, or “accidently” cut off one on the stalks that someone was carrying. I picked it up and was it heavy, with at least fifteen bananas on it, and crawling around one of them, came a spider that had to be as big as my hand with black fur on it. I didn’t hold onto that hand of bananas very long and certainly didn’t pick up another. Down to our truck we went and as we passed another desk that was directly along side of the ramp, they recorded our name so as to be able to tally and charge to Bianco Bros. When inside the truck, my uncle told me to now tie the top of the thick stem of the stalk onto the roof railing of our truck with the same rope that had been left on the stalk. So onto a box that Uncle Tony had set up for me I jumped, and tie it, I did. We continued this procedure time after time, till the truck was fully loaded with about 100 stalks hanging there. We then drove to our customer’s warehouse that was also dark and dreary; to do just the opposite, unload each stalk onto hooks on their ceiling. It took four hours from start to load. till unloading. So, back for another load, but this time Uncle Tony said that I had better pick up the hands that fell, as they were our tip, that we would then share with all my uncles, as well as the mounted policemen that hung around our office to have coffee and sandwiches. This too, is a story for another time, or you might read my story about Uncle Joey, that explains our Policeman friends.

Unbelieveable what a woman can do! What could I do without her


It all began when Sal had a colonoscopy on August 29th 2013 because Dr Biaocco, his Gastroenterologist, had found some very small Polyps in his previous colonoscopy in 2011 and recommended he have another one in two years. After the 2013 procedure, Sal was told that he now has a “Phase-1 Cancer” and it needed immediate attention. The Doctor made an appointment his associate, Dr Goldberg, and said he who would begin a Chemotherapy and Radiation program. Although Sal was initially shocked by the news, he realized that he wanted more information before he met with Dr Goldberg, so he began researching where there was the best Cancer Hospital. On September 3rd 2013, Sal visited Dr Goldberg and was told that a stint would be put into his chest area and Chemo would begin at once. Afterwards, both Claire and Sal felt that before going forward they would look further into what was best to do next, as Sal felt he didn’t want to go in the direction of Chemo/Radiation. Our first thought was to visit with our family Doctors and friends, Ray and Dianne Magliullo, so we asked Dr Biaocco to send all records to our family doctors. We met them both on Sept 9th 2013 and they suggested we meet with Dr Landolphi, our Cardiologist, who saw us the next day, Sept 10th, who then said Sal needed a stress test and a PET scan. He performed the stress text in his office that same day and gave a prescription for the PET. While all this was going on, Claire’s Macular Degeneration was spreading to her left eye and she was getting injections in both her eyes, and besides all this, we were moving into a new apartment in three days. 2 On Sept 12th, Sal had a PET scan and  met again with Dr Landolphi who said that Sal has a Ascending Aortic Aneurysm that was 4.1 cc and small enough to let alone for now, but it needs close watching, by having another PET scan in a few months to see if grows at all. Afterwards we discussed my Cancer and who best to remove it. He recommended a Dr Khalife. So I asked to have my records sent to Dr Khalife, after making an appointment with his office. On Sept 19th we met with Dr Khalife who gave a complete description of the operation and it’s after affects, including a temporary Colonoscopy bag. He said that he would perform the operation at Winthrop Hospital. We were impressed with Dr Khalife and he left Sal with a better understanding of what he had to go through in the next few weeks, as his memories of the bag that would stick out of his stomach, were not good. His first cousin, Vinci-boy had to wear one his whole life from the time he and Sal were very young. Because there was a possibility of an unclear reading from the PET scan, Sal was set up for another CAT scan. On Sept 24th at 9:00 am Sal had a CAT scan and it was confirmed that there was a Ascending Aortic Aneurism at 4.1cc above his heart. The Doctors all agreed that since it has not grown, and it fell under a size that was safe, that another CAT scan would be needed again within 6 months. On Sept 26th we went to the admitting office of Winthrop Hospital for Sal who then had an Endoscopic Rectal Ultrasound. The results came back that all was well, so now all was set for the Cancer operation to proceed forward. So who and where? Sal had already investigated Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan, and knew there was a branch in Commack, on Long Island, so he made an appointment to meet with Dr Desai on Oct 2nd . On Monday Sept 27th, Dr Khalife’s office called to say they have set up for an operation for the Cancer removal on Oct 11th at Winthrop Hospital, saying all pertinent records should be sent to their office. That same day they went to Dr Magliullo to request the records, and their advice to us moving forward. They recommended that we visit with our Cardiologist Dr Landolphi for his opinion and release. On Sept 28th we visited Dr Landolphi and he agreed that Dr Khalife was very good and that he would give Sal a Release and send his records. Still not  satisfied, and knowing Sal had an appointment with Dr Desai of Sloan Kettering, they decided to call Dr Biaocco, where it all began. His recommendation was that Memorial Sloan Kettering was the best hospital in the World for Cancer surgery, and we should meet with Dr Weiser their top Surgeon. That information made us wait till we met with Dr Desai. On Oct 2nd we went to Commack to meet with Dr Desai who recommended that we go to Manhattan and meet with Dr Weiser and/or a Dr Hullio Garcia for the surgery Sal Needed. She made an appointment to meet with them on Oct 4th. After leaving, we called Dr Michael Bianco, Sal’s cousin who is an Anesthesiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, NY, and he agreed what was said about Sloan Kettering. On Oct 4th we went to the city and met with Dr Aguilar who said there was no question about surgery over Chemo/Radiation, as the cancer is only Phase 1, and is best to simply remove it, but what was necessary, was to find out how far the cancer was above the Anus. All this would be accomplished with another Colonoscopy that he would personally perform immediately, and Sal was also able to see the cancer at that time. Upon arriving home, Sal then cancelled the operation set for Oct 11th at Winthrop Hospital and called Dr Khalife telling him our plans were to have the operation done at Memorial Sloan Kettering. The next two weeks were spent doing just regular things together, seeing doctors for eyes, and teeth, and all other normal things that people do.

On Oct 21st we went to Manhattan to have a EKG at 1:30 pm with Dr Gupta and afterwards at 5:30 pm for an MRI. The operation was set for Oct 29th . Claire visited Dr Magliullo for a cold she had on Oct 22nd (Sal had to be careful as he catches a cold easily.)

On Oct 23rd we went again to Manhattan for pre-surgical testing. At that time Dr Aguilar gave Sal another colonoscopy and Sal was then able to watch and saw his cancer as the Doctor showed it all on a screen. Sal asked if it might be removed by entering through the anus like a Colonoscopy, but instead, cut out the Cancer removing it that way. Doctor Aguilar, smiled and said no way.

As expected, Sal caught a cold on Oct 25th! and it got real bad, so they went to Dr Magliullo on Oct 28th to get drugs to combat the cold, as the operation was coming up, but when they told Dr. Aguilar’s office about the cold, they cancelled it and rescheduled it for Nov 12th.

On the first of November, Dr Aguilar called to ask about the cold and how he was doing. On Nov 6th Claire had an appointment with her eye Specialist, a Dr Canivalle, who impressed both Sal and Claire with his personality and dress. Claire’s left eye was now giving her trouble as well as the right.

On Nov7th- Dr Magliullo cleared Sal for the operation.

On Nov 12th- Robert Cuni, Claire’s son, dropped us off at the Hospital very early and Sal was operated later and all went well. Claire stayed the night waiting for Sal to wake up. Chris Kenny, Claire’s son in law, picked her up the next day and took her home. On Nov 14th Sal got up and walked a mile and felt great. Claire stayed home for the next 4 days having her own health problem to solve.

On Nov 18th Trey picked Sal and drove him home and all was happiness. It was Spenser’s birthday and Trey still brought me home. GREAT.

On Nov 19th a nurse came every day for a week, along with a therapist. All was well for a week, but Sal started having problems.

On Nov 26th- Sal went back to the hospital, and back to square one! On Nov 30th Sal came home and hopefully for good, or till January for the removal of the Ileostomy bag.

On Dec 4th- Sal became dehydrated and dizzy so, he drove to Good Samaritan Hospital and went the emergency ward and asked for Dr Michael Bianco. Michael came down and did wonders for Sal’s comfort. It turned out that his kidneys were failing. He had an appointment that day to visit with Dr Aguilar in Manhattan, so it was cancelled but they wanted to be kept in the loop.

On Dec 7th, “The day of Infamy”, Sal went home from the hospital. Claire was having difficulty with her eyes and needed attention as well.

On Dec 9th- Claire visited Dr Kiernan for injections in both her eyes. On Dec 14th, Claire’s birthday, Sal had a bad night with ear ache, nauthius, and dizziness so bad, he could not stand up. On Dec 15th a birthday party was held for Claire where her children, Grand Children, and Kimber(Dog) celebrated and it was fun for all.

On Dec 16th- Back to Dr Magliullo for Sal to combat his Ear Ache and Nausea. On Dec 18th Sal went back into Good Sam Hospital at 10:00PM. On Dec 19th When Claire visited she met with Dr James Ksia, a Cardiologist, who said that after tests, Sal has a very high Potassium level.

On Dec 20th at Good Sam, Sal was cauterized and the Doctors there said that Sal should be rushed to St Francis Hospital by Ambulance for open Heart surgery.

From here on out I will tell what happened to Sal by recording EXACTLY as Claire wrote it daily.

December 21st Sal texted me that Dr Rovenski came to visit him, and told him surgery would be tomorrow, but he was allowed to get up and walk around. Thank God! Perry and I will be going at 10:30 am.

December 22nd Perry, Robert, Angela, and Doctor Michael all came with me to the hospital. Well today Sal is having open heart surgery. “God protect him” I love him so much. He was operated a 9:00am. Sal had a second surgery at 9:00pm and his heart was bleeding a lot. He had a third surgery at 4:00am the next morning.

December 23rd even with Sal’s set back, he still is stable, no bleeding, or damage to his liver or kidneys. Trey came at 12:30 pm. Perry and I came at 11:00am. Dr Michael also came to see Sal and Big Neil also came. I talked to the nurse, and she said he’s stable… I told Trey the same. (It’s challenging) I stayed all night.

Christmas Eve, December 24th Tomorrow Perry and I will go at 10:00am Christmas Day

December 25th Went to see Sal

December 26th I went to see Sal. They did a cleaning inside his chest with antibiotics. His heart rate went way up. Left at 3:00pm… He was stable

December 27th Angela Birthday. Trey Cancelled Buying of the house’s Closing. Robert and I went to see Sal at 10:00am

December 28th Perry and I went to St Francis to see Sal at 11:30am, he is stable and doing good

December 29th Perry and I was going to see Sal. Trey was already there. The doctor said that he wants to wait to take pump out.

December 30th Today Doctor Rovenski is going to make a test which will see if Sal’s heart can tolerate them taking the pump out. Please God let it work. They did not make the test, as Sal’s blood pressure dropped.

December 31st All vital signs are good (Heart rate, Blood Pressure, urine. Dr. Rovenski called said he would do it Thursday Jan 2nd, if all stays the same. And we will not wake him-or close his chest for a few days. I stayed at Angela’s for New Years Eve with Perry

January 1st Called in the AM—all is the same except they gave him one unit of blood. I went at 12:30pm. They changed his food intake so he can urinate more, otherwise all is the same. Michael came and we had a nice visit. Talked to Trey and he will come tomorrow.

January 2nd They stopped the pump…it worked! They will give him Dialysis today and take the pump out. They did not take the pump out…I stayed the night. Called Dr’s Aguilar, Landolphi, and Magliullo with Sal’s status.

January 3rd I stayed at the hospital all day with Trey. Doctor Rovenski had two other emergency surgeries; it was too late for him to close Sal’s chest. He said that Dialysis seems to help, we shall wait and see. I went home at 4:00pm, and Trey drove me.

January 4th Went to see Sal at 11:30am. He was on Dialysis for 6 hours and again it seemed to be helping him. Dr Rovenski said he will be doing another dialysis tomorrow, then on Monday he will take out the pump.

January 5th I will go and stay over again. Perry will also. Angela came at 7:00am, it was a good day the next morning.

January 6th Please God bring him back to me. I miss him! Big day today! I pray that it works. Today is the 14th day!!! The doctor took the heart pump out today “Yea” a success!!! He is still not out of the woods, but tiny steps every day. He looks much better in his face, swelling is down. Dialysis again today.

January 7th Robert and I went today… he really looks good.

January 8th Today Angela and I will go. It was a good day, as Sal’s chest was closed today I could not go well. But it did. He is strong. ”Yea” “Yea” The Doctor was amazed! He keeps surprising everyone.

January 9th Today Sal looked better. He recognized me. They gave him dialysis again. It’s the 6th time. He is slowly coming back. They took the paralyzing drug off. Now they will slowly take him off the other drugs, then the breathing tube will come out on Monday.

January 10th Today they took away some of the wires and tubes. He only has feeding and breathing left. They switch the intravenous from his neck to his arm. He reacted to me and nodded and blinked his eyes when I told him to. Big Neil came while Robert and I were there. Today was the 21st day.

January 11th Today Perry and I went and Sal looked pretty good. His eyes were just open very little. He was more relaxed. He fround a lot. Kim, one of his 9 nurses, said that I could move his arms and feet. So I did, and he frond and pulled down. He did not like it. That was a good sign.

January 12th Perry and I will go today. They changed his RX. It will wake him up more and he will be more aware. I met the pulmonary Doctor, and he said that on Tuesday for the Breathing tube.

January 13th Today Robert took me. Sal had a fever of 101*. They gave him Tylenol and it was gone at night. They changed his bed so it’s easier to turn him. Tomorrow they will take a CAT scan.

January 14th Went at 9:30 with Angela, Found him a little more awake, he moved his feet and hands a little and opened and closed his mouth. It looks like a reaction to me when I talk to him. The Neurologist talked to us and said that Sal may not come out of it. His brain all is good, no bleeding or strokes. He may have Nurapety in his legs and arms. I pray that he is wrong. He also said that he will have delirium, it may pass, or may not.

January 15th An appointment was cancelled today at 2:00 pm with Dr Aguilar, and a lab visit on the 4th floor. (It was originally planned to remove the Ileostomy bag, as this appointment was made after the removal of the Cancer). This is the first day I did not go into the Hospital, as they are taking the breathing tube out at 10:00pm. Trey is there. Angela, Chris, Rob and I took boxes and other stuff from the storage and brought it to the Photo studio at Angela’s.

January 16th Well, it didn’t happen again today, they still haven’t taken out the tube in his throat, they say tonight! I hope so, poor Sal. Robert and I went today and we stayed 1.5 hours. I feel so sad and upset that I can’t help him. I am so scared that he is not going to be himself. Trey feels the same. I am so scared, I love him so much! I know if he is aware and he can’t think straight, he will not want to live this way. The nurse called tonight at 11:45pm saying they were not taking it out. “I love him with all my heart”

January 17th I called AM today and said I want the procedure done today. Angela and I went in and when we got there, they were having a big meeting (nurses, Doctors, and all). I said to them that I was not leaving till it’s done. Dr Rovenski said I will get someone, or I’ll do it myself. He had been on vacation all this while and did not know it was not done. They did the procedure at 2:00pm and it took 15 minutes. They then put a Trek in his neck. He looks better.

January 18th Michael and Laurie came today. A great day today, no more Rx’s to make him sleep, just Santex to relax him, and Tylenol for the fever. He seems to recognize me, Trey, Perry, David, and Eric. We just hope and pray all goes well. The nurse said that he seems to be delirious.

January 19th It was a good day today, as he was alert and responsive. He moves a lot with his feet, hands and shoulders, but not so much his head. When I waved to him, he waved back. I was very, very happy.

January 20th He seemed aware when Robert and I arrived and the nurse has just given Sal Zantex to make him relax. He seemed a little sleepy. It looked like he didn’t want me to leave. He frowned and shook his head. It made me very sad.

January 21st “It’s snowing very hard today” Robert took me today at 9:30am and got there at 10:00am. He was alert! He tries very hard to talk and he is mouthing words… I understood…Water! I got a little sponge with water he liked it. I showed him pictures of himself…he fround and shook his head. It looked like he didn’t like it. I messaged his legs, feet and hands. He gets annoyed. They put a peg in his stomach for food intake (intravenous). So now thankly it’s out of his nose. They also will check the Trake and replace it, maybe with a collar.

January 22nd An appointment with Claire’s eye Doctor Kiernan at 2:15pm Today it snowed again but very light, yesterday it was very heavy (14”in), but it’s very cold and windy (6 degrees). I am not going to the hospital today as the roads are bad. I called Tonal Murium, a nurse, who said Sal is doing well, the same as yesterday. I will call again later. The nurse said that he shut off the oxygen for 1.5 hours. “GREAT” Dr Michael went to see him and said Sal recognized him, and some pictures of our Truck.

January 23rd Today Robert took me and when we got there Sal was sleeping. The nurse, Nina, gave him Zantex plus pain killer drugs, so he was out of it. I would like him to be awake so I’ll tell them, but he did wake up and it seems he recognized me and he smiled, so I have hope. January 24th It was a good day today, he recognizes Angela and me. While he was moving and waving his hands, Angela said to him… “I’m only half Italian I don’t understand your hand signals”. He smiled and winked at her. He is breathing on his own now. They are now giving him 40% oxygen and when he is down to 28%, he’ll be breathing room air. He now has a collar.

January 25th It’s snowing again. He asked the nurse to call me (his wife) so that was great. Perry and I walked into his room and he smiled. He was happy to see us. Angela had made index cards with large words she printed each of our 11 names, different words like “WATER”, ARE YOU COLD, each letter of the alphabet, etc. she used them to show to Sal who could then use them to ask for things while he couldn’t speak.

January 26th I went by myself since the weather was good. I got there at 11:00 and left about 2:30. He was happy to see me, but was getting very antsy. He thinks he’s paralyzed. He wanted to stand up. I hate leaving him.

January 27th Today we moved all our furniture from our storage area to Angela’s studio/barn. Robert and I went to see Sal at 12:30pm and stayed till 4:00pm. He was very sleepy when we got there as they had sedated him and I think it was too much. He was very groggy, so I told the nurse not to give him so much. She said she would make a note on his file for them. He had Zantex at night and the Psychiatrist gave him something for his anxiety, so we’ll see tomorrow. January 28th Robert and I went at 2:00pm until 5:00pm. Sal was sitting up in the chair and was awake. The physical therapist and I did about 20 minutes of moving arms, legs, and overall body. Sal was pretty good. I think he is asking for Harry and his wife Joanne… Maybe he means Eric and Joanne, or Harry and his wife who was in the next next to him at MSK. He want his sweater! January 29th Great day today, Angela and I went today and when we got there, they were taking Sal to the second floor, as the ICU on the 3rd floor is for surgery. He did good today in therapy. Angela went home. Sal wanted me to stay as he did not like the nurse as he did not trust her, so I stayed, and he drove me crazy.”Fix my legs”, “Pull Me up”, “I’m Cold”, “Water”, and so on. He said “Don’t leave me”, I could not go even into the hall!

January 30th Today Robert and I went at 11:30am. Sal said where were you… it’s late! I been waiting since 6am. He said he is hanging in there for me. “My body doesn’t work”. The Physical Therapist was there and gave him a good workout and he can reach his face with his hands now. He can kick his legs too! They took the catheter off, so he can tell them when he has to pee, also the breather tube in his throat is smaller. They are now weaning him off of oxygen. Great! He tells me not to leave him, but then he says to go home. I am home and going to sleep, We Face Timed just when Joanne and Ali came to visit.

January 31st Robert and I went at 9:30am. Sal said “I’ve been waiting for you since 6:00am”. He is better with his arms and legs today. They may take out the treak on Monday. When Sal is not tired his voice is stronger. I will speak the nurse to tell the psychiatrist to not give Sal the drug Sanquill as it makes him very tired.

February 1st Robert and I went to see a rehab center in Medford, NY, and it seems like a good place. We will go to others. Sal was pretty good today, as he seemed relaxed. I ordered TV service today at $6:00/day. At least he has something to look at.

February 2nd Great visit today. I went by myself, and Sal looked good and was very happy to see me. It was very foggy, but Trey came and had a nice visit. The Doctor for breathing came and said “All looks good”. Maybe tomorrow they will take out the Treak. ”YEA”. Got there at 8:30am and left at 1:30.

February 3rd Today it snowed, so we did not go as it was very heavy, 1 foot by 10:00am. Sal understood. They took his collar treak out today. They were supposed to take out the stitches on his chest, but they did not. He called a few times, and he is hard to understand, but he is getting better. Dr Sorette, the floor doctor, called me and said Sal did well, he is a miracle. Doctor Como called to say he took out the Treak. He said Sal did well. Dr Sorette said he will be released in a few day to go to rehab.

February 4th Today Sal sat up in a chair. He was able to drink some water, and had something to eat. The speech and swallow Doctor came while we were there. She said he is doing good. They were moving him to the first floor, but it did not happen. Robert and I went to look at another rehab called Island Nursing and Rehab Center. Not as good as Medford. Sal called me 3 times to come back, he needs me, and he hates it. The third time he said it’s ok, not to come as Trey is coming tonight.

February 5th Did not go today as snow and ice was on the roads. Called Sal and told him I was not coming. He said Ok! We FaceTime’d in the afternoon that was great; it was Nurse Heather who helped him. Sal had a meal today of Grilled cheese and tomato. At night he had Salmon. And… COFFEE!!! “YEA”. That’s pretty good for someone who hasn’t eaten since December 20th .

He calls to say “Rehab”, “Rehab”, “Rehab”!!!

February 6th Today Sal was transferred to rehab. He is now in Medford Multi-care Center He arrived at 5:00pm by Ambulance. We’ll see how it goes! He is not happy!! Robert and I went to the hospital in the morning, then went to rehab at 5:00pm, stayed till 7:00pm. Trey was coming tonight. Sal now weighs 153lbs .. he was 184 when this all started. February 7th Today was the first day of physical therapy and it went great. They sat him up and stood him up and he walked two steps. He is starting to eat. He also liked the Therapist and Nutritionist (two Girls). I think we will get there little by little. Sal gained 3.5lbs (158.4)… Wrong!

February 8th It was a good day. He feels good because he had rehab in the gym for the first time. His weight is 158.4. “YEA”

February 9th We took a walk as I pushed in the Wheelchair. It was a nice visit for both of us. He was tired because he was in a wheelchair from 9:30am till 1:00pm.

February 10th Today was a good day. He had rehab and walked 8 steps with a walker, and did other exercises. He seems more positive. February 11th I went today at 9:00am; he looks better and walked with a walker about 10 feet.

February 12th A good day today! He walked about 15 feet with a walker. He is complaining about the drinks, as they make him put a thinner into them. He hates it. He called last night and said he has a chest cold and cough. So I called Perry who picked me up and we went. The Doctor ordered x-rays and all is clear. He is also giving him an AV.

February 13th Today it is snowing, raining and then freezing. I am not going as it’s too bad! Sal is not happy about the drinks, so I called the rehab and spoke to the head nurse in charge. She agreed to give him intravenous liquids so that should help. 14

February 14th – Happy Valentines Day Flowers from Sal and Trey… Beautiful I arrived at Sal’s rehab and he was going down to the rehab center. He did great,,, Standing for % minutes and walked about 20 steps. Perry and Robert came. Nice!! Sal was upset because the dietician had told him not to drink water, coffee or juice without thinners.

February 15th I went at 8:00am to see Sal, he was happy to see me. He did not have rehab by the professionals that day, so he did it himself. I took him via wheelchair to the gym and he used the machines. He put himself into his bed. “YEA”. Trey, Debbie, Hallie and Danny came at night to see Sal.

February 16th I went at 8:30am to see Sal. He looks better everyday. He does not like the food. So I will bring some in of my own. He had rehab and did well.

February 17th It was a good day and he is getting better every day.

February 18th Today it snowed and then rained. I brought him brown rice plus shrimp, which he always loved. He is tired, so He slept good at night.

February 19th Went at 9:00am and he was doing rehab. Robert brought Subway sandwiches, but Sal could not eat it. His weight is143.6lbs.. not good! He is having trouble getting his food down.

February 20th I went at 8:30 . Robert came and we had a meeting with the staff, who were: The head nurse, Social worker, Swallow and speech neutricianist, and the head of physical therapy. We talked about Sal’s progress. Sal had an EKG. He is coughing and they want to know why. His voice is horse and raspy. They did say if Sal can walk 100ft on his own, he can go home. “YEA”

February 21st Went in about 8:30am, and Sal was good, but is so very thin, as he has lost a total of 40lbs since it all started. I brought him Pasta Pizzle and he loved it. He saw the Doctor for another x-ray for his chest to see about Sal’s cough.

February 22nd I went at 9:39am and he was good, but he was very tired. I took him outside for a little while and he loved it. It was 50 degrees outside. He had Pasta Pizzle again.

February 23rd HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE!!! Had a nice visit with Sal as he did rehab and I left at 2:00pm to go to Jakes birthday… had a nice time.

February 24th Went at 9:30am and Sal felt good. He had rehab in the morning, then occupational (learning how to use utensils and everyday things) in the afternoon. I had a great visit! He walked around the gym with a walker. Wanted to be heavier, but he is now 140.4lbs… NOT GOOD!!!

February 25th Got there at 10:00am. Sal had an ex-ray test at Brookhaven Hospital for swallowing. It went well, but he still can’t have water without a thickener.

February 26th Went at 8:30am today. Sal had a Photo shoot with all the rehab people. They delivered a wheelchair and a bath chair today to our home. The walker will come tomorrow. Sal will come home tomorrow.

February 27th “HOME” “YEA” —20days in the Rehab WELCOME HOME SAL Taking over the pill program now that he is home: 5:30pm- 1 pill- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg 11:30pm 1 pill- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg

February 28th First visit from Nurse Tamara 6:00am 1 pill- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg 9:30am 3-pills- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg 12:00pm 1 pill- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg 6:00pm 1 pill- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg 16

March 1st 6:00am 1 pill- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg 9:30am 3-pills- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg 12:00pm 1 pill- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg 6:00pm 1 pill- Metoprolol Tartrate 25mg.

March 2nd Nurse Tamara came at noon

March 3rd Appointment 10:30 Dr Kiernan I cancelled

March 4th Occupational rehab with Mike Fisher 11:30 at home 3:00pm to 3:30pm speech and swallow Liz

March 5th App Dr Magliullo 10:00am Sal App dentist for Claire 2:00pm x-rays

March 6th Sal’s appointment with Dr Rizzo 1991 Marcus Ave Lake Success, NY suite 101… Cancelled Physical rehab with Mike Fisher 11:00am, Nurse Tamara 5:30 pm

March 7th Mike Fisher 12:30 pm, Tom at 2:30pm for occupational therapy (cancelled)

March 10th Appt with Dr Aguilar for pre-surgical testing, and x-ray cancelled Dr Sorin, Sal’s old Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor at 1:15 pm Dr Rovenski 10:30 am (see him again in one month)

March 11th Dentist Sal and me, Nurse Tamara 4:00 pm

March 12th Dr Landolphi heart doctor 11:00 am come next week for an ECO Cardiogram

March 13th Sal has app with Dr Rovenski at noon at Good Sam Hospital 3rd flr Blood test at Quest at 8:30 am, Liz at 3:00 pm, Mike at 4:00 pm 17

March 14th Mike at 10:00 am, Nurse Tarama at 4:pm

March 15h Vinnies birthday

March 17th Mike at 2:00pm, Tamara at 4:00pm

March 18th Tom at 3:30pm, I’m feeling Palpitations at night

March 19th Bad night last Night, Liz- 3:00pm, Mike at 1:30pm Palpitations a little today and tonight, Went for a pedicure

March 20th Dr London at 4:40pm Claire has palpitations, Tom 3”00pm cancelled Dr Vaccaro for Claire’s eyes

March 21st More palpitations, Liz at 3:00pm, appt- Dr Vaccaro eye exam March 22nd more palpitations

March 23rd slight palpitations March 24th Tamara- at 4:00pm, Mike at 2:30pm I have noticed I seem to have palpitations whenever I’m relaxed

March 25th Dr Landolphi at 1:30 getting a EKG Dr Marc Berlin 9:00am speech and swallowing test (Cancelled) 1550 Deer Park Ave Deer Park, NY 631-782-3888 now at 10:40

March 26th Mike at 2:15pm, Dr Magliullo at 10:am

March 27th Dr John Rizzo, a Gastroenterologist at 1:45pm (A nice Doctor) 516-365-4949 March 28th Liz at 11:30am Tom at 3:30pm A company Coram, called about a nutrient drink for Sal 888-334 7978

March 29th Went to see Vinnie and Phyllis’s new home

March 30th Tamara at 1:00pm

March 31st Dr Kiernan at 3:45pm eye tests Mike at 2:30pm Tamara at 4:00pm (canceled) Suffolk ophthalmology Association Dr Marbito 631-665-1330 345 East Main St. Suite 24 Bat Shore 11706 (Cancelled)

April 1st I said to Sal “I’m pregnant”……………………….”April Fool”!!! Tom at 3:30 –400 pm Put Ice cubes in new Orchid plant once a week April 2nd Sal to the Dentist at 11:00 am, then Liz at 2:00 pm

April 3rd Dr Moribito at 10:00 am for Claire, Tamara at 5:00 pm

April 4th Mike at 3:00 pm, All are coming at 5:30 pm

April 7th Tom at 3:00 pm his last time, Tamara at 5:00 pm, Liz at 2:00 pm Call Dr Rovenski for an appointment, Made it for 12:15 pm on 4/8/14

April 8th Dr Landolphi at 2:45 pm for Sal Dr Rovenski at 12:15 pm 1111 Main across from Good Sam Hospital.

April 9th Mike at 2:30, Dr Keirnan at 11:45 for Claire’s eyes April 10th Dr Zeva dentist for Sal, Tamara at 5:00pm

April 12th Went to see Netter Real Estate Co. (Robert does his Photography) then went to see a home in Babylon.

April 14th Liz at 2:00 pm (last day,) Tamara at 5:00 pm

April 15th Dr Landolphi at 2:00 pm for my heart palpitations and a now a new condition, Vertigo

April 16th Mike at 4:00 pm April 20th !!!! HAPPY EASTER !!!!! 19 FROM HERE TO THE PRESENT, 12/13/14, IT HAS BEEN A SLOW, UP HILL BATTLE TO GET BACK TO NORMAL. Just Twenty-five pounds to go

Brave but dumb

One time while traveling in China with Mr Wong, we left my hotel, a small dinky thing with rooms that were unbelievable. Each room had open grill work near the ceiling of it’s sidewalls that opened to the rooms on each side, so you could actually hear the persons in their rooms talking and laughing. It was like sharing your room with them high sounding Chinese conversations with laughter and worst of all the smoke from their Chinese cigarettes. Because I now was used to unbelievable things happening while in China, I accepted it and  made sure to be out of the room as much as possible. Off we went, but not realizing that I would need my passport, I left it in my room. Well we traveled to our first manufacturer to check on a small order I had placed on my earlier visit. Naturally at that time there was no quality control and the product was very poorly made, so I rejected it all and showed them why. The manager saw what was wrong and promised to remake all and send  new samples to my Hong Kong office for approval. Naturally i was frustrated and upset because I had promised the customer who had given me this order to a prompt delivery. With this in my mind, my temper was raw, but we had a much bigger manufacturer to inspect,  in a town  in a different district from where we were. At the time, I didn’t realize that when you traveled from one district to another you had to show your passport, or other papers before you could enter. So after three hour a driving very slowly to go the forty mile to the next stop, I was even more frustrated. When we finally arrived at the entrance to the city, we were all asked to set out of the Mercedes to be inspected, and there was soldiers with machine guns standing across the road. Out we came and each of us were asked for our papers. When the soldier in charge came to me, I said I left my passport in my hotel. Naturally he couldn’t speak English and I could not speak Cantonese chinese, so Mr Wong explained who I was and I’m sure he said to placate the sodier that I was a stupid American and didn;t know about the Law. The soldier shook his head and said to Wong that we could not go any further and must go back. Wong Translated leaving out whatever was rude, saying the law was to had to show legal paper to enter and leave from one district to another, and that we had to go back because of my not having papers. I asked him if he could go and he replied that all of them in the car could go in. I then walked straight into a soldier in the middle of the road and was punish past him when he stuck the machine gun into my stomach. I looked in the eye and pointed to my eyes and said “Im an American and don’t need to follow Chinese rules”. It was a stalemate and the officer came over yelling at me, but I pushed through and dared them. Nothing happened, as the officer realized it would be a big mistake to stop me, so he stopped his men and I went through with the car eventually following me. I won’t ever forget how really stupid I was, because as the years went by I saw things that went on in China that were unbelievable. Men hanging from trees because they had done something very minor but illegal. WOW!!!