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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


There are a lot of exciting Multiple Myeloma results coming out of the ASH meeting, and I'm sure you're all agog with breathless anticipation waiting to hear my views on the latest developments.  But be patient.  I'll get to Part 2 of my ASH report in good time.  First, though, I want to talk about yesterday.

Last night, son Jeff and I went to the Patriots/Texans game in Foxborough.  Boy was it fun to watch that blowout!  GO PATS!  As you can see from the picture, we have great season ticket seats near the field.  Next week, Jason and I are going to the Sunday night game against the 49ers.  I'm getting a little old for these night games, especially two in a row (I got home at 1:30 this morning), but these season tickets have turned out to be great for father-son connections.  Brian and I did the Buffalo game a few weeks ago, and on December 30, all four of us guys plan to be at the Miami game.  If we can twist Holly's arm to come with Ryan, then the whole fam damily may be there (except for Gretchen of course, who would rather jump off the Tobin bridge than go to a football game).  Holly doesn't like football either, but maybe we could entice her by throwing a good tailgate party.  That I know she likes!

Another high point of yesterday was my visit to DFCI.  This time, I didn't have any medical reason to be there.  I went only to attend the monthly meeting of our Writers Workshop.  I have already blogged about how special these people are and how stimulating and interesting it is to share with and learn from this group.  They are all amazing people, with poignant stories to tell, either of their own struggles with cancer or as caregivers dealing with the suffering or loss of loved ones.  Our leader, Amy Boesky, does a wonderful job steering the group and challenging us with writing assignments every month.

This month our assignment was to write a poem, essay, or blog post to address one of the following prompts related to the Holiday Season:
  • celebration of light in any sense
  • what is valuable and important about an ordinary moment
  • choose an object that has particular importance or memories
I struggled with this assignment all month.  I had a few thoughts, but nothing coherent was occurring to me.  I almost decided to blow off the assignment and call in sick for the meeting (cough, hack).  But finally, yesterday morning, I decided I had to go for it.  I was reminded of my freshman year at college, when our Humanities teacher, Bob Shipkey, had us write a 500 word theme every week that was due at noon on Saturday.  Every Saturday morning I would wake up and in a panic, start typing like crazy to beat the deadline.  Yesterday morning felt a lot like that.  So when I finally sat down in front of my computer, it just came together and it took about 10 minutes!  You might say that I am deadline-driven.

When I read it to the group, they asked me whether I planned to post it on my blog.  I said I was thinking about doing that, and they encouraged me to do it.  So in deference to my colleagues, here it is:

The Hearth

I just threw another log on the fire. It hisses and crackles as it catches. I nestle into my comfortable spot on the couch and stare, transfixed, at the burning logs. In the partially darkened room, the leaping flames cast fleeting flickering shadows on the ceiling.

My grandmother's antique clock sits on the mantle. As a child, its comforting ticktock and mellow chimes would lull me to sleep during our summer vacation visits. Now silenced by age, its hands are frozen in time at 4:27 and a half. Nevertheless, I smile as it evokes memories of those simpler carefree times.

Since the dawn of modern mankind, the campfire has provided security, comfort and warmth to those gathered around it. It is no different tonight. As I bask in its warm orange glow, I am content and grateful...grateful for our hearth and home, for my family, and for the extra days like this my medical team has afforded me. Yes, life is good.


  1. Lovely Bill... I can just picture out all... xo. D

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