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Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29

Today at 12:25 am, after 11 years of fighting cancer, my lovely,
loving and beloved wife of 23 years, Tia, passed away. She died as she
had lived - with dignity and grace and on her own time schedule. And,
as in life, she died on her own terms - at home surrounded by her 4
daughters, family and friends.

She woke for a little while on Monday and we arm wrestled, as we had
in the past. In all the years we've been together I never won.
Usually it was because she was stronger, but other times I just let
her win. She still had strength and won the first bout. She then
grabbed my hand again for a re-match and pulled my arm so I would win.
She then took her fingers and with a significant amount of effort,
she signaled OK. I could read everything in to that gesture or
nothing, I choose to read everything. We had a unique relationship,
unconventional for sure but it was a true love story.

She was an amazing person and everyone she touched is the better
person for meeting her. We will all miss her and we will be sad for
her not being in our lives, but at the same time we need to honor her
memory and her struggle to stay with us over the last 11 years. She
was determined to see her daughters become young women and no mother
could have been prouder of her children then Tia was of Zoe, Rae, Ede
and Ava. No matter how much she loved me, her family or friends (or
even her cats), we all took a backseat by a far margin to her love for
our daughters.

Over the last few months, her family flew in from all over the country
and they were a source of not only comfort but strength to her. She
appreciated each and every visit and always asked me after her
siblings had left about how soon they could return, as she began to
miss them even as they were driving away.

We were fortunate to have my brother and his family so close by. Tia
loved the fact that every Tuesday and Thursday our "fifth child" would
be in the house for dinner and homework and on our equivalent to
Shabbat dinner (lobsterfest Friday) we had the added benefit of Kate
coming over. In addition, I don't know what I would have done without
my brother to lean on during the last year.

And then there are her friends. Too many to count and their love was
limitless. She loved, admired, respected and just had a good time
with her girlfriends. Whether they were her childhood friends from
back east, her girls from the hood, her village school moms, her
golden door friends, her phase one friends, her photo shop friends or
just her "shop" friends, she loved you all. She had more categories of
friends than I have friends. I would come home from work and
invariably some girlfriend was over visiting. They could be in the
kitchen cooking, in the gym stretching, in the media room for movie
afternoons, in her office laying out some photo design, in the back
yard just enjoying the ocean or when she got sick, even laying on my
side of the bed planning phase one events. Our home will be empty
without her presence.

Tia had two basic speeds/moods during her life - happy and pissed off.
She was rarely just sad. If something upset her, she got angry and
did something about it. She wasn't one to just sit back and let the
sadness wallow over her. She was a woman of action.

More often than not, though, she was happy. And her happiness was
infectious. It is with this thought in mind that her family will
remember her.

We are having a private family service this afternoon.

We will be sitting Shiva at 201 Alma Real Drive, Pacific Palisades on
Thursday and Friday evening from 5 to 8pm with Kaddish being said each
night at 7pm.

As most of you know, on top of everything else, Tia was heavily
involved in Phase One. This is a wonderful organization and through
their good efforts, one day we might have a cure for the cancer that
took Tia from us at much too young an age. In lieu of food or
flowers, Tia has requested that donations be made to Phase One at
www.phaseonefoundation.org or call Lissa Zanville at 310-458-7715 or
email her at lzanville@aol.com. (Truth be told, Tia also loved flowers
so she was waffling on the "in lieu of" and probably was going to have
it replaced with a request of "in addition to flowers". )

The world was better off for knowing Tia.

I love you so much

Jess


Sent from my iPad

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Morning

Tia is resting and in no pain. She had a restless night (was trying to take off covers then pull up the covers) but is now sleeping.

She is so strong (which at this point is both a blessing and a curse). Thirty minutes ago she awoke and announced she had to go to the bathroom. Without waiting for anyone, she started to get up. Luckily, Zoe was just getting up and Tia walked (with help from Zoe and me) to the bathroom. I was shocked that she had the strength to get out of bed but she is so proud and dignified that she wouldn't allow for anything other than walking to the bathroom.

She is an amazing woman.
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday night

Tia is resting and is in no pain. She slept most of the day but did have some great moments with her daughters and friends. The girls filmed a video of their mother talking to them and it was wonderful. She is an amazing woman and every moment is special.

The highlight of the day was a remark made by Tia during the girl's filming. She was just telling each girl how much she loved them when Ink (our cat) jumped on her bed. Tia loves her two dogs, really loved Velvet and Blizzard (her two Cornish Rex) and barely tolerates Ink. So, after she said something to each girl she started to say something to Ink and we all said something like "Mom, you really don't like Ink" and she responded with perfect timing, "yeah, I know, but she was here and I felt obligated to say something" and then she smiled and we all laughed.

Thank you all for the warm wishes, the flowers and food. We are surrounded with wonderful family and great friends. Thank you all

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday. March 21

Tia has taken a serious turn for the worse. We went to the hospital today for another PETSCAN and it appears that her lymphoma is back. At this point, there is no alot of good reasons to subject her to more poking and prodding.

She sleeps most of the day and is having a difficult time speaking but she is at home and comfortable at the moment. Zoe and Rae are on their way home. Also, Tia's sisters and brothers are coming so she is surrounded by family and loved ones.

She is a tremendous fighter

Please say a prayer for her.

Sent from my iPad

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday March 19th

Tia was really beat up this weekend. Very weak and wobbily.

So it was decided she would skip getting Abelcet this week and let her rest up and get some of her strength back.

She will still be going to City of Hope for blood work on Wednesday and Friday and for her PetScan on Wednesday. We will keep you posted.

Her potassium remains low so she is getting another infusion today and will start getting some potassium infused at home as well.

Stop over on Tuesday or Thursday if you are in the neighborhood.

Thx, Jess
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday March 16

We are still in the hospital as Tia's counts necessitated infusions of potassium and platelets as well as the normal M-W-F infusion of Ablecet. We will do some more blood work around 10 pm and then determine if she needs more potassium or whether we can head home.

She will be home Saturday and Sunday and would love visitors in the afternoons.

Next week we come back to City of Hope on M-W-F for infusions. In addition, Tia gets a PETSCAN on Wednesday to get a better idea of what the mass is in her right and left frontal lobes and to hopefully rule out some possibilities. On Friday, we see a new eye specialist to get a second opinion as to why Tia's eye sight has deteriorated.

On a good note, she had an excellent day yesterday and her WBC held steady this week. It is still low,but at least it is not dropping.

During Tia's recent infusions, she has begun talking in her sleep. Mostly it is unintelligible but there are some really funny comments, but I won't repeat them here. Another time and another place.

Special thanks to Tia's sister Lou for helping this week. It was really positive for Tia and it was great having Lou at the house.

Tia is making a fortune in the market as her largest position for the last 300 points has been Apple. Thinking that the radiation/chemo was giving her special insight into the future I had her fill out an NCAA bracket. So far I think we need to stick to the stock market!

Have a great weekend everyone

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday March 13

Went to UCLA to see another specialist today. He was very helpful and ran Tia through a number of interesting tests. No further results yet so we are still unsure as to why her counts are low (and not improving) and she is extremely fatigued. She can barely walk 10 feet without having to sit down and catch her breath.

We go back to City of Hope every Monday - Wednesday - Friday for Ablecet infusions. It is a full day but if anyone can drive, please let me know as I will need help next week (this week is covered with her sister Lou in town - she has been really great with Tia).

This week we will also be doing another PET SCAN to get a better idea of the white masses that are in her right and left frontal lobes.

We pass each day trying to get Tia to eat and walk a little and just wait for some answers. Hopefully we will get some answers this week.

Thx, Jess
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