I’m back!

1.3.13

Hello and Happy New Year to each and everyone of you!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season with family, friends and loved ones.

I wanted to apologize for the lack of activity on the blog – I’ve been off enjoying a very active, cancer-free life since given the all-clear back in September.

As I had mentioned, there are some changes coming to the blog – some big, exciting and defining changes that will be things we all can be part of together.

In the coming weeks I will have updates and teasers as to what they are, so please stay in touch and keep visiting!

Talk soon!

- Josh

Day 249…

11.22.12

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

Today is my historically my favorite of the year.  It is a day where family and friends all gather at my parents house for amazing food, drink and fun.  It’s a day where we watch football.  A day where we are all just happy and thankful to have each other…

This year Thanksgiving takes on a more special meaning to me as it is my first in remission and it has really driven me to reflect on the hardship of the past year that not only I went through, but that my family, friends and support group went through…

No one ever, in any scenario, wants to be told that they have a life threatening illness.  Unfortunately, this past February I was dealt a hand that read exactly as that – stage two Hodgkin’s Disease.  Nine full months later it is still surreal.  I continue to look back at the whole thing and it honestly feels like I’m watching a movie about someone else.  Yes, it is me.  Yes, I know the physical struggle of feeling like utter crap on and off for the better part of 6 months.  Yes, I know first hand the struggle mentally of dealing with, and processing everything that has happened.  But yet it is as if this all happened through the looking glass of life.  Not a day has passed since the fateful day in February when I called my doctor because I found a lump in my neck that I haven’t thought about it.  I’m sure that I will in some capacity have a reminder daily of being sick, of having Hodgkin’s, but at the same time I refuse to let it define who I am and that is why I think I find myself feeling like I’ve watched this happen to someone else…

All of that said, I have a long list of what I’m grateful for this year as I can happily say that I feel great and empowered and confident that I am going to live a long and healthy life and put this year in my rear-view mirror…

I’m grateful for…

My parents and my sister who stood by my every second of everyday and never waivered in their support of me and my fight and who never let doubt enter the conversation.  Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am as a person and likely would not have made it through this battle.  When I think about foundations, it always starts with the three of them and it goes without saying how much I love them…

Riley, my pup.  Amazing to think that a barely more than 1year old puppy could know what to do when her owner got sick, but this dog never, ever left my side.  This dog gave me nothing but love and support when I needed it most.  When I felt so awful that I couldn’t get out of bed or off the couch, she never left me.  For having the endless energy that she has, to harness it and stay by my side is something I could have never known a dog would do.  The meaning mans best friend doesn’t do it justice. She has grown up so much this year and is just a few weeks away from turning 2.  Amazing what a year can do…

My friends…there is so much I could say about all of them.  Each and everyone of them should be thanked and given awards for being the best friends a person could ever ask for.  None of us knew how to handle this situation, yet my friends stepped up in a way that I can never thank enough.  They were there for me to talk, there for me just to say hi, there for me at the hospital, my apartment.  Really anywhere I could think of, they were there with words of encouragement, never believing that together we couldn’t beat this.  They took time out of their lives to check-in, to drop by the apartment, to run at very slow paces in the park so I could get exercise.  They sent cards to lift my spirits, they came for weekly dinner, every single Tuesday.  They just were the best damn friends anyone could ever ask for.  Collectively they are a massive part of my foundation, an extended arm of my family.  They make up a huge part of my heart and my soul and I love them…

My doctors, nurses, and technicians who saved my life.  Not only do I literally owe them my life, but they are the people who never get the full credit that they deserve.  Never in my lifetime have I come across a group of people who have such genuine good in them.  From Dr. Horwitz, to Nisha to Rose (to name a few) to everyone who I met at MSKCC I just can’t even begin to put into words my gratitude to them.  I was never a number, never a case study.  I was always Josh who happened to have a problem, but had a problem that was going to be fixed.  MSKCC is a world class facility and organization that treated me and everyone I saw come in contact with them with the greatest amount of respect.  They yearn to make people better.  They take a vested interest in you.  You become an extension of their lives and their happiness much in the same way that you, the patient want them to be of you.  I’m humbled to have been treated by the team that treated me.  In my mind they should all be given the highest praise the world has to offer.  I’m beyond grateful for them…

My colleagues at Next Street.  When you think about why things happen for a reason, I can’t shake the thought of me finding my way to Next Street as a moment of fate.  We are a small, growing company.  A company that prides itself on helping the underserved and underprivileged.   We work with non-profits, we work with small business, but most importantly, we work with good people and this company is made up of some of the best people I’ve had the honor of working with.  I was only 3months into my job when I was diagnosed.  I worried as to how things would go since I was still new to the company and still getting to know everyone.  I was blown away by the compassion of my fellow co-workers.  They stepped up to fill my position when I was out of the office for treatment.  They made sure I had everything I needed to feel like I was a normal, contributing member of the firm.  They never waivered in their support and belief that I would beat this thing.  For them, I’m extremely grateful…

Lastly, I’m grateful for my readers and this platform to express how I feel.  I’m sure that at times what I’ve written has not been the most resonating or interesting, but this has been the place where I’ve been able to speak from the heart and pour my thoughts and feelings into.  I don’t know everyone that reads my posts, but I do know that no matter what, I feel like each and everyone of you is supportive of me, so I say thank you…

As I end the post for today, I want to wish each of you a happy, loving and safe holiday.  Never forget to be thankful for the people in your lives and never be shy to tell them why you are thankful for them.  Life is too short to not be honest and reflective.  Love you all…

Until next time…

Day 243 – Day 248…

11.16.12 – 11.21.12

Hello to all.  I know that I had said that I’d be back to the rhythm of writing daily, but quite frankly, I’ve been very busy with work and life and I haven’t been able to stay up-to-date.  I feel like I’ve let you all down, but I think that this has prompted me to think about this forum and how I will be using it moving forward.  More on that later as I wanted to recap some things from the past 6 days as I have…

Been working very hard in the office.  We are in the midst of entering a very busy period with a ton of projects that are in the midst of production as well as a bunch that are about to begin.  All of them are due by the end of the year so that we can bill out the work and account for 2012 revenue so there is just a lot to do…

I’ve continued to work out and run and am starting to get more and more strength back both in the body and the mind.  I’m very much looking forward to my first race since treatment began in a few weeks and still have my goals for 2013 of two half marathons and one full marathon…

I went to my best friend from growing up daughters 3rd birthday party and was overwhelmed and in awe of the parents of the 27+ under 3year old kids that were running around.  Dear God that was a sight to see.  Ha…

Finally was given the number of a sleep therapist who I will be calling on Monday as my sleep seems to be getting worse and my body continues to yearn for a good night of rest…

Contracted my first cold since being diagnosed and then successfully treated.  Very strange to not feel well, but at the same time know that it is just a cold and know that the result is not unknown…

Israel and Hamas seem to have found common ground for a peace treaty – fingers crossed that holds…

I will write a daily post for tomorrow as Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year and it is a day that I have been personally looking forward to as there is a lot to reflect upon based on the events of this year…

Until tomorrow…

Day 242…

11.15.12

Waking up and I’m dragging.  Not sure what the reason is, but I’m tired this morning. Is what it is, so I get ready for work and to the office I go.  I’ve decided that I’m going to give the N/R/Q a go today as it seems that they are back up and running.  To the train I go…

Well that was a bad idea.  The N is still not functional past 34th St. so I have to transfer to the R there and I wait for a while for the train to come.  Once it does, it takes forever to go two stops to 23rd St.  Looks like I’m going to have to wait to take this line until everything is back in order…with coffee finally in hand, I walk into the office and begin the day…

It is insane today…I have a ton of meetings and a ton to do.  Seems like it is going to be one of those days where you work work work and still have a ton left to do…

Finally taking a break and realizing that I’ll be here a bit later than normal.  This is fine as I do not have plans tonight so no reason to rush home…finishing up some work (I’m trying to get a few things done far in advance so they don’t creep up on us) and then off to the train I go…

It got a lot colder out than it was this morning…brrrrrr…..home, hanging with the pup…making soup for dinner and then to the couch I go and some TV….there is a new documentary on the Rolling Stones on HBO that I’m going to watch…

Night all…

Day 241…

11.14.12

Up early to get to the gym to see my trainer.  Thankfully, before I leave my apartment I check my email to see that my trainer had to cancel since her dog was sick.  I try to go back to bed for some extra shut eye, but alas it is a wasted effort.  Since I’m up I figure I’ll just head to the office early and get a jump on the day.  To work I go!

I’m slammed literally from the second that I walk in the door.  We have a very important client call at 10am and there is some legwork that needs to happen before we jump on the line.  Mindy and I work through our meeting prep and jump on the call.  The call is rather difficult, there is a lot to review and the initial data isn’t as promising as we were hoping it would be.  While cause to worry somewhat, we talk through the issues with the client and work together on how to properly frame the information for a call with a broader group at 3pm…I go straight to another call after the first one ends and present a brand new look for a long-standing client.  The absolutely love the work so that brings my spirits back up after the call I had just been on…straight from this call I go into another meeting.  Somehow I have to find time to work on the revised deck for the 3pm call…it’s going to be one of those days…

Work through lunch and race to the finish to get the deck out before heading to a new biz meeting at my old college friends company…we have a really productive conversation and I’m hoping that we will be awarded the work once we respond to the RFP…racing back to the office for my 3pm call…just make it and the call begins…we are hoping that the new deck we wrote today will be received well by the larger group as we go through the results…after a somewhat tenuous start, everyone warms up to the deck and we end up having a very productive call…from there it is onto yet another call and then I can finally sit down and breathe…

Heading home to hang with Riley for a bit before walking her and then heading to dinner…I’m starving like always, so really looking forward to a good burger at Hillstone…dinner doesn’t let me down…

Back home, watching Top Chef and then to bed…

Night all…

Day 240…

11.13.12

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday.  For some reason you’re never my favorite day and I have no real reason why.  So it goes.  I’m up and heading to the office for what I anticipate to be another busy day…

We start off with a quick review of materials in advance of a morning client presentation – everything looks good so we are prepping the room for the client to arrive…meeting goes incredibly well and we are all happy with where we are on this project…we all hope that this sets the tone for a good day…

As always, I’m starving so looking forward to having lunch and then jumping back into work…my hope is that I’ll be able to get all of my work done in time to head home, walk and feed the pup before heading out to dinner and then to meet Sam for drinks as he is in town for the night…

The afternoon gets pretty busy as we are working on a deck for a client call early tomorrow morning along with a few other pressing needs…trying to stay the course and now that I think about it, I need to follow up with Nisha on a sleep therapist as I haven’t heard back – yes, totally unrelated, but important nonetheless…giving her a call now…she’s not there…hopefully she calls back tomorrow…

Rushing home to take care of the pup and then straight back out to dinner and then to drinks…dinner was really good – chicken teriyaki and then seeing Sam was hilarious as always.  I can’t wait for he and Holly to officially be here for good come December because that means a ton of good times are on the horizon…

Getting late, heading home…

Night all…

Day 239…

11.12.12

It’s the start of another week and I’m waking up after a so-so night of sleep.  I had grand expectations of a solid night based on my run yesterday, but so it goes.  I’m up, walking Ri, showering and off to work I go.  I plan to give the F train a try this morning as Jordan said it could be faster than the 6 while I still wait on the N/R/Q to get back to normal…

The train was much faster than I expected – maybe I have a new route to work…I grab my coffee and into the office I go.  Catching up with my work friends on the weekend activities and then start to dive into the work of the day.  As always, there are a lot of things going on in the office, but I’m not one to complain about that.  Better to be busy than to not…Breaking for lunch (thai food today) and then making a couple calls and back to emails I go…

I’m not sure if I ever mentioned that in mid-September I was given the opportunity to be interviewed by an organization called Gifts that Give.  They are a non-profit company that donates 20% of merchandise purchased to the charity of the shopper’s choice.  A main recipient of the charity is LLS/TNT with whom I have a strong affiliation through my fundraising and the strong ties that I’ve formed with them since my diagnosis.  They asked me about my experience fighting cancer and how it shaped my outlook on life.  You can read it here…I feel very honored to be given another platform where I can share my story and I hope that on some levels it can help and/or inspired others that are fighting their own hiccups…

The rest of the day goes quickly as we crank out our work…I’m going to relax at home tonight with Ri, make some dinner and catch up on my DVR…

Until tomorrow…

 

Day 238…

11.11.12

Sunday has arrived and I wake up after another night of fighting sleep.  What I mean by that is that I still can’t seem to find a way to sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours without waking up and then fighting to fall back asleep.  I’m hoping that I find some start to a resolution this week by being put in touch with a sleep therapist…

I’m up and getting ready for a long run.  Last week I knocked out 6miles (which was the longest since being diagnosed) and today I hope to go a bit further and a bit faster.  Meeting Rene and then to the park we go…

Run starts off very strong – in fact I’m pushing things a lot in the first 2miles…as we reach the Harlem Hills, I push hard through the hills, but once I surpass them, my body pulls me back and makes me slow down.  The next two miles are a bit tough as I’m still working to get my pace back, but we push the remaining two and finish very strong.  Overall, we go a bit more than last week and shave off 11 seconds per mile off the pace which really makes me happy.  As of now I look to be more than on target for my 15k in December.  I’m thinking if I’m running this strong today, come 5 weeks from now I’m going to be even stronger.  The fact that I have such a strong base in terms of miles and cardio surprises me, but makes me very, very happy…

Head back to the apartment and my parents are already there hanging with the pup.  It’s great to see them as I haven’t seen them in more than two weeks which is unheard of in my family.  We catch up, have some lunch and watch the Giants game…Giants are playing horribly, so my Mom and I decide to go for a walk and enjoy the remaining part of the afternoon…

Back at the apartment and waiting on Jordan to arrive so we can then start to make family dinner…my Mom has brought in a variety of really tasty food to make – guac, turkey meatloaf, steak, broccoli and asparagus, rice pilaf and of course, dessert.  This has all the looks of a great dinner…

It doesn’t disappoint and I’m full and happy…starting to get tired from the weekend of fun and the run so I say goodbye to the family, take Riley out one more time and hunker down with the TV for the night…

Until tomorrow…

Day 237…

11.10.12

Oh how I love the weekend, so with that, I wake up and embrace my morning.  It is beautiful out – nice and warm so I’m off to walk the pup and then see what the day has in for me…

Making some coffee and hanging in the apartment before heading out to get lunch and go to the store to buy supplies for Friendsgiving tonight at Rachel and Alex’s apartment.  This is the 5th annual Friendsgiving and one of my favorite nights of the year as we all get together in a pot-luck type format, have drinks and tons of laughs.  We also wear really ridiculous hats…

I’ve been called a Turkey before. Now I actually am one.

Friends being friends…

We have a really great time and as anticipated, tons of laughs…the party begins to break up so people begin to head their separate ways.  Rene and I decided to grab one more drink and then I head home to call it a night and grab some sleep…

Night all…

 

Day 236…

11.9.12

FRIDAY!!! How I love seeing you every week.  Going back to the pre-cancer standard routine of what I call ‘cut Friday’ where I shave the head and start the weekend fresh…I head to the office to prep for our presentation…

As has been the case with the week, it’s busy here.  We have so many different things going on that it is tough at times to keep them all separate.  It’s never a good thing when projects mesh together.  I take a breather, double check my list and reengage…hoping that lunch arrives before my meeting as I’m starving, but it is not looking good…lunch arrives 5min before the meeting starts so I’ll have to sneak in eating it as I can…

Presentation goes really, really well and I’m so happy that it did.  When presenting creative to a brand new client, for a store that doesn’t yet exist, you really never know how it could go.  Fortunately for us, it went really well…we finish up the meeting, eat our lunch and go about the rest of the day with a bit of a bounce in our step…

Finishing up the work week and then heading to Bonobos to try on some pants (most of mine just don’t fit right anymore) and then to have dinner and drinks…I don’t have the best of luck at Bonobos as most of the pants I try still don’t fit me the way I want, but I’m not totally out of luck as I find a few pairs…Jess and I head back to my apartment to relax, have a drink and then off to dinner for the night…

Until tomorrow…