Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009

Sorry, guessed I missed another night. I didn't have too much to report on anyway.

Anne had chemotherapy session #2 yesterday, the first at Dr. Balcueva's office (10 more to go). She unfortunately had a pretty significant reaction to the Avastin, the drug which works on contracting blood vessels to starve the tumors. She got red and hot all over. This was controlled by Benadryl, but afterwards, when she got up to go to the bathroom, she developed shaking chills that really scared her. This was also fortunately corrected by medications. Last night she slept extremely well (probably the Benadryl) and, Praise God, she had a very good day today. After her first session of chemotherapy, she slept for 2 days, so she has done much better this time. Dr. Balcueva's office called me while she was there yesterday, but of course I was operating and couldn't come to see her. They didn't tell me there had been a problem, or I would have run over. I want you to know that my job sucks when I can't leave to see my own wife during her chemo. It's something that most people don't have to deal with--as much as I love my family, my job takes me away from them because of the committments I have to my patients. It's something I've never been able to resolve over all these years, althoug I have in the past often been able to rearrange my schedule to accommodate things like soccer or volleyball games. But, in general, I have been taken away from the family more times than I would like to admit.

I've been trying to find a daily Bible verse or song that has spoken to me that I have wanted to share. They have either been sent to me by friends or by emails that I prescribe to. One that I got yesterday was awesome:

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.... She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:10, 27-28

Does that describe Anne, or what? I hope that all of the men out there are married to someone as wonderful as Anne. She is my best friend, and has been almost since the day I met her at Mountainside Hospital in April of 1981. She worked there as a nurse on the indigent floor, and I was rotating there as a 1st year orthopaedic resident. I wasn't originally supposed to rotate there, and really didn't want to go, but as God would have it, I did. I was actually already married at the time, but having major marital problems (from day 1 of meeting my first wife in college, actually). Anne and I hit it off as friends, and several months after I broke up with the first wife, after Anne broke up with her then-boyfriend, we started dating, and the rest, as they say, "is history".

I would also hope that all of the women out there have husbands who feel about them as I feel about Anne. Anne is my angel. I don't know how she actually puts up with me--I work way too much, am sometimes too tired to pay attention to her, and have given her the burden of taking care of the household. I don't have any idea where the checkbook even is. I don't have a clue about doing banking stuff on line, and she'll let you know that I don't make phone calls--for anything. I'm never home in time to eat dinner with the family for the most part (she's usually starving waiting for me now that the kids are gone), and I almost never cook or even do the dishes. For a while I was going to Meijers for the family shopping, but I don't even do that much anymore (apparently I bought too much extra stuff anyway). Believe me, I could go on and on, but I'd better stop here or no one will like me any more, but you get the picture. I am the luckiest man in the world, and don't have any problems letting you know that. That's why, in her time of need, I want to spend as much time with her as I can. She has done so much for me--including re-introducing me to Jesus--that I could never repay her. Kind of like the Grace we receive from God--given freely despite our not deserving it, but there for all of us.

Please pray for Michelle's boyfriend Greg who will be undergoing surgery Wednesday, and Anne's brother John who will be having surgery Thursday. Pray also for all of the other people out there who are having health problems. And pray for those who do not yet know Jesus.

God Bless,


  1. Amen Tony,

    I for one can say that I have that kind of a wife and life/faith partner. The more I know her them more of a gem she is.


  2. I really look up to you and Anne because of your love for each other. In today's crazy world it's hard to find people who stay in love for so long. You're very lucky and very blessed and I'm so glad you know that! Glad to hear things are still improving!


  3. Tony,
    A patient told me today of what has happened. We were talking about her upcoming surgery and I asked her who was doing it...it was YOU! I ranted and raved about you, telling her what awesome work you do and what a genuine person you are...you and Anne both. I have not stopped thinking about all of you today~I did not know if what she was telling me was true, or if it was a rumor. I came home and searched Facebook and called our daughter (Katie Kostal) to ask her if she had heard anything about Anne. I located you on Facebook and discovered a link to your blog. I have been reading for a couple of hours now and find myself in tears along the way. Such beautiful people, enduring such a journey...Words cannot express enough what is going through my mind, but I do know one thing, God is calling to me right now, and I think I know why...