Saturday, September 17, 2016

100 Days


Today marks the 38th day of my recovery . My total recovery before I venture out into the world is 100 days . This has to be the most difficult time of my life and the most harrowing ! My energy is so very low . My appetite thankfully has improved a bit from bad to fair . So I am seeing some progress and the progress is so very slow . I have been home for two weeks now after a long and horrible three-week hospital stay . It was excruciating , isolating and beyond boring. But through all this I have had the most amazing outpouring of love and support from so many people . Although I requested no hospital visits it didn't matter . People were still there for me:
 Thank you Michael , Heather and Stevie for cleaning my house to make it pristine for my return. 
Thanks to Jeanie for checking in with Glenn every single day giving him the very necessary emotional support he needed. 
Thanks to Debbie for her frequent uplifting texts. 
Anne Marie's encouraging texts to me and her supportive calls to Glenn always seemed to arrive at the right moment. 
So many of you found good use for texting at long last. Glenn and I appreciated it. 
The phone calls, emails and messages from close friends to warm acquaintances was staggering. 

This all brings to mind that wonderful line the Wizard of Oz speaks to the Tin Man " Remember my sentimental friend, it's not how much you love but how much you are loved that matters."


Michael has been a source of great strength in all he has done and continues to do. Thank God for Michael. Every one should have a Michael in their lives who is, by the way, blessed with a terrific girlfriend like Heather.  Btw, thanks for the terrific elliptical. Glenn's enjoying it - soon for me.


Touches of kindness reach me daily:
 Thanks JoEllen for the Sedaris CDs - his wit and sharp eye blended in oddly enough with my recovery mood.
I am looking forward to digging into the two Bill Bryson books Maryanne, Frank and Pete were so generous to send. Must be special if the author is a favorite of yours.
Colleen's thoughtful music CDs and books offered peace and encouragement.
Diane and Maryanne surprised me with an Amazon gift card - one store I don't mind getting lost in.
I was especially touched by the book and beautiful quilt made with caring hands by members of Hamburg United Methodist Church - sent to me early on.
What really astounds me are the hundreds of prayer warriors from Anne Marie's to Michaelene's and beyond that are  praying specifically for me - for me!
I didn't know receiving card's and notes filled with well wishes and good cheer could elevate me to such joyous heights.

I am feeling strong enough to receive phone calls and visits, now. Hope to see and hear from you soon. I know I haven't been able to come to the phone or had to discourage visits and I do hope this wasn't too off-putting for you. I truly just wasn't strong enough. To complete a sentence was a huge effort. Now, things have improved and I am able to speak on the phone as well as visit with you at my home. So please call or drop in. Rules for a visit: no coughs or colds or having been around someone with a cold or contagious situation, don't bring plants, cut flowers or stuffed animals, and when you see me a fist bump is the preferred display of affection. That last rule slays me BUT doctor"s orders.


I feel thankful beyond words for my life - thankful that I still have my life. I am grateful that with this life the number one key to its success is Glenn. His calm loving reserve - his exemplary communication skills with doctors and staff at Roswell - his clear understanding of all things me at this most difficult time are truly what saved my life. Above all his dedication driven by pure holy love is my panacea.


As I forge ahead in my recovery , I know - Casera-sera whatever will be will be, like the song goes- but I firmly believe that whatever will be will be - will be grand!



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Day 0


Wow! Does that sound apocalyptic or what? Day Zero Day 0 ! 


Trying to live in the now, I am attempting to not predict. 

Day 0 is the 2nd day of my rather lengthy hospitalization. It is the day through modern science when I have my own stem cells put back into my body thereby healing this awful thing called Multiple Myeloma. It's like a Michael Crichton novel.


I know I am sounding flippant, but this is serious. And after 8 months of successful treatment, this is REAL!

So, to catch all you caring souls up with the latest on Tony Baksa, here it is:

I will be admitted Tuesday morning August 9th to Roswell Park Cancer Institute for a stem cell transplant. It is not surgery. It entails an insertion of a line into me just below the neck where my own stem cells will be given back to me - that is, my cancer free stem cells. The rest of my stay will be physical therapy and monitoring while my NEW immune system takes control. It is like a reboot. After 2 or 3 weeks I return home AND for 100 days, I must live a cautious life avoiding infections. 

When the 100 days is over WE PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


But seriously, I am grateful for this new lease on life and especially thankful to modern science, As someone recently said, "I believe in science."

Thank you to everyone who has been evident in my life since my diagnosis last November through visits, phone calls, texts, emails and even you silent ones - those of you seemingly absent BUT  hopefully praying and sending those love vibrations my way. 

Through all that is good and fair in this world I will be just fine. 


 Tony or Anthony or Uncle T or "hey you" 

If you want to talk after August 12 or so my cell is 716.380.6022

Glenn's cell is 917.715.5938


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Love Is The Cure

Life is a gift - a cliche' to be sure BUT oh so true. When one is hit by certain circumstances one learns this to be true - Life is a Gift.

What's in this gift? Well, it's a grab bag of delights, challenges, sorrows and, saving the best for last , LOVE.

At the risk of sounding gooey, it is all about love. One realizes - let me drop the "one". I realize due to my current status more then ever that love is the answer to everything. It's what gets you off you. What I mean by that is this: When my life situation changed so drastically a little over a month ago, to my surprise I didn't wallow in self pity. 

What happened instead was my immediate concern for my loved ones, especially Glenn. How will this impact him?  How will Glenn hurt? How will siblings deal? What about my friends? Should we get together and have a group cry? 

Seriously, I didn't cry for weeks. I had one good cry - well it really wasn't a good cry. It was painful. But I cried it out. However, I stopped crying with tears to spare. They'll keep for another day. I don't have time for that now. I am figuring out a way to allow people to help me. To understand their pain. To let them react in their own way whether I see it or not. To assume they care. To assume they love me. To know they do to varying degrees. There are those I know won't much care. There are those who will care but not love me enough to make an effort. 

I have received lovely support emotionally and otherwise from several confidants. Glenn has been my rock. I never doubted that. 

I want all the love you can give me, now. It is the best support I can possibly get. Love me fully, unabashedly with no apologies. The hell with cute embarrassment. Just love LOVE. It's really the easiest thing in the world and perhaps the hardest. But do it. Don't let the day arrive when you will find yourself overflowing with regret. Regret is one of the most painful feelings.

So, treat yourself to love. Avoid regret. It is really for your own good - and mine. 

Thanks - I love you. - t 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

HTUTS Reunion 2015

Half way through the party I realized I hadn't been taking any pictures. Unfortunately, not everyone is represented in this photo montage. Some people had come and gone like the Ruffinos etc. Anyway, it was fun and here's some of it with music from our production of "Picnic"



Thursday, August 20, 2015

EVERYBODY - SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Today, I heard, yet again, another apology on the news. It was some fake ass celebrity apologizing for something they said yesterday that was deemed offensive by someone. His apology was as fake as his celebrity status.


There will always be stupid things said. There will always be apologies. The apologies will almost always be insincere. The offense will most certainly be forgotten in a day or two if it weren't for the hungry media keeping the lame controversy alive.


You are not that important. Issuing apologies are acts of conceit. It indicates that the ass-wipe apologizing thinks they are relevant, important and instrumental in governing our lives.


"If I offended anybody.....", they say. Your mere existence offends, OK!

"That was not my intention.....", they utter. So, what, then, was your intention! Please, your intention is as clear as Avian. You got caught being an asshole and you want to save your over-priced career.


You are not important enough for me to care what you meant. My assumption was you meant to be the topic of the day. You've succeeded . Now, just SHUT UP!

And then there are the people who accost our airwaves on a daily basis with opinion and gall. To the following I say.....................

  • Donald Trump - America's Big Embarrassment
  • Bill "Blowhard" O'Reilly
  • The entire Today Show cast
  • The entire The View cast
  • Curtis Sliwa - former Guardian Angel and yesterday's mashed potatoes
  • Robin Meade on HLN - why is this vaudeville act doing the news?
  • Kelly Ripa - you're NOT funny
  • Michael Strahan - you're NOT funny
  • Kelly & Michael - you're STILL not funny
  • Guy Fieri - you're not all the things you think you are - in fact you're not any of the things you think you are
  • Politicians - worst offenders of the insincere apology SHUT UP!!
  • etcetera etcetera etcetera 

........thank you.   


Tuesday, April 14, 2015



There's a book "When Bad Things Happen To Good People". I haven't read it but I like the title. It's reassuring. After all, bad things are part of life's journey - unfortunately. So we handle it and strive to surmount the dark patch. And much of the time we do. 

Part of the ways we survive the bad things are the good people that support us through it all. By support, I mean a caring word, a gesture, a prayer. A phone call, text or email - checking in means more than I would ever have guessed. 

I survived a very scary episode. My churning stomach, my faltering stance, my shaky hands, my quivering voice, my fidgety movements were soothed and put on hold by the phone calls, texts and emails from caring good people - friends and family. 

However, I feel some disappointment and hurt. There are many family members and friends who I am sure were aware of my difficulty who couldn't muster the good will and sympathy to call, text or email - to lend a word of support. I shall never ever forget their silence.

Also, I will never forget those who did check in often. It meant the world to me and truly eased my aching soul. 

Thank you Michael, Maria, Jeannie, Gene, Anne Marie and your warriors, Debbie & Joe, Adam, Stevie, Eddie & Liz, Patsy, Debbie, Merridy, Jerry & Merry, Colleen, Colin, Grace, Diane, Mimi, Mary Jane, Cathy, Amber, Billy, Christine, Lynette, Danny, Terry, Bill, Jazmin, Mary, Maria, Bob, Donna, Gary, Jolly, Donna L., Donna H., Brenda, Paul, PJ, Courtney, Craig, Chris, Lisa, Nicky, Pat, Lizz, Maria C. , Eileen and Joanne. 


The worst is over. Life is good, again. The hurt subsides. How precious is authentic concern. I cherish it - always. 


Thanks also to newly aware Sara & MJ.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Meaning of Life


When the one person in your life - the main person - the one you love so much it hurts - when that person is in danger - in jeopardy - unhappy - sick -  

 - all the joy goes out of everything you do - everything you see - you eat without tasting - your laugh is empty - your smile is just a position you arrange with your lips - your eyes lose focus - your stomach churns unrelentingly.


The things you wanted that would make you happy don't.

Why is this?

It is so because nothing is anything if not shared. Your joy needs a witness. Without the participation of your loved one there is no joy.

This is the meaning of life. To love and be loved is all that matters. It is the simplest truth.                              

We laugh together.

We cry alone.

An artist paints a picture to be seen. A singer sings a song to be heard. The painting, the song has no value otherwise.

Love only exists when it is given as well as accepted. True love is the equalizer. 

This is why we ache when our loved one aches. 

Life is a hellish solitary confinement when bad things happen to your one true love. 

A hollow stomach - a band of ache grips the head - future scenarios are grim - you tingle with fear - your sleep is muddled - you awake only to be greeted with the familiar devastation....

This is now your life.

But because you have a life- the inevitable glimmer of hope appears.

It's a new day even with the old baggage and your love is still your love.