Mark Goldberg v2

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FrankChurch
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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:15 pm

Mark, your Mom is a fighter, big up.

I let stuff roll off my back, Christian charity..lol

The job market is a five car collision, best to have air bags.

Fearfull days ahead, but hope primes the handle.

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David Loftus
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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby David Loftus » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:14 am

Steve's right, Mark: Get out of this mosh pit and put your energies where they'll do you much more good, ultimately.

If you need a little private online support, write some of us privately -- that's the best way, I think.

Otherwise, step away from the Board. Step away from the computer, if you're not doing work-related/income-generating/personally creative activity. Really.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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markabaddon
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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby markabaddon » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:55 pm

Thanksgiving visit

So I ended up goign back to Philly last week for the holiday to essentially have a goodbye visit with my Mom. I left on Thursday morning and I will admit, I was terrified about what this trip would be like. Fortunately, it turned out about as well as could be expected. I was hoping my parents would pick me up from the airport, but my Mom did not have enough energy to drive down there so my cousins cam and picked me up. That should have been my first clue about how much she has regressed since I was with her a month ago.

Thanksgiving dinner was at my cousins' house (the ones who picked me up) and went well, but my Mom could not do anything other than sit there. She was very upset because normally she would be the one coordinating when to bring out food, helping everyone get what they need, and clearing the table. Sitting there, having to watch everyone do the tasks she would perform, and being forced to have everyone bring her food and drink because she could not get up (taking 4 steps would literally put her out of breath right now) was torture for her and I could see it in her eyes.

Friday was another tough day. My Dad had been trying to get her to complete a Living Will without success, but I can get her to do things that he cannot. So when she got up in the morning I told her we would be completing the Living Will. I did not give her an option or chance to fight about it. We sat down at the table and in a few minutes were able to go through the document. It was fairly simple as she said no to everything: CPR, respirator, blood transfusions, etc. One of my cousins will be over this weekend to notarize it and then copies will be sent to the hospice center and her doctor.

Friday afternoon the hospice nurses arrived and they were great. They explained how things work and that if any difficulties arise, such as the clotting that occurred last week, that we would call them rather than bring my Mom into the hospital. They reviewed the pain meds she is on now (delaudid I believe it is) and added percoset to the meds as she is in some severe pain right now. We also discussed other ways to make her more comfortable, such as a shower stool since she cannot stand to wash herself right now. When the nurses left I was in awe. Those peopple have either the most challenging or most rewarding job on the face of the earth and for the life of me I cannot figure out which it is. All I can say is they perform a service I could never do and whose value is incalculable

Saturday my Dad had to work so it was just my Mom & I home alone all day. When I asked her what she wanted to do, she said she just wanted to lay in bed and watch movies on Lifetime and the Hallmark channel. Under normal circumstances, this would qualify as a definition of the 4th circle of Hell for me but she wanted it so I was going to do it. I tried to have some "serious" discussions with her but she shot them down, saying I was depressing her. Probably for the best, I think that may be more for me than for her, as she knows how much I love her.

However, she still let me have it with both barrels once during the day. I do not recall how it started, but the subject of my living in MN came up and she shouted "That was YOUR choice, you wanted to mvoe away. Well now you got what you wanted and you're screwed, I hope you're happy!" As a side note, I have been in MN for 13.5 years, but she has apparently never gotten over it. I tried to explain to her that I like living out here, and also that I tried to move back when my position at Novartis was eliminated, but to no avail. She said she was happy that I am happy but she still thinks it is a mistake for me to be so far away.

Thankfully, she drifted in and out of consciousness, so I was able to go online and get away from the TV before the saccharine on the screen caused on onset of diabetes. She had a little more energy Saturday night so we went out to an Israeli place in Jenkintown for dinner that night once my Dad got home. It is one of the most difficult aspects of this illness to bear, that at times, such as Saturday night, she seemed fine. Full of energy, talkative and pretty much normal (or as normal as she gets anyway) and you forget how sick she is so that when she does not have the energy to accompany you to the airport because she doe snot have the strength it hits you twice as hard

My Dad is the one I feel the worst about, other than my Mom, throughout this ordeal. They fight constantly but he will be lost without her. He has turned to me for support as he does not have any extended family and my sister, well let's just say that my sister is as sympathetic as a great white shark in the middle of a feeding frenzy. That may do disrespect to the shark, I ain't sure. That is one thing which I have pondered asking Harlan about and always chickened out. How do you deal with a sibling with whom there is mutual loathing during a period like this? Regardless, I told my Dad how proud I am of him and how great he is handling everything. I wish he were more open to counseling, but Jewish men from that generation are not that receptive to the benefits of therapy

The latest news is that my Dad called me this morning (15 minutes before I had to make a presentation before the CFO) and told me he spoke with the hospice nurses and that they said the end would come in weeks, not months. I told him that this was not something that was new to either of us, but hearing that from a medical professional was still difficult to take.

Thus ends my story for the time being

Mark
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby Lori Koonce » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:03 pm

*big friendly hug*

Mark

No words I can say will make this any easier for you. I wish i could make it all go away for you.

All I can say is what I've said before, you have contact info for me, please us it if and when you have to.

Speaking of that, I agree with those who have suggested you stay away from the computer unless ya really need it. The Living are much more comfort and help than even the truest of your internet friends can be.

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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby markabaddon » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:34 am

The funeral will be on Tuesday, here is what I plan on saying:

Let me start with a confession: growing up my Mom and I were never that close. Not to say that she did not love me, or that we did not spend time together because we did, but we lived in separate worlds. Mine was focused upon comic books, science fiction and fantasy novels, and various films. Hers was much more grounded in reality and the two interacted only when I emerged from my room to eat dinner or to watch television but one thing I never doubted was her love for me and her unwavering support.

On Sundays, our general practice growing up was for my family to head over to my Aunt and Uncle’s house. When we arrived, my Mom would usually take off to go shopping with my sister, aunt and cousin and, truth be told, I sometimes felt a bit left out by that. Not because I wanted to go shopping with them, an activity I regard with as much enthusiasm as a root canal, but because it would have been time spent with my Mom.

As I grew older, we started becoming closer. When I moved to Minneapolis, my Mother insisted on driving out with me to my new apartment. My entire family took bets on whom would survive the trip (curiously, none bet on me) but we had a fabulous time together. For the life of me, I cannot remember any specific conversations we had during the 20 hour ride but what I do remember is just a casual, easy talk with her that lasted the entire trip. She stayed with me for 2 days after we arrived, making sure that I had everything I needed in this strange little town where I knew no one and we had a lot of fun together. It was the longest time we ever spent together just the two of us and I treasure those memories.

She was always there for me and no matter how hard we fought or argued I knew without question that she would do anything in her power for me. My mother & I had what some might term an odd relationship, often more akin to friends than to a parent-child one. I took great delight in needling her and teasing her to the point where vulgarity of some kind was generally used. Many people, witnessing this for the first time, were shocked at the language we used. To us, it was natural, because we had a level of comfort with each other that I never realized how much I cherished until it was gone.

I pushed myself hard in school, especially language arts related classes, because it was one of the few areas where my mother and I were able to connect. My Dad may have given me my love of science fiction but it was my Mom who encouraged me to write and to increase my vocabulary as much as possible. It is funny, even in later years she would sometimes throw out a word that would score a bunch of points in Scrabble and then look over at me as if to say “see, I am smart, too”. She really did not have to, as I was already well aware of how smart she was and never really told her how impressed I always had been by her.

A love of learning is something that is deeply ingrained in Jewish tradition. I was fortunate to have had a fairly lengthy educational career, but many of the most important lessons I learned in life came from my Mom and not from any classroom. She taught me to be strong, to believe in myself, to never give up if there is hope, but also to accept the inevitable with grace and dignity. Most of all she made sure that her children knew they were loved. While I was growing up she often said “we may not have had the most money, but we have the most love in our family” and that was something I never doubted.

When my oldest son Alex was born, my parents drove from Philadelphia to Minneapolis, laden with food my Mom had prepared to be served after the bris ceremony. This was her first grandchild and, by God, she was going all out for it. All my life I had heard the Yiddish term “kvell”, which means to swell with pride but I had never seen a literal application of the word until that point. My Mom looked like she could burst with pride for her new grandson. I saw this phenomenon again when later grandchildren were born, my son Zachary, my niece Jordyn and my nephew Garrett. Family meant everything to my Mother.

Many people have told me over the past few months to have courage, that this is something many people have gone through, and this is a true statement. Others have counseled me by saying that I will get through this and I know they are correct. However, what is also undeniably true is that one of the two people who helped shape me as a person is gone and there will be a hole in my life that will never be completely filled. No more calls when I am 5 minutes late from when we usually talk asking, “Where were you?” No more desserts at Holiday time that appear in an endless stream like a scene from Fantasia. Worst of all my children will never come to know my mother as the amazing and vibrant person she was. Stories about her can and will be told, but they are a poor substitute for the genuine article.

One of my favorite songs is Bonnie Raitt’s version of “Angel From Montgomery”. One line from that song captures how I felt about my Mom: “Just give me one thing that I can hold onto”. For my entire life, she was the one I turned to, the one constant I could depend upon to provide comfort and support. I will get through this with the love and support of my family, friends, and my girlfriend, and life will move on, but I know unquestionably that my life will be much poorer without my Mother in it.
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby Moderator » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:49 am

Amazingly beautiful tribute, Mark.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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David Loftus
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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby David Loftus » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:42 pm

Yes, well stated, Mark.

I imagine whatever I have to say about my mother when the time comes -- she's fine right now, knock wood -- will be much the same . . . and different.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:40 pm

Mark

That was beautiful. I can only hope that I've touched at least one life the way your mom has touched yours.

Please know you are in my prayers as is all your family. You lost a great matriarch.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:21 pm

Very nice Mark.

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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:57 pm

Dear Mark,

If you and your Mom believe in Heaven, then believe me--she's reading that moving tribute out loud right now, telling the other angels to "get over here and read this", and kvelling. You don't have your Mom right now, but you still have her love.

Blessings on you and your family during this difficult time.
Love,
G.
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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby markabaddon » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:07 pm

Again, thanks to everyone for all of their support during this miserable time. A slightly amusing item I forgot to bring up earlier. When I returned home for the funeral, my Dad & I had flush down the toilet many of the medications that were in the emergency pack that hospice care gave to my Mom left over and could not be returned to the pharmacy, such as bottles of percoset, delaudid (sp?) and one final medication: raspberry flavored morphine (used with a syringe for oral intake).

I had a vigorous discussion with my friends about this medication. If they had raspberry flavor, what other flavors of morphine might exist? We hypothesized about lemon, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, orange, and several others. I also wondered if the morphine might be combined with other substances to make it more palatable. I thought a vodka-raspberry morphine mix might be fun, others saw it as a topping for ice cream or cereal. Yes, if you were wondering, these conversations took place while I was siting shiva. I am aware I am probably going to hell.....
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:33 pm

markabaddon wrote:[snips] I thought a vodka-raspberry morphine mix might be fun, others saw it as a topping for ice cream or cereal. Yes, if you were wondering, these conversations took place while I was siting shiva. I am aware I am probably going to hell.....


Not hell, so long as you didn't try the...erm...Red Russian?!? Morphine is evil. Sorry, but I had enough of it in the hospital to develop an allergy to it. No kidding.

I was in free-fall hallucinatory mode. There was a painting on the wall of my room of a red geranium. I was convinced it was out to get me with its stems and bright red buds. Then I gripped the rails of my hospital bed and thought I was on a fire escape and tried to climb them.

The doctors didn't figure any of this out until grand rounds the next day when a bunch of them came into my room to see how I was doing and to check on the "zebra" (a rare medical case) in bed 6. Before leaving, after commenting on how rare my tumor and prognosis was, they asked if there was anything they could do to make me more comfortable.

I asked them, "Could you make that big doctor in the corner of the room leave?" They turned, to a man, and looked. Then back at me.

"What big doctor?" asked the resident.

"The big green one with all the scales and the claws...he's scaring me with his red eyes on top of his mask." said I.

"Get the anesthesiologist in here STAT!!!"

They switched me to something else IV, with a little button I could push like a lab rat to get a dose whenever I needed it. Strange times. :roll:
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)

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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby Moderator » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:11 pm

such as bottles of percoset, delaudid (sp?) and one final medication: raspberry flavored morphine (used with a syringe for oral intake).



AAAAAAAAgggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh................



(Oh, sorry. Did I write that out loud?) (Had a momentary flashback to the college years.)
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby FinderDoug » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:22 am

We hypothesized about lemon, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, orange, and several others.


Like a new candy:

Morphittles. Hear the rainbow.

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Re: Mark Goldberg v2

Postby markabaddon » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:54 pm

Doug, I like Morphittles but I think you would not only be able to hear thbe rainbow but if the morphine is strong enough, to smell and touch the rainbow also

I had my own experience with morphine when I shattered my arm back in 2001. I was on a morphine drip in the hospital and was told I barely blinked for an hour or two. When the doctor came in to look at the X-Ray and told me, "Boy, you fucked up your arm real bad" I was not even coherent enough to respond. I agree Gwynnie, that shit is dangerous....
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class


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