Dr. Bobs Adventure

We've created this blog for several reasons. First is to keep family and friends(including Bobs' pts.)informed of Bobs' condition while he undergoes treatment for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia(AML) at HUP. You may also write to Bob by posting a comment, which I'll print for him to read. Please feel free to pass this blog site on to anyone you think may want to join us.Instructions to blog are listed under day 12, and bobs' address etc are under day 14. Click on April Archives to find both.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How do I find the words?

Dearest friends and co-workers,

    Dr. Bob's Adventure...what an amazing adventure it has been. And those of you who knew Bob, know what a good man he was, that he loved life and lived it to the best of his ability, no matter his health at the time, good or bad. He was one in a million and I know in my heart I will never meet another person, man or woman, as truly good and kind as he. I could wax poetic about my beloved, but instead, there is a poem by Rudyard Kipling that I love and want to share. My mind has always gone straight to Bob whenever I've read it, and he will forever, be to me the very words brought to life, and now in my memories. It follows:


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

And lastly, I want to say to everyone, one last time, that we would never have made it as far as we did w/o your love, prayers, help and encouragement. I hope the words don't sound trite, because a truer thing I've never written. I still believe and so did Bob, that all your intercessions on his behalf, helped him achieve remission and do so well after the transplant...prayer is a powerful thing!

So thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you. Bob loved you. Your kindnesses will never be forgotten.

Love and prayers,
Mo (& Bob, from Heaven)


Thursday, May 09, 2013

Tough Update

Hi all,

Well, as my gal Deb used to say, it's a bad news day for the bears. Bob has had a rapid deterioration in the last 2 days and I'm here to ask for continued prayers and good vibes. Over the last 2 weeks, he's had more problems with coughing and choking and that put a damper on his appetite. I think that in turn has made him weak again and affected his breathing, so that he needs morphine to breathe comfortably. Even though he's only had 3 doses over the last 48 hrs. he has become lethargic and unable to eat or drink anything today. He answers me with one word responses...negatory on the pain/shortness of breath issues...then quickly drifts back to sleep. Well, I'm not going to get into all the physiology here, just wanted to let you know he's had a decline...again. I say that b/c he's bounced back before....I think he's on his 4th life at this point...and I hope and pray he will again. We were so hoping to get him to his niece Donata's wedding on the 18th this month. So, one day at a time.

With love and thanks,
Mo and Bob

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Come join us on 4/13

Dear friends and faithful bloggers,

I've been reluctant to share this because it is a "Fundraiser" and didn't want everyone to think I was just asking for donations, but now that Bob's doing so well and I'm quite sure he's going to join us,(yes, I'm knocking on the wooden desk as I write this) I want to tell all of you about the "Meet and Eat" that our friends and co-workers are throwing for Bob and I. Actually, I'm going to cut and paste the e-vite and let you read Cliff Ehrlich's words of explaination. But I wanted, especially, to extend this invitation to any of Bob's former patients and LMG co-workers who still may be tracking the blog...those of you with whom we've lost touch. What I'm really hoping is that this day will be a celebration of Bob...one where he can be surounded by lots of people who have meant so much to him over the years. So before I get too sentimental, here's the invitation. The event is on 4/13 at 4pm and will be held at the home of our friends Bonnie and John Handerhan. Please email or blog to let me know if you're interested in attending, so I can give Bonnie an approximation on the headcount. Thank you so much and I hope you'll consider joining us on 4/13/2013, Mo

Friends and colleagues:

I am writing on behalf of our longtime friends Bob and Maureen Mazzola. It has been ten years since Bob developed an illness which progressed to acute myelogenous leukemia. With determination and positive attitude, he has fought this disease and the many complications that have occurred. Just last month, with no more treatment options available and with declining strength, he decided that it was time for home hospice. Not surprisingly, this long illness has led to a significant financial strain for the Mazzolas.

Please join us for an open house “Meet and Eat” in honor of Bob. The purpose is twofold: 1. To raise money to support Bob and Maureen at this very difficult time. 2. To bring together the many friends that have come to know Bob and Maureen through our years together working in Lansdale’s healthcare community. It will be fun remembering all the great times we’ve had, while feasting on delicious food from Beverly and others (if you have a favorite beverage, BYO would be appreciated).

We hope that Bob and Maureen will join us in person, but if not we know that they will be there in spirit.

For those of you who can’t join the Meet and Eat but would still like to support the Mazzolas, please consider contributing by writing a check. To minimize the hassle for Bob and Maureen, we are requesting that checks be made out to Cliff Ehrlich @ 724 Buckley Circle, Penllyn PA, 19422. They will be acknowledged, combined, and forwarded to Bob and Maureen with their profound gratitude.

Thanks in advance, and wishing you all the best!


Monday, April 01, 2013

Happy Birthday to my most amazing husband!!

Hi all,

Just thought I'd come on and give you a quick update, seeing as it's my April Fool's birthday. I can honestly tell you that 6 weeks ago I did not think Bob would be celebrating his birthday this year, but he has come back from the brink again...I'll refrain from comparing him to Lazarus, but with Easter just passed that has been in my head. He is doing very, very well!! In fact he left the house today for a podiatrist's appt.! We have a transfer wheelchair now and everything went great. He's still wearing his oxygen, but oftentimes I'll look over and it will be oxygenating his bald head or his neck cuz he'll have removed it. He hasn't had morphine in close to 2 weeks and his appetite remains great. We had a wonderful Easter/Birthday celebration yesterday w/ all of Bob's family. I made 2 side dishes and everybody else brought all the rest.....too extensive to go into. I'll just say  brother Bill made lamb and ham, though no lambs' heads were on the menu like back in the days of Catherine and Dan (Bob's parents). Anyway, it was a wonderful day and Bob revelled in it.

We want to thank you all for your continued support, good wishes and always your prayers. We would go, as Pat says to Mike, right down the drain if you ever dropped us. So thank you for sticking with us through it all.

With our love and prayers,
Mo and Bob

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hi everyone,

That is, if anyone is still out there. You all must think I've given up blogging for Lent, lol! Nope, just busy and when I think of blogging it seems I am not near the computer. Also I wrote a long post on the kindle about a week ago and lost it somewhere in cyberspace, which was really frustrating, and then I gave up. So, blah, blah, blah! On to Bob.

Our guy's doing swell. Still eating well and has been working on some exercises to get himself stronger. He's done so well in fact, that he was downstairs this weekend! He was able to walk from his bed to the stair chair and then from the stair chair to the kitchen on Saturday, where he sat for 2 hrs. and played poker w/ our friends Y & L. Yesterday our bro. and s-i-l, Bill and Anne came up for the afternoon and brought Skyfall, which both Bob and I really enjoyed. Needless to say we have not been to the movies in a very long time, so it will be nice now that Bob can watch dvd's downstairs. I got netflix on my kindle for him to watch in bed, but some movies just need to be seen on the big screen. We're now anxiously awaiting The Hobbit and Lincoln. Right now Bob is jawing w/ one of his former LMG partners, Dr. M who's visiting. He also had lots of company last week when I worked a half day Wed. and a full ten hours on Friday. So many, many thanks to Joan and Bob M. who were here on Wed. and Friday was covered by 3 shifts and I thank my old ICU pal Kelly M, sister Santa and cousin Candy, and once again, our friends Y and L. As always, I say we are so blessed and would be nowhere w/o our dear family and friends.

And you didn't think I would close w/o writing about food, did you?? I can't b/c I must thank Santa and Candy for buying out Carlino's last Friday....prosciutto, 3 different cheeses, 3 different salads, bread, balsamic vinegar, olives, salami...oh my gosh!! You didn't leave anything in the store for the poor people who went in after you!! And Anne and Bill came bearing pasta(enough so that I won't need to cook all week), salad, bread and dessert. I would name the pasta, but I have no idea how to spell it...Bill are you there? But it's another family favorite, made by Bill yesterday, who says it's not quite the same as Catherine's. Now I never tasted my Mother-in-laws' but I don't know how it could have been better than Bills' which made me swoon...a delicious baked blend of pasta, meat, cheeses, zucchini and sauce....mmmmmmm! And I think since the last time I wrote we also received some delicious shrimp fried rice and a yummy bread pudding from Mrs. A, thank you very much! Oh and Megan made a banana toffee pie that was to die for...incredibly rich and sweet and of course, it being Lent I only ate that on Sunday...right, I wish. So as you can see, Bob is not lacking in strength for want of nourishment! And now back to my laundry which is like some magical fairytale laundry...it never seems to end!!! Meg is coming over w/ the kids whom I plan to smother with hugs and kisses cuz I haven't seen them in 2 weeks!!

Thank you to all for your continued support, calls, cards and prayers. All are truly appreciated!

All our love,
Bob and Mo

Sunday, February 24, 2013

One more thank you!

See, I knew I'd forget...but we'll call it saving the best for last. A big thanks to my niece, Kate N. for making a grocery store run yesterday and also for the surprise gift from Bath and Body Works...a gift box of soaps and lotions in one of their fresh, new scents...tangerine! I love it Katydid and you!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hi everybody!!

Dear family and friends,

This week has gone by so quickly I can't believe it! I think I sleptwalked? through most of it though, as Bob was awake about every 2-3 hrs. and me with him. I've been sleeping the sleep of new mother's...where you hear every little peep. What's a little worrisome is the absence of siderails on the bottom half of the bed, and Bob likes to sit on the edge to fiddle with his cd's or kindle if he wakes up. Anyway, I think we finally have the right combo of meds. and last night he only woke up around 4am and we did a little repositioning etc. and we both fell back to sleep til 8am. It was bliss. I actually felt human today. Got all the wash done, made a big batch of applesauce, changed some sheets, washed some floors and was about to make a pot of potato-leek soup when our dear friend called to say she was bringing us her famous, homemade biscotti(anise) and pasta fagiole. So that was dinner done! I would say we ate like kings, but as Bob says, that's Italian peasant food, something that his Mom had to be coaxed into making, since she was always astonished at how much her family liked it.

And speaking of food, I've really been remiss with my thank-yous in that department. I have barely had to cook at all the past 2 weeks. I think I mentioned the beef stew that my cousins John and Connie sent over, 3 batches in fact. In addition, we also were treated to takeout from Red Lobster by our good pal, Jean R., who also brought back lobster mac n' cheese and NE clam chowdah from Cape May's Lobster House on another night. Brother and sis, Bill and Ann visited last week and served up meatball & provolone grinders, Italian wedding soup and Ital. hoagies. Carolyn and Jim S. stopped by for a visit and brought us homemade chicken soup, with the big fat noodles Bob loves and one of his favorite desserts, pineapple upside down cake...ooh, it was good. This past Monday our buddy Holly S. brought 2 pans of her world-famous(I'm not kidding) homemade mac and cheese...it's the best!Then on Tuesday, cousins Rick and Joan C. made a Carlino's run for Bob and brought him an antipasto platter(his request), and lots of juices and baked goodies too. You can see why the stairs are getting harder to climb...pretty soon I'll be using the stair chair! Oh and Megan brought lasagna that is still in the freezer and a platter of Italian baked goods. And my brother brought us roaster chickens and danish and all kinds of stuff. So thank you, thank you one and all. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone.

Now, while we're on the subject of thank you's I want to say how grateful I am to everyone who responded to my request for helpers to be with Bob while I am at work. When we first went onto hospice, I thought that wouldn't be neccessary afterall, due to the gravity of Bob's condition. However, now that he's improved since those first few days, I think I'll be going back to work next week. So I'll be back in touch.

Now I just want to quickly share something that happened last week. Bob regularly gets e-mails from his alma mater, St Joe's Prep and from his specific class of '58. Last week when checking e-mail, I saw one about an upcoming Communion Breakfast from his classmate, Tom Prior. I replied and asked Tom to please place Bob on the Preps' prayer list. Less than 30 minutes later, I received a phone call from Tom, introducing himself and asking me, what, exactly he could do to help Bob and I during this very difficult time. I was astounded. Since that day we've received numerous e-mails, phone calls and cards, filled with loving notes of encouragement and strength from classmates all over the globe. Tom also sent Bob a book about their classmate, Fr. Rob Currie, who has dedicated his life to improving the lives of others in places such as Appalachia, India and Nicaragua. This was an especially touching gift as it contains much information on the people who touched Bob's life in his 4 years at the Prep. Thank you also to Fr. George Bur, the President of  St. Joe's Prep for your message and for remembering Bob at Mass. Bob is also being remembered in masses as far away as China and Nicaragua, as well as in Philly! So thank you to all the Preppers for reaching out. It's apparent that you are men of compassion, conscience and integrity, practicing in life what you were taught so many years ago at Girard Ave.

And as always, our love and thanks to our faithful friends and family for seeing us through, for your prayers and messages of encouragement. We wouldn't be where we are w/o you!

Well, I don't think I actually said too much about how Bob is, other than you know he's eating well. And he is eating hefty portions. Once he stopped his meds (the big guns like, anti-rejection, anti-fungal, anti-virals) his appetite returned and his taste! He's actually enjoying eating again. With almost every bite, he says, "mmm, that's so good". Boy, it does my heart good I tell ya'. He's still weak, only walking to the rocker or BSC., but he's enjoying his collection of cd's I dug out of the basement. I had to search cuz they were in a box we never opened that came back after the fire. So how's this for eclectic....Coltrane to Meat Loaf to Wagner, Tommy Makem, the Chieftains and the Dubliners, then Tosca and Foreigner, Queen and Little Feat, just to mention a few. He's also listening to a Shelby Foote novel on his kindle(who knew it had an audio reader?? Not me) alternating w/ a book on Genghis Khan! And he naps a lot too.

Phew! I think I've gone on(and on and on, I know) for long enough now. I'll say Good Night and God Bless you all. And I'll try to be better about keeping up with posts ;-)

All our love,
Bob and Mo