Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Letter from Matthew

Matthew asked me to pen this memo from him.  He has developed a bit of a mouth on him so I had to clean it up a bit.

Team Matthew,
I had my first day of radiation today and am not sure what to expect.  In many respects, its good that I am only 2 and I have yet to learn what is supposed to hurt and what isn't.   My daddy calls me his hero.  I don't think I am a hero.  I am just an ordinary dude who happens to be doing something extraordinary.  Not unlike many of you.  If you do not know what I am talking about, you have have not been reading this blog very closely.  There are countless examples of ordinary people, you, doing extraordinary things for me, my family, and eachother. 

So, let's make a deal.  I am going to keep fighting and kicking this cancer's ass, and you keep doing what you are doing.  I know I can't do this without my team behind me. 

Who's with me?

Team Matthew Chairman of the Board

Respond by adding a comment below.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

day - 10

Here we go.  It's day -10 (minus 10).  Matthew is beginning radiation on Tuesday and will receive that 2x/day for 4 days.  He will then be admitted to the hospital for 1 last round of chemotherapy before his stem cell transplant on Wednesday, September 8th.  Matthew leaves tomorrow and he will be staying with either Nicole or I at Uncle Mikey and Aunt Jen's home in the city until his hospital stay on Friday. 

We had a fantastic weekend together.  We took the kids to '2 Toots' in Downers Grove on Friday for dinner.  2 Toots is this cool little diner type restaurant where they deliver your food to you on a train.  Matthew went nutz.  check out the vid. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Claire's first day of school

Few things are better than the obligatory first day of school picture so here are a few.  Today was Claire's first day of Kindergarten and the day was perfect. 
bring it on!


blowing us a kiss on her way in to school.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Today began a weeklong series of tests for Matthew.  The results of these tests will determine what types/levels of chemotherapy and radiation Matthew will need leading up to the stem cell transplant.  Today, he was put under general anesthesia and underwent and MRI, CT Scan, bone marrow biopsy, and an Omayya tapping.  All of this before noon.  We received word this afternoon that the MRI looked great.  So much so, that Matthew will no longer be undergoing cranial radiation (he will only have general / full body radiation).  This is awesome news.  Cranial radiation, to put it bluntly, is extremely nasty shit.  Radiation in general is pretty horrific but to concentrate it on the brain is many times worse.  Needless to say, we are very happy about this.  The road from here his steep and it is great to not have to worry about this.

Back to work for me.  Working a full time job while going through this is the best experience ever!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I'm generally not one of those people who looks at their life and wonders in amazement at how blessed and lucky they are.  Maybe because of the seeminly endless "Well, that's just life' events that up constantly bite me in the ass.  One thing I certainly do not take for granted is our friends and family.  I know its trite.  I also know you are one of the main things keeping the Furi's afloat right now.  Recently, we (all of us is a rarity) had some opportunties to share some time with some of our friends.  A great time. 

Below are some pics of the Air and Water show which we watched from the Bottarelli's crib and also an impromptu motocross event that we hosted in our front yard with the Rosenbaum's.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Once a Knight is Never Enough

My BIL Brad Rothman (call sign 'Dizzy') is a fighter pilot in the Marine Corp.  Now, I know what your thinking...and you're right.  By comparison your job is lame.  Very much so.  Don't try to kid yourself.  It just is.  Brad and the other guys in Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 autographed a poster of their plane, the F/A-18A Hornet, and sent it to Matthew from their base in Miramar, CA.  This can go under the heading of 'Completely and totally awesome'. 

Sunday, August 08, 2010


@ CMH we remain.  I am not sure what it is about this stay that sucks any more than the rest but, it seems to.  Save for the continually outstanding nursing care that Matthew (and Nicole and I from time to time) receives, the time away from home and having our family so disconnected is wearing on me.  I did get a chance to run with Nicole today which almost never happens.  Was awesome.  Definitely confirmed what I was suspecting...that she could run circles around me.

This weeked was Lollapalooza in Chicago.  I know you will all be happy for me for attending the second Lollapalooza 18 years ago.  I am ashamed for telling people it was the first as I used to believe until I just looked it up.  Turns out it was born in 1991.  Anyway...as if anyone cares...The lineup was awesome then and still would be today.   Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pear Jam, Icu Cube, Stone Temple Pilots.  Its fairly easy to see why I was like the coolest kid in my high school.  Yesterday, Matthew had his own music festival of sorts in his hospital room when he was visited by the music specialist at CMH.  She was (and by all accounts still is) a very very nice woman.  Matthew was having no part of it.  When she started playing her guitar...he started screaming 'Get OUT!!!!'.  Took his pillow and covered his face and was screaming 'NO NO NO'...all the while she is softly singing this 'Hello How are You' folky song.  I guess he kind of answered that question.  After a minute or two, the music specialist and I just started laughing about it and decided to try again at a later date.

Pic of the little guy helping out at the 4West main desk. 
Thank you 4West nurses.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Mohawk Nation

I am starting a new venture that is going to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Team Matthew called Mohawk Nation.  I am not totally sure what the purpose is behind the aforementioned new organization but Team Matthew (you) has been so incredible, the spillage over into this new spin-off is bound to be kick-a$$.  Maybe it will be the name of Matthew's new Monster Truck racing team.  Perhaps it will be the name of Team Matthew's platinum cd.  Perhaps it will be something I forget about and you never hear again.  Time will tell.

I think we may have jinxed ourselves this morning.  We were all set to go home when, out of nowhere...dude spikes a fever.  Not a little fever.  105.  Possible virus, similar to the one last month that sent him to the PICU twice.  He has since come down and is back to his normal self but we will be sticking around CMH for a few more days.

Claire did get to come up to day and got to treat herself to some of her favorite CMH chicken tenders.  MmmmMMmmm.

2 babes

I think this pic is from a couple of weeks ago but it cracks me up.  His face is covered with what I can only guess is some sort of chewie residue and his hair isn't sure if it should be falling out or growing back. 

Grave Digger!

I got a chance to get a short run in this morning.  I would hazard a guess that the view on my run was probably better than the view on yours.  Took these this morning.  You can almost reach out and touch the 95% humidity.  I

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Light the Night

My sister-in-law Amanda (BIL Richard's wife) is participating in the Light the Night event this year to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Her fundraising page is here.  There are many reasons why kids are living longer and Leukemia is no longer a 'death sentence' (doctor's words not mine).  IMHO, the research being done now and being funded by organizations like LLS and LRF is crucial.

Tina Fey, who I consider kind of a total hottie (not as much of a hottie as Nicole), is the national spokesperson.

In completely unrelated news...I have 48 voicemails that I have yet to check.  If you are waiting for a call from me...you will most likely be waiting forever.  gene.furibondo@gmail.com is the preferred method of communique.  It's how Tina Fey gets a hold of me when she needs to. 

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

and just like that

Matthew is back in the hosp.  admitted tonight due to potential infection.  precautionary. 

Despicable Gene

Everyone is doing great and we have been making the most of the time together before late August hits and the world gets turned upside down again.  Saturday, Claire and I went swimming at the Y which was awesome.  On Sunday, Matthew and I kicked over to the model aircraft field by our house and sucked down a few packs of chewies while watching model aircraft guy do his thing.  There were probably 30 model airplanes and the mood was pretty relaxed except for Matthew's screams and fist pumps when a plane would take off and land.  Nicole and I also took Claire on Sunday to see Despicable Me in 3D.  Overall, not a despicable movie...the 3D was cool and we got free popcorn.  Definitely better than the movie described below.

Claire has gotten pretty good on her iPad...so much so that she can go into Netflix and queue up her own movies.  As you can see from the email that I received below, this can have disasterous results.  While I did not view the entire Care Bears flick, I did see enough of it to know that if the DVD suffered some horribly violent death, at least some other poor family may be saved from its dibilitating effects.

Matthew had a clinic appointment yesterday and got some platelettes which appear to have been badly needed as his legs are getting pretty badly bruised.  That withstanding, he is completely crazy and has tons of energy. 

I am putting together a Team Matthew soundtrack with some sweet beats.  Hoping to get this together in the next week or so.  Stay tuned.