Friday, September 4, 2015

September 4, 2015

In December 2010 Ceil was first diagnosed with breast cancer.  I remember New Year’s Eve for the upcoming year at Sebby and Lynn’s house and hugging Ceil to reassure her that we’d share the bad news after everyone celebrated the New Year.  When the ball dropped, I told her 2011 was going to suck, but we’ll get thru it together and 2012 and further we’d be good to go.  The plan was simple, stay positive no matter what and battle.

What I didn’t know was Ceil was going to teach me, the kids, her family, friends and complete strangers the way you take on a dreaded disease and fight with every ounce of your mind, body and spirit.  Throughout her first battle and again, for the past 25 months, Ceil’s spirit and attitude never waned even when she continued to get more negative news and the disease took away her ability to move and do things for herself.  Up until the last few days, Ceil could still light up a room with her great smile and she was still more interested in seeing how a visitor was doing, than talk about herself.  It’s who she is and who she will continue to be in all of our hearts. 

It’s with a heavy heart, but with gratitude that her suffering is finally over, that I let you know Ceil passed away at home today, September  4th.

I would like to thank everyone who has helped us along the way. 

For two years, we have not had to worry about making dinner for the kids because our Berlin community has looked out for us with meals every other day and for that type of support, I cannot thank everyone enough.  For all of the notes to Ceil and for the rides for the kids, thank you for making our tough situation a little easier.

Thank you to the teachers, the nurses and the Doctors who all touched the kids and Ceil’s lives. 

Lastly, I’d like to thank our families who have been there with love and support.

I’d like to leave you with this, we learned many things from Ceil through the last few years.  As I reflect back, probably the two I hope you carry in your life in memory of Ceil; Smile Every Day and Live Each Day With a Positive Attitude.

God Bless You Ceil.  I love you.


Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day. ~Author Unknown

The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. ~Seneca

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015

I wanted to give you an update on the MRI and a request to all.

The MRI from last week came back and we need to keep on fighting.  While having clear results would have been the best news possible, Ceil is the toughest woman I know and she'll keep up the good fight.  Your positive energy and prayers are all appreciated as battling cancer is not easy for anyone.

My request - while everyone we know is very important to us and we appreciate your support, being asked from everyone what is going on is not going to work.  As I said back in 2011, asking Ceil to repeat what she's got going on does not help her stay positive.  You need to understand that while the intention is good, repeating to 50 people what she's going thru is counter-productive.  Just know that we are continuing to fight.

Also and probably the most important, please do not speculate or form your own opinion and repeat it in front of someone that may repeat it and have it overheard from one of our children.  Protecting them is just as important to the other battle we have on our hands.

I appreciate everyone's cooperation regarding these requests.

So please keep the positive vibes coming our way so Ceil can beat this thing.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 13 - First MRI Results

We are up at Dana Farber today for Ceil to start the second cycle of the clinical trial.  With this cycle, we will come to Boston only once per week for a treatment.  At the beginning of each cycle they will do an MRI to see how the treatments are working.  So today is the first big day to see if the trips and the hours invested in Boston are paying off. 

Based on the way Ceil has been the last couple of weeks with more energy, better memory and the ability to walk around with only some assistance to make sure she doesn't take any quick rights into a wall, my money was on it was working and getting better.  But even with these signs, the scan would be the actual confirmation that the drug is working. 

I am glad to let you know that the scans showed a positive improvement in both her head and spine.  While there is still work to be done and the continuation of the treatments will hopefully continue the depletion of any active cells, this is the best news we could get today. 

The advances they have made in cancer research over the past twenty years is what we owe this good news to!  And we got the good news the week of the Relay for Life, a cause that raises money for the American Cancer Society.  Whatever we need to do as a community and a society to keep the research going until NONE OF US needs to worry about cancer in the future is when we can stop fighting.  There's been great support of the Ava'sMom team and other teams in the Berlin Relay - let's keep it up!  Donate here

Thanks everyone!

Tonight, kiss your loved one, let them know you love them and raise a cocktail in honor of our great news!!!  Pictures of cocktails are welcomed at or on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Latest CT Scan

It's been a while since the last post and I wanted to share some good news!  Ceil had her latest CT scan today on her neck down, organs and such...and it came back clear!  That is a relief with the nausea that started a little bit.  We'll take it.  The trips to Dana Farber continue and the treatments continue to get easier for Ceil to handle.

The last two times up to DF Ceil has walked in instead of using a wheelchair which is really great to see.  Yesterday we had a few appointments on different floors so we had a lot more walking to do than normal and still was able to walk out instead of taking the easier way out with a ride.

A couple weeks ago the Berlin Lions and Lenny Tubbs held the Pasta Supper.  There were over 800 tickets sold and over 100 raffle prizes donated.  I cannot thank Lenny, the Lions and everyone that showed their support.  Remember 100% of the profits that we do from any of this go to the American Cancer Society.  We are doing our part to raise as much as possible to raise money to find a cure for Ceil and everyone else out there so we can end what a family goes through when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer.

Theres a few weeks left to the Berlin Relay for Life.  Let me know if you are interested in joining the squad.

Thanks for checking in!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

4 trips to Boston the past 4 days

We've been up to Boston the last four business days for appointments.  The last three were for a study to see how the flow of Ceil's spinal fluid is circulating.  This is what last week's surgery was for.  She had a couple of new valves put into the shunt in her head along with a new reservoir that will accept a needle that will deliver the treatments.

I was asked today if the Denali had auto-pilot to get us there and we've done it so many times now that I kind of lose track of driving the MA pike, so it has become part of my sub-conscious I suppose.  Ceil is able to sleep during the trips which is good based on what time we've been waking up to make the drive.  I also pointed out to Ceil that the valet guys seem to know us now and I've definitely got accustomed to city driving!

Ceil continues to be tired from all of this but we have got to do whatever it takes to get my girl better.

This weekend is the big Pasta Supper that the Berlin Lions are throwing to support the Ava'sMom Relay for Life team.  The support has been staggering!  We look forward to a great night of seeing everyone and to raising some money for the continued search for a cure for cancer. 

If you haven't got tickets yet, I would get them soon as the number of tickets sold is incredible.  There will be some sold at the door, but they will shut it down when they think they will run out of food.  Tickets can be bought thru Friday online at under the "association" tab - Berlin Lions Pasta Supper.

Also, a big shout out to Deb Carson, the Powerhouse Gym and those "Warriors" who showed up to the Warrior Ride this past Saturday.  A great event with a lot of people pushing it thinking of Ceil!

Treatments look like they start next week.  I'll let you know once I have a more concrete answer.

Thanks everyone.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Surgery complete

While everyone in Berlin, CT was enjoying the March 31st snow event that every news channel missed, including Mama Simeone's beloved Scot Haney, Ceil and I got out right as the flakes started to fly for Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.  We arrived on time and she was checked right in.  The only delay was the hospital not being able to find her small, deep veins.  She told them upfront, but it took an hour of probing to finally give up on the challenge of finding a vein.

She went into surgery and at about 1:33 the doctor came to see me to let me know that all went according to plan.  The rest of the areas of the shunt that were not replaced were working properly which made for the best possible results.

Ceil is in recovery and will be released tomorrow.  She'll be home recovering.  Please, lets give her a few days before the phone starts ringing off the hook.  Reminder, the Sarge is back in Berlin (Karen Lee Tomlinson)!

We'll be back up here next Monday for the pre-screening for the clinical trial and then the treatments will start the following Monday, Patriot's Day.  Red Sox game at 10:30.  Who's got some tix that won't be used?

Thanks for the prayers and the support.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

And so Dana Farber begins

Just got a call that we will start up in Boston on Monday.  Ceil's scheduled for surgery at high noon and we are still waiting to hear how long we'll be up there as the first few days she's got to be monitored.  How long will be based on how long the shunt can be turned off.

We also will take the ride up tomorrow for her pre-opp appointments.  This is all good news and we're looking forward to taking part of this clinical trial.  With anything like this you can imagine that there is nervousness about the unknown, but we're doing what needs to be done to get Ceil better.

She had her blood transfusion yesterday and seems to have gotten a little more energy from this. 

Couple of items -

If you would like to take part in a Warrior Ride to raise money for the Relay for Life, Powerhouse Gym, the official gym of Ceil Biscoglio, they are holding one on Saturday, April 5th from 9 - 12.  They are looking for riders and teams to cover an hour or the full three hours.  $50/hr.  If we fill them up, the event will raise $3300 for the Ava'sMom team and you'll get a heck of a workout!  Please contact Deb Carson at Powerhouse to register 860 836-4613.

Thanks Powerhouse and Deb!!!!

Berlin Lion's Pasta Supper is Saturday, April 12th from 4:30 - 7:30.  HUGE TURNOUT EXPECTED.  Make sure to get your tickets from a Lion, Simeone's Mobil, Roger's Market, Kensington Auto or on the Berlin Little League website under the association tab.  If you can't make it and would like to donate some swag for the raffle, please let me know - or on Facebook - go ahead friend me!

We'll keep you all updated next week.  Thanks to everyone that has helped out and thanks for the wonderful support.  I have said it before, but you really learn what community is all about when you face adversity.  While the weather still sucks, I wouldn't trade living here in Berlin, CT all because of each and every one of you.  A sincere, thank you.