Asteroid Fields…

Sallow eyes stare back at me from the mirror above my sink, asking questions that can only be answered by time…I scratch my head, ponder, small hair particles float down and line the sink in strange geometric patterns like the metal shavings inside an etch-a-sketch.  I’ll never quite get used to this.

The end of the week will bring another bone marrow biopsy (which I liken to a corkscrew opening a wine bottle, except the stem of the wine bottle is the back of my pelvis). New marrow will be retracted and sent out for more gene mutation tests. This will show where I’m at in the disease control department.  I’ll also be starting a new second generation kinase inhibitor (Dasatanib), this is a revolutionary pill that attacks only the malformed leukemic cells, this drug is so new that no protocol exists for its use in conjunction with induction chemotherapy. My doctor and I think it could make a huge impact…

As a small child I unknowingly adopted a phrase while riding bicycles with my neighborhood pals. It came from one of my first “favorite films”, George Lucas’ STAR WARS…the scene happens as Han Solo looks out over an asteroid field while the droid C3PO rattles off his staggering, longshot statistics of survival.  Solo quickly shuts him up, shouting, “Never tell me the odds!” I used to mockingly say this when jumping a curb or doing a brake slide on my bmx, but now it has become a Mantra I use to fight against my Leukemia.


20 responses to “Asteroid Fields…

  1. Connie Musgrove

    Go for it!! Odds are just numbers. You are in our thoughts and prayers back here in Leominster.
    Auntie Grammy

  2. What did C3PO really know? He had only a brain….no heart…he was not human. Hans Solo, being human, realized that even though odds may be not in his favor, everything is possible. By not wanting to know the odds, he was making a leap of faith, which made him sucessful in the end. My money goes with Hans!

  3. Between “give cancer the finger” and “never tell me the odds!”, I’d say you’ve got the right spirit. Keep fighting the good fight cuz!

    P.S. Is there a movie motif at work here?

  4. Auntie Joyce and Uncle Nick

    Well Jonathan, as Auntie already knows- You do get more handsome everday!
    And you are right – This is like a WAR- And wars are made to WIN.
    You are Awesome!
    Love, hugs and kisses to you and Sarah, and a special one to Mom (or is she Ethel or Lucy, we never got that far to decided who was who).
    Auntie Joyce and Uncle Nick
    Love this blog!

  5. Keep fighting buddy. I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you.

  6. Jonathan,
    You have the most positive spirit I have ever known. After hearing all these emaills on the prognosis…I just think of how this disease has takin a back seat to your up beat way of living…After all you came up with the group known as the hairy areolas and you also brought to the fact that Don was like a chipmunk. Can’t wait to see you bud

    cousin Kent

  7. Greg Donatelli

    Spike! Keep fighting brotha!! Jill and I are praying for a speedy recovery for you everyday. Your drive and determination is an inspiration to us all. You WILL beat this cancer.

    PS. I still laugh thinking about when we were 7-8 years old and I would come over your house after school and you would do the Pee-Wee Herman dance for everyone on the buss as they drove away! Priceless.

  8. Hey Jon,

    You better know that all your boys on the East Coast are thinking about you and praying for you all the time. I might not be able to dig as deep into the movie quote bag of tricks, but I’ve got a little “Eye of the Tiger” beating in my ear just thinking about you. Not a doubt in my mind you’re getting through this. Let me know at any point if you’d be up for a visitor. My sister’s living in Irvine & I’d love to get back out to the West Coast… just give me an excuse & I’m there.

    Keep on fighting bud! We got a 10 year reunion to get you all prettied up for.


  9. It is a good thing that at an early age you chose “Never tell me the odds” over “Vaporators! Sir, my first job was programming binary loadlifters – very similar to your vaporators in most respects.” Because clearly the later makes no sense and the former is how you always have will continue to live your life.
    Keep Fighting Gossman!

  10. Hi Jon,

    I love the blog man, I miss you. Best of luck with all the tests, I know they are going to be very encouraging…though the corkscrew description sounds pretty rough. You’re a champ and you are going pull the rug right out from under this thing. I am absolutely sure of it. Hey, did you ever get a copy of Vernon God Little? I can’t believe my package out to you got lost in the mail. If you send your address again…I’ve got another one for ya.

    Jon, you’re my hero. I love you

    Your cousin,


    PS: looking forward to talking more music and movies buddy

  11. Marilyn Fratturelli

    Hi Jonathan,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us, even when you are feeling so ill. The teacher in me can’t help but comment on the eloquence of your writing and the conviction of your spirit. I know your whole family is so proud of you. Watch out, Steven Spielberg.

    My family and I are praying hard and rooting for you to win your fight against that dastardly cancer. You are the Dustin Pedroia of the medical world. You are scrappy and dogged in your pursuit to win this battle. I don’t know if you keep up with the Red Sox, Pedroia won the MVP of the American League today so you’re in good company. No doubt, you will be the MVPP (Most Valuable Player Patient).
    Go get ’em!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Hey Jon,

    I know its been awhile since we have last talked but I wanted to send you all my good energy ~~~ and let you know that my family and I have you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Your blog was the first chance I have had to appreciate your writing artistry! I must say you have an impressive talent. Stay positive and get well soon buddy!

  13. Favorite Cousin, I miss you so much and love you endlessly.

    When you describe all the treatments, I cant help but visualize a photo of you at 9 on my birthday. You were wearing a red and black plaid shirt and had probably just pulled my hair, put your finger in my cake and opened some of my presents. You are standing, legs spread in defiance, with you sleeve pulled up to show off your muscles as you give the camera the fist. There are thousands of little yous, just like that inside your body fighting off the bad stuff, saying things like “BAAM, SMACK, PATTOWIE AND GET ON OUTTA HERE” I know they will make you better.

    I will miss you, your mom and sara this Thanksgiving, it is my favorite holiday to spend with you. Hug and kiss eachother for me, I love you all.

    I know our angel is with you.

  14. Jonathan,
    I remember the summers that we all vacationed in the “pee-pee” cottage at the Cape and you and my boys would dress as pirates and make forts on the beach ready to fight any enemy- just as you are doing today. You were the best pirate. I also remember your small body leaping out and over the jetty. You were fearless and never missed step – just as you are now. Maybe these carefree childhood days were preparing you for the biggest challenge of your life and you will win-just as you did then. I miss and love you very much.

  15. Dear Jonathan,

    Greetings from Greg and Janet; we read your blogs as you post them, and I just think of the last time I saw you in Portland with Sarah, with no outward hint of your condition, nor did I know of your past until Sarah informed me months ago. You are a brave soul Jonathan, and from reading the other blogs, you have great support from both family and friends.

  16. Goose,

    Keep fighting man! Much love from Kristy and I on the East Coast.


    PS: Shoeshine says hello!

  17. Matt Fratturelli


    I want you to know that there are a lot of people in your corner, even more than you think, and we’re with you every single day. Keep fighting and stay strong bud!

  18. Amber DeFrancis

    Hey Buddy,

    I’m so happy you are able to write again; I know how important it is to you. I love that you’re giving it the whole fist!!! Reminds me of Fletch, “you using the whole fist doc?” Love you so much!


  19. Jonathan,

    When I was sinking in my dark places with my last job, you were a friend that could bring me closer to the place where people in this town survive!

    You can do it too, of course, I love you man, and If you need me, you let me know.

    I’m here!



  20. Lucille Thonis


    I love you as much as I do my own children. I co tinue to send you healing energy, keep you in my prayers, and know that the healing love and energy of GOD is there every second of the day and night.

    You are a blessing in my life. I will always be there for you.

    I love you,


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