Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's over...

Sadly, at approximately 3 PM today Dad passed away peacefully. My father was the most wonderful, strong, loving, caring man I have ever known. He was without a doubt the best father, husband, brother, son and friend anyone could ever ask for. While his life was certainly too short I find comfort in the fact that he lived it without a single regret. I feel so blessed to have had such a remarkable father for the past 22+ years and that time can never be taken away from me. It is my sincere hope that many (if not all) of you feel the same way.

In terms of arrangements, the wake will be on Monday, October 19th from 4-8 PM at the Holden-Dunn-Lawler Funeral Home, 55 High Rock St. in Westwood, MA and the funeral will be on Tuesday, October 20th at 10 AM at St. Margret Mary's Parish, 845 High St. in Westwood, MA. My mother, sister and I are requesting that you will allow us to mourn privately for the next few days and that you refrain from calling the house during that time.

Dad, I hope you rest in peace. I will always love you.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 29th update

I apologize for not keeping up with the blog recently, it has been a busy few weeks. Dad has drastically improved over the past few weeks, specifically his speech. Not only is he speaking much clearer, but you can also tell that it is his voice.

We have had a tremendous number of visitors over the past few weeks and I truly believe that all of the excitement and social interaction has expedited my father's recovery. If you would like to come visit we would love to have you. We just ask that you call or send an e-mail to either or first. What has surprised me the most is the astounding amount of food we have received. It is, quite literally, more than we can eat. As such, our long time family friend Linda Milano has stepped in with a wonderful way to keep things organized. She has created the Planet A online community using the Lotsa Helping Hands webpage. If you would like to bring a meal over we ask that you please become a member of the community and utilize the calendar feature. To become a member of the community please do the following:

1) Go to
2) Enter your e-mail address underneath where it says "Interested in becoming a member of this community?" and click "Continue".
3) Then either Linda or myself will approve you to become a member and you will receive an e-mail with further instructions.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bad news...

Unfortunately, I have some very bad news. Last week my father was admitted to the hospital, because he was having severe pains when he tried to eat or swallow anything. The medical team ran some tests to try and figure out the source of the discomfort and eventually came to the conclusion that he has an internal infection. Worse than that, while my father was in the hospital he had a stroke. The episode was very frightening, but less severe than many other cases. Fortunately, Dad is still 100% mentally and is able to speak fairly well. Immediately following the stroke he was completely paralyzed on the left side, but each day Dad has regained at least some sensation. Now he is able to wiggle his toes a little and move his entire left leg back and forth.

Overall we were very pleased with the care Dad received at Brigham and Women's Hospital, specifically the treatment from the Intensive Care Unit staff. We met some truly remarkable Doctors, Nurses and Physical Therapists during his stint at Brigham and Women's, but good Lord were we happy to leave.

Today they finally released my father from the hospital. He was ecstatic to come home and spend quality time at home with his parents and siblings who were visiting from Syracuse, NY as well as my sister who came home for the weekend. We have rearranged the living room in order to accommodate a hospital bed. I want to thank Grandma and Grandpa Planeta, because they went out a bought a beautiful flat screen TV that fits perfectly on our mantle. It is a great space for people to come and visit my dad. If you would like to come by please give us a call at the house.

God bless,

Monday, August 31, 2009

A crazy few weeks

I haven't posted in a while so I wanted to give everyone a quick update on how things have been going the past few weeks. On Friday, August 21st I left straight from a job interview to meet up with Grandma Maney, Aunt Linda, my cousin C.W, and Alyssa in Wells, ME. We were able to spend some time together and eat a fantastic dinner before Alyssa and I came back to Westwood. On Saturday the entire Planeta family came down from upstate New York. We were able to meet up in the city and visit some classic Boston sites. It was a ton of walking, but an absolute blast. Sunday everyone came over to our house. Aunt Judy bought Livestrong t-shirts for the family. Here's a great picture of the whole family:

Later that day Alyssa and I drove back up to Wells to spend a few more hours with Grandma Maney and Aunt Linda. It was so great to see everyone!

That following Tuesday I got a call from Marketing and Planning Systems in Waltham, MA. They offered me a job as a marketing research analyst. Then on Friday, I officially accepted the offer from MaPS and gave my old company my two weeks notice. They actually just decided to let me leave then and there, so I am currently on a three week pseudo vacation.

This past weekend Mom, Dad, Kasey and I drove down to Hofstra University to help my sister move in and prepare for her sophomore year. She's going to be living in a nice 5-person suite in the Norwich dorm. It was great for us to see that she is all settled and ready to start her second year. It was a long trip for Dad, but he was so happy that he was able to go.

From Hofstra, Mom drove up to Troy to visit my grandmother. She was recently diagnosed with Phase I Uterine cancer and had a surgery today to remove the cancerous organ. She had a great attitude and so far we have heard that the surgery was a great success. Please keep her in your prayers.

OK, that's all for now, but I will try to update the blog more regularly now that I have some time off!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Note of Strength...

Undoubtedly, we must endure the inevitable trials and tribulations life inexplicity deals us. Whether small or immeasurable, tragic or curable, it is our own inner, unshaken strength we must rely on as we lay awake at night, staring at an empty ceiling, wondering what mysteries tomorrow will unveil. Perhaps we cannot defy the fate chosen for us, but that does not mean we must choose to live defined by it. In time of test, I am not a person of many words-- rather, of strong thoughts, because no matter what cruel hardships the outside world intends to slam me with, it cannot strip me of what I like to call 'the invisibles'; faith, love, determination, and hope. A faith intertwined with reality; an indestructible love unmatched by even death itself; a determination to see only what keeps us moving forward; and a hope that we can find the ray of sun fighting amongst a seemingly infinite sky of gray. I am not writing this for my father-- for he already posses all these qualities and more, but for the doubters; for the people who cannot seem to find the balance between the reality they desire and the reality that exists. Faith is not about imagining what could be, but, instead, embracing ourselves with a hope for an incalculable number of tomorrows. Tomorrow is a chance; tomorrow is a goal; tomorrow, simply put, is a blessing. If only we learn to accept the tomorrows we're given, as opposed to fighting with the fear of them, we will once again find our individualized sense of balance; our own ray of sun.
I would like to extend a note of personal gratitude to everyone who has written cards, prayed, visited, or even just followed the blog, because it is during these worrisome times the bond between family extends far beyond mere blood-relation and friends transform into angels on Earth.

May peace of mind guide you,

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thank you, Cheryl Gorman!

This past weekend our good friend, and Colby alumnus, Cheryl Gorman did something truly remarkable. She rode in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), which is a two day bicycle event that spans from Wellesley to Provincetown. The PMC was successful in meeting their goal of raising $30 million for Dana Farber. Cheryl (a cancer survior herslef) dedicated her ride to Steve and was able to raise nearly $3,500! In a recent e-mail she told me:

"The ride was terrific. The weather cooperated, and it was an inspirational weekend as I have found in the past. I wrote your dad's name on the big billboards they had down at the canal which were labeled "why I ride", and I thought of him often."

You can find out more about the ride on her personal fundraising webpage . Despite the fact that the ride is over, PMC is still accepting donations! If you would like to donate either click the "Donate to My Ride" button on her webpage or mail a check made out to "PMC - Jimmy Fund" to:

Cheryl Gorman
325 Far Reach Rd.
Westwood, MA 02090.

Thank you so much, Cheryl, you are an inspiration and a wonderful friend.

The Planeta Family

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A note from Steve

Physically and mentally preparing for the biggest battle of my life (on all fronts- body, mind and spirit) while adapting to the incredible changes of this past month including the limited time and energy allowed from starting chemotherapy has made me remiss in thanking all my family friends for your invaluable support, kindness and prayers. I wish to express heartfelt thanks here. I apologize for my sporadic response to your most meaningful and important support- this battle cannot be won alone. I look forward to thanking all of you as things settle down a bit. For now I hope this global thank you provides the recognition and gratitude you all deserve.
Giving it my better than best effort with all your help and encouragement.