Written by Lyn Dobrin, email@example.com Saturday, 26 October 2013 00:00
Since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, Cathy Scibelli of East Norwich has been on a journey of discovery; accompanying her is a three-inch tall teddy bear named Stretch.
Stretch became an important part of Cathy’s life one day when she was about to leave her house for treatment. She glanced over at her collection of stuffed bears (from the days she wrote a column called “Travels with Teddy” for Teddy Bear Review magazine) and the tiny brown bear on her bookshelf caught her attention. She tucked him into her purse. From then on, Stretch, named by Cathy’s husband because of the bear’s long legs and arms, accompanied her to all her appointments and treatments.
After a mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy, Cathy felt she needed to do something that would take her mind off of worrying. Using her writing background—she had been a freelance writer and editor at Prentiss Hall—she decided to write a blog and Stretch became a main character.
She writes about cancer but mostly about life, with postings such as International Rabbit Day (Sept. 21), gingerbread houses and pet rocks. “I want to show people that I’m living a normal life and that cancer isn’t my life,” she says. “People with cancer can have fun.”
Stretch often appears at the end of her blog to provide some humor. Recently Cathy wrote about a press conference at Monter Cancer Center where she was a speaker. Stretch was with her and in the blog he complained that they didn’t have a green room with coffee and donuts.
It turns out that Stretch is a bit spoiled. He never went back on the shelf and now has dozens of little rooms in nearly floor to-ceiling nooks in Cathy’s apartment where he lives an enviable life with his game rooms and exercise rooms, a grand dining room, a meditation garden, and even his own desk with a computer.
Says Cathy, “If someone had told me five years ago that after all the time and energy I’ve spent getting a degree and building a writing career that I would be writing about a three-inch teddy bear, I’d have told them they were crazy.”
But her message is serious. Through her blog she urges those faced with serious illness to not waste their time obsessing about possible negative outcomes or what they’ve lost, but instead to find something they love to do, “something that lets you forget about all the bad stuff and literally ‘zone out,’” she says.
She also stresses the importance of getting the right doctors. “Much of my courage in dealing with my disease, while at the same time reevaluating my life and making some major changes in my views and the goals I want to accomplish, is due to the constant support and loving care of my doctors.”
Last year Cathy’s cancer had moved to her bones and she went back on chemo. Today the cancer is under control and she continues to present her positive message, with Stretch at her side.
Cathy’s blog: www.iconicmuse.blogspot.com
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than with music, and critically acclaimed pianist Stan Wiest will be hosting a holiday sing-a-long at Locust Valley Library to help get everyone in the mood on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Wiest has been playing piano since he was 5 years old, and now, at age 69, has recorded his first CD; an album that has been so well-received, it is a top seller on Amazon.com. The talented pianist spent much of his early career traveling and says he played every supper club in Manhattan, while also working full time on a TV soap opera. To promote his album, his local circuit also includes a presentation at Forest Books in Glen Cove on Dec. 12.
About 30 years ago, Wiest stopped traveling to be with his wife and kids and has been running a music entertainment business in Fort Salonga. Now, with his new album, he’s back on the road, something he never expected to happen at this point in his life.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
It was a cold night for the annual Menorah lighting at the Derby Hall Bandstand last Monday. The event, which is sponsored by the Oyster Bay Civic Association, was well attended though, with Oyster Bay Jewish Center’s Rabbi Marvin Demant leading the crowd in cheerful Chanukah songs.
“Every year we gather at the gazebo to celebrate the miracle of Chanukah,” said Rabbi Demant. “It is actually very special this year because Thanksgiving and Chanukah will overlap for the first time in almost 100 years.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
With grit, determination and all-out teamwork, the Friends Academy Boys Varsity Soccer team completed their quest for a third state soccer championship, defeating a tough Lansing High School, 1-0, in the New York Class C State Championships.
Both teams kept the game at a tight 0-0, until 20 minutes into the second half, when a throw-in from senior Patrick Moodhe (Manhasset) connected with the head of senior Jon Nierenberg (Sands Point) for the game’s only goal.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Nicole Giannetti entered her third cross country state meet in her career with one goal in mind: to place in the top 20 and earn an all-state medal. After finishing 38th in 2011 and 26th in 2010, the goal was definitely within her reach.
“She was ranked 25th according to one website, so we knew it was going to be close,” said Coach Kevin Cotter. “After looking at some of the times of her competitors, I told her she could potentially finish in the top 10. If she fell short, at least she would still remain in the top 20 and earn that elusive medal.”