Apologies. I checked out and went to Cape Cod. Instead of struggling to walk across a sandy beach and burning the hell out of my feet, I sat at the computer. I guess using a different machine for a while constitutes a vacation. Working on a book, well, forget about it. I need to try writer’s rehab.
Looking at events in northern Iraq, watching Kurds battle ISIS, and following the fun in Ferguson, I don’t feel so bad about my life today. Everything is relative. I can get so carried away and negative about my lot in life, which really is not so bad. My kids are happy, my wife quite successful, and I can string words together like beads on a cheap necklace. I am not hungry. How bad can life be? Back to the salt mines this afternoon. I am looking forward to breathing air I can see.

28 Responses to Vacation

  1. Gina August 18, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    “Like beads on a cheap necklace…” So funny. Add comic to your list of blessings, too. Thanks for that one.

  2. Betty August 18, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Breathing air you can see. Good one.
    It’s healthy to step out of this from time to time.
    Glad you’re back.

    • Richard M. Cohen August 18, 2014 at 11:30 am #



  3. Grandma August 18, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    You are truly lucky! I always think I’m hungry. Good to have you back!

    • Richard M. Cohen August 18, 2014 at 11:31 am #



  4. David August 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    I appreciate you stepping back from our constant daily struggle with this ridiculous disease to reflect. It’s hard to not see all the cruelty and ignorance in this world unless you are marooned in the South Pacific. I’m not minimizing our plight; but at least we have hope. We are surrounded by people that love us and care for us. We don’t wake up with the same empty belly we’ve had for as long as our memories can recall; and our children don’t have gunfire and missiles as part of their daily existence. I’m not playing “Point / Counterpoint”; but maybe this shitty disease isn’t quite as bad as the shit lives of such a huge percentage of the world’s population.

    • Richard August 18, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      I agree. That is my poiint.


  5. Mark August 18, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    Happy to have you back, Richard. Even happier to know you took some vacation time. It comes through in your writing. You sound, well, happy! Take your time on re-entry. Cheers.

    • Richard August 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm #



  6. nancy s August 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Missed your reflections. Glad you had some time away. But aren’t New Yorkers

    ‘ supposed’ to go to The Beach (L.I.) and not the Cape?

    • Richard August 18, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      Screw the Ham tons. And Jones Beach, Cape is full of strangers.


      • nancy s August 19, 2014 at 8:50 am #

        How about Robert Moses beaches? Or take the ferry to Fire Island.

  7. Bill Garcia August 18, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    It’s GREAT to get away from the mundane struggles of everyday life. Though the MS stays with us it seems to be less pronounced when we are someplace that makes us happy. So KUDOS to you!!

    I’m glad you were able to breathe air you could see!

    Welcome back!

    • Richard August 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm #



  8. sharon August 19, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    I missed your posts, too! What a great happy post. And, I so agree everything is relative!

  9. sharon August 19, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Also, looking forward to Meredith’s new show!

  10. Jeff August 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    I also just got back from a vacation. It is amazing how a few days away from stress really makes my MS symptoms (fatigue,etc.) lessen! Now I just need to work on reducing stress every day!

    • Richard August 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

      Good luck with that.


  11. sue August 19, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    My brother has secondary progressive for the last 11 yrs, and my heart just breaks watching him deal with it…or sometimes not(denial). i can’t even imagine the strength it takes to get thru a very bad day. I wish he was more pro active and less in denial, with his health(stop smoking,eat better) but tell me……does that really make a difference to his progression. or just let him be happy with whatever he wants to eat,smoke? I wonder!

    • Jeff August 20, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

      Sue – for me, diet, exercise and stress relief help a ton. I am relapsing remitting, but logic tells me that eliminating toxins (cigarettes, bad foods, etc.) would only help him. Don’t expect miracles or instant results, and remember – nothing comes easily and there is no magic cure. I think too often we (especially in America) want a magic pill to make everything better while we continue to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. To me, that doesn’t make sense, its NEVER that easy.

      Best of luck!

    • Richard August 20, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

      Don’t think so, but his lungs. He will get there. It can take a long time.


    • Anonymous August 21, 2014 at 4:34 am #

      The cigarettes, yes. They mess with the central nervous system in ways that aren’t completely understood yet. Cigarettes have also been shown in studies to promote MS progression of disability. Eating better helps create a better environment for the body that is already taxed by dealing with MS on a daily basis. SPMS means there’s already extensive damage to neurons, but the main thing is to slow or stunt any further progression. So number one should be to quit smoking cigarettes now. The rest can be done slowly, in incremental parts. Baby steps.

  12. Sandy August 19, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Oh there is nothing better than vacation. Food tastes better. The sunset is more colorful. The day is longer. Lunch morphs into cocktail hour and then on into dinner. Don’t forget to bring the good gin.

    In a few weeks we are headed to Lake Superior for a beer fest at the Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield Wisconsin. I might get two cup holders for my walker!!! We used to be wilderness campers but now we travel in a motorhome. MS has its perks as well.


    • Richard August 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

      Have fun.


  13. Laura August 20, 2014 at 3:36 am #

    I got out of my head and went on vacation. No one would go on the trip with me so I went by myself to my 30 year class reunion, it was wonderful so glad I did it.

  14. Lisa August 20, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    My vacation is coming up in November. I can’t wait. I’m lucky my husband is understanding and wants me do do everything I can, while I can. I’ve been diagnosed for 21 years.

    I’m glad you had a wonderful vacation.

    • Richard August 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

      Have a great time,


  15. Lisa PD August 25, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Hi Richard,

    You have encouraged me to go on a vacation which we haven’t done since I was diagnosed with MS. My husband booked the trip last night and in a month we leave for BC to visit our daughter. I am excited but remain a little apprehensive. I keep reminding myself that I need to enjoy life now for I don’t know what tomorrow brings.

    Carpe Diem.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.