Home
Journal
Emails Received
Hepatitis C Info. & Links
Donation Update & Thank You
Press Page
FAQ's
Robin's Online Dating Tips
Cool Quotes
Cool Recipes
More Cool & FREE Stuff!!!
Super Cyber-Shopping
Low Mortgage Rates
Donate
Contact Robin

ROBIN'S JOURNAL & HEALTH UPDATE

Hepatitis CCyberbeggingPanhandlingRibovirinInterferonPegIntronLiver DiseaseDatingLove

"Hepatitis C may be the biggest emotional challenge you'll ever face.  How do you deal with chronic disease without letting it take over your life?"  "If you lose your sense of yourself as a healthy person and you struggle or rebel against becoming a patient, how do you adjust?  Some patients develop a sense of grief.  Grieving is one way we work through loss, whether it's loss of our old selves or loss of our dreams."  "Grieving is normal - even necessary.  It's the bridge between what was to what is.  If you don't go across that bridge, you may face a continuing struggle." 

"The goal is balance."   "Grieving is nature's way of helping us adapt to new information about our illness."  "The truth is, each one of us goes through the process in our own time frame and in our own way - and the healing ingredient is kindness.  Be patient with yourself.  You will work it through, and you will come out of the crisis with a stronger sense of who you are."  

- Excerpts from "Living with Hepatitis C, A Survivors Guide by Gregory T. Everson, M.D., F.A.C.P. and Hedy Weinberg.

-DAILY JOURNAL-

Friday, November 1, 2002

Tonight I gave myself my 5th Interferon injection.  This one hit early on (it was the first time I got hit on a Friday night) - I took the injection at 7:30pm and by 10:30pm was a goner!  I poured myself into bed (I'm just LUVING my bed these days!) and fortunately was able to sleep through the night.

Saturday, November 2, 2002

I awoke about 6am with that God-awful headache that seems to be pretty consistent the day after the injection.  I took the Imitrex (for the Migraine) with a Xanax to help me get back to sleep and relax and take the tension out of the body aches.  By 10am, when I awoke, I thought I'd be o.k. for the day and actually left the house for 2 hours.  By 12pm I was back at home and in bed for the remainder of the day!  It would have been nice to just sleep the sides off but I was up every hour sucking down huge quantities of Pelligrino water.  (Actually, my favorite drink these days - what we call "the special drink" in our house is, Pelligrino water on the rocks with a splash of cranberry juice and a lime!).  This was the worst case of dehydration I've ever experienced!!   Every week it seems to be something new and different with the sides of these medications and they do seem to be getting a bit worse with each week.  Still, I try not to project and to stay in the positive!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2002

When I awoke Sunday morning, although I wasn't back 100%, I felt 1000% better.  I was filled was so much gratitude, I felt like doing jumping-jacks!!!....I didn't, but I did work out today a bit for the first time in 5 weeks!!!  YEAH!!!  That was the longest I had gone more than a week of not working out in over 5 years!!!   It's very difficult because I am so fatigued on a regular basis.  Rather than the 5/6 hours a night sleep I used to get prior to starting the meds, I now sleep 10-12 hours and I'm still yawning throughout the day!  It felt so good to feel my muscles work like that again!  

Later in the afternoon I went with another g.f. to the North Shore of Long Island - I gave her the buck-fifty tour of Huntington and Lloyd Neck!  It was so nice to be out and about for the day.

A HUGE Gratitude Attack today!!!

Monday, November 4, 2002

Another "gratitude attack" that I was able to pull my booty out of bed this morning and get to work. 

I spent a considerable amount of time and energy working on this website, early this morning and into the night!  I must say, I'm pleased as punch (whatever that means) with myself.  I have totally taught myself how to create and build a website!  HOW COOL IS THAT!?!  It sure helps that I type 100wpm but I must say, I'm finding this very therapeutic!  (Even if nobody reads it.....although I can't help but notice I'm getting some "hits" via the counter on my home page!   I just loved that I figured out how to do that too!)  I sure do love to write!  It's a great creative outlet and helps me to stay focused and in the positive!  I've been told for several weeks now that I should keep a daily medical journal anyway as it could be very therapeutic.

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

My new favorite quote, my g.f. Jodi sent me today via email:  "If God brings you to it, he'll bring you through it"!  Isn't that a GREAT ONE!??!!!  I JUST LUV THAT!  (There's very little grey area with me!  I either love something, or.... I LUV IT!  LOL!  Not too many things I really don't like!  Oh yeah, negative, judgmental,  pessimistic,  narrow-minded people are big-time downers and I try not to keep them within my circle or my "posse" as I like to call it!)  I'm not a religious person, but now that I am no longer drinking alcohol due to the delicate condition of my liver, I am reaching deeper within to a more spiritual understanding.  

On a more technical note" I've been creating this website with the use of M.S. Frontpage!  It's really great!   You don't need to know HTML code, in order to build a website.  If any of you are interested in building your own website, besides getting MS Frontpage installed, you will also need to pick up a book called "Visual Quick Start" for MS Frontpage.  It's very helpful. 

This morning on my commute into work, I pulled out an intro lesson on web page building I printed off the website: www.pagetutor.com.  It's called, "So, you want to make a Web Page".  I didn't realize when I printed it  that it was all about learning how to write .html code (o.k.a. "Hyper Text Mark-up Language").  I started reading it on the train and I am TOTALLY PSYCHED!!!  I physically felt as if my brain was expanding!  I am very excited to be learning so many new things and not having to pay anyone to teach me!  Knowledge is very good! 

So raise your glasses to my possible other new brilliant career!  Building websites!!!  This could be a very nice way for me to supplement my income in the future!  If any of you are interested, DO WRITE!!!  My fees will be very reasonable!  (I used to sell advertising years ago and I know how to create marketable advertising!)  Just stay tuned and watch how my website evolves. 

Computer Nerds of the world, WATCH OUT! There's a new "Geek" in town!!!  (But first... I have to get back to completing my Online Dating Column & book!)

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

I forgot to mention a BIGGIE on Monday!  Barney took his road test and PASSED!   WHOOOHA!  A big CONGRATS out to BARNIE!!!  (Now there's the issue of the car and insurance...)

Last night I got home at 7pm and was in bed by 8pm!  Yesterday was a tough one - fatigue-wise!  I ended up sleeping 12 hours last night into this morning and still had difficulty getting up.  Today the "sides" are affecting my "core" (that's Personal Trainer jargon for upper body).  Actually, my back, shoulders and neck, through to my head, are all very tight, achy and anxious!  I would just like this day to end so I can get home and get back into bed! 

On a positive note, money and emails (nice, and not-so-nice), have started to trickle in and my website has received over 300 hits since I inserted the counter on Friday!  Pretty cool, huh!  Any advertisers interested in promoting on my website?....You know where to reach me....Just a suggestion!

Friday, November 8, 2002

I'm really glad this website is keeping my mind occupied because my body aches!  I don't mean to "cry" here but it is my "journal" and I'm supposed to be honest and write how I'm feeling, right?  It's really not my entire body (thankfully) but mostly my my mid to upper-back - it actually feels like my bones are aching!  Uggghhh!  O.K....enuf with the "boo-hoo!"  

Randie and I have kissed and made up (see "Emails Received") - what a nice person she is!!!  Let's hear it for GIRL POWER!!!  Money is still "trickling" in so that's exciting.  I've submitted my site to several search engines so hopefully, my exposure will be increasing as I write this.

Barney and I went to "College night" last night at the H.S.  "Overwhelmed" is the word that sums it up, I think!  Well, on a good note, I certainly earned less than $50,000 last year so we should be entitled to some nice financial aid but it's not going to cover all of his education, that's for sure!  (Did you "tell 2 people "yet?) I have to fend off the overwhelmed-ness because the stress is not good for my liver!   Well, stress is not good for anyone, but it's particularly not good for me to be putting my body thru any excessive physical or emotional turmoil.  So that said and done, my week at work was really AWFUL!  Without going into details, all I can say is TGIF Baby!!!!!  I need to get home to my BED! 

Tonight was injection number 6 of Interferon, which I took at 8:30pm – much later than I’m supposed to, as a result of getting home late from work!  So far, no hair loss, thank God, and the sides are still "doable", except for the usual and daily fatigue and....for a nasty "rash"  that seems to be developing out of no-where (is this "T.M.I" -- "Too much information???)    

Saturday, November 9th 

I started to receive some really nice, supportive emails (several indicating they have mailed me donations and a few more "Pay-pal" donations).  I also received an I.M. from a woman wanting to know more about Hep C, specifically, the "symptoms"?....we chatted for quite some time and I was happy to be able to provide her with information and of course told her to check out my Hep C page, which has lots more links with great info!

I got a lot accomplished today, for which I was truly grateful (I even walked the boardwalk at the beach for 3 miles today!) and actually managed to stay out of bed until 4pm!  I find that when the symptoms start-up, I fight them off as long as I can, and it's not too bad

Sunday, November 10th 

Our washing-machine died today!  It was almost 20 years old but that's a royal "bummer"!  The timing on the old geezer was pretty bad!  I'm highly allergic to dust and laundromats are toxic to me!  Barney is terrific about doing all his own wash too (he's been doing it since he's about 10 years old - well-trained, eh?  They say that "Men are only as good as their mother's make them". -  One woman is going to be a very lucky "Mrs. Barney" some day!)

Barney is loving being on the swim team and he said the coach is "sweating" him!  He goes to practice every day after school!   I'm hoping and praying, Athletic Scholarship here!  (Barney's dad did get to college on a gymnastics scholarship we're talkin' some good genetic background here - on a physical scope, at least!)   Barney's got a pretty full schedule these days, between school, swim team and his job, 2 nights a week and Driver's Ed classes after school!  (The job, busing tables, is working out pretty well for him too!  He's saving almost all he earns!  The sad part about it is, I even owe him money!)

Physically, I was just O.K. today.  I did make it to the gym earlier in the day (No, I didn't meet my 3/week goal - I only managed to get there once this week!)  I had to get horizontal about 3pm today as that nagging back-pain overwhelmed me and when that happens, the only relief is to get flat on my back!  Doesn't make for a real productive afternoon!  

How about them Sopranos tonight?  Phewwey!!!   *shaking head*  It's about time that show got back with the program and away from the arguing and coffee-clotchin' over the fat lady.  And....Tony's sister really gets on my nerves!  It figures that all her Ex's get axed (literally) in the end!  She has the worst taste in men!  And I thought I was "relationship challenged"!  (She better get a copy of my book as soon as it gets published!)

One of my all-time favorite HBO shows is, "Curb your enthusiasm" with Larry David.  That show is a riot!  My g.f. and I were busting out-loud laughing, watching it last night!  Boy, I luv to laugh!  (I wish I was a fly on the wall when Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld are in a room together!  I doubt there's ever a straight face in the room when those 2 hook-up!)

Wednesday, November 13th 

My Doctor, Dr. Melissa Palmer (who I absolutely LUV!), called me Monday, extremely upset, to say the least!  I missed a follow-u appointment I had last week and somehow there was another one booked for Monday night, which I also missed.  It seems, I'm supposed to see her every month to be "closely monitored" and have blood-work done!  Since Friday was my 6th shot, and I haven't seen her in over 6 weeks, she was pissed!  She actually said, "this is TOXIC STUFF your are taking!  You have to be closely monitored!  Are you crazy?"  She insisted I see her Tuesday but there was no way I could get off from work with the Boss Lady leaving for Europe on Wednesday (tonight! - Yay!)   As it is, I haven't gotten home before 9pm since Friday night!  I'm usually pretty good about remembering appointments (as much as I hate Dr.'s office visits), but I guess the "Brain Fog" is really settling in!  I'm gonna have to get her office to get used to giving me reminder phone-calls, the day before.

This morning, before my visit, I was thinking about baking some muffins or cookies or something to bring Dr. Palmer (and the girls in her office) so they wouldn't growl at me when I walked in the door.  Instead, I just walked in with a sheepish grin and Doc Palmer looked at me, grinned back, said, "I'm mad at you!", then, we moved on...  I won't know if I'm responding to the meds until week 13.  In the meantime, Doc Palmer gave me scripts for 2 other medications - one is to help me respond better to the Interferon and the other is a muscle relaxer for my back-stress and related pain.  I sure hope it works.  Life would certainly be a lot more comfortable!   Let's see now....we're up to 7 new HCV related meds, in total!   That's a lot of meds!  (Not including the daily morning nutritional supplements!)  Who wouldn't have "BRAIN FOG"?!!

Thursday, November 14th

At the top of this Daily Journal Page, and to my Hepatitis C Info and Links page, I  added some excerpts out of a book I read called,  "Living with Hepatitis C, A Survivors Guide".  These excerpts were extremely helpful to me, after getting diagnosed with this illness.  I thought they might be helpful to others, possibly inflicted with this disease (or perhaps inflicted with another, potentially life-threatening or life-altering illness).  I also spent a considerable amount of time today, updating my Hepatitis C page detailing info on my Meds and Nutritional Supplements.

Here's a joke:  This guy gets into the elevator and this woman looks at him, smiles and says, "T.G.I.F!"  He looks back at her and says, "S.H.I.T!"  Once again, she smiles and says, "T.G.I.F!"   He looks back at her again and says, "S.H.I.T!"  One more time, she tries it...."T.G.I.F" and then with a big, silly grin on her face says, "Thank God, It's Friday!"  One last time, the guy looks back and says, "S.H.I.T!   Sorry Honey, It's Thursday!!!  

...Don't worry, I'm not going to give up my day job!   : )

Friday, November 15th

Something AMAZING happened last night!  I was getting very disillusioned that I was not getting greater response to my site - it's just not getting the exposure I was hoping for.  The free search engines I submitted my site to, sometimes take weeks or months to link.  When I got home, I clicked on my email and there was an email from a Senior Writer at Time Magazine, writing to ask me questions about my site!  We did about a 15 minute phone interview....I don't want to say too much now because I don't want to jinx myself but....HOW COOL IS THAT!???  Finger's xxx'd big time!!!  

I am coming up with lots of really great, fun ideas for my Online Dating website - which will be tied into my book....stay tuned!!!  I've been working real hard on it and it should be posted by next week, so start writing down all those questions you want to ask me about how to find a "Mate" on the internet!

My girlfriend "Marleney" told me today that as a result of my being Dx'd with this Hep C, she feels I was able to turn it around and in fact, make "Lemons out of lemonade"!  Isn't that nice!??!  I guess it's true!  I'm doing just that !  COOL!!!  : )  

As a wise person once said, "We all have our baggage, it's how we pack it!".

Sunday, November 17th 

Eh, how 'bout them Sopranos!?!!!!!  Can you say, "Bada Bing!!!!" That show is really getting GREAT again! (It's episodes like these that got us all watching the show in the first place!  And once again, Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David! That ending scene in the restaurant with everyone cursing, as if the entire restaurant was filled with people from a Tourette's convention...Too crazy!!!  Gotta luv it!!! (Even Barney watched it and thought it was crazy funny!) 

This past Saturday was the worst re: the side effects from the meds!!!  I ended up taking 2 Cimitrex (about 4 hours apart) for the migraines and nothing helped! I spent the day in bed from 1 pm on!  Zero appetite so on a good note, I dropped 2 lbs. (You know how women are, always wanting to lose weight!)

On a funny note, I asked Barney to please get me a washcloth, wet it and "nuke" it so I could place it on my far-head to try to alleviate some of the pain. This morning when I awoke, I went to put the "washcloth" in the hamper and noticed it was one of the rags from our rag-bag we use to wash the toilet with and whatnot! It was sooo disgusting!!! I was soooo grossed out that I had this thing all over my far-head, and face, etc...Barney was like, "well, it just came out of the wash!" And then I was like, Yeah but, Barney!!! How would you like it if I handed you some filthy, nasty rag we used to wash the toilet-bowl and you put it all over your "Grill" !?!??? ("Grill" is Barney lingo for "face!" You pick up some pretty kewl lingo hangin' around with teenagers!!!)

I had a great day today (for starters because I felt one million times better than yesterday!)  On a "not the greatest" note, I got a message on my voice-mail from Dr. Palmer (who by the way, I still highly recommend - see Hepatitis C Info.)  Doc Palmer left a message (at 6pm on a Sunday!) that she got my blood-work back and my "white blood cells were a little low" as a result of a combo from the scaring on my liver and from the meds!  She said she prescribed me yet another med to try to boost my white bloodcells back up. This is now ("drumroll please"....) the 8th medication I am on! I've heard about this problem (with the low white blood-cell count scenarios) from a few other people sharing about their Hep C situation - that their white blood cells got so low, they in fact, had to go off the medication!  So you see, I'm still better off than a lot other people because the only hope those people have, is a liver transplant and livers are not so easy to come by (unless you go to some third-world country to buy one - then my new website will read www.helpmegetttoGuatamlatobuymealiver.com!)  A liver transplant is not necessarily something one would look forward to - it's really the ultimate last resort (again, if you can get one!) 

I pretty much finished my other website over the weekend (the one that ties into my book) . Once I heard an article about me might show up in Time Magazine next week, I figured I'd better get hoppin' and get my other website up so it could get some good visibility (as a link from this website). Fingers xxx'd that a book publisher will contact me or that I can raise enuf to get it published on my own! (I did a little research and the cost to do this is a little under $3,000. One way, or another...I'm getting my book published! 

Monday, November 18th 

My liver was paining me all day today.  Not terrible but just annoying little pangs, throughout the day, making me constantly aware.  It's very strange, but before I was on the meds and still drinking, I never felt a thing!  I felt great and wasn't even aware I had a liver!   Working out, eating healthy, never felt sick, high energy, etc..!  Now, since I've been on the meds, I'm constantly fatigued, not working out (due to fatigue) craving sugar (and LOTS & LOTS of it!), taking tons of supplements,  not drinking alcohol and now my liver hurts!  (It must be all that sugar!  Yeah, RIGHT!) 

Tuesday, November 19th 

On a Cyber-Dating note,  I've been corresponding with a new "friend" who I met through my ad on Match.com.  This friend of mine is in recovery and has Hep C!!!  He's coming to visit (from the Washington/Virginia area) this coming weekend and I'm about to embark on breaking all my rules of online dating!!  Oh well, like Mother used to say, "Do as I say, and not as I do!"  -- Didn't ya just hate that saying!!!  LOL!

On a Cyber-Begging note, not only have donations greatly dwindled (and they weren't much to begin with,, I haven't received much in the way of email responses (supportive or other-wise) lately.   I submitted this site to various search engines but it takes a while for sites to get posted.  I'm hoping the Time Magazine article will be out in next Monday's magazine!  (That is how Karyn and Penny seemed to have increased exposure and traffic to their sites - via the Media!  Karyn (of www.savekaryn.com did generate about $13,000 in donations from her site off her site, but that was with over a million hits from visitors at her site!  I only know I could certainly use whatever help I could get, at this point).  In the meantime, I revamped & "tweaked-up" this site and think it came pretty good!  Now that both websites are complete, aside from writing in my daily journal, I can now concentrate solely on completing my book - The Cyber-Dating Guru's Guide to Cyber-Dating!  I actually banged out another chapter tonight, as tired as I was - I sat at the PC and almost gave up on the idea of writing, for the night!  However, once I got started, I got charged up and it just flowed, naturally!      I'm thinking the book will definitely be complete in about a month's time -- certainly before the New Year!  That's my goal!!!

Wednesday, November 20th 

I am most definitely not myself today.  I am extremely fatigued and could barely make it to the train station this morning.  I started that new medication last night, before bed - Cimetidine (yet another Med with a "trillion" side-effects);  maybe that has something to do with how "off" I am today!  I was supposed to meet Melissa at the gym tonight but there's no way that's happening!  I'm pretty grumpy today, too (as "grumpy" as I can be!)   This new "Robin" is someone I have difficulty getting used to!  It's a huge adjustment from "what was" to "what is!"  I guess, some days it's just going to affect me more than others!   On a more positive note, today a family friend (who's also an Attorney), told me that I am definitely the "most optimistic person" he's ever met!  That was real nice but sometimes, I wonder... where do I get it from?  (Just innate, I guess! - lucky me!) : )

Thursday, November 21st 

I am in a much better physical state today, then yesterday, thank God!  (I slept about 11 hours last night and did wake-up with a migraine this morning but today the Imitrex worked!!)  

I am off tomorrow (picking Tony from Virginia up at LaGuardia) so today is sorta like my Friday, this week!  Whoo-ha!  (Wasn't Pacino just great in Scent of a Woman!?!!)  Since Tony has been already been on treatment 4 times, himself, he is fully aware that Saturday, there's a very good chance he will be without, his N.Y. Tour-Guide - meaning me!  As I will not be updating my journal over the weekend, "all the news that's fit to print"  about the adventures of the "Cyber-Dating Guru" will not be posted until early next week.  Stay tuned....(Maybe instead of the book, I should just develop a comic-strip character - "The Adventures of The Cyber-Dating Guru" -  that may actually be more a-pro-po!  It wouldn't be the first time I was referred to as a "character"!)

On a financial status, donations are sadly, dwindling.  I think I need a P.R. firm to offer their free services to help give my site a boost!  I have, however, been getting some very nice,supportive emails offering suggestions for my site and words of encouragement!   One email I received suggested I do my book in an E-Book version, so people could download direct off my site!   That's a definite possibility by my dream is to see my book (see www.cyberdatingguru.com) sitting on the shelves of Barnes & Noble, some day, real soon!

Until then.....HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!  Cheerio!

Monday, November 25th 

Much to my dismay, the article in Time Magazine has yet to appear!  : (

On a happy and fun note, The Weekend Adventures of the Cyber-Dating Guru (with her friend Tony from Virginia), were really fun and very, very nice and.....OH, SO CIVILIZED!   : )  I'm not going to go into details now (will save that for my www.cyberdatingguru.com site, to be added at a later date.)  Let it suffice to say that Tony and I are definitely going to get together again and will be spending more time together in the future!  We're building a very nice friendship, as a base, here and that is certainly a good place to start!  Only my H.P. knows what lies in the future (and I kinda like it like that but who knows...maybe  one day, I just might have my very own C.D.G. "Success Story" to add to my book!  <g>) 

On a health note, I took Injection #8 Friday evening, just prior to Tony taking me to dinner!   We had a great meal and I had minimal side affects over the weekend!  We were able to accomplish a lot together in 3 days (even making it to the gym on Saturday and the City on Sunday!)  Besides the usual, extreme fatigue, I felt completely dehydrated Friday thru Sunday and drank over a gallon of water & clear fluids each day.  I'm thinking perhaps, that maybe (besides the mass quantities of fluids ingested) the secret lies in eating a good meal immediately after the injection!  I do know that this was the first weekend without those crazy, God-forsaken migraines and that is truly a blessing!!  : ))  I will try to follow the exact same routine next Friday and see what happens.  If, in fact, I find that eating well, after the injection, is a solution to avoiding the migraines (which are so common to people on treatment), I will happily post this info on my Hep C page (as well as on www.hcvanonymous.com!)  

I'm still awaiting the Neupogen from Doc Palmer to arrive.  This is yet another med I need to take to try to raise my white blood cell count ; the Peg-Intro combo and my scarred liver have made my count dangerously low.  This medicine is also to be taken via a needle and syringe -- I'm not loving the weekly injection process as it is!   I'm just trying to make it part of my weekly routine and down-play it as much as possible! 

Wednesday, November 27th 

The Senior Writer at Time Magazine wrote me that the Cyber-Begging Article should be appearing in Monday's Time Magazine.  I have spent a considerable amount of time updating both my sites, especially my Cyber-Shopping  pages!   Hopefully, even if people don't want to donate money, they will shop at my "Affiliate Merchants" and I, in turn, will get a small referral commission.  

The Neupogen arrived yesterday and I injected it this morning.  I have to follow-up with blood-work next week to see if it's working or not (to raise my white blood cell count)!  I gave myself the injection in my stomach - seems to not hurt as much as when I inject my thigh but it sure did burn for a while after!)  

As tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I'll be leaving work early today and not updating my journal 'til next Monday!   I have a lot to be grateful for and I will share that at the dinner table tomorrow evening.  (I'm going to make a Sweet Potato Pie to bring to dinner - it's a new recipe that I got out of the N.Y. Post yesterday that sure looked good!   If it's a winner, I will add it to my Cool Recipes page!)   I hope everybody dwells on the blessings in their lives at this time of the year and I wish everyone Peace, Joy & Comfort of friends and family!   HAPPY TURKEY!!!  : )))

Saturday, November 30th 

Thanksgiving was great!  Have lots to be thankful for this year!  Didn't get around to baking that Sweet Potato Pie but I did bring my new favorite desert - Brownies ala mode.  What a great crowd pleaser (and really inexpensive to prepare!).   The only problem is, they are too good!

I went to a really fun Thanksgiving Party today hosted by my friends, Ang & John!   I wasn't sure I was gonna make it - I fought against the sides today BIG TIME (injection #9 last night) and boy, am I glad I did!!!   What a GREAT TIME!!!  Great food, great friends, lots of laughs!  The way life should be!  And...my brownies were a HUGE HIT!!!  (See Cool Recipes!)  All my girls were there....Ang, Eileen, "Lu-Lu" as well as a bunch of other people I really like (a "shout out" to Jack S. - Jack, I know you'll be like..."Hey, where's my name?"...if I don't mention your name here too! <g>)   And...I met a bunch of new friends too!   Life is good!  Thanks Ang & John - LUV YOU GUYS!!! 

P.S. Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends!

Sunday, December 1st 

My friend, Tommy D. came over tonight and we exchanged tips and info on creating & building websites.  He's got a great little biz he's started (Full Service, Affordable Web Design) and he and I are going to do some networking together.   With our "forces" joined (i.e. personalities, contacts and talents), this could be something huge!   Please check it out: www.tjdwebdesign.com or write me at if you are impressed with my sites and are interested in us creating something special for you!  

Monday, December 2nd 

I had a pretty awful morning!   I awoke to a severe migraine (a side of the meds) and couldn't move or get out of bed for a 1/2 hour (if only just to take the Imitrex to relieve the pain!)   It took another 1/2 hour for the Imitrex to kick-in and my entire day so far, has been off!   (This was a first, for a Monday!)  The norm has been, I get hit the hardest on Saturdays, after the injection and aside from the severe fatigue, the remainder of the week is "doable".   I had to make a run for the train this morning, only a 1/2 block and was a little distressed to see how hurting I was once I got to the train.   Is this the same woman who was personal training others only a few short months back?!??  My mental attitude is also on the downside today!  (I guess I just can't be expected to wake up doing mental jumping jacks, every morning, as hard as I try!)

On a happy note, the article in Time Magazine was published this morning, December 9th issue - see page 29 - "Panhandling.com" - by Harriet Barovick.  (I am now an Official "Cyber-Beggar!"  -- Ms. Barovick asked me if I was embarrassed about the concept of Cyber-Begging on the Internet?  I said, "I believe in the concept of Paying It Forward" - which she made reference to in the article!)   Fingers xxx'd that this will help my cause!  I could use a moral boost today (or a boost of any kind!)!   

Thursday, December 5th 

Well, it seems like EVERYBODY wants in on the bandwagon!  Besides getting a few very nice, uplifting emails, the main bulk of the emails I'm now receiving is by other potential "Cyber-Beggars" asking how they can put up their own websites!!!  Til now, I have been answering all who write but it gets frustrating as I don't have this kind of time!   Besides keeping this site and my www.cyberdatingguru.com and working and being a single-mom and operating on empty (as far as health and energy are concerned) and...TRYING TO GET MY BOOK COMPLETE (which is taking much longer than I'd like due to all the other STUFF), and trying to keep my head above water, I'm getting a bit overwhelmed with these requests!  So, I'd like to make a few suggestions to you potential "Cyberbeggars"....  #1) You could try to do it on your own, as I did (I had an office "Techie" help me get started!)  There's a lot of work & energy involved and to explain it all, would take a very long time!   The best tip I could give you now is to start out with a Website Bldg. program (I used M.S. Front Page w/the help of a Book called, Visual Quick Start) and take it from there.   #2) If you would like someone to help you create and get a website published, at an affordable price please contact www.tjdwebdesign.com (mention I referred you!).    #3)  I highly recommend your putting your time and energies elsewhere as Cyber-Begging it seems, is now a thing of the past!  Sadly, there are so many of us experiencing financial (and health) difficulties and those who are not, are just tired of hearing about us, I guess!  Even with exposure in TIME MAGAZINE, I still have yet to hit $200 in donations!   So, my recommendation is to put your time and energy into something more positive!   As for me, I'm focusing on completing my book!   I have nothing but high hopes for The Cyber-Dating Guru's Guide to Online Dating!   I have received some very positive feed-back, from what I have written, to-date.  I'm happy I started up this website, because it got me back on track to writing my book and I've learned so much about websites, e-marketing & e-books which will hopefully help with my future success!  I've also established communications with a handful of new friends, across the country!  (As for anyone who writes me in the future, requesting website info...I will refer them to this entry!  I'm still happy to correspond with any of you re: Hep C questions and Info or otherwise!)  Good luck, God Bless and Peace! 

P.S.  On a health note, let's just say, I've had better weeks but I'm still comin' out SWINGIN'!!!!   

Friday, December 6th 

I had to have my blood taken today to check my white & red blood cell counts, once again.  I'm to continue with the Neupogen injections until my counts come back up (hopefully!).  Also, tonight is injection #10 of the Interferon!  

On a Cyber-Dating note, my friend Tony is coming back to visit this weekend.  We will pick up my Granny tonight and take her to my brothers' house for a Holiday Cocktail Party!    Bring on the festivities!  (I hope I can stay awake - she says, as she types this, YAWNING!!  This is only my 2nd Friday night out in 10 weeks!)  HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!!  

Sunday, December 7th 

My Grandmother in Florida passed away today!  Thankfully, my Mother was at her side when it happened.  My Mother is flying me & Barney out for the funeral.  (We're leaving tomorrow and returning late Wed. nite.)  I'm thankful I can be there for my Mother, as well!  We are not returning until late Wednesday night!  

Thursday, December 12th

My heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you for your condolences and thoughtfulness regarding the passing of my Grandmother!!!  We didn't get in until 2am last night and although it was great to be with my family and be there for my Mom, I'm happy to be home!

I am starting to see the exposure increase on my website and I'm getting more responses and a few more donations, here and there!  The emails I get (even without donations) are really wonderful and supportive!  Thank you to all who take the time to write. 

A TV show in Seattle (ABC Affiliate) is doing a story on "Cyber-begging" a.k.a. E-Panhandling and wants to feature my story - they'll interview me via telephone!   I'm down with that!  I've been thinking a lot about my situation and how I can be more pro-active re: changing  the quality of my life (besides this crazy concept of E-Panhandling  AND completing & marketing  my book.)   I know a few people in the mortgage business who are doing really well right now (my good friend, Melissa, in particular - who used to earn less than I about 8 months ago is now earning 6 figures!!)   I've been thinking for some time that I need to make a career change in order to generate a higher income!   However, with my health issues at hand, it's a frightening proposition!  In order for me to make such a drastic career change, it is imperative I have some cash in the bank to assure I can pay my bills in the transition.  Truth be told, I'm not totally sold on the concept of E-Panhandling!   I believe that God helps those who help themselves but I also believe in the concept of "Paying it Forward."  If I ever dig myself out of this hole, I will MOST DEFINITELY be offering my hand and pulling others up with me!!!

Friday, December 13th

Last Thursday I had 4749 hits on my site.  Today I have 8467!!!  WOWIE!!!  I have a lot going on in the next few days!  Tonight I am getting together with about 12 girlfriends and am sooo looking forward to it!!!  I just LUV my girls!!!  (Shout out to Eileen & Ang & Cara & Michelle and so sorry my new good friend, Sheila is away and can't join!)   Men come and go but girlfriends stay FOREVER!  Here's to GIRL POWER and WOMEN FRIENDS!!!!

Although I have yet to pay off Barney's braces from 6 years ago, his teeth have shifted so I need to face the Orthodontist tomorrow at 9am and try to convince him to fix Barney's teeth, even though I still owe him $600!!!  (YIKES!  Gonna have to come up with some smooth talking on this one!  I'm thinkin' I'll just be honest and lead him to my site - offer to  give him an honorable mention on my "Robin Thanks You" page and just maybe he'll write off the debt!  YEAH, RIGHT!!!  LOL!  NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!  - can't blame a girl for trying though! <g>)  Maybe....he needs a website built....hmmmmm!!!

Saturday morning I have AN INTERVIEW with a MORTGAGE COMPANY in the town I live in!!!!  (Sssshhhh!  Mums the word!)  I don't think I will be able to bust a move just yet but you never know what may turn up!  In any case, I have to put the wheels in motion!  (I may, initially,  have to work 7 days for starters - 5 at my current job and train on the weekends at the Mortgage Co.)  

Monday night between 5:15pm and 5:55pm (our time) is my Telephone interview with that TV Show in Seattle called, NORTHWEST AFTERNOON.  It's a live, daily talk show (3-4pm Seattle time) with "a format similar to Oprah's".   The Producer indicated they are the longest running talk show on the air - for over 18 years now!!!   We did a pre-phone-interview this afternoon and when we were finished she stated, "yours is a very compelling story!"  Nice!!!  (Although the site has not paid off much monetarily, I have met some AMAZING people!.....kind, compassionate, considerate, spiritually uplifting individuals who make you feel happy just to be alive and a part-of!)  Penny from www.helpmeleavemyhusband.com will be featured on the show as well (they are flying her in!  It seems that Penny may just be the Guru of the Cyber-Beggars!  Go Penny!)

My office Xmas party is also Monday night so immediately after the Telephone Interview, I need to run over and join in the "festivities".  (I'm tired just thinking about it!  I'm going to have to break the "No Caffeine" rule on Monday - ssshhh!  Don't tell the nutritionist!)

I will take my injection (#11) late this eve. and will probably be good for nothing tomorrow (except for maybe throwing a couple of ornaments on my Charlie Brown Xmas tree!!!) so I will try to kick back, relax and regroup! 

1:30am (Saturday morning) - Had a great night tonight!  This was only my 3rd night out in the past 11 weeks!!!  Need to give a big "shout out" to Debbie too!   If anyone needs a gift basket for the holidays, contact me and I'll hook you up good with Debbie!!!   Oh yeah, and by the way, my girl Angela was a BIG PARTY POOPER and is now, officially an O.F.D!!!!! 

Lucille's "Domestic Partner", Anthony's band - Mama Ray, was FABULOSO!!!!!!!!  Wish we could have stayed longer but it seems that these days, I am El PRESIDENTE' of the O.F.D.'s!!!!!!!!!  (Translates to: "Old Fuddie Duds" - a "Robinism"  to you laymen out there!)  Mama Ray is opening for Spiro Gyro (sp?) next week!  Everyone should check them out!  The Band is KICKIN'!!!  

Speaking of "kickin'", my allergies are kickin' big-time and I still need to take the Interferon injection!  Just wanted to inform that when I got home from work this eve., there was a message on my home voice-mail from some radio show in Detroit called Joe & Mike! (??).  The message was a few days old but it seems they are also interested in interviewing me!  (What?... No Howard Stern calls yet!??  And what's keeping Oprah?  Regis can you hear me...???  Yo... Phil Donahue....people are always telling me I look like "Marlo"!  You should just HEAR ME do a THAT GIRL "Oh Donald" imitation!!!

I've had over 4,000 hits in this past week and a few very nice donations!  Cool!  Things are looking up!  There will be minimal journal entries this weekend as I would like to dedicate my time to working on The Cyber-Dating Guru's Guide.....I can't help but think about how much exposure my book is currently missing out on and how many E-books I could possibly be selling right now! That's a lot of negative Ka-chings there!!!  

Happy Weekend everyone!!!  WhooHa!!!

Monday, December 16th 

I am now officially, a "Mortgage Consultant" at a N.Y. Mortgage Brokerage Firm called Osborne, Nichols, Hall & Associates, Ltd.  I will be working for them, initially training at zero salary, 2 days a week (while still at my current job).  I'm training under the best so if if you (or someone you know) needs a mortgage or would like to refinance an existing one, please write me at: and mention "Mortgage Info Request" in the subject line.

More REALLY GREAT NEWS....I worked for 25 hours on my book this past weekend and I've FINISHED IT!  I am soooo EXCITED!  My goal was for the New Year and I really didn't think it was going to come down!  I have TRULY taken a very negative situation and turned it into an EXTREMELY POSITIVE ONE!  Oprah's Dr. Phil, would be proud!    I have been wanting to write this book since 1998!!!  Since I came to terms and acceptance with my Hep C, I turned it over and became supremely pro-active and focused with my life and really great things are starting to happen for me!  And it all started with this little begging website.  Once I started writing this site, I became inspired to get back to writing my book.   When I started this past Friday night night, I had only 3 chapters complete.  This morning, there are 21 completed chapters!!!  I am now ready to offer the book as an E-Book.  (A friend I met, from this site, is sending me a program to transfer the book into an E-Book format!)  As for the hard-copy, published product, I need to get the book edited and find an illustrator and then I will self publish the book!  (I'm still accepting proposals from large publishing houses, however!)  I also have a contact name and number at Barnes & Noble to hopefully get the book into their stores!  I'm justa movin & a groovin!!!!   

Tonight is my live TV Interview, 6pm, NY time with Northwest TV in Seattle. Tomorrow morning is my live radio interview with WIRF Radio – a Detroit morning show called "The Drew & Mike show" (Drew is calling me at work at 10:30 tomorrow morning!)  The producer called today to book it and told me, "Drew thinks you're very attractive!"  I think I'll go look up their website and check this dude, Drew. out!  LOL!

My g.f. Ang sent me the nicest, uplifting email Saturday morning and it came when I was having a low moment so the timing was perfect!  She wrote that she thinks I am "really one terrific person" and I remind her of an "updated Joan Hamberg" from A.M. radio.  (I've heard of Joan Hambaerg but have never actually heard her!  I'll have to check it out!)  Love you Ang!!!  (I know she reads my journal every day to stay on top of what's goin' on here, so I like to give her "Shout-Outs!" <g>)

Tuesday, December 17th 

WOWIE, WOWIE, WOWIE!!!  MY BOOK IS FINISHED!!!  I am excited and thrilled BEYOND WORDS!  I can't begin to express the feeling I am experiencing these past 2 days!  (If I didn't get Hepatitis, this never would have happened!  Crazy right?  Amazing how it takes something like this to happen in your life, so that you can turn it around!)  

The book will be up and available as an E-Book within the next day or so!  Please check it out!  http://www.cyberdatingguru.com  where you will find free book excerpts.  It is TRULY a HILARIOUS book and if you (or anyone you know) needs to "kick-up" their love life, BUY THIS BOOK!  It could be life altering!  

On a press & TV note, the TV Station finally called Monday night (I waited for 45 minutes to hear from them) and they put my hold and told me to "standby"!  After being kept on hold for about 8 minutes, they disconnected me and after the 6pm hour, when I knew the show was over, the Producer phoned to tell me their lines had gotten screwed up and they couldn't get back to me on the phone!  BUT, they did mention my site (and showed my picture) on the air!

Yesterday morning, Drew & Mike (from Seattle, a.m. morning radio) phoned to interview me!  Those guys are like real tame Howard Sterns and were trying to get me to send them topless pics or something sexy.  I told them, "Hey!  Why don't I send you a picture of my diseased liver?"  Now, THAT'S SEXY!!!  (I wrote that same response to some loser who sent me an obnoxious email about my site- see Emails Received.  Once their show airs, I'll probably get a few more losers sending me similar emails!  Oh well, publicity is publicity, good or bad, right?)  I actually mentioned my "diseased liver" twice and they said, "Robin, if you mention your liver again, we are going to start to DEDUCT MONEY!"  LOL!  Anyway, the guys were lots of fun and we had a few laughs!  I mentioned my book, and my www.cyberdatingguru.com site many, many times!  So actually, it's ALL GOOD!

On a health note, Dr. Palmer phoned to tell me that my white blood cell counts are finally starting to come back but she asked me, "How tired are you?", because....my red blood cell count is now waaay down and I'll probably need to start another medication to bring those babies back up!  (I think it's yet another weekly injection!  YIKES!  As it is, I have to kind of do a "Once, twice, three, SHOOT!" with the 2 injections I'm already taking!  I can never poke myself the first 2 attempts!  LOL!  It ALWAYS take's 3 maneuvers before I actually get the shot in!)  I told Doc Palmer, "whatever!"  It is what it is (I love that saying, don't you!)  No point in stressing over this - what would be the use?  Should I go into "Wowzie, Wowzie, Woo, Woo" mode? (as my brother, Matt, so eloquently puts it?)  NOT!!!  And anyway, what's the alternative?...to go off the meds?  All these things would still happen to me eventually without being on the meds due to "the severe scaring of my liver" as Doc Palmer put it to me, last night!  In any case, I will know in another 2-3 weeks if I am responding to the treatment!  So, stay close!

To end on a HAPPY NOTE, I finally spoke yesterday to one of my new friends, Michele, from Florida!  (A friend of hers showed her my site and she has a site where they sell E-books for marketing websites and she has been SO HELPFUL to me!)  She is also trying to complete a book and we hashed things around for over a half-hour, yesterday afternoon!  (She's the one who gave me the idea for the E-book and has sent me a program to switch my book over to E-format so I can get it up, for sale, on my site!)  SEE!!!  Another gift I received as a result of my Dx!!!  Truly amazing, right?!! 

I am definitely NOT your "typical" Cyber-Beggar!  I have become very pro-active in trying to change my life and I honestly am feeling SOOO empowered these days!  (I've never been real good at playing the "Victim" anyway!)  SO MANY GIFTS to be grateful for! 

Peace!

Thursday, December 19th 

Last night I sent "my story" to Oprah, Montel, Sally Jesse and Larry King.  I also changed my opening, first paragraph on my site.  Am anxiously awaiting the program/disc to arrive in the mail that will turn my book into an Ebook (finger's crossed it will arrive today!)   

 

Friday, December 20th

This morning I received an email from a guy who heard my interview on WIRF Radio in Detroit.  See Emails Received.  VERY COOL!  

On another REALLY, REALLY UP NOTE....I gave copies of my manuscript to a couple of the girls at work and they LUVED IT!!!!  They said, "It is GREAT!"  They read it on the trains to and from work and they said they were cracking up, out loud, laughing!  (My g.f., "Mary said, every-time I read something and thought - well, she should now say this or go more into detail about that, I turned the page, and you said it!" )   I am SO HAPPY!  Even if the book doesn't sell, I DID IT!!!  WHAT A FEELING!

I tried to get the book transferred to an Ebook yesterday, on a program someone gave me but I had a problem.  My company is making us take Xmas week off this week so I will have lots of time to get the book up on my site for sale at $9.97!  

I printed out business cards with the www.cyberdatingguru.com website on them.  They came out pretty good!  I'm going to print up flyers too and if I have to stand on a street corner and pass them out for more exposure, I will!  (I may even go to a train station on a work-day morning (like other annoying people do, i.e. "Politicians" or are local Real Estate lady) and pass out cards and flyers.  Of course, I will do it in any town but my own!  LOL!  (I will post a flyer up at my station, however!)  PRODUCT AWARENESS!!!  Pass the word - Cyber-Dating Guru!!!  It is truly about the art of Online-Dating!

Tuesday, December 24th

Sorry I've been remiss about writing in my journal but I'm sure you can all relate to my schedule and agenda, this time of year!  Just wanted to quickly write and fill everybody in (and of course, wish you all a VERY MERRY XMAS!!!)  

I've decided to hold off posting my book up as an E-book for now.  I made a call to Random House yesterday, and found that in order to get my book published, I first need to find an "Agent"!  So today, I am going to the library to check out a Reference Book that the guy at Random house told me to look into (where they list literary Agents!)  I will be duplicating and sending out copies of my manuscript to Agents.  I don't want to take the value away from my book later selling, by publishing it on the Internet now.  I will try first try it this way and if (for some CRAZY reason) I can't get an Agent, I will then offer the book as an E-book and self-publish.  So that's the "news on the street" about the C.D.G. (a.k.a. Cyber-Dating Guru)!  

This morning, I added a new email entry from some 29 year-old guy who wrote me from Detroit (who must have heard me on the Radio Show) and wants to know if I'm "interested"?   WHAT A CRACK-UP!  (See Emails Received)  (WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING!!???!!!)  

On a donation level, donations have sadly dwindled and are just about less than zero these days!  GO FIGURE!!!!  (Even with all this Press - Print, TV AND RADIO - most of the emails I get are either guys trying to get me to go out with them or other people wanting to know how to Cyber-beg.  Sorry state of affairs, we're in, eh?)  

On a HAPPY NOTE!  Even with the slim chance my book NEVER sells (which WILL NOT be the case! - POSITIVE THINKING), I have quite THE FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!  I am filled with joy & gratitude today and want to wish everyone a WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!!!  

Peace & Love!

Robin 

Monday, December 30th 

Sorry my "Daily Journal" hasn't been very "daily" lately.  Hope everyone enjoyed their Xmas Holiday and are looking forward to the New Year!  BARNEY IS GOING TO BE 17 TOMORROW!!!  YEAH BARNEY!!!!  LEGALLY (and legitimately) DRIVING and EVERYTHING!!!

I saw Doc Palmer tonight -- tonight's blood-work is crucial in knowing whether or not I am a "responder" or "non-responder" to the meds.  I have to follow-up with a phone-call in 2 weeks to Dr. Palmer's office to see what the Dilly-o is!  I try not to give it much thought, either way, because quite frankly, what's the point?!!???  If I'm a "non-responder" I have to go off the meds and let my liver run its course until hopefully something more effective comes along and/or I need a transplant.  If, at this 13 week period, the blood-work shows I AM a "responder", once I complete my 48 week treatment, there's a good chance my liver enzymes will jump back up again, anyway.  So.....to quote a favorite word of mine, "Whatever!"  As we all know, it's "whatever" The "MAN'S" plans are for me!  And no amount of juggling, or planning or projecting on my part is going to make one bit of a difference in the end!  All I can do is, keep on keepin' on and taking care of myself TODAY!

Speaking of "today", I got 12 manuscripts and one Query out in the mail to Publishers today ($40-somethin' bucks later!!!)  Donations from this site have faltered greatly but I continue to get the occasional uplifting and encouraging emails!   I'm still thinking that self-publishing is the way to go as I will profit from 100% of the proceeds of my book sales (as opposed to 10-15% through a publisher), but I continue to explore various marketing possibilities.

I told Dr. Palmer tonight that she and I are like "Kindred Spirits"!     She wrote a book, I wrote a book!  She was quoted in Time Magazine, I was quoted in Time Magazine!   She used to be a body builder, I was --and actually STILL AM  a certified Personal Trainer!  She is a wildly successful liver specialist  and I have LIVER DISEASE!!!!  AMAZING, right?  Oh yeah, and Dr. Palmer joined in by stating, "and both of us look really young for our age" -   we're both 45!!!  (It's amazing what some people can accomplish in a lifetime!) 

Tuesday, December 31st 

A Matthew (the Producer) from the Ron & Don Morning Show (KBQZ) in Seattle, phoned me this morning.  We're going to do a live radio interview on Thursday morning, January 2nd at 9am (that's 7am their time!)  This aughtta be something!  Matthew said their format is "Outrageous Talk Radio."   We'll see about that - maybe their format won't be quite as "tame" (or "lame") as the Drew & Mike Show from WIRF Radio in Detroit! (Only kidding Drew & Mike - you guys were fun and cool and really not "lame" at all!!!)  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BARNEY and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL YOU CYBER-BEGGAR GROUPIES!!!

Peace,  love and Joy!!

Thursday, January 8th 

Well, it seems I've been a bit of a "slacker" in writing in my not-so "daily journal".  I'm sure my Cyber-Beggar followers everywhere are breathless with anticipation of recent news in the life and escapades of The Sexy Single Struggling Mom & The Cyber-Dating Guru!

The live radio interview on KBQZ went well although I didn't see much in terms of traffic on my site.  (This site steadily continues to get a couple of hundred hits a day but my focus now is on trying to increase the flow of traffic on www.cyberdatingguru.com .)  The Disc Jockeys and G.M. of the radio show came up with an idea for me to raise the $5,000 needed to get my book published....they want me to take some sexy pics (in lingerie or a bathing suit) of myself and they will auction them off on their radio show!    At first I was hesitant - but on careful consideration I thought....it's not like I just wrote WAR & PEACE or the Great American Novel!  And if I run the photo session, I'll have complete control over how the pics turn out, so, what I have I got to lose here.  They tell me they get 100,000 listeners at a pop on KBQZ in Seattle - they would be promoting the heck out of The Cyber-Dating Guru!  So, my thinking now is....what could be bad!?!  (The "jury's still out" on this one, however; as much as I could certainly use the money, from auctioning the pics, and the publicity... I think I'm gonna have to sit on this one for a while!)

Although I've been slacking in writing here in my journal, I've been writing (and working at my pc) like a crazy lady, 24-7.  Every time I think my book is complete, I go and add another page (or 23) into it!  Yep - The Cyber-Dating Guru's Guide to Online Dating now has 88 pages!  (This was accomplished over the last weekend!)  I went back into my archives of emails and love letter received from men responding to my online dating ads (since 1998), sifted through them and selected the creme' de la creme' to include in my book.  There is some REALLY good stuff in there!  Of course, I THINK the entire book is great but the letters I've received throughout the years are just head-shaking, hilarious!

On the suggestion of a fellow writer and friend I met through this site, www.askthebugman.com, I wrote a sample column to submit to newspaper (and magazine) editors, in the hopes of getting a few CYBER-DATING GURU COLUMNS up and running! Yesterday morning I awoke at 6:30am and banged out a 600 word column in one hour.  I was surprised how easy it was for me - especially because the material was all fresh and new - very little was quoted, specifically, from my book!  Right on!!!  Now, I have to concentrate heavily on the marketing aspects of my name, site, columns and book!

My mom informed me that a Columnist from  the "Living Section" of the Miami Herald wrote an article called, "Cyber-beggar is a poor excuse for a human being".  Naturally, a Letter to the Editor was called for, on my behalf.....Here's the letter I wrote today:

January 9, 2003

I am writing to comment on Ms. Veciana-Suarez’s column of Sunday, January 5th, “Cyber-beggar is a poor excuse for a human being”.  Ms. Veciana-Suarez should perhaps work more on her “investigative reporting” before she writes such judgmental commentary. 

I happen to be the woman from the site www.sexysinglestrugglingmomneedsyou.com.   If Ms. Veciana-Suarez had done her research, instead of haphazardly lumping all “Cyber-beggars” together, she would have noted that perhaps, some of us are in extremely “needy” situations and are not all out on the World Wide Web, begging for new “Hummers”.

I am a single mother of a 17 year old son, who I raised on my own.  I have always worked hard to support and take care of my son, often times, holding down two jobs!  About 5 months ago, I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and a severely scarred liver.  Prior to my Dx., I had just received my certification as a personal trainer, to try to supplement my income to my full-time job, which was no longer paying my bills. 

It’s true, I did start out as a “Cyber-beggar” however, I was able to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one.  I began by learning how to create and build a website; within a few weeks I had a 2nd website built (www.cyberdatingguru.com )– devoted to a book idea I had, since 1998.  I have since completed my book and am now working on the publishing and marketing aspects of it, as well as several newspaper columns I hope to get going. 

Due to the side-affects of the meds I am now on, I cannot exercise and work out as I did a few short months ago.  What I have been able to do, however, is to focus my energies on writing and I have become extremely pro-active in my life and in trying to turn it around.   By virtue of my website, I was also hoping to crusade and build public awareness for Hepatitis C.  5 million Americans (who know about it) are inflicted with this disease and most people are unaware they have it until it is too late – hence the name, “The Silent Killer”! 

Has Ms. Veciana-Suarez ever been confronted with a potentially life-threatening illness?  She has no idea what it’s like to walk in my shoes and should, perhaps, not be so quick to accuse others of being a “poor excuse for a human being” unless she has first gathered all the facts.

Sincerely,

Robin

www.sexysinglestrugglingmomneedsyou.com 

www.cyberdatingguru.com 

P.S.  Perhaps, Ms. Veciana-Suarez should also do some investigative reporting into the meaning of words such as "compassion" and "humanity"!  

 

On a health note, I'm waiting for my most recent blood work to see if I am, in fact, responding to the meds or not.  I got hit hard last weekend after my injection, Friday night and spent a good portion of it in bed.  I was thankful I was doing better on Monday and could show up for work and earn a living!  (That's always a plus!)  Monday and Tuesday I was doing OK (feeling a little weirded out yesterday) and this morning, once I got off the LIRR and started my walk to the office, every step was a struggle.  I'm anxious to see if my red blood count has dropped even more because that would definitely explain  why my body (and my BONES) feel so tired today!

Friday, January 10th 

Lots of good news today!!!  First and most important, my 13 week blood test results came back and....my body seems to be responding to the meds!  My viral load has dropped significantly!  (I feel as if I should have been feeling more excited to hear this news but the bottom line is, I have acceptance in my life today and whatever is meant to be, will be.  That's it, and nothing more.  So, for this reason, whatever news my Doctor gave me would have been O.K. and in fact, is O.K! -- There is still a 50%+ chance that after I go off the meds, my liver enzymes will jump back up but I can't dwell on this, nor will I!)  So...GOOD FOR ME!!!  At least I know that at this particular moment in time, my liver is sort of, on a hiatus, of sorts.  That's a good thing!  Vacations are nice, even for livers!

(The funny thing is, about 5 months ago, I didn't even know I HAD a liver!!!  Now, it's like THE FEATURE ACT...THE MAIN ATTRACTION of my body!  "All roads point back to the liver!"..."Exit here for liver!"  It's all about the LIVER!!!)

And so...for the second good news of the day...An associate producer from the Montel Williams show contacted me early today and after a brief phone interview, called again, later in the day, to inform me they'd like to have me do a taping for the show.  They will call on Monday to set up a date and the show will probably air sometime in February.  (The subject line of the show would be how people are utilizing the Internet in various ways to reach different objectives --or something to that effect!  It's not just about Cyber-Begging!  -- We like this idea!) 

This afternoon, I wrote another sample Cyber-Dating Guru Column for submission to newspapers.  (It was suggested I have 4-5 sample columns -- 400-600 words long -- to present to newspaper and magazine editors...so far, I'm down with 2!)  

Monday, January 20th 

I deleted the word "daily" from my "Daily Journal" page today.  : )  I have so many projects going on at this moment in time - my journal had become a low priority.  

I am currently working at 2 jobs now - I'm still at my current position in the Garment Center of Manhattan (where I've been for the past 6 years) - full time and...I'm working 2 nights a week and Saturday's at the Mortgage Store, as a Mortgage Consultant.  (I'm also studying and reading up on the subject of Mortgages and refinancing, at every opportunity, to better serve my customers!)

I'm still working daily on my book and have once again decided to offer my book online as an E-Book, prior to getting it published into hard copy.  (I hope to have it up and running on my site www.cyberdatingguru.com before the week is up!)

I continue to work on and update both of my sites on a regular basis!

I've written 3 sample CYBER-DATING GURU columns, to be submitted to magazines and newspapers, for consideration and have started submitting these sites to various publications.

I submitted a proposal to The Learning Annex, here in Manhattan, to teach a course on Cyber-Dating!

I have created Press, Publication and Marketing Excel spread sheet (which I update regularly) to keep track of my various projects, press contacts, column submissions, etc.

I'm up to my eyeballs in books (taken out of the library) on The Writer's Market, beginners guides to writing and getting published,  marketing and advertising books, computer program books (i.e. Adobe Acrobat) and have even taken out a copy of  Mountain, Get Out Of My Way, Life Lessons and Learned Truths by Montel Williams (the show with my appearance is scheduled to be taped in February)!

And...

Naturally, I'm still focused on caring for my son, Barney, and trying to give him all the attention and direction he so richly deserves at this crucial age of 17!

I'm still plugging away with the injections, meds (and side effects thereof), Doctor's appointments, blood tests, supplements and basic treatment for the Hepatitis C, to try to prevent further deterioration of my liver.  ( I've recently taken my 15th injection of Interferon!)

I cooked a GIANT batch of the most DELISH chicken noodle soup, EVER!!! (which I diveed out amongst my friends and family!)  When I get the time, inspiration or energy to cook, it IS an EVENT and I like to share with EVERYONE!!!  

(You'll note there has been no mention of my hitting the gym - much to my dismay!  I do manage to try to walk whenever possible, which has become rather easy to do as I haven't seen my vehicle since Barney got his Driver's License!  I really MUST try to get back to some kind of routine, even if it's at home doing pushups and sit-ups, etc.  Maybe after reading Montel's book, I will once again become inspired (in terms of fitness and working out) and will endeavor to overcome the fatigue I am often plagued with! 

It came to my attention that I am listed on a site called www.worstoftheweb.com, in their "Archives" for date of January 16th!  Hey!!!.....bad press is STILL good press!  Right on!!  (They actually refer to me as a "MILF" in their review!  I told Barney about the "MILF" quote and he thought it was pretty funny!)

So......How are my Cyber-Beggar followers doing today?  Hope all is well! 

Peace and best,

R

NOTE: Unfortunatley, I did not end up getting  the hits I would have liked to have from www.worstoftheweb.com because as soon as they posted me on their site, my host provider moved their servers to NJ and my site was down for almost 5 days!!!  Maybe I can get another honorable mention for "worst of" at a later date!  ; )  

Thursday, January 30th

As I've mentioned in past entries, although the financial help received is only a fraction of what I hoped for (in lieu of what www.savekaryn.com received to help pay off her Prada purchases at "Bloomies"),  I still continue to get help in many other forms, as a result of having created this website!  Sometimes, the help arrives in round-about ways (and not necessarily from people of good intent!).  

I received 2 very harsh & critical emails from men who went and took a look at my www.cyberdatingguru.com site, and took it upon themselves to write and tell me my "book sucks" and....that it "will never get published!"  (Both of these men read about my site via www.worstoftheweb.com - so I guess I should take it from where it's coming from!  - Also keep in mind, neither of these guys ever actually read my BOOK, they simply took a look at my site and read from a sample chapter!)   Well....As much as I hate to admit it....it's a tough world out there!  Nothing like getting KICKED WHEN YOU'RE DOWN!   (I plan to post  the emails on my site within the next few days but I wanted to touch on this in my journal because I was once again, able to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one.)  

The most recent (of the 2) emails I received was about 3 days ago; although the guy flat out told me that my book "sucked," in the same e-mail he commended me on my writing!   One of the reasons why HE thought my book sucked was because I used too many exclamation points!!!  (He said it was "very annoying!")!!! LOL!   Anyway....I went back to take a look at the sample Chapter I had posted http://www.cyberdatingguru.com/sample_chapter.htm, and actually found some truth in the criticism.  Besides using too many exclamation points, I also discovered I made excessive use of the bold font in my writing!  (When publishing work online, rather than using the underscore to emphasize a word, it is recommended  to use the bold font instead; an underscore generally would represent a "hyperlink.")    

As far as my excessive use of exclamation points, keep in mind...that is really just the top of woman I am - I'm one who "EXCLAIMS" often!   LOL!  I'm a passionate and enthusiastic person and that passion overflows into, pretty much, ALL that I do!!!  People often do get caught up in my enthusiasm (so I've been told) so I don't necessarily believe this to be a bad thing!  (I feel, especially in these times, people can use a little spark under their butt or a bit of enthusiasm to help to get their juices flowing!)   My personality is such that "what you see is what you get!" and that is exactly the way I write!  We are all unique and have our individual styles which we apply to all manners of our lives.  I believe that is what makes us special - and in turn, that is what makes my book special!!!  But... back to the chapter...I realized that perhaps the chapter did not come across as professional looking as it should so... I went back and edited the chapter and recognized I needed to do the same with the book.  Once again, I (and my book) continue to be a work in progress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yes, both of these men also happened to ask me how I could possibly dole out dating advice when I clearly state that I am "relationship challenged!"  To try to clarify this point once more....I am NOT a RELATIONSHIP EXPERT!  I am an ONLINE DATING PRO!!!  I will help you go through the online dating process in as fun, painless and stress-free a way as possible!  You will learn from my experiences and my mistakes!  Once you get to the point of being involved in a "Relationship," you are ON YOUR OWN!  Good luck and God Bless!  : )  

R

P.S.  I've been reading Montel Williams' book, MOUNTAIN, GET OUT OF MY WAY!  It's excellent! (I picked it up to try to have a "one-up" on Montel, before doing the taping for his show but it turns out, I am THOROUGHLY ENJOYING this read!  Just this morning, while reading a chapter on my commute to work, I had to smile!...On page 76 in his book, he writes about how (while in the Military) he was going through a divorce and at the same time, was counseling some of his men and their wives on "the problems they were having in their own marriages."  He continues to write...."Who was I to talk, right?"..."It was like the old saying we used to kick around in high school: Those who can't do, teach.  Well, I couldn't do anything about my own situation, but maybe I could get some of these folks to avoid some of my same mistakes!"

And THERE you have it!  I REST MY CASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peace!

P.P.S...a really nice man who is also suffering with Hepatitis C (and about to start the meds) sent me two $5.00 bills to my P.O. Box address!  Aside from the "post it" note he attached to the money, he remained anonymous!  I just wanted to write and say THANK YOU in case he was following my "escapades" and wish him well with the treatment!  : )  (Chin-up my friend!  We are NOT alone!  If you ever need to talk about our "situation", please write me and I will help in any way I can - and YOU will REMAIN "anonymous!"  Thanks again!)

P.P.P.S. Hey, I may not write in my journal as often as I should but once I get started, ...you just can't shut me up!  (Typical "Robin" behavior!  : ) )   And with that said...I am TRULY DONE for today!  Stay tuned...

Friday, January 31st 

Something I neglected to touch on in my writings of yesterday was my physical condition!  This past week was the worst ever, for me (since beginning treatment) and I do feel that the meds are slowly building up in my system.  I have just felt plain out, physically CRAPPY for the past week straight and unfortunately, it has affected my mental and emotional state!  The fact is, I haven't truly felt like "Robin" since beginning the meds but this past week was killer!  Today was the first time, in a long time, that I felt somewhat better - I guess it just goes with the territory while being on this treatment.  It's somewhat of a vicious cycle...because as I am in a constant state of fatigue, I crave sugar and carbs to give me energy; the carbs are not so bad but but it's the straight-out sugar i.e. Vienna Fingers, etc.  that are having a negative affect on me!  I haven't eaten crap like this since I started working out 6 years ago and haven't munched on Vienna Fingers since I was a KID!  (But damn, are they good!!!)  And, because I don't have the energy to work out, I can't help but notice the negative affect it's having on my bod!  My muscles are starting to atrophy and that is not helping my mental state!   So, what is the upswing here?  Being tired and loss of muscle tone is better than the alternative - six feet under with a buff bod!  I have to keep hoping that this treatment will only be temporary - today will be injection 16 -- another 33 weeks to go!  I'd really like to have my life back.  

Financially, I'm in a big mess!  I stopped answering my home phone because it's usually a collection agency phoning.  I am considering personal bankruptcy but will wait and give it another month or two before I make this decision.  

I'll be offering my book as an E-book very shortly -- for the LOW, INTRODUCTORY PRICE OF $9.95!!!  I've been trying to get it up and formatted on my own but have been running into difficulty.  Some very nice "Puter Geeks" I've met through my site have offered assistance and it should be available within the next 10 days or so.  

Besides my F.T. job in the Garment Center, I am still working one night a week and Saturdays at the Mortgage Co. and I'm hoping something will come to fruition from that!  One thing is for sure, I never stop trying!  I continue to set both short and long-term goals and try to reach them, daily.  In THAT respect, my life is better!  I'm more driven and focused than I've ever been and THAT is a gift! 

Hoping that the forthcoming week will be a good one...

Best,

R

Wednesday, February 5th 

I have come to a crossroads in my treatment and am having a bit of difficulty with my coping skills right now.  Unfortunately, I am experiencing somewhat of an allergic reaction to my medications and the rash I developed a few months ago (up the middle of my back and my right side) has gotten MUCH WORSE in the past few days.  I'm also developing reactions on my farhead (near my hairline) and my eyelids.  Are you getting a visual?  Quite the Pretty Picture, eh?  Somedays I just basically feel like ripping my face off (from the itchiness)!  I also find that I am becoming very anxious (another side affect of the meds) and somewhat irritable.  The fact that my hair is becoming brittle, my body and face are breaking out and I'm gaining weight due to the excessive amounts of sugar and carbs I'm eating as a result of stress and fatigue...may also have SOMETHING to do with this irritability.  (Montel's people better get me on that show soon because I may have a tough time living up to the "Sexy" part of my website!  I'm certainly not feeling very "Sexy" these days!)

I spoke to Dr. Palmer's office today and they enforced upon me how important it is to stay in the positive whilst on this treatment.  Believe me...I have been trying but these past few days I am honestly wondering if I will be able to complete my treatment.  My days are long and not very pleasurable.  Kerri from Dr. Palmer said..."Robin, it's only a year out of your life for something that could add years to it!"  Unfortunately, sometimes I have to think of others in less fortunate situations than mine to try to put me back in the gratitude - I hate to have to resort to that but I guess it's whatever it takes to keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Tomorrow I have an appt. to go see a Dermatologist because the situation is now out of hand.  (Yet another bill and another med!) I'm pretty miserable today!  Thanks for letting me share!

And how is YOUR day???

R

P.S. I have to try to end on a positive note...so please check out E-mails Received and note that a young man of 26 wrote me who was just this week Dx'd with Hep C.  We've been corresponding back and forth and he tells me that I have been some help to him.  I am thankful for the opportunity to help others -  it also helps me to get out of my own head!   

Saturday, 2/8/03

A friend of mine wrote me recently and asked how I was feeling. Here is a portion of my response to her:

"....I'm at week 18 with 30 more to go and this past week has not been "pretty." My torso and face (especially along my hairline) have broken out with a terrible rash - people have told me it looks like "shingles". And my scalp is also drying up and very itchy, resulting in my hair becoming brittle, breaking off and beginning to fall out! 

Last week, for 2 days at work - I looked like "Death" itself!!! People at work kept commenting on my color (or lack of it)- and my eyes had a dark sunken look about them. The constant itching didn't help my situation. (It turns out the rash is more from nerves and not from my meds - but the meds are what create the nervous condition - they make me very anxious - and then the rash adds to the anxiousness - it's a vicious cycle!) 
I was told that this is, in fact, a crucial and tough time during treatment - when the side affects really begin to take their toll. I'm hanging in as best I can and have to keep in mind what my Doctor tells me...."it's only a year out of my life for something that may add years to it!" I do know, that if, after completing treatment (if I manage to do so) that if my enzymes shoot back up (as I hear often happens after going off the treatment), I will not go back on the meds!  I can't live the remainder of my life like this, because it's really no way to live! I do have my good days, and so far today is good, but I took my shot last night and I generally begin to feel it on Saturdays about 2pm. My first couple of months, I would have a few really bad days and the rest of the week would be pretty doable; now it seems to be the opposite. 

Thanks for asking and thinking about me; I do continue to try to remain positive."

So....I did spend the entire day in bed yesterday (thankfully, it was my day off because that's how I needed to spend my day), took my injection last night and so far, I do feel OK this morning. Last night, In my dozing on and off with the TV on, I remained awake long enough to watch a portion of a special on 20-20 about a young girl born with no arms!  She was amazing and I was very inspired by her story!  And that's how she ended her story by saying that perhaps she was put here on earth, born the way she was, to inspire others!  WOW!   

As they say..."we all have our baggage; it's how we pack it!"

I hope (and have been told) that my story does inspire others (even if it's in a small way) which is why I don't love the idea of writing in my journal about the negative effects that the meds are now having on me!  (I want to encourage people to seek treatment, if necessary and NOT scare them!)  On the other hand, what's the point of keeping a journal if I can't be open and honest.  It certainly does lift my spirits when others write to tell me how I have helped them and for that, as I've said before, I AM very grateful; it really does  help to take me out of my own head, knowing that I've been able to help or reach out to other people in similar situations; that there IS a reason for all of this!

O.K!  Enough with the "Wowsie, Wowsie, Woo, Woo" stuff!

More updates...

RE: Hep C - Public Awareness - There was a segment on "Good Day NY" this past week called, "The Ugly Side of Beauty" - about how people should be careful in choosing the Nail Salons they visit -- how they could actually be susceptible to contracting certain diseases or viruses i.e. Hep C or Aids, while getting something as seemingly harmless as a manicure!  It's about time that stories such as this are being aired and that the public is finally being made more aware of such dangers!  As 5 million people currently have this disease (who know about it), that number will be increasing at rapid and astonishing proportions throughout the years; Hep C will be so widespread that it may no longer be referred to as "The Silent Killer"  (referred to as such because most people don't know they have it until it's too late!)  I think that has been a major problem with this disease, to-date...Doctors and Professionals have not spoken out ENOUGH and continue to remain silent about this disease!   We need more public advocacy - people need to be made more aware!!!

RE:  The Donations - I today received a $25.00 donation from a man in Milan, Italy!!!  (See emails received!).    Unfortunately, I can't apply any of the money thus far received,  towards getting my book published as my first priority is paying for my meds and supplements (the skin lotions from the Dermatologist yesterday alone, cost me $30!!!) and overall living expenses -- as well as trying to keep the collection agencies at bay!  

RE:  The Mortgage Biz - As tough as it is, on Wed nites, after finishing up my job in the City, I continue to go to Osborne, Nichols & Hall (from 6:30pm to 9pm), trying to sell mortgages.  (I also work Saturdays.)   It looks like I may ("may" being the key word here) have 2 deals in the works.  (Fingers xxx'd!)  This is promising but I must admit, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to just "show up" (as in life) sometimes!   I strongly believe if I felt well enough and had more energy to put into the Mortgage Consultant biz, I would be a huge success (and possibly make a full-time career change); people in the Biz keep telling me I'm a "natural!"   However, it would be very unwise for me to make such a change at this point in time because of my health issues (and because I don't know if they will get worse before they get better).  Also, my medical benefits are crucial (from my current job in the Garment Center) and if I make a jump now, it would be difficult to get health insurance as my condition might very well be considered "pre-existing" and I would no longer have insurance coverage.

RE:  The Book!  I'm still waiting for a friend of a friend to get back to me on helping me get my E-book up and selling on my site!  If this person doesn't come through soon, I may have to seek help elsewhere because time is money!  If I can start selling my book online, I don't know that I could retire from it, but it would certainly help to lighten my load!  I also continue to send out a few queries a week to Agents and Publishers, hoping one (or several) will come to the realization of how brilliantly clever, entertaining and useful The Cyber-Dating Guru's Guide to Online-Dating is and, if we don't get it published soon, we will be doing a dire injustice to the general dating population as well as the population at-large! 

(We had about 8" of snow here in New York yesterday!  Enjoy it New Yorkers!!!  IT SURE IS BEAUTIFUL out there!!!)

Peace & best,

R

Monday, February 10th *****

Tuesday, February 11th***

Yesterday was a GREAT DAY!!!  The old "Robin" was back and it made me realize just how much she's been gone lately!  I'm going to try to keep a daily "*" rating system in my journal (as of yesterday) as a way for me to monitor how the meds have affected me --  5 *'s being a great day and 1*...well...you get it!  

Anyway, those meds really put me in a deep, dark place for almost 2 weeks there, physically, mentally and emotionally and it took my having a day such as yesterday to make me realize just how bad it had gotten.  Out of the past 2 weeks, I had about 2.5 "good" to "great" days ("great" being relative to being on treatment, of course!)  I truly wondered if I would be able to stau the course of treatment!  Having a day such as yesterday helped me a lot much because I see that, occasionally I may have some reprieve.  I couldn't live the next 6 months of my life, 24/7, feeling so bad, day after day!  It just wasn't "doable!"  

B.t.w...this Friday is actually Injection #20! - I miscalculated a bit!  In another month, I'll be at the half-way mark with 24 weeks to go!  

On the downside, feeling as bad as I had been, I realized Sunday evening that I actually missed 2 evening doses of the my Ribovirin pills over the weekend and possibly one morning dose.  That's 3 missed doses total within 3 days!  I didn't do it purposely - the meds make you forgetful, to begin with - the old, "Brain Fog"-- but because I was so out of it, I just screwed up!  I can't help but wonder if, in fact, yesterday was such a "great" day because I didn't have as much of a buildup of the meds in my system!?!  Well...I'm not going to try to figure it out - as the saying goes..."Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!" (Whatever THAT means! - What the heck 's a "Gift Horse" anyway?")

So far... today seems like a *** day.  Yesterday I was so "up" that I had difficulty falling (and staying) asleep last night so I'm pretty exhausted today - operating on about 4 hours sleep, if that.  (In the old, "pre-meds" days...I slept an average of 5 hours a nite and fully functioned!  After starting treatment, I generally need 8-10 hours sleep/nite and sometimes more!!!)

The rash is responding to the steroid creme the dermatologist gave me and is getting much better, THANK GOD (she says as she begins to scratch, just thinking about it)  BUT...my HAIR is still EVERYWHERE (but on my head - where it should be!)  - Fortunately for me, I probably had too much to begin with so it will probably be some time before I go completely bald!  (Only kidding - I HOPE!!)

Later in the evening....

While waiting for my book to get published into Hard Copy and as an E-book to download, I have decided to offer my valuable Cyber-Dating Guru knowledge and ESSENTIAL Online-Dating Advice as a "Manual".  It is the same information that will be offered in the book at a LOW, INTRODUCTORY PRICE of $12.9!!!  (Of course, the "Manual" will be hand-signed, with a short note by "Yours-truly" and...anyone who buys the Manual will, of course, be entitled to purchase the book at a discounted price!)  Not only will you get my years of experience and inside tips from online-dating, you will also be helping me, Barney and...my liver!  So...what are you waiting for???....BUY THE BOOK NOW!!! : )

: )

P & B,

R

Thursday, February 20th 

YIKES!  I can barely believe I have not written in my journal in OVER A WEEK!  So much for keeping a daily * system of my physical condition.  I've got a jam-packed day today but tomorrow, promise to write "all the news that's fit to print!"  Lots of EXCITING THINGS GOING ON in the life of the Cyber-Dating Guru, etc...TV Interviews, Newspaper Interviews, lots of press, etc.  I'm feeling extremely hopeful and positive today!  Catch up with you later or tomorrow!

P & B,

R

Tuesday, February 24th 

WOW!  Did I actually PROMISE last Thursday to "write tomorrow"?  That was not very wise...I should go back and DELETE THAT!  LOL!  

O.K...here's where we stand...

I SOLD MY FIRST COPY OF MY BOOK!!!  I am an Official AUTHOR now!!!  YAYYYY!  Actually, a person by the name of "Sandy" wrote and said they'd like to make a donation and would I mind sending them a copy of my book (see Emails received).  I was thrilled beyond words - that's the general ideal of this whole "Shabangy"!  I am hoping people will take to the idea of buying the book;helping me, they are helping themselves by jazzing up their love life and perhaps even...meeting their Cyber-Soul Mate (with the help of my book, of course!)   And...maybe they'll also feel like they're getting a little "bang for their buck!"  It's a WIN-WIN situation!)  Sandy (who it turns out is a man) sent a donation for $50 and I, in turn, am mailing him a printed Manual (an autographed copy, of course) AND I've also sent him my E-Book to download.  HE LOVED IT!  He doesn't STOP E-MAILING ME!!!  He's UP ALL NITE reading it, while I'm UP ALL NITE, working on my sites and my book!!!  (He's already written me like 5 E-Mails!  I'm TOTALLY PSYCHED!!!  Did I say, "YAYYYYYYY?!!!!!"  (I also promised him I'd give him the first copy of my Book in HARD COPY for FREE - since he made such a generous donation!)  I don't get many donations, but I have had a FEW like this one and they certainly help!  I'm still very much in the RED however (more so than when I first started) because of the expenses I've incurred with my site and the costs involved with the book, etc.  I do believe all my hard work is going to pay off very soon!  

Also, I sent one of my proposal letters to do a Cyber-Dating Guru "Column" to the Long Island Herald over a month ago.  The Editor wrote me back and said it was an "interesting idea!" but that he had to discuss it with the owner of the paper.  Too make a long story longer...rather than the Editor contacting me, a writer from the paper called me last week and did a phone interview and they are going to publish a story on me (so she said) which should be coming out this Thursday!  YAYYYYYYYY!!!!!

Oh yeah.....and News 12 is coming tomorrow morning to do an interview with me which should be airing tomorrow nite.  (They were supposed to be here the day of the blizzard which was a week ago today but they didn't make it.  Can YOU BELIEVE they thought the Biggest Blizzard in the Tri-State Area in 7 years was more NEWS BREAKING than MY STORY!???  The nerve!!!  LOL!   Anyway, it worked out better, I think, because my book is now more along the way and ready to Rock-n-Roll!  There is a HIGHER POWER up there, for sure!!!

YAYYYYYYYYY!

Peace & Best!

R

P.S  On a Mortgage note...I do believe I've got a deal pending where I can generate a little extra income - it's a refinance deal I'm putting together for 2 sisters who own a house together.  Not only will I make some money if this deal closes, BUT...I'll also be saving these sisters a little over $300/month of their monthly mortgage payments -- and one of them was out of work for the past year so they can SURE USE IT!  (THEY LUV ME!!!)  It's a WIN-WIN situation!  : )  

Friday, February 28th 

I had submitted a proposal to the Long Island Herald (a local, L.I. Weekly Paper) about a month ago.  The proposal was based on my doing a weekly Cyber-Dating Guru column for them.  The editor wrote me back and said "sounds interesting Robin; we'll get back to you!"

Last week, Kimberly Acevedo, a writer from the Herald, called me and did a long interview with me over the telephone.  She was calling about the C.D.G. Book however I ended up telling her my whole "story", i.e. the Hepatitis, Cyber-Begging site, etc.  (Generally, if somebody sees my Cyber-Dating site, I don't like to intermix the Hepatitis story, etc. but since it's a local paper, I thought it important to get my story out and continue to build public awareness about Hep. C!)

Anyway, the article came out yesterday - CENTER SPREAD!!!  All I can say is, "WOWIE!"  LOL!  That Kimberly is an awesome writer!  She did a great job!  (The only thing is she quote me as saying my blood results came back with a "high red blood cell count" when what I actually said was they came back with a "high liver enzyme count"!  Anyway, it's a 1/2 page and has a recent picture I took of myself (holding the camera out in front of me and saying "cheese!" and believe it or not, it came pretty good!  LOL!

And the Biggest, GREATEST news of all...YESTERDAY was my BELOVED GRANNY's 90TH BIRTHDAY!  She is the youngest, hippest Granny in the ENTIRE WORLD!  LUV YOU GRANNY WITH ALL MY HEART!!!!  Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!!!! xoxoxo

Peace and Best,

Wednesday, March 5th

You know the saying, "anything can go wrong, it will go wrong!"...well generally I don't subscribe to such sayings as that but the reality is, that has ABSOLUTELY been the case, as of late!  We're talking website problems, ebook-pdf transfer problems, computer crashes, etc...etc...I really don't want to go into specific details with each situation because it is entirely frustrating and upsetting and I'm trying to move forward now.

Let it suffice to say that the biggest disappointment and downer was the fact that immediately after the Long Beach Herald article came out, my Host's server went down and I had NO sites up for since Saturday afternoon until yesterday - when I finally got this site up and running and ONLY because I finally switched servers.  This has happened time and time again with the company I am using and I gave them many, many (TOO MANY!) opportunities to rectify the situation.  The timing was AWFUL because people pay thousands of dollars to get the type of publicity & press I had been getting FOR FREE and all this free press has basically been for naught!  What a waste!  Trying to think on a positive note, at least it wasn't the Montel Williams Show that had just aired (with several million viewers a day!) - so this last down time gave me the push to finally bust a move and switch companies!

I rushed and worked like a maniac (24/7) to get everything up and running before the article came out and as a result - I basically wasn't eating OR taking my meds as prescribed (aside from my weekly shots) OR my nutritional supplements.  On a good note, I dropped 4 lbs, but on a bad note, I'm not doing my liver any good but not following my prescribed medical regime!   There was actually one period of time where I was up for 26 1/2 hours straight!!!

I am more deeply in debt than ever; I had to borrow money from my mother to get a new pc - since mine had crashed and this is a high-priority  necessity! 

I am currently concentrating heavily now on on the marketing aspects of my book!  My brother asked me to prepare a flyer so he could pass them out throughout his school district (he's a teacher).  I designed and printed the flyers and they came GREAT!  (I included within "Available for Speaking Engagements!")  I'm going to grab Barney AND his g.f. and hit some parking lots and start passing these babies out EVERYWHERE!  My goal is to get The Cyber-Dating Guru to be a HOUSEHOLD NAME!!!

I went to Staples and had some of my Manuals bound so they are now ready to be shipped!  (I dropped a copy off at the new book store that opened in my home town - I was told the owner helps writers get published!  You never know...)

My friend Tommy came by 2 nights in a row and he's helping me with the submission of my site to search engines.  -- Basically, I have a "punch list" of about 80 pages long....and ever-growing!

So that's just a FEW of the things I've been up to as of late... And how was YOUR week?

P&B,

R


Thursday, March 3, 2003

O.K!  Here’s the deal with the meds….This medication that I’m on makes me miserable and irritable and itchy and bitchy!  It also makes me anxious and depressed AND lethargic and fatigued beyond belief. When I am vigilant and rigorous about taking them (especially the daily Ribovirin Pills)  they basically just kick my ass!  I have to either cut back more on the pills or stop taking them altogether!  I can't get anything accomplished - they put a giant fog over me (which is the LEAST of the sides), make me want to rip my hair out and pull my face off (from the itchiness), make me moody, cranky and just wanting to DIE like HERE & NOW!  It's NO WAY for me to live!  I just don't think I can continue the course.  I will continue with my weekly injections (and deal with the side affects for the 1-3 days after) but these daily pills have got to be cut-back more (to 2 or 3/day) or done-away with!

I am seeing Dr. Palmer Monday night and will tell her my thoughts about this.  I just have too much going on in my life right now and I need to be fully functioning (or at the very least, functioning 4 out of 7 days) and whilst on these meds - it's impossible!  My hopes are that once my book is marketed Gang-Buster style, it  will start to sell and I can get some money in the bank and do this treatment properly and...just kick-back or take to bed when I have to.   

In the past few weeks because I was so crazed with getting my book out there (before all the Press, etc. hit), I missed taking many dosages of the Ribovirin pills and for 2 weeks, the old Robin started to come back to life!  It really made me aware how different I am (and life is for me) while on this medication.  In the past few days I tried to get back on-track with the pills (and my supplements, etc.) and by yesterday, I was totally messed up - I could barely function throughout the day!  I was just plain MISERABLE and uncomfortable!  After having a day like that, there was NO WAY, I could take those pills last night OR again this morning!  

I was in such a dark place again yesterday, all I could  think last night on my way home from work was was my liver;  chances are, eventually I'm going to die from liver failure anyway and I'd much rather go out with a *bang* than going out being miserable, depressed and hopeless, etc., etc...which is how I feel when I'm on this s* * *!   (Well, at least I've given up alcoholic libations -- that aughta be good for SOMETHING and add a few more years to my life here or there!)  So...I might not make it around to see my Grandkids some day - yeah, I feel bad about that - REAL BAD-- especially 'cause I always want to be here for Barney - but I don't feel like I do Barney one bit of good while I'm on these meds and...I don't want him to remember me like THIS!  I want him to remember me for being a happenin', rockin', happy-go-lucky, up-beat, exciting & fun, make-it-happen kinda Momma!  Not this Mother who complains about how crappy she's feeling all time and takes to her bed the second she walks in the door after work - or who spends entire weekends at a time lying there in bed, sleeping and flipping channels!  Uggghhhh! - WHO IS THAT PERSON?  I feel like a "Body-Snatcher" took the REAL Robin and replaced her with this horrifying imposter!)  .

Anyway, the fact is I'm probably going to get a big "tongue-lashing" from Doc Palmer on Monday but that's the way it's got to be for now!

In the meantime, I really have to think about the possibility of finding a boyfriend and STAYING WITH HIM with him long enuf to convince him to give me half his liver, once mine does fail!  *kidding*- (kinda-sorta!)  They do that procedure A LOT now!  Cut one liver in half - do a transplant and then the 2 halves turn into 2 whole livers - one in each body!  (The only problem with this is, I'm generally attracted to dysfunctional men or men who have been dysfunctional at one time of their life or another; the chances of a dysfunctional man having a healthy liver are slim to none!  Of course, if I'm gonna go the transplant route - I have to find someone whose liver's in good shape and has a fighting chance in my Bod- because I will still have this god-forsaken virus and eventually, it WILL start to attack the new liver - unless they can come up with a treatment for Hep C better than what's available right now!)  I will however, start taking resumes on livers now - so if you're interested in sharing your liver with me - send me your liver's resume (to my P.O. Box) and I'll get back to you promptly and let you know if YOUR liver got the job or not!   Might as well start the interview process now!  We'll make a game out of it -- sorta like a "Joe Millionaire" "The Bachelor"  or "GONG-SHOW" if you will, for livers!  Maybe I can turn this into a "Reality TV Show"!   

So!   What's the bottom line here?... The bottom line is I honestly don't know how many years I've got left with what I've got goin' in my body!  (But then again, do any of us really know?  And, do I want to spend a lot of time thinking about it?  Nope and nope!)

: )

P&B

R

P.S.  My computer arrived today AND both my sites are UP and RUNNING!  YAYYYYYYY!!!!  GET BACK!!!! -- There's NO STOPPING ME NOW!   On the way in to work on the train this morning, I started to write (in shorthand) the first paragraph of my NEW book -- my LIFE STORY!   When I told my brother, Matt, what my plans were for my next book he said, "you'd better a few years until a couple of people die first!"  LOL!  (He meant family members of course!   We don't want to shock any of my beloved family into an early grave!  This new book will be the UNEDITED version!<g>)

Monday, March 10th 

I had to call in sick today!  I just couldn't get up and moving - just felt all-around awful!  Sooo tired and achey!  I had my monthly appt. with Doc Palmer tonight and told her I just can't continue the course of treatment I've been on and today really sent the point home!  The fact that these meds are interfering with my ability to work to show up for work is a biggie!  I told Doctor Palmer that I need to show up for life today in a BIG WAY!  I can't just kick back and expect and take to bed when I feel like it!  Hopefully, once my book gets selling and I can get some money put into the bank for security, I will then be able to take on this treatment, the way I need to.  In the meantime, I asked Dr. Palmer how long before my liver goes out and she said I could expect to be in cirrhosis within 10 years.  We've made the decision together that I will continue with my weekly 2 injections (of Interferon and Neupogen) but drop the daily Ribovirin pills.  This way, hopefully, I'll only suffer 2-3 days after the injections and be able to function the remainder of the week (until the next injection).

I've come up with a new "dream" and goal...I want to turn my site, www.CyberDatingGuru.com into a MEGA-DATING SITE (ala match.com and , etc).   What would make my site better or different from the others, you may ask?  Well, the fact that I AM The GURU is the major factor here!  -- That, in conjunction with the personal edge I would add to my site.  If you were going to join a dating site, would you rather join a site run by a conglomerate of people you don't know or would you rather join a site run by a woman whose face & name you've come to recognize and who you KNOW has been there and done it!???!!!  I rest my case!  : )

P&B,

Robin

P.S.  I got another nasty email today from yet another who took it upon themselves to write me a negative, judgmental email, without ever bothering to read my site!  I know I shouldn't let it but that stuff just kills me!  How can people be like that?  *shaking head* 

Tuesday, March 18th 

Well, I do seem to be feeling much better these past 2 days.  The first really good days I've had in a few week.  I guess the Ribovirin is finally leaving my system (not that it's doing my LIVER any good!)  

Not a lot to tell today - I'm still working on the promoting and marketing of my book and my www.CyberDatingGuru.com site (as well as the fine-tuning of the site, that continuously needs to be done!)  It seems the more I learn, the more I need to learn!!!  There is SO much to do and not nearly enough hours in the day to accomplish what I need to (to make any significant changes in our lives!)  I just keep going, one-day-at-a-time and continue to have faith!

On a VERY EXCITING NOTE, the owner of the local bookstore in my home town called me (I had dropped off the "Printed Manual" of my Book, THE CYBER-DATING GURU'S GUIDE TO ONLINE DATING a few weeks back but the salesgirl neglected to mention it!)  The owner told me he just read thru the book and it was "very good" and offered to sell the book in his store!  So, there you have it!  I am, really and truly an Official Author now with a book on bookstore shelves and everything!   Matt, the owner of the bookstore said he'd only keep 20% of the profits (stocking fee); we'll sell the book discounted for $14.95.  After all costs and fees are deducted, I will profit $10/book!  That's $10 more than I had yesterday (if it sells, that is!).  

My friend Gary read the book this past week (he's separated from his marriage about 5 months now); he also loved it!  He said, "It was as FUNNY as it was informative!"  Right on!

I've also sent out copies of the Manual to Montel's people, as well as to The Learning Annex (to continue to pursue the possibility of teaching Adult Ed classes on Cyber-Dating!) 

Did I state earlier in my writing, "not a lot to tell today?"  LOL!  Oh yes...while "fine-tuning" my www.CyberDatingGuru.com site Sunday morning, I managed to delete my entire NAVIGATION BAR!  That really sucked in the worst way!  I spent about 6 hours Sunday (which was the FIRST NICE DAY we've had in what seems like YEARS) indoors, trying to remedy the situation - the Nav. Bar is back up but not like it was.  Before I continue to spend many more hours on the site (which I build in MS Front Page), I will now begin to teach myself (via Tutorials and Library Books)  DreamWeaver - which is THE WEB program, that anybody who is ANYBODY is now using.  Like I said, the more I learn, the more I need to learn and... the more I do, the more I need to do!  My friend Tommy said, "You don't have a To-Do List, you have a "To-Do BOOK!"   It's SO true!    (My G.F. Marilyn said I will NEVER get Alzheimers!   "As long as you learn something new every day!"  Good to know!  Glad my Brain Cells will AT LEAST hang in for the duration!  LOL! 

P&B!

P.S.  Dr. Palmer gave me the name of her Publisher and I sent him a copy of my Manual, as well.  Regardless of whether or not they (Penguin Putnam) would be interested in publishing my book, I would love any feedback they could possibly offer.  (Who knows...if they have no interest, maybe they know someone who does!)   Here's hoping....

 

 

 

 "Dance like no one is watching... Love like you've never been hurt... Sing like no one is listening... and Live like it's Heaven on Earth!"