Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Over It

Jacqueline Laurita weighs in on the fight and opens up about her son's autism.

The drama in Jersey never ends! I can't even believe all the things I saw and heard during this episode. To be honest with you, at this point I just couldn't take it anymore. I was about to shut down. I am going to be honest with you and tell you where my head was at this point.

Back it up to that make-up hug between Teresa and I, where all seemed so sincere. It was on my end. I finally felt at peace with us. I needed to feel that at that point in time. There were some things that happened afterward that made me question her sincerity, but I’m not even going to bring it up now.

The trip was nearly over, and I had a lot going on in my head at the time. Most of you have already heard the news that my youngest son, Nicholas, has been diagnosed with autism. This trip came at a time where it was all coming to a head. The entire cast and crew knew at this point that we were dealing with some serious issues with my son, but we just didn't have a label on it yet. The cast and crew, including Teresa (surprisingly), respected that until we got the diagnosis and a treatment plan in place for our son, we wanted to keep it private. At this point, it was a race to get him help and every step of the way was another waiting game. Waiting to get in to see different doctors, waiting for insurance, waiting for home therapy, putting a diet and supplement plan into place, researching and seeking out help, etc. It consumed me. The petty, redundant drama was like static in my ears or like nails on a chalkboard. I was SO OVER IT!

Caroline was not playing the game and may have come across a bit harsh at times. Caroline was being REAL while others were not. I, personally, couldn't take the fighting anymore. None of it mattered to me anymore.

When everyone started fighting, I felt like I had already said what I wanted to say to Teresa's  face. I had nothing left to say, so I chose to shut my eyes, stay out of it, and tune all the fighting out. I actually really did fall asleep in the end. I can sleep through just about anything. Apparently, Albert can too. LOL!

Caroline had been holding it all in for a while, so I think she needed to unload. I feel horrible that Caroline felt like she went to battle alone. She wasn't alone. I think after watching this season and reading my blogs, she has seen me speak up and tell the truth. I hope she found some peace in the end. Actually, I know she has. We are both doing great!

It amazes me how Teresa can look you in the face and lie the way she does. While Teresa was denying it all to the girls, her husband was about 10 feet away admitting the truth to the guys. The truth is Teresa DID have a relationship with In Touch, they DID pay her, she DID put out articles that weren't always true, and she DID answer all the questions for the content of the article! FINALLY the truth was told ON CAMERA! FINALLY!

I don't see why she just didn't admit to this in the first place. It was ridiculous and totally unnecessary. A simple, "Yes, I put those articles out there because not only did I need the money, but I really didn't like you guys at the time because of X,Y and Z!" Then everyone could have chosen to either accept it, forgive it, and move on or not! It was one thing for Teresa to fake these relationships on camera, but another to try to take the others down OFF camera. On top of that, she was publicly trying to put out there that we were involved with these articles that SHE was putting out there. Unbelievable! Caroline just wanted Teresa to be honest and to tell her how she really felt about her. We ALL knew the truth.

I can’t believe she’d think I’m jealous that she’s on the cover of those magazines. She KNOWS that I have always avoided them as much as possible. And WHY would I be jealous of Teresa's headlines of her being in bankruptcy, afraid of being poor, her husband going to jail, her facing jail time, her friends and family bullying her (while being posed strategically with a prop dog), something about her baby boy that didn't exist, her staged wedding renewal, her husband cheating and calling her a "c"… I could go on and on! No thank you!Honestly, I would never want that for me or my family. That's the truth! There is no jealousy here. I, personally, have always said that I would only want to be on the cover of a reputable magazine with an article that could make a difference in this world, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I've been asked to do covers before, but they were about my rocky relationship with my daughter, Ashlee. No thank you!

I said it once and I will say it again. If Teresa chose to put articles out there about her personal life in a national magazine, she shouldn't get insulted when family or friends ask her about these articles on a national TV show. Their issues were clearly no secret.

I never faulted Teresa for putting out articles for money. She could put out whatever lies about herself she wanted to earn money that she desperately needed, but I just thought she should have warned or clued in her family and friends first about what was real or fake so we didn’t have to worry. I also thought she should have just kept the articles about herself. It crossed the line when Teresa talked negatively about her family and friends in there or tried to blame others for putting it out there. Her hit and runs were the reason why everyone was having problems with her. (Besides the things she said that we were hearing in the industry and from mutual friends.)

I found it interesting when Teresa told everyone that there would be no more bashing them in the tabloids ever again unless someone said something about her. How did she know that? How? Because she controlled them! That episode was filmed exactly a year ago. It was on Caroline's birthday. It is Caroline's birthday today as I write this. How many more articles has Teresa put out since then? They haven't ended have they?

Look, I'm not saying that Teresa never had any right to be mad at her family or friends for anything, because everyone has their own perception of how they were treated. What I do know is that at one point, I saw her family sincerely making an effort to try to resolve things, and I felt that Teresa couldn't let go of anything to be able to move forward and wasn't making sincere steps to resolving it.

As far as Caroline not moving forward... That is because she felt too burned by Teresa to do that and Teresa never took accountability for what she did. The one thing I will say about Caroline is that she was not being fake about how she really felt. She put it out there that she was done with Teresa and that she had no interest in being her friend. She wasn't acting on camera. She wasn't pretending to love, love, love or pretending to want to mend a relationship that she didn't want to have just to please the viewers. You have to respect her for that.

Teresa's real feelings came out when she told Caroline how much she loved her and her family, but when she walked away, she called her an f'ing "C" and that she can go ‘F” herself while Caroline broke down in the other room and cried. Those were everyone's true feelings. Sad huh?Melissa and Joe stood by Teresa whether they thought she was right or wrong. I commend them for that. I'm not sure where that left Kathy. What a mess! I couldn't wait to get home! Let's see what happens next week.

Our reasons for coming forward with our son's diagnosis in People magazine was because we now have a diagnosis and a treatment plan in place. We didn't have that while filming, and we weren't willing to put it out there until we did. The more people that we reached out to for help, the more people knew about out son's issues. My husband and I didn't want to risk his diagnosis coming out in a way that was not controlled by us. We felt that by coming forward with this, it could not only help our child, which it already has, but also bring awareness to autism and possibly help other families who can relate to our situation. There is an enormous support system in the autism community along with resources and connections to be shared.  I think that others should be aware of this. I want us all to connect. I believe that while one treatment may work for one child, it may not necessarily work for another. But by sharing the options that are out there, we may just find the missing pieces that help our children to recover. We chose to tell our story to People magazine because of their outstanding reputation and outreach. We knew they would be sensitive to our story and not get it twisted. Did you know that People magazine reaches over 43 million viewers? That blew my mind.  To put that in perspective, In Touch magazine, who you are also familiar with, only reaches around  680,000. I think we made the right choice of magazine and did the article for the right reasons AND without pay. We were very pleased with the article. I can't thank People magazine enough for doing the article right and giving us part of their cover as well as giving us their exclusive feature story. We were thrilled!

I also thank my team ENV consulting and my autism expert consultant, Lauren Underwood, PhD who stood by my side and guided me through it every step of the way. My family and friends have been a HUGE support system for us, and so have all of my social media friends! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your understanding, compassion, resources, connections, and support! We are very grateful and we are optimistic for Nick's recovery! XOXO!

If you know anyone with Autism, check out these websites for resources:
www.centerforautism.comCheck out my website I'll put Nicholas updates on my website as well as some helpful tips on dealing with a child with autism.

Please donate or walk with me on "Team Laurita" for Autism Speaks or join me at the "Sparkle Speaks" event for Autism Speaks at the Brownstone on September 20th at 7:00pm.

Check out if you are having issues with acne.

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Take care! See you next week! XOXO!

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Why Amber Shares Her Cancer Story

Amber Marchese explains what inspired her to open up about her battle with cancer.

Hello Housewives friends! I hope all of you are enjoying the month of October. Halloween is a rather big deal in the Marchese home, especially for Isabella. You would think she would be afraid of the zombies, witches, and ghosts, but nope, nothing could be too “scary” or “spooky” for her. All of the boys are super busy with school, lacrosse, and CCD, but we always make family time a huge part of our lives. We truly love our time together and cherish every moment together. Sebastian just celebrated his 12th birthday! He is high honors in school and the sweetest young man, we could not be more proud of him. Not a day goes by that he does not give out a compliment to me and/or a hug. Michael is starting the process of applying to high schools. He is also high honors and he is so much like me in so many ways. We have such an amazing bond. Corbin is doing amazing in school and loves lacrosse. Corbin is my quick-witted stinker. He could seriously charm a snake out of basket just by talking. And Isabella, my sweet Isabella. That little girl just melts my heart. Not a day goes by without her hugging, kissing, and telling me how much she loves me. She is funny, light hearted, and sensitive. Clearly, my side of the family. We are getting ready to take our annual “Sleepy Hollow” trip to see the Great Pumpkin Blaze and Headless Horseman attraction. We have been taking this trip for years and the kids just cannot get enough of it. I will post pictures on my social media. 

October is also breast cancer awareness month. I would like to thank Bravo for allowing me to share my story. I am completely honored and grateful to have had the ability to film these amazing moments in my life. When I think of where I was just five years ago to now, I am just in complete amazement. I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but if my story encourages even just one person to be proactive with their health, then I have accomplished what I came to do. 

So, you ask? Why? Why do I share my story? Good question, and I will give you a little background. I was 31-years-old when I noticed lumps. While I was breast feeding my daughter, I found several little lumps in my right breast. Jim encouraged me to get them checked out. Really? Ugh… I am a busy mother, I don’t have time for this! Do you know what kind of pain in the ass it is to drag babies to the doctor?! Besides, I am Sicilian, I am prone to cysts. I was sure it was just cysts, since I had many throughout my twenties. All benign, innocent little cysts. However, I begrudgingly went to my gynecologist. My doctor, to my surprise, was concerned. She did not bring my mind to a bad place, but she insisted that I get an ultrasound. After I received my results, my doctor took one look at the ultrasound results and sent me straight to a surgeon for a biopsy. That surgeon sent me away telling me not to worry about it and that my doctor was being far too overly cautious. He felt that she was creating unnecessary stress and anxiety. Despite this surgeon’s position, amazingly, my doctor insisted that I get a biopsy. Well, I got the biopsy, which came back as “atypical cells,” which then required a lumpectomy for further evaluation. To my absolute horror, the surgeon called me to tell me that had “invasive carcinoma”, AKA breast cancer. As you already may know, I went through many surgeries, including a double mastectomy, and a year and half of chemotherapy/adjunctive therapy. I had an aggressive form of breast cancer, so time and aggressive treatment were crucial for me. Fact is, if I would have listened to the surgeon, I would not be here to write this blog to all of you. What you may not know is there are many options for newly diagnosed women with breast cancer. My surgery involved having tissue form my dorsal region transplanted to reconstruct my breasts. There was also skin grafting and tattooing to insure a more natural look. I was pleasantly surprised at my physical appearance post-surgery. My husband and I spent hours researching options for both treatment and reconstruction. My advice to newly diagnosed individuals is to bring a friend, cousin, uncle, wife, husband, whoever to help you take notes on what the doctor is saying. You need someone there to accurately hear through all of the nerves and anxiety. 

After all of my treatment, I had a follow up with my doctor. I asked her, why? Why did she push me so hard to make sure I was properly diagnosed? She told me a story that brought her back to the days of her residency. There was a young girl in her twenties that was dying in the hospital from breast cancer. This young women told my doctor her story. Several years earlier she found a lump, but not one doctor took the lump seriously telling her that she was too young and to go live her life. Unbeknownst to her, she was living with breast cancer and by the time she was diagnosed, it was way into the advanced stages of breast cancer. The young women soon passed on, but her story saved my life. I will never let that young, beautiful woman die in vain without passing her story onto you. So when people dare to say to me, “You talk about cancer too much,” or, “You're using cancer as a card,” I say to them don’t you dare try to shut me up with your ignorance. As another cancer survivor and friend, Brian Dowd, who works tirelessly with the Livestrong foundation said to me once, “As a survivor, it is your duty to tell your story to potentially save others.” That has been etched in my mind ever since, and I proudly will take those marching orders. 

For me the point of this photo shoot was to capture triumph, strength, and victory. I may have the scars, my breasts will never be the same, but I have never felt more powerful and beautiful in my life. If you would like to see more photos from the shoot, check them out here. I wear these scars with pride, as I have earned them. I was completely surprised by my husband when he planned the dinner at the gallery. It was amazing -- three dozen red roses, my pictures on the walls and the paintings -- the whole experience was breathtaking. Jim made sure every detail was covered. He had wine glasses with our family crest as well as a wine carafe. He even had a real shield made for us with my family crest married to his. You can see them all here. Jim and I have seen good and bad times in our lives, but we always manage to make sure we show our appreciation towards each other. I give him a solid TEN for romantic nights and for the planning. For me, it is the thought that counts and this was the perfect way for us to celebrate our love for life. If you would like to see a short video of the filming in the barn I have attached the link. I have learned much about myself and my family this season, but no lesson has been more important than how much the little things matter.

Final note, I have been working hard to raise awareness for breast cancer! Here are a couple of events that I attended throughout the month of October. If you want to donate to any of these organizations, I would be more than grateful!

1. Team NBHN / Team Tackle Jacobi Medical Center, North Central Bronx Hospital

2. Brian Wiltz and his soccer team “Think Pink” soccer game raised money for an organization near and dear to my heart, The Beauty Foundation.

3. The Think Pink event at the Pueblo Convention Center in Pueblo, CO, on October 2.

The Think Pink event supports diagnostic screenings for under insured and underserved women in Pueblo County, the event encourages Breast cancer awareness for the community and reminds everyone to always get checked. 

4. I filmed a segment on The Real airing tomorrow, October 17. They dedicated an entire episode to Breast Cancer Awareness month! I hope you check it out!

Thank you and many blessings, 

Amber Marchese

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