Tuesday, February 28, 2006

$ Update

On a snowy Thursday in January, I was sick with a brain tumor and had to have emergency surgery. I was in the hospital recovering for over a week. I had doctor visits, catscans galore, hospital meals, and blood withdrawn from my veins almost every day ALL WITHOUT ANY HEALTH INSURANCE. That's right. My health insurance in Sydney didn't cover you outside of Australia.

About a week later while recovering at home, the maill arrived. In it was a bill that said I owed $34,000. I felt light-headed. $34K- that's a new car or a down payment on a house. I don't have that kind of money lying around, I was at a new job for barely a week when this all happened.

An aunt of mine who worked at the hospital said I should apply for patient financial assistance. I called them, and they explained that they only accepted people who were indigent. I had indigestion, but that's another story. I decided to apply. I sent off my application, my financial statements they required, and a letter from my parents letting them know that they provide me meals, transportation and housing.

The mail came yesterday. One was for me, marked "Patient Financial Assistance Program". I broke a sweat when I opened it up.

I GOT APPROVED! 100% COVERED! I don't owe a dime. Whew! I looked up at the ceiling and thanked God he showed favor on this storyline in the brain tumor soap. Now it's time to wrap up the rest, especially the twin brother that I thought I never had.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Dr. Deomampo

I know you're not supposed to self-diagnose yourself, but I think I know what my problem is. I don't go into a deep sleep. Some nights, I sleep for eight hours, only to wake up feeling completely exhausted. It's as if I'm catnapping for the entire night. I think that's why I have such problems concentrating and remembering things.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Updated or outdated?

Not sure which is it.

The doctor called me and told me two things:

1) The reason why they have taken so long to do a pathology report is that my tumor, in his choice of words, is a "very rare" case. "You're not textbook", he continued, "the pathologist hasn't seen a tumor like yours in quite some time. You're off the chart." They now need untouced specimen slides from my previous tumors- the slides that were sent to him last week had already been tested.

2) The problem I had- "hydrocephalus" (the abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain) was solved, but the TUMOR NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED. I thought they took care of the tumor, but all they did was fix the problem. He continued to dodge my questions, but he basically said that the pathology report will reveal what is the next step, possibly additional brain surgery, radiation, or who knows what.

I hung up the phone in total shock. I had no idea. I thought I was done and over this. I guess I'm not.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Multiple Personalities Of Ernie

Clockwise: Dopey, Sleepy, Sleazy, Snow White

Friday, February 17, 2006


I just called the doctor- no results yet. They need more specimen slides of my previous surgeries.

What's their excuse next week? President's Day? What's their excuse two weeks from now? Too many slides?

GRRRRR. I'm stewing, which is increasing my inner-cranial pressure (a bad thing for me).

Patholo-gee whiz.

As of today, I had brain surgery over three weeks ago, and still haven't gotten a pathology report back. They're *supposedly* reviewing my case this morning and will give me an answer later on today.

They're driving me out of my mind with my mind!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"Happy Balentime!"

(That's in the words of my mom.)

What's up with Ernie's love life? Well, in case you didn't know, he's going to work things out with Paul.

And as much as some of you think that I'm a fool to take the boy back, my love for him never completely went away. After being with him for 10 1/2 years, you can't just make it go away.

The only way I can explain how I feel is like when you take a glass of water and put one itty-bitty drop of red food coloring in it. It's still water, it just has a different hue to it.

"Happy Balentime" to everyone. Thank you for your love and support for me and my family during this time. May the love in your life get struck hard by Cupid this year.


Saturday, February 11, 2006


Before...After! Thanks, Oprah!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Grocery List For Brokeback Mountain

Weekly Grocery Lists for Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist
Summer, 1963




Coffee (espresso grind)
2 tubes K-Y

Fresh Fava beans
Jasmine rice
Prosciutto, approx. 8 ounces, thinly sliced
Medallions of veal
Porcini mushrooms
1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 Cub Scout uniform, size 42 long
5-6 bottles good Chardonnay
1 large bottle Astro-glide

Yukon Gold potatoes
Heavy whipping cream
Asparagus (very thin)
Gruyere cheese (well aged)
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
6 yards white silk organdy
6 yards pale ivory taffeta
Case of Chardonnay

(I'm taking a health break from all my health stuff. Got this courtesy from my friend John in Washington, D.C.)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Brain Vs. Mouf'

I have this other symptom: I think "cat" but say "dog". It's like the word is in my head, and either I stutter, or I come up with a substitute word that isn't quite right. My best friend Dave told me on the phone a couple of nights ago what the proper term is for that disconnection, but I can't remember what he said.

I guess that's another problem all together.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Health Update

After yanking out a specimen of the brain tumor more than over a week ago, the lab has yet to give a pathology report back detecting whether the tissue is malignant or benign. Their
lame reason is that they wanted to compare these new specimen slides to older ones from previous surgeries, instead of going by the old pathology report.

I know that people have wondered how I'm holding up. Here's the only way I know to sum it up: I'm cold all the time and never feel hungry (possibly because the tumor is near my hypothalmus, controlling body temperature, appetite, and sleep cycles.) I also feel tired all the time.

I'm also contemplating going back to work next Monday, which may be a mistake.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Exactly What Dave Said Below.

That's all I feel like writing. I'm too tired to think and write, so I'll take the easy route and post a picture of me since leaving the hospital on Monday. I'm tired, in pain, and am very anxious about the pathology report that has yet to come back. Thank you for the voicemail, cards, and e-mails you showered me with during this stressful time.