Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!

Before, After!

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Little Engine That Could Not

Last Friday, a friend in Washington, D.C. was throwing a birthday party (Happy Birthday, if *you* are reading this!) so I decided to go up and attend. It's a long time since I've seen him and the group of friends who planned on being there.

Since I was way too tired and sick to drive, I thought I'd take the train. I bought a ticket and went to the train station.

It turned out that the train was five hours behind schedule, so Amtrak decided to throw us on a bus. There were two stops before DC: Culpeper and Manassas. Fine. Only one problem: the driver was an idiot. He had never driven to Culpeper and Manassas. He claimed to have "googled the directions" (yeah, that is *so* reliable) which took us in circles on the way to Culpeper. We tried and tried to give him directions, but he was cocky and refused to listen. On the way to Manassas there was an accident, so we had to stop for at least thirty minutes until the cops cleared it. We aimlessly wandered forever until we somehow stumbled into DC.

The trip lasted six excruciating hours. I missed the party altogether, and the chance to have caught up with my friends. Many of the passengers demanded their money back when we arrived at Union Station. I was too tired to care so I just left.

That is the last time I will EVER take the train to DC.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Radiation Update

1) I was originally going to title this entry as "Shamp-ew my hair!" Here's why:

Friday night: I took a shower and had my eyes closed from soaping my face. I wondered why my hands felt funny, so I rinsed my face and looked at my palms: they were covered with hair. I rinsed off and stared at the tub. Hair everywhere. I freaked out and called my parents to come and see the spectacle.

Saturday night: Knowing that it would happen again, I dreaded taking another shower. But I decided to get it over with. Hair flew everywhere, kinda' like Edward Scissorhands when he trimmed a bush, only this time, he's attacking my hair. Next thing you know, I clogged up Paul's drain completely. He showered and received a half-bath after me because the water level in the tub kept rising and rising.

Tonight: Showered, and like Shakespeare's MacBeth, I could not fully rid my hands and body of all the hair. "Out, loose hair! Out I say!"

That's it. I'm going to, like the three times when I had brain surgery, go to the barber shop and get what's left on my head buzzed off.

2) I've also lost my sense of taste. Everything tastes bland or weird. Everything except chocolate (whew!)

3) Either because of radiation or the brain tumor, my hearing is off. Everyone sounds like they're singing or speaking in a tin can. They also sound electronica-like, similar to Justin's "Sexyback".

4) I've also lost my voracious appetite. I pick at food. I eat slowly. It hurts to swallow unless it's soft or something that melts (chocolate!)

Bottom line: Seven more treatments, seven more sessions to go, and I am done with this TORTURE. I hurt. I'm tired. I'm going bald.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Triple Treat Thursday

What do you watch Thursday night at 8PM? The networks fire with guns full of top-rated shows: CBS has "Survivor", ABC has "Ugly Betty", and NBC has "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office".

Can you guess what show I picked to watch tonight? All three. I hooked up two VCRs (man, do I miss TiVo) to tape CBS and ABC while I watched NBC live on a third TV. Ahh, couch potato heaven. Perfect for a tired little filipino.

In case you were wondering which show America watches, the highest weekly Nielsen ratings regularly belong to "Survivor".

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mile Thirteen

I'm halfway through running this radiation marathon. It has been a tough race. That enemy of a machine loves knocking me down and zapping all my energy, but I get up and keep moving forward.

The three "anchors" in my life (Paul, my sister, and my best friend) are constantly pumping optimism and putting strength in me. They always have an ear to listen to my weariness. Even my mom and dad have been very good. My mom goes with me to treatment every day. When I come home, Dad's always there waiting and smiling, ready to open the car door.

Some of you have also sent me happy e-mails and cards pushing me on. Thank you! I mean it.

I cannot wait to get this over with. Halfway done, and the glass is lookin' half full.

Monday, October 23, 2006

For My Readers That Enjoy Running:

Sorry you can't read it. The guy speaking to his friend is saying "So why run in there when all the scenery's out here!"

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Magical "Prestige"

I watched "The Prestige" this weekend with Paul.

Now, I know I've blogged about and praised many movies before, but this movie sings. It's stunning and will leave you breathless! I remember when the movie finished: the audience was completely silent from being shocked out of their seats.

Three days have past since I've seen it but I still replay *things* about it in my head. I'm definitely seeing it again very, very soon.

Go see it for me. If you don't like it you're blind and deaf, but e-mail me your honest review and I'll personally refund your money.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Here's What The Hype Is All About.

Ah, here I am, frolicking through the fields, smelling the flowers, and enjoying the day.

(That is the fakest smile I've ever made.)

The mask over my face is to hold me still and promote accuracy. I look like Jason from "Friday the 13th" series. Kill, kill, kill!


My hair is starting to fall out. I shampooed last night and strands were coming out everywhere.

To make matters worse, I only got three hours of sleep.

I feel like I'm falling apart.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Radiation is making me so sick. Today's the worst I've felt.

I'm not even 25% through.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I prostituted myself! I put on cheap make-up and gave up my self-worth to make a buck last Friday by waiting in line at 5AM to pre-reserve a Wii (pronounced "we"), the latest Nintendo console arriving Christmas.

I'm so ashamed. Perhaps I shouldn't re-sell it.

There's more to this story, but I'm blinded by the scarlet A on my chest.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Two sessions of radiation done and I'm already feeling something. Something is wrong: the contraption they have me in is not a tomotherapy machine, it's a vacuum cleaner because it sucks all the energy and heat out of my body leaving me completely exhausted and cold, very cold.

And here's the kicker: they have me lying under the vacuum cleaner for an hour and a half, and I shouldn't move at all. Not even my toes and fingers. The pill that's supposed to sedate me doesn't work either.

"Therapy" my butt. "Therapy" sounds like something that's supposed to make you feel better.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Not Omitted, But Delayed

For those of you who were wondering why I haven't blogged about me going through tomotherapy and feeling its side effects, it's because I haven't started. Difficulties with programming the tomotherapy machine kept pushing back the start date, until now.

I start tomorrow. It's locked-in and etched in stone. 3:45PM Wednesday.

I'm supposed to lay perfectly still for an hour and a half for my first session. The doctors and I knew that it's a very difficult thing to do, so they prescribed me something that'll knock me out in a half hour after I take it.

Here we go...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Now Showing

Why is candy always more tempting at the movies? I pass it all the time at the grocery store and never buy any of it, but when I go to the concession stand at the theatre, it all looks so good!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


The local chapter of American Cancer Society had a black tie gala with a silent auction, dinner, and dancing with a live band. They honored ten cancer survivors to attend and receive an award, one of them which was me! I was so flattered and humbled.

In typical Ernie fashion, he wanted to stand out and do something different, so he picked out and wore a white dinner jacket.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

E.D. Phone Home


After talking things over with Paul, I'm moving back to D.C. We're kicking our tenants out, and on December 1st, we move back into our house in Arlington, Virginia.

We thought about it hard. But if the doctor's prognosis happens to be right, I'd like to be back in my own house, living in the same city as my partner, and perhaps get a little puppy.

But shhh! Don't tell my parents- they know nothing yet.

See you in December, Washington.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Paul Was Hit By A Car.

No joke.

It happened last Thursday. Around 10:00PM, I got a call from a witness who saw Paul get struck by a car while jogging. Apparently the car hit him while he was crossing the street with sixteen seconds still left on a green pedestrian light. The ambulance showed up and took him to the ER. I got dressed, hopped in a cab, and met them there.

Paul was bruised and in a lot of pain. X-rays were performed only to report no broken bones (thank goodness). He was sent home at 2AM tremendously injured and with a splint on his arm.

The driver admitted fault to the police.

The reason why I waited to blog about this was that we first wanted to get a copy of the police report. It's in our hands, and we're ready to go to court.

If you'd like to say your "get well soon" to Paul, you can wish him a speedy recovery through me or e-mail him at spackmanp@hotmail.com

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I Scream, You Scream For...Spaghetti?

Goodness gracious. Just when I thought I've seen it all, along comes spaghetti ice cream. Yup, it's real and something you make yourself. There's even lasagna. My eyes say "Prego", but my tastebuds say "Breyer's".

Click here to find out more and watch the commercial.

Mercy, mercy me.