Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ernie- Unplugged

I leave for the Philippines very early today. I'm going to a rural area named Batangas, where there's not much of anything except for my dad's side of the family and the church my parents started several years ago.

Perfect time to write and blog a lot, right? Not exactly. Here's the thing- I won't have access to the web where I'm staying, since it's expensive and slow. But I know there's an internet cafe at the nearest city, which I'll try my best to get to as often as possible.

Until then, I'm on the all-new, only one in the world, double decker A-380 plane!

What An Interesting Group.

This is where I get my hair done. Scary group of Asians, ain't it? Look at the expression on my face. I'm not sure why, but I just don't seem to fit in.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More From The Doctor

Rather than cut and paste, I'm just going to get right to it:

1) It's confirmed that multiple brain tumors have increased in size
2) Several of the brain tumors could cause hydrocephalus, a dangerous problem if not handled immediately. (Google "hydrocephalus". I've had it before- fortunately, I was in Charlottesville when it happened.)
3) Treatment options when I return: more chemo, more radiation, or another brain surgery
4) He recommends I come home soon, and begin treatment immediately.

I've had a tough week grieving.

Kubler-Ross' 5 stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance
Ernie's 5 stages of grieving: denial, anger, shopping, eating, Porsche

Monday, October 29, 2007


I don't know why people have or get "diarrhea of the mouth". Do they think we're really listening as they continue to "blahdy, blahditty, blah blah..."? Do they think we actually care about every little meaningless detail that falls out from their mouth? They couldn't survive as newswriters because they have terrible editing skills.

This is the t-shirt I saw in Provincetown in July. I should have bought one myself.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

This Sounds Like Me. Does It Sound Like You?

Quote from "Waitress" movie (which I just saw and *loved*)

Jenna: "Cal, are you happy? I mean, when you call yourself a happy man, do you really mean it?"

Cal: "You ask a serious question, I'll give you a serious answer: Happy enough. I don't expect much. I don't get much, I don't give much. I generally enjoy whatever comes along. That's my answer for you, summed up for your feminine consideration. I'm happy enough."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yesterday's Epiphany:

"When life gives you lemons, eat KFC popcorn chicken."

-Wise sayings I make up

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lost In Translation?

On August 24th, "War", starring Jason Statham and Jet Li opened up in the US.

Nearly two months later, the exact same movie opened here in Australia as "Rogue Assassin".

Why the late release in Australia? Because some studios produce only a limited number of copies of a film, which need to be shared and passed on throughout the world.

But why the change in name? I don't know why studios do this to certain films. It's not like "War" means something different here in Sydney like "Love" or "Best Friends Forever!"

Is it because the movie bombed in the US, so they changed the name to make it sound exciting to see?

If you know the answer, please fill the rest of us in.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Official Word From Me

I can't believe this is happening. There is a monster inside of me, alive, breathing, and growing. While it may not grow too fast, it's getting larger, and it's smart enough to multiply itself in other places. Places where there's no room for anything else.

What am I doing? What am I feeding it? It was asleep for several months, but someone or something woke it up, and now it's haunting me and causing chaos with my feelings.

What's in store for me? Not chemo- it didn't work. Not radiation- my body has "maxed out" on the amount that is considered safe.

Another surgery- no. I'm not going to go through another one. They're hard on the body, horrifically difficult and painfully slow to recover from.

Maybe this is it. Maybe the doctors will say something like, "There's not much more we can do- there's no more options possible at this point." Maybe this is where that disgusting monster inside of me gets to slowly inhabit more and more of my body. It'll start taking over things, one by one, causing problems in my normal day of living. First, hand coordination. Balance. Speaking. Eating. Walking. Breathing.

Or maybe this is when divine intervention will step in. God will say, "Enough!" and the monster will cease to exist.

Like any normal human being, I try to predict the future, but I've done it too many times and was wrong. The thing inside of me has a life of its own and nothing I've done so far has killed it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Official Word From My Doctor

Rather than figure out how to say this, I'm just going to use his words from the e-mail he sent me:

"I think that the tumors (in your brain) are a little bit bigger in your ventricles, around your pituitary and optic chiasm, in your pineal region, and at the bottom of your 4th ventricle. The tumors haven't grown a lot, but I do think they have grown. I do want our neuroradiologists to review the films to confirm this but I am pretty sure I am correct."

Definition of a brain ventricle- One of a system of four communicating cavities within the brain that are continuous with the central canal of the spinal cord

He went on to say that I do not need to go home right away, but when I return, it needs to be discussed immediately. He did not indicate what, if any, future treatment he recommends.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SPAM Message

I don't know how or why it started up, but a group of friends and I started talking last night about "processed meat products"- from Vienna sausages, potted meat, liverwurst, corned beef, all the way to SPAM.

SPAM is that famous canned concoction of "pork and ham". With it's mysterious sodium nitrite, SPAM became popular in the Philippines during World War II. And now, many years later, Manila has the exclusive restaurant completely licensed and devoted to SPAM lovers.

Called "SPAM Jam", this cafe is located in a world-class shopping mall and cooks up delicacies such as SPAM burgers, SPAM hotdogs, SPAM spaghetti, SPAM macaroni, SPAM-flavored popcorn, and of course, SPAM and rice.

MMMmm. I bet your mouth is watering now.

SPAM is like Britney- you like saying you hate it, but deep down inside, you like it and crave for more.

You'll hear more about the restaurant when I actually visit it in a couple of weeks on my trip to Manila.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Let's Deal With The Pink Pachyderm

I got the results back from the MRI, and faxed the written report to my doctor back in the States. Unfortunately, he's out of town until the 24th of October, so I won't get an official update about what's going on until he gets back.

In the meantime, Paul and I read the report. From what we can understand,decipher, and compare to previous reports, there "appears" to be changes which sound bad. In the report's words, "it (the brain tumor) has re-seeded itself in other areas".

All I know is that last Thursday and Friday were tough for us both. I mean, there's no telling how truly awful this report is.

(The written report of my spine's status was fine. "Nothing remarkable" and "nothing unusual" were phrases used several times. At least that report sounded good.)


Monday, October 15, 2007

"How Can I Get Bigger Muscles?"

I get this question all the time from guys at the gym who need advice or want to talk fitness, the gym members' politics.

Well...(of water- hee!) more than 70 percent of muscle is water. Muscle tissue grows when you feed muscle fibers water and protein.

Most men "get" and overdo the protein side. They drink protein shakes, eat their baked skinless chicken breasts, and consume more meat and beans than they truly need per day to grow. They're correct to some degree...

But they're missing the huge component- water! Why? The protein they're jamming down their throat is "hydroliphic"- it attracts, loves, and holds water.

And boys, since the muscles you want (the big guns, a non-flabby chest, and huge legs) are more than 70% water, the more you drink, the bigger and stronger they will become!

(Side note: water also lubricates your joints. So as you "get big" (gain weight and muscle) you need to lubricate your joints even more to handle the new load you've given it. So drink water. Capiche?)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

M (R) I Having A Nightmare?

I go in today for my fourth round of MRI's here in Sydney. First, the brain scans were incomplete so they asked me to come back in. Then when I did my spine, they realized that it was also incomplete.

Yeah, it's just scans not surgery, but still, it wears you down.

Reports will supposedly be written this afternoon. Shuh, right. I've heard that one before.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

State Of Indiana

Jones- a name I haven't heard in a while. That is, until recently.

At the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, Shia LaBeouf announced the name of the latest Indiana Jones movie. Called "Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull", Indy is slated for a worldwide release next Memorial Day weekend, May 22, 2008. The picture above is Harrison Ford relaxing on set (he doesn't look to bad, does he?), and the other is cast and crew, including Spielberg and Indy's former woman, Marion Ravenwood (played by Karen Allen), from "Raiders Of The Lost Ark". (She is rumored to be Indy's sidekick throughout most of "Crystal Skull".)

There's now an official website from Lucasfilm Productions...and several fansites, one of which said that "Crystal Skull" will open with a scene in the warehouse where the ark of the Covenant was stored in "Raiders".

Monday, October 08, 2007

It "Cracks" Me Up!

Besides water, do you know what other shortage they have here in Sydney?

Underwear. You know how I know? Because I see (ahem) butt crack everywhere. And it's not that I purposely search for it, it's everywhere- men at the gym, women at the restaurants, even people just walking around.

My friends here call it "coin slot" or "piggy bank". Very appropriate.

Friday, October 05, 2007


was a disaster. Not what was in the scans, and not was in the report.

Because American hospitals communicate in a different way than ozzie hospitals, the MRI department misunderstood and performed an MRI of my big toe on the right foot.

(Just kidding.)

They only did a third of what was needed. So...we go back to the drawing board, explain to them what was needed, and hopefully they understand and reschedule me to finish it up.

So much worrying for such little accomplished.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Quit Starin' At Me!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Back To Life, Back To Reality

Ahhh, Sydney. The land of "no worries, mate". Right?

Not on Thursday. For me, I am having my MRI done at the hospital here in Sydney to find out how the brain tumors are doing, whether they've increased/decreased in size, and to see if they've spread elsewhere, such as my spine.

Appointments at 1:15pm.

It's funny. I don't like thinking about it, I don't like talking about it. If you ignore it, it's not there, right?

I just like the big fat pink elephant staring at Paul and me in the living room. It's so cute.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Holy Mufasa! Guess Who "Wears" Prada?

You'll never guess.

I'm quite shocked myself.

It's Paul. Yup. But it's not just a shirt, pants or a bag, it's the Prada Phone, which comes in a leather holster with "Prada" emblazoned at the bottom.

My man outdid me!