Thursday, January 31, 2008

Weight's Happening?

(Or not.)

I'm not really sure what's going on. Sometime around Thursday, January 17th, I weighed a measly 106 pounds.

I weighed myself yesterday. 102 pounds. That's not measly, that's just plain pathetic.

I'm eating, people (but not eating people Perhaps I should.) I have many eyewitnesses that can testify on my behalf.

And this is without beginning chemo. I say it's I've lost muscle mass because I haven't been able to hit the gym much for my usual weightlifting regimen.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Waterworks At The Dentist, No Drilling Necessary

While at the dentist today, I gave several of the staff members and the dentist (all of whom I consider friends) a quick update on my health. Without seeing it coming, tears started welling up in my eyes and my voice got very shaky as I told them the story of recent surgery followed by two trips to the ER (which I never shared about in my blog), and the fact that I start chemo a week from today.


Man, I've been through so much, and yet another season of "My Life As Ernie" premieres next Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Touch" My New Toy!

Yay! I got an ipod touch today! Why ipod touch?

Big Daddy Ipod (Ipod Classic)-
advantage: tons of memory, can download games, movies, and videos
disadvantages: too big and heavy to be used during exercise, small screen, no internet access, no phone service

Ipod Nano-
advantages: small size & light in weight, very portable, can download games, movies, and videos
disadvantages: small, teensy-weensy screen, no internet access, no internet access, no phone service

advantages: nearly everything you want- full-time internet access, doubles as a cell phone, download some games, download all movies and videos, maps, weather, youtube, stock reports, notepad, decent-sized screen
disadvantages: much too heavy, clunky, and big to be a "portable phone" (imagine sticking it beside your ear- it's like a brick), too big to be considered a "portable and convenient mp3 player", cell phone service only limited to Cingular/AT&T, expensive monthly usage/connection fees with little minute usage during peak hours, only 8 gigs available

Portable DVD player-
advantages: light, big ample screen, easy to get movies, two listener/viewer availability
disadvantages: charge lasts only 5 1/2 hours, no internet access, no phone service

Ipod Touch-
advantages- everything that iphone has except cell phone usage and full-time internet access, can have up to 16 gig memory
disadvantages- too big to be considered a "portable and convenient mp3 player", internet access only if wi-fi is available, no phone service

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Not Trailer Trash- Couture!

The "Sex And The City" movie released an offical movie trailer! Click here to watch: not too revealing, but very exciting!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Have The Inside Scoop On Ledger.

That's why I'm flying to Los Angeles Friday morning. I come back on Tuesday.

No. Not really. I'm going because of this. Much more Ernie-style.

Call or e-mail me if you want something from Beverly Hills or the OC.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Good Morning, Sunset!

The Thanksgiving dinner was stored as fat, Christmas is placed back into the attic, and New Year's is old hat.

People now are saying, "Aren't you happy that the days are getting noticeably longer?"

Are your head and eyes just fooling you, or is the sun really staying out that much longer? According to, the answer is yes, if only slightly. On Christmas Day (in the DC area), the sun came out at 7:24AM and set at 4:51PM. Today, it rose at 7:25AM and set at 5:10PM, only nineteen extra minutes of cold-weathered sunlight. In fact, observing a monthly calendar on a day-to-day basis, you barely gain a minute of sunlight as each day passes.

End of January sunset time: 5:26PM. End of February sunset time: 5:59PM- a gain of just over a half hour (thirty-three minutes).

Sorry to spoil your long day.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ladies And Gentlemen,

Here is your list of movie sequels slated for release in 2008:

*Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (April 25)
*The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (May 16)
*Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May 22nd)
*Hellboy II: The Golden Army (July 11)
*The Dark Knight (July 18)
*The X-Files 2 (July 25)
*The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (August 1)
*The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (August 8)
*Punisher: War Zone (September 12)
*Saw V (October 24)
*James Bond sequel (yet to be named) (November 7)
*Magadascar: The Crate Escape (November 7)
*Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (November 21)
*Star Trek (December25)

There are others anticipating release but without a date such as Scary Movie 5 and Ace Ventura 3.

Of course, my favorite (but not a sequel), the Sex and The City movie will be released May 30.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Michael And Janet Will Rule The Planet?

At least that's what they're hoping for: On Tuesday, February 12th, Mikey J. will release the 25th anniversary edition of "Thriller", the biggest selling album of all time, fully re-mastered with eight bonus tracks and a DVD section including the Emmy-nominated performance of his smash "Billie Jean."

Among tracks listed, it will feature:
*A 2008 version of "Wanna Be Starting Somethin'" with Akon and Will.I.Am
*A Kanye West remix of "Billie Jean"
*Remixes of "The Girl Is Mine" and "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing"
*"For All Time", an unreleased cut from the original recording sessions, ready mixed and mastered by Michael Jackson
*Other tracks previously unreleased in any form

Younger sister, Damita Jo, burned up pop/rhythmic charts and R&B radio stations with her leaked single "Feedback" in late December. The single was later made available to fans in early January on itunes, and the video (which is. in my opinion, a tribute to "Super Mario Galaxy") debuted on MTV and BET channels in early 2008. Her new album, "Discipline" (after leaving the Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis label), will premiere February 26th. You can watch your very own private screening just by clicking here. (The song is like "Sexyback" and "Gimme More"- the more you hear it, the more it gets stuck in your craw, and you begin craving listen after listen.) I think she's really singing "Big Bang" (you have to hear it to understand).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hi Everyone.

I'm fine. On Monday, everything went smoothly with no broken computers and hardly any waiting. I have pictures to show you, they're just stuck in the camera.

Before knocking me out and whipping out the "knife", he showed me a picture of the brain tumor and his plan to stun its growth. The brain tumor was approximately 5 cubic centimeters in size. Just take your little finger and "chop it off" where it first bends. That's the size of the brain tumor.

Since I just felt extremely groggy afterwards, they sent me home in the afternoon. I slept for nearly 12 hours that night. I woke up feeling like a new man.

Okay people, that's enough. Let's take a break from talking about the big "C" word and the "B.T." in my head. Let's get back to blogging about fun stuff tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Guest Blogger

Ernie's surgery went fine. His operation finished around 12:15PM.

He was transferred to SSU (Short Stay Unit) and hoped to be discharged this afternoon so he won't stay overnight.

Nurse's prediction: he'll get to leave by 4:00PM.

How's Your Monday So Far?

Tired? Running late? Lots on your plate?

Mine: It's 3:28AM, I can't sleep anymore, and I've got brain surgery in 2 1/2 hours. Woohoo!

Don't you wish you were me?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Biggest Loser

A new study came out yesterday with interesting findings about fitness and body weight:
*21% of the people surveyed said they would trade ten years off their life to be their ideal weight
*85% said they'd rather have six toes on one foot than be fifty pounds overweight

My question is this: if you could, would you subtract ten years of your life to be your ideal weight?

(I think those of us who are gym rats do in fact lose 10 years of our life at the gym to maybe get to our ideal weight.)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Another Point Of View

Paul wrote and submitted this recently to the gym in Sydney where we both exercised. The editor of their monthly magazine contacted him letting him know that they've decided to publish it in their March issue:

‘You have a brain tumor.’ Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. But they were not directed at me.

I sat stunned as the doctor directed that statement at my partner. We knew something was wrong, but neither of us could have imagined what was coming: six years, five brain surgeries, several doses of radiation, multiple chemotherapy regimes, loss of balance, coordination, vision and hearing. Yet my partner continues to battle his terminal cancer, and I continue to support him. We both rely on three pillars to get us through - faith, friends, and fitness.

An avid gym junkie for over 19 years when this all started (he is now 37), he was in great physical shape – six pack abs, broad shoulders, big chest, less than 10 per cent body fat, and a resting heart rate around 40 bpm. He did not let his two craniotomies, where his skull was sawed open and stapled shut, slow him down.

While recovering, barely able to see, with staples still in his head, in the dead of winter, he put on his running tights and hit the road. Granted, his pace was much slower than before, but it filled his heart with purpose and gave him a daily goal.

He took step classes between radiation treatments that zapped his strength and ate away at his muscle mass (dropping from 68 kgs to 49 kgs). He hits the gym regularly and logs his workout routines in his notebook. Long before the tumors started, we used to discuss his workouts every day. The fact that we can still do that provides a sense of normality; a sense of routine in an otherwise chaotic mess of doctors visits, cancer treatments, and uncertainty.

On 25 July 2006, we were in Toronto on holiday when a doctor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland called and explained that my partner had about a year to live. We both went for a run.

In October of 2007, when his doctors at the University of Virginia ‘demanded’ via email that he return from Sydney to the States for more treatment, he responded by taking his Saturday evening step class at Fitness First in Darlinghurst (NSW).

He is not the only one who has relied on fitness to help fight this battle. As his partner of nearly 13 years, about half of which has been spent supporting him in his fight, I too have realised the importance of exercise and fitness.

I have taken out my anger, frustration, and fear in 20 km runs preparing for my second marathon. Lifting at the gym is another way I release my emotions and, recently, I’ve found BodyAttack, BodyPump, and, of course, BODYCOMBAT as excellent ways to deal with the demons.

The rhythmic sounds of feet hitting the floor in unison in BODYATTACK always makes me smile; during the squat track in BODYPUMP, my mind drifts away from his tumors to a different type of pain. I definitely sleep better at night after a workout too.

Since joining Fitness First three years ago, I’ve transformed my body and changed my life.

No gym and no fitness program is ever going to cure cancer. And sadly, no amount of step classes or weightlifting is going to save my partner’s life. But, without something as simple as a couple of free weights and a pair of cross trainers, my partner’s battle would be a lot harder and his life a lot less complete.

-Paul Spackman

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Stop with the brain teasers! Now the doctors want to change my surgery date to Monday!

Make up your mind, people.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Surgery Forgery

I DIDN'T HAVE SURGERY. The nurse started a line in my arm, the anesthetist knocked me out, and then the doctors screwed a metal frame on my head by to hold it still during surgery.

But when it was time to begin the operation, one of the key machines went down, so they made a decision to cancel the whole thing.

I didn't even get angry about it because I was so tired and physically exhausted from all the preparation for it.

*Re-scheduled for this Friday, January 11th, at 6:00AM*

Friday, January 04, 2008


And I can't sleep. I've been up for a while, waiting for the clock to hit 5:45AM so we can get this over with.

Honestly speaking, I am tired of fighting cancer. My body is so exhausted, and I'm emotionally drained when I think about what I've been through, and what I've got lying ahead of me. Now maybe I'm just tired from not getting enough sleep, but going through the pre-op yesterday was a four-hour waste of time.

And just because I've had gamma knife surgery before doesn't make this one any easier. Yes I know what to expect, but my body's different now. It's a lousy 106 pounds of skin and bones, hardly any muscle mass, proudly displaying ribs that Chili's would be proud to serve.

But I wonder what it's like for my family and Paul. Everybody seems used to the routine: MRI, accompanying bad news, some type of treatment, recovery, a month or two of respite, and then back to the top for another MRI. I guess it's like after you have your first baby: you now know what the routine requires, so you're more prepared and maybe a little more relaxed the next time around the water breaks.

Hopefully this makes sense: I've gotten so tired of fighting the fight, falling down and getting back up, round after round, that at this point, I'm not even the one in the boxing ring. It's God. I've given up a long time ago. He's there, in my place, filling in for me, while everybody in the stands are busy cheering me on. It's like I'm earning the title, when someone else is wearing the boxing gloves.

4:45AM. One more hour. Let's do this. Sound the reveille, it's time for another fight.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Chemo For Kemosabe

Name of chemotherapy medicine: CCNU
Administered: orally
Length of cycle: 6-7 weeks
Number of cycles: depends on how well/poorly my body tolerates it, and whether or not it's working

The doctor also wants me to try Avastin, a chemotherapy medicine that's been used to treat colon and lung cancer, but rarely for a brain tumor. More on this one later if I am approved financially for it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


tomorrow's the start of the new chapter in my life. At 8:00AM, I meet with the doctors so they can tell me what chemo med they've chosen to ruin my normal routine. At 1:00PM, I go in for pre-op: tons of bloodwork, checking pulse, body temp, filling out forms, etc.

I will keep this blog super-updated, with possible guest bloggers filling in for me if I can't get to a computer.

Ovah' and out-