Sunday, February 28, 2010

Diagnosis: Leukemia

Doctor's prognosis: I have 2-6 months left to live, 6 months being optimistic, and 1-2 months is certainly possibile.

(Nobody truly knows how long I have except for God.)

Paul, my family, and I have had a hard past couple of days. We know you are thinking of us and we thank you in return for offering your support.

Please just check here for updates regarding my health condition, location, or any other information.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Result That Was Revealed Today

5) The sample is malignant and is leukemia

I Have Been Waiting For This Day For A Week.

At 9:30AM, I find out the results of a bone marrow biopsy they performed on me last Thursday. There are five results that could happen:

1) The sample taken was too small and could not be tested thoroughly.
2) The sample showed nothing- the test was like fishing in a river with a bucket. Just because you don't catch anything doesn't mean there are no fish.
3) The sample is benign (non-cancerous).
4) The sample is malignant and the cancer found is from my brain tumor
5) The sample is malignant and the cancer is another type, like leukemia (cancer of the blood)

My guess: 1 or 2. I've been let down before so I have little expectations.

Drum roll please...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Are You There God? It's Me, Ernie

Well, that's a silly question. Of course, You're there- You're omnipresent. Lord God, I know You allow suffering in our lives to get our attention. Well, You've got it- now what? And I also know You allow suffering in our lives to break us down so You can re-build us to be stronger and closer to You. Well, I'm broken. So, can You hurry up and make me stronger?

Oh yeah. I forgot: You work on Your timeline, not mine.

(groan) (of rejoicing, God! Of rejoicing!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I'm back.

I was discharged late Thursday. Without laboring you with the details that'll make you physically sick to your stomach, I'll cut to the chase: they found more growth in my bones (more in my ribs, front, side, and back), near my shoulder blade, and now in my lungs.

Although I went through a bone marrow biopsy last year, I had another one done my last day to find out whether it's in there as well.

After squeezing nearly all life out of me, they finally sent me home.

Do you want to know what it's like to stay in the hospital for a couple of days? Easy!

12:00 midnight- finally fall asleep after a day of entertaining visitors
1:00AM- your vitals are taken (blood pressure, pulse, and temperature)
2:00AM- nurse wakes you to take medicine
3:00AM- phlebotomist stops by to draw blood
4:00AM- nurse inspects ankles, feet, and legs for swelling
5:00AM- vitals taken again
6:00AM- doctors and their teams stop by to check in and talk with you

BAM- it's morning! Breakfast served at 7:00AM!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guest Blog Entry

Ernie was admitted to the hospital today by his neuro-oncologist. A scan this afternoon revealed additional "spots" on his breast bone and ribs, as well as "spots" in his lungs. His hematologist revealed serious problems in his bone marrow, suggesting that the cancer may have spread there. Tests are set for tomorrow to determine if the pituitary carcinoma has spread to these areas. The results probably won't be known until Friday.

Friday, February 12, 2010


This morning, I go in for an MRI on my spine to see if it's the culprit spreading cancer. If it's found in my spine, that usually means it can spread to other parts of my body such as my bones, which I now have.

The tough part about an MRI on your spine is that it takes so long to scan your entire back. The techs break the procedure into three parts: top, middle, and bottom. The whole thing takes three times longer than just doing my brain alone.

What a way to start Valentine's Day weekend.

I find out the results next week.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some people have called me regarding the news about the cancer spreading to my bones. Thank you for your concern.

I'm not exactly sure "where's Ernie's head". Cancer spreading to another part of your body is like a predictable rude awakening. You know that it could happen, but when it actually occurs, it is horrifically shocking.

I'm numb from finding out that it happened to me. I guess that's where I am for now.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Next Chapter Of My Life (Or Is It The Same Chapter Continued?)

I just got back the results from my Cat Scan I had done on Friday morning on my abdomen.

I now have bone cancer. The CT scan detects "spots" in my pelvis and pubic bones. It also reveals growths on my 6th and 7th ribs (which I think are the lowest two ribs in my ribcage).

To paraphrase the conclusion in easier words: "Because of the patient's history of metastatic activity, this is cancerous growths, unless proven otherwise."

My doctor will meet with the radiologist to figure out what to do next. I'm guessing a bone CT scan, a biopsy of the growths, or an MRI on my spine to see if it has spread there as well. Or a combination of all three.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Worst Of Two Evils

I honestly don't know what's worse: taking sleeping pills and Hydrocodone, a derivative of Vicodin and developing an addiction, or not sleeping enough and eduring terrible pain.

Everyone around me knows how scared I am. One pill leads to two, two pills leads to three, and next thing you know, you become dependent on many pills just to achieve the same results. Isn't that how an addiction starts? Especially for Hydrocodone, which I believe could have mind-altering qualities.

At the beginning of this journey, I would take one Ambien every now and then and that was all I needed to fall asleep. Same was true for Hydrocodone to alleviate pain. Now it feels like my body wants Ambien every night, and two Hydrocodone pills to feel.

Someone mentioned to me that in order to develop an addiction, one needs to possess an "alcoholic-like personality." Well, I definitely don't like alcohol that much, but I enjoy shopping a lot. A LOT.

Friday, February 05, 2010


I honestly feel like my body will not sleep or rest on its own unless I summon two powerfully addictive sleeping aids- Ambien CR or Hydrocodone, a derivative of Vicodin, the one you hear stars and singers get addicted to.

Sometimes, I pop one at night and that's all I need. But I used them both, and I'm stil awake. It doesn't make sense. The worst part of this is that who knows what else wil be brought to my attention- Viagra for the pipes downstirs? Ensure to gain weight? Human Growth Hormone to exhibit filipino roid rage?

NO. I'm already scared of these two sleeping pills. I'm half tempted to flush them down the toilet and recommit myself to the basics of good sleep hygiene that I've always preached about.

Someone! Whack me over the head with a bag of Bathing Ape shirts!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Schmood Lousekeeping Blah Blah.

Who cares how to remove the skin off a tomato? Let's talk about what's really going on: another doctor took a look at my MRI scans from two weeks ago and is recommending brain surgery. Based on the scans and my side effects, one of the brain tumors are growing too close to my sinus cavity which is causing the episodes of burning sensations in my right nostril.

Want to know how I feel? %^#@!


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Huh. Good Advice.

This month, Good Housekeeping Magazine is celebrating its 125th year in publication. Here are four easy ideas pulled straight from their recent issues to make your home, kitchen, and office better:

1) When you cook pasta, make sure you cook it "al dente" style, meaning slightly firm. The longer you cook pasta, the higher the glycemic index rises. Boiling pasta for five minutes puts the glycemic index at 38. Cooking it for twenty minutes raises the G.I. to 61. Bottom line: no mushy noodles!

2) The easiest way to remove the skin of a tomato is to put it in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then remove it from the water. Score the skin with an "X" and then remove the peel. It melts right off.

3) Most people guzzle their coffee first thing in the morning. The problem with this habit is that your morning buzz is followed by a crash in the afternoon. To avoid this, ration and measure your coffee in two ounce servings ( slightly larger than a shotglass). Sip the two ounce servings slowly throughout the morning. In doing so, the caffeine leaves your system slowly rather than suddenly.

4) To dissipate and remove odors commonly associated with the kitchn, pour one cup of regular vinegar into a bowl. Let it sit on the kitchen table. The high acidity of the vinegar will absorb and neutralize those odors that come from smells such as frying fish or cooking onions.

Monday, February 01, 2010


At night, the heat is turned down so low that it causes the bedroom and floor to feel like an ice palace. Because of the recent colder weather, I get so cold at night that I sleep with my pajama bottoms on my head. I look like a fool but I don't care.

LIt all came to a roaring head last night. I didn't want to get out of bed even though I wanted to:

*Use the bathroom.
*Go downstairs to raise the thermostat.
*Go to the other room to take Advil for a muscle pull in my abdomen.
*Reach for an Ambien pill that was beside me on my night table.

I felt trapped. I felt helpless. I was shivering, I felt shackled to the bed. I began whimpering quietly until Paul heard me and raised the thermostat. I popped an Ambien and BOOM! It was 10:15AM.