Archive for June, 2005

Results are in

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

I got a call from the doctor yesterday about the biopsy results. They’re 95% sure it’s lymphoma (for those who don’t know what it is, it’s cancer of the lymph nodes). They’re sending out the cells one more time to double check and give the confirmation. I will then have to go to an oncologist at Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment.

It’s most likely Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which tends to strike my age group (15-40, mostly in the 25-30 range) the most. It’s the easiest form of cancer to have, the doctor said, and in 90% of cases, treatable. In fact, it’s the cancer with the most cure success rate. Usually six months of chemo, sometimes paired with radiation. Based on my research, it looks like I have Stage II, which means the lymphomas (cancerous cells) are on both sides of my lungs. But, I will get the lowdown from the doctor. Apparently only my lymph nodes and thymus gland lit up like Christmas trees on the PET scan, which means the cancer didn’t travel to other lymphatic organs, such as the spleen, liver, and tonsils.

I’m not worried at all. I know a few people who’ve had it, and they’ve been in remission and are happy and healthy.

The weird thing is, the coughing I’ve had has nothing to do with with the cancer. So, if I didn’t get that cough and had it checked out, I would have never known about the lymphoma. So someone above was looking out for me.

The Sound Of Silence

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

Ahh…. the first days of summertime: the birds are singing, the waves are crashing, the thunder is booming, the lawnmowers are roaring, the dogs are barking, the kids are screaming, the stereos are blasting, the cars are revving… ARGH! Stop the noise pollution!

I love summer. Who doesn’t? But the barrage of unpleasant clamor really kills it for me sometimes. What is it about the season that encourages others to turn up the volume and blast other’s ears off? (more…)


Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

Surgery went well. I’m still a little woozy and my throat hurts from the breathing tube, but the incision doesn’t hurt as much as I thought it would – in fact, the sticky adhesive on the bandage hurts more. I just want to rip the damned thing off, but can’t until before my interview tomorrow morning.

I think the worst part was the recovery room – I kept drifting in and out, and that’s not a fun feeling. I was also extremely thirsty, and all they would give me was ice chips – three or four at a time. It did nothing. When my throat is dry, I cough more, and that hurt. Finally I finagled a small cup of water.

The PET scan showed glowing areas in the lymph nodes and thymus gland, which are still enlarged. The thoracic surgeron said he doesn’t think it’s anything cancerous, but the results from today’s biopsy will ultimately tell what is wrong. I get the results on Friday. If the biopsy is inconclusive as to why I am still coughing up a storm, they’re going to do one more test on my bronchial system.

After about eight hours, I got to go home. The hospital whisked me out of there so fast that I didn’t stop and get the parfait that highly recommends from Stony Brook University Hospital cafeteria. I suppose I will pick one up on Tuesday when I go for my check-up appointment, or she’s going to pick me one up when she goes for her appointment on Monday.

Oh, Keith Partridge…

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

The best pic of David Cassidy EVER:

Check out my new website

Wednesday, June 15th, 2005

I’ve just created a website to help get some money into these empty pockets before student loans come a knockin’ 😉 Also, to put my degree to good use. The website is Amanda, Help Me! – solutions for all your personal and business needs, from editing to website design. So, if you’re interested, go take a peek… if you know anyone who can use my services, please pass the link along!

Last night’s dream and why I’ve been sick

Thursday, June 9th, 2005

Last night’s dream was short-but-screwy. But it’s the first night I’ve actually slept well in three weeks:

I was in the basement of this very old building. Even though the building wasn’t Fordham Prep, I knew it was Fordham Prep. I ran through a maze of men’s bathroom and ran past a man peeing at a urinal. I yelled that I was sorry as I ran by, and then suddenly found myself outside. The facade was old, crumbling brick, and there were all these safes and mailboxes with electronic combination pads attached to the wall. I followed a pathway to my right, and there were six black men wearing chef hats, sitting on a decrepid picnic bench, eating. There was a paper sign above them hanging from a tree, which said in black permanent marker, “Port Authority Bus Terminal Food Testing Station.”

Anyways, so this is what has been going on medically:

– In late April, came down with strep throat. Given penicillin.
– Two weeks later, get another sore throat, but contribute it to the pollen and pre-graduation stress.
– Graduation ended, still had sore throat. Mom tells me to go to doctor. Have strep again. Given Zithromax.
– Week later, sore throat isn’t gone. Turns into productive cough. Can’t sleep. Given Biaxin, albuterol inhaler, and told to take Robitussin.
– Week later, cough so bad that it is accompanied by gagging and throwing up. Go back to doctor. Prescribes Advair and chest x-ray.
– Go to radiologist, get chest x-ray. Radiologist looks at x-ray and says, “Um, we need to give you a CT scan.” Get CT scan.
– Call doctor to get results. Doctor says, “Can’t give them to you over the phone, please see me in office tomorrow.”
– Doctor calls hour before appointment and tells me to bring someone else with me, like a parent, when I come in.
– Results say lymph nodes in lungs are severely enlarged, need biopsy to check for a few things, which involves outpatient surgery.

I don’t think it’s anything cancerous, so in worst case scenario, it will probably be sarcoidosis.

Talking cats and a fat Hawaiian guy

Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

Today I go to the doctor to hopefully fix everything that’s ailing me. I just hope I don’t get more medication. This cough has to leave, and NOW. Another Robitussin-antiobiotic-inhaler induced dream:

I was having a huge barbeque in my backyard with my family and some friends from Fordham. All of a sudden, about twenty cat carriers, cats included, appeared in a pile on my patio. My sister Andra said, “We need to find homes for all these cats!” and everyone who was at the barbeque took a cat. Allison () laid claim on a grey female in a mauve-colored carrier, but couldn’t bring the cat home to Rochester, so she asked me to hold her until she could pick the cat up.

I walked into the living room and sat down with my already-had cats, Pippin and Merry, and was petting them when this fat Hawaiian guy came in and plopped down on the chair next to the couch. My mom came into the living room and told the guy that he had to vaccuum our rug, and he said, “You know I can’t do that, because I only vaccuum in the nude.” My mom slapped her forehead for forgetting, then told me to vaccuum the rug.

I got up and went outside to play with the cats. There were only three cats left: Allison’s cat, a brown patchwork cat, and a white cat. I decided to lift their tails to find out what sex they were. I lifted up the white cat’s tail and he turned around and said, “You know I’m a male, why are you lifting my tail?” I told him I didn’t know why, then he asked me if he could play with the other cats. I put the three cats in a cage together, and began to read Peter Pan to Allison’s cat. We began talking, and I don’t know what she said, but I decided she was a cool cat and that Allison couldn’t have her. I named her Violet.

The patchwork cat then told me his owner was here to take him home and read him a book about male puberty. The owner, who looked like a tall, slim Kenyan Olympic althlete, didn’t say anything as he took the cat away. The white cat then ran into the house, and Pippin and Merry were pretty pissed that they had another cat in the house.

All this medication has been getting to me…

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

All the medication I have taken over the past two months has probably gotten to me. I haven’t had a Weird Amanda Dream© like this one in a while:

I was an actress in a movie about an all-girl’s high school, where I was a student, even though I was 22 years old. There were four other girls in the movie: a tan girl with long, brown hair, a girl with red curly hair, a pale girl with shoulder-length brown hair, and a girl with blonde hair.

Throughout the movie, two of the girls were behaving pretty badly. The girl with the long, brown hair was a heroin addict, and the redhead was pregnant and dressed slutty. The other two girls were two of the pure, virginal types.

I was at the house of the redhead. She had 15 brothers and sisters, and her mom looked like Mrs. Doubtfire. She said, “Mom, I’m pregnant,” laughing hysterically. Her mom didn’t look up, gave her the finger, then continued to set the table for dinner.

I went back to school, which looked like ASJ’s gymnasium. I go into the restroom, and the the girl with the long hair was shooting heroin. She handed the two nice girls cigarettes, and the one with the short brown hair screamed, “I’m sick of life!” and lit up the cigarette. I knocked the cigarette out of her mouth and yelled at her, “JESUS WOULDN’T WANT YOU TO SMOKE! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF? JESUS DOES NOT LIKE WHAT YOU ALL ARE DOING TO YOURSELVES!” I fell on the floor and started crying hysterically.

Suzy, a girl I went to high school with, entered the bathroom and told me that I was the most horrible actress she has ever seen. She said there was no reason for me to cry; it was supposed to be a happy scene. That made me cry even harder, and I ran out of the bathroom, into the gymnasium.

There was a Thanksgiving party set up in the gymnasium, and posters of turkeys and pilgrims on all the walls. I saw Rebecca from Fordham there, dressed in purple Medieval-style gown. I was going to say hi to her, but I was so embarrassed from crying, that I went into a kitchen in the back of the gym and emptied the dishwasher. I then bumped into a librarian that used to work at Islip Public Library, and she told me to quit acting like a baby and toughen up. She handed me a fork.

I decided to go back to restroom, and there are five girls ganging up on the redhead, who is standing on top of one of the toilets in a stall. I scream at the other girls to stop beating her up, because she’s pregnant. The five girls rolled their eyes at me, said they didn’t believe she was pregnant, and walked away. I helped the redhead get off the toilet, and she said thanks, and started laughing because no one believed she was pregnant.