Monday, February 27, 2006

February 27, 2006

MRI, 'roids, and a crewcut

Hooray- moments of lucidity. I have been having crazy headaches that leave me a morphine junkie requesting a push every few hours. This lovely drug doesn't quite get rid of the pain, but it leaves me half-comatose enough to just be. Sounds pretty pathetic, but it's not that bad. They ordered an MRI to make sure other "icky things weren't going on in my brain" (doctor's words, not mine) and I'd point out the irony of that machine. Here's how it went: they stuffed some earplugs into my ears, fed me into a giant plastic eclair, and proceeded to run through the twelve most annoying sounds ever conceived. A little voice would say, "ok, this'll take six minutes", and then they would blast the sound of jackhammers all around my head. Then, the guy would say, "ok this next one will be four minutes" and then they'd inundate my brain with Atari-esque electronic fighter sounds. My personal favorite was the monotone high-pitched fire alarm for five minutes. When I was ejected, I had to laugh and joke with the radiology tech, but I think his stoic face didn't quite get the humor. Ah well, the good news today is that nothing "icky" showed up on the test, so they think the headaches are just from the spinal taps and since I won't be having those for two weeks (my last two came back negative), they anticipate these headaches should just go away.

My IV cocktail contains loads and loads of steroids, which thankfully keeps my appetite ship-shape (since food is and always has been one of my favorite aspects of life), but more importantly, I think I'm going to use these toward an event for Beijing 2008. Suggestions for a good event? Canoeing? Weightlifting?

Actually, despite steroids and appetite, my body is definitely shrinking. I just noticed that my legs look like chicken legs (from lack of walking?) and scarier still, my nose has the pince-nez look of post-surgery Michael Jackson. yikes! No one else seems to agree with my nasal assessment, but I am quite sure that at least a few ounces are missing from my snout.

My pillows, the floor, my food tray, everything gets covered in hair now. It's annoying. So, I think today I am going to break out the hair trimmers. I am praying for a GI Jane or Natalie Portman look, but will more likely attain Alien Nation or the goalie girlfriend from Shaolin Soccer. I do promise pictures.

In addition to the cards and things that make my day, I need to thank the following people.
Jenny for the adorable cookie bouquet, Oxy admissions for the real flowers (which the nurses appreciated!), Matt Warren for sending his friend Mike to check in on me, to Auntie Kathy and Uncle Bob for the lai-see (you will feed my grateful friends here for many non-hospital meals!) and the See's chocolates, Dean Sheehand, Diane, and Nora for being so flexible, helping me with everything Fletcher-related, and the hat/poster, Joe for the great DVDs!, Uncle Bill and Aunt Charlotte for all the amazing Chinese food, Sandy and Marc for the fabulous care package, and Andy-san for the good-luck token and the amazing wood-block painting. It's definitely getting framed and hung in Jaci and my new place. Love love love to you all. What would I do, where would I be, without all this support?
And, what's up with the Santa Maria contingent?? I am blown away. Are you all on a listserv or something? =) It's wonderful to hear from so many old friends; thank you for your posts and concern.


Jamie said...

Natalie Portman and Demi Moore have nothing on you. You are going to be the hottest bald woman in the world! Me on the other hand, not so much ;) I wish I could be there to hold your hand and put your socks on, but I know Bess and Jaci are doing a great job and I'm all ready to take over for them when I get there on Saturday. See you soon love!

Love, J

P.S. Am I the only one who thinks getting stuffed inside and eclair sounds like heaven ;)

Sara said...

Hi Erica,
Sara Bendele here, you were in my sister Kristi's class at St. Joes and I lived with Cassie in San Diego. So, that's my connection. I just wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my prayers. You look beautiful, keep fighting! We're all praying for you!

James & Kenya the Duck Toller. said...

I came across Erica's blog on another runner's blog. I will send out positive vibes that all will be OK.

James the marathoner and Kenya the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Gioia said...

Saluuut, Erica

I love you humor... also had to through two of these techno-party-MRI's a few years ago, and had to laugh about your sarcastic report - made me remember exactly what it felt like being in that tube. I'm glad to hear the party wasn't spoiled by some 'icky' bad news...!!!

We were going to fill Adam's car with Blakeley-friends and drive over to the hospital for another Purell adventure tonight, but Judy told me you were too tired. Dommage, we really start missing you if we don't get to see you every two days... :)
Hope you'll be feeling better tomorrow!

FORZA, mille bisous et bonne nuit ***


joe chandler said...

erica- i've rewritten this post 19,000 times. nothing sounds right so i'm just saying that i'm pulling for you.

if you have any specific movie requests(or tv shows) let me know, i can get my hands on most anything.


Brian Domingues said...

You know you are loved by all, and that you are such an extraordinarily special person, when your 7th grade boyfriend gets a call waking him in the middle of the night in Denver, CO, just to receive the news about your current circumstances. That said, know that you and your family are in so many other people's thoughts and prayers, and you may not even know it!
With love, Brian

christine said...

Hi Erica!
A week since I last saw you in Boston and already I MISS you all so much!! Glad to see that the yellow starbucks mug keeps your hands warm and body well nourished! Your MRI experience made me laugh sooo hard; Jeff basically cried out "LET ME OUT!" when he had his!! ;) I won't be surprised when fashion photographers come flocking into your room just to capture the stunning beauty of your coiffure-trendy smooth shaven head! so no worries there!!
Love and kisses!!

Tracy said...


My sweetheart! I just heard from Brian Domingues about your condition. Please know that although it has been a long time since we have talked, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I have read your blogs and I admire your bravery and positive attitude. I feel that we at St. Joe's became a family since we were such a small group. PLEASE let me know if there is anything I can do for you. It sounds like you have so many people there taking care of you, but I would love to send you something. What would you like? Anything for you Erica, my fellow senior class officer!! I am working on planning a 10-year reunion that will make you proud. I hope you can make it back home next year to attend. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Love you dear!!

Tracy Baca

tracy bogue said...

HI old friend,
your positve attitude is truly inspiring. you will be the one person to get through this experience and be stronger for it.
wasn't it just yesterday that we were doing banana and avocado beauty treatments and watching weekend at bernies?
please know that you, your family, and amazing support group are in my thoughts and prayers.
If you need anything please let me know.
xoxoxo, tracy

joyce said...

Dearest Erica,

It's so wonderful to read your blog and to know your spirits are high! Thank you for sharing your successes and challenges with us. And although I had intentions of posting something for you daily, but haven't :( know that I think about you everyday and look forward to updates on your blog and from my 'messenger'.

Hope you have a good day minus the headaches...Mom, Dad, and Grace all send cyber hugs and kisses. Oh, and me too!

11 days and counting till I get to see your new trendsetting do...


Matty said...

Here's another hello from the mile high have a lot of people here in Denver praying for you. My wife, Shari and I have been doin our part trying to share the news about what has been goin on with you since I heard about all this from your sis, and I was surprised to hear the word spread so fast. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily. Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us and for staying positive. Keep up the smiles and laughs cuz being a soon to be doctor I have found that is the best medicine. Take care, Matt Nelson

Erika said...

Hi Erica,
I want you to know that Liam and I are shocked and are thinking of you. If their is anything at all that we can do please, please, let me know. My first thought when I found out was to jump on a plane to come see you and do anything I could. But, thanks to my own messed up immune system and my susceptibilty to every virus and bacteria I come into contact with I banning myself to avoid any risk of getting you sick. I want you to know, that I would love to come see you more then anything, and maybe once you are stronger again I can. I don't want to make you worry, I am fine, I just want you to know that If it wasn't a risk to you I would be on the next plane. I should have stayed in touch with you better. This probabley sounds silly, but you were one of the most influential people in my life. Thank you for including me in your life at Oxy. You tought me to do what I want and not live based on what others think or feel. You tought me to be myself, to have fun, and to want more in life. You are like a big sister to me. I look up to you in so many ways, and I know that you are strong enough to face this challenge in your life. I want to be their for you. I am so sorry for not staying in touch. My thoughts are with you and Jackie and your mom. I don't know what to say, but I want you to know that with my whole heart and soul I am thinking of you and wishing for you to get better. Love, Erika (with a K ;))

Anonymous said...

It's Shane...I really don't even know what to say...this has totally taken me by surprise and has taken my breath away...I don't mean to sound dramatic, but I had no idea this was going on. I actually have a picture of us together in my room and I was looking at it yesterday wondering how you were doing...little did I know I would get an email this morning with this news. My prayers are with you and your family...if there is anything that I can do please let me know. I know it's been a long time, but you are still very dear to my heart...know my thoughts are with you...You look beautiful, keep up the fight!!

With Love Shane

walchka said...

Glad to hear that the MRI came back clean. That sounded like a joy of a procedure. Hopefully your headaches will diminish and I would have to vote for you doing a triathlon in 2008. :)

Jessica Ochoa said...


My thoughts and prayers are with you. We were lucky enough to attend such a small high school so we were all like a second family. Know that your "family" will always be here for you!

Take care and expect something in the mail from me.

Jessica Ochoa

Emily said...

Dear Ms. Erica,

I haven't known you long and I don't know you well. But when I got the email from Erika this morning, I am shocked to hear this news. My love is with you, and I know you will get stronger everyday. I will be in the east coast soon, perhaps I'll stop by for a visit.
May your day be bright and fabulous!
Emily Lo

Anonymous said...

Hi Erica,

You are an amazing person! Do you remember our summer at Girl Scout Camp when you were "Vulture" and I was Curly Q I think? I'm pretty sure I spelled Curly wrong too! Anyways, you were great then and you're great now! You and your family are definitely in my prayers.

- Cathy Hayes

P.S. I didn't know you were Brian's girlfriend in 7th Grade!

Olivia Reynoso said...

Hi Erica,
Im not sure if you remember me from St. Joes but I just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers.


Jennie Edwards said...

Hi Erica!

My personal mail carrier (aka Leslie) is currently winging her way out to Boston to deliver your card to you from me and Kellie. She just emailed me this link last night and it's great to be able to stay up to date with how you're doing. Jaci - you have done an amazing job with this site and with all your support. Erica is lucky to have you there with her. Between the two of you, I know you have enough strength, courage and determination to beat this. I wish I could have come out there with Leslie, but I will have to settle for sending you all my love through blogs for now. Take care and stay strong.

Love always,

Patty Blaylock said...

Hi Erica ~
It's me again just simply amazed at your website and the awesome "friend" support that you have! You've always been such a joy to be around and it's obvious that you have not changed one bit! I love that!! I miss your special High School classmates ~ What a talented group you all are ~ and smart to say the least! You are obvioulsy an English Major?? :-) My love and prayers continue....
Patty Blaylock & Family

dolly said...

Greetings from pal of yesteryear! Mercy posted a link to your blog on myspace and I wasn't expecting to see this. But I admire your courage, and your fantastic attitude! I'm sure you'll soon be out making snow angels! My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Dolly Foehner

JasonB said...

Hi Erica,
I wish I could be sending you an email under better circumstances, but I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if there's anything I can do - anything at all. It's so great to see what a positive attitude you've kept through all this -- I love the descriptive stories about the MRI experiences. Can't say I envy the biweekly LPs, though - you are so brave. Hang in there! The St. Joe crew is pulling for you! Ran into Schatzi over here in Hawaii, too...she sends her thoughts and prayers as well.
- Jason Blaylock

Melissa Marie said...

Hi Erica...we don't know each other, but my boyfriend David Rion worked with you at Occidental. I have been reading your blog since we found out that you were sick and I just wanted to say that you inspire me. I look forward to meeting you and continuing to hear about you kicking butt! You are in my thoughts and my prayers. Let us know if you need anything!


Anonymous said...

This is Jim Brown, and I just wanted to tell you that I heard and wanted to let you know people care about you. I hope your feeling better and you have everyone supporting you. You and your family are all amazing and you are in my thoughts.