Kevin's Dead Cat

After surgery sliced off an entire tumor and 1/3 of my tongue, plus six weeks of radiation therapy, I've been re-learning how to eat, drink, and talk with my newly re-constructed tongue and coping with side effects. But the cancer came back and I don't know what's going to happen next.

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Laura at home

Laura has had a very difficult time in the last two weeks--she has had two hospital stays for a total of 11 out of 14 days hospitalized. The day she was to be released from the first, she suffered a pulmonary embolism that caused her to be even more weak and in pain when released later in the week. After the embolism, she had a procedure to insert an umbrella shaped filter to catch any additional blood clots from her legs before they reach her lungs. This, too, created extreme pain in her right leg. After the procedure, Laura was able to come home for two of the hardest days out of countless hard days we've ever faced. Every day my heart breaks and after endless days of crying, I think it can't break anymore, but when seeing her suffering like that it breaks all over again.

After those two days, Laura had a problem with her gastric feeding tube and I called the paramedics again. Laura was admitted to hospital, but she chose not to have the feeding tube reinstalled. She had made the decision that there would be no more pain and suffering. She was ready. Once again my heart breaks. The only thing I can imagine worse than losing Laura is seeing her continue to suffer. After a weekend of discussion and tears with family, friends, doctors and social workers, Laura held fast to her decision. She has come home to spend her remaining time with family and friends. Doctors say she will have anywhere from a few more hours to two weeks before she leaves us. We are doing everything we can to make her comfortable and let her know how much we love her. She is the strongest person I know, and I am proud of her for facing this with such courage.

To all her family and friends, including those friends she met here, through this blog, Laura sends her love.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Laura's hospital stay extended

The doctors are having some trouble getting Laura's infection under control--her white blood cell count hasn't improved much with the current antibiotics, so they are planning to keep her at Kaiser West LA for a few more days. The good news is that it's not deep in her lungs--not pneumonia in other words. I'll update the blog whenever I can, but I'm spending most of my time at the hospital, so keep checking back even if things don't change too fast.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Laura's in the hospital

On Wednesday night, Laura had a very bad coughing episode and was coughing blood through her tracheostomy. I called the paramedics and they took us to County Hospital (the closest) Emergency. The bleeding was gotten under control quickly--she most likely broke a blood vessel because she was coughing so hard. After about 5 hours in emergency she was transferred to Kaiser West LA, where they're keeping her under observation because she also has an infection in her lungs. There hasn't been any more bleeding, and she is taking IV antibiotics for the infection. She will be in the hospital until Sunday at least and perhaps longer. Normally she would be at Sunset, but West LA had the only available rooms on Wednesday night. Call me or the hospital for more information. Sorry I haven't had time to let you all know personally. Thanks everyone.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Blood drive for Laura

Hi everyone,

Our amazing friend Ali has organized a blood drive to help Laura through any transfusions she may need because of her chemotherapy regimen. The drive will be August 26th at the home of another amazing friend, Adam. All the details are below in the announcement Ali put together.

Thanks to all of you for everything you've done,

Calling on all friends! Calling on all friends! I need your help....

Are you ready to party and have a great time....No, it's not another
divorce party (although I had great time at the last one). This one is
special...I am even throwing in your first pint of Spaten
Lager FREE....Yes...FREE BEER...

Of course, there's one tiny CATCH. I need your blood.

On Friday, August 26th I will be hosting a Blood Drive on behalf of my
friend, and beloved Cole's regular, Laura. She is currently undergoing
chemotherapy, and can use our extra pints. (To read more about Laura
and her current situation, please visit her blog at

My friends from Kaiser will be drawing your blood at the penthouse of
my friend, Adam (home of the best views in LA). The Blood Drive will be
held from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on August 26th. I need 50 people to set this up, so email
me or call me to setup an appointment ASAP -- appointments can be at
the top of each hour to cut down your wait. The drive will start by
appointment at 11 a.m. and continue until all the people signed up are
done.....Call or Email (714-715-1685, The goal is 200 people.

All donors will receive a thank you gift bag which includes a Mega Millions
Lotto Ticket, and a gift certificate for a free pint of Spaten from
Cole's during the after-party.

That night, (August 26th) I'm hosting a party for all our friends and donors at
Cole's (you don't have to donate to come but you better). One of the best local bands
in town -- I See Hawks in LA -- will be playing in the back room. The
free beer will be flowing, and we'll all compare Band-Aids.

Help Laura, Get Free Beer, Listen to the can't do better
on a Friday. Call me and set the appointment. Ali

Blood Drive Location
Adam's Penthouse
533 South Los Angeles Street
Between 5th Street & 6th Street
7th floor

Laura Blog Address

Cole's P.E. Buffet
118 East 6th Street
Between Main Street & Los Angeles


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Nevermind the C-Trials

There are actually two trials going on, one at Kaiser and one at Cedars-Sinai. James got called back by from the clinical trials nurse at Kaiser , who said that the trial was for people with a different type of head and neck cancer, so I'm not eligible for that one. The contact at Cedars-Sinai told James that they may not be enrolling any more patients for that trial, but he's expecting a call back from them. Either way, I might not have been chosen for the test group, anyway. But I shouldn't despair because they could just let the chemo loose on me without risking leaving me w/out any treatment at all for a month. Dr. B. also called to say that we'll be discussing possible treatment courses at our next meeting. He's worried, though, that continuing or changing treatment might just end up making me sicker, without changing the cancer. For now we have to wait...

So I took a shower. Actually, James helped me take a shower... Heaven. I should worry less about clinical trials, and concentrate more on showers. I love my Cabana Boy.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Clinical Trials

Took a chance looking through the ACS website over the weekend on clinical trials. Turns out, this trial in Los Angeles, CA is enrolling patients diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that have been previously treated. The objectives
of the trial are to compare ZD1839 (Iressa) at dosages of 250 mg and 500 mg versus methotrexate in terms of overall survival, symptom improvement, tumor response, safety and tolerability, and quality of life. James spoke to someone at Kaiser, where they're actually running the trials, and gave them my patient ID number to check out my eligibility. Great news. I suppose in at lease one of them them, I will be chosen for one of be non-placebo groups. Cross your fingers.

Still dreaming mad dreams about blueberries. Blueberry milkshakes now, w/two maraschino cherries on top. I only remember making them at home with either wild blueberry jam, or frozen whole blueberries. But, the BEST BERRY PANCAKES are at the Bellagio LV Cafe. They put blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and whipped butter on each layer with the best maple syrup. For this dish, all you need is a tall glass of ice cold whole milk. Well, it's all I would need.

Going back to Neverland, now...

Sunday, August 07, 2005


This weekend it's been all about just hanging out alone with James and living in the past. I've been mixing different juice coctails and pouring them down my feeding syringe as often as I can. Sometimes, I just lie around pouring ice water down the syringe. I'm addicted to the smell of crisp, ice-cold water. But I also lose myself in the memory of chocolate ice-cream sodas, Fudgesicles, and blueberry smoothies.

I remind myself that I'm bucking-up my body's morale, keeping with the mental/emotional instant gratification so my body can fight the side-effects of the chemo. But what I really need to know is if the chemo is working. But it's too early to know for sure. Dr. Milch says that all the necrotic tissue in my mouth could be a good sign that cancer cells are dying away. But Dr. Buchschaecher isn't so hopeful because the tumor is still there. (SIGH).

Hopefully, there will still be no news/sign of metastasis by the time we do see a change in the the tumor, and my buddy Morphine will keep on keeping on.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Blueberry Juice

It's supposed to be the best antioxidants ever. And lucky me! James buys them in bottles for me; the really organic stuff that smells incredible. Any chance I can, I take as much as I can down my feeding syringe along with the Chinese herbs. Then there's the stretching before the neck gets stiffened and annoying, 8:00 am feeding.

James spent most of last week moving the rest of his stuff out of his old loft in Long Beach, and unpacking my books onto these great bookcases that are perfect in the garden. It made the heat bearable. I love this guy.