And What Followed...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Loopy from the Chemo

I'm still a bit loopy from the chemo. I feel like a sleepwalking Ambien-infused Alice in Wonderland. In my journal during mid-chemo, I had written down "Idyl June llama blue Nacho Ha" and I still can't figure out what it means.

I miss my hair. I still absent-mindedly brush it away from my face or off my shoulder. It's sort of like that story of the amputee who could still "feel" his missing leg. Well, at least my hair will grow back. I'm going to a barber shop tomorrow to get a REAL shaved head. The nurse that "shaved" my head with electric clippers did a botch-up of a job and it looks like I was attacked by a weedwacker.

I'm still high from the screening on Tuesday. You guys made me feel like a million bucks.

The "F-word" team and a close-knit group of friends raised alot of money for the foundation and that means more of a chance finding a match. But the best part is that we signed up 43 more potential donors onto the registry! I'm so proud of you guys!

Hopefully one or more of you will be the miracle someone else is searching for!

Time for bed. Just wanted to send my love.


P.S. Yes Tia, I am getting your messages. Luv u 2!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Update from Aliza P - Shave head and heading home

Just spoke to C. Her dressing is set to be changed, and she should be released in about an hour from COH. And, then back home. But, before she goes: The head shave. Christine says it's getting all over the place and it's time to be a responsible adult and take a razor to the noggin. While not the most pleasant experience, she did say that the nurse who will be
doing it is extremely cute. Some things come in unexpected packages. Let the flirtation begin!


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Results from MRI

Great news! Had my mri done this morning. The experience is like a dozen little jackhammers pounding all around your head. My Doctor just popped her head in the door and said that my brain and spine looked healthy and normal. Phew! What a
relief! Now the only thing I need to deal with is the next few days of chemo and melting these tumors away. Xo, christine

Message from Mo: Okay our little angel is going to rest it out thru the night. Let's all pray or send positive energy to her tonight as she does the liquid dance thru the chemo forest tonight. Any urgent messages (and we all know what those are) please feel free to contact me directly. I am a good mesage deliverer. Thanks

Benadryl + Nightline = Punk'd

Rule #1 - NEVER give a patient intravenous Benadryl while she is in the middle of an interview with ABC Nightline. That's exactly what happened to me yesterday. There I am in my hospital bed with camera crew and interviewer when my speech starts to slur, my eyes go numb and the whole room turns into fondue. I look over at the IV machine and there is my nurse smiling at me with a freshly plunged syringe in her hand. I wanted to strangle her but before you could say "You've been punk'd! " I was knocked out cold. End of interview.

It's weird to be on top of the world one night at a screening of your film, and then the next day fighting for your life in a hospital bed in Duarte. Talk about rollercoaster ride...

As you know my friend Monique is here from Atlanta to care for me this week. You can call to get updates from her as you like but she will periodically send out info too.

From Monique - Hi to everyone in the universe out there. With the blessing of Chris, I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I am here all week with Christine. I relocated to the west coast for this week to watch over her and Mama Lulu.

Me and mom are trying to get her to focus on getting thru the chemo this week. She tends to be glued to the email and has the phone situated an inch or two away from her little face for fear of "missing" something. Our lovely Chris has a heart of
gold and the stubborness of a bull. She wants to be oh so responsive to all of us, her little warriors, at any cost. So you know what I am getting at. I will be casually reviewing emails to keep her eager behind in the loop. But please don't hesitate to contact me directly and I will do whatever I can to help.

Chris says her hair is falling out fast. She'll go home looking like a Star Trek princess. Well they just brought the heavy artillery (chemo full strength) so Chris bids you adieu with a smile.

Have a blessed day and keep up the good fight.

Monique & Christine

Friday, May 19, 2006


In case you missed the news segment last night, you can watch the video at:


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My hair is falling out

Hello friends.

Well, my hair started falling out yesterday. I've been leaving a trail of long silky black strands where ever I go. At this rate, I'll probably be sporting a cue ball by next week. The better news is now everyone can rub my head for good luck.

In terms of marrow drives and media coverage, things are going well. But it's looking tough on the health front.

Despite all our hard work, NO miracle match has been found yet, so City of Hope is trying to contact the "acceptable" (ie partial) match, the only option we have, for the transplant. This transplant is very different than the previous one. By using someone else's marrow, the risks rise exponentially and create more complications. I'm still hoping a real match will appear so I have a better chance at survival.

So here's the news. There really is no way to sugar coat it. My lips and cheeks began to feel numb recently. Because of this, my doctor is now worried that the lymphoma may be getting into my spinal fluid and spreading into my brain. But it could be
anything. They don't know for sure, so I will get an MRI later next week while I am in the hospital. I'm trying to think good thoughts.

The second round of the same 4-day/2-hour/non-stop chemotherapy starts Wednesday, May24th, immediately after the F-Word Benefit Screening. I will be admitted into City of Hope the very next day.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone at the Benefit. Get there early, especially if you want to sign up on the registry. Doors open at 6:30pm. I plan to be there at 6:00. See me before my hair runs out.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fox 11 News

FOX News LA came today to cover Bone Marrow Drives at Cal State Fullerton. Unfortunately I was not able to attend to be interviewed by the news crew but Frances Teves, who coordinated the drive was able to get camera time.

See what they put together tonight on FOX News 11 at 10pm and again on Channel 13 at 11pm.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Message from Tony C - Christine on TV today!

Dear friends,

Christine will be on KSCI television which is the international channel, usually channel 18, at 4:45 p.m. today, May 10, 2006. The show is called KababayanLA. If someone happens to see this show, would you please video tape this for her?

Also, Christine was interviewed by ABC news yesterday, May 9, 2006. Her story will be on the afternoon news show with Denise Dador either today or tomorrow afternoon. Will someone also video tape this too?

Wishing you all the best and pray for Christine's quick recovery,

Tony Chiu

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Update from Jocelyn P - Good news

Good news from one of Christine's nurses. Depending on the results from her tests, there is a possibility that she may be released from the hospital today. If she is, then she will return home. However, since her body is immunocompromised, she is required to wear a protective screening mask daily.

If you plan to visit her, please call beforehand to see how she is feeling. Remember, she will have bad days and better days so please limit the length of your visits since she her body tires easily. I will say that she is so happy when people visit her, she
tells me at the end of the day who has come and what they did. Even if she appears like she is sleeping she knows you are there...she may not be able to respond but she remembers hearing people's voices and soft kind touches. Since exposure of any type could cause irreversible damage to her, please refrain from visiting if you even feel a little sick or have any sniffles. As for babies and children, Christine adores them but the doctors have forbidden her from being close to them.

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of her. It lifts her spirits and gives her energy.

- Jocelyn

Message from JT - The beauty that she is

I'm one of the lucky few without the sniffles who could visit our dear Christine in Duarte. A sign on Christine's door said "No more than 4 visitors at a time!" Popular girl. She was exhausted by the time I saw her but she still smiled her familiar smile once I got the foot rub going.

Christine had a rough night. The nurses were worried when her blood pressure dove down to 78/42. They were monitoring every 10 minutes and force-feeding her salty foods at 3 in the morning. She had barely the strength to open her mouth, but you could see the fire behind her drowsy eyelids as she forced herself to chew…chew…chew.

She's still got pain from the surgery. Says it's like an ice-pick stuck in the side of her neck. But good girl is getting out of bed and walking twice a day. A true warrior princess. The good news is that if things go well over the next 24 hours, Christine may be going' home as soon as Sunday morning!

Even through all this, Christine was able to laugh when she heard of the dubious honor of her blurb on Then, a phone call came in. KSCI-TV wants to do an interview with her next week. She's our rock star.

More good news. Christine is excited to share that there will be a Benefit Screening of the highly controversial feature length film she co-produced, "F*CK" on Tuesday, May 23 at the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills. Save the date and let everyone know about the super special thinkfilm sneak preview before its release in theaters this fall. More info later.

I'm not much of a poet but I wrote this while watching her sleep. For those of you who don't know me, I love her like a sister and fiercely protect her like my own.

The beauty that you are is a gift to us all
Because the beauty that you are reflects
The beauty we strive to be

The beauty that you are makes young girls into heroes
The beauty that you are turns boys into real men
Your beauty makes me wonder, how can I do better.

The beauty that you are is sometimes hurt
By a coward who runs away from the reflection he sees in you
Pity he chooses his fear over your beauty
His is a life less lived and a life better forgotten.

But the beauty that you are is ageless
It is whole and effervescent
Beyond Helen of Troy,
The beauty that you are has launched a thousand stars.

New York Loves you,

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Update from Mike B - Christine's Surgery

Hello Everyone:

I was able to get some updates on Christine's condtion from her Mom at City of Hope. First, reaching new levels of notariety, Christine has been listed on on May 2nd, sandwiched between "Free Katie Holmes" and "Andy Dick's Beerjacking" in a posting entitled, "F*CK CANCER" (this all brought a smile to Christine's face)... Christine's May 2nd posting is presently on page 3 of (link below) but you may have to page further to find it as the days progress)...

Christine is doing well but she's been given a lot of medications that makes her very sleepy. She remains in good spirits... as they wheeled her into surgery and began strapping down her arms and legs Christine lightened the moment with, "So this is what it feels like to be abducted by aliens"...

The surgery went well without complications and she was brought immediately back to her room to start the chemo (Christine didn't even have time to fluff her pillow before the drip started...) The rest of the day was a haze in and out of conciousness...

Christine sends her love to everyone and is asking everyone to PLEASE, PLEASE continue their wonderful efforts to find that desperately needed donor... (if you have any questions about how you can help with locating a donor please contact Christine's sister (info in a previous group posting)).

Also in a previous posting was how to get these easy to use mail-in self-sample swab kits that don't even require potential donors to go to a center. They can simply take a quick swab on the inside of their mouth and then drop the sample into the provided mail in container (easy as that)!!! The previous post explains how to get as many of these as you want to pass out to your Filipino friends and neighbors!!! Being incapacitated, there's not much Christine will be able to do now, so it will be up to all of us to keep up the search...

If things go well, Christine may be going home as early as Sunday.

The same restrictions on gifts and visits apply at COH (no flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, etc. as per the previous post). And no hugs... but I'm told great foot massages are gladly accepted :) Christine LOVES art! So any pictures, posters, cards would really brighten up the room at COH! Also MUSIC... healing music, rock out music or your own mixes always make her smile!

I'll let you know whatever additional information I hear... until then let's keep looking for that match! Christine appreciates everyone's efforts more than you could know...

Take Care... Mike.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Chances of survival less than 30% - Come to the Edge

Thanks to everyone who came to the Happy Hour/Love Fest at the Culver Hotel last night! I had more Maraschino cherries than Liza Minnelli has had… hangovers. Along with the hugs and hand squeezing, there were many questions about the details of exactly what was happening. Well, if you really want to know…

I saw my oncologist today for prep and to review and confirm my treatment. He said I would most likely be going into the marrow transplant procedure in 6 to 8 weeks. My chances of survival are less than 30%. He did his best to sound encouraging
about the partial match after going over the scans with me.

The latest scans that were "bad" showed that a third tumor had shown up in the last six weeks. Of the two tumors that were already identified in December, one had since increased in size by 10%. The other by 30%. This tumor is already the size of a
plum. Also, I have diffuse large B-Cell Lymphoma. "Diffuse" means that there is a heavy sprinkling… sort of like Parmesan cheese… of bad cells scattered in my upper chest area. This loose net of neoplasm is expanding at an alarming rate. This explains the urgency and gravity of the situation.

I am scheduled for surgery May 3, Wednesday morning at City of Hope to implant a Hickman catheter. This is medical tubing that is inserted into the jugular vein. The tubing leads away, puncturing the skin, and splays out from my upper chest. This is
used for direct infusion of the chemotherapy as well as medications and nutrition. I will arrive at the hospital at 8:30am and will be "on the table" at 11:45am. The procedure takes less than an hour, followed by an hour or two in recovery.

As soon as the anesthesia begins to wear off, I will be wheeled out of post-op, straight through admissions and immediately start the 4 straight days of non-stop, 24-hour intense chemotherapy called R-ICE. (A potent cocktail of Rituximab, Ifosamide, Caboplatnum and Etopisode) This is the part where the laser light show begins and I start hallucinating about smurfs. This is also the part where my blood counts will drop and I will be very vulnerable to germies and bugs. If things go well, after 4 days I will go home for approximately two weeks to recover. I will most likely be stuck in bed feeling very crabby because… well…because I'll be stuck in bed!

After two weeks, just when I'll be getting my wits about me and saying, "Where am I?" they will admit me AGAIN for a second round of 4 straight days of non-stop 24-hour R-ICE chemo. Another week or two of recovery will be followed by scans. What
happens next will depend on what the scans say.

In terms of visits, I would call the hospital first before driving all the way up to Duarte. My condition may change hour by hour. People who are sniffly, coughing, or running a temperature, will not be allowed into the building. Infant children are not
allowed in the building. Visitors may be required to wear mask, gloves and possibly protective gowns. All visitors are required to wash their hands thoroughly before entering the room. Also, City of Hope recommends keeping visitations short. No "outside" food will be allowed.

This schedule, of course, is tentative. Things change day-by-day, hour-by-hour. Everything depends on how well I tolerate the chemo and how well I respond to it.

We are still desperately seeking a miracle match. Finding a better match increases my chances of survival. We have less than two weeks left to sign up as many Filipinos on the registry as possible. We need lots of help right now: People to help with
making phone calls, follow-up and fundraising. If you can spare some time, some talent or some skill, even if it's just a little bit, PLEASE contact my sister Jocelyn.

"Are you going to be alright?" I get this question a lot and the answer is "Nobody knows". I don't know. I wish I knew. I wish I had the answers. Only God knows why this is happening and what will come of it. Truth is, none of us truly knows if we are
going to be "alright" six weeks from now. We just take it for granted. Truth is, one day, some day you and I will leave this earth. We are at once invincible spirits and mortal beings. Once you recognize that in every soul you meet, you will realize the significance of every moment in your life and what love truly means.

"Are you going to be alright?" : All I know is that I'm going to work as hard as I can to be "alright". And no matter what happens, I'll at the very least know that I did… we did… our very best.

Much love,

- - - - - - - - - -

Come to the Edge
by Christopher Logue

Come to the edge.

We might fall.

Come to the edge.

It's too high!

Come to the edge.

And they came,

and she pushed,

And they flew.

Monday, May 1, 2006

The PSA is online! Watch VIDEO here!

Hi all,

We finally got the 5-minute personal PSA video up on the website. Thank you to Kurt, John, Stephanie and David for doing such a phenomenal job.

There is also a 30 second and 60 second PSA available if anyone needs a copy on DVD... Thanks to Andre and Beebe for doing all the hard work on another moving piece!

much love,