Tag Archives: Symptoms

Some prelim info

Day 5. Running low on supplies. Might have to eat Johnson’s leg. Can’t start drinking sea water. Can’t watch any more Telemundo. Started reading Maxim. Oh God.


Things are good. Hospital is great. Nurses are great. The doctors who know what’s going with me are great. I think the staff still thinks I’m funny….but I also think they kinda wish I was just another comatose person in a hospital bed so they didn’t have to pretend to laugh at my jokes.


Initial diagnosis is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – the most treatable kind of cancer there is. Not sure of the stage – need more tests. I’ll get more info on Monday and begin treatment soon.

Definition of Hodgkin lymphoma: A cancer of the immune system that is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The two major types of Hodgkin lymphoma are classical Hodgkin lymphoma and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma. Symptoms include the painless enlargement of lymph nodes, spleen, or other immune tissue. Other symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, or night sweats. Also called Hodgkin disease.

FYI – that is an exact list of my symptoms over the past 5 months. Kinda figured some doctor may have noticed it earlier. Guess not.

As the nurse says – chemo will be 5 months of suck. I’ll mostly be outpatient but have to be in the hospital through the first treatment.

I’ve also got other side conditions. The vein from my head and arms is almost completely cut off from my heart and I’ve got some blood clots to deal with. My heart and organs are clear. I’ve got some breathing restrictions – so I won’t be able to participate in this year’s company sack race. But treating the lymphoma should cause all these other things to clear up. And then my face will go back to handsome skinny Steve instead of John Lovitz Alec Baldwin sized Steve.

I’m back on steroids, which I was taking for the ‘sinus infection’ and they cause me to look and feel much better than I do. Ironically, steroids are a very early treatment for Hodgkin’s and that’s why I felt so great when I was getting them for my sinuses. A red herring, indeed. So I look and sound better than I am thanks to Roid Rage.

Probably more definite info tomorrow. Until then, the Hoochy Hoochy Sunday Morning Show is on Telemundo….

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Backstory

As most of you know, I have been fighting what I thought was a sinus infection for about 6 months. I went to see quite a few doctors in the process of getting cured. I spent about 3 months getting terrible care at the Motion Picture Clinic – “I can give you an MRI and antibiotics, or I can just give you antibiotics now. I’m sure its just a virus” and an ENT who gave me a low resolution scan in his office and proscribed me with 2 months of over-the-counter Mucinex based upon a faulty scan.

Even after not feeling any better after 3 months, my diagnoses were still coming back as a sinus infection. My symptoms were head swelling (facial edema) especially in the morning, congestion in nose, cough, soreness of the eyes, headache, difficulty sleeping, snoring, some shortness of breath, and night sweats. I finally got a better resolution scan in February which showed acute and chronic sinus infection – so we thought we were on the right track.

An allergist tested me for 100 different allergies – nada. No fungus. No bacteria. I went on a month of antibiotics and prednisone (steroids) and I felt great during that time. Bouncing off the walls, limitless energy, redecorated the apartment. But still shortness of breath after heavy lifting. And as soon as I stopped taking the prednisone, I went right back to my same symptoms.

5 months after this started and I’m worse then ever. Swelling in the neck and bulging veins across my shoulders started making my good friends nervous – and they are both nurses. Also, Jen watching my face turn purple after I did some heavy lifting while bent over wasn’t a good sign either.

Onto another doctor who took one look at my swelling neck and crystal clear sinus scans and he scheduled me for a chest x-ray, convinced that my sinuses had nothing to do with my condition. My nurse friends emphatically suggested that I go the ER – where they would not release me without figuring out what was wrong.

Computer and Starbucks in hand, I went to the UCLA Westwood Emergency Room. In that brand new shiny building full of brand new shiny doctors and nurses, they did an immediate cat scan and found a large mass in my chest (16cm x 14cm x 7cm).

And that’s the day I found out I have cancer.

In a way, a relief. I’ve been sick for a long time. Now begins to road to recovery. More soon.