Pearl’s Peeps, Revlon Walk for Cancer

March 31, 2010 at 11:46 AM | Posted in friends, support | Leave a comment
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Pearl Britto was one of the physically most beautiful women you could have seen. She lived in LA and was a model, a medical office receptionist, and a chat-board administrator.

About 5 years ago she fell ill and quit her job and did not have health insurance. In her late 20’s Pearl was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and had a tumor too big to remove. Chemotherapy and radiation ensued. she became so fragile that her hip broke when she walked across her bedroom one day. The Radiation burned her skin and it literrally rolled off. We joked that she was a Glow Worm.

Eventually, the Cancer killed Pearl and her family – who live in Hawaii – were unable to be with her because her wonderful mother Pennybee was fighting her own battle with Cancer.

Today I received this note on Twitter and all the memories of Pearl and waiting with her at the end of her life came back. I donate to Cancer rEsearch every years and the Pearl’s Peeps profits off of cafe Press are donated to Cancer Research as well. If you want to donate to the Revlon Run/Walk for Cancer : feel free to support my friend at the link below.

Revlon walk in memory of Pearl, pls help me reach my goal!

__________ this is an excerpt from Pearl’s Blog ___________

“Friday, June 23, 2006

Standing up for Your Healthcare Right!I have been on a medial leave..per say.
A mental and physical nightmare..and I am sure I am not the only person that has gone thorugh it.

I was diagnosed with cancer in November 2005, and the desire to struggle to survive a horrible diagnosis & the mental and physical treatment I endured in the hands of a high profile Oncologist, and specialists.

I was initially diagnosed with stage 3 cancer & through a continuum of care & various testing learned the cancer was spreading and metastasizing into the pelvic area & my surrounding bones. This lead to 6 fractures making it difficult to stand and walk most days.
I had never had a medical issue in my life prior to this.

My initial treating physicians felt removing my ovaries might be necessary but they couldn’t do it without shrinking the tumors & determining how the growth in the lymph nodes of the legs would progress. I was currently freelancing and didn’t have medical insurance for any operation let alone chemo or radiation, which was, suggested next steps. All this out of pocket expense just was not feasible.

I was unable to even continue seeing my private physicians, which I felt most comfortable with and trusted now due to the fact I couldn’t afford to. Medical bills mounted causing more stress than imaginable.

Unable to work and care for myself financially, I had to apply for medi-cal to continue with medical treatment. I was approved for medi- cal after a very long & draining ordeal because I didn’t fall under their standard guidelines.

I was then referred to a new Oncologist at a reputable excellent hospital that took medi-cal payments.
The young doctor I met with was very direct in explaining that I also had a stage 3 lung cancer & less than 6 months to live which was shocking!

He immediately ordered chemo & radiation & told me in my advanced stage condition I had less than a 20% chance of survival rate. However he did note that the CT scan was unclear. I insisted on retaking it for that reason, which he then told me it was my choice but I had little time left to live. (WTF?!)
…If a test is unclear isn’t is common sense to request a NEW test?….

I was really devastated and felt why bother even trying to stretch out the inevitable. After retaking the CT, the results in fact showed that I did NOT have lung cancer at all!
I was seething that he could make such a mistake!

I immediately enlisted the support of high profile plastic surgeon friend in Beverly Hills, who made some calls for me & got me an immediate appointment with a very high profile Oncologist…and I now use the term “high profile” w/ a grain of salt!
The Oncologist made it clear it was a favor and that she doesn’t typically see medi-cal patients.

This Oncologist recommended I start chemo & radiation immediately. She agreed with me that the young doctor was wrong with his diagnosis but recommended 6 weeks of grueling radiation & chemo treatments as well which left my body ripped apart, and caused further damage to my fractures.
..I was told I may have a bad sunburn..(huh?!)…
I grew up in Hawaii so I am well aware of what a sunburn is..and I can assure you..this was more like being tossed in a burning building!

During my treatment appoitments my Oncologist never came to visit or scheduled weekly appointments, never returned emergency calls or made herself available for questions that needed answering in any way. She left that to her Fellow or RN.
Perhaphs this is due to my bad insurance..I’m not quite sure.

The Radiologist that my Oncologist assigned me to, (who was new to the hospital), also dictated and didn’t listen.
I had requested, (per a plastic surgeon), for my Radiologist to use a protective cover over my chest to protect my Gel Implants because the effects of direct radiation will damage innplants, but indirect radiation is unknown.
My radiologist flat out refused, stated I didn’t know what I was talking about, and was annoyed about the request. (At the end of treatment, the implant in fact ruptured and needed to be replaced).
..and yes I am still mad about it…
How hard would it have been to put a cover on them??

My Oncologist bedside manor was rude and abrasive from the start & grew worse over time, much the same were other attending staff members during this critical time. One even came out & said I was an “inconvenience”, for showing up at 3:30 in the morning to the cancer center in pain, dehydrated and week, in need of treatment because I didn’t call first!
After being hooked up to an IV and left for several hours w/ no food or attention, I wanted to leave. However this RN was not about to unhook the IV until she fully told me off for barging in with out an apointment!
When I broke down in tears b/c I had enough, she finally took the IV out.

My Oncologist insisted after my treatments that I continue with more radiation, as the treatments I received had not worked. She somehow blamed me for the “defective results”, and was very defensive…. This was Obsurd!

In severe pain with severe burns to my body I just couldn’t take anymore.
I told my Oncologist that I would need another opinion.
She seemed insulted by the thought that I wouldn’t drop to my knees and agree with her…and the truth is, I wanted a second opinion because I just plain wanted a NEW doctor…and to be as far away from this MD as possible!

My Oncologist who I felt was nasty throughout insisted & bullied me to get back to treatment telling both me and my mother that I would die if I didn’t. She also followed up with a certified letter stating in writing that I would “deteriorate and die” if I didn’t have those treatments ASAP.

I had it with the self-righteous, uncaring, person!
I immediately called my Orthopedic Cancer Surgeon and he realized how distraught I was, referred me to another Oncologist in the Santa Monica area. Thank God because he really saved my life by doing that!

He also informed me that in no way I could have more radiation because my fractures were so bad that more radiation may lead to a hip replacement. Information my Oncologist did in fact know but withheld because she felt the cancer was more important, than losing her hip.
Huh?… didn’t I have the right to know or are MD’s allowed to play God with your life?!

I met with the new doctor that I was referred to at another prestigious hospital. It took roughly a month to obtain a new MD and retake tests. Through that month, I was distraught assuming that I was in fact dying. I never felt that “She-Devil” Oncologist was wrong or careless; I just didn’t want that woman in charge of my care.

This time the new doctor took time to know me, to really talk to me & answer the questions I had. Feeling uncomfortable sending me right to chemotherapy he ordered a series of simple testing, which my previous Oncologist NEVER bothered to do. To his surprise the Cancer was gone. (Completely) He took further tests being quite perplexed at how it was possible. All other specialists and colleagues he consulted with concurred my cancer was in fact completely gone, and my fractures were healing!
Followed by “PS..Your implant has ruptured and the Gel is migrating!”

During this ordeal my friend who is a popular LA Radio Personality asked me to Blog about my experience on her web site because she felt it would be good ‘therapy’ for me.
I documented my experience from day 1, (not expecting this would turn out the way it did).
I received hundreds of letters from people showing both support and disgust by what I had gone through. Many people have or know people who are going though similar situations due to poor insurance, that are too scared and vulnerable to stand up for themselves and assume their MD’s are always correct.

So, what is really going on with healthcare..and why do we tend to feel afraid to question the almighty MD when we are in a voulerable place?
I fell victim to that..but never again!
In the shape I was in, I don’t feel I could have made it through another series of treatments…and in the end I didn’t even need them!!!

As I initially stated, I doubt I am the first patient to be pushed through a busy system..and I feel very sad for those who are trapped into having cancer treatments that they may not need b/c they have MD’s who dictate rather than listen.

A big lesson learned..and one I will not go through again!”


Project Linus

March 22, 2010 at 5:14 PM | Posted in friends, parenting | Leave a comment
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this is Jax (my daughter) and my Dad working on making blanketrs for Project Linus

Lemon Drop Martini

March 22, 2010 at 5:13 PM | Posted in cravings | Leave a comment
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Sugar free so…that makes it okay…right?

My kid and kid brother Ken

March 22, 2010 at 5:11 PM | Posted in weight loss | Leave a comment

starbucks FREE coupon

March 22, 2010 at 3:27 PM | Posted in weight loss | Leave a comment
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This song cracks me up

March 21, 2010 at 10:31 PM | Posted in friends, personal stupidness | Leave a comment
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And reminds me of Lisa, whom I refer to as “Sex Bomb”

NITELIFE FIELD AGENT.. so not for me!

March 19, 2010 at 3:59 PM | Posted in work | Leave a comment
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Nightlife Field Agents Needed (Los Angeles)

Date: 2010-03-11, 7:49AM PST
Reply to: see below


National field marketing agency seeking part-time field agents to conduct a bar/nightclub product sampling and events campaign. Must be 21+, possess a valid driver’s license and have reliable transportation. Additional requirements include: outgoing and enthusiastic personality, flexible schedule, ability to work nights and weekends, reliable transportation, and must be comfortable working in the nightclub environment. Compensation $16.75/hr. 15-25 hours per week. This position requires a DMV and background check and the ability to lift and carry up to a maximum of 25 lbs

For Hollywood and Downtown- Please email resumes to OR call 323-580-6263. Applications currently being accepted and interviews scheduled.

For North Hollywood and SVF- Please email resumes to OR call 323-580-6264. Applications currently being accepted and interviews scheduled.

Daylight savings walk

March 17, 2010 at 6:30 PM | Posted in weight loss | Leave a comment

Yeee Haw. Its light when I get home so I can walk

Diamonds – Cabaret

March 16, 2010 at 11:24 PM | Posted in parenting | Leave a comment

short clip from SSP Cabaret 2010. Jax is in the long dress in the middle

VID 00016-20100314-1814

March 16, 2010 at 2:39 PM | Posted in weight loss | Leave a comment

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