Breast MRI report: Feb 2021

Well…the good news is that it looks like my mass hasn’t gotten any bigger since August…

The bad news, is that they’re still using ‘breast’ and ‘mass’ in the same sentence 🤪.

Once I get my vaccine, and I qualify in the next group, I think I should move ahead with the surgery to be on the safe side, since I have such an extensive family history of breast cancer…

It’s going to be brutal and take a few weeks (months?) to recover, but I’m not doing much right now anyway because of Covid, and Noah will be with me still before he goes office for college…I’m not sure I can have a surgery like that and live alone (?)

Thanks again for everything 🙂 I’m hoping my brain MRI is stable, even though I’m still having these strange headaches…maybe the headaches are just stress (?)


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I just spoke with Dr. Pitchon — 400 out of 930 beds at Cedars are Covid patients

I just spoke with Dr. Pitchon, he said everyone must stay away from everyone else right now. With almost half of Cedars filled with Covid patients, the situation in Los Angeles is absolutely critical, and they’re expecting things to get even worse…

Dr. P said we have to think of Covid as being everywhere, behind every door, at every gas station, on everyone’s clothing,

the situation is absolutely dire 😢.

He also said Cedars still hasn’t announced publicly a plan on how they’re going to vaccinate regular people yet, they’re still trying to get through all the medical people…

It’s really nerve wracking because I have a few medical problems brewing (like the mass in my breast), and I’ve got to hope everything is going to be okay to wait a few months…I really don’t have a choice right now. I’ll repeat my breast imaging students in a couple of weeks and then reevaluate, but I’ll not sure anyone can do anything with the hospitals full.

The good news about the clots in my arm is that they’re chronic, so they’ve been there for awhile and he doesn’t expect them to break off or bother me in any way. He’s going to change my antibiotics to see if that will help reduce the burning, and I should repeat an ultrasound on my arm in a few weeks to make sure they’re not getting bigger or whatever, but he doesn’t expect them to become life threatening or anything like that.

(But I cant help but worry about them a little bit though…another thing to think about 😦

How are you doing? I hope you’re doing okay…I miss you tremendously, I hope life will be more stabilized by summer…


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In turns out I do have blood clots in my arm — what should I do now?

I hope you’re having a good holiday weekend 🙂

Your instincts were totally right, the reason I’m feeling so crappy over the last couple of weeks is because I do have some clots in my arm — I remember you said if I had clots I needed to get them removed, how should I do that?

(Can we send the clots to be cultured as well? I have a feeling it’s probably going to grow the same bacteria that infected the port that used to be there, but I’m sure if there’s something else going on —)

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been getting dosed up on my Ig, so I’ve been feeling better the last week…I’m hoping getting dosed up on the Ig along with the oral antibiotics will be enough to finally get over this hump ❤️🤞👍.

Thanks again for everything,

Tara 🙂

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On my way to Cedars for the ultrasound on my arm….


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What it means to be a bad stick 😢

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I’ve been stuck over 15 times by 4 different nurses (in two different countries!)

and still no one can get my IV started 😢.

The nurse whose known me for 15 years is going to come back again tonight and try again,

this time I’m going to sit in a hot bath and we’re going to try putting the line in the bathroom…

Thankfully tomorrow I should be able to contact the Procedure Center at Cedars and get an appointment for a new port…

I’m not sure if Joseph is going to be able to get me tonight, because I’ve run out of so many potential places to try…this might be a failed mission before we even get started because so many of my veins can’t even be touched right now…

I hope you’re doing well and staying away from everyone!!! I’ve bought disposal rain ponchos, in addition to all of my normal gear (googles, face shield, gloves, masks, etc), to wear when I go to Cedars,

but this virus is so tricky it’s hard to say if that’s going to be enough. Noah and I have heavy duty carbon air filters set up all over the apartment, and I’ve instructed him to stay away from me and hide in his room, and when I’m in the common area of the apartment inside I’m in a mask all of the time…

It’s a brutal time to have a serious health problem, so please stay inside and don’t go anywhere. I feel bad for people who are in accidents or heart attacks, in a week or two they’re not going to have enough ICU beds for anyone…

You can not be strick enough right now…I think people are in denial what it means for a city to run out of ICU beds…no one should be going anywhere because unplanned events and accidents happen all the time…


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Noah, me and Covid

Even though Noah and I haven’t left the apartment in days,

he still wants me wearing a mask if I’m gonna be hanging out next to him for more than a few minutes lol.

I guess it doesn’t hurt to err on the safe side ❤️

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Strange wart-like bump on my right elbow

I have this strange wart-like bump on my elbow…it’s been there now for a couple of months. I’m not sure if it’s getting bigger or not, that’s why I put that coin next to it, The next time I take a photo of it I can compare for size…

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COVID-19 Vaccine Should Be ‘Very Effective’

The article I’ve attached at the bottom of this email talks about the vaccine effective rate for other diseases. For your show this week, I’m going to put together a chart of traditional childhood vaccines and their effective rate.

You can also cover what those diseases were like for people, some of their more horrifying symptoms, basically reminding people that vaccines do work and why it’s important everyone who can get one, takes it.

Perhaps what’s so ‘shocking’ for people about Covid, is that it’s been a little while since we’ve had such a widespread crippling disease — last one being polio (?) So people have forgotten what human diseases can do to us. When the polio vaccine came out, people lined up for a long time to get the vaccine. They had seen what polio does to their friends and family — even the President had it — so people knew the vaccine was important.

Vaccine’s success story on the course of human diseases has also been its curse, because some people have lost why they’re so important, they’re taking our vaccine world for granted…

And vaccines are definitely not something to take for granted…

What I don’t quite understand how, different vaccines work differently in the human body, that’s why the Pneumoccal vaccine is a measure of someone’s immune system, and a big part of the mystery of our case, why we’ve needed so many Pneumoccal shots. There’s something about that vaccine that involves the t-cells, I don’t know know, I’ve ever understood it when people have tried to explain it to me.

Either way, vaccines are important and they work and we don’t entirely understand the immune system, and they still work…

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Dr. Hanson isn’t at the NIH anymore — email bounced back to me :(

Dr. Hanson isn’t at the NIH anymore, he’s now at Indiana University School of Medicine, head of a pediatric lab I think. Not sure what happened with our stem cells. Something tells me that got thrown away or lost or put on a shelf somewhere…

I’m not sure I’m going to do anything else, or try to reach out to him at Indiana. Right now I’m really not feeling well, the burning feeling I had when my infected port was in my arm has now moved to my arm pit, so I’m in the midst of this…

At the end of the day, research dollars are limited and there is only so many hours in a day that anyone can think about anything…I agree with what Dr. Kachru said a long time ago, it will probably be Noah in a lab one day with his own blood doing the figuring out. 👍

Noah has a good handle on how to keep his health as stable as possible, which is the main gift I was able to give him, the gift I wouldn’t have been able to give him if I had died in the fall of 2005…a lot of people have contributed to help keep us alive all of these years, and goodness knows the trail of thousands of pages of records may lead to something somewhere one day…

Thank you ❤️.

Noah made a beautifully innocent and naive comment to me recently, adamantly and passionately,

he didn’t understand why doctors don’t get excited about a case like ours, “don’t doctors go to medical school hoping to meet patients like us?” Made me laugh and smile…if Noah does make it through medical school, he’ll definitely be a great doctor. He learned from the best 🙂

Thanks again for everything,


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