Tag Archive | "Halloween"


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#JennStrong 2 update: Every day is a bloody Halloween at The Leukemia Hotel

Posted on 30 October 2015 by Nestor Aparicio


“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory.”

-Vince Lombardi



On the fourth day of her stay at The Hotel, on this second leukemia journey of pain and reward, my wife Jenn was seated as her nurse unhooked her first bag of B Positive blood. Somehow, a pair of lonely droplets sat under her tree on the floor – beaded up, shining ruby red, like eyes staring at me.

Jenn said to me, “Hey, can you grab a napkin and clean that up?”

And as I looked down and saw it, I just couldn’t do it.

My stomach turned, my eyes glazed over and I needed a moment to close my eyes and collect myself. Nurses and doctors and medics and diabetics – a club my wife has been a member of since 1991 – all see and deal with the scarlet fluid of life all day, every day.

I must admit it was the first time that I saw Jenn administer a shot into her abdomen in February 2003 that I really fell in love with her because of the empathy I felt and the toughness she exuded in dealing with pain and self-inflicted needles and blood and courage. Honestly, I’d never met a girl with that kind of innate grit.

This weekend she’s dealing with the effects of an appendicitis that was diagnosed late Wednesday night after an evening of stomach pain. We learned earlier in the week that her donor’s schedule was delayed with the blood she’ll need to survive this leukemia diagnosis and her bone marrow transplant from June 2014.

So instead of Thursday Night Football with the Patriots and a potentially life-saving lymphocyte infusion from her 22-year old German donor, she instead waits for a variety of antibiotics to settle down her appendix, which they do not want to remove because she currently has no immune system to fight bacteria or to heal wounds.

Surgery is the last thing in the world she needs right now. The doctors believe that it will be avoided and she’s trending in a positive direction.

Cancer isn’t fair and it does kinda what it wants. Or, more fairly, it’s the chemotherapy and poisons, which are designed to kill the cancer, that create other sticky situations throughout various organs in the body.

The medical team expects signs of neutrophils sometime over the next two weeks. This would indicate her white blood cells are coming and her body is bouncing back. The appendix situation remains “moment to moment” and she’s constantly being monitored to make sure this doesn’t get more complicated. Heart monitors, blood pressure checks, lots of labs and scans are all involved at all hours of the day.

Sleep doesn’t come easy at The Hotel.

Meanwhile, during the Halloween weekend of revelry and costumes and candy, we’ve only got blood – and not the fake kind – here at The Hotel. And like vampires they’re taking plenty of blood out of her.

Earlier in the week, she started feeling better from a burned-out gastrointestinal tract from the chemo. After eight days with mucositis and incredible pain, she was finally getting back to eating oatmeal and soft foods like mashed potatoes and soups. Now, she’s being fed once again by a nutrition solution every night because they can’t afford to find out what real food might do to her stomach if her appendix gets uppity. She’s slowly getting back to clear fluids and being able to drink water again.

We’ve had throat sores and nose bleeds, fevers and incredible bruising (she has very few platelets) – plus tears and fears and plenty of pain and discomfort this week.

And plenty of B Positive blood being drawn, given and used.

A bloody Halloween, indeed…

I see lots of macho muscles from idiot sports fans on the internet and every day out in the real world someone is playing the role of “tough guy” – but ask yourself how you’d feel about pricking your fingers a dozen times a day and giving yourself shots twice day, EVERY day just to survive the day and live through the night?

As a diabetic, Jenn has been doing that every single day of her life since 1991.

We didn’t need Halloween or cancer for every day to be a bloody day at my condo. Alcohol swabs, needles, pins, gauze and droplets of blood on clothes are a …

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Ravens host Goodwill Gridiron Halloween Party Monday

Posted on 28 October 2013 by WNST Staff


Ravens TE Ed DicksonDT Art JonesT Michael Oher, G Kelechi Osemele and TE Dennis Pitta will serve as hosts for the 14th annual Goodwill Gridiron Halloween Party on Monday (10/28) at Dave & Buster’s (Arundel Mills Mall). They will be joined by approximately 15 Ravens teammates and more than 600 guests at the festive party.

The event features a night of bowling, billiards, video games and light fare, in addition to a silent auction. Guests with unique costumes will take part in a costume contest, judged by Ravens players in attendance.

The event benefits Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc., with all proceeds donated toward training and employment programs to help the disabled and underprivileged secure and retain jobs. Last year, Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake provided services for over 33,000 individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment, placing 2,464 people into jobs.

Please note that this is a ticketed event. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.goodwillgridiron.com.


Who:                     TE Ed DicksonDT Art JonesT Michael Oher, G Kelechi Osemele and TE Dennis Pitta

Along with additional Ravens Players


What:                   14th annual Goodwill Gridiron Halloween Party


Where:                Dave & Buster’sArundel Mills Mall

7000 Arundel Mills Circle

Hanover, MD 21076


When:                  Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 7 – 11 p.m.

*Costume contest takes place at approximately 8:45 p.m.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 22 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-New Zealand @ Team USA Women (Sunday 6:30pm from San Francisco live on ussoccer.com), MLS: Houston Dynamo @ DC United (Sunday 1:30pm from RFK Stadium live on NBC); Golf: PGA Tour CIMB Classic (Wednesday-Saturday 11pm from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia live on Golf Channel), Champions Tour AT&T Championship (Friday-Sunday 3:30pm from San Antonio live on Golf Channel), Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship (Thursday-Sunday 12pm from Yang Mei, Taiwan on Golf Channel); Boxing: Bernard Hopkins vs. Karo Murat (Saturday 9pm from Atlantic City live on Showtime)

10. Pearl Jam (Sunday 7:30pm Baltimore Arena); Steve Aoki/Pharrell Williams (Friday 4pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); The Maine/Anberlin (Friday 7:30pm Rams Head Live); Ballyhoo! (Friday 9pm Baltimore Soundstage), Butch Walker (Monday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); War (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Center Stage); Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); George Clinton & The P Funk All-Stars (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); John Legend (Wednesday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Fiona Apple (Friday & Saturday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); The Blind Boys of Alabama (Thursday 7:30pm The Hamilton); Brett Dennen “Smoke & Mirrors” and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy “It Feels Like Christmas Time” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Not to say the other things happening this week aren’t nice, but…Pearl Jam is playing in Charm City Sunday night. Here are four PJ songs to get you hyped. The first two come from our “Totally Tubular” official scorekeeper on “The Reality Check”, Bryan Powell.

The next two are from a guy who will only be seeing Pearl Jam for the fourth time in his life Sunday night. Me.

9. Baltimore Beer Week (Tuesday-Sunday events throughout Charm City); Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival (Saturday 3:30pm Creative Alliance); Anthony Jeselnik (Saturday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Jim Gaffigan (Thursday 8pm Cole Field House); Cheech & Chong (Thursday 7pm Lincoln Theatre); Janeane Garofalo (Saturday 8:30pm The Hamilton); Jeff Ross (Sunday 7:30pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue); Tony Rock (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); The Conjuring“, “The Way, Way Back” and “The Internship” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” and “The Counselor” out in theaters (Friday)

I’m all in on Beer Week, but if no one brings me any of this (by far and away my favorite Pumpkin Beer), I’ll cancel Beer Week myself.

Oh hey look, here’s a random scene I found from the movie “The Counselor”. TOTALLY AT RANDOM!

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