Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar Fashion 2010

You might be wondering how someone who dresses in hoodies, jeans and Chucks on a daily basis has any right at all critiquing Hollywood's top celebs as they walk down the red carpet on Oscar night... BUT... I do anyway! :)

The Oscars were full of glamour and elegance this year (even though two of the biggest stars in Hollywood were disappointingly absent.. Brad and Angelina of course). By far, the strapless look dominated the red carpet. SO MUCH SO, that by the end of the red carpet E! show, I was begging for an off the shoulder, one shoulder, spaghetti strap dress on anyone!!! Even though this Academy Awards had its fair share of no no's, overall, I thought it was pretty tame compared to previous years. I really don't think many "best" or "worst" dresses of all times are going to come from this year's Oscars.

As you all know from my previous posts reviewing Golden Globe fashion and Oscar fashion, I steer clear of other reviews before writing mine. I also do my reviews based on how the celebs look onscreen and online in photos. I have seen that many times I will like how they appeared onscreen, but not be able to find a picture of them that does the same justice. Another thing that I try and do is take in the celebrities overall look/appearance, instead of just basing my "best dressed" and "worst dressed" on the dress itself. I believe makeup, accessories, and hairstyles can make or break an outfit!

That being said, I give you my best dressed of the night:

This was a total shock to me, I must admit! Given Sandra's sloppy purple paper maché dress at the Golden Globes this year, I wasn't expecting much out of her. She totally surprised me with her elegance and beauty! This dress, her shiny hair, her makeup (including the bright, pink lipstick), and her accessories were all perfect. She was the epitome of Oscar beauty thru and thru!

This leads me to worst dressed:

Do you remember my Golden Globe review of Diane Kruger? I think it went something like this... "she is always a nightmare on the red carpet! You would think being the girlfriend of 'Fringe' hottie, Joshua Jackson, she would dress better". Well, something like that. Although I didn't expect her to look good (she totally needs to fire her stylist), I WAS shocked to see just how awful she really looked. She always has such severe hair at these awards shows, and last night was no exception. I would like to see her in some loose curls, and a dress to flatter her amazing figure. I know all of you have said it... "If I had THEIR money and fame, I'd wear something better than that!" Well, that was exactly what I was saying when I saw her last night.

You can follow along here or here to see pictures of each celebrity from last night's big show.

Cameron Diaz - Amazing, elegant, glamorous, stunning! Could I be anymore bold about my opinion of her? She must have had the same stylist as Sandra is all I can say. The sparkly gold, metallic number she wore was so flattering to her tall frame. Her cherry red lips and side-swept hair only added to her look and made her my 2nd best dressed of the night.

Miley Cyrus - I admit. I'm a Miley fan. BUT. I also admit that she may have ruined everything I ever liked about her by showing up at the biggest awards show of the year looking like she did last night. Her corset-like gown was horrendous! I am not sure if her purpose was to look way beyond her young teenage years, but there was nothing flattering about this gown. Her updo was nice, but I couldn't get passed her slumped posture to really notice it until I later saw a still photo of her. First of all, she needs to start doing yoga to improve her "country bumpkin" posture, and then she needs to find a stylist that will dress her in age appropriate clothing. She can, however, keep her hairstylist.

Faith Hill - I really liked this dress for the most part. It was black, but not boring! The lace on the bodice and the skirt really added to this and gave it just enough personality. I don't really like the pictures I've seen of her, but onscreen, she looked much better. I loved her loose updo and her large black earrings. I do think the shiny black bra underneath the gown could have been toned down a bit, but overall, it was a good look.

Penelope Cruz - Usually a favorite of mine. I won't say I hated her dress last night, but its definitely not going to be memorable. I didn't like the neckline at all. It reminds me of a "child gone wild with the scissors" kind of look. The rest of the dress looked like a bunch of gathered material. The lines of the dress didn't flatter her at all, however, the color was a beautiful deep scarlet red. I do think the designer had her skin tone and hair color in mind choosing the color of this dress, but they went horribly wrong with the sewing machine later on.

Zoe Saldana - Ok, so she might get worst dressed on many people's lists. Because she looked beautiful from the waist up (including her make up and beautiful updo), I cannot call her worst dressed. Because she looks like a dyed purple poodle from the waist down, many just might call her that.

Jennifer Lopez - Leave it to J Lo to go bold! This iridescent pink dress was definitely that! I think it's going to be one of those you either love or hate. I loved it! The unique neckline and ruffly skirt, along with the shimmery material looked amazing on her. I also loved her simple updo and simple accessories. She has really gotten in shape, and this dress showed it!

Meryl Streep - Is being 60-something an excuse for looking matronly? I guess it is, but I wasn't that "into" this dress. I think because of her age and skin tone, she needs to stay away from white. I also think the plunging neckline would have looked much better without the long sleeves and thick waistline. Her updo was also too messy in my opinion. All I can really say about her is... eh!

Vera Farmiga - Although the color of her dress was brilliant, she looks like she was stuffed into a genetically engineered flower. I loved her hair and makeup, but no one can get passed the horribly accordion-like ruffles to notice.

Gabourey Sidibe - I'm trying to like it. I do like the fact that someone chose an off the shoulder gown. I do like the way this dress hangs on her larger frame. I do like the color. What I don't like is the flower applique across the bodice of this dress. I think it ruins the entire look. I am also not sold on the hairstyle.

Anna Kendrick - This girl needs color! I've not hated her look for the Golden Globes or last night at the Oscars, but I'm not jumping up and down loving it either. The off the shoulder, blush gown fits her nicely, shows just enough leg, and has just the right amount of embellishments, but the color makes her blend into the background. Cute chunky heels though!

Charlize Theron - What's up with this boob-grabbing dress? She is usually a vision of elegance!!! She was not on her game last night. This hideous pink satin dress looked like it grew arms and reached around to... well you get my point. Shiny gowns like this just do not photograph well and tend to have the wrinkled look after awhile. I'm even disappointed in her hair and make up last night. Boo Charlize!

Demi Moore - OK, off topic here... when did she lose so much weight? Her tiny, tiny figure stunned me last night. Anyway... I loved her gown. Although it definitely didn't stand out in the way of color, it fit her perfectly, went nicely with her skin tone, and had beautiful lines! Her hair was perfect too, and I loved her chunky bracelets. She truly looks 25 and not the "close to 50" that she really is. Where was Ashton by the way?

Sarah Jessica Parker - My 2nd choice for worst dress. What was she thinking? I mean really!!! She doesn't have the, ummm, facial features to pull off such a hairstyle, but then again, even someone with say.. Zoe Saldana's petite facial features couldn't pull off this hideous updo. And though I think she probably has one of, if not THE, hottest bods in Hollywood, she sure chose not to show it off last night. With a dress resembling an embellished pillow case, make up resembling a harlot, skin looking WAY too tanned, and an updo with WAY too much poof, she is definitely not going down in history for this Oscar night. I did like her bracelets, not that anyone noticed.

Kristen Stewart - Why does she always look so uncomfortable? Does she really hate the spotlight that much? I wasn't impressed with her at all. She looked like she had on her mother's dress. It wasn't flattering in anyway! The color was boring, her hair was boring, and I'm wondering why she couldn't have at least worn earrings! Ughh!

Kate Winslet - She's usually too matronly for me. She's only in her late 30's (?), but chooses gowns that make her look 50+. Last night I believe she did much better in wearing an age appropriate gown. I thought it was elegant and I was happy to see at least one celeb wear a necklace with their strapless number. I don't think this dress will be that memorable, but I still think she looked beautiful. I liked her lose, wavy hair too!

Amanda Seyfried - Ewwwwwwwwww! Space alien alert!!! This silver, ill-fitting dress was a horrible choice for such a young hottie! I think she was trying to go for Hollywood glamour here, but she failed miserably. Her severe hair and space alien dress make her look way beyond her young years.

Molly Ringwald - Stunning! Not only has she gotten back into terrific shape since giving birth to twins last year, but she was a picture of perfection with her dress and hairstyle last night. It was awesome to see my Hollywood favorites from the 80's last night in a tribute to John Hughes, and it was even more awesome to see how great they all looked! Molly's red hair couldn't have gone better with her purple dress, and I loved the geometric clasp at her waist and matching bracelet.

Sigourney Weaver - I've seen better! I do like her in red, and I do like the flattering lines of this one shoulder dress. What I don't like is the black ribbon chosen to cinch her waist. It seemed so out of place to me. I think a belt in the same color as the dress would have been much more flattering. Her hairstyle was just ok.

Nicole Richie - I'm not liking this metallic angel-winged number. She is much too cute and petite to be wearing such a dress. Her severe updo did nothing for her either. I'm still wondering what she was even doing there in the first place, and really surprised that she would choose this dress for her one chance at being a real celebrity!

Rachel McAdams - This strapless style has been overdone, the colors were a mixture of pastel finger paintings, I don't like her blonde, and her make up was way too peachy! Nothing else to really say!

Carey Mulligan - When I saw her onscreen on the red carpet, I thought she looked great! When I saw her walk up and present, I thought she looked horrible. I guess this boils down to a beautiful top half of her gown (with odd, but awesome embellishments), and a messy bottom half that couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a long or a short gown. I did like her awesome black shoes!

Maggie Gyllenhaal - She's looking radiant this year. I really liked this dress on her. It was a very simple sleeveless design, but was made brilliant by the colors! It was a mixture of blue, black and a hint of orange all brushed on like an oil painting. She kept her hairstyle and accessories simple, so we could truly enjoy the dress!

Elizabeth Banks - WOW! I thought this dress was amazing. The gray color is nothing special until you add the ruffles and beaded seams. It turns something that could have been just ok into something that rocked the red carpet. Elizabeth's updo and headband were also stunners! She gets an A+++ from me!

Mariah Carey - Thank you, thank you Mariah for covering up the parts that need covered and for toning it down a bit! She actually looked elegant last night, and I know for Mariah, that word is like a foreign language. Some may argue that this dress was too matronly for her, but I thought it was just sexy enough with the off the shoulder neckline, and "slightly high" slit!

Mo'Nique - I loved her entire look! She really knows how to show off that body, and do it justice! I'm digging the neckline, the color and the lines across her hips. I also love the flower accent in her hair. She just really rocked it last night!

Tina Fey- The pictures I'm seeing of her last night are not flattering at all. I'm going to base my review on the way she looked onscreen. I think its one of her best looks. I liked the animal-like-print, one shoulder gown. I thought she looked elegant and age appropriate. I also liked her hairstyle and accessories.

I would, once again, love to hear your opinions. Feel free to agree, disagree, offer your own reviews, etc.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My experience with rATG

I'm writing this blog post for two reasons. One, of course, is to update my friends and family, who are not on facebook, about my health. Two, to put my experience with rATG (Thymoglobulin, rabbit Anti-thymocyte Globulin) "out there in the cyber world" for those looking for other patient experiences with the drug. I found, when researching this myself, that there wasn't a whole lot out there.

As most of you know, my lung transplant pulmonologist believes from my recent drop in lung function and my recent xrays that I'm experiencing chronic rejection of my lungs. This is where scar tissue develops in the small airways of the transplanted lungs as a result of white blood cells (lymphocytes) attacking the area. My lungs are not a part of me, and therefore are being attacked by my own lymphocytes.

rATG is a medication that is used to treat chronic rejection. It kills the body's white blood cells in hopes of stopping the attack on the transplanted organs. So, what are the side effects of rATG? Normal reactions or short-term side effects to rATG are flu-like symptoms, like fever/chills, nausea, headache, drop in blood pressure, and increased risk of bleeding (infection and lymphoma can be long-term side effects, so I have to be sure to report any night sweats that might come weeks or months after taking this).

Well I took the short-term side effects a little too far. Even after being given IV Benadryl, IV Zofran, IV solumedrol and oral Tylenol, I had a full inflammatory response to the medication. Thirty minutes into my first infusion, I had complete and total full-body pain!!! I can honestly say that it was the worst pain I have ever experienced. The medication was stopped, and I was given IV Dilaudid and more IV Benadryl. Because this wasn't considered an allergy to rATG, I was once again started on rATG the next day after being pre-medicated with the usual meds plus IV Dilaudid. Other than some pain and itching, I did fine with the next 3 doses.

As a precaution, I am on IV Ceftazadime (antibiotic), oral Cipro (antibiotic), IV Gangcyclovir (anti-viral), and inhaled (via sinus nebulizer) Colistin (antibiotic), to try and prevent any infection since my immune system is so depressed right now. I will be on these medications for 3 weeks. Thankfully, I was able to go home after my last dose of rATG. The hospital is the worst place to be when you are immunocompromised and at risk of infection.

I will go back to Duke in 4 weeks to see my transplant pulmonologist. We are hoping that my lung function will have improved at that point. If not, my doctor will most likely give me Campath, which is similar to rATG, but much stronger and can wipe your immune system out for up to 12 months. We are hoping it doesn't get to that point. I do know of several other recipients who's lung function responded to the rATG, and I'm hoping I am one of them. :)

So, that's a rundown of my week at Duke. I am so thankful for my wonderful doctors and nurses!!! I have been home now for almost a week. I have slept most of the week away, but am feeling much better! I am definitely staying away from crowds for at least another couple of weeks.