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Posts Tagged ‘health’


I read about ALS back when I was into research of alternative treatments for cancer when I finished my six cycles of chemotherapy five years ago. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It sounds frightening and they say that there is still no known cure that would put a stop to it.  I only heard of it again when I saw some personalities on TV doing the ice bucket challenge. It has become viral on social media. Are they doing it for publicity or are they doing it because they sincerely want to help people with this kind of ailment? I am not here to judge, I just noticed that those who have accepted the challenge, movie and television personalities that you get to watch every day are also urging and challenging some people in the government to do the same.  I even heard one this morning commenting that the feeling of tingling sensations while the ice water touches your skin is similar to the pain one feels when he/she has ALS. I am not in a position to say something negative here but do you have to do it so you could help? Wouldn’t  it be nicer if you would help even without doing the challenge?

There is this interesting article I read a few minutes ago published by health impact news entitled “Do you Know What You Are Supporting?” such chilling facts that make my skin tingle. I remember the times when I was on chemotherapy, after each every session for two days at most, you can’t even move your body and arms normally because you are so weak, as they say in Tagalog, “parang lantang gulay”. I remember the times I cannot even hold a spoon and fork because the tips of my fingers are so painful like they are being pricked by a needle when they touch something cold or anything metallic. What I know is, everyone who is afflicted with life-threatening ailments needs support group and that is sadly lacking here in our country. When I was under treatment, I longed for some friends to discuss cancer freely with me but only a few dared. Probably they thought that it would be more painful to remind me of it but I tell you , it helps a lot.


The ice bucket challenge has caused general awareness in some of us  but  how healthy really is an ice bucket poured down your head?In an article published today by Philippine Star, a leading newspaper here in our country, it quoted a well-known cardiologist Dr. Willie Ong who  told The STAR that “in some cases the blood pressure may drop suddenly, causing the affected individual to collapse. This could be particularly harmful to the elderly, pregnant women and the ailing”.

Is it a fad, are they just going with the flow? What’s your take on this?

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We are all on the alert. Every time there is a storm signal here in Metro Manila, I feel so insecure. There was a time when I used to appreciate the rain when it gently pours and makes the green countryside even greener and fresher. Our experience with typhoon Ondoy almost five years ago changed all that.  Glenda is the seventh storm signal this year. Most of the provinces in Luzon are affected by this latest weather disturbance, we are under storm signal number 2. I am praying it won’t bring so much rain that would cause flash flood in Metro Manila.

There is this quote that I’ve often read and pondered about  for a long time now and it was even made into a lot of internet meme. It’s from Vivian Green (sorry, I don’t know  much about her except through this quote)  and it says:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Yesterday, I celebrated my 5th year in remission.  It’s really one good reason to celebrate and to offer it in thanksgiving . I thank God for all the blessings and graces. As I’ve always said in my previous blog posts, this blog exists because I wanted to share my journey as a cancer patient/survivor. The first two years of this blog were almost about my everyday experiences going to and from the hospital, weekly lab tests and the pain and anguish of having to undergo chemotherapy every three weeks. Miracles do happen in our everyday life and it is always a blessing to wake up each morning seeing the sun and the day’s unfolding. We are richly blessed by the love and care of family and friends, just sometimes, we forget to appreciate what we have and take everything for granted. I am always of the thought that life is one lovely journey despite the odds and the pain it brings us now and then. I am looking forward to a new day despite the storm.  I love this beautiful quote from the late Maya Angelou.

IMG_6123

 

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I knew that I won’t go back to being 100% fit the first time I heard the word “cancer” more than four years ago.  I have enough of hospital and doctor visits so I gave up visiting one. A month ago, I felt an excruciating pain on my left knee so I have to look for a doctor near our place and it was my first time to visit a government hospital. Consultation is free of course but there are charges for laboratory tests. Compared to private hospitals, they charge a bit lower than the normal rate. It turned out I have gout and I have to take medications for three months before I go back there again.  Visiting doctors and hospitals always reminds me of the ordeal I went through when I was having chemotherapy.

Last Sunday, I underwent Quantum Resonance Magnetic Analysis. The QRMA is a rapid (it only takes a minute), accurate, non-invasive testing method. “The main analysis items are over 30, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular condition, bone mineral density, trace elements, blood lead, rheumatism, lung and respiratory tract, nephropathy, blood sugar, stomach and intestines, liver and gall, cranial nerves, gynecology, prostate, bone disease, the trace elements of selenium, iron, zinc and calcium, etc.”  Suffice to say, I need to have a detox for three days and have to change my diet and eat more fruits and vegetables. I’ve been so careful with  my diet since I had surgery for  colon cancer so I’ve wondered why there are still so many health risks that need to be addressed. It is so frustrating to know that  despite being so careful about it all, the results are not good.  Lack of calcium intake when I was a kid contributed to the weak bones that affect me now. I don’t drink milk  and I never like its taste and mom used to say that I was completely breastfed as a baby. I could tolerate milk products though as long as it is not pure milk. 

The things you do to stay healthy but then how sure are we that the things we eat nowadays are free from chemicals that ravage our bodies? Even fruits and vegetables are not safe unless they are locally grown in your own backyard.

Health is wealth so they say and I agree.

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Last Christmas, my daughter gifted me with a lovely glass infusion bottle and told me I can use it every day for whatever veggies and fruits I would like to use. I’ve been using it ever since.

water infusion

The first time I encountered the healthy benefits of water infusion was during our visit at Regina RICA in Tanay, Rizal two years ago. The Dominican sisters who manage the place had a big jug of water infused with some herbs which tasted so refreshing. I forgot what it was but that introduced me to an alternative way to drink water instead of just pouring it in a glass. I haven’t actually researched on the health benefits of water infusion but some of my friends say it is healthy. I found this site which featured lemon as its ingredient.  Interesting read,  lemon is used not just to flavor your drinks but  it adds more benefits.  I’ve tried combining celery stalks with cucumber and it was great. For some of us who are conscious of  our health (not getting any younger) and would love to try an alternative way to stay well, this is it.  You can use fresh herbs or fruits like lemon, oranges, lime, mint and other fruits available in the market.

  • orange
  • lemon
  • lime
  • grapefruit
  • cucumber
  • mint
  • orange
  • lemon
  • lime
  • grapefruit
  • cucumber
  • mint

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thnaks

Sometimes, you  walk through life full of anguish and pain but those are same moments when you realize that you are stronger than most, that you could face life and all its challenges because you are one blessed soul.

I do remember and I feel grateful and blessed today. Thank You for making me realize that the past four years of being in remission is  Your way of making me closer to You. I bow my head in thanksgiving for all the wonderful graces, for the gift of family and friends who were there during my journey, sharing my pain and making me feel loved.

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I must really be getting old. No, let me amend that, I am definitely growing older. And I always think that growing older is always getting wiser with age. Got this throbbing headache  that won’t go away or maybe it is just a sign of normal wear and tear. I was exchanging texts with a friend  yesterday  (we are both cancer survivors) and I told her, I easily get tired nowadays  and I need to catch up on my siesta every day. Make that an hour or more instead of the usual thirty minutes shuteye that I used to have. She told me she underwent Zometa infusion just last week.   Her doctor advised her to have it when she had a recent bone scan. And I thought, I am not going back to the hospital just to learn that you need more series of tests despite the fact that you are now living a normal life being a survivor. The last time I found out that everything was back to normal, including my CEA marker, I left everything to God. He will take care of me because He gave me a second chance. Living in faith and believing in God’s will.

I spent  part of the morning reading articles by Barbara Gonzales. For the past years, I’ve followed her writings under her byline called Second  Wind every Sunday. I like how she touches on her hobbies, writing and how she get on with life despite living alone. She said that one of her favorite books is Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy written by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  I can’t help but smile at the thought that it is one of my favorite books too. When I am feeling so low, this book always gives me a lift. She always put her contact number at the end of her posts so I tried getting in touch and wrote:

Read your article with interest Ms. Barbara. Re: Simple Abundance. I have that book  too for several years now. It’s like a daily bible  for women like us. I even blog about it from time to time. I am a cancer survivor. It’s the reason why I keep a blog because I have this dream of inspiring people through my journey, that life is even more meaningful when God gives you a second chance. Thank you for your nice articles, I am a fan.

She texted back and said thank you. One other writer that I admire is Lucy  Torres. I don’t care much about her political career but I love how she shares her thoughts and family life  in Love Lucy at Philippine Star. Somehow, every time I read her posts, I always get the feeling that she is a close friend, the way she talks about anything under the sun.  Reading her posts also makes me feel that she is writing about my own experiences in life, they’re closer to home, so to speak.

Having no internet connection for the past several days gave me the chance to watch a little TV and catch up on my reading. I watched Maid in Manhattan a few days ago  (for the nth time). I am in the middle of reading Exile by Richard North Patterson, a thick book on Israel’s history as background.  Now I understand why the Jews and Palestinians don’t see eye to eye.

How was your day?

 

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I am quite speechless and so happy because the past three  years have been full of  blessings, health-wise. And I say, I could not ask for more except to utter a fervent prayer of thanks for the gift of life and health. Every day, I feel His loving embrace  and it made me realize that having a life-threatening disease is not the end of the world. The recovery may not be a walk in the park but it is where I draw strength and courage to go on with life.  THANK YOU LORD.

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