I am borrowing a photo from gettyimages. Today, February 4 is World Cancer Day. Some people who haven’t even encountered the word (yes, it is just a word) would ignore reading this. I am happy and thankful to be in remission for almost seven years now. God is good, I know.
I am happy that some readers who are in the same boat like I was several years ago find inspiration through this blog, sharing their plights and requesting for prayers and advice on how to cope with cancer. I am happy that they are also open enough to share their stories. I am oftentimes grateful that until now, my blog posts on being a cancer patient and cancer survivor still get the most views. Being able to help in my own little way is just so wonderful.
Please join me in praying for those who are suffering because of cancer. It sucks but it is not the end of the world. I am also praying for those who are in remission like me. I thank God for second chances at life. I thank God for life’s blessings.
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Posted in guilty pleasures, Happiness, journeys, life, reflections, tagged a bit of myself, guilty pleasures, journeys, life, pursuit of happiness, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts on October 14, 2015 |
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Exactly five years ago I wrote my first post with this title so this makes it part 2. Never mind, this would just be in the same format as the first one I wrote long ago. Remind me of the happy times and my heart jumps with joy, nothing exceptional but just simple things that make me smile.
- got my first birthday greetings from Bank of PI a week ago and I smiled at the thought of another birthday. Let me see, I’ll be turning
58, 59, 60 in two weeks, though I don’t plan to have a birthday party, I still look forward to the day.
- Nate’s shouts of “I love you Nonna” when he is in the mood to talk to me over the phone and I treasure the days that they come over to visit us, when the quiet becomes shouts of laughter and excitement. He loves seeing our three dogs, even calling them by names but when they come near, he is afraid and hides himself behind me.
- Nate’s urging for us to visit the garden so he could pick calamansi to bring home. Never mind that he loves to pick those which are still in their buds. He would always say, “ang bango bango” while enjoying the lemony scent of the tiny flowers.
- the joy of seeing another bloom of my Gardenia though it’s quite a little late for its flowering season. I usually enjoy the scented flowers during the months of May and June.
- finding the fifth book of Richard Paul Evans. I have waited so long to read the last series wondering how it would end. It was one joyful ride, love always triumphs in the end.
- the surprise little gifts from Nissa, she is so thoughtful that way. Lately she gave me a L’Oréal matte pressed powder and two big bottles of body lotion and I was like, “how did you know I need them?” She simply answered “basta”.
- enjoying a hot cup of coffee while staying in the garden and waiting for the day to bring another surprise, a bloom maybe or something that I could take a photo of. I just planted my first blackberry seeds three days ago. Wish me luck that they would grow into seedlings so I could transfer them to a sunny spot in the garden.
- learning to bake an upside-down cake. This was my favorite when I was in high school and I found a simple recipe on the net that was worth a try.
- finding more online friends through this blog and enjoying all the blog posts on my reader. Having a steady number of visitors and views a day really make me smile.
- seeing one of my favorite senators Kiko Pangilinan (I only have three among the twenty-four) personally yesterday when Josef and I visited the 1st National Pork and Egg Festival at Megatrade Hall. He used to be one of our Dept. of Agriculture secretaries but he is now running for another seat in the Senate. I love his sense of humor and the stories he shared while tending their farm in Cavite.
- an early e-mail from a friend, another advance birthday greetings.
- finding new books to read but of course, that’s a given. Books are my best friends :)
Maybe, just maybe when I turn 59, life would give more surprises, something more to smile about, something more to be grateful for and more blessings for the family.
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life – Omar Khayyam
This is my 1,724th post. How cool is that?
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Posted in Faith, journeys, life, month-ender blog, silence speaks, thoughts, tagged a bit of myself, Faith, journeys, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts, thoughts and ramblings on October 1, 2015 |
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September came and went like lightning, a dry September if you ask me because the days were just like summer, so hot with thunderstorms in the late afternoon or early evening. I can’t recall any particular event worth-remembering except Nissa’s birthday and having Nate around over the weekend. And yes, the endless gardening task trimming the grass, deadheading my Gardenia and Crossandra and replanting some Ruellias. Gardening is sometimes a bit boring if you have to wake up early in the morning while the sun is still in slumber. It gets too hot even at seven in the morning.
October started with early morning drizzle then at exactly 3 o’clock this afternoon, the heavy downpour drenched our garden and our garage. Manila Water chose to replace our water meter today (of all days) and according to the contractors, they replace water meters every five years. The new gate valve has to be connected to our existing water line, bringing in a spray of mud and water that reached our car. The pressure was too strong. The rain has stopped a while ago but they haven’t cemented yet the concrete that they have to break up earlier to change the meter. There is a storm coming although we are not in its direct path but it would surely bring monsoon rains until early Saturday morning. What a start for a new month.
Still and all, I welcome October with joy and anticipation. It is my birth month after all. I am always thankful for all the graces and blessings that came and will come my way. It is a celebration of another year ahead, a celebration of life, a celebration of joys and pains that give life its meaning. Even in times of adversity, even when we feel sometimes that we are alone in this world, it is always a blessing to feel that inner strength, that unshakable faith that all would be well in the end. We learn through tears (sometimes) and we embrace gladness in our hearts. Growing old has its rewards.
Happy new month. a blessed October to all!
Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. – BT Bradford (Hidden)
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Posted in chemotherapy, colon cancer, journeys, photography, tagged a bit of myself, chemotherapy, health, journeys, life, photography on August 20, 2015 |
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I wonder if I ever shared this picture here, I can’t remember. I only did a few write-ups about my chemo days, the early years of blogging have been about getting well, getting on with life and trying to live it the best way a cancer survivor can. Would you believe that I met online friends here who shared and underwent similar journeys with me?
Facebook reminds you of a previous post you did years ago on the same day and month that you posted it and I got this.
I remember this….spending my 53rd birthday at the UST Benavidez Cancer Institute while having my 4th chemotherapy. With one of my oncologists, Doc Julie!
Really, it made me smile and memories are reborn. A former classmate in high school prepared snacks for the doctors and nurses at the Ambulatory Care Unit of the UST Benavidez Cancer Institute. She brought a large tray of Pancit Malabon, drinks and cookies. Despite the two IV drips attached to my arm, I enjoyed those moments I spent with the staff. The first time I saw that Oxaliplatin IV drip wrapped in a black cloth bag, I just can’t help but think….that’s poison but still I have to convince myself that it would make me get well.I asked the oncology nurse why it has to be wrapped in black and she said that it should not be exposed to the light.
It was one of the best birthdays ever, because back then, listening to them singing happy birthday made me think that life even at its worse makes you feel happy too.
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Posted in books, guilty pleasures, journeys, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts, tagged a bit of myself, journeys, life, prayers, reflections, thoughts, thoughts and ramblings on July 28, 2015 |
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You might be wondering at the title of this blog post. I smile at the thought of using this beautiful tin box, once filled with pixies, toffees and dark chocolate – a gift from a friend. I remember those days when I was in grade school and my maternal grandma and Mom had one each of those lovely rectangular biscuit tins which they used for their sewing needs. I loved tracing my hands on those lovely drawings (pictures of ladies in gowns carrying dainty parasols and lovely hand fans). Nowadays, there are stores in the metropolis that carry these lovely items without the biscuits inside.
I found this lovely book (I wouldn’t know how to classify it, whether it is a chick lit book or a contemporary one). Think of Sophie Kinsella. It’s a paperback edition of The Someday Jar by Allison Morgan. I was attracted to the book cover, a lovely jar of thoughts that revolves around inspiring life message. I am on the first few chapters but it had me smiling from the start. It gives me the idea of keeping a beautiful glass jar with all the trimmings and full of colorful papers and short writings inside instead of this old tin box that has been with me for a number of years.
Back in 2011, I made use of one of the topics on the daily digest of WordPress, that of keeping an idea box. The wonder of participating in a Daily Writing Challenge was that they suggested topics which you have never thought of. I keep small notebooks on hand, with lots of pens, sharpened pencils and markers. They come in handy when you think of something to write about but that is not practical when you are outside holding a gardening host and watering the plants or staying in the kitchen while cooking something for lunch. I collect journals too by the way. The tin box comes in handy for those times that you can’t make use of those small notebooks that you keep on your night table. Sometimes, those life thoughts come at the most inopportune moments, they play in your head for a little while and unless you immortalize them on paper, they would vanish in thin air and you can never capture them back, the way you thought of them a few minutes ago.
I just thought of opening my Fanny May tin box and smiled finding a list of books that I want to read, book quotes, cellphone numbers without names, medicine prescriptions, short lines, single words on small scratch papers but what I found so lovely is this prayer. I could not remember where I copied them from (senior moments working here) so whoever composed these lovely words, I will just say thank you.
LORD, in this life, I am often confronted with situations that make it difficult for me to think clearly. Grant me the patience and strength to handle anything I may encounter. Fill me with divine understanding so that I can quickly respond to the negative forces that would try to bring me down. May I find the peace and tranquility and calm that is only found in You.
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Yes, I know. I could do with three more hours of sleep but it’s hard go back to bed. Here I am, drinking a hot cup of green tea and lemon with a delicious butter mamon from Red Ribbon which Josef’s girlfriend brought yesterday. The past days, we lived on take out food and what Jovy managed to prepare when she was here. My appetite for food is not back yet so I eat fruits mostly. It makes my stomach ache sometime but it is the only food I can tolerate for a while, without that bitter taste, forcing a tablespoon or two so I can take medicine. I’ve been sick again. the past four days have been real agony for me – high fever (it reached a high 39.5 C), body malaise, achy joints, gargantuan headaches and runny nose that developed into a full-blown cold. The other week, Josef was at the hospital for some lab tests and x-ray. Everything was normal except that upper respiratory tract infection. He said the emergency room was full. This is that time of year where the change of weather brings the flu virus out with a vengeance. A few days later, that pesky headache reared its ugly head and I had fever for three straight days without break. Have you ever experienced perspiring from head to foot but you felt so cold and your skin was clammy and felt like ice water was poured down on you? It was frightening.
I sleep every night clutching my rosary, it’s the only way I could sleep but sometimes I feel guilty that I could not finish the five decades. I could hear one of my friends saying now, it is okay, the prayer intentions are good. Yes I know, I always pray for good health for the whole family, for friends and relatives in general and I always believe in the adage that health is wealth.
It’s a little surprising to see a steady rise on my stats here despite not being updated for almost a week. And I am dying to read all the blog posts on my reader feed when I am well enough to stay in front of the computer.
Will you pray for me? Thank you so much.
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Posted in blessings, Close to Nature, journeys, life, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, Close to Nature, journeys, life, photography, Sierra Madre mountains, silence speaks, thoughts on June 6, 2015 |
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There are moments when we want to reminisce about those things we enjoyed doing in the past. It’s not exactly a different world, just simple reminders of how life should be. Life is a continuous struggle but then amidst such pain and suffering we see the light and still enjoy whatever life deals us along the way.
Last night, I woke up to this ungodly hour of 1 am and it was hard to go back to sleep. My mind was full of images of places I’ve been to not long ago. I can’t even recall if they were just snippets of dreams I had earlier. I had this fear of going back to the hospital even for a simple check-up. I had phobia of those people lined up outside a doctor’s clinic waiting endlessly and patiently for the doctor to arrive.That feeling of being treated for a simple allergy then they find something more serious than those red marks on your skin. Fifteen years ago, I was hospitalized for almost a week because of allergy and then one of my doctors (my OB-Gyn) suggested that I undergo TVS ultrasound since I was already there. After two years of treatment, there was no option but to undergo a first major operation …total hysterectomy because of endemetriosis. My second major operation was in July 2009. They had to cut a portion of my sigmoid colon and remove the affected parts. A few months after my last chemotherapy, I underwent a kidney bypass and had to be hospitalized again. For almost six years now, I am in remission from colon cancer. I thank God for second chances at life, I thank God that He let me see the beauty of life despite all the setbacks.
Three weeks after my so-called “graduation” from chemotherapy, our friendly neighbors invited us to join them to visit a place in Tanay, Rizal, a two-hour trip by car from our place. I was even hesitant to go, I was thinking I would not be able to endure that trek down the place and the climb back later to civilization but it was one of those trips that I would remember vividly. We brought along my then six-year old niece who stayed with us during the Christmas break. The log cabin where we stayed was still in the middle of construction so we fetched a tent and enjoyed the cold breeze of the countryside. All you can see was the long-range of the Sierra Madre mountains from afar.
Sierra Madre Mountains
Simple life, simple joys…
We roasted marshmallows, grilled hotdogs and milkfish and brought along a big pot of adobo and a pan of pancit. Everything tasted so good but the company was even better.
the best place to commune with nature…
And the best sharing about life was done inside that tent with Jane, our neighbor and Nissa, my daughter while the two younger kids were looking for ants and other insects just outside the tent and the men in our group explored the place. Looking back, I felt so happy that I was able to endure the 15-minute walk, a kind of litmus test after six months of treatment/chemotherapy. I felt so good that it was nice again to go back to being normal, if normal means there were no more pain of the IV and the effects of the drug, if normal means going out and bonding with friends and family, if normal means you could forget the endless laboratory tests and the hospital and seeing your oncologists.
the trek back to the top
Chasing dreams and remembering the good old days, an escape from the ugly realities of life. Sometimes, life is full of angst and broken dreams but it’s nice to reminisce about something that would put a smile on your face again and you could face the world one more time with more dreams to pursue and happy memories to recall.
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