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Posts Tagged ‘a bit of myself’


You know those inspiring comments that you receive now and then from people from all walks of life and it really makes blogging worthwhile. I am quoting some of them here.

“Hello there Arlene!
I didn’t know before now that you are a cancer survivor… I am glad that you are okay now and I suppose that it is an everyday, every minute awareness of gratefulness and miracle you are living now.
I enjoy reading your writings and seeing your photos and I cannot thank you enough for sharing a bit of your life with us. I do not know you personally but when I am reading your ‘articles’, it’s like reading something from a friend…
Always keep well and I hope that your apo and your family will always have happiness and lots and lots of blessings!
jocelyne”
“Well done 👍

You are a survivor

And you know what’s like to feel death knocking at your door..
And know that you have overcome and surpass it..
It’s a great accomplishment indeed…

11 more years to you”

(from Nita, a follower for quite sometime)

“It’s so true that when we are well, we take our health for granted. My youngest daughter has been ill for two years but she is finally getting better now. She is only nineteen but really appreciates the days when she is feeling good and says she will never take good health for granted as she knows what it is like to feel so bad. Wishing you all the very best with your own health, Arlene.”

-jean reinhardt

“Really, when a book makes me cry, I give it five stars.” – I am with you, Arlene. Because your heart did the reading. ( Virgilio Gavia)

“Sometimes we really need to get out of our comfort zone to see things at a different perspective then we realize life out there is better. Your neighbors were so nice to invite your family.

I just had my colonoscopy too and though how uncomfortable the prep was it is a necessary test we have to take. Like you I hate those tests as they are anxiety causing moments and the wait is always stressful

Am glad that you are over the hump. Keep your positive outlook and eat well. Those are necessary to getting well” – Lou Burgonio

“Praise God! Your journey is inspiring and I am certain your thoughts and feelings, which you have so generously shared, have meant the world to anyone struggling with pain and suffering. Looking into the abyss of the unknown is terrifying and you and others like you are standing in that Abyss lighting the way for others to navigate their way out. I pray abundant blessings upon you as you continue your journey of life!”

Tina

(Tina seldom visits my blog but when she leaves comments, they are always heartfelt).

From a certain Doc In DC. I was touched. His comments were longer than my post:

Hi Arlene!
First of all, I’d like to say Kudos on your getting through the chemotherapy! I only know too well what it is like to be going for each cycle. Not that I’ve experienced it myself but my dad, who’s 65 years old was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon CA like you sometime in 2009. He had surgery and finished chemotherapy. Like you, we all anxiously await each CT scan, CEA and colonoscopy that he has to go for for surveillance.
I am currently in DC doing my fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology. Yes, I am a doctor and at first found it ironic that my dad was diagnosed with cancer as I got accepted into a training program for Cancer and blood disorders.
I am religious and close to God but I don’t think my dad is but at that time he was diagnosed, I really would like to think that he found God…in so many ways.
Recently, he had a colonoscopy and it showed a sessile polyp in the cecum. This was biopsied but the results are not yet back. It does make all of us nervous. I have already started asking friends,colleagues about a good surgical oncologist. When dad had his first surgery for colon Ca, he had to have it in cebu and there were no surgical oncologists available there. The surgeon who did his surgery was however very good and is US trained. Samuel Ang’s name came about when my friends told me about him. I googled him just in case the biopsy results turn out unfavorable and I came across your page.
I take comfort in the fact that other patients out there are doing so good after chemo and it gives all of us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I am praying for a favorable biopsy result. How I wish, you could talk to my dad at some point and give him encouragement. I think people with cancer should all unite and support each other. It makes the journey of fighting cancer more easy. Well, I hope you are in good health and as I’ll be praying for my dad each night, I’ll include you and each and everyone who has been diagnosed with Cancer.
God bless.

Paying tribute to some of my friends here. It is so nice going back and reading their comments. Most of them are Filipinos like me.Thank you all so much.

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Reposting this without the photo. I noticed that those posts I did during the early years have more meaning and  more reflective of how life is. Maybe it’s because this is a life of second chances.

I sat there waiting

for the morning sunlight.

Then she came and perched atop

our bare avocado tree.

I listened to her sweet rendition –

a tweet, a song probably.

As if sensing that I was watching,

she quickly flew away.

And I was left

With a tepid cup of coffee.

Thinking –

I wish life could be this simple.

No extra baggage to carry.

Just this –

a sweet melodious song

a bird in flight

unmindful of what she left behind

but just enjoying what the morning brings

and what she can find

and discover beyond.

And I sit here

still….

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Hi Anne, I know you’re curious how my new journal looks. These are those words I’m gonna share to Fr. Pao’s program called  Interaktib.

I hope you can still read my handwriting, got these from my earlier posts, copied them at random.  It was when I was still in the process of recovery long ago.

I am on page 6 and still updating it. Hopefully, I could fill this up as I  go along. Have a good day.

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Once in a while, I post some excerpts of my previous blog entries at my Memories on Facebook. They are not the whole posts themselves but just a few lines that catch my fancy at the moment. These are some of them which I wrote at different dates….more like different months and years.

The way you look at things probably depends on how you view life itself. As they always say, you could see a glass half-full or half-empty. It does not matter whether you’re 30 or 50, maturity comes not in the number you add to your age but in the richness of experience you encounter making you grow and learn a little more.

I’ve never been good at following “how to’s” unless it’s a complicated recipe that I need to experiment on. Sure, sometimes they make life easier but it is different from following rules that you have set yourself to do. The step-by-step-numbered rules bore me. I wonder if I am alone in this because sometimes I do encounter blog posts like how to learn to be happy or how to be a good writer or how to make your blog more popular(taken from the point of view of the author of course) but in real life we each have certain criteria and values that we wish to meet that we think assure us of happiness and success. It is like reading a highly recommended book but you find it boring. Short of saying “to each his own” we have our way of coping and facing what is in front of us. 

Boring or not, a book never fails to teach me a lesson.

It’s so quiet here, no tv, no radio, not even the noise of passing vehicles can be heard. It’s a deafening quiet and my mind is filled with riotous thoughts – the kind that have no beginning and have no end. Have you ever experienced those moments when you really want to write about them but you don’t know how and they just keep floating in your head? There is something you want to voice out and put down on paper (or shall we say, write in a draft in your PC whichever is more convenient) but it eludes you once you are staring at the blank screen. Whoa! What happened to the rich and jumbled thoughts I had earlier? Life, sometimes, is funny. No, life is funny. Make that three dots at the end.

Peace, serenity, warm welcome, quiet moments, bonding with friends, soul searching – I found them all at Caleruega. God is so visible in that place and to coin the words that describe it, it’s CLOSE TO NATURE, CLOSER TO GOD.

There is that one moment that stands out, so lovely, which makes you say, “I need another moment like this”.

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I am not sure if I have already posted this meme here before but I found it in one of my “Memories” on Facebook last New Year’s Day. Sharing it with you again. I just love the message it brings.

Courage.

How many of us at one point in our lives needed this word and we had to act on it? How many times have we planned something to do but we lack the courage to pursue?  How much time have we spent seesawing in  our decision because we lack the courage to stand  pat  and face the storms in our lives?

Courage.

A simple word but it takes maybe a few seconds or days and months to act on it.  To quote Winston Churchill:  “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” We may be brave but we lack enough courage to act on something. It is never too late or too early to do what we want to be. We can make the best of everything or just stand by and watch. We could start right now and be prepared to face the storm.

Courage, dear heart.

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Don’t look now but I just joined Goodreads’ 2020 Reading Challenge. Lessened the books to 100 for the year. I am not a fast reader anymore.

culled from someecards

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It’s been a quiet year for me the whole of 2019.  Come to think of it, I haven’t attended any party with friends except for having dinners and lunches with the family.  Mom is getting on in years so I could not just leave the house for long when she is with us.

Except for that one week vacation in our hometown last July visiting my sick brother and bonding with some relatives, I haven’t gone any place else. It was an eye-opener too  for the family. Nissa was hospitalized twice when she had her thyroidectomy last September and her radiation therapy earlier this month. Thank God, she is feeling okay now although she has to take medications for life. Her oncologist removed her thyroid both left and right.  Thank you too for all your prayers and concern for my brother Alden and for Nissa.

I’ve been calling up friends via Messenger the past few days, getting in touch with those I haven’t seen for quite a while.  It is so nice to be updated with everyone. By the way, you can download the Messenger app on your phone or tab even without signing in to Facebook. How I wish I could talk to some of you too. It is now easier to communicate through this than through Viber. You can easily see who among your friends are online.

Some would probably think what a dull life I am leading. I assure you, I find pleasure in my small garden, so much joy in reading and discovering new books and authors. I am happy playing with Oreo. I find satisfaction in experimenting in the kitchen. Simple life for a simple me.

While I was playing with Nate last Tuesday, he showed me one of his front teeth which is now quite loose.  He will eventually lose it one of these days. Then we talked of the tooth fairy. I told him it is just a myth. He asked me what he would do with it once it comes off. I told him to just give it to his mom.  He doesn’t know where the first tooth  went but he was glad it was replaced by a permanent one.

I am now in my 149th read in Goodreads. I am presently reading a box set of four books. They are all light reads. These are relaxed days before the frenzy of meeting a new year –  new opportunities,  new dreams to uphold. I no longer keep a new year’s resolution since I could not follow it through but I always pray for good health for friends and all members of the family.

I hope 2020 would be a good year for all of us.

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Little surprises that make me smile:

  • Long chats with friends abroad through messenger. Listening and hearing their voices – just great
  • A cup of hot green tea on an early morning.
  • Oreo kissing my toes and being just silent besides me.
  • Nates’ shouts of “hello Nonna” over the phone
  • Seeing a new bloom in the garden
  • Getting in touch with neighbors to say hi
  • Finding  a new author with a good book
  • Reading, reading until your vision blurs because you are sleepy
  • Afternoon shuteye
  • Hearing the church bells for dawn masses
  • Watching videos on different recipes one could prepare for Noche Buena
  • Surprise visits from friends
  • Surprise phone calls
  • Lovely and inspiring posts from WordPress friends and fellow bloggers
  • Beautiful comments on your blog
  • Attending Simbang Gabi and watching priest friends with their uplifting homilies online
  • WAITING FOR CHRIST’ BIRTH
  • Being excited for the celebration of Christmas 2019
  • The early morning cold breeze
  • Listening to Christmas music (more…)

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Last night was the start of our yearly Simbang Gabi or Dawn mass.  Back in the days, it used to be called Rooster Mass because  4am or 5am were usually when the rooster in your neighborhood crows.  Simbang Gabi is a beautiful nine-day novena masses in Thanksgiving for all the blessing one received in the year. It’s traditional for us Filipino Catholics. I think it is only in the Philippines where you could find this. Times has changed, nowadays these Simbang Gabi are celebrated early, usually the night before the next day to give way for those who want to attend the novena after office.  They are also brought to some malls where they are celebrated at noon and most offices also hold these masses during lunch break.

I was overjoyed seeing the Pope opening the Simbang Gabi tradition. The mass readings were read in Tagalog  but there was a translator in English. Even the songs were sung in Tagalog  by the Filipino community. I’d like to think we are special because they have adapted one of the lovely traditions in our Catholic life.

Although our country is now in the brink of…..how do you put it….the ship is sinking fast because of these non-performing powers that be in our government, I still have high hopes that this will end eventually and we will rise up again. It may just take one brave soul to start it, right now though, we are at the mercy of one man who holds everything from the Supreme Court to the Legislative Branch to our National Police down to the barangay level. I need not elaborate, perhaps you also read them online.

I digress.

We were talking about Simbang Gabi, right? There are many churches now and several congregations too that televise the celebration of the nine-day novena masses. They end the day before Christmas day.

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This is actually a repost. I had it published last October 5, 2012 when most of you (those who are regular visitors here haven’t seen it yet).  It’s like a series because I have other posts like this throughout the years. This is the first one though, the title is borrowed from one of Mary Oliver’s books.

Gosh, just looking at the book cover makes me drool! Just looking at the title reminds me of those early mornings when my mind is pregnant with words, words that sometimes play in my head but when I have the chance to jot them down, they always vanish like thin air. It’s the latest book of Mary Oliver and it’s not yet out in the market. Mary Oliver is a favorite author, a favorite poet. So I am borrowing the book title for my blog today and wish that there would be  a thousand mornings more to enjoy life and to share the joys to others.

A Thousand Mornings And More

Living life one day at a time and enjoying every precious moment. You might think, that’s hard to do but when you’re living on borrowed time, everything  is deeply felt and the heart gets appreciative of all the love and concern thrown your way. When you are given a second lease at life, every dream you hold is precious too.

Yes, I’m grateful for old friends  who after all these years are still here. I  see them now once in a while but the love and camaraderie are still there after all these years.  I am grateful too of new-found friends who are so supportive of what I do, loving friends whom you could bare your soul without being judgmental.

Waking up to a lovely sunrise. Sunrise and sunsets, they never fail to make me smile. Seeing the dawn breaks and watching dusk fall. How lovely! And how mysterious the clouds could be some time. Next to flowers, they are actually my favorite subjects when it comes to tinkering with my camera.

Taking a few shots of my garden blooms.Ah, what could be more beautiful than seeing  and smelling the sweet scent of a flower in one’s garden?

Growing old…. gracefully.I’ll be celebrating my birthday in three weeks  and it makes me a little excited. And I remember  a text sent by a close friend before my birthday four years ago.

In a dream I saw myself walking on a beach with the Lord, carrying someone in
His arms.

           It was you. Nainggit ako…
Jesus felt my envious tone when I asked:
“Lord, why siya karga Mo, di ako?”

With a gentle voice
He said:
“Don’t be jealous my child, sya may RAYUMA, ikaw wala pa”.

That pretty sums up what one actually begins to feel when one is adding years to her life.  And it’s not only the “rayuma” thing but you  feel that some parts of your body are out of  joints probably  needing a bit more stretching on the side and a few meters run in the oval behind the house.  Things are different now though, I have to take things easy, be more mindful of being stressed. I do get easily tired nowadays. I wonder if that is still the effect  of chemotherapy drugs, I hope not.

I’ve never been obsessed with counting the passing years. As they say, age is just a number. Twenty or fifty, it really does not make that much difference. What is important is how you look at life and how you deal with it. There is always that subconscious effort to do your best be it a simple thing like prepping yourself  to look good in the eyes of others or facing a gargantuan task and responsibility of raising a family. But then, you still manage amazingly well.

Whoa! The past days have been good, thanks to a loving God Who is always there silently egging me on, reminding me to keep grounded, making me feel loved and cherished. A loving God Who never turns His back on me just because at times, I forget that He is there. A big thank you for a loving family, two wonderful kids who are my fulfillment of a dream. Thank you for the loyal friends who have always been there through thick and thin, and new ones  who accept me unconditionally and treat me like a long-lost  friend.

I remember a few birthdays back, my two kids had this habit of waking me up in the middle of the night, no lights on but a flicker of a candle and their merry voices singing “Happy birthday Mama”. Who would not be touched by that? I’ve always felt emotional when it comes to such things.  Or maybe, birthdays allow you to cry a little ….keeping attuned with yourself that somehow you are really growing old…..gracefully.

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