Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

So I am trying another Jetpack app this morning. In a few days, WordPress would have another algorithm. Good thing I already installed it on my tab.

They were asking what was my last difficult goodbye. It was when I lost my younger brother Alden last May 15, 2022 due to colo-rectal cancer, the same ailment that my oldest brother had back in 2003 and mine was colon cancer last July 2009. My oldest brother and I had gone through chemotherapy sessions, me with oral chemo tablets too and my brother with radiation treatment. Both of us underwent sigmoid surgery before chemotherapy while Alden chose an alternative cure and he was given three more years after being diagnosed. He was worried about the additional financial burden to the whole family. We regularly sent them financial help back then.

It was one Friday afternoon May of last year that Nissa and I went home to visit him. The day before that, no hospital in our place would accept him. When he reached home, he could no longer stand and had to be fed by his wife. We reached Pangasinan around 9pm and their driver, a cousin of ours fetched us at the bus station. My heart bled for him when I saw how he was, no longer talking but just nodding his head as I whispered in his ears. Sunday morning, that was May 15, Almeda, his wife woke me up and told me that Alden felt so cold. They called an ambulance but we talked about it. I thought it was a useless exercise bringing him to the hospital again. Some of our relatives came over to visit him. Nissa spent the longest time talking to him that Sunday morning we were due to go back to Manila. We were somewhere in NLEX when I received a text from my oldest brother that Alden is gone. I felt that was the longest trip we had.

It is so sad to lose a family member. The sadness could not be quantified and the sense of emptiness is greatly felt. That Sunday morning when we left for Manila was the most difficult goodbye. Memories with Alden will always be treasured.


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Today February 4 is World Cancer Day.

It is not really a celebration but to raise awareness to those who only know it as a word. Let us pray for all those who died of cancer, suffering from it and those who are survivors like I am.

Back in 2003, my eldest brother Royden had undergone surgical operation, chemotherapy and radiation because of colo-rectal cancer. I had sigmoid surgery in 2009 followed by six cycles of chemotherapy hand in hand with Xeloda tablets. Kuya Roy and I had the same surgical oncologist but we had different medical oncologist. Dr. Samuel Ang who operated on us was referred by my long-time OB Gynecologist from the UST Hospital. We are both survivors now but Kuya Roy had a brain operation almost three years ago at the height of the pandemic. It is one of the reasons why he couldn’t take care of mom. His doctor advised him to avoid stress. My medical oncologist told me that there is just a probability of 10% for cancer to be hereditary. I tell you, the long-term effect of chemotherapy is really that – long-term. One’s immunity becomes so low that we are easily affected by other illnesses, even after all these years.

My other brother Alden suffered for three years. The doctors eventually found out that cancer cells had invaded his body. He chose alternative cure instead of an operation. He left us last year and I am still thinking of what happened.

Cancer sucks. As I have always said before, I started this blog because I wanted to share my plight as a cancer patient and survivor. Back then, people visited my blog and shared their stories. Some were brothers/sisters of the patients. I met an oncologist Filipino doctor from the US who shared his experience when his father had cancer. Another doctor from the south asked me about Dr. Sammy Ang who according to some is the best surgical oncologist in the country. When Nissa was confined at the UST Hospital, her doctor told me that Dr. Ang’s son is also practicing in the hospital. Nissa underwent thyroidectomy in September 2019. They removed her entire thyroid because of a mass and smaller ones on the other parts of her thyroid glands.

PRAYERS for all cancer patients who are undergoing treatment right now. Believe me, it is not a walk in the park.

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I asked my ENT this morning if my low immunity has any bearing with what I am undergoing with my health now. I told her I am a cancer survivor and she nodded. I told her further that common colds usually take a month to heal since I got sick. When you have low immunity, it is easier for you to catch those unwanted bacteria/viruses in your body. Maybe that is also the reason that when I had Covid more than a year ago, my sense of hearing was affected. Among the four of us at home, I was the only one who heard those so noisy rolling drums for days that I had Covid. When I got well, my sense of hearing was affected. I could not hear even the daily masses online quite well until gradually one on one conversation was okay although I still don ‘t understand those songs on YouTube and those group discussion that I wanted to listen to until now.

My ENT told me that it would be hard to use a hearing aid if it is not molded to my ears. I quit practicing on the hearing aid that my youngest brother left for me but I could hear while wearing it. It may take sometime before I could wear hearing aids fit for my ears. Maybe my low immunity contributed to the other ailments I have at the moment.

The effect of that traitor called cancer is long-term.

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P.S. I Love You

This book has been on my reading list for a number of years but it is only now that I tried reading it.

I seldom read love stories nowadays, I am more focused on historical fiction, memoirs, poetry, cook books and some inspiring ones that I get to find now and then. The other day though, I tried finding an easy read novel in between my reading genre.

P.S. I Love You is a book about two teenagers who found ‘true love’ despite their young age. A rich boy and a poor girl. I thought it was one of those stories that has good ending. I can truly relate because the boy died of cancer, that traitor illness that some of us encounters. P.S. is actually the initial of the boy.

I enjoyed reading this one, finished it overnight and still included in my Goodreads Reading Challenge for this year.

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Yesterday, I wrote about what life is like these days and some of you who are my faithful followers had those uplifting and inspiring comments, thank you.

You had glimpses and snapshots of the things I wrote since I started posting back in July 2009. That’s how long I’ve been writing here though not regularly now. I started with Friendster, blogged about a few posts and when it closed, I opened an account at Multiply and I tremendously enjoyed sharing with about a hundred close friends. I posted my collection of CDs, poems I wrote when I was in college, lots and lots of photos and blogs too. My youngest brother shouldered my premium account until it also closed years ago. A friend invited me to Facebook and I am still there, a co-admin of a Catholic page and two Catholic groups.

The reason why I opened an account here upon the recommendation of a friend was that I wanted to share my plight as a cancer patient and survivor. I had sigmoid surgery back in July 2009 and I painstakingly posted almost every day after I went back from the hospital. Had six cycles of chemotherapy after a month of my operation. Know what encouraged me to write further? It’s the people I met here who had the same ailment like me. They asked how the treatment was done, they asked about my oncologists and where they could find them. The thing was, they came back thanking me and shared their own experiences. What a beautiful journey! Some of them even wrote longer messages than my blog posts. Met two doctors who shared their plight as cancer survivors too.

Whew! I got lost here somewhere, I planned of blogging about my childhood in the province but I got diverted again, maybe on my next post.

I found a book about Tibet and East Timor. Want to know what life is like in those places. Excited! The weather has improved. The typhoon is out of the country now. No more heavy rains but public school classes and public offices are suspended today.ūüƶ‚ėĒ

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I had the opportunity to play with Oreo and Cookie yesterday afternoon. They stayed in my room for a while. As always, Oreo was so noisy barking at the dogs outside. Cookie was so “malambing” and she liked being cuddled. Took some photos of course. Look at the two of them.

Cookie is now so big at one year and eight months. We had three aircon installers yesterday so they had to stay in my room. Josef and Jovy had their old aircon replaced by 1HP split type inverter aircon which was a gift from Jovy’s dad. He also sent money for Max’s hospitalization. It’s the seventh day now that he is sick and he is still at the pet hospital. He does not eat well yet so he has to be supervised by the vet.

I am so worried about my brother. He barely eats and doesn’t have a restful sleep. I again asked Nissa if we could visit him one weekend. We could not bring mom though because for sure if she is there, nobody could take care of her. My sis-in-law is focused on Alden. My mom doesn’t understand our situation. Although we want her to see Alden too, it would be very hard for all of us if she would be left behind there. I do hope one weekend we could visit my brother.

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It is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, an important event in the Catholic calendar. We also celebrate the World Day of the Sick.

According to Wikipedia, the World Day of the Sick is an awareness day or observance, in the Catholic Church intended for prayer and sharing, of offering one’s suffering for the good of the Church and of reminding everyone to see in his sick brother or sister the face of Christ. What a beautiful way to describe it.

Finally, I had my booster shot two days ago. It was still Pfizer. I had headache two nights before and the whole day yesterday but thankfully I didn’t have fever. I am feeling well now.

It saddens me that one of my close friends, a nun, is sick again. After nineteen years, her cancer has recurred. So it is really possible that even if you get well, it is still a recurrence. She had mastectomy the year 2003, this time her lungs is affected. The good thing is, it hasn’t metastasized to her other organs but she may undergo chemotherapy again. Cancer is a traitor. My brother Alden is still battling it. Asking prayers for him again. Kindly include the people who are sick at the moment.

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36.) Standing beside those who suffer on a path of charity”, message of Pope Francis for the XXX World Day of the Sick this February 11, 2022. “The ministry of consolation is a task for every baptized person, mindful of the word of Jesus: “I was sick and you visited me” (Mt 25:36)”.

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TODAY IS WORLD CANCER DAY. May I please request for your prayers for all cancer patients and survivors? I would deeply appreciate it. Let us pray for those who died of cancer, who are suffering from cancer, and for those in remission like I am. THANK YOU so much.

Cancer sucks. It’s an enemy that lies within.

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I received this wonderful message from a close friend who is also a cancer survivor like I am. It’s a one-line prayer that says:

Dear God,  I pray for a cure for cancer.  Amen 

Don’t we all wish¬† and pray that they would finally find a cure for cancer? And yes, I guess it’s a prayer that would change the world
.¬† If cancer is like your common cough and colds, you wouldn’t¬† really mind so much¬† because you are assured that in a few days, a week at most, you would be back to your normal self.¬† And your family would not be burdened with worry whether you will get well or not and they would not need to scratch their heads every time you are scheduled for that much-needed chemotherapy¬† because shelling out a hundred thousand pesos for every session of chemo is not a walk in the park.¬† And your hubby, whom you thought would best understand would not say, “naubos ang ipon natin dahil sa pagpapagamot mo.”¬† And those words hurt more than having that life-changing disease¬† because in his eyes the money you’ve saved is more important than you getting well. ¬† And I have always said that you can’t really emphatize with a person all that much unless you have experienced the same thing yourself.¬† The anguish of knowing that you are not hundred percent fit and you know that you are living on borrowed time,¬† the feeling is all the more acute because at some point, you would ask,¬† am I on the complete road to recovery?¬† Pardon the sentimentality attached to this blog because right this moment, everything is so vivid in my memory – the surgery, the long stay at the hospital, the endless visits to the doctors, the heart palpitations every time you get the lab results, the feeling of being so helpless while¬† on chemotherapy, the endless prayers and knocks on every friend close to you to include you in their prayers as well, the times that you really tried to show you were brave and strong¬† in front of your kids, and¬† the uncertainty of knowing when you’ll get well.

And here’s another picture attached to the message:

All¬† you are asked to do is keep this circulating,¬† even if it’s
Only to one more person.  In memory of anyone you know
Who has been  struck down by cancer or is still living with  it.

A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting  Another Candle..

So instead of forwarding it to my list of contacts, I chose to share this in a blog,there is a wider reach that way. In the past, I often wondered why breast cancer awareness campaigns always use  pink ribbon as a symbol. Why not other colors like yellow or blue or any other color for that matter?

Imagine, it took me three long years to learn this, that the symbol for colon cancer is blue.  If I were to choose, the last ribbon (All Cancers) would be appropriate.

Would it be okay if you say a prayer for us, cancer survivors, cancer patients and those who are presently undergoing treatments right now? Thank you so much.

Dear God,  I pray for a cure for cancer.  Amen 

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You reach a point in life when you get too wary of what you eat because not all of those delectable dishes, and those great-looking food presentations are good for the body.¬† A¬† few years ago, I didn’t care much about diets, but when dad started¬† showing signs of ESRD (end-stage renal diseases), we have avoided if not completely eliminated meat in our daily intake of food.¬†¬† When I found out that I had stage 3 colon cancer, I did research on almost everything that would help me get on with life without sacrificing too much on food.¬† There were so many studies made on what to eat and what to avoid¬† when you are diagnosed with this life-threatening ailment.¬†¬† The past few months, I’ve been more into eating vegetables and fish.¬†¬† I just buy chicken breasts, have them deboned and the skin removed.¬† I do buy pork every now and then, but¬† I try to avoid so much fat.

Vegetables are now¬† staples in my diet.¬† Broccoli is called brocollo in Italy¬† where it was originally cultivated.¬† It is good in fighting colon cancer and in minimizing eye cataract.¬† It is a low-calorie, fiber-rich food and its high fiber content works wonders in the digestive system and is also good in cleaning the intestine.¬†¬† Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family.¬† It contains anti-oxidants glutathione which helps in the metabolism of nutrients¬† and cell regulation.¬† Unknown to most of us, it has a higher vitamin C content than an orange and is also rich in beta carotene. It has the ability to strengthen the body’s¬† immune system.

Cucumber or what we locally know as pipino is good for diabetes and helps in the digestive system.  It comes from the same family as pumpkin, zucchini and other squash variety. 100 grams of this would give you 180 IU of vitamin A, 9 mg of vitamin C, 32 mg of Calcium and 27 mg of phosphorus and such other vitamins like iron, potassium and carbohydrates.  It also helps in promoting the flow of urine and in kidney bladder and liver disease.

The most important benefit of tomato is its lycopene content which is a vital anti-oxidant that helps fight cancer formation.  It has the highest concentration of lycopene  content which increases when the tomato is cooked than when eaten raw.   It is said that tomatoes are the healthiest of the fruits and vegetables that ward off diseases.

Carrot prevents heart disease, it improves vision  and makes lungs healthy.  Large intake of carotenoids can decrease different forms of cancer by 50%.    Cancer is a multiple nutritional deficiency.  Avoiding sugar is one way of starving cancer cells.  Sugar is a cancer feeder.  Milk causes the body to produce mucus and cancer feeds on mucus.   Meat is hard to digest and eating so much meat is harmful for our health.  Coffee, tea and chocolates must also be eaten in moderation to avoid cancer cell growth.

And they always say, prevention is better than cure.

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