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Posts Tagged ‘family life’


You might wonder how our family has been since my brother was diagnosed with rectal cancer which has metastasised in his liver.

Allow me first to thank you all for  your prayers and words of comfort. It is helping us a lot that there are friends who also hope for a longer life for my brother.

Since he left the hospital, I call them everyday. He needs that moral support that we can give even in our small way. He has let go and let God do the rest for his healing. He decided not to undergo that much dreaded operation and even chemotherapy later on. Just to give you an idea, we are four siblings in all and my eldest brother underwent surgical operation with chemotherapy when he was diagnosed with the same ailment back in 2003. I had mine in July 2009 with six cycles of chemotherapy. I had doubts that this must be hereditary. There might be something in our genes  causing the three of us to have the same ailment. I remember what my medical oncologist said though years ago that genes/heredity  comprises only 10%  when you are diagnosed with colon cancer.

I was listening to my favorite  radio program the other week when they had this one-hour segment called Kaibigan sa Kalusugan  and their topic was about cancer and initial cure. They are a group of doctors who believe in alternative medicine. I left a message in their program which was also broadcasted on their Facebook page. One of their personnel texted me and gave me the details of their clinic near our place here in Manila. I texted back that my brother is in the province and Manila is too far for travel. They have a clinic in Pampanga  (more than seventy km. from our  place in the province)  so last Monday, my brother,  sis-in-law and a cousin who temporarily drives for them went for consultation. I googled their way of treating patients with different illnesses and I was impressed. Even my brother was all praises for them. They are doctors too. I was even more in awe when I read that they are known worldwide and that the medicines they prescribe to their patients are BFAD (Bureau of Food and Drugs) approved here in the Philippines.  My brother was prescribed three medications and they have to come back on Monday and bring new laboratory tests that they have requested. They even told him to continue with his previous medications prescribed by his doctors at the hospital.

This is a leap of faith. Hoping  for a better health for my brother. I always remember that God does not give us crosses that we can’t bear. He will always be there guiding our paths. Going through such challenges is quite heavy both for my brother and the family but we remain faithful and hopeful  to God’s wisdom and mercy.  There is a place where He wants us to be and we are truly grateful for that.

May God bless us all. 

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I found fresh Pako (fiddlehead fern) early this morning at Cainta market. Made it into a salad, with Ginisang Tokwa (Sautéed Soy Bean Curd) in slivers of fresh tomatoes and pork topped with parsley and green onions.

Have to take photos of these because they are my favorites.

Our dinner for tonight 

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I still can’t figure out how I feel at the moment – I  am so sad about what is happening to our family members. Nissa is scheduled for biopsy of her left throat on Thursday before they decide on any operation.

My brother does not want to be operated on. He’d rather adhere to alternative cure. I contacted Kaibigan sa Kalusugan this morning in their clinic in San Fernando, Pampanga, a three-hour ride by car from our place in the province. It is nearer than spending a six-hour ride to Manila. They said to bring all his laboratory results, ultrasound and CT scan.  I hope it’ll be a better choice for him.

Fr. Lovell called me up early this morning and I was so grateful for the words of comfort, spiritual advices and words of wisdom. He told me to take things one at a time so my health won’t be compromised. I also had a long chat with a friend from our Catholic page. Talking about life, health and  daily happenings in our lives, our own journeys, how we deal of those unexpected things that come  and go. It was a lovely chat. As usual my unli call hours on my phone were well spent.

Ou Shih Poo Oreo has this habit of sitting on my lap while I am reading. I took shot of him this afternoon, a close-up one.

Look at his eyes. I love that pensive look. His expression is like that when you are talking to him or he wants your attention wagging his tail at the same time.

My shoutout today: Your prayers mean a lot to our family. Thank you very much.

 

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I just laughed and smiled.

A few days ago, I saw this video on Facebook featuring our talented and famous local artist  Jose Mari Chan introducing some of his new compositions along with old songs that were so popular playing in the air lanes in recent years. He is a singer and a composer, a gifted artist.

And would you believe?

They talked about the BER months saying that it is only a month to go before we start celebrating Christmas. Yes, we have the longest celebration of Christmas on planet earth that starts on September and ends around the month of January. Then Jose Mari Chan sang his famous Christmas songs and I was hooked. It prompted me to go to YouTube and find more, the Ray Conniff singers, the Gunter Kallmann choir and the group called Pentatonix. Of course the version of Bing Crosby’s   I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas tops them all.  It’s a 1942 original version.

Christmas in August, why not?

I have a confession to make. Over the years, I play Christmas songs as early as June and I get a thrill listening to those fantastic voices. There is nothing like a good melody to make you smile and reminisce even of Christmas past –  the family gatherings and reunions, buying gifts for family and close friends, preparing a nice menu for Christmas and New Year’s eve, seeing lanterns on the streets at night, decorating the Christmas tree and of course listening to Christmas music.

The days are long but they move fast. We still have birthdays to celebrate.

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Yes, feeling a bit nostalgic this gloomy Monday morning. I was looking at the photos in my library then I again saw these photos of Nate and Obet which Nissa calls in a series, Grow Tall Little Man. I’ve blogged about them before.

He is definitely growing and getting tall for his age. I was even surprised with some of his photos with those subdued smiles. He is missing two front teeth. Another milestone 🙂  Time flies really!

 

And in between those days and years, we are learning a lot too. Valuing time, spending those moments together, making memories. And he reads real books now – amazing! If I remember my grade school years, I was just learning to read and write my ABCs when I was more than six, like Nate’s age now.

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“You can find magic wherever you look.  Sit back and relax, all you need is a book!” – Dr. Seuss

Nissa said:  “So nice to see you interested in reading and bringing your book everywhere – and a real novel at that, not a picture book. We’ll make a bookworm out of you yet”.

I was so curious so I asked what book it is.

She answered: ” The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm”

Wow 🙂

Way to go Nate. I’ll buy you more books when you grow up. Read the one I gave you too, the one entitled Stuart Little. 

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One thing good about visiting Alden at the hospital  was that I was able to meet long lost relatives, friends from childhood and some friends of my brother. I was amazed by the number of concerned people who visited him at the hospital every day.

Husbands and wives of nieces and nephews were there too and it was the first time I met them. Come to think of it,  they have their own families now with kids either in grade school or in high school. Is that how long I haven’t been there? It’s just that when we go home, it’s either an overnight or two or three days stay only. No opportunity to visit and bond with them. I have this cousin who is turning seventy soon and she has lots of medications for her heart and her blood pressure. I spent lunch with her family and we had a good chat about life in the province. She is very close to my brother and my sis-in-law. She asked me to visit often. Mom is here with me so I can’t readily pack up and go. I have to arrange for her stay at my brother’s house if I want to go home again.

There was this other doctor at the hospital who sometimes do the morning rounds. Alden said the first time he visited, he was “masungit” (snobbish and haughty). When he visited Alden when I was there, I introduced myself as a grade school classmate of his wife who is also a doctor now. Since then, the smiles appeared and he listened to us.  What having some friends can do for a person to change his attitude towards you.

I met this guy while waiting for the doctor at Medical City last Tuesday. He is a third year Philosophy student, a seminarian from San Carlos Seminary. He hails from Cainta too and he was there to have a check-up for his cough and colds. They do visits and give communions to patients at San Lazaro Hospital, a place where they treat infectious diseases.  I advised him to wear a thick face mask when they do the rounds.

People from all walks of life, people who  somehow influence one’s attitude towards others, people who are friendly enough to strike a conversation with you – these are those who make life more meaningful.

 

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