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Posts Tagged ‘health is wealth’


I am not so inspired to write. I’d rather read but I can’t finish a chapter.  I am focused on what is happening around.  I went out for a while early this morning to buy more provisions for us here in  our village store. They sell pork, dressed chicken, vegetables, fruits and other necessities needed in the kitchen.  Today is supposed to be our marketing day  but I am afraid to go out with so many people around.

One of the sellers remarked that I am lucky I am wearing disposable gloves. That is for extra protection, I told him. I bought a box of vinyl examination gloves two weeks ago. It contain hundred pieces.  Those found positive of the virus are on the rise and there are PUMs and PUIs by the hundreds. The problem is, this government still lacks testing kits.  Even if we are on a lockdown if we lack those necessary tools  to aid our health workers, it would be useless.

Josef brought down our large and heavy book of Mythology yesterday. Then he played with his collection of  Magic cards last night. He has several sets. I got curious how it is played. There is this station in the radio that plays 60s, 70s and 80s songs all day  and all night long without commercial break.

Priceless bonding with family, getting in touch with long lost friends, eating together, they are those moments that this COVID-19 brought us. Of course the fear is still there, you can’t erase that  but I lift it all to the Lord.

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The sun is showing its face….finally.

The typhoon is now on its way to the West Philippine Sea but we are still under signal number 1. Most schools here in Metro Manila don’t have classes yet. It is still windy outside but the sun is shining bright and early.

I took some shots in the garden. Here you’ll see the lone calamity  of typhoon Tisoy, a bent street light in front of the house.

I have good news for you guys. Nissa is going home today. Just talked to her a while ago and she said she will just take a Grab car on the way home.

They measured the level of toxicity  (radioactive iodine) from the patient via the distance from where one is standing. When one is a meter apart, it measures ten, but if you are near her throat, it measures a hundred.  She’ll have another body scan next year. She told me her doctor is also surnamed Isidro so maybe, he is a distant relative of Obet. They came from the same province. Obet is from a family of doctors too. His aunt, uncle and cousin are all doctors.

Again, thank you for all your prayers. I forwarded your messages  to Nissa and she said you are all so sweet 🙂

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My  neighbor (a kumare, I was one of the sponsors of her daughter’s baptism fifteen years ago) and I were waiting for the garbage truck to arrive a few hours ago and she asked me about Nissa. So I told her today is Nissa’s check-up with her surgical oncologist.

She told me about her plight nowadays. She could not stand now for long and when she walks she drags her feet slowly. She even said that when they are at the mall, people look at her askance on the way she walks. I told her to not mind them. A few months ago, she still could do morning rounds of walking at the village park. She was crying when she told me that she is just waiting  for the end of it all. I didn’t know how to comfort her so we just held each other tight. Those patients that she used to see at her doctor’s clinic are now on wheel chairs. She is suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is progressive. It gets worse over time.  Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. Back in 2009 when typhoon Ondoy struck and five families were in their house including us, we noticed her slow movement. That was the start.

Knowing how to comfort a friend. We are quite afraid at times that we might say the wrong words. It’s okay to just listen and empathize. Don’t act as if you know it all. Just tell them you understand.

Habang may buhay, may pag-asa. 

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Today I learned another sad news. Nissa messaged me earlier today that she already went to her doctor with the result of  her biopsy a week ago.  There is an 80% possibility that it is thyroid cancer, stage 1. I told her to seek second opinion and go the to one of the clinics where my brother is having his treatment. I am confident she does not need that costly surgical operation which one of her doctors suggested. They have a clinic near  our place. I contacted one of their doctors this afternoon and he said to just drop by. One thing that I also learned from research is that thyroid cancer is slow-growing and treatable.  Still praying for the best.

My brother has twice visited the clinic of Kaibigan sa Kalusugan in San Fernando, Pampanga and had his latest laboratory tests last Friday, check-up last Monday. Except for  his blood sugar  and uric acid, everything is quite normal. Even his CEA marker is below borderline. I was amazed. He was given additional medication though for his uric acid and sugar and was also advised to have SGOT and SGPT tests for his liver before his next check-up first week of September. His medications and diet are working, thank God. I still call him every day.

Gosh, when you think of what is happening around, you’d be very careful about your health. Until now, ten years after, I still could feel the effect of chemotherapy –  low immune system. I am always afraid to catch cold since it takes too long to heal. Sometimes, skin allergy shows.

I am hopeful though. God is good and God is great.

 

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“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”- St. Augustine of Hippo

One of the highlights of today’s homily are these words:

“To understand LIFE, you have to visit three locations:
1. The Hospital
2. The Prison
3. The Cemetery

At the Hospital, you will understand that nothing is more beautiful than health. In Prison, you’ll see that freedom is the most precious thing. At the Cemetery, you will realize that life is worth nothing, the ground we walk today will be our roof tomorrow.”

When I went home to take care of my brother three weeks ago, I  set aside an hour visiting our beloved dead at the cemetery with my cousin before going to the hospital. Since I seldom take a vacation during All Saints and All Souls Days, I make it a point to light candles and offer prayers in front of their  graves every time I go home. There is always that nostalgic feeling,  remembrance of old days when my dad, my youngest brother, grandparents, aunties and uncles and some close relatives were still alive. Their graves are near each other.

In the hospital when you’re passing by the halls, you’ll see all kinds of reaction from people looking so sorrowful and staring in one direction, people texting or those who spent the night sleeping  along the corridors waiting. I haven’t tried visiting a prison yet but some years ago, I went with my high school classmates to visit a former schoolmate at the National Center for Mental Health where patients are like prisoners caged in open  (with grills of course) rooms  with several beds adjacent to each other.

It is quite depressing sometimes to be able to see hospital patients and those in the mental hospital.  And yes, health is one commodity that makes us rich in life even without those material trappings. Good health is not something you can buy.

I’d like to end up this post with these words.

“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.” 
― Lao Tzu

 

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You might say, it’s one of those days.

Yes, it is.

This morning I went back to the Medical  City to have those laboratory tests done.   Last week, my doctor told me to have a uric acid test done since I was complaining about my aching knees. He included fasting blood sugar (FBS) as routine check  since I have maintenance medicines for my sugar. Although it was normal the previous testing, my doctor wanted to be sure it still is.

I asked the medical technologist early this morning what the Vitamin D deficiency  test was for, he told me that there are occasional instances where they request such. I must admit I am a bit paranoid when it comes to my health. In Tagalog, they call it “praning”.  So that was done too. Unfortunately, it would take a few days before I get the results so I have to go back again sometime next week, at the same time see my doctor.

Mr. Google is so helpful. I searched the effect of a high BUN.  I looked up why I need that Vitamin D deficiency test. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis more than twenty years  ago, before I had my hysterectomy.  The big problem is, I  don’t drink milk and Mom told me I never had it  even when I was a baby. I was breastfed all along. Until now, I don’t like the taste and smell of milk. I don’t like some ice cream flavors, I don’t like milky candies. Maybe that is why, my bones are weak and brittle.

Actually, I hate going and visiting a doctor. I have so many  maintenance medicines that I’m afraid my kidneys would fail because of it. But when you’re getting old, your health slowly deteriorates too.

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This is my last day of a five-day  antibiotic injections. Hallelujah! I just hope everything is okay  when I’ll have my lab test tomorrow.

I try to buy buko juice  (a young immature green coconut)  every day now and save the  young meat  to be eaten fresh too.  Avocado is in season too at a P100 pesos a kilo. I tried mixing slices of one avocado, buko,  half-size of small onion  and one tomato with left-over luncheon meat.   You won’t really need to add salt, just a pinch of ground white pepper  will do since the luncheon meat has enough to flavor the salad. It turned out so good I had it for lunch.

Dinner would probably be steamed deboned chicken breast without the skin of course.  Trying to eat healthy and using lauric oil for cooking.  I gave up on coffee almost a year ago and try natural tea from dried guyabano  (soursop) leaves although it is not every day that I drink tea.  Guyabano helps in draining toxic waste from the body.

As you grow older, you feel the aches and pains  slowly invading your body  and it does not help when you have no restraints in eating food which are not so healthy. As I’m trying to avoid sugar, I no longer bake cookies and muffins.

Some say that health is not about the weight you lose but the life you gain.

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Woke up early to the sound of heavy rains pouring down the roof. I thought super typhoon Maria  is  already here. Good thing it was just one of those thunderstorms. How early it is though.  Couldn’t sleep last night, I was awake by 1 am, read for a while until 3 am then tried to catch more sleep  finally waking up at 5 am. Caught the early morning mass at 6 am.

What’s on your mind Arlene? Same question I always see on my wall when I open Facebook.

Blogging took a back seat for a while. I went back to my doctor for the urine culture results and my CEA marker testing. Maybe that was why for the previous weeks, I still had UTI because the antibiotics I was given before was resistant. The only option was to change to antibiotics that is sensitive to my ailment. Come to think of it, all of them were injectable.  My doctor requested for a shot right there and then. I was worried cause I didn’t bring enough cash to pay for the medicine except my health card.  I am glad that it was also covered. I had a skin test on both arms. One of the things I am so fearful about is when the nurse do the skin testing which is so painful. They have to wait at least thirty minutes to see if I  was allergic to the drug or not.  Those few seconds  of intense pain when finally, the nurse injected it on my right buttock….wow! Imagine, ten grams of it. I have to go back on Tuesday (banning the bad weather) for another urinalysis and follow-up check-up.

I just closed my eyes in prayer when I saw the result of my CEA. The normal range is 0 to 5 while I got 9.22. My doctor said it is nothing to worry about.  Higher or elevated CEA result is not just because of recurring colon cancer but through other things like my infection.  I’ve been in remission for nine years now and I hope it is finally gone.

Our friendly neighbor gave me a bag of fresh guyabano leaves to use as tea infusion. It needs to be air-dried though to keep it long.  It is soursop to you dear readers. It has so many healthy benefits including its ability to protect you from cancer cells.  I bought a locally prepared guyabano tea too and a box of malunggay   (moringa) tea.

Health is wealth, we always say. That is so true because when you are not healthy, you are poorer than the ordinary man on the street.

 

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This might be an unpopular topic for some of us but it is always good to take necessary precautions when it comes to our body and our health. Just because one feels healthy doesn’t mean you  have to ignore something which has bothered you for quite a while.

I don’t mean to scare you but have you ever observed how hard it is sometimes to poop? Yes, we have those times in our lives. Pooping blood?  They could be hemorrhoids  right?  Another common cause of bright red  blood in your  stool could be an anal fissure, a tear that can be caused by anything from constipation to childbirth. They disappear after a while though. And you think that’s normal.

Before I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer almost ten years ago, having  fresh red blood in my stool was nothing to be concerned about.  I thought at first it was because of hemorrhoids.  I didn’t feel anything – no cramps, no pain, no stomach ache so to speak. I remember now what my other  oncologist told me before, that cancer in any part of your body would take ten years before you feel uncomfortable.  It was such that I was alarmed when bright red blood appeared  almost every day so I had a check-up with a gastroenterologist and he scheduled me for colonoscopy. It was not a painful procedure and I was able to see the lining of my stomach/colon while they were at it. But the preparation was just too much. Aside from the endoscopy which I went thru before during a hospitalization, it was so uncomfortable. You have to have your colon and stomach clean before you have to undergo colonoscopy. My OB-Gyn suggested a surgical oncologist, the best in the field to evaluate my case. True enough, I need to have a sigmoid surgery based on the results of my colonoscopy.

After the operation, I waited two months for my wound to heal before they started me on chemotherapy, both oral and thru IV.  Aside from being so expensive, it saps you of your strength.  You are bedridden for almost three days after each procedure then another round in three weeks. That was my life for almost a year.

Going back to the topic at hand, if you ever notice fresh blood in your stool, don’t ignore it. I’d like to say prevention is better than cure.

 

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Cancer sucks, we all  know that.

Today February 4, we celebrate World Cancer Day as a means of raising awareness of the millions of people worldwide. Some of you may probably ask  why we celebrate  such an unfortunate event in one’s life. There are so many people who remain untreated worldwide maybe some for financial reasons and some because they are not aware of it.

This will be the first time in a number of years that I’ll be blogging about my bouts with colon cancer. almost nine years ago, I underwent sigmoid surgery followed by six cycles of chemotherapy. Back then I was so apprehensive if chemo would help me since I knew from some research that  it is a drastic measure to kill cancer cells. I was in a quandary whether to go with it or not. My doctor, Dr. Samuel Ang (they say he is the best surgical oncologist in the country) explained how it would be done and what to expect about the treatment. With closed eyes and with lots of prayers, my family and I nodded our YES. The Lord is a forgiving and merciful God, I knew He would be there by my side. I’ve undergone six cycles of chemotherapy along with oral chemo tablets which I had to take very two weeks before the next chemo. It was not a walk in the park.  For every cycle of chemo, my body was so weak that I could not even lift my arms most of the time. But God is good.

Some of my religious friends who underwent the same thing told me that we are closer to Him when we are in suffering. He let us experience pain to let us know that there will always be the possibility of getting well and lead a normal life again. Trust in God will always be  a constant  in  one’s life.

One’s immune system suffers from all the treatments  The days of uncertainties, the days of being so careful about one’s health.

I met so many people here, patients  who were under the same predicament and relatives who were concerned about them. It is precisely why this blog exists.

Please say a little prayer for us, patients and survivors alike.  THANKS!

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