Happy Monday friends and Happy Fourth of July for those in the US. I was surprised to see my son going to work in maong pants and t-shirt early this morning then he reminded me that it’s a holiday. They are allowed to wear casual attire during holidays in the US because it is where their main office is located. We used to celebrate July 4 as Filipino-American Friendship Day, a legal holiday too here in our country until our celebration of Independence Day was changed to the correct date which is June 12.
I planned to start July blogging every day like I did during the 2011 Post A Day challenge. No go as usual. There are some priorities that has to be met especially on weekends when my son is around. I am grateful though for those new followers of this blog. There was this message from WordPress yesterday afternoon that there was a spike on my stats. True enough when I checked, it has significantly gone up. Search engines are busy and I noticed that my most read posts are from several years ago. Come to think of it, I have nearly forgotten sharing those posts. Imagine having 1,813 posts since I started blogging here way back May 2009. The blog which was supposedly for sharing my journey as a cancer patient/survivor has turned out into a hodgepodge of “what have you’s” from gardening to photography to sharing my world as a grandmother. It’s a life full of challenges, a life full of lovely and precious moments, a life of simple things that gives joy to the heart, a life of small miracles and wonderful blessings that makes every moment precious. The journey is not that smooth at times but I get by with the help of my family and loving friends who love me the way I am, warts and all. I thank the Lord for giving me the strength and courage to carry on.
I am on my 7th year in remission, still standing tall amidst everything. I can vividly remember those days when almost every day we would be at the hospital, doctor’s clinics, laboratories for my pre-op clearance and finally having that much dreaded sigmoid surgery mid-July in 2009. And I thought staying at the hospital for almost two weeks of recovery was hard but it was nothing compared to the six cycles of chemotherapy that I had to undergo to get well. Never mind the amount of research I’ve done to booster my immunity eating anti-oxidant food, avoiding meat for a long time, learning to adjust to a life with so many restrictions on one’s diet. Those days were more learning curves for me to get through.
Allow me to say a big THANK YOU to all my friends here at WordPress, to those who always drop a line or two, to those who regularly click “likes” to my posts and to those who pass by this blog and read a post. You all make blogging a lovely journey too.
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I woke up early this morning with a hoarse voice, a frog croaking sound that is so unpleasant to listen to. After breakfast, there went the gargantuan headache that lasted until late this afternoon. It must be the weather prevailing this summer. Or maybe, it was the exhaustion of tending the garden for almost three straight hours yesterday. I was able to trim the grass though. I attempted to trim our Fukien tea plants and dwarf Pandakaki into perfect round shapes. At least they’re not as dense as they were before. My goodness, it’s hot, hot, hot in Metro Manila.
Just got hold of a book called The Measure Of My Days by playwright and Jungian analyst Florida Scott-Maxwell. To quote the book’s brief summary, it “explores the unique predicament of one’s later years: when one feels both cut off from the past and out of step with the present; when the body rebels at activity but the mind becomes more passionate than ever.” She wrote it when she was eighty. I haven’t finished the book yet, so far it’s a joy to know than even if you reach that age, you can still do something like writing a book. I’m thinking, could I still write or blog when I reach the ripe old age of seventy?
I have blogged about growing old gracefully. And do you know the subtle difference between growing old and aging? Aging is when you add years to your life but growing old makes you wiser through the years (just my thoughts actually). Five years ago, a friend who came home from Rome gifted me with a copy of Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck and I had a good laugh reading it. I even blogged about it here. Some people I know are afraid to grow old but it’s something inevitable just like seeing white hairs on your head creeping one by one. Sometimes one’s immunity goes haywire and you feel the aches and pains. There’s an adage that says health is wealth. May we still be healthy in our old age.
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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 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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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, blogging, health, journeys, life, reflections, silence speaks, tagged health, journeys, life, my 6th year in remission, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts on July 14, 2015 |
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It’s been a while and I’ve missed blogging. I don’t want to miss this opportunity though to say my heartfelt THANK YOU for all the blessings in my life.
Today is my 6th year in remission. Some of you might wonder why I celebrate something that brought me so much pain and insecurities and doubts and all the emotions you could imagine. I believe that you are strongest when you are at your weakest. Cryptic you might say but it is true. When you are at the lowest ebb in your life, when you feel so much alone, God is there to lift you up. When you are given second chances at life, you appreciate every minute of every day that you are alive. You appreciate the wonder of living no matter how painful it is sometimes, no matter how hurt you feel because not every one is happy for you. You wonder how you were able to cope but you did and you smile that you are brave and strong in facing all the challenges, and you are left standing tall and proud.
Six years ago, I also started this blog because I wanted to share my plight hoping that I could reach some souls out there who are in the same journey as I was. I am glad that a few also shared their personal experiences with me and I am happy that in the process of blogging, I met a lot of online friends who made the journey even more meaningful and worthwhile.
Six years ago, I was given a second chance at life. I am grateful and thankful for everything.
Today, I celebrate the beauty of life. Today, I celebrate the gift of second chances. Today, I celebrate the gift of family. Today, I celebrate the gift of friends who were with me throughout my journey and I am thankful for those new friends I met along the way.
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I read about ALS back when I was into research of alternative treatments for cancer when I finished my six cycles of chemotherapy five years ago. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It sounds frightening and they say that there is still no known cure that would put a stop to it. I only heard of it again when I saw some personalities on TV doing the ice bucket challenge. It has become viral on social media. Are they doing it for publicity or are they doing it because they sincerely want to help people with this kind of ailment? I am not here to judge, I just noticed that those who have accepted the challenge, movie and television personalities that you get to watch every day are also urging and challenging some people in the government to do the same. I even heard one this morning commenting that the feeling of tingling sensations while the ice water touches your skin is similar to the pain one feels when he/she has ALS. I am not in a position to say something negative here but do you have to do it so you could help? Wouldn’t it be nicer if you would help even without doing the challenge?
There is this interesting article I read a few minutes ago published by health impact news entitled “Do you Know What You Are Supporting?” such chilling facts that make my skin tingle. I remember the times when I was on chemotherapy, after each every session for two days at most, you can’t even move your body and arms normally because you are so weak, as they say in Tagalog, “parang lantang gulay”. I remember the times I cannot even hold a spoon and fork because the tips of my fingers are so painful like they are being pricked by a needle when they touch something cold or anything metallic. What I know is, everyone who is afflicted with life-threatening ailments needs support group and that is sadly lacking here in our country. When I was under treatment, I longed for some friends to discuss cancer freely with me but only a few dared. Probably they thought that it would be more painful to remind me of it but I tell you , it helps a lot.
The ice bucket challenge has caused general awareness in some of us but how healthy really is an ice bucket poured down your head?In an article published today by Philippine Star, a leading newspaper here in our country, it quoted a well-known cardiologist Dr. Willie Ong who told The STAR that “in some cases the blood pressure may drop suddenly, causing the affected individual to collapse. This could be particularly harmful to the elderly, pregnant women and the ailing”.
Is it a fad, are they just going with the flow? What’s your take on this?
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