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Posts Tagged ‘health’


I had a good short chat with my doctor today.  I told him I am a survivor. He asked how long ago it was. He told me to forget about it. I have survived more than five years. What is important is that I am well now. Yes, I said. Health is wealth. He advised me to avoid stress as much as possible because it is the number one cause of illness. I do agree. It’s a good thing my blood pressure is now normal and my blood sugar has been consistently normal for the past four months since my first visit the last week of  January. I have to keep on the maintenance though, it’s for life.  He said to always be happy and look on the brighter things. Everyone of us has problems to overcome.

I suddenly remember one of our favorite topics before on our page at Facebook. Which is more important, the journey or the destination?  The journey would always be difficult somehow but then there is a certain kind of joy when we reach our destination. Maybe our attitude towards reaching our dreams counts a lot.The road maybe sometimes rough and treacherous but we carry on. We want to take a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Can’t believe it. My son is turning thirty-three tomorrow.  Seems like only yesterday when we would walk together to the next street in our subdivision, he, to go to school and I, to wait for my FX service in going to work.  We had adopted this ritual of listening to a fifteen minute Bible reading and reflections in one of the FM stations on radio by a Dominican priest.  It was aptly called The Sounds of the Soul. Along the way, we would discuss what we heard and learned. Those were the days that I miss.  The program is gone now replaced by morning news. Until now, my son and I still go together to attend mass on Sundays. Sometimes,  he attends one in the morning with me and one in the evening with his girlfriend.  He never forgets our Sunday obligation.  Looking forward to a simple birthday celebration. He’ll be on vacation leave for a few days.

I am into memoirs now, a two-series books by Susan Cutsforth, a journey of taking risks, living an extraordinary life in a town somewhere in France. I can’t help but compare the writings with that of Peter Mayle’s trilogy, memoirs about his stay in Provence. I love the latter’s works. He is a British author

How was your weekend?

 

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I’m done reading my third book of  Amanda Prowse, my 61st read on the Goodreads challenge this year. She writes prose but her subjects are varied and worth-reading.  All the three books that I’ve read so far are superbly written. I don’t usually go about reviewing books or writing about book summaries. It’s really more on how it made me interested to read it.  Three -and-a-half Heartbeats is a work of fiction that deals on sepsis awareness.

Most of us are not probably aware of what sepsis is. I heard  of it the first time when Nate was born more than four years ago. Nissa labored for so many hours before her OB gynecologist decided to operate on her by Caesarian section. She was induced earlier but the baby wouldn’t come. Nate was confined at the NICU for two weeks before we were able to bring him home because of sepsis. We were so worried seeing him  incubated that long and Nissa had to extract her milk at home  for Nate. We were so blessed that he is now growing up to be a smart boy.

According to research, sepsis is   “a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis develops when the chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead. Common signs and symptoms include fever, increased heart rate, increased breathing and confusion”.  The most common cause of sepsis is bacterial infection.  Sepsis can also result from other infections.  it may affect someone at any age but babies are the most susceptible to the disease. Most of us are not aware that sepsis exists until it is too late.

According to sepsistrust.orgEvery year in the UK, there are 150,000 cases of sepsis, resulting in a staggering 44,000 deaths – more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.

Going back to the book, I hope you will find time to read it too

 

 

 

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Hello!

I went back to my internist after a month of taking medications for high BP and elevated sugar. Although my sugar level has gone back to normal, he prescribed same medicines for at least two months more. I have to go back there in a week or two  because he is monitoring my blood pressure which always has a tendency to go up. I am not stressed but I wonder why my BP is always on the rise. I relax by reading, gardening and yes updating this blog and reading other blog posts. I discovered new ones which I recently followed. They have nice  and lovely photography blogs.

For the past week, I’ve been reading e-books. I recently discovered this author Elizabeth Cox. She has written several books but this is my first time to read one of them. A Question of Mercy really made me cry. It’s a story of a  mentally disabled young man and his teenage step-sister. His family love him but he was misunderstood by many of their neighbors until the former decided that he undergo sterilization and lobotomy in a state-supported asylum. The day before he was due for the operation, he was found dead in a river near their place. The cover made me decide to try this one. The lush landscape of North Carolina was vividly described in the story.  You can’t put a price in the love  of family. It should always come first, shouldn’t it?

It’s nice to be back reading e-books again. It took me a long time to appreciate e-books because there is nothing like holding a real book in your hands. I got used to it eventually.  Lately, I’ve been reading books by Australian authors.  Done with 56 books, 31 % of my reading challenge.

How was your weekend? Have a nice and beautiful Tuesday everyone.

 

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I remember my last session of chemotherapy done on a December morning at the UST Hospital Benavidez Cancer Institute.  It was a Tuesday, the  Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  My medical oncologist called it my graduation.  Graduation from six cycles of chemotherapy and oral chemo drugs, graduation from the pain brought by the IV injected every three weeks, graduation from various laboratory tests before each cycle of chemo. But it did not end there. I have to go back to my surgical oncologist for regular check-up until five years ago when I totally lifted everything up to God that I am truly cured  and well.  It was a nice feeling to be able to pick up and do regular routines without  having to worry about one’s health, without having to worry about doctor and hospital visits. I hate hospitals. I can’t stand waiting too long outside a doctor’s office with other patients who have their own stories to tell.   Seeing other patients is depressing enough.

When you are sick, sometimes depression sets in but your belief and faith that you will be cured  of your illness helps to combat those feelings. When you believe that you will get well, you will.  I started this blog sharing a bit of what I went through more than seven years ago. I wonder sometimes about those friends I met here who underwent the same journey as I did. Where are they now? I haven’t heard from them for quite a while.  There was a time when some of my posts would be full of sharing about their plights as cancer patients and survivors or some members of the family sharing about it. I miss those because I would want to know how they are now.

Some people say things happen for a reason. I believe though that God allows us to feel the pain of being sick so we’ll get closer to Him. It’s when you are at your lowest that God lifts you up. I remember those lines from  Footprints in the Sand:

One night I had a dream…

I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, There was only one set of footprints.

I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, You would walk with me all the way; But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, There is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why in times when I needed you the most, you should leave me.

The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.

These word often  remind me  to be always grateful for even the smallest blessing that happens in my life.

In times of our needs, we must look back and remember,  He was walking along with us, carrying us on His shoulder.  The times we thought we were alone, the times we thought we carried  the burden, the times we thought we were so helpless with things which we can’t avoid, the times of need, I believe those were the times He carried us through.

 

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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.

gettyimages-53436755

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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