December 31, 2011

"They tried to make me go to rehab, I said 'no, no, no' " ... - Amy Winehouse

june 2011 - Chammy's wedding

july 2011 - Lizette's wedding

november 2011 - Winah's wedding

december 2011 - Liz's wedding

In a span of 12 months,  I've attended four (4) of my friends' weddings and they all offer the promise of new life for the new couple... :) 

In a similar way, i welcome the new year with a new love for life...

so here's my version of a list of new year's resolutions:

1. complain less
2. say 'thank you' more often
3. laugh harder
4. regrets? forget it..
5. stop whining
6. always look at the good in people
7. confess more
8. apologize appropriately
9. expect nothing, give everything
10. smile
11. be open to suggestion
12. embrace change
13. inspire others more
14. erase indifference
15. enjoy every moment, you could die in an instant
16. savor the taste of everything u eat

and the list goes on... and on....

whats on YOUR list? :

"And so lying underneath those stormy skies, she'd say "oh ohohoh I know the sun must set to rise" -Coldplay

a letter for no one:

dear 2011,

the time has come for you to pass... but know that you will always be remembered. for you have brought more tears than any bucket can ever contain... more sorrow than a heart can ever hold. yet, you've created more promises than any1 can ever hope for. 

i wish i could say that you've been great, but that would not be true... for you have been a very long struggle... an extremely painful experience... an unforgettably tough companion. 

but i can never thank you enough for everything you so purposely planned... by being tough you've rendered me stronger. you've pushed me close to the edge of my sanity so i can truly say i'm sane enough to handle you.
 you've become my revelation. the instrument to make me realize that true friends are rare. 

2011, i say goodbye to you with a bit of sentimental nostalgia... 
and i greet 2012 hello with the promise of new LIFE. 

December 27, 2011

"I won't run, I won't fly, I will never make it by, without you" - David Guetta

a little backtrack from a few weeks past... i gate-crashed an incredibly fun party at my former workplace. although it was one of the earliest Christmas parties i had attended it exceeded all of my expectations. it immediately set the bar for my entire HOLIDAY party experience... 

but soon after though, more and more parties have far exceeded the craziness and sheer enjoyment of that night... and i will be posting pictures of the rest of these parties i attended/gat-crashed (who can tell the difference, anyway?) ... :) 

so keep posted!!

by the way, i'd like you all to meet my partner-in-crime / my very own macho dancer / my rock star / the reason for most of my RIDICULOUS LAUGHTERS ........... 


"sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead....." - Adele

if only my tears could drown away all my fears and disappointments... id be willing to cry an entire ocean. 
don't get me wrong, I AM HAPPY. i am blessed to be alive for Christmas... and i have more than enough reasons to be festive and joyful. i do thank GOD with my utmost sincerity, for giving me the chance to celebrate this season with JOY and EXCITEMENT, that despite the horrible ordeal i went through for most of this year; despite the unforgettable horrors of chemotherapy and the unforgiving burns of radiation, Christmas arrived with great gifts : LIFE and LOVE. 

but tonight i cried.... for reasons that i prefer to keep to myself. i am still in constant quest for peace, that transcends all understanding. i am consumed by unmet expectations, never ending frustrations and an unrealistic lack of patience. tonight i forgot how lucky i am to still be alive. tonight i failed God.

indeed, if crying were an escape to all of life's problems, we'd be drowning in tears. and what an exhausting escape it would be! fortunately, a simple prayer and a little faith provides more than just a way out... they offer comfort, shelter and peace. it's all a matter of remembering which ones to use.... exhaustion through tears or freedom through prayer. 

so tonight i cried . . . but only for a little while. . . then i started to pray . . .  for quite a long time. . . 

choose wisely, save ur tears.

happy holidays!

December 8, 2011

"I've been roaming around, I was looking down at all I see ..." - Kings of Leon

Another entire month of radio-silence, of which i'm not very proud of. I feel like i've betrayed my blog for not paying attention to it for a long time. the reason for my  lack of entries is plainly inexcusable, hence im not going to let u in on it. :P or maybe i will. Nevertheless, i feel like my absence has not been blatantly obvious because only a very few people read my rants...err.. posts. hehe. still, despite my small audience i feel obliged to say 'im sorry' for simply being lazy. lol.
so what have i been up to these days? what's a post-chemo, post-radiotherapy HL patient / doctor doing besides getting better? a whole lot of things! 
first, i've been keeping up with my Toastmasters stint. second, i've mastered the art of making lectures in Microsoft Powerpoint about physiology and general medical conditions, because as hard as it may seem to believe, i have entered the academe. yes, i am currently a post-chemo, post-radiotherapy HL patient / doctor / toastmaster / teacher! beat that. heheheheheheheh 
kidding aside, i have indeed committed myself to one of my life's goals: to teach. but i have very little patience for noisy, uninterested kids so i decided to teach young adults...more specifically college students :) teaching is not an easy thing, i tell you. you have to constantly reassure yourself that you know exactly what you are talking about. a bluff will always be a bluff and no poker face can hide it inside the classroom. :) but it's a great feeling to be able to impart knowledge and re-learn it all again. i suggest you try it, in any way you can! :p

 but on an entirely different note, our Toastmaster's club recently had its charter presentation. it was a night of good looks, good food, and good company. these are some of the photos from that amazing night:

no black and white photos for now.... :) 

November 10, 2011

"you're gonna catch a cold, from the ice inside your soul" ...... - Christina Perri

it has been a tough couple of weeks for me, and i've been forcing myself to smile. i'm halfway through my radiation therapy and i've lost my sense of taste. its uncertain whether this is the reason for my perpetual sadness, but i've definitely lost weight because of it. 

but i thank God for reminding me, that even strangers can make us smile. here's why:

today, while waiting for my turn to get radiation therapy, i was nonchalantly reading my text messages on my phone when a stranger approached me. i glanced, smiled and she smiled back. Hesitantly she said 'i admire ur do'. i was caught off guard. i thought she was going to ask for the time or start small talk. then she continued 'i would like to cut my hair short just like that, but i'm afraid i would look funny'. Humbly i smiled, said "thanks, but its not easy having hair shorter than an inch.... people stare." She disagreed by saying "no, its actually kind of sexy". Flattered, i thanked her again and left because i was called to the room. ... with a HUGE SMILE on my face.

i believe that you should always be mindful of others, in a warm and friendly way, never stingy on smiles, and always ready to extend a helping hand. 

the photos above were taken 2 years ago, on our trip to krabi. i decided to post 'em here because it reminded me how both of us were strangers to that beautiful paradise. but despite that, we grew fond of the place and made friends along the way. 

November 7, 2011

"the sharp knife of a short life, well, i've had just enough time"... - the band perry

no matter how many times we hear people say that "life's short", we never seem to really get it, or do we? 
each day as the sun rises we continue to live like tomorrow is always going to come. the day passes, the sun sets, and nothing is worth remembering. another day put to waste, and we keep on telling ourselves "maybe tomorrow" . it's utterly ridiculous to think that you're going to cease to exist after tonight's sleep...because we simply aren't wired that way. but don't you want to try living like its your final day on earth, breathing like it could be your last?

well, i do.

how to do it? i have absolutely no clue. although i could start with always SMILING.... but perhaps i might look like a complete fool... 
or i could try something new EVERYDAY. eat something i've never eaten, buy something i've never had.... but perhaps i'd go bankrupt....

why do i feel like the world is turning for everybody else but me? 

i'd like to say that this entry is totally uninspired, but i'd be telling a lie.

October 19, 2011

"Our memories; Well, they can be inviting. But some are altogether mighty frightening " ... -Gwen Stefani (No Doubt)

As promised, i am going to share with you, my reading audience, the speech i delivered tonight in our Toastmaster's meeting. For those of you who do not know, but are interested to know what Toastmasters Intenational is, it's actually a club where people deliver their prepared speeches and be evaluated as well. It's an avenue to practice speaking in public and improve gradually as you go about the different steps and speeches. Being a new member, i did my Basic Speech 1 , which is called the ice breaker. To know more, you may check out this page about the different speeches:
 According to the guide on that page, the first speech of the Toastmasters program is about introducing yourself to your peers, providing a benchmark for your current skill level, and standing and speaking without falling over.

So, here's my 6 minute speech .... entitled, 

The Big C (no, not the vitamin)

           Do you remember the time when you were little and everyone around you would ask what you wanted to be when you grew up? I bet some of you once wanted to become someone you are not today. Perhaps you said “I want to be a teacher; or a doctor; a scientist maybe; an astronaut; or even a rockstar”. And when asked “why?”, I guess you would’ve said “to save the word, to heal, to have a house, to have a really nice car, to be able to travel the whole world, to win a Nobel prize, to have crazy fans scream my name out loud”. As for me, I had never intentionally wanted to become a doctor. And I never wanted to have cancer. But as it turns out, I am a doctor and I do have cancer.
            For most of my life, I’ve had it easy. School was never tough because my parents were never pushing me to do something or be someone that I didn’t want to be. They allowed me to grow in my own pace but with their guidance, nonetheless. I managed to breeze through gradeschool, highschool, college and medschool. I have gathered little achievements here and there; from a few honor rolls to my very own first kiss. And I’ve established great friendships with a number of ordinary and extraordinary people. Indeed I’ve grown, brain-wise but not height-wise, evidently so. All through those years I have maintained good grades, as well as ably maintaining the same height then and now. So as you can probably tell, I’ve been used to being a little girl; a little lady with a little voice; and now, a little woman. But this little woman was diagnosed with the Big C one lovely Monday morning while taking care of her patients in the hospital. And I bet you can hardly imagine what it must’ve felt like: to be a doctor one minute, and be the patient in the next. Well, imagine no more because I’m going to tell you. 
             You see, when something as big as cancer happens to you, it becomes more of a test of character rather than a test of health. It unveils who you really are, beneath all the fa├žade, beneath all the expectations. It gets you down to the basics, bringing you to the core of your humanity. I have to be honest, I was sad upon hearing the news; sad, but never scared. I also felt betrayed. I felt like life was cheating on me. Because I thought I was doing everything right, and thought I had my entire life figured out, but I was so wrong. So I felt scorned; like being stabbed in the back, helpless and utterly vulnerable. And later I grew ashamed for having felt those things. I picked myself up, prayed and trusted God entirely. Somewhere along the way I felt empowered. Then I felt peace.
            That one event made me realize who I really am. I’m still a little woman, with a little voice. But I am not easily scared, for I fear nothing but God. I don’t have my life figured out because I’m only me, a finite human and only God has the blueprint to my life. I am ridiculously spontaneous but very optimistic. I still have dreams and they’ve never changed ever since I finished medicine: dreams of being able to touch people’s lives whether by a prescription I’ve made, by a smile I shared or even by a speech I delivered.
            So ladies and gentlemen of the audience, if you’re down, and depressed for a failed a relationship, a horrible unforgiving boss, a loss at the lottery; or frustrated at never being able to buy that new MonteroSport that everyone’s crazy about, or sad at never having awesome Boracay pictures to post on Facebook simply because you cannot afford the trip, or even just crying for having to cancel a date with Mr. Hot Guy or Ms. Sexy Lady because you had the flu. Well I suggest you stop, dry those tears and think. If this little woman can single-handedly fight with the Big C (with joy and fearlessness, at that!), then SURELY you can handle a little runny nose, can’t you?

well, that was it. i think i did well, or i hope i did. :)  till next time, :)

October 18, 2011

"I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have and cannon ball into the water" .. . -Teddy Geiger

Out of sheer boredom and with plenty of time to spare, i recently joined the Toastmaster's Club in my own locality. It's a rather interesting move, and i am yet to discover what it can bring into my life. I am quite certain that it'll help me improve in many ways. i'll be posting my first basic speech here after i deliver it on wednesday. (fingers crossed)   majority of the members who will be listening are people i've met for the first time. the thought of it is unnerving but just as equally exciting! :)  be on the lookout for my next post, as it will contain my toastmaster's basic speech number 1.... 

October 10, 2011

"take all your so called problems, better put them in quotations. say what you need to say" ... ... -John Mayer

What do radios and crickets have in common? You may think “What? What is she talking about?” and say, “Nothing. They have absolutely nothing in common.”. Well I’m urging you to think again. Both of them create noise, don't you agree? They both let themselves be heard by making a sound. We could all learn a thing or two from radios and crickets. Most of us have God-given voices but rarely do we ever truly speak our minds and hearts out. If you still don’t agree with me, try to recall the time when you had to walk a considerable distance from your supposed destination simply because the bus/cab driver didn’t hear you the first time you asked him to stop. Try to recall your disappointment, your wasted time and energy walking that distance and how it single-handedly ruined your day. You could’ve spoken clearer or perhaps a tad louder and what a difference it would have made! But that’s not my point.

        You see, a lot of relationships have been compromised because of a mere miscommunication, or simply put, a non-communication. Mothers develop tension headaches because their teenage daughter is always coming home late. Teenage daughters come home late because their mothers are always whining about their headaches. It would’ve been simpler and more peaceful if the two would just talk, say what they want to say and get on with their lives. A couple celebrates their 10th year anniversary but fights during dinner because the wife got red roses when she was always the white tulip fan. She feels her husband should’ve known better, after 10 years of being together. But did she ever really tell her husband about it? I don’t think so. Or one country rages war against another because its intelligence agents have a hunch that the enemy country is creating nukes and making them the target. Without even initiating “peace talks”, bombs are already dropped.
Technology has allowed us to communicate faster and further. But are we really gaining something good from all the wired and wireless tools? Or are we rotting even more in our people skills?  

I personally think that a healthy relationship with a friend, a lover, a parent, a co-worker, a boss or even with yourself is established by good, open, honest communication. There is freedom in honesty. There is freedom in expressing oneself.

So each time you feel like you have something to say to someone but you feel tied up and scared to speak out, think of all the crickets!

sources of photos:

October 7, 2011

"did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day and head back to the milky way" - Train

(grabbed from Karlo)

Radio-silence. An entire month of radio-silence. My absence from writing can be attributed to the events that have transpired over the past few weeks. It’s not because I’ve been sick bad enough that I couldn’t write, nor is it because I’ve nothing to write about. In fact, there are a gazillion things that I have got to share. You can only imagine how fast my fingers are typing at this very moment, eager to put all the words that are overflowing from my puny brain. Prepare yourself for a lengthy entry.

They say, if you're a sincere blogger, you'd write just about everything; every emotion, every thought: the good, the bad, the happy, the sad. But life can sometimes be too overwhelming to be put in words; too depressing to even be shared. Sometimes, the best way to speak your mind, is to be perfectly still, and not say a word. Last month was quite a struggle for me, my family and everything in between. It was like being trapped in a jar, helpless and utterly breathless, not knowing if you’re ever going to get out of it. But God, and His omnipotence, gave me peace that transcends all understanding. My family eventually managed to overcome the struggle and learned a few valuable lessons along the way.

I’m finally done with the ruthless and merciless chemotherapy. I can now brush it aside and laugh at the memory of it. A total of 16 sessions in a span of 8 months; 225 days to be exact. I celebrated it with pizza, puke and even more puke. Forgive me for my lack of a better word, but I don’t want to sugarcoat anything so everyone knows exactly what I mean. Chemotherapy was no easy ride. I sure am glad I can put it behind me.

Moving on, I also celebrated my 27th birthday about a week ago. For weeks building up to the exact date I have been confused and constantly thinking of ideas on how to celebrate life, while I was still struggling with surviving it. Finally I made an exciting decision to spend my day with friends at an orphanage. It was even better than I’d imagined! It was a joy to see the innocent toddlers’ messy faces eating spaghetti, cupcakes and icecream. When you make other people happy, their joy becomes a sort of mirror and reflects a smile on your face. You forget your own worries and become infected with laughter.

One other exciting event worthy of some air-time is the day I met my soulmate. No, this isn’t some romantic story or a fairy-tale-like adventure. This is about me meeting a stranger one lovely afternoon over a cup of chai tea latte. Her name is Jurace. She’s 27 years old and she also has cancer. We both share the same diagnosis: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma stage 2. And we both share the same fate: chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We are likewise of the same age, and are both the 2nd daughter of 3, with both female siblings. It was hair-raising when we realized that we had very similar stories as we continued to talk about our experiences, our likes and our dislikes. She comes from the far side of the country and traveled all the way here to receive her treatment. I prefer to think that she came all the way here to meet me.  She is still halfway on her chemotherapy and I can already see that she can come out of it strong and victorious. It was comforting to meet someone who can truly relate to what I’ve been through. And it is as equally challenging to be able to support her in more ways than one as she continues on in her treatment.

This is me and Jurace. I have not been wearing a wig for 3 weeks now simply because I already have tiny new hair growing. It’s unnerving the way everyone’s head turns when getting a glimpse of me but slowly I am becoming more oblivious to their stare.

September 3, 2011

should i give up, or should i just keep chasing pavements? - Adele

when you think that you have your entire life figured out, trust me - you don't. 
life will constantly throw curve balls your way and you'll never know until it hits you, dead straight on the face. it's a fact. life doesn't always turn out the way you planned it but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy its surprises.

i have been dealing with harsh realities for the past couple of weeks. dreams had to be steered to a different direction and decisions had to be made despite how things have fallen short of my expectations. it hasn't been easy, but life never is. 

when you are overwhelmed with life's unfortunate events, you tend to ask why nothing is ever working out for you. you get impatient, frustrated and arrogant. believe me - i've been there. but i tell you, our limited human minds can never comprehend God's infinite divine plans. He can do far better than what we can even begin to imagine. God, in his sovereign greatness, is teaching us to wait on Him. We hastily make decisions in the hopes of achieving the plans we have set for ourselves. We must never forget that despite how unpredictably exhausting life can turn out to be, God has shown nothing but perfect consistency.
He remains faithful to us even when ours sometimes fade to a blur. 

think of the cross. 

August 17, 2011

"And in between the moon and you, angels get a better view, of the crumbling difference between wrong and right." - Counting Crows

this is the story of my detour. my pitstop. my “facing-cancer-and-hitting-it-in-the-face” experience. this is the story of me.

       It was a usual day at work, juggling through patients’ progress notes, nurses’ questions and senior resident’s requests. I was nonchalantly scratching my neck that morning when I noticed a lump sitting on top of my left clavicle (collar bone). It wasn’t huge, but it was unusually there. “This wasn’t here this morning” or so I thought. Being a new doctor, whose concern for her patients weighed more than her own “suddenly-there” lump, I brushed it aside and self-diagnosed it as “NOTHING serious”. But as per other doctors’ advice, I had blood work and radiographs done at the end of the day, still with “nothing serious” rolling through my mind over and over again. But it was nothing close to nothing serious, I tell you. Because after all the tests and the scans, and a short tour to the operating room for a small biopsy, my lump turned out to be cancer. Hodgkins lymphoma to be exact. It is cancer of the lymph nodes. And it was in me. The date was February 15. And it marked the day that my life started anew.

       From then on I had to temporarily stop working, something I found very hard to acclimatize. I’ve gotten so used to waking up at 5 in the morning, doing early morning rounds to check on patients, ending the day all worn-out and beat, that I didn’t know how I should act when I have the entire day spent at home. I was a mess. A bored mess so to say. But that was the least of the adaptational struggles I went through. I had to accept the tiny fact that for the time being, I was the patient, not the doctor.

      Routinely, I went through immunization updates, bone marrow biopsies (I wish no one ever has to go through that), and other pre-treatment what nots. I had been sporting a really long do then simply because I never had time to visit the beauty parlor. I was unrealistically confident I’d never have to lose my hair in chemo. But I was wrong. After 3 sessions, running my fingers through my head was like harvesting rice in the field. They just started falling off, not one by one, but in clumps. I rarely towel dried my hair with fear of seeing them all fall off at once. It was horribly depressing seeing long strands of hair on the wooden floor of my bedroom, on the tiled floors of the kitchen and dining room, and on the wet, slippery bathroom floors. It was all too depressing. So I shaved them all. And I never once saw another hair strand on the floor again, except that of my dogs’. 

       I cannot even fathom to describe how cruelly toxic chemotherapy can be. I try to eat plenty during breakfast, I puke it all out during lunch, and I have ice chips for dinner. Whats worse, I already have my horrible puking sessions even before the real treatment starts. This thing we call “anticipatory emesis”. A term I will forever hate for the rest of my life. I struggled with it throughout my entire 12 sessions of chemotherapy. I want to personally meet it and kick it in the groin. If that’s even possible. In between chemotherapy sessions, life seemed pretty normal. Or one could say, relatively normal.

      I get blood work done every few days or so, and usually have low counts. This prompts me to have doses of a blood cell stimulating drug, which I’d have to inject every few days or so, depending on my count. Its not a simple drug. It hurts like hell. Its only 1mL in volume but it’s the most painful 1mL there is. I hate that drug but  its helping replace the cells i lose in therapy. 

     Moving on, its now been 6 months since my diagnosis. I’ve had 12 sessions of chemotherapy, shaved my head 3 times, read a few chapters in my medical book, been to countless blood tests with my spotted, scarred arm being proof of them. I’ve managed to still go to social gatherings, so long as im strong enough to wear heels. I’ve also watched several films on movie houses and have worn disposable masks in most of them. I’ve been put to a scare of developing a serious infection, but was lucky enough to hamper it. I’ve owned 6 wigs, worn only 2 of them. I’ve perfected the art of making delicious and creamy mashed potatoes, or I assume I have. And I’ve started blogging, evidently so. 

I still have a few more chemotherapy sessions to hurdle. And i cant wait to get to the checkered flag. I know i'll come out of this a different person, possibly not entirely better, but definitely a lot more grateful for my second lease on life. 

August 4, 2011

"is there really no escape? no escape from time of any kind"..... ..... - Duncan Sheik

A few days ago I was trying to make myself useful by doing simple household chores. It was initially uneventful until I noticed that I was literally trying to catch my breath. I had to pause, look for a place to sit, and breathe. It was unnerving because I’ve never felt anything like it. I've never had to catch my breath in my life. I have never noticed my minute-by-minute respiration except maybe in the past when I used to join in 10-km fun runs. But this was different. It was like I couldn't get enough air, couldn’t expand my lungs enough to satisfy my craving. 
“What’s happening to me?” I asked myself, with a hint of panic in my head. 
So I just sat there and I just tried to breathe.

That may have been a very scary event for me, or anyone, for that matter.
 But figuratively, we’ve all had moments in our lives when we can hardly breathe. Moments when we feel like we’re running in a marathon, with our hearts pacing and our lungs can only do so much. We live each day in supersonic-speed we forget to take time to smell the roses. Consumed by the demands of work, the expectations of loved ones, and the standards we set for ourselves, we often suffocate in disappointments, regrets and frustrations. And we find ourselves crawling, reaching, just gasping for air. Oftentimes, we dive deep and wait ‘til the air tanks in our lives have hit the red mark for LOW despite having been warned lots of times to slowly start the ascent. We try to go the surface, we try to relax, give ourselves a breather. But then, most often than not, it’s all too late. We’ve drowned; drowned in overwhelming stresses, in unrelenting fears, and in underestimated self-worth.

I took my time, and taught myself to breathe in- breathe out, like chanting for someone about to give birth. It annoyingly took quite some time but I cringe at the thought of giving up. So I kept going, and going, until breathing became more natural and panic has left my system. It was exhilarating, the feeling that you’ve survived a potential life-ender. Exaggerated as it may sound, the possibility of death did come into mind. I was alone at home; still battling with a little thing called cancer; any sudden-onset dyspnea while doing minimal work could smell like disaster.

So take time to breathe, in all ways that the word connotes. Merriam-Webster defines “to breathe” as to enjoy relief. Therefore, we should not be in haste. Life isn’t a race; it’s more like a privileged journey. When and how the journey ends we don’t really know, so while you still have the free ride to life, inhale and exhale, every once in a while. ;-)

that's me and my friend Princess studying in a pastry shop in Cebu., all photos taken using her phone camera. 
 Somewhat unrelated to the post but hey, we both took a break and took some time to breathe  :) 

August 1, 2011

"even as the eyes are closin' , do it with a heart wide open" .... .... -John Mayer

felt the warm hug of the sun today for the first time in days. it was even better than i’d expected, as it had just rained and there was a hint of cool breeze as its rays reached my skin. i’m enjoying every bit of sun i can get since the forecast has been warning us of more rain in the coming days. don’t get me wrong, i love the rain. but lately it’s been so dark and gloomy outside and all i see on the news are flooded areas here and there. the rain hasn’t been very nice to a lot of people and
 everyone’s craving for a little sunshine. :-) 

like the weather, life can sometimes be all too bleak and gloomy, making you doubt the existence of a silver lining. like walking in an unlighted alley, or diving deep into dark waters. It can sometimes get so dark you’re like crawling inside a cave wishing the earth would crack just so you'll get a glimpse of the light. Its frustrating sometimes.  u try so hard to live it right, yet circumstances choose to deviate from a straight path. 
u look back to examine, asking yourself, “Where did I go wrong?” but instead of answers, you only get more and more questions.
i say, what’s the point of asking? channel your energy somewhere else.
 in the blinding darkness of life, start looking for holes where light can enter, or better yet, create your own fire. never let it scare you, never let it defeat you. but allow the experience to teach you. after all, we all need a lesson or two about humility, about courage, about faith.
do what you can to get your taste of sunshine. Pray. believe. ask for help.
and while you’re at it, be mindful that others may be in that situation too.

I recently hurdled past my 12th chemotherapy session. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 6 months already. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter everyday. Im getting closer to finishing this detour in my life.
 I can’t completely say that the experience has been radically life-changing. It’s more like waking up from a dream you never realized was a nightmare. 

tell me ur story and i'll tell u mine :)

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July 31, 2011

"i believe in memories because they look so, so pretty when I sleep" - Jack Johnson

 cheryl and me

Cheryl's innocence

“Everything is achievable through technology” says Howard Stark, a character in a movie I recently watched on TV. I say, that’s a rather bold claim and inaccurate in so many ways. But one thing technology has infamously achieved though, is revamping society’s idea of friendship; where one can instantly add someone to be a friend and numbers can go up to the thousands. But is it the real deal? Not even close.
 True friendship has deeper roots than a mere click of an “accept” button. It's that bond you have with someone that has been tested time and time again. And again. and again. That someone who holds on tight when life pushes you to the edge of your emotions and snaps you back right before you lose yourself completely. 

I got a visit from 2 friends yesterday, like a blast from my past. The room was instantly filled with laughter, eating bananas and mangoes while goofing around with hairpieces (wigs). Although the time spent was short, it was filled with love and a flashback of good memories. Not only have they made me smile that day, they're also breathing reminders of why I’ve remained positive and moderately sane amidst my personal crisis. 
Yes, friends can do that and more. They’d cancel other appointments for the day just so you’ll have company. They will disturb you in the middle of your snooze because they dreamt of you and got superstitious and worried something might have happened to you. They’ll give you the better seat in the movies; and will offer to eat the rest of the popcorn so you’ll get fewer calories. They are the ones left behind when everyone else have scrammed, because a flying cockroach is on the loose. They're your lifeguard, your box of secrets, your release valve.
Today and everyday I give thanks to all my friends. They've been my allies, my prayer warriors. Without them, a simple gush of wind will seem like a hurricane. BUT with them, a discovery that you have cancer will feel like a small blister. Nothing you can't handle ;)  

above of photos of me and my visitors yesterday, and a very old gift from another friend, her own work of art. True friends, old or new, are pieces of art you'd want to keep forever. 

July 28, 2011

"I can't stay on your life support, there's a shortage in the switch" .... -Pink

an idea!

Saging, Santol, Mangga, Bayabas, Avocado

 Orange, with her blank stare

 Orange and Ocean getting dried after a bath

Ocean , being calm as always

 the top lightbulb is busted

the culprit

Yesterday I officially launched this blog in the only social-networking site that I currently know how to use: FB.
You may find it a bit ridiculous to have waited 'til I’ve written at least 3 posts before letting the world know it existed. I didn't want to disappoint my audience with just a single post, now that would simply be painful and cruel. tehehehe
but I’m happy to report that it had quite a flattering reception, which also means I’ll be a tad more conscious of my writing, knowing at the back of my mind that somewhere, someone is actually reading this.

I’ve been banking myself with loads of fruits and fruitjuices for the past two days in a desperate attempt to hamper a viral infection. One that would be inconsequential to most, but definitely hair-raising to me and my immunocompromised state. But much to my dismay, it did hit me, and a mega-dose of Vitamin C isn't going to curb it. Which gives me an inspiration to write about health and staying healthy. I am not going to tell you things like what to eat or what NOT to eat. Its not even going to be about trying to achieve those impossible-to-get-abs women in beauty magazines flaunt. You can easily search the web for that. Instead, I’ve decided to reflect on thoughts that make one healthy.

Yes, you heard me right; I did say “thoughts”, the exercise of the mind in any of its higher forms. And it does possess the power to keep you healthy just as good as a balanced diet keeps you fit. Keep an open mind, explore, create, think happy thoughts. Be bold, but sensitive. Be colorful but simple. Be a creature like no other, but always be mindful of others. Steer away from being cynical, it is infectious and rots your brain faster than narcotics. Enrich your mind with positivity, creativity and moderate self-indulgence. Think hard, and dream big, but stay grounded. You will be amazed at the transformation. If not, then you are only pretending.

A thousand of your brain cells die everyday, so why waste time using them on thoughts that make  you miserable, unwanted, unaccomplished? I say, invest on healthy thoughts! :) 

Above are photos I took today of 1: a light bulb, 2: some of the fruits I’ve eaten, 3: my dogs, Ocean and Orange (I wonder what their thoughts are), 4: an abandoned dresser mirror with a busted light bulb (see, ideas that are dull and busted, will never work!). :)

July 27, 2011

if you're happy and you know it ....

There will be days when you have no idea where you are going or what you should be doing. And it won't be easy trying to figure 'em out. But then again, we all will eventually go somewhere or do something, whether we planned it or not. 
That's life.  
We will come to a certain crossroad in our life where the different roads lead to different dreams. Some roads are more like other people's expectations, not your own. And you stand in the middle of all that, and you have to choose 1 road to follow. Most of us in our mid-twenties are to make a choice and make it now. Society expects us to choose the road that projects the best of us, but do we really want to go there? Should we really sacrifice our dreams for other people's expectations? 

I have been in that crossroads once, and i have chosen 1 road. However, like most roads, there were bumps and holes. And right now, i have fallen into 1 deep hole on my road. Currently struggling with my condition, people would expect me to be depressed, sad, suicidal even. But i am none of those things. I may be sick, I may be missing out on all the things my old life offered, but I'm happy. 

My photos are non grayscale today simply because they look happier with color :) Im currently experiencing a complication of my disease lately but it doesn't mean i cant live life the way i want to :)