Monday, May 25, 2009

A New Smile

I'm allowed to wake up a bit late on Mondays because my work doesn't start till 12 noon. Today, I woke up early because I have to go to Westmead Hospital to have my blood extracted for tissue typing. The nurse in charge of the stem cell transplant comes only on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Monday is my only chance. Abigail, Eric and Heidi already had their samples of blood taken weeks ago. I was the only one left. All four of us, siblings of Abel, are the prime candidates for donating our bone marrow aspirates for Abel's future stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, Eric's and Abigail's were not a match for Abel. I hope Heidi's or mine's matches.

When I arrived in Abel's room, I saw her face lighten up for the first time since ages ago. It was because her doctors already made their morning rounds and she was allowed to be discharged. She was so excited she packed her things straight away. What a lovely sight! I will not forget that smile on her face. She was so glad. Her WBC started to differentiate already. Neutrophils were already present in her smear and that was good enough for her doctors. If all will turn out well, she will be having another bone marrow biopsy in 2 weeks time and her second round of chemotherapy soon after.

It's good to see her smile again! The best thing that I saw today! I hope all of you out there reading this post will not cease to PRAY for her. Please include her in your daily prayers just like what we are doing. We are still hoping and expecting for the best, in Jesus' name!

My appreciation...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weaknesses And Strengths

I am a Type A personality. I used to be a doctor once and my strength is making decisions. I admit I am a dominant and decisive person. I don't find any difficulty in decision making, be it good or be it bad. Whenever I decide, I always stand by it. Sometimes other people would say that I am often wrong but never doubtful. I guess that's pretty much who I am and that is my strongest trait.

I also know I have my own weaknesses as well. I tend to please other people and I always do what they want me to do. Bloody hell, come to think of it, I even make tea for my boss! I know I should stop worrying about pleasing other people and I should start doing what I think is best for me and be honest about it. This is my life and I have to make the most out of it!

It was once said that "worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength." I admit I worry a lot and I think that is robbing me of my confidence and strength! Now I realise that things become overwhelming whenever I am living in anxiety. Maybe its about time for me to slow down, relax and go with the flow of life.

I've done a lot of thinking, thanks to my non-satiable brain. I really have to do something about this inner conflict of mine which is slowly but surely eating up my securities. I should hone more on my strengths and do something about my weaknesses and conquer all my fears.

A new day will soon come!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Of Mojos, Confidence and Precariousness

This post is so predictable, you probably saw it coming. Obviously another whinge, another whine, another venting of frustration and despair. This dilemma started from the day I migrated to this foreign continent. It seems that I used up all of my allure, my charm, my charisma, my pizzazz. Nothing's left in my arsenal now. I feel like a low-down son of a gun, so insecure, so vague, vulnerable at times.

I know I am one of the dominant class, I maybe timid and quiet most of the time but I know I am the go getting kind of a person. I used to be "the boss," the one in charge. I used to be on top of the totem pole most of the time, a higher form of animal so to say. But now things are different. I feel I am a second class citizen here. I was sucked up into life's daily ebb and flow here, so predictable, so routine. "I lost my mojo" here. And now that I feel so lowly of myself I sometimes do not know who I am anymore, what to act, what to say.

I know I have to get over this, myself. I have to solve this problem alone and fast. So many things going into my mind and I have to face and resolve each and every one of these worries. It just doesn't show sometimes but the truth of the matter is, I am carrying a heavy load as of the moment. The last thing I need now probably is an insult to compound this hurt.

I thought I got over this a long time ago, I guess there are still a few hangovers looming around. In time I am sure things will be back in order. When? That's for me to tell.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Abel is losing her hair very fast, a very common side effect of the chemotherapy she had. She decided to have a haircut today so Eric and I went there after lunch to cut her hair. I brought my camera to document the moments. It's a good thing she was "game" during the photoshoot.

On our way to her room, we met Ate Chit and Kuya Soty at the foyer. They were there to visit Abel as well. We prayed the Divine Mercy novena first then haircut time afterwards. Her platelet count is very low today and she's having blood in her stools. I think they will transfuse platelets today. Other than that, she seems to be alright.

In Jesus' name she will overcome this ordeal. We are all counting on that. Let's keep on praying.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Off Chemo

I just arrived home, I went straight to Westmead Hospital to visit Abel. She's in high spirit today although you can see that she's very weak and tired. Yesterday she was having abdominal pain and bloating. I attribute this to hyperacidity because she is still maintained on a low dose dexamethasone.

I told her to ambulate more even inside her room because prolonged recumbency will cause her bowel to become hypoactive. Today is the 4th day off chemotherapy. Doctors are giving her bone marrow ample time to recover as her blood cells are close to nil. She is very vulnerable to infection at this stage.

Still I am appealing to all of you reading this post. Please include my sister, Abel and all cancer sufferers around the world, in your prayers. Again my sincerest appreciation to all of you.

Prayers can move mountains and I know with your help we can effect a big difference. I continue to have faith...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Roller Coaster Ride

I'm glad last week was already over. It was a long and slow week full of dramas and emotions. So much had happened during the past week. Abel started her chemotherapy last Monday, the 4th. She experienced all the grimness of chemotherapy. She was literally knocked down but fortunately not out. Nen had her problems of her own too and I couldn't do much to help. It was so frustrating for me. I had another episode of hypertension last Thursday and my blood pressure sky rocketed up to the heavens. It's a good thing I didn't had stroke but I already experienced numbness of my arms and legs.

Indeed life as they say, is like a roller coaster ride. It is so mysterious you'll never know what lies on the horizon, what is stored for tomorrow. I sure am glad that I was able to be of service to my family and to other people. I am glad I was able to touch other people's lives and made them happy. At least I will be remembered in a pleasant way.

Let us all continue to hope, have faith and most of all love.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For Nanay

Cheers to my dearest Nanay whom I love so much! You deserve all the accolades that we can give, you are the best this earth can ever produce. It is my privilege to be one of your children. I am nothing without you and my siblings will not be here as well if it wasn't for you. In behalf of all of us, thank you very much!

Nanay, I will continue to take care of you up to the best of my capabilities. I know there are times I take you for granted, my apologies for that. Please forgive me when the time comes that I will be leaving you for good, I really do not know when. When that time comes, please do not think that I love you less, it's just that I love somebody more and I have to be with her. I will never ever get you out of my mind, I'll do that.

I always pray for your health. May He lighten up your burden and physical difficulties. May He give you more years for you to see another grandchild. I love you very much my dearest Nanay. May God bless you. Happy Mother's Day.

Mabuhay ka, Nanay!

Happy Mother's Day

I got this from a friend's email. I just want to share it with you...

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the small child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said, You will simply call her, "Mum."

Loony Tunes

I have a question for you... How would you react if somebody thinks you are crazy? What would you think if somebody doesn't want his or her loved ones near you because he or she thinks that you'll scare the hell out of them? Whoa! That's something isn't it?

Most would probably get infuriated. Others might just laugh out loud. Still a few would contest it and try to explain things. So many responses to a particular situation. Personally, I will prove to everybody that I am not. I know that the burden of proving that rests on me but I won't mind, I will do anything just to be have a clean bill of mental health. I will subject myself to any mental status examination by any "sane" psychiatrist, anytime, anywhere. I know myself more than anybody in this universe and I can challenge anyone who questions my sanity.

So in case somebody thinks you are a sicko and you honestly believe you are not, go with that person to a respectable mental doctor and let him check you. Who knows you might discover that the doctor examining you is the one who is crazy. It's hard to be branded as one, isn't it?

Makes me go crazy! HAHAHAHA

Monday, May 04, 2009

Updates On Abel

It's been nearly a week now since my sister, Abel was confined at Westmead Hospital. It's a struggle for her and for us, I can see and feel it in each and every one of us. But I can also see her trying her very best to fight back and win this ordeal. That alone is more than enough for us to hope for the best.

Tuesday last week, the 28th of April, bone marrow biopsy was done after which she was allowed to go home. She went back to the hospital on the 30th, Thursday, due to a scheduled appointment with Dr. Benson, her attending Hematologist-Oncologist. The good doctor confirmed the initial impression of the doctors in the States, Abel was indeed suffering from Acute Myelogenous Leukaemia. However Dr. Benson did not disclose the subtype, they were told that the type of AML that Abel has was not the most aggressive neither the least. Her's was in the middle of the "totem pole" so to speak. There were no abnormal chromosomes noted. Treatment plans were laid down and she was enrolled to a research study about the effect of a certain drug to Mucositis during chemotherapy. That same day, the Hickman's catheter was placed on her chest. Due to a low platelet count, blood oozed from the incision site so the doctors decided not to let her go home and she was admitted at the Women's Health Ward as there are still no vacant room in the Hema-Onco Ward.

Friday, she was transferred to C5, Hematology-Oncology Ward. She was experiencing some soreness on her throat but physical examination of her throat just showed congestion of the tonsillopharyngeal wall. She was in high spirits at the time and I can see that she was trying her best to make herself strong. We were all there but Jil wasn't allowed to go inside the ward so Abel went outside the waiting area to see Jil. We all prayed the rosary there.

Saturday was uneventful, Kuya Soty, Ate Chit, Dra. Zonit Roland, Dra. Bebs, Jessie, and Digs visited her. Nen sent flowers and fruits as well. Sunday morning, Abel experienced dizziness and weakness, her hemoglobin was down to the low 70's. She was unable to eat but still she tried her best to have a bite. Late in the afternoon packed red cells were transfused. It breaks my heart to see Abel talking to her one and only Jil. I can't help but wipe away my tears, such a very sad sight.

Today, I wasn't able to visit her because I have work until 8:30 p.m. but I gave her a ring earlier, she told me she felt better after the transfusion. Tomorrow will be the first day of the series of chemotherapy she will be undergoing. We are all hoping for the best and I am appealing to all of you to please include my sister, Abel, in your prayers. That's all she needs right now.

My sincerest appreciation to all of you. May GOD bless us all.