Life Update 050515

Cross-posted from Facebook:

2014 MRI: “Anterior mediastinal mass, showing decrease in size and volume (2.16 x 1.26 cm, previously 2.88 x 1.39 cm).”

Present MRI: “Follow-up now shows no demonstrable mass lesions particular in the anterior mediastinum.”

Read by the same doctor 3 years in a row.

When I visited my rad-onco today, he couldn’t see it on the plates either, but said he would check the scans on the computer later on just to make sure. Ayaw maniwala na wala na talaga?! LOL!

You know what I think that is, though? GOD’S HAND IN THE SITUATION. Thank you so much for all of your prayers! Hindi magiging ganyan yan if it weren’t for our teamwork. :) 5 years na, guise. “Considered clear ka na,” says my doctor. (Though kailangan pa rin ng annual check-up to monitor.)

Thank You, Father. Sigh. Alam mo na laman ng puso’t isipan ko and I can only grow deeper in love with you each day. <3

What a month this is turning out to be. Happy birthday!

Just wanted to share the good news with you. I know some of you here have witnessed my illness-related drama and have, at one point, prayed for me. Thank you so much for doing so!

Here’s to more wanderings, I guess? :) Hope all of you are well. :)

#BigCFiles: May 29, 2010

Was looking for an old concert video when I stumbled upon this entry I wrote when I was undergoing treatment.

I went to the hospital today for my scheduled chemo session. Had my blood tested first and results came back showing my WBC at 2.8. My doctor computed it and for the first time ever, I was not allowed to have my chemo. o_o

Oookay. So I cried. Tears of joy, I think. o_o

During lunch, I told my mom about how I think I’ve developed a certain anxiety. I noticed that I start feeling a tiny bit nauseous on the morning of my scheduled sessions. I guess it’s because I already visualize how I’m going to end up vomiting at the end of the day (wow, good job, Ms. Psych Major). But either way, it’s not doing me any good.

I started going on a crying spree awhile ago after my mom told me to hang on because she doesn’t know where she was going to get her strength from once I myself lose hope.

It’s not that I’m losing hope, though. I’m just tired. Although all the effects are just temporary (nausea, three days; mouth sores, two days; hair loss stopping right after chemo), iba eh… I don’t know how to psych myself up pre-chemo anymore. Before, I’m all, “(n) down, (n) to go!” But when it went up to 10 sessions, although I just added 4 more, I couldn’t remove the post-chemo effects from my head anymore. I hate the feeling of nausea. I hate throwing up (although it feels really satisfying afterward). I hate being cooped up and not getting the chance to function like a normal person.

I’m complaining but I’m not complaining, if you get what I mean. I hate all these things but on the other hand, I’m thankful because only those side effects mentioned above happen to me. I know some people who have gone through worse. Like all throughout their treatment they would experience splitting headaches and unbearable chest pains. And they’d lose their sense of taste. I’ve never experienced pain. And I still have hair. Just that it’s thinner now compared to before. And I get to enjoy all the foods I take in.

I’m also thankful because despite everything, I’m being given the chance to turn a year older (in a few days — I am VERY thankful for that so I’ve been broadcasting like mad, haha). Only a few weeks to go and I’ll be fully functional again (robot?!).

Ooh, did you see that? Bipolar me just became positive again. Haha.

I think my doctor sensed my anxiety because awhile ago, he shared how he was investing all his energy on the study of gene therapy because he wanted to forego chemotherapy altogether. He said he knows what chemo does to his patients — it messes with them not only physically but emotionally and psychology — and if he had the choice, he’d rather not let his patients (or anyone at all) go through it ‘cause it personally breaks his heart (that was such a GMH moment). He said things like, “It’s easier said than done” — how when people say, “Cheer up, it will be over before you know it.” But you don’t really know what a chemo patient goes through. I personally can’t “cheer up” in a snap especially when I feel like I want to hurl the whole world out. I can’t just heal myself by overdosing on Vitamin C like when I get the flu or something. It’s not that easy and it’s not that predictable. I know, some people are just trying to be positive but like what my doctor said, it’s really easier said than done (although I really do appreciate the encouragement and try to apply the things I’ve learned in the three years of my life that I’ve wasted, haha).

Anyhooz, after all that, my doctor stood up, leaned over, patted me on the shoulder and told me to hold on because for now, this was the only way I could be healed.

Hummmmms.

I cried tears of joy because at least I wouldn’t have to experience nausea on my birthday ALTHOUGH my schedule would be pushed back even further. I do my 8th on Tuesday then my 9th on the 19th. The other good news is, I’ll be having it at PGH where my doctor said there were La-Z-Boys. Awesome. *_*

So no stress on my birthday, but 6K more than usual (because of my low white blood cell count). There’s always a bright side to every dark side and vice versa. Ho-hum. Hopefully anxiety won’t kick in as much then. Happy Birthday to me.

5 years later, blessed to report that I’m still here. Having my MRI on Friday. Fifth and final year! FIFTH AND FINAL YEAR! Please pray for me, you guise. Thank you! God bless all y’allz!

P.S. Grabe, ang drama ng past life ko. Hahahuhu.

Alive

Happy Easter, fellow wanderers!

I’m currently in my favorite city and I would just like to share with you the awesome things that have happened today.

Lemme first say that April has definitely started off nicely. My first flight for the month took me here and it’s been nothing short of wonderful.

This morning, I had brunch at King’s Cross. Ate rice (!!!) at a faux Japanese fastfood place, people-watched for a bit, and daydreamed about the day I’d be able to transport myself to Scotland.

Happy Easter, dorks!

I then proceeded to Platform 9 & 3/4 to purchase a wand for meself (finally). Bought two books at the bookshop right beside that and then went back to the Platform shop again to buy a Voldemort wand for my weirdo brother (who wanted one on a whim, tss).

Geekery

Geekery. Bye, money.

Took the Victoria Line to Pimlico afterwards to visit Tate Britain. (Was so happy it was open!)

Funny story: I was reading the caption for one of the paintings and I made a “hmm” face after. Just so happened that a gallery docent was passing by and he was all like, “What? Not impressed with the painting?” No, quite the contrary, I said. He then comments on the other paintings in that gallery and gives me a little 1780s history lesson and I was all, “Cool.”

Then he goes asking where I’m from, what I do for a living; he says random Tagalog words and he tells me I should just move here if I love London so much. I said I wanted to but I’m already happy with this arrangement; being able to soak in the culture and enjoy London without the living complications. So. Yeah.

Sigh. I love my job.

Anyway, transported myself to Tottenham Court Road afterwards to attend Hillsong London’s Easter service. It’s the first time I’ve attended such a thing and I’m happy to report that it did not at all disappoint.

WOW. (Let me just get that out of the way.)

The queue outside Dominion Theatre was a block long. When I finally got to enter, the first thing I heard was them singing Hillsong Young & Free’s Alive. MY FEELINGS, OKAY.

They sang a couple more songs that I knew by heart (huhu) before they went on to present their modern take on Jesus’ death and resurrection through acting, dance, song, multimedia, etc.

Their scientific explanation of Jesus’ crucifixion almost made me cry. They said something like His heart was already strained when He was stabbed in the rib for the last time; how His death wasn’t due to normal crucifixion, but because He died of a broken heart (literally and figuratively). That perspective. MAH VILLAGE OF FEELINGS IS A-STIRRING.

It was a marvelous presentation, filled with street and contemporary dances; Jesus being depicted as a radical on modern television and the troubling events that followed in His wake; an amazing choir; and a teaching that reiterated the things I learned during Day 1 of The Feast’s Lenten Recollection. It was such a full-blown production, like, was I even at a service? It was like a concert. God. How amazing You are.

After that, I attended mass at Westminster Cathedral. It was such a great way to wrap up my Easter Sunday. That, and Nando’s peri-peri chicken for dinner. Teehee. <3

Craving satisfied!

This week has been full of new beginnings (as is the theme). I am grateful to the Lord for allowing me to celebrate a Christian holiday in London for the first time. I am grateful for I also got to attend Hillsong service for the first time (looking forward to doing this again soon, say in Sydney?). I’m grateful for the opportunities He has given for me to sharpen my mind and my social skills. I am grateful for He has kept me well to do a job that I truly enjoy. Most importantly, I am grateful to God for sending His Son to save us and redeem us. Surely, there can be no greater love than this.

Sigh. I’m so excited to go home and take this inspiration back with me. I’m especially excited ’cause I know this month can only get better, what with our community’s upcoming events.

Oh, Lord, thank You for everything. I love You.

How about you guise? What did you do this Holy Week? I hope you had a wonderful, reflective one. Share your new Holy Week experiences, whydoncha? :)

Undeserving Grace

Today, my parents and I attended The Feast Alabang’s Lenten Recollection. We first participated in this last year and I was very grateful that I did, ’cause it touched on particular issues I was facing at that time. (Here were my learnings and reflections on days 1, 2, and 3.)

Before I talk about God’s message for me today, let me first tell you about what happened last night after typing this blog entry.

After a seemingly long day, my boyfriend and I got to talk over the phone and I opened up to him about the bad thoughts I was entertaining in my mind (due to PMS — LOL blame pa more). Needless to say, at the end of our conversation, I was assured that I wasn’t being irrational (oh Lord, what have I done to deserve such a wonderful partner? T_T).

/cheese

Anyway, one of the things I/we concluded is that I should just learn to accept that with certain people, say, in a group, there would always be ones who would be more favored, and that it may just not be me most of the time (especially with my fiercely blunt attitude and all, hahahuhu whatevs).

Which brings us back to The Feast. Man oh man, was God trying to tell me something today through Bro. J Yogawin and his topic entitled (surprise, surprise): FAVORED.

Like. What. When I saw that on screen I was all, “K, LORD, NOTED PO.

Bro. J highlighted this verse from the bible:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

~ Jeremiah 1:5

He said that if we rely on the words of MAN instead of the words of GOD, we will always feel worthless and less favored. This is true, and something I really needed to hear. Indeed, if you base your standards on the standards of this world, base your happiness on whether or not you are favored by the people around you, you will always feel empty, lost, and worthless. But if you remember that you are FAVORED BY GOD, the MOST IMPORTANT, the MOST HIGH who created you and SET YOU APART even before you were born; who loves You and gives you grace and an abundance of blessings you don’t deserve due to your sinfulness, you will realize that you are indeed WORTHY. That you are LOVED. FAVORED.

Couldn’t help but cry after all that. Just. K, Lord. K.

Other lines I loved from today were these:

I was saved because I came to know more of a Lord who loves me for who I am.

~ Bro. James Nicolas

And one from Fr. Arnel Aquino, who touched on how we as Catholics condemn the “undeserving” who are favored; or how we think we need to earn the Lord’s grace (i.e. by doing something good so the Lord would reward us) when He gives His undeserving grace to us all the time. Sense.

Jesus redeemed you and not accused you.

Sigh.

Thank You, Lord. You never let a day pass without affirming me and reminding me of Your endless love. I am undeserving of Your grace, but You still continue to give it to me every single day. Thank You, Father, for Your mercy. Thank You for sending Your Son to redeem us. Thank You for favoring us and setting us apart. I love you.

Let It Go?

So much has been going on nowadays with some people I love most. It’s actually quite unnerving, the fact that they seem to be happening one after the other. Even more so, while we are commemorating the death of our Lord.

In these situations, I’m ashamed to admit that I feel quite lost… useless, even. So much so that I had to Google how to properly go about them. I am equally ashamed to admit that I’ve been going about it all wrong. How? Well the article I read noted down these things:

  1. Don’t try to cheer the person up. Let him or her grieve.
  2. Don’t say, “It’s all part of God’s plan” or “He’s in a better place now.”

To be truly honest, I literally do not know how to handle grief. Firstly, probably because I always think life is filled with rainbows and butterflies. Secondly, because I’ve accepted the notion of death many years ago — how it’s but the next great adventure. (But then again, that could just be the rainbows and butterflies talking. Maybe if I experience grief myself, I wouldn’t view the world as such anymore. Or maybe I would, since I’ve long accepted that when things go wrong, God always has a reason for making them happen. I’m not sure. I hope I don’t find out the harsh way.)

I’ve tried applying the things I’ve learned in my conversations today. PMS has got me thinking, though: do people actually believe me when I say I’m here for them? Do I actually believe myself whenever I say I’m there for them?

If you were to ask me this 10 years ago, I would have probably said no. Ashamed, yet again, to admit that I was a lousy-ass person back in the day. Caring was alien to me and my number one priority was self-preservation. That’s probably still 40% true but I’ve, (un)fortunately(?), recently acquired this thing called “empathy” and now life is just messed up and emotion-filled. Kidding (about life being messed up).

The one thing I really hope right now is that they believe me when I say I’m here for them, even if I’m not physically, because I am. And my supposedly non-existent heart breaks in accordance with theirs. I wish I could hug them, hug their pains away. But all I could do is pray, for their loved ones and for their strength, and hope that God fast forwards His timeline.

Sigh.

To add to all these, PMS (yes, you’re the culprit!) has also got me thinking about just withdrawing from some people. I’m tired and honestly disappointed. For the lack of affirmation, dedication, and confirmation. Maybe I’m being selfish and unreasonable and PMS-y but I don’t know. Please pray that I get over this soon.

Sigh # 2.

I guess one thing’s for certain: the cold bothers me now. But I’m glad I have God’s love to keep me warm.

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