Friday, August 31, 2018

Getting Busy with my New Sari Sari Store at Home

         It's been 4 months already since I had my last chemo and I was getting really bored at home. I wanted to find a job, I wanted to do some hard work at home, I wanted to do something else aside from the usual chores at home but my mother keeps on telling me - "Magrelax ka lang, magpahinga o matulog ka lang pag gusto mo or kelangan mong magpagaling muna bago ka magtrabaho." but I can't relax . "Pag nakahiga ako ramdam ko lalo ang sakit ng katawan ko at feeling ko nagsisimula na naman kumalat ang cancer sa katawan since may microscopic element ng cancer na naiwan pa nung nagka-surgical spill during the operation." I think more of cancer recurrence when I'm lying on my bed.  I told my mother I needed to do something else that would occupy both my mind and my body instead of thinking about the cancer inside my body over and over again. That's when I decided to put up a small sari sari store.
           Yes I now have a sari sari store in a small entrance area in our house where our washing machine, shoe rack and other stuff are located. So instead of accumulating some stuffs there I put on a built in cabinet to make the area productive. The built in cabinet materials and labor cost around P 1,600+ and my start up capital on my store is P 2,500+. The profit may not be much since I only put P1.00+ - P3.00+ mark up on every items but its enough to keep me busy.

             I have two major suki in my store - my family and the kids in our area. The concept of self buying is primarily the reason why I put up a store. I've seen the credit card bills of my mother go up and my father and brother usually buy products from other stores. So to control my mother and myself too from unnecessary spending in grocery store I just sell the basic products that we use and buy it in my store when we need it of course with a few cents added on its price ( kelangan may konting kita kahit kami kami ang bibili, heheh). My second reason is for leisure."Nakakalibang sya since a lot of kids were always shouting "Pabili" with one peso on their hand buying only one candy or one stick-o, heheh." And my third reason is for income generating. My family were all against the idea of putting up a store - malulugi ka lang, mauubos ka dyan, uutangan ka lang dyan but I answered them, let me  give it a try. Sari sari stores are everywhere, if others were putting up their store even if they are renting the place why not do the same - siguro may kita sila kahit umuupa.

          I've opened up my store last week and I'm in a process of knowing what products and brands are saleable. Yung tipong bumili ako ng Nescafe 3 in 1, ang hinanap Nescafe creamy white, pagbili ko ng Creamy White ang hinanap, Kopiko Brown, pagbili ko ng Kopiko Brown ang hinanap Great Taste White, Pagbili ko ng Great Taste white, Kopiko Blanca naman, then LA Coffee, then Kopiko Black and so on and so forth, the same goes with other products. That's why I always have notebook on my store to list the products and brands they want. But I am enjoying it and I'm getting more customers lately. I'm getting busier attending to my store and searching for grocery stores that offers the lowest price.
           There goes my new experience in putting up a sari sari store. I hope I'd be able to roll over my puhunan and be able to grow my little sari sari store. Give me some tips and wish me luck guys!!!

            Thank God for giving me an opportunity to enter this new business and pray that He'll continue to guide me.

Have a great week ahead!
God Bless everyone.

ALWAYS TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Going Green & Natural: The Best Things in Life are Free 1

        Libre! Libre Libre! Sa mahihirap na tulad ko, mahilig tayo ng libre! Whenever there are promo products at the mall given for free or whenever there are freebies attached to a product at the store I automatically grab it. Ang sarap pag libre di ba? But in our daily lives we didn't notice that God has first given us freebies that are very essential to our health and these freebies are present everywhere. Here's the list of four freebies that we should take advantage and be thankful for:

1. SUNLIGHT
         We're lucky we live in the Philippines where sunlight is abundant except of course during rainy season. We all know that sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D and doctors usually advise mothers to take out their infants and expose their back skin on sunlight to strengthen their bones. "Noon madalas kong nakikita sa lugar namin ung mga nanay na nagpapaaraw ng baby pero ngayon bihira na." Well, if its best for babies it is also best for adults like us and the good thing is - it is given freely by GOD. So be thankful to GOD if "Haring Araw" strikes his rays in the morning.


2. FRESH AIR
         One of my dreams before is to live and grow old in the province where there are lots of trees and plants around unfortunately we have no place in our province and I live in the city where air pollution is pretty much everywhere. But I am thankful to God that I still see trees around our neighborhood and I can still enjoy breathing the oxygen it releases. We know that oxygen is good for  our brain and lungs so if you happen to pass through an area where there are lots of trees take a deep breath and take advantage of the fresh air that God gave us through those trees.


3. WATER
         I cannot exactly say that drinking water is free although God gave it originally to mankind freely but I guess its the cheapest health supplements I can recommend - Our body needs 2 liters of water to be healthy but its therapeutic if we take 3-4 liters daily. It's what I did 4 years ago that made my cyst smaller and after 1 year it disappeared. And my OB Gyne  before asked me "Anong ginawa mo ba't lumiliit yang cyst? I answered, just healthy routine only (3 liters of water, 1000 steps of walking and vegetables & fruit daily). "Na-stress, nakampante at napabayaan ko lang ang sarili ko sa unhealthy lifestyle kaya nung bumalik na aggressive at malignant na yung ovarian cyst ko.'  So to live a healthy lifestyle, drink lots of water.


4. SOIL
          One of my professors in TUP told us, we're fortunate we live in the Philippines where 80% of our soil is productive if only Filipinos take good care of our land and make use of its benefits. So I realize why not take advantage of the soil and since my doctor gave an advice to me that it is always best to go natural I started planting. I wanted to grow my own foods and herbs in front of our house kahit na sa paso o sa balde lang. "Yung tipong pipitas ka lang kapag kelangan ng gulay o dahon pag kelangan." And that assures me that what I am eating are fresh and organic vegetables. I am thankful that God helped me grow plants through His soil and sunlight that He gave us for free. I now have malunggay, guyabano, lagundi,oregano, serpentina, balbas pusa, lemon grass or tanglad, ampalaya in front of our house. I am still trying to grow upland kangkong, kalabasa and camote tops planted in lumang balde, sana lumago sila, heheh. Again, our soil is free why not take advantage of it, we just need to use organic stuffs like vegetables or banana peels and egg shells to fertilize it.


         There you have it, our freebies from God. We may not be financially blessed but we should always be thankful that God is taking care of us by giving the best in our lives for free. As what the Bible says;

 26 Look at the birds. 
"They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns,
 for your heavenly Father feeds them. 
And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 

Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

ALWAYS TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Going Green & Natural: In Search for Natural Way of Preventing Cancer Recurrence

       After finishing six chemo session, I went back to the doctor for check up and she told me that even if the result of my CA 125 (tumor marker) lowered there's no assurance that the cancer will not recur so instead of being happy that day I went back to being sad and paranoid about my condition, "yung tipong sumakit lang ang dibdib ko feeling ko may lung cancer na ko or sumakit lang ang ulo ko baka may brain tumor na ko."  I've met some cancer survivors in the hospital who are now facing secondary cancer and they're on the advance stage of cancer already. I've fear in facing this type of illness and it's hard not worry about second cancer. I cannot rely on my own self anymore in recognizing if there is something wrong inside my body. So I started searching in google and you tube about my condition. I began inquiring for supplements that are being sold in the market. I also asked my doctor if she can recommend any supplements that can fight cancer but she didn't give any. She only suggested that it is always best to go natural.

        That's when my mother suggested that we go to a medical center in a particular province (not going to mention its name & place since I was not able to to finish their protocol) that offers a natural way of treating cancer. I became curious about it and wanted to know what foods are allowed and prohibited for cancer patients like me. So we went there last June and we were given free consultation, a protocol diet and a prescribed detox supplement (their product) . Their explanation was I need to expel the toxins from the chemo meds out of my body system. Well logically speaking, the idea behind their treatment for me is okay but I think its not applicable to all. Some may survive (based on the testimonies they've shown in fb) but I think some wont and I am one those people who was not able to continue their protocol treatment. Here's the prescribed procedure I got:

1. On Foods - No carbohydrates, No fruits, No rootcrops, No sweets, No artificials and No preservatives...and that means - no brown rice, no oatmeal, no bananas, no carrots etc. just organic egg, organic meats, fish with scales (except farmed fish)  and vegetables are allowed to be eaten.

2. On Drinks - No coffee, No green tea or any organic tea, No milk, No chocolate and any other fruit juices both natural or artificial juices - only boiled malunggay, guyabano, guava or avocado leaves  are suggested.

3. On Natural Herbs/Meds - 15 leaves of guyabano, 15 leaves of  avocado, 15 leaves of lagundi, 15 leaves of ashitaba (freshly picked/not dried), 3 gloves of garlic, 1 palmsize of ginger, 3 pcs of siling labuyo and baking soda  - blend together, extract their juices and drink 30 minutes before eating.

4. On their products - I bought their prescribe product from their store and vitamin C that I should drink 30 minutes after eating.

5.On Hygiene - No soap, No shampoo, No toothpaste, No cologne or fragrance and No make-up - only baking soda is used as cleaning agent....and jewelries are not allowed to be used also.

6. On condiments & cooking agents - No catsup, No Vinegar, No Soy Sauce, No Patis, No Sauces and No artificial flavors, only salt & pepper and coconut oil are allowed to be used for cooking and flavoring.

        I was advised to do this protocol for one month and guess what I did it for 3 days! Yes, 3 days only - di ko na po kinaya - di ko kinaya ang lasa ng blend na dahon at nanghina talaga ako. So I went to the doctor on the fourth day because I felt something's not right and yes the doctor told me that the diet I did triggered my hyper acidity which resulted to acid reflux. The doctor told me, "Bakit ka nagda-diet e kailangan mo ngang magpalakas at magpakondisyon ng katawan after ng chemo. Pakalmahin mo muna ang sikmura mo, mag balanced diet and regular exercise ka lang muna para lumakas ka."

       Though my experience in following this particular protocol diet is not quite good, I can still see the benefits of going natural. I believe that God is showing me the wisdom behind all the experiences I had in searching for what's best for my health and I always end up with one conclusion - the answer is just around us and the best thing about it is that they are free. (See my next blogpost).


Have a great day ahead!!!
God Bless everyone.


ALWAYS TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Big "C" Battle: CA 125 blood test & PT Consult

          Last Saturday, I went to the hospital for CA 125 blood test and I still feel bad about needles. "Nakikita ko pa lang ang karayom, umuurong na ang sikmura ko." It's one of my fears that I always face when I go to the hospital. After the blood test, I heard an announcement with regards to the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week and some freebies about it and because I was not able to hear the full details I ignored it and decided to eat in their canteen first and go home afterwards. Luckily, on our way out of the hospital we saw some some people falling in so we decided to inquire and that's when we learned about what they were offering.


         And since I am experiencing some kind of joint pains lately I went there and fall in line too to avail their freebies and here's what I got:

1. Free Peripheral Bone Dexa Scan - atleast the result is normal for now but my bone health will suffer in the future - as one of the side effects of having my ovaries removed. They also gave me flyers about osteoporosis.
2. Free consultation & starter dose of prescribed medicine - the doctor focused on my plantar fascitiis, referred me to PT and gave me a free medicine for pain.
3. Free one session of Physical Theraphy Session - after the session I was given some instructions as to how I can relieve myself from the plantar & pelvic pain I am experiencing.





 REALIZATION
          I may not be blessed financially but God is giving me a lot of blessings and wisdom today. As what the doctors told me after the surgery. "Pagkatapos mo ng battle mo sa cancer ma-aappreciate mo na lahat ng tao at bagay sa paligid mo - ultimong maliit na halaman sa eskinita at hanging di mo nakikita mapapansin mo ma-aappreciate mo." Just look around and God will show the way.


"ALWAYS TO GOD BE THE GLORY"
HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Going Green & Natural Lifestyle Part 1 - Intro to my new hobby

        It's a bit confusing nowadays to know what food supplement  is best for us since lots of them are being sold and introduced in the market. I have taken Ganoderma & Carica Mangoosteen as suggested by my brother and both helped me get through the side effects of chemo.

        But there's one big question I asked to myself - "what if I don't have money anymore?" or " how can I sustain a healthy lifestyle without the pressure of earning and spending?". I mean, money is not an issue if we have it right, we can buy all those food supplements out there to keep us healthy but what if we don't. I tried to look for other cheaper alternative medicine not realizing that the answer to my question  is right in front of me. I look around and saw some of our neighbors have guava and avocado tree in front of their houses while some have oregano, tanglad, malunggay and other herbs in their backyards so why not do the same.

       Though I'm not sure if I can really grow a plant, still I started this hobby called planting heheh and hooray I did it!!! It started with 5 small pots @ P20 each, 4 ampalaya seedlings, 2 oregano plant given by our neighbor, tanglad from our refrigerator, serpentina given by a friend, lagundi, balbas pusa and soil (P50 each)  bought at AANI Market in FTI.

So here  are my babies!!!
Ampalaya & Oregano
Serpentina & Balbas Pusa
Tanglad / Lemon Grass -
 used the upper part and plant the lower part with roots
Lagundi
         Its really amazing how wonderful God has created these herbal plants. I learned that there's a lot of benefits it can give to our health I just need to do additional research for directions on how I'd be able to use them.

        Thank God for the wisdom, now I can both enjoy my new hobby while staying healthy.


HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY! 
BE HAPPY & STAY HEALTHY. 
GOD BLESS EVERYONE.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Going Back to my Goals

         As part of my recovery, I want to clear up my mind to start a new life. Last week I decided to clean and rearrange my room, throw some old stuffs that I've been keeping for so long and remove everything on my wall including my goal board where my long term goals were posted.
bye bye goal board!!!
     Everyone who's been reading my posts knows that I have four major goals in life two of which were already achieve last year. Now, what about my other goals?
        Removing those visuals on my wall doesn't mean that I am giving up on my goals. My doctor told me that after my big "C" battle I will have a different perspective in life. True enough, I realized that I've already achieved them all anyway. Here's why:

1. Degree Holder - graduate BTTE course last July 3, 2017
2. LET Passer - passed licensure exam last November 2017
3. Dream House - with the support and love of my family I guess our home is more than a dream house already.
4. Magic Number - 1M - I've been working so hard to be millionaire since I started this blog last 2014 but after being sick I realize that a person is more than a millionaire if he's healthy, "Health is Wealth," ika nga. I guess God has His own way of saying - "Relax my child, why aim for a million if your more than a million already."

         See, goals achieved!

        I know how important it is to be successful in life, to see our dreams materialize and to be financially prepared in life but it is more important to think of ourselves and our health first. Believe me you wont be able to think of those things if your lying on a hospital bed. But most importantly, know that it is God who still directs our lives.

We can make our plans,
    but the Lord determines our steps.

Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13(NLT)

Be Healthy and Enjoy Life! God Bless Everyone.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Big "C" Battle: Recovery & After Effects of Chemo

          "Cancer free", I thought I will be hearing those words from my oncologist just like what I've been hearing from the news of those celebrities who also battle this illness but instead my doctor told me that she cannot assure me that there will be no recurrence and that I should always be watchful of my health and be aware of some symptoms like fever, cough, or change in bowel movement. I was warned of some symptoms of recurrence but not the after effects - "akala ko ok na ko pero matindi rin pala ang after effects nito." Here are some after effects that I've experience these past two months:     

Brain Fog
         There's been a lot of attempts to write another post and drafts but as much as I want to write something I just can't seem to do it. No matter how hard I try to start a topic, create an outline or just merely tell a simple story, my mind would always go blank. I have trouble finding the right words to type on my keyboard and sometimes I would forget some things I wanted to do - "yung tipong may kukunin o gagawin ako tapos pagtalikod ko nakalimutan ko kung ano ang kukunin o gagawin ko". It took me more than two months to organize my thoughts & finish this post. I know I'm not good in grammar but I think it's getting worse these days. So I searched if there's side effect of chemo related to it and found out that it is called "chem fog or brain fog" one of the side effects of chemotheraphy. I know my brain cells are declining now (after chemo drugs destroyed it) and I'm trying to bring it up again and looking for ways to do it.

Joint Pains
         A lot of attempts were done to wake up early to jog around our area and do some stretching and exercise afterwards outdoor but my joint pains preventing me from doing those things. I am experiencing a terrible pain on my neck, shoulder, back, pelvic and all other joints in my body especially in the morning (daig ko pa ang matandang may matinding rayuma, ang hirap tumayo, hirap umupo, bumangon, etc). I'd wake up as early as 3am and because of those pains I had a hard time going back to sleep again. So I went to the hospital for check up and found out that it is also a "neuropathic (nerve damage)" side effect of chemo. I was given a prescription medicine called "Pregabalin" to lessen the pain but after three weeks of taking it, the pain is still there. Based on the article I've read these joint pains will persist from three months to more than a year. I don't want to go back to the doctor so right now I'm doing some morning stretchings inside my room and "hot water in pail" theraphy in the evening - I don't know what it's called "yung ibinababad ang paa sa mainit na tubig sa balde or planggana-old skul no?". I've been doing it for three nights and hopefully, it'll work.

Acid Reflux
          I was drinking some boiled/ extract of turmeric and ginger during and after chemo thinking that its good for my health but it became the cause of my hyperacidity. It got worse after I did a "no carb, no fruits, no sweets, and no rootcrops diet" so I went to the doctor again and was prescribed with "Panto Plus and Gaviscon". The doctor informed me it is also common for a patient like me. I was advised not to go on diet again and not to eat some foods that could worsen my stomach acidity. I am watching my food intake now and praying my stomach acid will calm down because I do not want to go to the doctor and take another meds again.

Emotional & Psychological Health
        I know I should enjoy life, be happy and always be thankful but to be honest sometimes I can't do it. I have worries and some sleepless nights as I have been battling my own self, my own negativity and trying to figure out what's in store for me in the future (btw, I have chronophobia or fear of future"). Sometimes I cry when fear of cancer recurrence strikes in. My self esteem is so low that there are times that I cannot see the positive things in my life anymore and I do not know how to start a new chapter of my life again. I learned that cancer patients usually have these kind of emotional and psychological problems. So after feeling so down again last week, I open my laptop and went back to blogging again. It is my form of theraphy where I can pour out my thoughts most especially my emotions so forgive me guys for being "so nega sometimes" about my situation because after writing I feel good inside. I also start reading and writing some bible verses in my notebook again to combat my pessimist attitude.

         I know I'm on my way to recovery and it's not an easy process but I know that God will help me get through it again and in time He will lead & lighten my way.

13 Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten
    what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy;
    but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
    as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
    anything about their future.

Ecclesiates 7:13-14

THANK YOU FOR READING AND HAVE A BLESSED WEEK AHEAD!!!      

Sunday, May 20, 2018

"BIG C" Battle : Update, Thankful Heart and Realization in Life

UPDATE
6th Chemotheraphy Session @ SJDEFI Hospital
           I finished my 6th chemo last April 24 and went to the hospital last May 15 for follow check up. I underwent 3 CBC (Complete Blood Count)  exam after my chemo because my hemoglobin and wcb results were too low and I was not allowed to go to public places because my health might be compromised. It was only on the 3rd CBC exam that it went back to the normal range and finally last May 15 the doctor gave me a go signal that I can go to the mall and meet my friends. And the good news was I will only be monitoring my CA 125 result & follow up check up every three months. Though the oncologist told me she cannot assure the cancer will not recur I'm am still thankful that I was given a chance to live my life again. And even if I'm bald and have one to three strands of hair on my eyebrows and eyelashes, I am excited and I'm looking forward to have my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes back, "Hayy, namiss ko talagang mag-shampoo, magsuklay at mag-ayos ng kilay."
my latest no kilay look  - edited with face magic apps
THANKFUL HEART

         I've already sent some thank you messages to all the people who gave financial support for my medical expenses thru email but I still want to thank you guys here as I know that some of you are following my journey here in my site. To Joan, April, Edel, Chi, Ardy and to all who gave financial support and prayers for recovery I want to thank you guys with all my heart. You were all a big part of my journey as I face this battle and I know that you were all God's instrument in showing His love and care to me. I may not be able to pay you back financially but I pray that GOD will bless you all abundantly. I will also try to help others the best way I possibly can and through this blog I hope I can inspire others to appreciate and be thankful to God for the life that we have now.

REALIZATION IN LIFE

          Before I undergo my 4th chemo session, I encountered some health problem. My blood pressure shoots up to 170/120. From 130/100, 140/100, 150/120 to 170/120 - I didn't notice any signs of my bp going up just some headache and neck pain. I hated myself that I cannot control my blood pressure and cannot accept it that day. I felt something ticking in my head and got scared about it. As I told myself, "Di yata ako mamamatay sa cancer e, baka sa stroke ako ma-one time big time dahil sa lakas ng pitik sa ulo ko & I prayed - Lord wag muna ngayon." But thank God, through some medication administered through IV it went down to 140/90 and now my blood pressure went back to 100/70.
        My realization now is that no matter how we plan our lives and our future still our lives is in God's hand. If it is God's will to get back the life that He gave to us then it will happen. As what my "lodi" Steve Jobs said - "Death is the inevitable, a life's change agent and a destiny we all share. So whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down."
          So while we live in this world we should honor thy God, treasure and love our family & friends and appreciate the life that we have now for we only have one journey, one opportunity and one chance to live and enjoy our life.


Have a great day!!!
 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"BIG C" Battle : Chemotheraphy Sessions

         Sorry again I wasn't able to update this blog. I need to clear up my mind and focus on getting well so I'd be able to cope with the side effects of chemo. Numbness, tingling sensations, and joint pains are just few side effects of chemo but those side effects have an unexplainable but bearable feeling to me. I had no nausea, appetite loss and vomiting experience but if there's one side effect that I really hate is the difficulty in sleeping. I really have a hard time sleeping after chemo that I decided not to open my laptop for a while, focus on getting a good night sleep and just live a healthy, routinely lifestyle.

2nd Chemo Session
3rd Chemo Session
4th Chemo Session
5th Chemo Session
         During my 4th and 5th chemo session, I encountered some health problems before undergoing chemo theraphy like high blood pressure and blood count problems. My blood pressure went up to 170/120 during my 4th chemo that I need to take amlodipine, catapres and another meds administered through IV to lower my blood pressure. Another problem that I encountered during my 5th chemo was my hemoglobin and white blood count went down that I need to go through blood transfusion first. But other than those problems everything went well. I still have to undergo one last chemo and hopefully it'll be the last but that will still depend on the laboratory result & CA 125.

      Regardless of the side effects and problems I encountered I am so thankful to God for giving me the strength to survive this battle and again grateful to all people who gave financial support and sent their prayers for my healing.

Till then.
Treasure your life and your love ones.
Have a great day!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

"BIG C" Battle : Bald me... Having emotional struggle

         Sorry, I haven't been able to update my blog lately. There's this roller coaster emotion I've experienced these past few weeks that's been keeping my mind from writing anything on this blogsite.

        Everyday, lots of my hair is losing especially when I'm taking a bath, combing my hair and even just by merely stroking it. Hair falls are present everywhere so after my laboratory check up last month, I went to the salon to get my hair shaved and it really felt light, hahah.

         Yes, it felt good - no more hair scattered around my pillows, floors and bathrooms but though it felt good it doesn't feel right. That day, I was looking at the mirror and suddenly my emotion fell down. I cried because it seems I am not the one in front of the mirror. I keep on asking myself - is it really me? I tried to look good by buying head dress or bandana (I don't know if it is the right term) and put it on whenever I go outside our house. Sometimes I forgot to put on my bandana, kids we're teasing me outside but my niece and nephew can still recognize me and it gladdens my heart more.

      Whenever I'm left alone at home I cried but I tried to look happy and pretend to be strong when I'm in front of my family especially with my mother. But whenever I have time to chat with my best friends I poured out my heart and feelings to them just to release the emotional pain I've been going through inside.

      Sorry, this blog has been my form of release for a long period of time and I just can't believe that I am experiencing this kind of emotion right now. But then I have to face and accept the fact and be able to handle this emotional and psychological struggle.
    
      Well, - I am still beautiful - no matter what they say, words can bring me down, hahah, kinanta na lang di ba. One of my friends in fb, commented -" mala Sinnead O Connor and dating" - and replied to his comment - "ok, pag-aaralan ko na ring bumirit ng kantang "Nothing Compares to U".

     Anyway, I am still the same Grace inside. Though sometimes I can't bear the feelings inside me I know that God will always help me get through it.


Till then.
God Bless.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

"Big C" Battle : Got my PWD ID

          I was inspired by the stories of some cancer patients in onco unit that I decided to get my PWD ID too. I know that my immune system will eventually weakened but that doesn't mean it will stop me from doing what I needed to do - to apply for that ID.

         "During my first chemo session, I got a piece of advice from a breast cancer patient - "get a Person with Disability ID, it was a big help to me while I was filing my PCSO requirements." I asked her," What are the benefits?" and she just answered, "it has the same benefits with the senior citizen ID." This PWD ID will give less 20% from the hospital bill, less 12% VAT and 20% discount from the medicines, another discounts from the foods, transportation, groceries etc. But the most important benefit that I want in this ID is that it gives priority especially in riding a jeepney or any other form of  transportation and transactions too which is really a big help to a cancer patients like us.

       It captured my interest and so we went to Taguig City Hall - Persons with Disability Affairs (PDAO) office to file for it. I only submitted 4 requirements - photocopy of Barangay Clearance/Indigency, Medical Abstract/Certificate, 1x1 ID picture and then fill up their application form. Then I was interviewed by their Officer in charge and told him that I really need it for my hospitalization and in less than an hour my ID & booklets were given to me.

      So here's goes my new PWD with Purchase booklets & ID.


         God is really good. He's really showing me ways to lessen my burdens. 

Always - "To God be the glory."

Till then! Have a great weekend guys!

"BIG C" Battle : Life goes on - PICC Registration & Oathtaking

      They call cancer the "Big C" illness - big word. I don't know why but it seems when a person have cancer it feels like its the end of the world already - and that's what I felt when I found out I have cancer last year but life goes on for me. The doctor told me to stay away from public places since my immune system will be weakened by the chemomeds and my defense against other illness is down but still I want to continue living my life.   
       
     Everyone who is reading my blog posts knows that one of my ultimate dream goal is to finish a degree course and to pass the licensure exam but part of that completion my goal is to attend the oathtaking and registration to get my license card. Though I was not allowed to, I told my mother I want to go to PICC where the registration & oathtaking will be held (though not the ceremony anymore). I told her that I want to experience the fruit of my hardship before I lose all my hair, hahah "talagang inisip ang sitwasyon ng buhok."

         But it's the truth, I want to do all the things I want do before I lose all my hair. It's part of the side effect of my chemo treatment. I know that eventually my immune system will also be weakened and the more I will not be allowed to go to public places. I told my mother to let me live a normal life and let me do things I want to do before my second chemo and my wish was granted.

      I met classmates last January 19 and I was so happy. They willingly sacrifice the actual oathtaking ceremony to be with me. That day I was a student, a classmate and a friend who loves reminiscing about how we missed our college life, our review weekends in CBRC, our experience during let exams and our excitement when we found out that we passed the board exam. For one day I forgot that I am sick and I was really happy that I passed that licensure exam and I believe that God has a purpose for letting it happen.

Here are some few clips of my one day event in PICC:





with my classmates :)
       
         It's a wonderful experience in life being with my great friends. you will really appreciate the moment of it and I think God is letting me enjoy my life, it's one thing that I realize that day -"not to worry too much about the future and just let GOD do the rest in our lives.

 Always "To God be the Glory".

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Battle Against Cancer : PCSO Interview & Free Chemo Meds

        We went to PCSO last Dec 19 to file the requirements needed for free chemo drugs and was scheduled for interview last January 16. Initially my plan was to send my mother and my brother as my representatives since I think that my physical condition is not ready to face the commuter-PUV world out there and my immune system is not strong anymore as it was before. But while I was giving them some instructions arguments started, "ang hirap ng parehong highblood magsama, heheh" and so I decided to go to PCSO instead of my Kuya. As much as possible, I do not want to worry about the health condition of my family while I am on the process of chemo treatment - my father had a stroke already, my mother had kidney problems, hypertensive and problem with her reproductive organs too and my kuya is hypertensive also.

      And so my mother and I went to PCSO, we woke up at 3am and at 4:30 am we were at PCSO Lung Center Quezon City. "Grabe ang haba ng pila!?!" The volume of the people that day were thrice the number of people we saw last December and I was lucky that my mother managed to fall in line in senior/pwd special lane and I was one of first ten to be given an interview pass. But 4 hours had passed and more than 20 person were called still I haven't heard my name. I started to get upset then I went to the guard near the social worker area and politely ask if he can check if there's a problem with my papers and he just told, "wala ma'am problema yan, antayin nyo lang ang pangalan nyo." So I went back to my seat but I still felt that maybe there's something wrong with my papers and so I went to the guard and he just answered again, "marami kayo ma'am, antay lang po." Still not contented with his answer, I went back to him -"impossible kuya, kasama ako sa first 10 na tinawag paki check naman." and so he went inside, ask who handles my name and told me, "ma'am wala talagang response paantay na lang."

       I was kind of frustrated that time and part of the chemo side effects to me was on my emotional control/stability. I easily cry and gets upset and when my mother noticed the tears in my eyes she just told me,"hayaan mo na pasasaan din matatawag din tayo." And so we waited, I just turn on my fb and saw the message from my classmate who's husband died of cancer, "Tiyaga lang Grace, ganyan talaga sa PCSO mababait naman social worker dyan at worth it ang pag-aantay mo dyan kasi malaki ang maitutulong talaga nila sa mga taong in need na katulad natin." True enough, after 30 minutes my name was called and was approved with five chemo drugs set worth P18,300/set financial assistance after the interview. I was also given a special index card for cancer patient so I won't experience anymore the hassle and struggle of filing for every chemo drugs request.

     We were then advised to wait until 3pm for its release but the weather that day was not so good - it was kind of hot in the morning and the rain fell down in the afternoon. It was already 3:30pm when my approved papers was released. It was still raining and traffic was starting to occur in sight. We decided to head back home instead of going to PHILCOA where the chemo meds can be redeemed. It would be harder for us to commute from QC to FTI when rush hour in EDSA steps in.

     I was really tired that day but thankful I didn't catch any sickness and managed to get a really deep sleep at night, my first deep sleep after my chemo. God is really good, so thankful to HIM for my free chemo drugs and to PCSO as well. I will only be saving for the remaining laboratories and hospital bill every chemo session.

OBSERVATIONS
    While we were waiting, I started observing and talking to some people around me. Some people will share their stories. Some people are eager to share what they know when they hear you ask something. Some people will simply smile at you. Some people will still smile at you eventhough you feel that they are also in pain (may cancer at nag-dialysis kasi yung ibang nag-aantay dun). What captured my attention was the group of women who seemed to have no worries while waiting for their names to be called for the guarantee letter, dialysis and chemo meds assistance. They were laughing, eating biscuits & squash seeds as if they were having a picnic and conversing to each other as if they have no problems at all. "Bilib talaga akong magdala ang Pinoy, matatag at nakukuha pang ngumiti at magsaya kahit matindi na ang problema, ganyan tayo e." I guess that's one of the Filipino traits I can truly be proud of.

             MAG-COMMENT NAMAN LAHAT NG MGA PINOY NA AGREE DYAN!!!


Till then. Have a great day!
Promise I will write about the medical assistance I received from these government institution so I can also help those in need who doesn't have any idea about it.
God Bless everyone!!!
     

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Battle Against Cancer : Taking Natural Anti Cancer Foods

          It's my fifth day today after my chemo theraphy and it's also my last day that I'll be taking the prescribed meds (dextramethazone and prazil - I forgot what they are for but I think one of it is for nauzeau or vomiting I guess) given by my onco and I don't know yet what will be the full effect of my chemo meds tomorrow. My fingers are feeling a little numb lately, little bit of nauzea, feeling weak but I tried to preserve my strength after doing things but what really bothers me are my restless nights. I already took vitamins to counter it still my mind cannot settle at night and I am always awake at 3am. So forgive me for writing more often on this blog these coming days about my daily activities, routes and plans while I try to organize some of my thoughts also.

Natural Anti Cancer Foods:

Turmeric: Before my chemo treatment, we saw these fresh turmeric at the market and my mother told me," Maganda yan alam ko anti cancer daw yan at gamot sa rayuma yan." Little did I know it has lots of health benefits, anti oxidants and anti cancer agent -based on the articles I read.
        And so we bought it, and I've been boiling finger size turmeric and taking it alternately with guyabano leaves.
boiled turmeric
Guyabano Leaves: Guyabano fruits are highly recommended as anti cancer fruit but they are hard to find in the market today and so I resorted to our plant. I've been taking 5 leaves every other day to my guyabano plant in "paso" since I started my chemo. Although it is less researched, I still find it helpful as I go through the process of medication today
boiled guyabano leaves
        Tried to follow the advice here on net and some advice from the oldies here and been apologizing to our plant everytime I get some leaves from it, hahah...just for the meantime while I dont have guyabano fruits :).

Malunggay Leaves: It is advantageous that I am here in the Philippines because there are lots of nutritious veggies around to eat and one suggested anti cancer veggie that is abundant in our area is Malunggay. Though I do not have enough space to plant for it I try to insert it in every possible area where I can plant it. I already have three plants planted in front of our house - the first one is getting "kalbo" again because it has always been part of our daily meal but the second and third one were planted last January one and I'm seeing little sproutings around already. Taking extra care on my plants because the kids in our area loves to play around in front of our house.
My malunggay plants & guyabano plant (second plant in paso from left--konti na lang po ang dahon nila)
Saging na saba: Another tip I got from my mother is saging na saba, and that I need to eat it uncooked. She bought 1 kilo of it last Wednesday. I haven't eaten it uncooked yet. I've been taking extra careful not to get upset stomach as it may trigger vomiting which I really do not want to experience right now. I haven't got any anti cancer properties research from it but a lot of people are highly suggesting it as part of my daily diet.

Carrots and squash: Orange veggies are also highly recommended with anti cancer properties and carrots and squash are always part of our meal but I am planning to have a blended carrots alternately with turmeric and guyabano since it has an impressive benefits against cancer too.

FINAL THOUGHTS

        As what my classmate in Canada said to me last week. " I am fortunate that I live in the Philippines for there were lots of vegetables available in the market and in our surroundings as well. "Talbos ng kamote, saluyot, kalabasa, kangkong, malunggay, okra, talong, ampalaya, brocolli, carrots, tomatoes pandan and other leafy green vegetables are abundant in our market and I am thinking of planting some of it vertically since I have no space available in our house today.

P.s. Some people were suggesting some artificial supplements but for now I prefer to go on natural foods first. Some also suggested that I should not go on chemo and just take their supplements only but can't take that risk? It's cancer inside my body that I need to kill right?

Just pouring my thoughts again. Till then!
God Bless everyone :)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Battle Against Cancer : First Chemo Session


 First Chemo Session Update
My first chemo- sorry for the blurry pic.
The lab results I presented last January 8, 2017 were all normal so I was given a go signal to undergo my first chemo treatment the next day.

January 9 - Everything went well during my first chemo session as my body was able to accept both the premeds and chemo meds administered to me without the signs of side effects that may occur on the patient while undergoing this kind of theraphy.

Sudden Change of rule in  Philhealth

Scenario last December 2017

         After my very first check up with my first OB last Oct 30, I was advised to pay my philhealth contribution as I might get some benefits from it when I undergo an operation. So I paid an advance one year contribution from Oct 2017 to Sep 2018. I was admitted at the hospital November 30 and underwent a surgical operation December 1. But when my billing came out, no Philhealth deductions on my bill was reflected, it turns out that they have 3-6 months rule before a member can use their benefits. Have I been admitted by December 1 in the hospital I'd be qualified of their benefits, take note of the 3-6 months contribution rule.

 Scenario last January 9, 2018

         After my first chemo session, my blood pressure went up because of the Philhealth contribution issue again. I was confident that the 7K bill that I had in the hospital will be covered by Philhealth, unfortunately I am not qualified again. My mother asked them twice explaining that the rules last year was 3-6 months rule only but it turned out that they have a new policy again. So I went down to to the billing section to complain again, and they explained to me that effective January 2018 the rules for the old Philhealth member is to have  9-12 months contributions before they can avail the Philhealth benefits. Take note, 9-12 months contributions who wouldn't have a high blood pressure reaction on this rule. It only means that I wont be able to use the benefits of Philhealth during my whole six chemo cycle treatment, Grrrrr!!!!

Reflection

        Whatever unfortunate issues with Philhealth I encountered last Tuesday, I am still thankful to God that I am alive and able to handle the side effects of chemo - I already had sleepness nights, "sakit ng mga kasu-kasuan", a little bit of nausea feeling, but no signs of vomiting yet although I also feel weak whenever I do some household chores but I try to make it a point to rest afterwards.

         I also met some cancer patients last January 9 and heard their stories - they were so optimistic, they were laughing, sharing their own experiences and encouraging one another as if cancer is just an ordinary illness and not a life threatening one if it's treated with acceptance, open mind and open heart. And it's true, some have lived more than fifteen years ago after being cured with cancer. They just gave us some few tips - Change your lifestyle, enjoy and live a stress free life and be closer to God. When my name was called by the nurse, I told them " Love to hear your stories, I'll hang with you guys more often."

         Again, I'm so lucky that is God sending me reinforcements through prayers, acquaintances and encouragements as I was given another tip from one of the cancer patient there - "Get a PWD Id at city hall so I can have another 20% discount on my hospital bills which hopefully I'd be able to accomplished next week.


Till then! Thank you so much guys for all the prayers and financial support.
God Bless Everyone...

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Battle Against Cancer: Part 2 - Updates and Schedules

          These are the activities that I had these past few weeks after my surgical operation. I decided to write it here so I can document my activities before I undergo my chemo treatment next week.


December 4 - The day I was finally home. I vomit twice and sweat profusely but after few days with the help and care of my family I felt so much better.
December 11 - A lot of attempts to walk farther were done but it was only last December 11 that I managed to make 600 small steps - my preparation for my next check up schedule.
December 12 - I went to the hospital (San Juan de dios Hospital - 3 rides from our house)  for my follow up check up and the gauze in my lower abdomen was finally removed. I was also given instruction as to how I can get medical records for PCSO requirements.
December 13 - I went to BPI Market branch (2 rides from our house) to open an account but failed to bring proof of billing requirement.
December 14 - I went to another BPI Bayani Road Branch (nearer branch - 2 rides from our house) but they were offline so we proceeded again to Market branch and finally I was able to open an account there.
December 15 - I went to the hospital medical records section to get the requirements needed for PCSO chemo meds assistance.
December 17 - At last, I was able to attend the Sunday mass at Sto. Nino Parish Church.
December 18 - I went back to the hospital to get the directors referral letter to complete the requirements for PCSO medical assistance and my doctor gave me good news that day - the lab result for "kulane" is negative so the final stage of my ovarian cancer is Stage 1C - I hugged my doctor that day, and she said to me, "sabi sa yo dasal lang e, maigi naoperahan ka agad at naagapan ang pagkalat."
December 19 - We went to PCSO office - QC Branch to submit the requirements. We woke up at 3 am just to be there early but our application was accepted at around 12 pm. "Grabe ang haba ng pila kahit maaga kaming dumating, # 56 ako sa pila". I was scheduled for an interview on January 16.
Then we also proceeded to BPI Branch to get my atm card. That day I already had this nausea feeling and felt that I might vomit again. Good thing we manage to get home when that vomit feeling recur "sinuka ko yata lahat ng kinain ko".
December 20 - I noticed some bleeding discharge on my pantyliner and decided to rest for a day. They were saying that I might have "binat or tagtag" for continously walking and riding public utility vehicles.
December 21 - It was my follow up/check up schedule but I really am not feeling well that day so I decided to take a complete rest.
December 22 - I went to the hospital to relay my condition and was given "Hemostat" to stop the bleeding discharge and was advised to take complete rest before my chemo treatment.
December 26 - It was the schedule of my first chemo treatment but unfortunately it was postponed because of the condition that I had. Another thing, the oncologist and the med rep where the chemo meds will be ordered were onleave after December 26.
December 24, 25, 31 and January 1 - Attended the mass in Sto. Nino Parish Church, "parang bundok po kasi ang lugar namin, maraming pataas at pababa at medyo malayo ang simbahan kaya hindi pa rin advisable na maglakad dun." but still I want to go there, I feel relieve, secure and peaceful whenever I go to church.
January 2 - I was having some sleepless nights for couple of days so I decided to go to the hospital to ask my doctor if it's okay if my first chemo will done after more than month and I was given an explanation, another chemo sched and some instruction - January 6 for laboratories , January 8 check up & results, January 9 chemo sched.

       My sister in law, some of her friends who underwent the same operation and some oldies in our place told me, "Ten days pa lang after the operation, naglalakad at nagbiyahe ka na - mabibinat ka talaga nyan, dapat 1 month complete rest ka" In my defense, I told her that it was the advice of the nurse in the hospital, "maglakad lakad ka para mas flexible ang healing ng inopera mo." But after I felt something bad last December 20 I decided to have a complete rest for few days. Lessons learned, take the advice of those who underwent the same operation and the advice of the oldies, I am still a Filipino and think "binat" is real.
       
       So there goes my diary and schedule of activities and I just want to share it here today.

Have a great week ahead!
God Bless everyone.       

Battle Against Cancer: Part 1 - Acceptance and Thankful Heart

          It's not easy to accept that I have cancer that's why it's hard for me to write another post this year. I admit I still have fears, the "bakit ako" drama or "andami namang gago dyan bakit sa akin pa tumama ang cancer" feeling, rage, despair, uncertainties in life  and lots of negative emotions but then whenever I think about my condition I have no choice but to fight my own self. I have to accept that I have this illness called cancer, that I can longer bear a child since my reproductive organs were removed, that I have to undergo chemo treatment with lots of side effects and I have to prepare myself financially, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

          I cannot fathom why God allows this illness to my body but realization came a while ago - the famous "it's not you, it's me" line. God is telling me that "the life that you have is not about you but it's about ME". I forgot that this life that we have is not about us but it's about HIM. The life that I have is not a right but it's a gift and I have no right to complain. HE is telling me to appreciate every little things in life that I have and praise HIM with the gift of life that HE gave me.

         So now that the battle has started, my first armour is acceptance, my first soldier is my own self battling my own negativity and God as my final defense. God is continously sending reinforcements through this blog, through facebook and through the generous hearts of people giving prayers, encouragements and financial support. This illness is truly an ultimate humbler - it took away all my pride as I now learn to admit my mistakes and weakness, ask for other people's help and rely on God's plan over my life. As what my co-blogger Joan says - "do not be too proud or too ashamed to ask for help, at some point in our lives we all need help from others". Let me take this opportunity to thank my co-bloggers Joan, April and Chi who gave financial support to me - "Thank you so much", and to all my anonymous readers out there who are continually sending prayers and encouragements, "million thanks to all".
      
          This 2018 will be a difficult journey for me but with God's amazing grace I know I will win this battle.

Have a wonderful 2018 ahead!
God bless.
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