Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some time in Dubai, not long ago...

Some time ago...

Angels - Robbie Williams

... a friend and I used to sing this song together.

While I was reading...

While I was reading... by Che Baldemor

The final days of last week was not okay. It was the first time I experienced how it was to chill and I chilled to the bones - it's how I describe it. It's when you say, "Ganoon pala 'yon?!" Because you can't believe it. They had to change my antibiotics thrice. The second prescription brought me palpitations. Now, the third is fine and I think I'll be okay with it until I finish the full prescription.

I finally got back to my reading yesterday. It was hard the past few days because it was a see-saw of status... sometimes I feel cold and my eyes were warm, sometimes I'm okay. And it was hard to focus on books when I'm feeling this way.

So, yesterday, I finally sat down and started reading. I was finally focused when I felt it was time to shift sides. And this is what I saw. Pidong was lying by my feet and fast asleep - or so it seemed. But I guess he was since I had enough time to get my camera and take a shot.


I am scheduling my third cycle Monday next week. This is the third and I feel like I am halfway through. I am praying that I am really halfway through.


Peek-A-Boo by Che Baldemor
Peek-A-Boo, a photo by Che Baldemor on Flickr.
This time I think he's awake. Look at his eyes. There are a lot of photos of him like this. And there were more that we didn't shoot. But every time I see him in this 'pose,' I laugh. I would still, in the days to come. He's really very funny in this pose.


We are wondering... it's mating time for cats these days and look, he's still in bed. He's already a year old and he's already supposed to go out and mate.

It's either he's a late bloomer or we're starting to question his gender preference.


Fourth by Che Baldemor
Fourth, a photo by Che Baldemor on Flickr.
This is the fourth greeting card I received since I got sick, but it didn't go by postal mail.

Anyhow, it's really nice to still get these things. I know this is very rare nowadays. I actually consider it as a dying art already.

I remember sending a lot of Christmas cards by postal mail to friends a long time ago. I did it for a couple of years - probably for two or three years. Until I got tired because I couldn't even tell if they got it or not. And back then, we really have to know because postal service sucks that bad.

Nowadays, I am still in touch with a lot of them, though it's only through e-mail. The odd part is I don't even know their physical address anymore.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Right Between The Eyes

Right Between the Eyes - Wax

I'm a little nostalgic today.

Here's one of my favorites in college. I find the music happy and makes me tap my feet.

Don't Shoot!

Don't Shoot! by hengeworx
Don't Shoot!, a photo by hengeworx on Flickr.
He sleeps like that time and time again...

The Widow's Offering

"Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling all his disciples to him, he said, Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on."

Mark 12: 41-44

*Many thanks to my bff for sharing this with me, after I told her a touching story.

Monday, June 27, 2011

They are my winner last night.

They should have been another proof that Filipinos do not only sing. I've been rooting for them since I saw them. And at Twitter, they were also being rooted by a lot of people, along with Rico the Magician and Nielbeth. My take is anyone is okay with me just as long as he or she does not sing. I've had enough of singing contests.

So, there were three: The Freestylers, Marcelito Pomoy and Happy Feet.

The Freestylers belong to Showtime and I've had enough of singers.

But then again, another singer won.

Friday, June 24, 2011

This one is for $25

And it's barely one foot tall.

While in bed, this song was playing in my head.

I have been in bed almost the whole day today because my back hurts.  And this song has been on my mind since this morning after I played a CD that contains songs from the 1980's.  This is one of the most popular songs during my college days and I remember me and my friends were so crazy about it.

I'm back with Ulysses in my hands

I started "Ulysses" again... and from the top.

It's a good thing that I started it from the top, because even in just in the first paragraph, there were things that I didn't understand the first time I read it.

I hope I can sustain reading it this time.

The reason why I stopped the first time is that I can't seem to relate to it.

And the reason why I am getting back to it now is that those other paperbacks that I have right now have fonts that are too small for me to read nowadays, even with my reading glasses. And it's a good thing that I bought trade paperbacks back then.

I would have started with Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series which I have read way back in college. I have read it until the fourth book, the last one at that time. I was able to buy illustrated books (I don't know what to call this editions) when I was still at the call center, four of them. BUT, I just discovered and remembered that I wasn't able to find the first book, "The Gunslinger," in the illustrated edition. So, this means that I can't start this series. I don't want to start the series again until I get the first book. I wonder if I can get the same edition as the four that I already have.


I just wish that I could sustain reading and writing about Ulysses this time. To say the least, I am on my way to my third chemotherapy cycle and sometimes I don't really get the mood. I've been lagging behind my reading. My Shelfari says that I haven't read any book this year, so that's how bad I've been lagging.
To see more of my Ulysses posts in the future, just bookmark my book blog, or go to this link.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"What if people find out?"

Jose Antonio Vargas was brought to the United States when he was only 12 years old. He lived his life going after his dreams, and hoping that maybe, if he tried to live a good life, everything would be fine. But, after all his triumphs...
The more I achieved, the more scared and depressed I became. I was proud of my work, but there was always a cloud hanging over it, over me. My old eight-year deadline — the expiration of my Oregon driver’s license — was approaching.
After slightly less than a year, I decided to leave The Huffington Post. In part, this was because I wanted to promote the documentary and write a book about online culture — or so I told my friends. But the real reason was, after so many years of trying to be a part of the system, of focusing all my energy on my professional life, I learned that no amount of professional success would solve my problem or ease the sense of loss and displacement I felt. I lied to a friend about why I couldn’t take a weekend trip to Mexico. Another time I concocted an excuse for why I couldn’t go on an all-expenses-paid trip to Switzerland. I have been unwilling, for years, to be in a long-term relationship because I never wanted anyone to get too close and ask too many questions. All the while, Lola’s question was stuck in my head: What will happen if people find out?
My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant
by Jose Antonio Vargas

The Power of Music

An 'Awsome' Opening Number

It's Grooming Time

Grooming Time
Dinky's grooming pose
This really made me laugh the other day.

Photo of the Week: June 20-27, 2011

Insect on a leaf
Insect on a Leaf
This was taken last November 2010. I remember I got the mood of checking out the vacant lot across our house for insects. The weather was perfect for a photo shoot and not likely to burn my skin so I went. I don't exactly know what insect is this, but I think it's a baby grasshopper. Since mine is a digicam, I really have to get up close to my subject. I used the "super close-up photography" function and this means that my camera has to be like an inch away from the subject.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cycle 3 is on Monday next week & Mercury's out

I was with my oncologist yesterday. Again.

I showed the results of my blood works and it's (again) good news... everything's normal! So, that means that we have the go signal for the third cycle.

But this issue with the meds is what postponed it until next week. I would have been confined later today and off to everything in two days. But the meds for my chemo couldn't be delivered (and no med rep would deliver because it's a holiday).

Some of you will think: we still have the rest of the week. But my oncologist will be out on a trip on Thursday, so that answers your question. She'll be on vacation on the last few days of the week, that's why. So, we both agreed that it'll be good to go next week. That excites me because this would be the first time that I would be having a longer break. I want to know if the numbness on my hands and feet will go away anytime this week or not, although I don't expect that to happen.

Mercury's Out
The final days of last week was a roller coaster of status. No, not the chemo pains this time. I am feeling like a fever is on the verge of happening. I consulted this with my oncologist last Saturday. She said that it might be because of the ever-changing weather these days. If not, I will have to have another CBC to check what is causing this matter.

Because of this, we looked for our mercurial thermometer. We looked around the house and not found it. My sister said that she just kept it somewhere. But after some time, I suspected that it might have broken and we totally forgot about it. So, time to buy a new one.

I was surprised to know that mercurial thermometers are really phased out. At the hospital, all the while I thought that they just upgraded for commercial reasons. I have no idea that these mercurial thermometers have really been phased out. Well, I am aware of the dangers of mercury, but I will argue about those mercurial sphygmomanometers that they still use. I was hesitant to buy because it costs Php 250.00 - that's the cheapest. Because I was thinking two-hundred-fifty-for-a-thermometer? That's because I was just prepared to buy one for Php30.00 - or Php50.00 at the most.

And so I bought. Because I need to monitor my temperature these days.

But as I was trying to take this picture above, I still couldn't move on. Why? Because I think that a thermometer is a must around the house. And at this price, not everyone would prioritize it nowadays. Because if it weren't for my situation, I wouldn't have bought one myself.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heart To Heart - Kenny Loggins

In Dubai, at about this time of the year or maybe even a little later, the temperature is already starting to go up.  I can't even remember if it was already Ramadan, but what I can remember was the heat.  I was out for some office errands and was waiting for the bus back to the office and I had this song playing on my mobile phone and was repeatedly playing it.

I don't know for how long.  The bus on that route didn't come that often.  So, I think it was maybe about thirty minutes before it finally did; and I had listened to this song maybe a dozen times over, and never got tired of it.

I so love this song!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Here's what the doctors said.


Let me start with what my dentist said about that tooth that fell off the other day.

She said that I didn't have to worry anymore.  The gums where the tooth came from had already closed by itself.  And it did so slowly.  She told me that I don't have to worry about anything anymore because the gums were completely closed.  I asked if she didn't have to put something like merthiolite (this is just a joke I coined just now) or don't I have to drink a kind of antibiotic.  But she said no to both since as she said, I don't have to worry about it anymore.  She recommended that I wait until I finish the whole chemotherapy and wait about six months or a year before I could have my prophylaxis.


I decided to try stopping the pain reliever I was taking since, just to experiment.  And luckily, I am surviving until now with no pain relievers.

Then, the result of the CT scan.

It showed that the mass on my puwit  had decreased in size - from 5 cm to 3 cm.  The nodules on both of my livers also decreased in number - on one lobe, it went from seven nodules to just three and some of them have decreased in size, too.  

My oncologist said that this is such a positive result and that we can continue with our chemotherapy.  And, the next schedule would be next week.  But she still have to check whether she could get the medicines - the holiday on Monday is what we are looking at into this issue.  If she could get the medicines, I'll have to be admitted on Tuesday evening, then chemotherapy on Wednesday, then I'll be discharged Thursday.  

At this point, these are all worth to be thankful for.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The tooth fairy came this morning.

The tooth fairy came this morning and took what' hers(?).

This was one of the issues I discussed with my oncologist last week.  I told her that it was already halfway off and it's already giving me a headache.  I also told her that this might be the sole reason why I'm taking pain relievers.  She then said that the only thing that we can do is just to wait for it to come off because she couldn't give me a clearance to extract it because I would be very prone to infection because of the open wound.

So, there.
Just After Breakfast
My tooth

It was hard for me this morning during breakfast because the tooth was already hanging out of my gums.  I didn't want to pull it off myself because it might not be good.  So, I still ate my breakfast and just acted as if it wasn't there, which was so hard.

Finally, when I was brushing my teeth, it came off by itself.  I was trying so hard to avoid that part for fear that I might aggravate it, but I guess that it's really time for the tooth to come off.  There wasn't any blood so I was assuming there isn't any wound.  But still, I need to get to a dentist and have it checked.

So, later, after my creatinine test, I'll be off to the dentist to see what's the next best thing to be done.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The morning was orange again

I've been waking up to orange mornings but weren't lucky enough to take pictures.  It's either it was too short or I wasn't prepared enough.

Until today.

Orange Morning

But I wasn't lucky enough to have the chance to get out of the gate before the orange was gone.  But this would be good enough to have been captured for now.

I was feeling good the whole day yesterday.  I hope there would be more days like this now.  Today, my downtime's over so that means that friends can now come over to the house.  I spent a lot of time online yesterday.  I was on twitter for a while yesterday and got the chance to tweet with some of my very good friends from Dubai.  It felt good to talk to them again even if it's on twitter.

It's funny when you are a creature of habit like me.  I went to take a bath, got out and started to dress, then went to the dresser to find a comb.  And then I remembered that I am bald and no need for that.  I forgot!  Well, it takes a while to get used to it... hehehehe....


I have to drink lots of water today.  The oncologist was very particular about this on my check-up.  I am going to have my creatinine test tomorrow and I won't be able to go through CT scan if my result would be high.  That happened back in 2009 during my first CT scan.  I remember I had to finish 3 liters of water within 24 hours.  It worked!  Well, I don't want to repeat this whole thing now.

Last night, I get to watch another movie again.  But this time, it was on HBO.  It's an English film called, "An Education."  I am not really familiar with the stars but the story was good.  No songs this time.  It's actually set somewhere back in the '70s, I guess.  It's about the coming out of a girl who fell in love with a man a bit older than her.  It came into a point that she had to decide between Oxford and marriage.  A very good plot there.


Does anyone of you used to like David Benoit?  I am listening right now to my MP3 files and one song from him that I used to like played and I wonder where is he nowadays.  I used to share and swap songs with a college best friend about anything Benoit.  I remember she even sent me a TDK-D90 cassette tape with all the David Benoit songs.  And most of Benoit's songs are good.  Those were the good, old days.

Photo of the Week: June 12-19, 2011

NKOTB: New Kitten on the Block  

Monday, June 13, 2011

My LSS (Last Song Syndrome) for today

For the first time, after a long, long time, I get to see a movie last night on HBO.  It's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," which stars Nicolas Cage.

For some reason, I kinda like the song and wanted to google it today so I can listen to the full version of the song.  The song sounds good to me, and the movie was good.

Now, I am googling more songs by One Republic.

Now, I am asking...

Kailangan ko pa ba mag-shampoo? ( Do I still need to use shampoo?)

Well, I was satisfied with the way my head looked and felt with my previous photo.

But when we visited my oncologist and they saw that, they recommended that it would be better if we shave it off. Mas maganda ang tubo kapag shinave mo (it will grow better when you shave it). So, when we finally had the time to do it, I asked my sister to shave it off for me last Saturday. That's why it took a while for the photo to come out.

But I did use shampoo yesterday only to massage my scalp.


My appetite is normal. But there's a certain bitter taste whenever I eat. I do not recall having this after my first cycle that's why right now, I am still thinking that it could be due to that detox pad that we placed on my feet last week. If it is the culprit, then the more I'd really dread using it. Ugh! I don't know if I would ever have a way of finding it out. Probably after the third cycle.

Right now, even though I'm hopeful that the CT scan will show positive results, I couldn't help but wonder if I would have to go through six or eight cycles. I am actually amazed that I already have gone through two of them and even more amazed that it went by so fast. Originally, my oncologist said that it might be eight, but I'm hoping for two and if the CT scan won't be good, I am aiming and praying for four.

I am actually happy that the weather has already shifted. I had a hard time with the heat after my first chemo and had to use the a/c most of the time. These days, I am actually glad that I don't have to use it as often and even happier to wake up to the smell of soil after the rain.


I am asking for a Thursday appointment with the CT scan people. So, that means that I will have to have my creatinine tested by Wednesday morning. Then, we'll probably have the results on hand by Thursday afternoon, and we'll be off again to the oncologist by Friday.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fort Macquarie ca.1870 from Sydney Streets and Buildings, 1861-ca.1900 / chiefly by Kerry & Co.

I was browsing Flickr photos for the first time.

This is the first oldest photograph I've seen so far.

I guess there'd be more as I browse in the future.

They're almost gone on this photo.

There were only a few strands left. Like maybe 50 or a hundred long strands.

So, I asked my sister to cut those off and match those that were just an inch long. And it was better than having those few long strands on my head.

This was taken last Tuesday morning, June 7, 2011.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Things that might have helped me go through the cycles

I was with my oncologist yesterday for a follow-up call.  As expected, she told me that I will have my evaluations next week and gave me the requests.  She reminded me that I will, once again, have my creatinine tested and reminded me to drink lots of water (probably to clear me out of the crea test).

While waiting for our turn, we were next in line with one cancer patient who's due to have her seventh cycle.  I was full of awe for the lady to have withstood the treatment this long.  But this time, she couldn't go through the cycle since her hemoglobin level is low.

This led me to think of writing about what I have been doing and taking lately that might have helped me go through it so far.  I am not 100% sure though that these things really helped, but maybe the collective effects of these things might have been of some help.

Since my first cycle, I've been recommended a lot of things.  Most of them I refused to take because I am apprehensive about their adverse effects to each other and the chemo treatment itself.  There were supplements and vitamins and all.  Some even gave me a few capsules or a bottle of this and that.  But, I told them maybe I'll just try later.
Click image to take you to

If there is one thing that I took in, it is what they call the Dr. π water.  Yes, the Pi symbol that we know is equivalent to 3.16.  They call it Pi water.  We buy it by the gallons and the aim is to drink at least four glasses each day.  The ideal intake would be two glasses in the morning with an empty stomach and two glasses before you sleep.  You can drink in between but I rarely do.  I wouldn't go into a lot of details about the effects since my sister was the one who attended the seminar about it.  All I know is that the π water increases the oxygen level in our body, enhances all the good cells, thus, reducing the possibility of the cancer cells to thrive inside our body.  I think you can google the rest.  :)

Anyway, buying six gallons of this water gives you a free pair of detox pads which you put under your feet before sleeping.  I did so a few nights ago.  It was a sachet of tea-like powder but after about twelve hours, it turns into a sticky black substance.  In my observation, the effect of this detox pad is that I had some bitter taste on my taste buds that is not really good at the moment since it kinda makes me want to throw up.  So, I told my sister never to get one of those detox pads again.

Another thing that I took in is Ensure.  Immediately after the first cycle, I asked my sister to buy me that formula.  We had a hard time looking for the cheaper box packaging so I ended up just taking in about three ready-to-drink cans for three days.  I believe it did its work somehow.  So, after the second cycle, I told her to get it for me again and luckily, this time, we found the one that comes in a box and it was good for five days.  I hope this helps me level up my hemoglobin level for the round of treatment.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A London driver decides to drive in the Philippines

I know. This documentary is long, almost an hour. But I was teary-eyed on some parts, just like what one of my best friends told me when she watched it (in fact, I got this video from her site).

Photo of the Week: June 6-11, 2011

One of my friends said that she's more up to seeing me posting lively things like I used to, i.e., photos, happy thoughts, happy tweets, etc. And I am so wanting to get back to a normal life. Since I couldn't get out of the house that much yet, I think looking for things to shoot around the house would be fine to start with. And it's a good thing I'm feeling fine today.

This is it for this week: my own glasses.

Umagang Kay Ganda

"Basta't tayo'y magkasama, laging mayro'ng umagang kay ganda
Pagsikat ng araw, may dalang liwanag, sa ating pangarap.... "

Oh, what a beautiful day!

I've been praying for a rainy day for days now. Just to quench the heat we've been going through lately. And it was nice to wake up this morning with rain and all.

And it's even nicer to find one of my favorite songs of all time. Yeah, they have a version on this early morning show. But nothing beats like the original.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Week After Cycle 2

I am feeling better than those days after the first. In fact, a lot better. All those things that pissed me off and wore me down during the first weren’t there at all this time. And this is truly a good thing!
But the fourth day after the cycle must always be the worse. I felt like I was so tired from a week’s work, exhausted from not sleeping. Last night, looking back at what I felt and trying to use metaphor, I felt funny thinking that what I felt was like a group of my veins are in civil war with each other and my muscles are trying to claim territory over my veins (which they would obviously couldn’t take). That’s funny!
I’ll be having my check-up tomorrow. It’s been a week. And I know that part of what my oncologist will tell me is when I can have my schedule for my evaluations. Previously, she told me that it should be two weeks after the second cycle. So, that means, it’s going to be a week from tomorrow. I’m hoping that the evaluations will turn good and that I won’t have to go through any more treatment.
In a week’s time, my down time is over. That means my friends can again come over and have a chat with me. YAY!

Something I found from a book that a friend just gave me

I just thought I'd share this.

This is something that I found/read fro a book that a friend just gave to me when she learned of my sickness. The book is: Straight From The Heart, A Prayer Companion. Compiled and edited by Fr. Mario Jose C. Ladra.

The Tremendous Value of the Holy Mass

Click on the link to take you to the quotes. In my book, it says that these quotes were taken from the book:

The Hidden Treasure - Holy Mass
by St. Leonard
Imprimatur Michael Augustine
Archbishop of New York,
January 2, 1890.

Never forget Commander Kelly's message

It's a beautiful day.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts