Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's beginning to feel a lot like that now.

I heard this playing over an AM radio station this morning.

Although it's still September and celebrations really do not come until later, the breeze is now foreboding that the season is here.  In Filipino, iba na ang simoy ng hangin.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pasalubong #6

Dudaymind: Post #2

~ As much as I am irked by the lies of Rowena del Rosario, I feel bad about it that the people like her - the subordinates - are the ones being grilled.  Simply because their bosses refuse to go to court and answer those questions that are being thrown at them.

~ A beautiful wife and a handsome husband doesn't always guarantee good-looking kids.  Take for example those kids a the milk commercial.  At least in my opinion, they are not as good-looking as their mommy nor their daddy.

~ About a few weeks ago, my nephew sent me a message.  He said he saw a tv ad that reminded him of me.  He said the ad says, "I have cancer, but cancer doesn't have me."  I try to remember it everyday since.

~ Back in 1988, one of my college room mates and best friends went to Europe and brought me this (picture below) as her pasalubong.  She said it was from Lourdes, France.  It was of rose scent that slowly faded away in time.  I had it with me since.

~ I couldn't exactly say how a five-year-old kid reacts on not having a father - not being a parent myself.  But I think Jade of "My Binondo Girl" is over-reacting.  Masyado naman yatang pina-OA ang situwasyon.

~ I guess I will have to deal with this thing on my back called spondylosis.

~ A beautiful quote from the book, "Story of a Soul" by St. Therese of the Child Jesus, which I am reading now.  "When I think of the past, my sould overflows with gratitude when I see the favors I received from heaven."  

~ Sabi ni Coco Martin sa kanyang coffee ad, "Hmmm.... Yummy!."  Ang sagot ko naman, "Ikaw ang Yummy!"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pasalubong #5: Champoy

Hawak Kamay... in English

Hawak Kamay - English Version(I'm By Your Side)

*Thanks to Monette Ponce for sharing this on his Facebook wall.

The secrets that they keep

There is a website I discovered about a year ago. The concept is you write your secret (say in a post card or something that you made all by yourself) and mail it (anonymously by post) to them and they post it on their website.

 I have read thousands of secrets on this site. And I think this site already saved a lot of lives that could have been wasted by suicide.

 They post what they get in the mail every week - every Sunday - on their website here (postscret.com), and this is where I read about the secrets of a lot of people over the world.  Some are funny, others are creepy, a few about hatred, also about sex, and some more about friendships.  But this one below, as this link says, is by far the saddest post secret so far.

Image copied from this website

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It was really nice!

I got this from one of those people that I follow on Google+, and I realized that I was smiling while I was watching it the whole time.

It was really fun watching all those people take time to say something nice.

My personal favorite is the lady who said, "Happy Birthday!" It was really cute. And someone (I think it wasn't only one) from the crowd said, "Thank you!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Photo of the Week: Aug 22-28, 2011

Water wheel by Che Baldemor

Water wheel, a photo by Che Baldemor on Flickr.
The date on this drawing says I drew it last November 7, 2005. And I can't even remember drawing it. I also found some doodles along with it, but by far, this is the best of them.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pasalubong #3

A post-birthday celebration with high school friends

I figured that since it had been three weeks since my last cycle, it would be okay if I have my friends over.    They have been wanting to visit for so long.  But circumstances do not allow.  It's either I've just had my chemo cycle or they couldn't make it because of their busy schedules.

So, when one of them sent me a message if they can visit, I told them that it's okay and we agreed that this Saturday will be fine.  (I was actually invited on a dinner birthday party but I declined because of the wound on my toes.)

I don't know how many of them agreed to come - since I didn't know who was organizing the plan, but urgent calls made them backed out the last minute.  I was actually a little disappointed since I was really expecting them.  But it's okay. I understand how busy can one get these days.

So, they are the only ones who made it.  Doc Mench brought a roll and asked me to blow the candles and make a wish. And of course, pancit for long life.  After dinner, we spent the evening talking about other things - poilitics, commercials, tv shows, etc.  

It was actually good seeing them again.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dudaymind: Post #1

Dudaymind is actually a collection of my thoughts and opinions about everything that catches my attention. From tv commercials to teleseryes to political issues. I guess this is a revival of my What's Up This Week posts. It's just that I couldn't keep up in doing it weekly, even before.

Dudaymind is actually an ambiguous word. Duday used to be my handle (nickname) back in those days when VHF radios were jamming the airwaves. The other meaning is, do they mind if I make a comment or a compliment about them?

To easily find these posts in the future, we can find it on the 'Pages.'


~ A few days ago, I saw this trailer "Tween Academy 2011" and their theme song is "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now."  I found the video in YouTube but couldn't bear to post it here.  I just don't like it.  I didn't like both singers.  It seems like it's the very first time they ever sang a song.  I don't want to embed it because I really don't like it, so here's the link

~ Have you seen that Coffee-Mate commercial where the couples are in their romantic OA moments sharing coffee?  I don't see it anymore these days.  Probably because they realized that it only caters to the very slim market of older guy-younger girl class.  Did you notice that?  There were two of them.

~ It sucks that they are only starting to campaign "No Smoking" at jeepneys.  I started mine when I got here back in 2009 thinking that it was already a law since there were already "No Smoking" signs inside.  I even asked those smoking pasaheros to throw their cigarettes away whenever I ride the jeep.

~ One of our friends gave us "Mang Inasal" gift certificates.  It was for Pinoy Spaghetti and Pinoy Burger.  We tried them the other day and we found the Pinoy Burger worth it.  I think food chains should give more gift certificates especially when they're introducing a product.  If it weren't for the gift certificate, we wouldn't have tried the burger and wouldn't have discovered it was good.

~ Funny how the show "Happy, Yipee, Yehey" are conceptualizing their games.  Their games are just glorified  parlor games that we have during parties.  And we've known these games since we were what?  High school?  "Tanging Hinga Mo" is that game on kiddie parties, right?  And this new "Toot Game" is actually just the old game Statue Dance with a remote control.

There'd be more to come.

Magkano na ba ngayon?

For those who come from my generation, when there were still no mobile phones, the pay phone is our only way to connect, and it only took three twenty-five-centavo-coins to make a call.  But help me recall... was it only for three minutes?  

Not exactly an LSS

This song brings me back to the month of March.

I was working at the Laguna Provincial Hospital's canteen and this song plays on the radio almost every hour. I think it was the number one song during that time. And I started to like the melody.... then the song.

That was a month before my cancer was detected.  And this song always brings me back to that time.

So, it's not exactly an LSS, right?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pasalubong #2: Chocolates

This time, I needed a surgeon

I haven't talked about it but my toenail was a bother the past few weeks.  To put it simply, one would call it an ingrown.  But it's a little more than that.  Because an ingrown is just a little piece of nail that's trying to come out and it pushes our skin painfully.  Mine is different.  My toenail curls and squeezes a big part of my skin.  It curls in a way that it looks like a sushi and the skin was actually trapped inside and it hurts like hell when hit, poked, bumped or stepped unto.

I've had this back in 2009 and I had to endure it for almost a year.  My manicurista room mates (yes, two of them) tried to do something about it, but then, after a while, they said that I had to take it to a doctor.  I said I didn't want to go to a doctor there.  I don't trust the doctors there.  So, I lived with the pain until I had to go home.  Somehow, it healed by itself and went back to its normal form for some reason I don't know.  

Now it's back again, at the worse time.   About two weeks ago, my sister asked, "What can we do about it?"  And I said it's okay, I can handle the pain just as long as it does not bleed, or make a wound.  I told her that I was able to manage over it when I was in Dubai, so there is no reason why I can't handle the pain now.  

I would have had the nails removed under different circumstances - meaning, if I didn't have cancer and having chemotherapy.  I am actually scared that the wounds after removing it will get infected - which is what we are trying to avoid in all cases, that's why I am willing to go through all the pain again.

Nevertheless, I consulted it with my oncologist during my last visit the other day.  She told me I could have it removed since I am not having chemotherapy at the moment.  I asked her about the wound and she said it's okay, "kesa naman nahihirapan ka sa sakit."  I took this as a clearance - a go signal.

I went home thinking about it.  I know this isn't a work for our manicurista since I need anesthesia on this.  And besides, I wanted the whole toenail removed.  I was thinking of going to the provincial hospital and look for the surgeon who removed my ovarian cyst back in 2009, but I was apprehensive about it.  I am scared of being exposed to crowded places, and I am more scared of crowded places with sick people.  So, I struck it out of my two options.  With the only option of going to a private surgeon, the next thing to think about is how much will I spend for it.  I am trying to raise money for my fifth cycle and now comes this.  So, I decided to just let it be and see what happens.

I guess fate has a way of doing its thing.  Yesterday morning, I was going to play with Pepe when I noticed something different on my toenail.  There was a little amount of liquid coming out.  I got worried like hell and told my sister that we need to go to a surgeon right away.

And this is what happened in less than fifteen minutes, and on a fee that was way below than what I had in mind.  Had I known it's going to be that way, I would have had it done weeks ago.

He injected anesthesia on I guess three points around my toenail.  Then, he asked me several times if I can still feel it when he touches my toes.  Then it came to a point when I can only feel it but couldn't say where exactly.  Then, he said he just wanted to take it slowly just to make sure.  Then, it was done before I even knew it.  
I wish I had taken a picture of how my toenail looked like before the surgeon removed it.  It was not ingrown.   My surgeon said that it's the way my nails grow and it's the way it'll always be.  He said that he can actually remove the nerves so that my nails will not grow again, but he said it's not possible this time because it might get infected and it's not a good thing at this point.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I get by with a little help from my friends

I have been thinking of this song recently. And I believe you know why. I am so thankful for all of you, my friends (and relatives, too), who have been there to help me out during these times. [You know who you are!]

No amount of words could ever describe how I feel for all of you guys who have been there when I need one.  

And I couldn't help but think what would it have been - and what it is now for me - if you all weren't there to help me out.

A new specs

The past few days have been quite awful.  I was always down with a headache that is far from a migraine attack.  I usually end up taking pain relievers to stop the pain.  But do I have to do this everyday?  

We were trying to figure out what the cause was.  It might be the weather, for sometimes if triggers a headache that sometimes would trigger my migraine.  But I think it's not, and it's not triggering my migraine as well.  

We finally agreed that it might be my eyeglasses.  I tried to look back and realized that I haven't change my eyeglasses since 2006, which was five years ago.  This means that my eyeglasses have long been overdue.  I need to have another check-up.

Well, I really noticed that my eyesight was quite poor recently.  But I didn't want to change my glasses at this time since it might be another side effect of chemotherapy and if I will change it at this point, I might have to change it again after I have finished with all the chemotherapy sessions.   I find it would be a total waste of money if I will have to change lenses in such a short period of time.  I could have waited until after I finished with the sessions, but the thing is this headache is pulling me down. So, since getting a new pair of glasses seem inevitable, what I did was choose the cheapest frame and lens that I could get.  

That's what my Dad and I did yesterday after going at the lab yesterday.  

Right now, I already have the new glasses and the optical shop people said that it might take two to three days for my eyesight to adjust to the new grade.  I hope this fixes everything already since it's taking away a lot of my internet and reading time - which is the only thing I get to do a lot these days.  And besides, I couldn't think of any other reasons why these headaches have been bugging me quite frequently the past few days.

There's a National Zomba Day

On August 31, the movie "Zombadings I: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington" will be showing in theaters. The movie is from the makers of Endo, Milan, In My Life, Anak and Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros.

It is an Indie film that stars Janice De Belen, Martin Escudero, Lauren Young, Roderick Paulate, John Regala, Odette Khan, Angela Kanapi and Eugene Domingo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pasalubong #1

I Forgot

This CA125 blood work is long overdue.  But since it's a special test, the cheapest (and the friendliest) lab here in our town only does it once a week - on a Wednesday - and I missed it last week because I didn't know.

So, I need to have my blood taken today to make it for tomorrow.

Last night, we talked about having my sugar tested, too, even if it wasn't requested, just to make sure it's still within the range.

So, I fasted and it is quite hard for me these days because I find the need to drink water whenever I wake up in the middle of the night.  It's a good thing though that I didn't wake up last night so it didn't become a problem at all.

We were at the lab a little after 7:00 a.m. and in less than 10 minutes we were done.

I was with my dad, and this means that I get to date him for breakfast at McDonald's (his favorite).  [This is actually one of the things I look forward to when I go out with my dad.]  We were eating breakfast when I suddenly realized that I didn't tell the med tech that I wanted to have my FBS test.  I was a little pissed off because I fasted and didn't drink water this morning only to spoil it.

I figured that if I waited until we get home before I called, it might be too late as my serum might have been in their cooler already. So, when we were at the optical shop (I'll blog about the reason why I was there later), I thought of calling the lab and ask if it was possible to take a little sample from my serum for my FBS.  It's a good thing that Ate Edna (the lady from the lab) told me that I have enough serum for another test.

Sigh.  The things I forget these days.

*My FBS result is normal.  Yehey!

Watch out for this one!


Pasalubong by Che Baldemor
Pasalubong, a photo by Che Baldemor on Flickr.
A friend was in Cebu for the weekend, and she got something for my sister and me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Travel Buddies

One of my dreams is to travel.  In Dubai, I told myself that I would start to travel during my third year.  But I had to go home short of a month of my second year there.

I'm sure these ladies could have been my travel buddies had I stayed longer in Dubai.

*Thanks to @nelash for lending me this picture.  This was taken when they went to Turkey in 2010.  I could have been with them if I was still in Dubai.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What we might be missing

I was very fond of the countryside, flowers, birds, etc.  Sometimes I would try to fish with my little line, but I preferred to go alone and sit down on the grass bedecked with flowers, and then my thoughts became very profound indeed!  Without knowing what it was to meditate, my soul was absorbed in real prayer.  I listened to the distant sounds, the murmuring of the wind, etc.  At times, the indistinct notes of some military music reached me where I was filling my heart with a sweet melancholy.
~ Story of a Soul
   The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

Perhaps, we all should do this once in a while.  Maybe in this busy world, this is what we all are missing.  A quiet time all by ourselves, free of our gadgets, or anything that connects us with the technical, artificial world.  Probably a moment with nature is what we need to listen to ourselves, to find out what our heart says, to find out what our minds really want, to find out what our souls really yearn for.

A flower might reveal to us what we have been looking for all along.

What about this cardigan?

Learn more about this cardigan by clicking on this link.

*Thank you, my friends, for coming up with this.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Matayog ang lipad ng saranggola ni Pepe

Saranggola ni Pepe - Celeste Legaspi

One of my favorite OPM songs.  I have it on my playlist when I was in Dubai and I usually set it on repeat whenever I was on my way home from work.  

A bright idea

Someone thought  of this and I got this in my inbox yesterday.  The person who thought of this should be given credit for the ingenuity.

Sealing plastic bags with bottle caps.

I think it's worth a try.

Cut up a disposable bottle and keep the neck and top.

Insert the plastic bag through the neck and screw the top to seal.

The bag is made to be air-tight, such that water will not leak.

The secret lies with the top and the screw cap.

My CT scan result after the fourth cycle

It's the usual routine.  I need to have my CT scan after every two cycles to monitor how I am responding to the treatment.  And also, since I still don't know when I would have the funds for my fifth cycle, my oncologist says it's best to know where we left off.

With regard to the mass on the recto-sigmoid region, there was a very slight decrease in size.  It is a not-so-good news though because I was expecting that it would somehow decrease by a centimeter or so.  But it isn't so.  But still, the fact that it's not growing is still good news to us.

Next, those nodes on both of my liver have been decreasing.  Previously, the right lobe has seven nodes.  Right now, there are only three and all these three decreased in size.  On the left, there used to be two, and now there's only one left and the size of this node also decreased.

But I guess the best of all the good news is the absence of the node on the included section of the lungs that was noted on my previous CT scan.  Previously, there was a 1.0 cm node that was noted on the right hilar region and we were all kind of worried about this.  I guess anything that has to do with the lungs is something to be concerned about since it will make me vulnerable to diseases.

So, these are really something positive to be thankful for.

I have yet to visit my oncologist to show her the results.  But, based on what I read, these are all positive news.

Also, I have yet to have my CA 125.  The laboratory says this is a special test and is only done once a week - on a Wednesday.  So, I'll have my blood extracted next Tuesday and probably get the result by Thursday.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Kingdom Tower's Sky Terrace

The Kingdom Tower that is said to dethrone Burj Khalifa by 2016 will have a Sky Terrace.  This will be an outdoor amenity for use by the penthouse floor.  Based on the pictures, it is located somewhere in the middle of the tower.

I think the Sky Terrace looks just like Burj Al Arab's 'outdoor tennis court.'  

I couldn't give you any links since I just got this as a forwarded e-mail.

Next: My CT scan result after the fourth cycle.

Photo of the Week: Aug 11-18, 2011

Elmo is jealous by Che Baldemor
Elmo is jealous, a photo by Che Baldemor on Flickr.

My sister actually didn't have any idea that Elmo was at her back.  I was busy with the internet when I glanced and saw this sight and couldn't let it pass without taking a shot.  It looks like Elmo wants to be cuddled, too.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All my life, you're a friend of mine...

This is my best friend's gift to me for my forty-third birthday. While I was watching this video, I realized that we've known each other more than half of our lives. We were classmates and seatmates throughout high school and we have a lot of wacky memories being seatmates.  Wait.... let's say that we have more memories being seat mates than going out somewhere else.  We have different sets of friends, but we always end up being there for each other in healing each others' wounds.
Back in 2009, when I was in Dubai and found out about my ovarian cyst, she was the first one I called.  I didn't want my family to worry about something that I am not so certain yet, so I called her.  She told me to think about it first and to confirm everything before calling home.  Which I did.

When I learned about my cancer, she was one of the firsts to know.  And she was the one who helped me raise funds for my chemotherapy.  She was and is actually the point of contact of many of those people who extended help for my treatment.  She runs some errands for me since I got sick.

With her, things are a little easier than they are.

All my life, she's a friend of mine.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trial and Error, Hit or Miss

  • As per my doctor's advice, I tried walking this morning.  She said it might help in solving our problem with my swollen legs.  We both do not know what would be the result.  But this morning, I just found it.  It seemed to have aggravated my edema.  I now have bigger feet.

  • The hospice people were here yesterday.  They also saw my edema.  They suggested that I eat the white part of eggs.  And again, there is no guarantee that it will work.  I just have to try.  Well, I had to much of eggs for the past weeks that I don't know if I could still eat it boiled, alone.  Then again, I should try.  It might help reduce the edema.  And, then, again, there's no way to say if this would work.

  • Any other suggestions?

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    My follow-up after the fourth cycle

    The check-up should have been last Wednesday (a week after the cycle), but the weather wasn't so good and the rains come and go.  So, I decided to postpone it to Saturday.

    As usual, it was edema I was complaining about.  The past three days, I saw myself with a baby elephant's foot at the end of the day.  Come morning, it subsides, only to be bloated again at the end of the day.  My oncologist wanted to give me Lasix, but she was really apprehensive about it.  She asked if I can tolerate it and I said yes (which is the truth), and she said, "Sige, wag na lang." Meaning, she won't give me meds anymore.

    Other than that, there weren't any more issues.  She just repeatedly told me to do some walking everyday.  I said I already started (which is true) but had to stop because the edema started.  And she said jokingly, "Uy, nagpalusot pa.  Sige na, malay mo, pag naglakad ka nang naglakad, mawala yan."

    And I said, "Oo nga po, ano?" So, I really should continue walking now.

    Then, she began writing the requests I need for my CT scan next week.

    While she's at it, I told her that I am not sure when I would be ready for the fifth cycle, not because of anything but financial issues.  I told her that we still have to wait some time because I already ran out of funds.  She said, "Okay, but we really need to have your CT scan." I was going to open my mouth and ask why, but realized that I need it to know where we stopped.  And she said, "Yes, that's right, and besides, our routine is to have your CT scan after every two cycles."

    I said, "Okay.  I still have enough for this lab works."

    I have an application with the DSWD and we are just waiting for the release of the funds.  We were told that it will come out some time this August, and I am almost certain that it will come out before the end of the month.  Add this to what my anonymous benefactor has been giving since I started chemotherapy, we only have to worry about a fourth of what I need for one cycle.


    My oncologist handed me the request.  Whole abdomen CT scan with contrast.  And of course, I will have to be cleared with my creatinine level to do the CT scan.

    But I was surprised when she said that she wanted me to have my CA 125, too.  I wonder why.  Back in April when I showed her my first CT scan for this year, and that's when we found out that the cancer was back, I wouldn't forget what she sadi:  "I don't want to know your CA 125 level." And I know why she said that.

    This time, I wonder why she wants to know.  And now, I am excited to know, too.  Excited in a very positive way.

    MTV's First Music Video Ever Played

    Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles

    Saturday, August 6, 2011


    I want to have a house that has a waterwheel like this.

    Photo borrowed with permission from this blog, which I suggest that you follow, too. 

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Dethroning Burj Khalifa by 2016

    It is called the Kingdom Tower and will be built at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

    Read more here:  The Tallest Building in the World

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Mindy's Thoughts

    This is Mindy's segment on The Ellen's Show. I love the way she shares her thoughts on things without inhibitions. I guess that's why Ellen decided to put her up on her show.

    This is good news for my Etisalat friends

    Etisalat scraps subscriptions 

    During my first few years in Dubai, it would cost AED100.00 to renew the annual subscription... and that's for prepaid subscribers.

    Then, the year that I went home, which was 2009, it was still AED 100.00, but you get to use it for phone calls, making it consumable.  I remember having to use it all (and was glad of the scheme) to call my first cousin who was grieving for the loss of his mother.

    I wonder why they are scrapping it now.  Has Du come up with a super strategy for Etisalat to do this?

    Anyhow, I know my friends in Dubai will be happy about this.  Just one text or call to maintain your account is one hell of an offer against the AED 100.00 yearly subscription.

    Photo of the Week: Aug 3 - 10, 2011

    3 days, 2 nights effect by Che Baldemor

    3 days, 2 nights effect, a photo by Che Baldemor on Flickr.
    The weather started to get gloomy since last Saturday and that was the last time we saw our cat, Dinky (on the photo). Well, we already know her to be such a wanderer - gets back in time for dinner and most of the time misses lunch.

    But this time, she was away for three days and two nights. She's been away that long that I was beginning to accept that she might not be able to come back.

    But, she got back in time to lunch on my birthday, but she ate very light.

    And she was this tired right after eating. And we've never seen her sleep this way.

    We were guessing she was on a three-day-two-night trip to Boracay.

    Don't you think so?

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Last night, I was singing this...

    Head Over Heels - Tears For Fears

    My heartburn keeps me lying down longer than I wanted to, and made me slept even more than I had to. So, last night I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and found myself singing this song.

    I felt happy, though. This song brings back a lot of good, old memories.

    Don't you just love LSS's sometimes?

    Not much of a choice

    So, yesterday was my forty-third.

    And I had balloons!!! Yeah!

    Well, for me, really, birthday parties aren't complete without balloons.  It makes the place happy and more festive.

    But I didn't plan it.

    It was a surprise from two friends from the States who conspired with their relatives here to send me balloons.  And together with that went three orders of pancit bihon, and cake.  Of course, pancit bihon goes in line with the Filipino tradition of serving something long for long life.  My friends said they ordered three for long, long, long life when I get well.

    But, the not-so-good part of it all is just that I just got out of the hospital from my fourth cycle and I am not to have visitors.  (There it goes again.)

    There are some photos on my Tumblr blog here that shows only me.  Yeah, no visitors. Not much of a choice.

    But once I get well, there would be.

    And I know it would be soon!

    Monday, August 1, 2011

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