Monday, April 21, 2008

My skin is clearing

Today, I had someone compliment my skin. She actually said that my pimples are clearing up. I was actually surprised. I've been noticing that for a couple of months now. But I would notice it after my shower. I thought the bath would refresh my skin and give it a nice glow. That's after almost one whole year of being off Tarceva. (Feb - May 07 --> check out my articles during that time for more gory details.)

My complimentary co-worker just started a few months back so she does not know of my lung cancer. It's just been awkward to talk about it - since it isn't so obvious. I know I ought to be spreading the word but... (ah, yes, guilt, an old friend).

I guess that's what's this blog is about. I'm not sure who else reads it though. Maybe I should just publish my blog e-mail so I'll get more feedback. No one seems to be commenting lately (that' s not a hint).

What is this blog about? It's about my normal life. Well, it's very close to normal. If you don't count chemotherapy. That's the only aberration.

But if I'm not spreading the word around people I know, what's the point, right? I'm not in the least a pushy person. (I'm not a pushy?)

That's what this blog is for. So I can say what I won't in real life. Wow, that does NOT sound like me at all. Back in high school and college, I would say whatever I wanted to. Now, I can't talk about my illness or even my sex life. But, I guess, I felt that people back home are more accepting. (Sounds like a good topic for the future.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tales from the International Aisle

We were wandering in our favorite Asian Grocery when we stumbled upon many interesting items.

On sale up front was some chocolate flavored biscuits.
Brand name: OH, YES!!! Imagine over the loud speaker, "Price check on OH, YES!!!"

I was looking for a Filipino sweet made from coconuts (macapuno).
On the label: "Mutant Coconut". Sounds really appetizing!

My favorite: A latino brand of broth labeled -- Soup: Cock flavored.
Now that's marketing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

poetry... shmoetry

I dislike poetry. I try to avoid it, if possible. I'm more of a prose kind of girl. Not just the hot and steamy kind, just prose in general. Why? Because poetry leads to war.

Think about it. Poetry is extremely subjective. A line of poetry may by interpreted in many different ways. That can only lead to misunderstanding. And we all know that war could possibly be brought about by misunderstanding / miscommunication.

If you're gonna say something, say it straight. Say it in prose! That's why they don't make laws in poetry. Or the news...

Every single day, he brought us the mail
Letters, Bills, Fliers and Sales
We did not realize he was so resentful
Today, he just decided to go postal

Yes, my poetry is atrocious! It's direct. No hidden meanings. And it rhymes (which is the worst part). Maybe that's why I dislike it so. How many times (especially in high school) has someone had you read their poetry? And it was bad? I mean, I make bad poetry, but I've read much worse. It's very difficult to critique poetry. Since it means so much to the writer. It just would be rare that I would connect to a poem. Maybe it's not poetry... Maybe it's me... (I seriously doubt that but I'll leave the possibility open.)

Ever read Lord of the Rings? Did you read through all that poetry? Honestly.

blog.. blog.. blog... (blah... blah.. blah..)

I'm not feeling particularly funny today. Work was blah... I mean, typical of work, it was extremely hectic... I've got tons of stuff on my plate. So I've decided not to ever write about work again since it's just blah...

Now, about my co-workers... Just kidding...

I've been exploring other blogs to see what makes a good blog. They advise you to talk about a specific topic. You should have a target audience. I saw this blogger who had 3 blogs: One about food, another on her workout routine and a thrid one that was her "personal" blog.

I tried doing a strictly cancer one. That didn't turn out so well. Notice there's no entries between July 07 and Feb 08. I can't dwell on my illness. It's depressing. I can't keep researching about it either -- same reason.

I am trying out alternative therapies. I'm doing Reiki and other energy healing. It's just weird though. I shouldn't say that. It's really had a profound effect on my life as a whole so it's hard to put into words. (Who's eloquent now?) Maybe I'm not ready to talk about it yet.

I have decided to take formal Reiki classes after 2 years of being on the receiving end of it. I'm just curious to see how it is on the giving side.

I had treatment today (More details on my treatment in A truly happy birthday). I had Avastin so it's a light day. I was in the doc's office in the morning and at work by 11am. No side effects. The heavy treatment will be coming up next Tue. But I expect to work even that afternoon and just work through the discomfort. It's not too bad. I'd feel worse if I took the day off and get an enormous amount of e-mail and tasks... (That's about work so ...)

Back to the blog... One blog is good. Every other day seems to be a good rate. I can't guarantee to be always funny but I surely will try.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

wax profane

Last night or very early this morning, like 2 a.m., I was working (note it is Sunday). I was furiously sending an e-mail. I was extremely frustrated about the whole situation so I just caved in. (Much more about this situation that I'm not willing to divulge to the public.) The last sentence on the e-mail read,

"If the package is acceptable, kindly ask ... to make this package available for deployment, else, please detail the deficiencies of the package back to me and I shall aim to resolve the matter expeditiously."

I actually meant, "F*** you!" Or at least, that's what I was thinking as I furiously tapped the keyboard.

The beauty of wrapping profanity in eloquent jargon is that I have total deniability. And, believe me, if you're from the office and that line seems familiar, I will deny it.

For some weird reason, it actually feels good. The anger is realeased. Feels like slapping a "Kick me" sign on their back. I got back at them without their knowing it. Man, am I a nerd, or what?

Plus, come Monday morning, or whenever the the issue finally gets off my plate, the frustration goes with it and I'm left with a decent e-mail I know won't get fired for.

Anyway, I don't think I can actually seriouly curse at someone like that. Not just because I've cleansed my vocabulary so as to not accidentaly spew profanily in front of my 5 year old. I just feel that it is such an attack on a person. Although I must say, I'm not the overly sensitive type who is shocked when some obscenity ensues. Just ask my cublicle neighbor who gets colorful in his language at times. I just don't spew it. Because it is like sneezing while lying down. All that spit comes back down and sprays you in the face.

If I really think about it, I know they're not really attacking me by giving me more work. They just want to get the job done. It could have been handled in a better way though.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Truly Twisted

I found one of my favorite writers through Google. She's a funny and snarky commentator I used to follow in Manila during my days in university. I loved her writing because she's extremely smart and so very eloquent. I'd buy the newspaper on whichever day her column would come out. I'd listen to the radio on days her show was on. I clung to her every word.

Then I stopped. I migrated and just didn't think about her until a couple of days ago when I googled her and found her website. She had tons of stuff on there. And again, I basked in her snark.

Then I remembered why I stopped reading her. She was and still is very angry. She admits it. She was very angry in high school and that fueled her writings. When she's not funny, her anger comes through quite strong. I'm the type of person who absorbs negative energy and I try to correct it. But I internalize it. And I'm not always successful at correcting the energy. I get stuck with it.

Plus, she lives in Manila where there is much social ills (well, there ain't no utopia). She had an article about this young boy who is just disturbed. He had a difficult life, true. But she can't really do anything about it. I certainly can't do anything about it. I'm left with such frustration. I could not get the point why she wrote about him.

I won't stop reading her. I'll comb through her site to find her snarky treasures. Just maybe avoid the potholes of anger.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

EWWW!!! I've got a streak!!!

Yes, I seem to be in a blogging streak. A friend of mine reacted to a recent article and commended me on my writing. (Actually, I got a lot of compliments. Thanks! Keep sending the love!) But what really got me was that a really close relative (alright, it was my brother) was really surprised on how good I was. (I was shocked that he was shocked. How can he not know?!?!) I guess, I developed my writing style and found my eloquence in high school since I was reading so much. My brothers had left the house by then. My parents knew. I had them edit my writing projects. I shared their passion for the written word.

My last couple of articles were very personal. I even had second thoughts about publishing them. "Go with the flow" I felt I had to publish. The point being - I got the flow even through chemotherapy. But who wants to read about menstruation? So I published another article so that "Go with the flow" would not be the first article. (I had sent out a e-mail announcement to everyone for the birthday article just the week before.)

But then "hard pound" came out to be a little risque. It was funny, but I was not about to send out my newsletter announcing to all that I had updated my blog. (Ok, I sent out a link to a smaller audience who I'd think would enjoy it.) I couldn't imagine sending it to my mom or uncles or aunts. I'd be too embarrassed to have them read it. It would just be weird. I know they'll eventually stumble upon the article. I'm just delaying the inevitable.

I remember being in a room with my mom, aunt and uncle. My mom made a joke -- she said the reason my husband was not at the party was because I tired him out the night before. *wink* *wink* *snicker* *snicker* I really had to leave the room. I smiled my big smile and walked out. It was too awkward. (Mom, I don't care if you joke or talk about my sex life. I just don't wanna hear it. It's just too weird.)

There's the crux of the matter. I wear different personalities depending on my audience. I will put on the mask that will put me in the best light. But on my blog, I open myself up to the world. People who I know and don't know. People who know me and don't know me. Know what really scares me? The people who already know me to be a certain way. When I write, different facets of my personality show. Yes, I'm a tough cancer fighter who is running on spirit and positive attitude to survive. I am also a proud mother to a very smart and sassy daughter that I love watching cartoons and kid shows with. I'm a very loving wife to my husband who I'd do a striptease for in the bedroom for MY enjoyment. I wear orange underwear. I've read the Harry Potter series. I find it difficult to criticize a person so I usually soften the blow with some sort of compliment.

So, I'm laying it all out here. I'm letting go of the fear of what I think others will think of me from my writing. I'm releasing my true self. Hear my true voice.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

hard pound

I love to read. My husband and I love books. Got that from my parents. When I was younger, I'd always have a book with me wherever I went. Even at parties, I'd have my face burried in its pages.

My favorite genres are Science Fiction, Fantasy (Harry Potter, Forgotten Realms - yea, the nerdy stuff) and Intelectual Porn (did I say that aloud? I actually meant --) Romance.

I started reading Romance early in high school. I mean, after a couple of years of teen romance, there's really no other way to go. And it's not the only thing I read. At the time, I read Tom Clancy, James Clavell, even some classics (Leo Tolstoy). But I would always go back to my hard pound books (as my husband lovingly calls them).

I only read one romance author -- Johanna Lindsey. She had the best balance of plot, sex and the most amazing characters. I tried reading others but they just were not as good. It's actually just this year that I found 2 authors that I really enjoy.

So, a couple of weeks ago, after having found 2 new great authors, a box comes from an online bookstore containing about 8 new books. My husband watched as I stacked them on my bedside table in order (2 different series). I was taking my time and reading the back and just deciding which to read first. After an hour, I started reading one. I was very much engaged.

"Why don't you just go to the sex?", he asked.

"Well, it would be out of context. That would spoil the story." Then we had this discussion on porn. We concluded that guys just need a picture to get off and girls need 400 pages of prose.

So, last week, while I was enjoying one of my new books, I was getting to the good part. Things were heating up... Then suddenly... My eyes just started to skip over the lines and my brain was like "blah... blah... blah... ok... let's get on with the story..." I had to stop. Put down the book and asked myself, "What just happened?"

Honestly, how many iterations of "his hard pulsating arousal was so close to my hot, burning need...." can you read? We got it. They did it. Let's move on.

We used to really enjoy this stuff.

True. But we never had easy access to the real thing before we got married.

And since we're well satisfied, we've become cynical?

It's like sports. Participating is better than watching. What's more boring than a swimming meet? What's nicer than the feeling of moving through the water in long strokes pushing your muscles until they're at their limit? You'd rather swim in the pool than watch others do laps.

Are we getting old?

Who isn't? Get over it. We're better off. Life's good. Let's move on. Let's go do the honey.

Not tonight - it's a school night.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Go with the flow

Let me start off with a disclaimer. Warning: Too much information to come.

I just got my period. The time of the month. The menstrual flow.

I'll let you click away now. I did warn you that I was going to spew TMI. This blather is just to allow you to click away before I continue. If you are still reading, you do so at your own peril.

This is the first time in about 2 years that I got my period that had a real flow. I thought, "Oh, what an inconvenience!" And as I was grudgingly setting up the equipage to deal with the situation, I thought of the bright side: My reproductive parts still work. There's still hope that my daughter will get that sibling she asked for.

She's been asking for a little brother the last couple of months. Sometimes little brother, sometimes little baby. We keep diverting her and say what if we get a little doggie? She really insists on a baby. In fact, she even tells me to eat more so that my tummy will get bigger and I can have another baby.

I had to explain to her that I was sick. We'll talk about it again when she's 10 years old. Hopefully by then, I'll be better. And if I'm better, we'll try for that baby. She seemed to understand.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A truly happy birthday

Just turned 33. This birthday was much better than the last one (Birthday Sigh). Last year, I was going through Tarceva and the havoc it wrought to my skin (On the pill. My new regimen). Plus the fact that that was a failed attempt.
May 2007 - my scan showed that the tumor increased in size. (Hard Blow)
June 2007 - changed to the Alimta/Avastin therapy.

This birthday was much better since the new therapy showed progress.
Dec 2007 - positive scan. YAY!!! (Two years later... )

Plus, we've been tweaking the regimen so that it's easier on me.
1) I only take half dose of steroids (Dexamethozone). That was a BIG help. My appetite is good. I eat better. Still having issues with drinking water but it's still an improvement.
2) I get Alimta on Day 1 and Avastin on Day 14. (This is on a 21 day cycle.) It was more difficult for me to recover when I got them on the same day. Used to get them all on Day 1.

It's really working. I'm not miserable during my treatment days anymore. That makes me happy.


What did I do during my birthday?
The night before, we all went out for a Sushi dinner. YUM!!!
The day of my birthday, I spent with my family at my daughter's Spring Fiesta school event. Lots of fun and games. Just the fact that I got to spend my birthday with my family made it very special.