Sunday, February 22, 2009


Facebook is my latest addiction. That's actually the reason why I'm blogging more. You know, since I'm online and all... I love connecting with people. I've found friends I haven't heard from in decades! The internet is amazing!

I find that connecting with old friends brings me back to the self I was when I knew them. It's like getting to know myself again from shared memories. Then catching up with each others lives in the present. It's amazing where life takes us.

I was just chatting with Frandee. We were really good friends between the 4th and 7th grades. It was so easy to get back into that friendship. It's like we were never apart.

Then there are those people who you are really curoius about but are too shy to talk to... even through Facebook. Like my crush from waaaay-back. I have no idea what to say to him. So I just spy on him via Facebook. (That makes me feel like I'm back in grade school.)

I got my mom on Facebook. She's loving it. But I really have to think about what I post coz I know my mom will see it. It's not too bad. I don't regret making her my Facebook friend. I'm even trying to convince my mother-in-law. That's gonna be interesting. (Just teasing.) It's really a great way to keep connected.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I was supposed to have treatment today. So I worked hard this week to clear out my tasks at work. Picked up my $300 anti-nausea presciption last night (don't even get me started on that co-pay). I almost didn't drink it because of the cost. But drink it I did. My sarcastic self is telling me to eat my $300 and see if I feel better.

A few days before the treatment, I usually start to get anxious. So I try to keep as busy as possible or else I start to get nauseous. This morning, I felt it already even before getting any medication. But there's medication even for the anxiety. I hate all these pills. But take them I do...

When I got to the doctor's office, they prepped me for treatment. Right before they were about to stick me, they checked my blood work from yesterday. They huddled. Uh-oh. Bad sign. They came back with, "We can't give you chemo today. Your white blood cell count is too low. It's not even boarderline. Not even close." So, we'll wait a few days. I'll get another blood test on Monday and we'll see how my counts are doing.

In my head, I was like, "But I already drank my (really expensive) prescription." Damn!

Well, the good news is that I'll feel good for a few more days. I'll get to ice skate with Burke this weekend. I'll get to see her new tricks on the ice. She can hop and turn (not at the same time).

Then what am I gonna do with the rest of my day? I planned to go to work. But since I was up last night till 2am (I know, I shouldn't do that but I need to fulfill my obligations to my job still), I fell asleep and woke up at 5pm. So, I'll work a couple of hours tonight and go to work tomorrow.

Life goes on... Thankfully.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Truly honored

A really good friend of mine, the awesome Ms. Alexis, is running a 10 mile marathon to raise money for the American Cancer Society. She's running to honor 3 of her co-workers with cancer. I happen to be one of them.

Here is the link to her page (run by ACS) for the marathon. Please consider donating.

Lexi, I am truly honored by your gesture. Thank you.
GO, Lexi!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

3 years now...

It's been 3 years since my diagnosis. My doctor tells me that I've beaten all the odds. Usually, those diagnosed with Stage 4 NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) don't last a year after diagnosis. (She just told me about that statistic.) Dana Reves (Christopher Reves' wife) died in 8 months.

But despite all the hardship, (believe me, it's been hard -- on both me and my family) I'm still hopeful and optimistic. I must be doing something right. There must be a reason for all this pain and suffering.

Am I angry? I honestly feel that anger is a useless emotion. Sometimes, I let myself be angry. Then I let it go. I'm more frustrated. It's frustrating to see no improvement. It's even more frustrating when you see it slowly getting worse.

So I try to just stop. Let go of the past. Release the anger, frustration and anxiety. And try to focus on the future. I fantasize (or I project myself into a better future) my doctor telling me I have a negative PET scan. Whenever I pray for healing, I believe that it will be given. And I trust in the natural order of the universe which is life.

I will survive this. This is the future that I choose.

I will be there in our 10th year anniversary. We'll renew our vows in Bohol.
I will be there to see my daughter grow into that awesome adult I know she will be.
We will be there, happy and healthy, to give away our daughter in her wedding 20 years from now.
I will be there.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Accupuncturist

I've now had 2 sessions with the accupuncturist. No, the needles did not hurt at all. In fact, after each session, I felt really relaxed.

What's the point? Well, I'm hoping this will help my body be stronger for the next session (which is this coming Thursday 2/19 - I'll appreciate your extra prayers, good thoughts, positive vibes, etc...). Something to help me cope. Like I mentioned in my previous article, it's been quite miserable and long. 9 to 10 days is a long time to be nauseated. I've lost about 25 pounds already. I don't plan to loose any more. Thank goodness it's been steady for the last month or so.

Other than the needles, he's prescribed a special tea. He asked if I'd like to take the pills but I chose the tea. I take too many pills as it is. So he sent me home with a bag of chinese herbs (saw some shrooms in there). It's a little funky but I'm used to it now.

We also talk about accupressure and meditation. There are some points I need to stimulate (by tapping). It's enhanced by mental focus. (Here's the accupuncture/ meditation methodology he prescribed:

I like him. I intend to go back and see how it affects my treatments.

If you're in the Reston, VA area and are looking for an accupuncturist. Try (I'm not paid to advertise.)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Surgery details

Here's what happened to me last November/December....

November (my surgery)
They were supposed to perform a pleurodesis - fuse the lung wall to the chest wall to prevent liquid from accumulating. When I came to, they told me they did not get to do the pleurodesis. There was diseased cells on the chest wall. Instead, I have a catheter.

It's the latest in catheter technology. I'm not connected to a bag. It's only a hose. I connect it to a vacuum bottle whenever I need to drain my lung.

Am I pissed? Hell, yea! But it is what it is...

December (next step in treatment)
My oncologist was looking around for my next cocktail since the last one (Avastin/Alimta combo) stopped working. At this point, she's told me that I've taken all the best medication for lung cancer out there. I'm running out of options. I thought I'd check out Johns Hopkins and see what they had to offer. (BTW, thanks to Kathy and Justin for hooking me up!)

I looked into their clinical trials. Unfortunately, they do not cover all costs. They usually ask insurance to cover "regular care". My insurance will not cover any procedure connected to anything experimental. So, nix that.

Good thing my oncologist found one more older drug - Navalbene. We're to use it in conjunction with Cisplatin. I've taken Cisplatin before. It's one of my first drugs. My first combo was Cisplatin and Taxotere. That really wiped me out. It also wiped out my hair. I took it the first 3 months and did not work much at the time.

How am I doing on it now? I've been on 2 miserable cycles. It takes me 9 to 10 days to recover. The nausea is terrible. I can't eat so I'm very weak. My doctor says it's only supposed to last 5 days. She's given me more anti-nausea pills for this next cycle. (I've also been going to an accupuncturinst.) Hopefully, we can reduce the nausea and generally bad effects to 5 days.

Despite it all, I'm still optimistic. There has to be a way through this. What won't kill you will only make you stronger. And I intend to win this.