Showing posts with the label Life

End of Year Ramblings 2021

The year is almost over so I should have a farewell entry for the year that was, just because I can.    This is the year when I started this bittersweet dance with mortality. A year when I celebrated every small victory as I go through every phase of this fight against breast cancer. Waking up every single day is a triumph in itself, for which, I thank God all the time. When you're constantly staring at your mortality in the face with every skip & turn, you tend to appreciate that you get to live yet another day.    It's a tough battle but amidst all that, I'm still very much grateful as I am still faring better compared to others who are going through the same struggles. I manage to pull myself out of bed every morning and I hardly give in to the pain, the weakness. I'm glad for my high pain tolerance so I am able to maintain composure despite the agony & discomfort. I thank our Lord for allowing me to somewhat maintain a level of independence and not be such a

Breast Cancer Diagnosis: The Journey Commences

Receiving results indicating that breast cancer is almost certain according to digital mammography and ultrasound left me with not much hope to hold on to. The best you can do at a time like this is pray while bracing yourself. Sure, I prayed that I would still be spared but my prayers had been more on asking for strength to handle what’s ahead. Family and friends, of course, insisted on clinging to that sliver of hope that the lump would be benign. I appreciated that. As much as I would love to maintain a positive outlook, however, I had to manage my expectations and prepare for the worst. It didn’t help that since this happened just before the holidays, securing an appointment with the breast surgeon that my OB-GYN endorsed was a real struggle. In my desperation, I already reached that point where I was willing to see any surgeon just so I could have the biopsy done the soonest possible time. This desperate move didn’t work out so well as I couldn’t even get through the trunk line or

Detection: Recognizing Breast Cancer Symptoms

I’m sure you’ve heard it before--early detection plays a crucial role in beating breast cancer. Being able to nip it in the bud substantially increases your chance of survival as this illness has become highly treatable despite its rampant spread worldwide. The thing is, as with my case, I ignored it for far too long despite knowing that the threat exists as I come from a line of women with breast cancer although my mom succumbed to liver cancer more than 20 years ago. I was indeed in denial for a while about the need to have it checked and the pandemic had been a very convenient excuse to delay the inevitable. You don’t just develop breast cancer in a short span of time. According to experts at  Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center , the cancer could already exist in your body for two to three years before it can be noticeable. It only takes one malignant cell, which will then grow simply by cell division. This one cell divides into two, then into four, and so on. Each division gen

My Healing Journey: Discovering Breast Cancer in the Time of Pandemic

When I decided to get back into blogging upon leaving my long-term stint in the corporate world, there were so many ideas running in my head on how to map out this journey that I abandoned abruptly so many years ago. I knew I must weed out and filter them soon and declutter my head.  What I never anticipated was that this journey will suddenly become two-pronged. I originally planned on a more career-related theme when I pick up where I left off. Life, however, has other plans for me.  Deterioration   I started having health issues in the last quarter of 2018 when I was hit with mild pneumonia which resulted in my finally ( finally! ) kicking my smoking habit on first try (a good topic for later). That workaholic who stayed up way too late, puffing like a chimney? That would be the old me. My shift started at 12 noon until 10 in the evening but I would usually leave the office around midnight or in the wee hours of the morning so you can just imagine the lifestyle I had for years.  Upo

Coming Out of Hiatus

Nine Years. That's how long it took me to find my way out of the rat race.  I’d been meaning to at least get back to blogging even while maintaining a regular job, but I just got too consumed with work that I couldn’t find the time and energy. I forgot that my default is to dive into work with everything I’ve got. I so loved what I was doing that I practically lost myself in it.     Finally, the opportunity to get out of the rat race presented itself just when I needed it and I grabbed it without any hesitation. It was a long time coming; like I had only been waiting for the other shoe to drop especially in the absence of the spark that used to keep me going. As if on cue, I was given a chance to get out of Dodge. It was, indeed, time to move on. It meant stepping out of my comfort zone, but what’s the point in staying if you’ve lost your faith on the direction the train was going?  It wasn’t an easy journey, mind you. We celebrated great milestones, but we also weathered some nast

Procrastination II: Causes

I have a proposal, cost estimate and a letter of appointment to draft plus I have to prepare some ideas for a brainstorming session with a client in a couple of days so naturally, I found a bit of time to write this follow up entry on procrastination. If you haven’t read my previous post on the topic, you might want to check that here to make some sense on what I just said. :) Image: nuttakit / If you’re looking into managing your tendencies to procrastinate, knowing the causes is the first step. Unless you get around to understanding the reason you’re being afflicted by this human weakness, you’re not likely to handle it successfully. Personally, I’d like to generalize mine into three: 

Procrastination: The Loathed Enemy

I know I’m not totally immune to the lure of putting things off for later. I’m only human. Writers are pretty prone to procrastination with the handy alibi of waiting for the proverbial inspiration to strike. At times, it can be associated heavily on the infamous writer’s block. I’m sure, however, that chronic procrastinators are present in every industry known to man since it’s a natural tendency for human beings. I’m too aware that I sometimes stray toward that dark path and since I’m not a big fan of wasting time, I usually berate myself when I fall prey to this human weakness. Imagine Dobby the house elf punishing himself with Harry’s lamp, banging his head on the wall—that’s how I would normally feel like doing since kicking myself doesn’t seem enough (perhaps because I never managed to do that successfully). So whenever I notice a pattern emerging, I usually try to find the cause and try to resolve it.  Image: StuartMiles / My tendency to be pretty

The Quest

Originally posted on my Friendster Blog, 'Just a Thought…' February 20th, 2009 Image: graur razvan ionut / Yeah, I guess birthdays can really do that to you. One moment you’re taking things one step at a time, thinking you probably know what you’re doing or where you’re going; then suddenly, you stop and look around you as doubt started creeping in again, rearing its ugly head… making you wonder if you really are heading somewhere as you would like to believe. But try as you might, that lingering doubt makes you sigh…envious of all those people who seem to know exactly what they want in their lives and just surge ahead and never looked back.  

Grounding Place

Originally posted on my Friendster Blog, 'Just a Thought…' June 15th, 2006 Image: Marcus74id / Do you have that special place to go to when you feel the need to collect yourself? That place your soul yearns for when you feel like you just have to get away from it all? It doesn’t matter where as long as it serves its purpose—to help you get yourself together, ponder on things and move on.


…stumbled upon a very old poem converted into a song that had been buried & forgotten, til now… Image by Salvatore Vuono /

Being on the Outside, Looking In

“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” - Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist Image: goldsaint /   Posting this on my Facebook status once resulted in more “likes” than I expected plus a few comments. Perhaps this is because virtually everybody can testify to its verity every now & then, where you get that urge to ask someone to just shut up and let you be. We generally give more leeway with people who are closest to us like family and friends but they also happen to be the ones who tend to cross the line between giving advice and meddling. Sometimes we seek their counsel but more often than not, they give their opinion freely with regard to how you should deal with a certain situation or with almost anything in your life. The thing is, we do practically the same thing when it comes to

Blogging: Took Me Long Enough to Start

I’m finally blogging. After all those planning and even more planning, I’m here at last. I did have my reasons and for a while they seemed enough to justify my apparent neglect of the opportunity to reach a wider audience. For one, I felt like I was doing a lot of writing already that to add blogging to my already hectic schedule seemed too much already. But I already started posting a few articles online anyway so blogging would have to be the next step. As a non-fiction writer, you don’t only write about the things you like or stuff you’re interested in because you don’t always call the shots—the clients do (or in some cases, the boss). And when you exhaust yourself only with what others tell you to write about and writing becomes just a chore, it will gradually kill the buzz you get out of writing and you will reach that point where you feel like you’re starting to lose your own voice. Suffice to say, I see blogging as an ideal exercise to keep the