Life After Cancer: The Fascination Continues.

Overwhelming silence has kept me from speaking to y’all. My healing has become quite personal. Yet everything I have experienced, it resonates with all of you. Challenges of being Human has become foreign in our lifestyle. We strive to advance, yet our foundation is compromised.

I have no complete thoughts for you, except everything that you see, hear, touch and are experiencing is exactly how I have imagined it. Not in minute details but in the grand scheme of things, it is happening before my eyes. Most of the pain and suffering (aka learning curve) is happening and redemption is near. I know there are others who feel exactly how I do.

With this information at hand, I want to challenge you for the next 26-30 days (Official start date is Dec. 31st) to help uplift Humanity. I have a mantra that I use daily and when I feel ‘troubled.’ It’s as follows:

Light, Light, come to me.
Come to me and Shine through me.

In less than a month of doing this, I have felt an overwhelming sense of peace & calm I have not felt in ages. Put your skepticism on the shelf and do this. Please share and comment to participate.  Your feedback throughout this challenge is much appreciated.

It’s said an individual can make a difference; Let’s make it happen.

Blessed Be, y’all


Perhaps this is what happens when one starts being reclusive while trying to be present; Less words, more action. My thoughts have consumed me while the moments of Life keeps me a busy body. You cannot TiVo life nor would you want to accidentally get stuck in a perpetual loop.

Simply put, the past quarter has been assimilating back into my role in this family. It’s challenging and above all, Love & Patience boundaries’ are tested. Since the transplant, the elation of ‘being cured’ was replaced by an immense sadness, loneliness, detachment and a suffocating need to ask the Why’s. I felt I was my young & naive self wandering in an artificial world. Those months were the most painful ‘suffering’ I have felt. To mask this alongside the Present was overwhelming.

Alas, fast forward a few months ago, I no longer feel as if I’m amongst the ‘walking dead.’ The flood of emotions can still overwhelm but a sense of calm & strength is seeping in slowly to guide me through. As I have been reminded too many times to count in this lifetime, my well being is no longer neglected.

Lucky for whomever–myself, family, friends, strangers and whatnot–my passion is still on fire. Please, do not be an obstacle on this mission. Thank you kindly in advance. 😛

Peace, Love & Hair Grease. 😉

Connect the Dots.

I’m very late in updating. However, the following words should give you an idea of what’s been happening the past 1 1/2 years:

more chemo
hospital stays
Skype’s with family
dazed and confuse
living on medicines
Monk, I was
City of Hope
more chemo & radiation
stem cell transplant
New Normal
double life
at peace
at war

Cryptic, as always. Unabridged in time. Thanks for listening.

[Happy] One Year Anniversary

You can pretty much put whatever word or emotion you’d like in the bracket. For me, it is the day–one year ago–I had succumb to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I plugged away as far as my body could take and finally, it had enough. “Running on fumes,” was one of the things I use to say. I didn’t think literally.

However, today is Easter, 2013. No longer in the hospital or gasping for each breath, it feels good. I still push myself; having just finished round #3 (yes, I haven’t even had a chance to talk about the first two), this time around, I won’t let the nausea nor pain put me in a Cullen state–yes, Twilight Cullen.

This is my mini-marathon. The last leg is the hardest. Fortunately, as a former sprinter, I’m still a quick study. More specifically, my finish line is an autologous stem cell transplant. Let me tell you, I am frighten. I get cabin fever, quick. Fear of the transplant itself? The needles, the never ending bags of chemo, hydration. But really, I’ll get over it. 🙂 I know I’ll manage.

Lastly, my heart and soul goes out to those who are desperately seeking a donor–a Match. If all who read this can do one thing for me, please share this. A Match is what I seek for Emily Sun, for Kevin Weston and the many others. Thank you.

50%. I Roll Like That.

50%. That was the results from the biopsy; 50% Lymphoma.

I will not lie to you, I cried. I had underestimated the degree of NHL left over in me. When I had my last chemotherapy back in July 2011, I figured I was not completely out in the clear–20%, to be exact. This may be the realist in me; not all things are packaged neat and tidy. The part which made me cry the most was knowing I would be weak, tired and even more so, semi-conscious of my surroundings. Not a healthy scratch yet for another season.

The game plan? A few more rounds of chemotherapy (R-ICE) followed by a biopsy to see where I stand (yes, I get to be drilled again!) and then, transplant. I am not exactly sure what type of transplant, but I’m sure we will talk more in details as it comes time.

Once again, a mini-pitchfork road for me to cross.

On that note, I want to thank all those who have been so patient, so kind and above all, willing participants in this journey of ours. Without you, it would be a futile battle. I thank thee from the bottom of my heart.

Just the facts, Ma’am…

Well, I had a semi-hiatus from seeing doctors, chemo and all those wonderful stuff called medical and your health. The next couple of weeks will be busy. We start a new baseline and set up the game plan for the rest of this year. PET CT and biopsy are scheduled for the next two weeks and limbo I will no longer be. I get to be sedated this time, so no more trauma. I personally am done with any level of trauma; I have met my quota.

While acclimating back to normalcy, I have spent the last several weeks making headway on my own psyche. Remember Pandora’s Box? Having all the data without much guidance is just wasteful (and lethal) information. However, I was given a book called, ‘Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease‘ to read and it is quite an eye opener. I will warn you now, if you choose to read this–DON’T PANIC! The Towel will not always save you in every situation, but it sure helps ease you through uncomfortable situations (Remember Linus?). It is helping me decipher all the crap that is ruminating in my little head. It is a hard pill to swallow. When you have spent most of your life just trudging and staying afloat without much headway or progress, eventually, it (skeletons in the closet) will come out to bite, haunt or obliterate you. Some folks are lucky, not very much skeletons to haunt them and they come out barely scathed with any injuries. A few others, however, come out completely a different person. I, for one, would like some middle ground.

Inundated Procrastination

I am an expert at this. As a matter of fact, this is probably my all time high. [I am sure I will say this at a later point.]

The best way to describe this is to imagine oneself as a wee bit sapling. Your rings are  developing. As time goes by, you inch your way up to the sky. Each time, a new ring, new experiences. However, those measures of experiences were not quite developed; smaller rings than what your peers have. Now, no longer that sapling but a slender, tall tree, you have branched yourself out with experiences, memories and values. But there is something missing. You feel less, feel weak, your roots are fragile, the trunk ‘soft.’ The nutrients of growing are no longer available, you feel stunted. Yet here you are, in the forest amongst peers, wondering why every other tree are more majestic than yours.

I am that slender, [somewhat] tall tree, making sense of my majestic stance. So far, it is not so majestic and my stance is off kilter. If I keep this up, I may look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. So here I am, looking at all the rings on my trunk, making sense where it was my lessons were stunted or missed a rung altogether.

Speechless (My SkyFall)

It may be deceiving, but thoughts have been hard to gather in a sea of words, drowning in the multitude of characters finding its captain. There is little pleasure knowing the Perfect Storm is near (or am I the eye of the storm itself?). The challenge is exhilarating, the reward is ten-fold anticipated; yet fear lulls you into the old familiar–the sirens cull those that are blind faith. Once in the womb of deceit, true talons revealed, your innards torn, tender heart concealed.

Cancer, Depression & Faith. Oh My!

What can I say? Head on collision with a train at full speed does not look pretty, but the results are in. Almost. Cancer brought forth amazing opportunities laid before me as well as some not so nice ones too. Simply put, Pandora’s Box was opened. We did not know it even existed. Yet, it wreck havoc and along the way, I found puzzle pieces of Me.

Depression is a funny thing. It hides behind many faces and seem to blend in nicely with the normal–sometimes. Then, a sudden trigger of memory–whether you see it, been there, smell it or just sense it–floods your every being, possibly crippling you to submit to its darkest caverns. You replay your whole entire life, thinking somewhere, I made a really big mistake and this is payback. Or simply, I just deserve it. [Karma can be a b!tch sometimes.] Yes, folks, I have had this battle for quite some time (or some form of it). Cancer brought it center stage for me to face one last time. I say it is my ‘last time’ because this time, it is different. No more living in fear of how people will see me. No more living in fear of when this will cripple me again. No more “losing it.” No more. Don’t get me wrong. This is not necessarily an eradication of depression, but management. Like cancer, it is part of me. I am chalking this up as another life skill acquired along the way. As a familiar cliche goes, “If you can’t beat them, join ’em.”

This is where Faith steps in to help Cancer shed light on Depression. I am not a Believer (aka God) nor am I an atheist. I cannot support nor condone any one particular religion, faith, belief, etc. Why? I am a believer of Fair & Just. They hold no religious bounds for me. As we all continuously sing of individual uniqueness, each one of us has to be content and at peace with where we are–even at our lowest points. It was very hard for me during this time ( I can only imagine the strain put on my family & friends). I struggled daily, wondering how can I still endure any more pain from my depression, let alone the [slow] recovery of gaining strength to tackle daily obligations. Even worse, how can it come back with a vengeance like this? With everything that I have, I was in the ‘perfect place’–my knight in shining armor, my little princess and prince. Heck, I even had that dog, cat and mini-van scenario covered. The white picket fence ranch was coming. Yet, I was miserable, angry and still, sad. Crappingly sad.

But, this derailment was long enough for me to say, “No more. It’s time to move forward.” My faith lies within me. My faith lies within those who love and support me. Above all, my faith is still with Humanity. I believe we are all here to be better–for good or for bad. Some of us will live a life of suffering, while others will live like kings. At the end of the day, we grow a little. I say, I have grown quite a bit the last year. All I wish for everyone in this world is to grow a little.

I still look at my NHL as the greatest opportunity given to me (Heh, unlike the other NHL going on this season…we won’t talk about it because they are still talking about it–instead of playing. >,< Shhh). As a little girl, I held on to a few beliefs that, frankly, I do not know why I had forgotten or let go of. Some may find it silly and downright weird superstition. Whatever you call it, discovering them this past year have been the most delight. The best part, I was able to reconnect and reaffirm with them. Even grander, I was given a chance to create a stronger belief foundation that I have longed for. Like I said before, I have the perfect family any woman can ask for. I know where I want to be; it is time to get there.

In light of all that is, remission (as said before) is not what you think. Currently, we are waiting on second opinion of our options battling my cancer. Yes, I still have cancer. Long story short, the theory is I had indolent Lymphoma which flared up to aggressive and was fought over the summer. Now, we’re back to the indolent. Options laid out were to continue Rituxan once every 3 months for a couple of years and do a biopsy then for a better idea. Or do what I call, “the hurry up and wait” game; I choose not of this because it makes no sense. Lastly, bone marrow transplant would give me a few years as a renewed person; I choose not of this as well because frankly, I’m tired of being in the hospital/under the knife/drugged/etc. I have 2 kids. I know where I want to be. (Hmm, sounds familiar, eh?) I have not looked into any clinical trials because writing this blog took me a span of a few days. So Googling will only make me less of a dutiful housewife and crazy mom than I already am. [It still beats 9-5, folks.]

So, as I just griped. I shall end it here. The kitchen is beckoning me to destroy–ahem, cook in it. 🙂 Dinner is calling…

Adieu and to you, a wonderful week.

Everything Will Be All Right.

Okay, that title up there. It sucks. Yes, it does. Frankly, being told this all your life, you have no clue. It is also very frustrating. Such a blanket answer. Naturally, for a child, that means literally everything–anywhere, anyhow, anywho, anything. Such an empowering feeling until Life (e.g. people) reminds you that everything will be all right once in awhile, not every moment, not every second, not in your power and certainly not at every Heart’s beats desire.

Psych101: I’m a stickler for everything. Semantics is really what I live for. I am your walking unbiased devil’s advocate. Do not tell me ‘Everything is fine’ when all I see is chaos, clutter and…hey, what’s this? [imagine a sideshow, folks.] *Ka Pow* Life is not all right. If we are ever to make someone feel just a little bit better to feel ‘all right’ about life, a new phrase may be a bit worthier than ‘Everything will be all right.’ Perhaps, ‘It will happen–in time. Rough road ahead, but don’t forget to see the little good things along the way.’ Maybe some will never really experience this all right feeling; perhaps a phrase such as, ‘You are the captain of this ship. Take each wave as they come.’

Looking back, if I was ever told that it was going to be rough patches [and why didn’t I see that anyways?], I am sure I would learn to be a bit more prepared for the highs and lows. [No use in dwelling on the why I did not…] If I had a better coping mechanism for my downtime, perhaps ‘Everything will be all right’ would work just fine.

Now, in my downtime, I reflect on this very long and winding road. I am complacent to say, everything will be all right. I will have my lows but they won’t be as low as I have been the past few months. [Details in another post. :)]

I will even be brash enough to say, Bring. it. on.