Tag Archives: cancer

Fuck you Cancer

Ok. This was supposed to be an organized blog post but after hearing the news that my aunt has Stage 4 Cancer, I think randomness is what I need the most. Allow me to be random. 

So yeah, my aunt was diagnosed with cancer. That’s just the thing in my mind right now. I just want to punch the wall. 

Fuck you cancer. 

Day 1 of 7. 

Advertisements

Fuck Stress

Yesterday, when I arrived at our workplace, my officemates informed me that the husband of our Administrative Officer had a heart attack. He just turned 40. When I was young, not so long ago, the people who get heart attack ranges from 60-70 years old.

During these unbelievable moments, you have these realizations about your own life. Before hearing the terrible news about my officemate’s husband, I left home with tears in my eyes because we found out that my aunt was diagnosed with cancer. These moments are wake up call.

The news yesterday were too much too handle. I had that blank moment. Ironically, these blank moments are often the moments when you realize a lot of things.

The world today, I believe is undergoing a process. We are reaping what we sow and learning from the collective mistakes of the whole humanity. A lot of people getting diseases is part of the process because believe it or not, it will start the new awareness. This is the generation where people are trying to live in the now, to live their lives to the fullest. Instagram, (and maybe Facebook) posts are about healthy living–gym pictures, smoothies, organic, Urban gardening. All is happening at this very moment without people realizing it. The New Earth is emerging.

So after that blank moment, I stood up and I said out loud, “FUCK STRESS”

The number one cause of these diseases is stress, not even the food that we are eating. It’s just stress. And based on my observation, the number one cause of stress is our desire to PLEASE OTHER PEOPLE. This shit comes in all forms and sizes.

Say for example, at work, we get stressed out because we need to please a higher authority. We try to join people that we don’t even like because we are afraid that they will kick us out and will gossip about us. Work is just work. It will not matter in the bigger picture. That is why stressing about it is unnecessary.

We are walking stiffly in the face of the earth because we are afraid of rejection. That causes a lot of stress. This is my story. I haven’t been myself these past years. I haven’t published art. I have been insecure. I have been sugar coating praises to please other people. I have this need to ask others about the way I look, the way I talk and the way I move. These causes a lot of stress and probably stress to other people.

So whatever it is that you are experiencing now, give STRESS that middle finger of yours. It is not worth it.

Three Mountains in March

Last March 2014, I had the opportunity to hike 3 Easy-Level mountains. If you want to start a career in hiking, you should definitely try the following treks.

1. Mount Sto. Tomas, Benguet (March 1-2). It is a very easy trek because the trail is actually part of the National Road. The spice of this trek is the cold Benguet air. If you want to leave the crowded Baguio City and want to try something new, wake up early and take the challenge.

Unforgettable personal experience: My cousin Jared and I had to take a rest. Since it is a national road, we sat in front of a stranger’s house, on the floor like some teenage Nomads, opened a canned tuna and soda crackers, and talked about larger than life topics. People passing at us were smiling as we invite them to sit and eat with us. (We also hitchhiked downhill. It was Jared’s first hitchhiking experience)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

2-3. Mount Manalmon and Mount Gola, Bulacan. (March 8)– 2 mountains in 1 day? Possible? Yes it is. We actually booked a package under Trippy Travel. It is very cheap. The package includes a trip to Mount Manalmon, but my Dad decided to explore another mountain called Mount Gola. We just have to pay an extra amount of money for the guide. But everything is worth it. (If you want to try it out, go check Tippy Travel’s website at http://www.trippytravel.com/events/mt-manalmon-madlum-river-bayukbok-cave-adventure/ )

3 Unforgettable Personal Experience:

1. Since it is a package trip, we have to share the experience with other people. But this time, it is an experience worth sharing for. A bunch of yuppies were traveling with us and I enjoyed every minute I was with with them. The tour guides were not just guides but a bunch of big brothers willing to protect and guide the flock.

Image

2. Any mountain, for me, is a huge spiritual object. It connects my spirit with nature, literally and figuratively. The feeling that the mountain gives you no matter how cold or hot the weather is will just heal your soul. During my trek, my dad and I had a heart to heart talk. We don’t usually have these kind of talks but the mountain opened doors for it to happen.

Last year, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. It was also the season when my Dad is preparing for a trek to Mount Pulag. We were all devastated. My dad associated that low season to mountain climbing. From that day on, he stopped hiking. He was traumatized. I guess this is the irrational stuff that depression gives us. I can’t blame him.

I didn’t know. I have regarded my dad as a tough guy with no soft spots. But this is quite a revelation for me.

While walking downhill, my dad suddenly told me that it was difficult for him to start climbing again. Because every mountain reminds him of my grandma’s cancer season (Thank God Grandma is now ok). But everything is ok now and the mountain, whom he once despised is now his friend again, and probably his healer. Mount Manalmon and Mount Gola is the 3rd and 4th mountain he climbed this year. 2 weeks ago, he climbed his 5th and as I write this post, he is planning for his 6th. I am waiting for his plans to hike Mount Pulag.

Image

3. To start the Mount Manalmon trek, you should pass Madlum River. You have 2 choices: take the raft with zero level of difficulty OR take the monkey bridge with an infinite level of difficulty. Of course, life is short so I took the Monkey Bridge. It is a death defying act. It is a rope-walking thing without any harnesses or safety gears. Those are the moments when you are completely alive, without giving a damn if it is your last.

Image

*Special thanks to Ace and his team for organizing this trek. Check out http://www.trippytravel.com

Mama Cing’s 80th

Yesterday, my grandma celebrated her 80th birthday.

It was indeed a miracle that she’s celebrating her 80th with a very good health. Earlier this year, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cervical Cancer. We thought we are going to lose our beloved grandma. We were wrong. For a 79 year old woman, we thought that it would be difficult for her to survive the pain of radiation and chemo therapy. Again, we were wrong. She survived it despite of drastic weight loss and painful bowel movements.

She is a strong woman with a positive spirit. She is a fighter who clings on to God when hope is miles away.

She still fights everyday. She is getting stronger. She is gaining weight.

To sum it all up, she defeated cancer at the age of 80.

Who say’s there’s no hope?

Image
Although grandma never experienced the feeling of having a great grand daughter, she was blessed with 7 handsome great grand sons. These boys are really lucky to experience having a great grandmother (and a great grandfather of course)
Image
Grandma’s grandkids. We were not complete when we took this picture.
Image
One of the many reasons why Grandma is fighting everyday

ImageImage

The Mama Cing Project

I. DIAGNOSIS

It was a devastating day for the family. My grandmother was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cervical Cancer. She’s the strongest and probably the youngest looking 79 year old woman in the city. Why her? Probably the whole family is in the state of denial. First and Second opinions suggested the same treatment: the agony of the chemotherapy.

II. THE PROJECT

Out of my depression after her diagnosis, I have decided to make a project which involves the Couchsurfing Community. I asked all the capital cities of the world to write a ‘get well soon” note on a piece of paper, take a picture with it and send it to my email. This is nothing new to the community since a number of people have already done this as a birthday greeting and as a wedding proposal. I am not sure if this is the first “get well soon” CS project for a grandmother with a cancer.

After completing Asia, I received my first email and it was from China. Attached to the email were two pictures: one from a Chinese girl and one from her Swedish guest. After a couple of minutes, an email from Turkey and Bahrain arrived. A bulk of email arrived after a couple of hours. I hardly had enough sleep that night because I was excited to open each email, reply to each sender and celebrate the fact that the world united to pray for my grandma. I love all the pictures. They were all done with love. The effort is overwhelming. I cannot post all the pictures but here are some of them:

Image
This little cute boy was from Algiers, Algeria.
Image
Couchsurfers and Snowmen united in Latvia to send some love…
Image
Cheers to the Party People of Hungary! Thanks for the love!
Image
Little girls from Myanmar. Thanks to Couchsurfer and Music Teacher, Wint Yee Phyo!
Image
Don’t forget, the little boys from Myanmar!
Image
Awesome family from Slovenia sending their love and wishes!

To date, I have received 143 pictures from 54 Countries. Aside from the pictures, I have received a short song composition, a short video and a poem. Some of the Couchsurfers sent some stories about losing a grandma, surviving a cancer and other heartwarming stuffs.

III. DOING THE PROJECT

I have 143 pictures. Now what?

After asking the opinions of “experts” we have finally arrived on making a scrapbook. The original plan was to make a collage but because we received a huge number of pictures, it would be impossible for us to carry it around.

Image
I brought the digital copies to our local Photo Developer.
Image
My friend Dennis Chamian (guy in red) offered his crayons and colored pencils in order for us to make a colorful scrapbook.
Image
Our office trainees (which I prefer to call friends) volunteered to design the scrapbook. They did a great job.

IV. REALIZATION

I have been an active couchsurfer for more than 2 years now. I have been organizing activities, attending events and hosting people who need a couch. But this was different. The project revealed a different face of Couchsurfing. We are all travelers, but because of this project, I realized that there is more to traveling.

143 Complete Strangers contributed something small but for a greater and meaningful cause. Isn’t that beautiful?

Love will surpass everything. Love conquers fear. Love heals…and most  importantly, LOVE can unite the world.

V. The Day of the First Chemotherapy

I was happy that we were able to complete the project on time. I woke up early, joined grandma during her breakfast. After her meal, I gave her the  Scrapbook. She was speechless.Image She told me that she’ll be strong because the whole world loves her and is praying for her. She even left her bag in the car just to carry the big black scrapbook.

As I write this post, my grandma has undergone 3 Radiation Therapies and 1 Chemotherapy.. It’s a miracle that she neither felt pain nor any side-effects. Let us continue praying for her.

To all those who sent pictures and took time to do the project, My grandma and I will be forever grateful!

Image