Friday, September 28, 2012

Bye for now, long hair ...

It was good while it lasted. I've always had short hair but when I decided to grow my hair 4 or 5 years ago, I didn't think I would be able to maintain it. I played around with it a lot and had it rebonded three times. I also had several color changes until I arrived at the last one, my favorite. 

It wasn't difficult to make the decision to cut my hair short again. My main reason? I wanted to prepare for the hair loss I will surely experience during chemotherapy treatments. Also, with my left arm being only 60% useful at the moment, it was so hard shampooing, conditioning, drying, fixing my hair which had already grown up to my chest, the longest it ever was. 

This photo was taken sometime in 2008 before I decided that I wanted long hair, for a change.

I had an 11am appointment at Emphasis Salon in Rockwell today, with our (mine and N's) favourite senior stylist, Mary. She's the one who gave me all my pixie cuts before. I could tell she was somehow excited to do it again after so long.

Nervous ... nervous. I have to confess that when Mary started to cut, I wanted to cry a little.

Finally, after all that snipping, Mary said the length of the hair she chopped off was around 10-11 inches. Before I could ask, she brought up the idea of donating my locks. How cool is that??? Of course I said YES! Apparently, there is this guy who lives in Cebu, whom they are in touch with. It's his personal mission to create wigs using donated hair from the salon. The wigs go to foundations that in turn donate them to cancer patients.

Less than an hour after I sat down, tadaaaaaaaa! I can't believe how "light-headed" I felt haha! Mary did a good job, as expected. She has never disappointed us in all the years we've known her. 

So this is going to be my hairstyle until the time my hair starts to fall off (my Oncologist said, this usually happens 2 weeks after starting treatments). When that happens, I hope I'll be strong enough to deal with it. Plus I pray that when my hair grows back, it will look better than before! I've been told that the hair goes back to "virgin" state. I wonder what that feels like?

To sort of distract myself while Mary was cutting, I opted to get a mani-pedi and I came across an old "friend", Essie Jelly Apple. One of the nicest red shades I've ever used.

When I got home, I tried to fix my hair to see what other things I could do with it. I changed the part and got instant side-swept bangs. Not bad! Is this better than the way Mary fixed it at the salon? Atleast I know I have 2 options.

Sabine said she looooooooves my new hairstyle and it looks like Justin Bieber's hair. Hahaha! She is so adorable!!! (I think I'm liking this style better)

Best part of my day?  That's my suking masahista, Jane. It's been a while since I called her. Unfortunately, super bitin ako because I still can't lie on the bed face down. She had to massage my back while I sat on the bed. Not quite the same. 

I now feel so ready to enjoy the weekend, starting off with the La Salle-Ateneo game tomorrow afternoon. Yes, I asked permission from both my surgeons if I could watch "live" and they said go go! One of them though told me not to get all worked up. I know what she means hehehe! 

I'm glad I got this task over with and I have a little over a month to enjoy my new cut. 

Have a fantastic weekend! God bless us all!

Feels Like Christmas

Please don't remind me that there are only X number of days to go before Christmas. I seriously don't know how I'm going to get any shopping done this year. I'll be starting my treatments soon and will have to really put a limit on the times I want to step out of the house, to avoid being exposed to germs.

But speaking of the holidays, it's been feeling that way because friends from everywhere have been sending me gifts, cards, whatever they can think of, to express their support. 

Other than this box of Red Velvet cupacakes, Sheyz also sent me home cooked pasta and cookies. Wow! So much food coming from just one person haha. 

This Caramel Cake from Estrel's was from the family of Sabine's pre-school best friend, Misha. Her parents, Mike and Sharie and siblings, Richard, Kelly and Wayne! 

I wish I could take a photo of each of the gifts I've received so far. I've also been given rosaries, mass enrolments, "get well soon" cards. It doesn't really matter what they give or whether they do. It's the thought behind each gift, each message, that really counts. 

Dear Lord, thank You for always making me feel your presence by sending your angels everyday!

It's Friday, people! Can you smell the weekend? 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Day That Didn't Start Right

I was looking forward to going back to The Medical City this morning because I was going to see my doctors. Dr Basa wanted to do an ultrasound on my axilla (errrrr sorry folks, sige na nga, kili kili) to check for any fluid retention. Dr Asedillo said she would take out the stitches on my tummy and, of course, check on the reconstructed breast as another follow up. 

We left the house at past 11am because the ultrasound was scheduled at noon. As we were making a left on Edsa from Shaw Blvd (north bound), we noticed many people making usyoso because obviously, something had happened in the Shaw Tunnel below. We wondered how bad it was because there were literally sooooo many people hanging around. I remember checking on my Twitter timeline but there was nothing there. A few minutes later, we were on the Ortigas Flyover. It all happened so fast. There was a motorcyle a few feet in front of us and then it stopped ... right in the middle of the road. It just stopped and it was too late for us to avoid it. Our driver jammed on the brakes but that didn't help. We ended up hitting the back part of the guy's motorcycle and the impact sent him flying then he landed on our car's hood. 

I was in total shock and on the verge of tears. It was scary and I had never seen anyone get hurt and so up close at that. I literally felt my heart jump! Anyway ... all's well that ends well. The guy on the bike was miraculously okay and he even appeased me and reassured me that he wasn't hurt. 

As soon as I got to the hospital, I immediately looked for Dr Basa because I was around 10 minutes late. She proceeded to check on me and when all that was done, she asked me to call N who was in the waiting area. Test results were out. These are the results we've been waiting for since the surgery 2 weeks ago. 

See that word? NEGATIVE. Wait. It really should be 


These phrases were just itching to blurted out. But I had to hold back because I was in the hospital and there were other patients outside. I could've jumped for joy, but my wounds are still here. N wanted to cry, in fact, I just know he did as soon as he had the chance to. I know I did ... while having lunch by myself in Pancake House. HAHAHA. Good thing the only available table was in one quiet corner, away from most of the customers. 

The day is about to end and I'm still overwhelmed. I happily told Anissa about it tonight and told her to say a prayer of thanks before she goes to sleep. I, on the other hand, said my "thank yous" even before I left the hospital after visiting 3 doctors today. 

Yes, I met the Oncologist referred to me by Dr Basa and yes, I liked her. Moving forward! 

Let me just end my day (and this post) by saying this ... 

Since this journey started, I have not just felt but seen God work through family, friends, my doctors, the nurses who took care of me during my confinement, even strangers. He has never left my side. He has answered all my prayers without conditions, despite all of my shortcomings. I've been humbled from the start and I'm truly thankful for all that I've gone through so far. 

I'm far from the finish line because I need to do 6 cycles of chemotherapy starting next month. But now more than ever, I know that God is on my side. 

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your Divine Mercy and your infinite and perfect love!!! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Note To Self For Always

I wanted to share this. It's not original. It's actually a free blog button but I decided to copy the words and keep them in my phone as a reminder. 

Is your Monday being good to you? :) 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Know Your Lemons

This is so cute!

I decided that it should be my new Facebook cover photo as well as my Twitter background

How well do you know your lemons?

Here's more

Very creative and clever!


What Are The Odds and Thoughts on Chemo

Was going through my old blog entries just now and I came across one that I wrote years ago, in 2007. I talked about going to Cardinal Santos Hospital with Mama as she underwent a Bone Density test (or atleast that's what I recall). I sat in the reception area of the Cancer Wing while waiting for her to come out and saw a few chemo patients stepping out in bandanas and baseball caps. They probably came from their out-patient chemo sessions.

This piece was written on September 28, 2007 --- almost 5 years ago.

Who would think that I would one day be a chemotherapy patient myself? 


After my surgery, I told so many people about my lymph nodes having been found to be negative of cancer because the cancer didn't spread from my tumor. The tumor has since been taken out and my body is technically cancer-free. 

But when I mentioned chemotherapy sessions as a next step, people asked


I had an answer for all of those who asked, but I wanted to make sure I was also coming from a medical standpoint. In other words, I wanted to make sure I was giving out the CORRECT reply. So yesterday, during my follow-up check-up with Dr Aldine Basa, I requested her for an answer.

Here is the official reply to the million-Peso question: 

If a patient's tumor is more than 1 centimeter in size, the patient is always recommended to undergo chemotherapy after surgery. Why? The bigger the size of the tumor, the bigger the possibility of a recurrence WITHOUT chemotherapy. 

My tumor was 4 centimeters big. Need I say more? 

My initial thoughts on chemotherapy? 

I'm quite nervous about it. First of all, I don't enjoy having a needle stuck through my vein. It hurts, even if my doctors say my tolerance for pain is high. I'm not scared of needles, I just don't like the idea of an IV because the experience is not brief. Another thing I'm not quite sure of is how I'm going to feel when my hair starts to fall. Some have told me, I should consider cutting my hair short now, weeks before chemo starts. That way, when it starts to fall, it could be less painful (emotionally of course) because I'll see a lot less hair than if I were to go into chemo with my hair length now. I think it makes sense. But someone told me, wait until after the first session maybe? Because normally the hair doesn't fall 'til after that. I don't know. I'm confused. I don't really want to think about it so much yet. 

My wounds aren't even completely healed. First things first! 

Enjoy what's left of the weekend and have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, September 22, 2012


6 is the number of women (mostly friends) who have reached out to me to let me know that they're going to have their breasts checked from now on. YAY!!!

I'm not going to turn hard core preacher about getting annual mammograms, because I know how irritating that is. Nothing and no one was able to convince me to have my breasts checked. Ultimately, it's really the person's choice. I can only hope that the women in my circle (especially those who are predisposed to breast cancer) will be inspired --- or scared haha --- enough to take the next important step towards early detection. 

This photo is so funny but so true! 

I hope we all have an awesome and uneventful weekend! 

Excited to watch the UAAP Cheerdance Competition on TV later! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

SPAritual's In Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Collection

This arrived right before I checked into the hospital. I got so excited when I opened the box because the brand SPARITUAL is something I've tried a few times and I love that it's natural and organic.

Thanks, Pammy, the nail polish Queen! I am so humbled haha! No, seriously this really made me tear up *sniff sniff*. You are so thoughtful and sweet! :) 

Today, I finally got to use one of these 2 shades from SPARITUAL's In Pink for  Breast Cancer Awareness Collection. Left : Laughing in Pink and Right : Loving in Pink. Can you guess which one I chose? 

I had a well-deserved and badly-needed home service manicure, pedicure and 30-minute tension release massage (on my feet and legs) c/o Celebrity Nails today. I've forgotten how good this feels. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get to doze off like I normally do, because I couldn't stretch out on the La-Z Boy. Not good for the stitches on the tummy. :(  I enjoyed every bit of the massage nonetheless.

It took a few seconds for me to decide which of the two shades to pick

I went for Laughing in Pink. LOVE IT!!!

I wish I had somewhere special to go haha. The metallic finish is sooooo pretty and is perfect for an evening affair, formal or otherwise. 

Thanks again, Pammy!!! Much love back! 

(Yup, she is the addict behind Polish Police )

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why Guyabano?

I've never been a huge fruit fan. The only fruit I can eat a lot of in one sitting is the ripe mango. Other than that, the lanzones or santol, but only on occasion. Would you believe that at my age, I've never even tasted Guyabano before? So when people started telling me I should include it in my diet from now on, I was intrigued. I knew NOTHING about this fruit. NOTHING. 

I haven't had the chance to research until now. Mostly because I'm on bed arrest and I have nothing else to do. I might as well use all this free time wisely and prepare myself for the lifestyle change that's waiting to happen!

The guyabano is actually being compared to chemotherapy in the way it treats cancer cells. You wonder how that could be, right? According to this article by Nelly Favis-Villafuerte in the Manila Bulletin, there are studies that prove that the "compound extracted from the guyabano is 10,000 times more potent in slowing the growth of cancer cells, than adriamycin, a commonly-used drug in chemotherapy."

So this is why so many people have messaged me privately about it! I can't believe I've been so ignorant about this fruit's benefits. Since I have two daughters and they can get breast cancer in the future, I should start teaching them to eat guyabano, too. 

Bet a lot of you were in the dark about this like I was? 

I've already told all my friends about this. Why wait to be diagnosed? 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Good Morning, I'm Home!

Today, I woke up to very familiar surroundings. The smell of my Daphne Home Scent (Lemon Tart), the sound of N's snoring, the light moans and groans of the two girls as they were getting up to get ready for another school day. I didn't have all of these for a week. 

In the hospital, it was the guy who delivered my breakfast, the nurse who would come in to take my blood pressure and temperature or drain my "grenades" (as the nurses would call them) or the residents who checked on my wounds, who would greet me "Good morning, Ma'am".

I still have to stay in bed for the most part. But I don't mind being on bed arrest, if it means that in a few days my wounds will be okay and I feel a lot less handicapped. My left arm is pretty useless at the moment. I'm too scared to move it so much. Even walking to the bathroom is done in slow motion. Not gonna risk anything. I just really, really want to feel 100% well again!

While I really cherished all the TLC I was given at The Medical City, there really is no place like home.

Thank you, Lord, for waking me up today and for allowing me to start my day surrounded by loving faces and familiar surroundings.

PRAISE GOD I'm home!!! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Meet My Super Surgeons

It's about time I wrote about these two highly-skilled ladies who've been with me on this journey.

I am so glad my OB-Gyne (Dr. Angela Sison-Aguilar) referred me to Dr. Aldine Basa, Breast Surgeon. Dr. Aldine is also my OB's patient and without batting an eyelash, the latter told me to see her ASAP after I showed her my breast lump on the afternoon of August 13th. By the afternoon of the next day, I was in Dr. Aldine's clinic at The Medical City, and the rest is history.

During one of my consultations with her, Dr. Aldine mentioned reconstructive surgery as an option and  said I should talk to Dr. Catherine (Yen) Asedillo if I would like to further explore.

Dr. Aldine's specialty is Breast Surgery. Clinical focus is on cancer and tumors. Procedure focus : billiary surgery, breast surgery, colorectal cancer surgery, endoscopic surgery, laparoscopic surgery, pancreatic surgery, spleen surgery. (Source : In 2004, she trained in the Peter Mac Callum Cancer Center in Melbourne, Australia where she took a fellowship in breast cancer surgery. In 2005, she went to Milan, Italy to do another fellowship at the San Raffaele Hospital.

Dr. Yen's speciality is Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with expertise in plastic surgery/aesthetic, reconstructive, burn surgery. (Source: She did a fellowship in Breast Reconstructon at the National University Hospital in Singapore from 2006-2007.

Both have helped me a great deal in understanding breast cancer more. They've been very generous with their knowledge and experience with other patients. I really, really needed to know many of the things they shared to me. I researched a bit and came up with my own list of questions to ask. But they made it so much easier for me by tackling all issues one by one. I don't remember feeling doubtful or fearful about entrusting my well-being to either of them. Each consultation reinforced my decision to go with them. 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm a firm believer in being led to certain people for a reason. In my opinion, it can go two ways : people are either in your life to bring you pain (and you emerge stronger from experience and from the lessons you take with you) or to be a blessing to you in a very positive way. 

I prayed hard for discernment in choosing my doctors. I wanted guidance from up there because I trusted wholeheartedly in His plan for me from the very beginning. So when connections to Dr. Aldine and Dr. Yen kept popping up from everywhere, I knew that was God's way of telling me, "You're looking at the right people!" Even after the surgery, the connections continued to present themselves. Like God was telling me, "O ano, I told you so!" It is such a blessing to be reassured this way!

Here's something you need to know. It's your right, as a patient, to choose your doctor/s based on a number of things. In my case, the first thing I did was to look for information on Drs. Aldine and Yen online. I found so many, including some press releases in broadsheets and popular glossies. Armed with all the information I had and my GUT FEEL, I decided that these were the doctors I wanted for the job.  Why my gut? It's always a huge part of any decision-making process I find myself in. It may not be the same for other people, but I've never made any major wrong choices whenever I consider my innermost feelings. One of my guiding principles has always been : when in doubt, DON'T. Yes, that applies even when I'm out shopping har har!

Oh and can I just say that these awesome doctors are younger than me?!
Thank you so much, Dr Aldine and Dr Yen! You both rock!!!

Dr Aldine Basa, Breast Surgeon
Dr Catherine (Yen) Asedillo, Plastic Surgeon
P.S. Both have clinics at The Medical City, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'm Back!!!

Oh my God, I can't tell you how good it feels to be back in circulation again! I've attempted a few times to check on my Twitter and FB accounts and my blog but the drugs have really kept me from doing much. I loved being drugged right after the surgery because I couldn't feel any pain and was asleep most of the time. But when my mind began to work again, it felt awful that the rest of my body refused to cooperate and was still "high". I hated it so much!

Today, 3 days since the mastectomy and the reconstructive surgery, is the first time I woke up feeling closest to normal. Very minimal dizziness and much of my appetite has returned. I had a tuna omelette for breakfast, a Krispy Kreme honey glazed donut for dessert (bad move, it gave me an itchy throat and I had to cough gahhhh!), daing na bangus and egg for lunch and my first cup of Starbucks brewed coffee since I entered the hospital Tuesday night. The only thing that's not back to normal are my movements. I can't move properly just yet because my wounds have not healed of course. I'm asked to walk when I can, which I do (to the bathroom and back hehehe), but to not stand up straight to avoid stretching my skin too much. 

All in all, it's been really really good and although the pathology report post-surgery still confirmed the breast cancer (it only means this is really God's will for me), the good news is ...


Despite the 4 centimeter tumor that the surgeon excised from my left breast, all my lymph nodes came out negative for cancer! The cancer stayed put and didn't move! That means there's been no metastasis at all and therefore, I won't need radiation! In fact, from the initial stage 2B, they've now brought the stage down to 2A. That was really music to my ears!!! Most especially the part where the surgeon told me my nodes were all negative, still clean. I look at this as a miracle, an answered prayer. She says I'm really, really lucky that the cancer was so "behaved". 

It gives me added hope and now I can't wait to find out what the Oncologist has to say about chemo treatments and everything that has to do with preventive maintenance. 

But first things first, I'm itching to go home to complete my recovery process!!!

I'm so makulit but I have to be. To all those who have included me in their daily prayers, 

This photo was taken today, 3 days post surgery. And yes, I had to do my kilays hahaha!
As you can see, there is power in numbers. I received good news from my surgeon because your prayers were all heard. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

3 Hours To Go!

Hello everyone. Can't say much except that I've been in the hospital since last night. Surgeries happen at 11am and will take 8 hours.

I can't type much because this thing is a total b*tch. I've forgotten how much this hurts. Lucky for me, my nurse was good and it took just one attempt. Applause!

Not nervous yet. Hopefully they won't have to shoot me with a sedative later.

I let it all loose last night before I fell asleep. I hope that's that for now. 

I really really miss my Dad.

I'll be back as soon as I can!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Check-In? No, Noy-Pi!

Hehehe sorry, I couldn't resist! 

Yes, I'm checking into the hospital today. Tonight, to be specific. I don't want to hang out in a hospital room the whole day and my surgeons told me I don't really have to be there until right after dinner time. They told me to have a decent dinner outside with the family before checking myself in. 

I'm really going to do it! Parang it was just yesterday when I sat in my OB-Gyne's clinic to have her take a look at the lump I discovered that morning. It's been a whirlwind to tell you honestly. But I've survived it so far and I can only pray for continued strength and peace! 

I'm a bit sad that I have to leave the kids at home for a while. Ang OA, buti nalang pala I'm not going to China like I previously considered. I can't imagine being away from them for 12 days! I'll only be gone 4 days (5 max) and I know that God will strengthen me for the big day tomorrow. 

In the meantime, I need to make a last-minute stop at the cardiologist today and then FINALLY go to the salon to have my roots retouched. Don't laugh! I've been wanting to do this and I made tiis this long because I wanted it done the day before the surgery talaga

I'm not vain. I'm just OC about looking presentable :) 

I hope no strong rains today, please!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sabine Loves to Write

Actually, both my girls do. But Anissa is a lot less expressive with her feelings. Sabine, on the other hand, is the really opinionated one. She also is not afraid to tell you how she feels, good or bad. Many times, she likes to put it all down on paper. 

She gave me this yesterday and I'm thinking, this is probably her way of coping with the anxiety of knowing that I'll be away for a few days. Every now and then, she would ask me, 
"Mommy, how many more days 'til you go inside the hospital?" Awwwww.

Anissa totally understands that I won't be around during her exam week. She's 16, knows how to study by herself and can get by without my help ( she would have to teach me so I can teach her, that's what she said hahaha). 

I'm feeling a bit anxious myself. I haven't been away from my family for about 2 years, since I quit being a working Mom and decided to stay at home. It's going to be the longest 4 days of my life (hopefully, no more than that) and I'm praying for strength! 

Am I Ready for Surgery?

It's all happening in two days.  September 12, Wednesday, 11am. 

Actually, I should say surgerIES because I'll have 2 at the same time. Wait! I'll have 2 surgical procedures AND 1 non-surgical procedure. What?! 

I'm just "acting" surprised, of course. N and I gave the go-signal to do all of these in one go so that I won't have to go under the knife on separate occasions. 

The first procedure will be the Skin Sparing Mastectomy. Some of you might be queasy about reading how this is done so I won't elaborate. Google if you want :) 

During this time, my breast surgeon will carefully remove all the crap (I mean the lump) and hand it over to the pathologist to be studied. It's going to take ONE WHOLE WEEK for the pathologist to come up with a final report. This part really sucks because in other more advanced countries, it really doesn't take this long. The waiting adds to the stress. I'm going to have to pray really hard that I can focus on getting better and not on the results. 

Going back ... my breast surgeon will also do a Sentinel Lymph Nodes biopsy. It's important to know whether the nodes have been compromised (in layman's terms, that means if the cancer has spread outside the breast). According to the 2nd opinion I got on August 27 , my nodes are still clean.

So, please help me pray that this is still the case! It will matter so much, knowing that the cancer is still all in the LEFT breast so far (the right breast was declared clean after I had my breast ultrasound). 

When the breast surgeon is done with the mastectomy, the reconstructive surgeon takes over and does her thing. It's called a Tram Flap Reconstruction (again, just Google hehe). 

I'll be in the operating room for a total of 8 hours. Some people were shocked to know this (myself included). The longest I've been under anesthesia is during my C-section in 1996. But I do understand that these are back-to-back procedures I'm having. 3 hours for the mastectomy and 5 hours for the reconstruction. Sheesh, I can't imagine talaga going under the knife for vanity purposes. No offense meant to anyone who has done so or is planning on doing so. 

And there you have it! But wait, I didn't answer my question hahaha!

Am I ready? I guess I am, in the sense that I really want to get this over with. It's actually the first major and probably the most important step I'm going to take. I won't deny though that I'm a bit nervous. I need to really ask the Lord to take the feeling away.

I can't say "thank you" enough to everyone who has reached out to me and told me that they haven't stopped praying. More prayers will come my way this Wednesday. Some have also asked for the names of my surgeons, including the anaesthesiologist, so they can be prayed for and lifted up to the Lord as well. Yay! I have said many times how prayers have really done their job for me so far. That's why I am soooooooo grateful for all that's been said for me. 

May all of you have a good week ahead! God bless us all! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Beautiful Prayer

It is the hardest thing to do. But it always makes you feel better when you do it.

Give THANKS even when life is beating the sh*t out of you

Thank you Lord for all the trials, they bear lessons that deepen my faith in You.

Thank you Lord for my suffering, they bring me close to Your suffering and unite me more with others who suffer as well.

Thank you for prolonged waitings, these allow me to practice patience and a greater trust in You.

Thank you for my friends and family, they either test and purify me or help me bear my cross more lightly.

Thank you for Your grace, without which, I will stay in pain and misery all the days of my life.

Thank you for all the miracles and blessings, may I always praise, honor and adore Your Most Holy Name.

My Mom shared this prayer to me. Try reciting until you get used to it, even if you don't have an ongoing crisis as huge as mine. When you do pray it, try not to look all crushed. :) 

HAPPY SUNDAY TO ALL! God bless everyone of us. 

Hello Mammo!

So we finally met yesterday. The mammogram machine and I. I don't even know if that's what it's called BWAHAHA. I'm 8 years late. Why? Because there's a strong history of breast cancer on my Mom's side of the family. Yup, you should be extra concerned if it's on your mother's side. I should've started getting annual mammograms 8 years ago when I was 35. The usual starting age is 40, if you don't have family history. So there. Don't be like me, kids. I'm not a good example at all. 

Like many women I know, the reasons I didn't get myself checked are as follows : 

Everyone said it was painful
I was afraid of what the doctors might see
I simply didn't give a crap

Where do you think that got me? 

This is what greeted me when I walked into one of the Examination Rooms at the Breast Clinic of The Medical City. Was it overwhelming? Not really. It's huge but there were no first-time jitters for me, thank God. I was hell bent on doing this upon my surgeon's advice. 

Ten to fifteen minutes. That's how long I had to stand there. In fact, I didn't have to stand the whole time. The girls who took care of me and operated everything were so well-trained, I felt like royalty. They made me sit down every time they had to check the screen. During the procedure itself, when that entire block of metal slowly goes down to press on your breast, the technician's soothing voice is there to tell me it's not going to take too long and that she's sorry for the inconvenience and discomfort. 

I left the hospital feeling just a tad bit regretful. This was what I had been postponing and taking for granted all this time. It was so easy and didn't feel like a burden at all to do. Why didn't I do it any sooner? If I did, would I have breast cancer today? Water under the bridge. I'm not the type to cry over spilled milk. So I got rid of that shitty feeling right away. No way, I wasn't going to be sad about this. 

It's all in the past and I need to just keep moving forward so that I can be well again. 

Also, when I use the words "sick", "illness" I hope people are not thinking I'm lying in bed at home, being served my meals in the comfort of my bedroom, not being able to go to the bathroom by myself or anything like that. NO I am not debilitated. The cancer is in my breast, not anywhere else. It's also in its early stage. I think my senior relatives are under the impression that I'm in a pathetic state. Oh please! Hehehe!!!

How much does a mammogram cost? - approximately P3,000 (at The Medical City it's P2,700)
How often do you need a mammogram? - once a year if there is no history of breast cancer

Health is wealth!  Don't be a stubborn mule like me!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Apartment 1B with Friends

This was one overdue meet-up/get-together. These girls have been wanting to take me out ever since Daddy was cremated. We finally did it over lunch yesterday. But because we waited too long, we had one more reason to see one another. 

I've only eaten in Apartment 1B once and in the old branch. Is that in Salcedo or Legaspi Village? I can't even recall. Anyway ... the one in One Rockwell looks so much more cozy. I didn't take much photos because this really isn't a review of the place or the food. I don't need to do that because I don't know anyone who doesn't love Apartment 1B. 

Prayer Warriors uhmmmmm ex-Globe Division? 
But one of them still works there hahaha. Yes, I worked in Globe for a good 4 years --- 4 of the most stressful YET insightful years of my corporate career. Maridol, Ailene and I (and many others) had countless smoke breaks together ... our way of taking breathers from the demands of telco work. Sorry, I'm digressing. Back to Apartment 1B.

Here's what I decided to eat

French Onion Soup --- OMG can I just say this is one of the best I've had in a very long time. All that gooey, sticky cheese on top literally took me to heaven! 

My main course --- Vongole, so perfect! My plate was so clean, it looked like I licked everything off of it. Nakakahiya!!! Hahaha!!!

My kids, especially Anissa who has grown-up taste in food, will love it here. 

And yes, other than the delicious food, what I loved most about this place is that it goes down in history as the place where all three of us gathered for the first time in years 


High Five, friendships!!!