Peace and New Beginning


This was Paul last night with his head buried in his laptop too busy to notice the shot until Clique, he jumped. Ha-ha. I wondered if he came here to visit me  *achoo* or to get free Wi-Fi and continue on with his work after  coming from “work, ” I thought OUT LOUD.

You see those white flowers in front of him? I saved those from the Christmas flowers he got me last year. Only two survived from the big bunch. It has been almost a month. The season seems so long ago. I still do have a few ornaments to be put away though. The “Peace” stocking hook is still up among them, silver-shiny ornament I am in no hurry to put down. The first year that came up above the window was last 2009, the first season without the father of my children. That was the first beginning of healing chapter of my life, and yet the “end” of non repairable dysfunctional marriage. It reminds me of my freedom every time I look at it. A big rock got lifted off my chest.


Later I will show you my indoor gardening experiment. I have been eating green onions from my kitchen. A few weeks ago, I planted green onion roots from scrap and they have been continuously producing greens for me ever since. My other project is a fail–my first Aero garden I bought used from Craigslist. It came with unopened herb kit. I followed the directions, and a month later, three out of seven produced  half inch seedlings. I am not waiting for those to get better any longer. Out, I pulled them. I replaced them with Burpee lettuce seeds three days ago. Today, 7 out of 7 pods showed multiple promising seedlings already. Early success.

Inspired, I put some tomato and basil leaves in a wet paper towels to start seedlings. I put up my hanging planter for my future up-side-down tomato planter for inspiration–the future home of indoor cherry tomatoes. Sounds ambitious? Maybe. It is too cold to plant outside. All this experiments have to survive my tiny kitchen with the help of artificial lights from one Aero garden. We shall see. Will my edible hobby be a success in the next few weeks?

Maybe now that I get my brain busy enough with activities I find fulfilling, I get my brain exercised in a way that improves my forgetfulness. Just today, I cannot recall if my next plastic surgeon appointment is Thursday or Friday. I remember it to be four thirty but what day? Urgh my chemo brain.



There’s an Xbox in My Van Trunk

It usually makes me laugh, my forgetfulness. But the other day, I could not remember something important, I almost cried.

You see, I took my son’s Xbox and locked it in the van so he could not get it out. For what reason? I could not remember days later. Embarrassed and frustrated, I asked Paul. I knew I did it to discipline my child but what, why, how, and how long do I keep it from him? Teary eyed, I was really trying to recall, but I couldn’t. Chemo brain forgetfulness is not always funny.

Paul reminded me that I did it because my son has trouble getting up on time for school. I suspected he played games late at night so I took the console away. That was just a few days ago. Perhaps I should write down in my planner why I did what I did for moments like this.

Turn It On

I had been waiting for the water to boil for ten minutes, then I realize, perhaps it would help to turn the stove on first. Darn chemo brain.


Finally, the water boils.

What’s for dinner? Spaghetti made with half whole wheat, meatballs, marinara sauce, and green and yellow bell peppers. To add sweetness, ala-Filipino style, I added some agave nectar.

Breast Cancer Diaries


I had my last neupogen shot this chemo round. My blood pressure reads normal, my pulse not too fast, and my shortness of breath seized. What more? My stomach calmed down. I haven’t heard about my stool test yet but I feel good now. After my shot, I picked up a few groceries–organic milk, almond chocolate milk, Greek yogurt, organic hot dog buns, and hot dogs. OK, I gotta have hot dogs once in a while. It has been two months since I had them last.

Then I tried to pick up the CDs I put on hold at the local library. Only, they were not there. I found out, I put them on hold via online to another library across town. My chemo brain. So I had to drive there and was surprised they were all in DVD format, not CDs that I can listen to while I do chores or drive. My goodness. I watched one while I unpack the groceries and prepare dinner. Have you seen Breast Cancer Diaries? I like her–Ann Murray. She is so much like me as far as her moods, and being true to her feelings. I could see how she tried to balance family life and be models to her kids without hiding the fact that like a normal woman, behind smiles and humor, she gets emotional too. One day she’s smiling pretty with a wig, another time she looks like a bald cancer patient with a serious look on her face.

Speaking of pretty, Cheryl Ungar, the photographer made me feel beautiful when she took pictures of me last month. Please see the link on a blog about me and other women touched by breast cancer.

Back to Work


One of several pictures Cheryl took of me and my family. My dog, Snowball, tried to steal the show, sneaking in a number of shots.

I survived my going back to work after two and a half months of staying home on medical leave. A little rusty, I started my first shift getting locked out of the computer system trying to get in with wrong passwords. Does it start with an A or a C? How long is it? I could not remember. Later, I recalled I wrote it down somewhere so I finally could open patients’ charts and begin my evening. My chemo brain.


The first two hours of listening to sounds and alarms of different pitch and frequencies gave me a headache which was quickly relieved with food I ate from the potluck. This potluck I did not know about. Nobody notified me so I could contribute. Apparently, my coworkers put this together because it was another coworkers last evening working nights and my first day of work. How nice! We had crunchy green salad, chips and layered cheesy dip, mint cupcakes, two other cakes, and nutty ice cream. Good thing I brought some lactaid pills with me. My lactose intolerant tummy did not have to suffer after the feast.


Coworkers gave me their warm-hugs WELCOME. It felt good to be back the first three evenings. I feel strong as ever as these days fall on my best days before another round of chemo. Tonight I will start another three shifts in a row, and then my chemo morning follows without rest from work. I expect to sleep through the whole visit. At least, I don’t have to watch the toxic chemo run though my vein.


Paul will try to get a day off from his new job to go with me. My good friend Roxanne plans to come along too. I might have two support people going with me and watch me sleep. Ha-ha.


I received my photographs on CD from Cheryl Ungar Photography. Cheryl is a breast cancer survivor herself who owns the Wedding Pink. Every month, she takes complimentary pictures of three patients or survivors in my area to make women like me feel special. On her side is Natosha Cooke, the make up artist who applied my make-up at no cost. God bless these generous women for taking time with me and my family.


Someday, I will give back somehow to the community of cancer patients. Maybe I will knit hats for bald patients going through chemotherapy? I can knit hats on my spare time.