“They look like butts, mom.”

“No they don’t.”

“Yes, they do. Even Charlene says so,” pointing to his sister who lays in the couch with wet was cloth on her forehead.

She has a fever from the flu. Barely opening her eyes she looks at the bread on the table with a smile on her face.

They are tan and soft. If only some body parts are easy to reconstruct like this. But, hey, butt-looking or not, they taste heavenly good.

Remember the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter ad with the melting “buttery” spread and steaming hot bread served up in heaven?

Can you tell I am feeling good? Good bye flu. And leave my daughter too.

Summer Fun

Still with a wig. Yup. What am I doing here? Watching the kiddos fish in our camping trip.




It is still too hot around the house. The small air conditioner helped a bit to bring down the general indoor temperature to at least five degrees. With the aid of electric fans in every room, we (my daughter and son) survive. I still go head-naked in the house. I am sure, my one-inch-however-very-thin-on- top hair does not help with the heat under my wig. More layers, ha?


I am still getting used to being cancer free. My chest are finally healed, stitches are out from nipple reconstruction, YAY. Weird, but those (the nipples) matter to me, they actually made me feel more complete. Kinda shallow, huh? Sometime I will get my tattoo for areolas.


If anyone here will get theirs done, make sure all the stitches get taken out. I had to go back one time because one remained. The thread used was very small, even with magnifiers, it can be missed. Just watch closely. You don’t want it to stay there and get stuck forever.

The Post Chemo Life


Sushi for me after chemo took it away from me!

Yesterday, Paul and I had our usual once-in-a-week weekday lunch when he goes out from work to have lunch with me. What was new is I had sushi with real raw fish, something I craved but could not have around my chemotherapy treatments. My palate got satisfied but it is more than that. We celebrated my freedom from most of chemo’s side effects and restrictions. Well, my head still feel smooth as a peach with no sign of new hair growth yet, so does the rest of my body. But the metallic taste in my mouth left me for good, so did nausea and fatigue.


I plan to walk/jog the 10K Bolder Boulder again this year with my family. Sounds ambitious? Maybe but it gives me something to look forward to and to motivate myself to train everyday. The walk in the park with Snowball and auntie (yes, she is staying for a month not just a week) sound more encouraging to me. I tolerate the walk easily but jogging tires my calves so much, they ache after a few seconds. Oh well, I have a month to train until Memorial day.

In June I will have my nipples reconstructed in day surgery. The process may only take two hours with local anesthesia. Sounds simple enough. Later comes the tatooing of the areolas…On consultation last week, my plastic surgeon had me get up from lying position to see how well I sit up. I surprised him by using only one arm to sit up. This is very good after my abdominal incision post DIEP procedure (abdominal fat harvesting for breast reconstruction).

This is all for now. I type this post with my phone while trying to sleep. I thought I should share you my news. It has been a while. Good day to all!

B-Day, a Busy Day Brain-Fogged-Bone-Pain-Birthday Week

Walking around in the Foam Ball factory without the sun.

I thought I got away from bone pain this chemo round, but it has revisited me since yesterday. I refuse to take Tylenol this time in fear that it may hide my fever again. I can’t complain too much though. The pain is mild, not even half as bad compared to three weeks ago. I continue taking Claritin. I feel that it helps lessen the pain and I can continue with my activities to get my endorphins going.

When pain on my legs subsided yesterday, I joined the kids in the Foam Ball factory in Fun City. I did not touch any balls (germs). I doubt if those get cleaned. I walked around and watched my kids play. Yesterday was a short day in school. As part of my early birthday celebration, I took them out. This weekday, we avoided the weekend crowd, as my kids enjoyed the other attractions without waiting in line–a double bonus. The place is like a ghost town. I could count the kids present with my fingers.

Now, I have an issue with chemo brain fog too. I say the same stories over and over to the same people this week. To remedy or ease my brain deterioration, I exercise my brain by solving Sudoku puzzles. The “easy” version of the game sends me puzzled for a good half an hour but in the end I solve each one of them. I feel so proud and I wanted to show off my great brain work to my kids one day, until I realized I forgot the puzzle book on the the plastic surgeon’s desk. Grr….

My appointment with my plastic surgeon went well. The good news is my surgery is a great success. He wants to see me again for my areola tattooing after my rounds of chemo. He also said I can lift up to fifty pounds now which means I can resume working. I don’t know whether to celebrate or not because with my nature of work, I will be more exposed to bugs going back to my bedside nursing job. Oh well, I have to go back so I can afford to buy organic dairy. This controversy on hormone-related cancers and conventional pasteurized milk makes me nervous. I plan to buy mostly organic milk and milk products soon.

Speaking of chemo, I am now plagued with metallic taste in my mouth. I try to ignore it and eat different foods–Mongolian beef with veggies made to order yesterday, tempura–all-cooked sushi the other day, home cooked Philippine chicken adobo….The metallic taste bothers me. Nothing tastes the same. My nausea is not too bad though and I can still force myself to eat and drink without throwing up.

I can’t wait for my chemotherapy and its side effects to end.

Fair Trade

Why I need to teach my son the cost of food items

My son loves cookies. He likes pistachios too but not as much as cookies. I had to wait for Pistachios to go on sale and match it with a coupon so I can afford it which is why I just about died when he told me he traded it for a cheap oatmeal cookie. *sigh*

Here’s my financial situation. Now that: 1.) I haven’t worked for more than two months, and 2.) I have no confirmation on when I can come back due to two things–lifting requirement as a staff nurse (fifty pounds), and lifting restriction imposed by my plastic surgeon (fifteen pounds), I really have to watch my wallet. Providing solely to two growing small people does not help. Trying to eat healthier makes it even more challenging. I can’t buy all-organic if I want to. *another sigh*

Why didn’t my surgeon warn me about the long lifting restriction before surgery? I will ask him on my next appointment. I knew after DIEP breast reconstruction, I am at risk for abdominal hernia but I did not know about the very strict precautions I have to adhere to. I guess I have to nurse this hip-to-hip-supposedly-completely-healed belly incision for a bit more. No moving the couch to vacuüm, no shoveling big piles of snow (only little ones), and no carrying heavy hamper of laundry. Wait, is the last more than fifteen pounds?

Now that I let my frustration out, I can think about more fun things. I get to have a free photo shoot and professional make up at home. I and two other cancer warriors will pose and receive complimentary photos. Sweet. But that won’t be until tomorrow in the afternoon, after I get my second round of chemo in the morning.

I will take my kids in tow to my appointment at the chemotherapy clinic. They want to see how it is, what I go through–from the needle pokes to the drug administration. I will get an excuse for them to miss school. It will be a learning experience. Maybe they will  have more compassion when they see me in that environment,  sitting there with other patients who look sicker and more tired than I do.

So, I should go to bed now, right? A long day awaits me. I need my beauty sleep. The darn steroid keeps me hyper though. Perhaps it’s time I can use a sleep aid.. Hmm, a cup of chamomile tea?