I CRIED

cancer in asia
Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash

 

You may think I am much tougher after beating cancer.

You may think…

I never break down.

I still cry.

I cried.

I howled

Perhaps you, too,

There are times you have to cry, too.

I cry.

I cry.

I cry.

I don’t wanna stop crying.

Until I will be fine again.

For days.

For weeks.

For months.

Until I have to cry again.

It’s a cycle.

I write about pain.

I write about depression.

I write about my love.

My unconditional love for those who are willing to receive.

I said I don’t need that love to be returned.

But, sometimes, I feel like I wish it will be returned, too.

Somehow.

Yes, it was.

Yes, it is.

Glad for the friends who I have now.

Glad for a sister that shows unconditional love.

Glad for old friends who also did the same.

And leave precious and useful memories.

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

A blogger is just a human.

A writer has real emotions.

A cancer survivor is like another superhero who drop its sword and cry like a child.

Because, deep inside, this hero that beats cancer — is also a child.

We’re Feeling Feelings Every Day

The feeling may be fleeting. Here's one second then it's gone.
The feeling may be fleeting. Here’s one second then it’s gone.

It’s just the way that you’re feeling now. It might just change somehow.

So, I was inspired today to write this article about feelings. After publishing two more interviews recently, I always think to offset from one blog to another. Like after writing a kind of downcast personal story, another lighthearted article must follow. I don’t want my audience to feel so abounding by keep bringing out survivors’ story.

So how did I come up with this topic? I was in the middle of my class with my preschool students and played a YouTube video about emotions. I was caught up between the lyrics of the song, which of course I am gonna share some parts of the lyrics with you.

I’m happy, she’s mad.
I’m a boy, she’s a girl.
And this is the world.
I’m hungry, he’s thirsty.
I’m sick, and he’s tired.
He’s a boy, I’m a girl.
And this is the world.

You get happy, you get sad.
You get angry, you get mad.
You go to bed, then you wake up.
You might be just OK.
It’s just the way that you’re feeling now.
Wait a while.
It might just change somehow.

It’s just the way that you’re feeling.
The feeling may be fleeting.
Here’s one second then it’s gone.
We’re feeling feelings every day.
We’re experiencing emotions along the way.
Some are good and some are bad.
Some wish you never had.

But, hey!
That’s just the way we’ve got to play.

If all of us could realize, how amazing the ability of the children to extend their hope to every adult, their happiness, and their potential to adapt to change with ease. These children have the desire to live, to know and they are the perfect example of daily entertainment.

As a preschool teacher, I had witnessed how my adorable kids in the classroom manage to alter a negative feeling into a positive one. When someone gets angry, a simple hug could easily relieve their feelings. There are so many lessons to learn from them, if you just could realize this, you might wish to go back to being a little more like them!

I list down some keen observation about my preschool students for a year that we are together:

  1. None of them are afraid of new happenings.
    Have you ever felt sorry about the things that you are supposed to do but never did it ever? Don’t let yourself get caught with the phrase “what if…”. It’s always better to regret what you’ve done than what you haven’t done. It’s always better to fail than to doubt.
  2. They are always curious.
    Newton was curious and discovered gravity. Well, we don’t have to be like Newton, though. But being curious about learning new things like the children do leads towards self-fulfillment. Discovering new places to visit is one, for example.
  3. Carpe Diem!
    In other words, seize the day! Children don’t let the moment slip away; instead, they take advantage of each moment.
    Take advantage of the good times, the bad ones will change somehow. The next day will be fine. Live, enjoy and take advantage of your time!
    When you are sick or lost a loved one, you might notice how much time you took for granted. Everything is moving quickly and we should be aware of that.
  4. They love fearlessly.
    The older we get, the more scared we are to fall in love. Well, maybe for some reasons, we need to consider that our emotions as an adult always comes along with a responsibility.
    But, why are we so afraid of love? For children, they simply love, there’s nothing more to it. They never think of tomorrow that their friends at school will be just simply a memory when they become adult. They just what they have today!
    To be in love or to love is one of the most beautiful things in life, but sometimes, we are afraid of rejection, suffering or betrayal. And we never realize that everything passes even the rejection, suffering and betrayal. But when you are happy with being in love, no one can take that away from you.
  5. They can easily adapt to change.
    A new student came in our class recently and eventually, everything went okay. Children are really expert in embracing change. Isn’t it “change” always restore and improve our life?
  6. They don’t worry about what others think or say.
    While the young children are not bothered what others think or say, adults are too sensible of the people that surround them. We never think what we want, listen to our heart and act according to how we are.
  7. They always get excited.
    Children never stop getting excited about things and experiences that they have every day. Sadly, when they grow up, this tends to change. What if we never stop getting excited like a child over a new career, new love, a new friendship, your achievements (no matter how big or small it is), or the little things that happen every day.
  8. They know what fun is and they have FUN.
    Forget all the fears and prejudgment of what your negative thoughts tell you or other people will say about you. Fun is fun! Children enjoy themselves, laugh as hard as they could and have fun because they don’t mind what other people will say about them, even their teachers in the classroom – really (I’m smirking now…well)!
  9. They express themselves honestly.
    We often don’t speak freely, that is why sometimes other people get depressed. We are afraid of being rejected, our words or ideas will be turned down. We instead choose what to say what other people wanted to hear until we ended up not feeling good inside.
    Like a child, it is liberating to express oneself honestly.
  10. They don’t know everything.
    As we all know that children are curious because they simply don’t know everything.
    For adults, whether someone as a CEO, a teacher or even a parent, acknowledging of being naive in some sort of things actually makes your personal relationship stronger to other people where you can spend time listening and also improves your performance in whatever field you are working because you always want to learn and to improve.
  11. They ask random questions and never felt afraid or embarrassed.
    Sometimes we are afraid to ask questions because someone will criticize us, call us stupid or ignorant. But, not really! Asking question to other people shows humbleness and willingness to learn. So, go ahead, ask some questions!
  12. They are RELAXED! They don’t force things.
    The last but not the least, are you sometimes wondering why do these children seem so relaxed?
    When children are tired, they sleep, everywhere. Sounds easy for them right? But too complicated for us. We tend to force things and ended up suffering with chronic stress. Just take a breath, there are things that cannot be controlled nor how people react to the things you do.As an author of this blog, I try to keep all the articles as positive as I could. It doesn’t matter to me how my articles will be well-accepted by everyone, what matters to me is, how I create a positive impact on my audience. And to be honest, I am not quite sure, too if I could follow these observations I got from my kids at school. But, why not? Let’s be a child again and never lose our passion to live life and enjoy!

**This article is simply based on what I had observed from my preschool students. I disclaim that as an adult, life will be as perfect as a child. This is just a recommendation and reminder while you are yet or now feeling gloomy or hopeless. Hope it does help.

How does this article resonate with you? Share your thoughts, leave a comment below!

Photo courtesy of Lesly Juarez on Unsplash.com.

If We Don’t Stop Worrying, We Will Die

Continue reading If We Don’t Stop Worrying, We Will Die

The Song

Photo by Silvestri Matteo on Unsplash

I’ll be in the sun,
The wind and in the rain.

I’ll be in the air
You breathe every day.

I’ll be the humming sound
Of the gentle breeze from the sea.

I’ll be in the clouds above
And will listen to the whisper words
Of your unfailing love.

We’ll be together before long,
Just keep listening to the song.

When Doing Nothing Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Today

“It’s Friday and I hate to do anything.” ~Messy C

Friday, 20th October, I’m still at work and I feel so lazy. It’s been a week I wrote my last blog and it’s Friday, I haven’t written anything yet. I’m lazy to think what to blog, to research or brainstorm. Lazy to do more lesson plans for the next few weeks.

It’s not there are nothing to do for today; in fact, there are lots of things to do. It’s just like my mind tells me not to do anything. I make no plans for the weekends, no agendas planned ahead, nothing. And it’s great!

Sometimes, doing nothing is great!

I’m not encouraging laziness in this article. I’m somehow encouraging of giving oneself a break proactively. Stop what you’re doing. Stop what you’re thinking. Stop what you’re planning ahead. The truth is, what most of my friends think about me is that I am a very organized person. Since they had known me organizing events for a year or so, all those times that they had thought that I sort out things well. I do, and sometimes, I don’t. Sometimes I am so messy, my brain is cluttered, a little muddled. Sometimes the messiness of my brain helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

When I feel like I don’t want to do anything, it means, it’s a pleasure I give to myself. I’m in my 30s now and it’s a perfect period of being a young adult compare when I was in my 20s. Like many of us, we are taught since we were young the definition of success is working hard from dawn to dusk. And many of us, won’t stop toiling until they won’t reach the success – financially or materially.

Now, let’s go back to doing nothing. I’m lazy and I intend not to do anything. I don’t want to think of anything or anyone. Mental blank, but not mental block. Why and what pleasure gives me of doing nothing? Here are the “not guilty pleasures”:

  1. My brain is grateful if I stop thinking of anything.
  2. I become mindful of myself first and the rest, to anyone or to anything.
  3. I become a “human-being” from being a “human-doing’ (we’re not robots).
  4. I enjoy my quiet moment (sometimes with a music is fine).
  5. I skip responsibilities (Yay! That makes me happy, indeed).
  6. I can rest (it’s magical).
  7. Adulting is hard (so I’m making it easy by doing nothing).
  8. I can find again my creativeness whether at work as a teacher or working on my blog.
  9. Doing nothing is not being nothing, but being something (neuroscientists even prove that it increases the quality of life: to have a purpose, help others, and having right attitude).
  10. The world won’t fall apart if I step away for a few minutes or so.

Perhaps, what makes me lazy too, is I just did all the things I will have to be done for the next week for my job at school, I’m done editing the PowerPoint presentation for the NGO I am volunteering with and done 1/4 of my job in a party planning project I’m working with. And it’s Friday! Who else wants to go an extra mile anyway?

And since I had thought of doing nothing today; and here I am, writing an article about my laziness today.

Share your lazy days now without feeling any guilt.

The time you enjoy wasting, is time not wasted.

Disconnect to Connect

Make peace with the mirror and watch your reflection change.

Let your soul catch up with your body. Set it on fire. Be fearless and follow your soul, it knows the way.

I started to write this when I was in the coffee shop, realizing the mistake I’d done and I was off the agenda. I have nothing to do, no need to blame myself or whine. So,  what I did instead, I have to wait with a cup of cappuccino and then suddenly thought of a topic to write using my phone only. I hate to think that I used to bring my pen and notebook wherever I go and write down anything whatever comes into my mind, but who cares? Nowadays, phone is more convenient than them.

Writing this without considering and knowing that this is a very sensitive topic for me. Well, I just shrugged it off and act like I’m not bothered at all. In the first place, why should I?

It’s never been easy to cut down the fear that has been growing inside me from my childhood until I become an adult – a mature one. Who needs it when it will just consume you? Who needs drama? It ain’t fun after all!

If I disconnect myself from friends or families, they think I’m rude. Well (shrugged my shoulders), I do that without any guilt nor a single word of explanation. Why? Because it’s not them, it’s myself that I’d needed to disconnect from anything or anyone that’s associated with fear. If they’re mad, fine. If they want to hear an explanation, they should be upfront. I’m easy!

I disconnect myself from them because I have to watch what I do, what my beliefs are and see whether myself still aligned with real life not fantasy.

I started to cut off fear and it takes a long period of time to snip the root. Yet, after it’s been cut, it’s so easy to drop it each time when it comes near as a threat.

I disconnect to reconnect with myself. And it doesn’t happen once. It’s a constant event of anyone’s life. I disconnect to see what matters and what doesn’t.

I disconnect to enjoy my own company. My own time I need for myself that only I can satisfy and not other people.

I disconnect to be connected with people who are good for me. It helps to any person to be surrounded by someone who lights them up not to put them down.

To disconnect, it doesn’t need to have an expensive travel. Yes, it’s good once in a while we travel, go for an adventure, go to the beach or go for a hike. To disconnect, I just simply go outside, go to the park, nearby river or bridge. I just simply go out and look up at the sky. See the beauty of the real world, the imperfections of the beautiful world we live. I just simply go out and see the crowd. Exchange a smile to someone or to a child. I just simply go out to regain my free time. It’s never a privilege given be anyone or from work and responsibilities. It’s a privilege that only myself can give.

I disconnect your presence in my life, but I hate to insult you, or to bad-mouth you. After all, there is a lot of awesomeness inside you. It’s just that, I am not really immune to your toxic life.

Everything is just temporary. Disconnect to connect.

What’s On Your Bucket List?

bucket list, sarcoma, cancer, rare, survivor, warrior, hope, author, writer, blogger, asian
What’s on your bucket list?

Looking at death in the eye, from the time you are diagnosed with cancer is a life-altering experience.

What is the first thought coming into your mind right away? What did you do and what else you need to be done? Cancer patients, survivors, have you made your bucket list?

Sure, anyone can have their bucket list – inventories for travel experiences, adventure, nature & wildlife, connect & relationships, creativity, entertainment, style (fashion & beauty, why not?), food & drink (even those weird ones), fun stuff (just for fun), personal growth, health & fitness, and transportation. Name it!

According to Science, we have at least 17 to 19 hours in a day to have the best time to do everything.

The capacity of those people who had diagnosed with cancer and those who lived life without any clue about their life expectancy is not only the physical ability to be, do, have, and experience in life – it’s the hope and the determination to live life to the fullest.

Bucket list for cancer patients and survivors create a chance to make lifelong dreams come true. It especially helps the terminally ill to be inspired by what’s life left and to be an inspiration for those who will be left behind. Kicking the bucket need not be physically involved or a strenuous activity for some or even for everyone. It could be a process of life, to enjoy it as long as someone is still living. They are the things that need to figure out what someone really wants to do with the rest of its life.

Aside from travel experiences and adventures, here are the lists of simple things that anyone can do:

  1. Beat the odds.
  2. Connect to the people who have inspired you the most in your life and let them know.
  3. Conquer your biggest fear.
  4. Forgive and forget.
  5. See the stars at night.
  6. Play UNO card.
  7. Write a diary or journal.
  8. Be with family & friends.
  9. Take photos of nature and people.
  10. Watch sunrise & sunset.

They don’t cost a thing. Don’t wait until you will be diagnosed by a deadly disease. Have you made your bucket list yet?

 

Live the dream.
Design your best life.
Dare to live fully.

 

 

The Butterfly

Green Meadows
Wind blows
Leaves scatter
Flowers glitter
Tiny caterpillar
In survival
Found only
In solitary
Now tarry
To sanctuary
It's heading
and dwindling
Into cocoon
‘Til June
No space
No face
Hiding until
It'll unseal
It's time
To climb
Up where
There's air
A change
In range
Of motion
And intention
To fly
Soar high
The butterfly
Its dye
It's beautiful
And colorful

40725911 - closeup butterfly on flower (common tiger butterfly)

Continue reading The Butterfly

My Leiomyosarcoma

sarcoma.jpg

1st Journal

Written last 24 March 2016, Thursday

As I had said to my friends (from Sarcoma Alliance Group) around the world who are also experiencing a rare kind of disease, Sarcoma, with different subtypes, I am going to document my clinical trial or, rather, shall I say, my treatment; which will be starting next week, in the Philippines. One of them is anticipating how is my trial will be done and it will be done in my country.

As I had mentioned, having a cancer is a privilege, never a curse. I am going to start documenting each day of the trial or the treatment. As an introduction to my documentation, I will start it today, which is written in Hong Kong. Of course, I will make every single thing that I have in my life very special. Whether a person, a place or even a disease, like cancer.

This day, after doing some errands and went out sightseeing in a chilly and rainy weather of Hong Kong, I decided to watch a movie, picked randomly in my best friend’s abode. And, that was, “The Martian”; wherein you can see and appreciate the Art of Solitude or the Aesthetic of Silence (whichever you find appealing to you).

To start, Mark Watney, was talking to his students who are aspiring to be an astronaut in the time ahead. He started talking about his survival on a deserted planet on his own shit. That is obviously disgusting which he hates to discuss it again. When he was there, stranded, by himself, a lone astronaut, facing uncertainties in the Planet Mars. Did he think he is going to die? Yes. Absolutely!

Whatever challenges or unwanted privileges any persons are now experiencing, death is more likely to happen. Anytime — anytime soon. Especially when something does not want to cooperate. Like cancer. But, whatever you are now having, whether you are stuck in a deserted desert, suffering from a rejection, lost a job or someone you love, or even cancer. These things can’t be changed, nor, no turning back. It’s true, there are two things you can do. You can either accept that or work things out. Well, it’s better to do both. Having one of these is just a beginning. It’s like an arithmetic, solving one problem first, then another problem next. If you had solved enough problems, you can come home, find your worth, find the deserved fate, whether a job or a special person or fight cancer and beat it until it’ll surrender.

When I found out that I have cancer, Leiomyosarcoma, Grade 2. Was I thinking that I’m going to die? Yes, but not soon. I even already see myself inside the coffin, singing songs for a person who is about to die or already died, and writing poems or letters for the few special persons in my life. The fact is, this is not the first most tragical trial, or shall we say, tribulation I had experienced. Why was I given another heavier one? The heaviest? Cos’ I totally forgot the past. I always live a life, what I have now. I cannot change the time and say, “No, I don’t have cancer.”

I make things happen. I’m about to leave Hong Kong, which I was conceiving this idea since last year. But, I’m going back soon. I am leaving and going to face another phase of my life in the Philippines. Then go back to Vietnam. For sure I might not stay longer in Ho Chi Minh, I suppose so.

I will go home soon, where I have to get my clinical trial. Oh well… it’s just a radiation therapy. Hopefully, sooner, I will be N.E.D. or No Evidence of Disease or Not Entirely Dead (yet).

I NEVER FEEL ANXIOUS BEFORE MY TRIAL STARTS. I ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST.

I Had Cancer

I had cancer,
I was very ill.
And it's something I didn't understand.
I was a good woman, with a good heart,
That cancer tore me apart.
And there was nothing I can say or do.
My heart aches to see myself in such displace,
Yet, Quitely, I managed to put a smile on my face.
I was stronger than I could ever be,
Even when love is nowhere to be found,
I fought the fight, "almost" by myself.
I got well, but things will not be the same,
Who will love me till this is through?
Who should be blamed?
Who should be hated?

 

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A response poem