Archive for April, 2012

I got homework to do.

May 1, 2012

fter 12 cycles of chemo, I went to see my oncologist last week to discuss my next treatment plan.

“Congratulations on finishing your treatment. You deserve a break. Take two months off and comeback to me in July and we will do a scan” Dr. M, my oncologist, said.

“Thank you! But I will be going to the Philippines in July for my mom’s 80th birthday” I replied.

He thinks about it to reconsider.

“Alright. You go on vacation in July; however, I would like you to do two more rounds of chemo this May. You get a break for June and July, and in August we do the scan.” He said.

The man drives a hard bargain, but what’s two more cycles after completing 12. It is like adding two more miles after doing a marathon.

You got to do what you got to do. I just focus on the reward—a two months chemo holiday. Woohoo. I think he is testing how long my body can fight off cancer without monthly chemo maintenance. That’s cool. Marathon training is coming up and I need every advantage I can have to beat those Kenyans. Ha!

Another good news from my consult is my blood pressure: it is down to 117/73 (normal is 120/80). I felt a sense of accomplishment. One of the reason I took up running, four years ago, was to bring down my blood pressure. I had to wake up when my doctor prescribed to me blood pressure pills. I had a fast and traveling lifestyle back then.

After four years, three bouts with cancer and a complete change of lifestyle, I have conquered my blood pressure. I don’t recommend this route that I took. There is a far simpler way: just eat healthy food and be active. You can do it.

To celebrate and before I start my chemo again, my wife and I will be running the Wisconsin half marathon this weekend. The plan is to make this 13.1 mile run as part of the marathon training and oxygenate my blood for two more rounds of chemo. Ha!

Life is good.


P.S.  Over the weekend, it was Ethan’s first birthday party.  He had a good time.  I am sure he will tell you more about after her recovers from his party hangover.

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The last mile (Round 12)

April 16, 2012

  had to look it up. The last time I was on this road was on July 27, 2010; almost two years ago. I am talking about my last blog posting on the eve of my last chemo therapy (Our last dance… school’s out!).

Alice, as in Alice Cooper, was good enough to grace my ‘graduation day’. Back then I had that lingering feeling that my cancer may comeback, and it did: From my colon (2008) to my liver (2009) to my lungs (2011). I wrote back then:

“… I have this lingering feeling that after all I have gone through my cancer may comeback. Nobody can tell me that I am cured or it will not be back. I try not to think about it and stay positive. I just need to focus on what is given to me and make the most of it.”

I did make the most of it back then. I ran the 2010 Chicago marathon two month after my last chemo; then again in 2011. This year, I hope to be given a chance to run Berlin in September, but will definitely be running the NYC marathon in November. Boom!

In preparation, with the help of my wife, I have been building my miles. Over the weekend, we did 10 miles. During the run I felt the leg cramps, the muscle fatigue, and the exhilaration of giving my best. I enjoyed every moment of it. Our run was confidence-builder in preparation for the Wisconsin marathon, of which we will be doing only the half-marathon portion on May 5, 2012. Dubbed as ‘the cheesiest’ race, I am sure it will be fun.

I always have fun and always look at the bright side of things. I could be rolling in deep mud or having chemo: It is all about how you look at things. I always give my best and hopeful that my cancer does not comeback again.

I am so ready to get on with my life. I made the most of things during my treatments but after 12 rounds of chemo, and many more before that, it gets old.  School will be out again but for me it has been a continuous cycle in learning the lessons of life.

So for my last chemo tomorrow, I have Adele: Rolling in the Deep to help me get through. Enjoy.

“…you have my heart and soul in your hands, and you played it to the beat.”


P.S.  Congratulation to my friend, FrankH, who is a father again with the arrival of his second child, Mila Fiona.

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E’s World: Easter traditions

April 9, 2012

I still don’t understand this Easter holiday tradition. My mom brings me to church for Easter Sunday mass and she fuzzes on what I wear. My aunt, grandma, and ‘ampa brings me to an Easter egg hunt at the lakefront, where I get trampled by over-excited parent looking for eggs.  Crazy!

And this is suppose to be because Christ has risen from the dead.

But what’s the connection the Easter bunnies and egg hunts? Hmmm…maybe I should google this thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love eggs, I eat them when I can and you don’t have to paint them. So what’s the connection?  What does the Easter bunny have anything to do with Easter. Don’t they know that bunnies a.k.a rabbits, cute and cuddly as they are, don’t lay eggs. Duh? WWJD (that’s ‘what would Jesus do’, people) if he finds out we are mixing these pagan traditions with his rising from the dead and saving us from sin. Tsk…tsk…tsk.

I think this is more about Spring. Spring, along with Christ redeeming us, brings new hope and new beginnings. It makes sense. However, the way people make a lot of fuzz about Easter, it makes me think that there is not a lot of hope out there. I know my ‘ampa needed it when his spirit was low, so I was brought here  to bring him hope. I should wear a bunny costume for this.  In my household, I may not be the reincarnated Christ but represent the new beginning.  That’s what I am talking about!

Perhaps I should have been named Hope….nah, forget that E is much cooler.  Boom!

Egg-xactly! Courtesy of Mary AnnG

Peace!  😮

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Almost there (Round 11)

April 2, 2012

f this was a marathon, I imagine myself in mile marker 23 with about 3 miles to the finish line. The crowds would be thicker and they would be cheering you not to give up.

“Let’s go runner! You are almost there! Push…push…push!”

Why is it the hardest part is always on the last part? So far, I have been doing good with my chemo treatments. Inspite of the cumulative load of the treatments, I managed to recover quick with manageable side-effects from vomits and diarrhea. I think it is because of the running and exercise I have been doing in between.

Two weeks ago, I surprised myself by finishing an 8K (5 mile) race, The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, with a time of 1:00:38 and this was two-days after having treatment. It was not my best time but I really pushed myself to come within an hour. It was painful but I have come to expect that. I am use to chemo pain, running pain, cycling pain, etc., that I could not differentiate them anymore.

The important lesson is not to give up and push yourself to the limit. That is the only way you will find out who you really are. Find out is the journey. Who knows you might even surprise yourself.

Like the run we had over the weekend. My wife and I did a hard 8 mile run and we truly enjoyed it. We pushed each other on the last mile to finish hard. I was happy. She said the same think which surprised me. There was even a race during our run, a 50K (31.25 mile) race. Ouch! What’s my 8 miler compared to their 31.25 miles! Ha!

So tomorrow will be round 11 for me. Time to go in the hole again. I will be ok. I won’t give up and will just make the most of it no matter what.


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