Archive for December, 2012

E’s World: It is all about me.

December 30, 2012

O“Out of the way.  Beep…beep”  I hurl through the kitchen, made a right through the dining room, another right to the living room, and another right back to the kitchen.  This is my route or you might say my race track.

I run around the circuit pushing my little Mack truck I got as a gift on my first birthday.  Woohoo!  With its one wheel missing in the front, I whirl around the house, unmindful of the toes I run over.

 “Sorry, mom….oops, sorry Maggie the beagle.”  Ignoring the shouts of my mom, I continue with my ‘driving’.

My little place is getting small and it is getting harder to navigate.  There is this big tree whose roots seem to be growing and growing with boxes and wrapped items.  This tree suddenly sprank up right after Thanksgiving.  First it was empty now it is busting at the seams.  I think it might have to do with this Christmas thing.

My Lala (Grandma), mom, and aunt seems to flourish leading up to this Christmas.  They dragged me around in shops full of people carrying stuff.  All I wanted is to play with Mack truck.  But they tell me I am going to love Christmas.  At school, I even get to meet the boss of Christmas named Santa.  He wears a red suit and is huge.  I must be missing the point of this Christmas.

Santa and Me

Santa and Me

My family went to church on Christmas eve and the priest talked about the birth of Christ.  Huh?  How is he related to Santa?  I learned about Santa before Christ.  Santa gives me gifts, while Christ, I still have to understand.  Santa has many brothers and they are all fat and all seems to be wearing the same red suit. Celebrating Christmas is complicated but somehow it lifts the spirit of the people.  I understand it is about giving to others; for now, the only joy I can give is my love for my family.  Hopefully, when I grow up and understand all this I can give more.  I wrote my Ampa (Grampa) a note for this Christmas as part of our project at school.

“I will not remember you for the material things you provided but I will remember the feeling of being loved by my Ampa.  Love, Ethan.”  I signed it with my hand prints…cool, huh?”

I know it is all about me, for now….

Signed, Ethan

Signed, Ethan


P.S. My Ampa is recovering from his 5th chemo cycle and wishes everybody a Happy New Year!


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More birthdays to come.

December 20, 2012

That is what we wish among cancer patients and survivors. I have attended and celebrated many birthdays in my life. It is always marked with joy, thanksgiving, gifts, parties, and sharing.

Among cancer patients and survivors, it is a more sobering moment, and it has special meaning beyond celebrating it the normal way. For me, it is a time when I look back to see how far you have gone (or survived), and hope I make it to my next birthday. I felt that way this morning. With a sigh, I said “I made it. I made it to another birthday. Thanks you!” I did not do this when I was cancer-free; I took it for granted. My birthdays are meaningful to me now. This is my fourth birthday struggling with cancer and I so grateful for each milestone.

You might say I am only four-years old but I have lost my hair from treatments. So far I have completed four of the twelve planned chemo treatments, but last week was a struggle. I almost ended up in the hospital again. This time around it was vomits; intense vomits. As in stomach squeezing, bad bile tasting, projecting liquids vomits. I could not keep anything down. None of my anti-nausea meds were working.

My wife had to cancel her scheduled night shift work to infuse liquids in me. It took her three tries before she found a good vein for the infusion. My veins would collapse because I was so dehydrated. Once I stabilized she infused an anti-nausea drug and I got a break. It was so easy to give up but I made it to my birthday.

Today was a simple day: mass early morning, beautiful spaghetti frutti di mare for lunch, and Life of Pi movie. Done.

Life is totally good.


P.S. Special thanks to my friends Vicky from Isle of Skye, Scotland who sent me soap and other things, and Carmela for the Lucky plant (I need this one…hehe).  Thank you to all who wished me happy birthday and the messages you sent from my wife’s FB account.

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Chemo postponed

Chemo postponed.

December 6, 2012

Just a short note.  My chemo was postponed this week.  My oncology nurse saw me  still coughing and she said I am still weak from being hospitalized.  She said we postpone it for next week.  Oh well.  I tried.


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Home sweet home

Home sweet home

December 3, 2012

It is so good to be home. The sign says in the hospital “going home is healing.” Indeed. No more hallway noises from nurses, doctors, cleaners, food servers, and coughing neighbors.

It started after Thanksgiving when my son had a cold and infected me. I just came off chemo Thanksgiving day and I was pretty weak. My small cough progressed that no OTC cough meds or a much stronger cough medicine with codeine could control it. Saturday night (2:00 am) I asked my wife to go home from her work and bring me to the hospital since I was already having a hard time breathing. From the ER, I was admitted and finally was able to go home Friday, after six-days in the hospital. What a life.

I look at my body and it is bruised from subcutaneous injections and daily blood draw. I have had many chemo but nothing brought me down this bad. After getting out, I wanted to run the next day but was over-ruled by my wife, instead I went to yoga; then I took a walk by the lakefront.

Man, healthy people are so lucky, some don’t even know what they have. They eat what they want, go places untethered from chemo treatments, drink, and even smoke. I wish I can do those things, except smoke, unless they are…. But I can’t turn back time. I just got to play through the cards I was given; play to win. I am happy.

Tomorrow will be my fourth round of chemo. I am hoping for an uneventful treatment.

Confined to hospital after Thanksgiving

Confined to hospital after Thanksgiving


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