Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’

All in
September 20, 2015

Ihave been eating salad, soup, crackers, and hummus for the past few days since I started my third cycle of treatment again. It helps me balance my system to minimize the chemo side-effects of nausea and constipation.

Sometimes I get tired of it especially after coming from our Alaska cruise where the food was non-stop and the service was excellent. I still ate vegetarian meals during the cruise but it is different when it is being prepared in different ways by culinary chefs and served by attentive servers.

I still have the Alaska hangover after two weeks. Alaska as been described as magnificent and majestic, and it is true. The place is like being in the presence of God. Perfect. Peaceful. Blessed. The natural beauty of Alaska makes you pause and appreciate what life has to offer. You see the bounties of life represented by whales, bears, glaciers, eagles, crabs, mountains, etc. You can also see the fragility of life too; that all this beauty could end.

As I continue to masticate the earthy taste of kale salad in my mouth, I keep on thinking back to Alaska and wishing that I was back there or some place else. Any place than being in the chemo hole again. I should be use to this but life is such a tease. It forever torments you of the things you don’t have or could have after making you experience the beauty of life.

Why eat kale or hummus, when there is steak and lobster.

Life can be experienced even if you are eating kale or broccoli. Some have found a way to fully embrace what others could not. It is a matter of acceptance and being all in.


I have found a way to appreciate life during chemo. It is hard. You just have to have faith you can do it.  Think positive.

Travel Notes:  The majestic and magnificent Alaska

These two words are the most over-used words to describe Alaska. I could not help use it myself in seeing the (magnificent) glaciers and (majestic) mountains.

Wait there’s more: there’s the whales, salmon, crabs, eagles, bears, otter, shrimp, etc. Then there’s the people themselves: the natives, fishermen, loggers, artists, transplants, and Sarah Palin.

I came to Alaska as a tourist with every intention of enjoying the place. Also, it does not hurt that cruising to Alaska is the way to complete the experience. Cruising primes all your senses by getting pampered and fattened on board, and then see Alaska. Boom.

We took the ms Amsterdam by Holland America Lines from Seattle, WA with about 1300 passengers on board. It is a relatively medium-size boat with a crew of about 600. Most of the passenger were retired but active. This boat does not cater too much to kids, which most passengers like since it is quite. I belong to that group. The idea is to relax and see kids running around. If you want fun for kids, go for Disney cruise or Carnival.

The service staff were mostly from Indonesia and the Philippines. I got to meet fellow “kababayans” (countrymen). The trip was smooth except when we hit the open sea going to Sitka, AK. There was strong winds and I vomited in my room. I am use to vomits but there goes my dinner.

Here are some pictures we took.


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No boundaries
September 5, 2015

TThat was the title of the last chapter of the book “My Brief History” by Stephen Hawking, the English theoretical physicist. I love this book. It is short but revealing in his humorous outlook in life and intellectual evolution.

For movie buffs, there is a movie (The Theory of Everything) about his life wherein Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for best actor. Superb acting.

Hawking is still making news lately. At 73, he is an inspiration. At age 21, he was diagnose with ALS a slow progressing decease and was given two years to live.

“When you are faced with the possibility of an early death, it makes you realize that life is worth living and that there are lots of things you want to do.” Taken from the book.

I relate to that. He is still around and I am still around. He is an intellectual giant, sitting on a wheel chair, fully dependent on others to live, and yet managed to have three kids: all grown. He has written books and if you think he did it typing three words a minute.

He is an inspiration to me. It really shows that there are no boundaries to what you can do. No cancer, no ALS, or physical limitation exist when it comes to life. It is only you who can see beyond your limitation. The trick is not to measure yourself against others. 26.2 miles (42 km) is daunting if you thing about. Or, how about writing a book at two to three words a minute on cosmic black holes. How about several books?

Stories like these moves me. I struggle with my disease and it has been a burden lately. However, there is no point to pity parties so I just move and check off things in my buck list, like going to Alaska.

Tomorrow, my wife and I are cruising to Alaska from Seattle, WA. I am so excited about this. It is like on the eve of our trip to Jerusalem, which was memorable. Jerusalem and Rome was about running and spiritual renewal. Alaska is about the majestic beauty of nature or life. That and grazing the buffet table on board.  All aboard!


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