Posts Tagged ‘Bataan’

Memorial holiday weekend.

May 28, 2013

YYesterday, America remembered its fallen defenders of freedom.  There were parades, wreath layings, and of course, barbeque-ing.  Here in Chicago, the weather was dreary but that did not stop the hard-core picnickers to go to the lakefront.

When I first came to this country, I did not understand the logic behind this holiday: only that friends would invite me to their home and eat.  We have something similar in my country, April 9 or Bataan Day, when General Douglas McArthur and 80,000 of his troops (67,000 Filipinos, 1,000 Chinese Filipinos, 12,000 Americans) were held up in the last bastion of resistance in the islands of Bataan and Corregidor.  Back home the celebration was more subdued; just wreath laying by the President, no bbq-ing.

I took many things for granted back then: freedom, temperate weather, household help, parental advice, etc.  Then I matured, got sick, recovered, and got sick again; as if God was trying to teach me a lesson.  Well, I learned for sure, and beyond not taking things for granted; I learned about helping others not take things for granted.  Of course, there is an easier way to learn this simple thing without having cancer, but that is not how my life is defined.

I still don’t know what the future holds for me but one thing is for sure; cancer does not define my life.  It is part of me as much as love, freedom, respect, etc.  It is no longer a disease after a while it becomes part of my value system.

Dr.J: Not the basketball player.

This Friday, I have an appointment with Dr. J, a hepatologist at University of Chicago, to consult on the cause of my ascites.  Although, it has not been bothering me and the last time I had fluids drained was April 11, I still want to know the cause of my ascites.  Dr. J will be among my growing list of doctors I have come to see, and hopefully become friends.


P.S.  My wife and I did four miles again over the weekend.  I struggled considering I had chemo five days earlier.

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