Tag Archives: birthday

Let It GO

30 Mar

There’s a super popular song out there from a movie that surprisingly is being played on every radio station, from soft rock/pop to R&B, maybe you’ve heard of it, Let It Go from the animated film Frozen. All of my kids (even the 16 year old boy) know all of the words, we bought the movie and I believe we’ve all watched it at least 5 times (we’ve owned it for two days). Even I now, know all the words to all the songs. So what makes this particular tune so popular? Is it the catchy tune or the lyrics? For me, the more I listen to the actual lyrics, the more brilliant I think they are because we can all relate.
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know. Well, now they know…
This is me, people pleaser, smile on my face, conceal, don’t let them know. It’s that facade I always talk about. It’s so much easier to smile and say everything’s fine than to put yourself out there. There’s also that element of fear that maybe the real you is not good enough, or interesting enough. The last line, ‘well now they know’, that’s me now. Post cancer the facade is tiring and frankly if you don’t like the real me there are plenty of other people in this world to hang with. Personally, I fall in love (I’m not talking romantic love) with people who show me who they really are, who show me a piece of their soul and brokenness, because we all have some brokenness in us.
Let it go, let it go, Can’t hold it back anymore. Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door. I don’t care, What they’re going to say. Let the storm rage on,The cold never bothered me anyway.
Yes, the storm of life rages on constantly. People talk, people judge, I’m letting it go, turning away from fear and slamming the door. This past week I had a bout of paralyzing fear about a situation I’m currently in. With prayer and a few deep breaths I had to let it go because God is in control. Fear gives power to the thing or person that you are fearful of and I refuse to give any more power to that. It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small, And the fears that once controlled me, Can’t get to me at all…Amen!
It’s time to see what I can do,To test the limits and break through. Let it go, let it go, And I’ll rise like the break of dawn. Let it go, let it go, That perfect girl is gone
How empowering to not have to be or try to be that perfect girl. It is time to see what I can do and test those limits. For me at exactly this time, I am letting go of who I tried to be or was told to be for other people and rediscovering my dreams and who I am, old and new. Letting go is really realizing that certain things are part of the past but not part of your destination. I’m thankful for every single moment because those moments, people, events are what shaped me and who I am today; strong, courageous, and hopeful. The song is brilliant.

Today I’m wearing Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon. You all should know by now I’m obsessed with these because they are so moisturizing and have great color. My fall/winter go to shade is Red Velvet but I now have this color. I LOVE IT! It’s perfect for spring/summer because it is that bright poppy orange/red but doesn’t make your lips scream ‘I’M HERE!!’ You can find these at any drugstore too and they are fairly inexpensive. Let it go! Until next time, CHEERS!


My Birthday

25 Oct


Today is my birthday. It is bittersweet for me because I am still thinking about my friend ‘B’ from my last blog. Yesterday, for my job, I had to go to the place I met ‘B’ and it brought tears to my eyes thinking about all that transpired there. I walked in with a heavy heart thinking I was walking in healthy this time, while he walked out just days before with his news. It’s really a lot of emotions. One thing I know about ‘B’ is he really knew how to live. Cancer was not the only obstacle he faced in life. He was in the Vietnam War, he was a POW, he had a stroke prior to his cancer diagnosis…so much, and he constantly told me to ‘not sweat the small stuff’ and to hold my kids close. It’s so simple yet we ask for so much, don’t we?

hospitalGrowing up my family was always big on celebrating birthdays. Not necessarily with huge parties, but always recognizing the day and making you feel special. Part of that I think, is when we came from the Philippines when I was two, we didn’t have any other family here. Anytime we could celebrate each other, we did. Birthdays for me post cancer have taken even more meaning; every time I do a Relay for Life Walk, I see T-shirts and signs saying Happy Birthday and they always make me cry. The American Cancer Society’s saying is ‘Creating More Birthdays.’ Yes, it is just a day, but to me, it’s now a day to remember the past and to look forward with hope for the future. It’s also a day I get to re-evaluate my bucket list. When I was younger I had some outrageous dreams and goals many of which I have been able to achieve. Today, I still of course have some crazy dreams that I pray will happen, but my focus is more on the simple. Taking my cue from ‘B’:

  • Don’t sweat the small stuffphoto courtesy of Leanna Vite Photography
  • Open your heart and love people. Yes it hurts more when you hurt, but it’s worth it
  • Don’t take things too seriously, laugh more (even if it’s at yourself)
  • Take more risks
  • Do what you can do, and let go of the rest
  • Listen to people’s stories before judging
  • Be kind, smile often
  • Be a hero
  • Party like it’s 1999 (just kidding…not really)

I also finally have some good news to share…my blood work that I have been waiting for for the first time is CLEAN!! My doctor who’s usually even keeled and calm shouted, ‘I have good news!’ the minute I said ‘hello’. He said my levels are undetectable and then said, see you in a year. A YEAR!! I have been checked every three to six months for the past 5 years and now he says, ‘it’s over, see you next year.’  I’m ecstatic and finally kind of able to take a step back and breathe. So today, I wear one of my favorite red/burgundy lipsticks of all time, Lancôme L’Absolu’ Rouge lipstick in Merlot. I love it because the formula is creamy and not drying, second, the color is a deeper red so my lips are not shouting ‘I’M HERE!’, and third, it’s my birthday and I love a good Merlot. Let’s celebrate life, CHEERS!

Another Birthday

25 Oct

Another birthday, another year older…wiser? Who knows. Every birthday since cancer and the bad news from the original surgery has been a BIG deal to me. When you are told by your physician that your prognosis doesn’t look good and quite possibly have less than a year, every moment counts. Since then, even though the cancer has come back a few times, my prognosis has been great and now here I am almost five years after my first surgery, time passes so quickly. When I walked the survivor lap at Relay for Life last year, the sign that pushed me over the edge and made me cry said, ‘I Love Birthdays.’ It’s true, today was pretty emotional. Today, like every birthday, I thought about everything that had transpired over the year and I also thought about how I have changed since cancer. Cancer has taken away a vocal cord which makes it more difficult to breathe and sing and talk sometimes, but I still can. Cancer has taken away a little bit of confidence in my body and health, but I can still run. Cancer has taken away a little bit of magic from my kids’ lives; the magic that helps them think their mom is invincible (at least while they’re young); remember they were only 5,7, and 10 when this all started. This week I was able to spend some time with a college friend and as I sat with her I realized we had been friends for over 20 years and it was awesome. I miss that. I miss the time I had when I was recovering after each surgery, the times when I couldn’t speak and just listened to people and cultivated relationships. We all wish we had more time right? I actually miss some of my caregivers who were some of my biggest support considering I was seeing them almost every week for 4 years.

What did I get from cancer? A new writing voice and the passion to hear people’s stories and understand where they come from. A stirring deep in my soul that wants to change the world. I value time and peace and every relationship that I have, past, present, and even future. I have released control over to God and now walk around with a heart so open that at times it feels broken. Most of all, I have less fear and more faith. I am overwhelmed and so grateful.

Today a friend asked, “What lipstick does one wear on their birthday?” Today I chose Loreal Color Riche lipstick in Divine Wine which you can get at any drugstore. In my humble opinion, Loreal is one of the better drug store brands in terms of color choices and consistency (I think it’s actually owned by Lancome). I chose this color because it’s an easy berry shade on me with a little bit of a brown undertone and of course the name. Celebrating with a nice glass of wine. Cheers!


27 Oct

This week I celebrated my birthday.  You all know how much I love birthdays.  This was my first birthday since 2008 that I did not have cancer, was preparing for treatment for cancer, or recovering from cancer surgery or radiation.  It was a little bittersweet for me because I had to be in Philadelphia for a work meeting.  Although I hated being away from my family, I had fun with people I had trained with before, but I also met a new lovely woman who I know I will continue to stay in touch with.  For this meeting, my roomate was a beautiful girl who was almost 20 years younger than me.  It was great and interesting to get to know her as well as my new friend who is almost 20 years older than me.  I loved listening to their stories and perpectives on life, work , family, etc., and what led them to make the decision which led them here. 

For this birthday, like every birthday, I looked back at my life and everything I’ve been through and also looked ahead with apprehension.  I am comfortable with the decisions I’ve made and the path I’ve taken.  There are many things we cannot control, you know, “life is 10% of  what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it” (Stephen Covey). We all decide which path we take in each situation, whether it’s which peanut butter to buy, which doctor to choose, which job, etc…what most people don’t want to do many times is take ownership on those decisions.  Sometimes we  blame the situation or end product of our own decision if it is not what we thought or planned.  Looking back, I have made many decisions that I thought I may have regretted but I look at where I am today and I’m content and feel very blessed.  I would not have chosen to have cancer, but I did choose to fight it and believe in a  positive outcome. Let’s own up to the decisions we’ve made and change our perspective a little, there’s no going back.

Today I wear Bobbi Brown lipstick in Chocolate.  It’s actually a soft , creamy medium brown which on me has a hint of a plummy undertone (probably my lips).  It’s great for fall and not as dark as it sounds or looks.  I chose it because it was my birthday and I love Chocolate (as well as the color).


7 Jul

This weekend my daughter will be in a musical production of Alice in Wonderland Jr.  She plays a few different roles but one of her roles is a ‘Un-birthday’ girl.  Of course I had to ask what that was.  She said that everyone has one birthday and 364 un-birthdays.  In Wonderland they celebrate un-birthdays and are going to have a big party.  How great is that????  Why can’t we celebrate every single day?  From my past post you may recall how much I love birthdays and how meaningful (especially having cancer), they are to me, but why can’t mine and your un-birthdays be just as meaningful?

You know this past week I found out my cancer is back for the fourth time.  Well, I’m done crying.  I have decided that I must live one day at a time and trust God.  Right now, there are no decisions to be made. The doctors will watch and see if what was detected stays the same or grows over the next few months.  From this point on I must celebrate every single day and live life to the fullest…every un-birthday!  Think about it, why hold back a celebration of life? Each day is new and a chance to be blessed as well as to bless others.  We don’t get do-overs (well, maybe some of you do) so move forward, press on, and don’t look back!

Today, I am wearing Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Flash (sorry, limited color).  It is a gorgeous hot pink lipgloss with a little bit of silver sparkle.  To me it is the best color for today’s un-birthday, a little hot pink to celebrate life!  Now, who wants the first piece of cake?

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