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Stable, but…

30 Jan


Stable again! My cancer is still stable! I have to say I am starting to love that word because well, I have to. What does it even mean? It has been such an interesting and emotional ride and just as quickly as the mood swings up it can easily make it’s way back down. Cancer just sucks. I read a blog written by another cancer warrior last week and it. was. perfect. It perfectly described how I’ve been feeling and I have used this analogy with a number of people already. The writer described her cancer as a bomb strapped to her chest not knowing when it was actually going to blow and that is pretty much how I feel. Categorized as stable is exactly that, still with cancer, but with stable and slow growth; practically speaking the tumors have grown less than 20% since the previous scan. I guess this is the goal if you are living with cancer so I try to be really happy about it. Going back to the bomb analogy and combining it with statistics for my particular ‘brand’ of cancer it goes something like this…in 5 years, 50% of the bombs will have exploded and in 10 years, 9 of 10 bombs will have exploded. Barring all scientific advances, that’s a little rough to think about and that is what keeps my heart heavy and my mind focused on time. The other side of the coin is this, science is advancing faster than the doctors can keep up with so it seems statistics change on an almost daily basis, hallelujah! For now, my mind wrestles with the bomb strapped to my chest not knowing when it will go off but every ‘stable’ buys me more time.


photo cred: kensington church

I am part of a small, closed Facebook support group of people with the same cancer (both type and stage) as me. Since metastatic thyroid cancer is a little more rare it was nice to find a place with resources and people just like me. Today I heard that one of the moderators passed away rather quickly after he took a bad turn just after the new year. His posts were some of my favorite because he brought both quirky and lighthearted comments along with scientific articles. He posted after the new year and said he made it to where the doctors said he would but if he got to 2019 then he would beat that deadline. Yesterday he posted from his hospital bed that things were not good and today he’s gone. Boom. Sad. So just as quickly after rejoicing my stable scan I’m reminded that I still carry that bomb. It has definitely helped keeping my journal of positive moments and points of gratitude daily. It refocuses my mind and reminds me that we all just have today. Most if not all the moments and things I’m grateful for revolve around the people I’m surrounded by. Joy is still my word this year and I am pressing through; moment by moment seeking out things that bring a smile to my face and trying to surround myself with people that bring me joy, love , and lots of laughter. I am finally chasing old dreams and goals too which has been a fun and interesting journey! ‘The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.’ ~Thomas Paine
Stable is great! I will continue to smile, grow strong, and grow brave!

Today I wear Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Elyssa. I do love these lipsticks because they feel like a lip balm and have a peppermint taste and smell while also having great color. I chose Elyssa which is a deep brown berry because it looks fairly dark on me but still has the lightness of berry (so it’s not like I’m wearing black lipstick). It kind of describes my mood at times..kinda dark (because of that stupid bomb), but the brightness is still there shining through. Cheers!


Bucket List

28 Nov

I have always been a dreamer.  When I was younger, I dreamed of being little orphan Annie on Broadway (kinda impossible because I’m Filipino).  Then, when Grease came out, I dreamed of being Sandy…again, impossible. In my mind I knew those were not the roles for me, but I never gave up on the dream of singing and dancing on a stage.  Thinking back, I never really had any other dreams or goals besides that.  Fortunately in my short 40+ years of life, I have been on many a stage.  I’ve been on television, radio, and I even got my chance to sing on a Broadway stage (not quite in a show…long story for another day).  When I received the call that my cancer had returned a few years back, I reassessed what my dreams and goals were.  I knew singing may be over for me (because of my paralyzed vocal cord and where my cancer was), but I sat and thought about the things I would want to do if I had nothing stopping me.  My list included writing a book, learning a new instrument, mastering a new language, running a marathon among other things.  As I looked at the list when I finished, I wondered what took me so long?  Learning a new instrument or langauge?  Just start. Training for a marathon, writing a book?  Just start.

Why does it take a slap on the face with your own mortality to sit and think about what things you want to do or accomplish in life?  Life is short and my list included some of the simplest things, nothing so grandiose that it could not be done. I haven’t checked everything off my list and there are things I can no longer do (like running a marathon because after cancer returned a third time, it took a toll on my breathing), but that’s ok.  My bucket list is forever revolving. It revolves around my health, my finances, and my family; it revolves around my kids and what I wish for them. Besides my selfish desires to get back in shape, travel to Europe, learn the guitar, etc, I also have the desire to be remembered and to leave a positive legacy for my kids. When I got the call that my cancer had returned a third time, I forgot about my list,  I don’t even know where it is anymore because I don’t need it. I know for a fact life can change in a second, with one phone call. Life is an adventure to be lived daily. Dreams, goals, bucket list, resolutions…whatever it is, what’s stopping you?  When I think of something I want to do now, I start on that path, sometimes I get there, sometimes not. Think, start, live!

Today I wear Stila Lip Glaze in Kaleidoscope a sparkly pink (which is part of a limited edition holiday set). Soft enough to wear on top of lipstick to add a hint of pink, I chose it because when you look in a Kaleidoscope, the shapes are everchanging, but still beautiful…just like your dreams!

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