August 30, 2010

Subic with my Siblings

The weekend was spent with my siblings on the road mostly. We left Manila on Saturday at around 5:30am. We had breakfast at NLEX. And had lunch at my brother's farm at Morong, Bataan. Right now, it's just a tilapia farm but my brother is developing it into a private resort =)

After lunch we went to check in at Forest View. A housing accommodation at Binictican area in Subic. It's a bit far off from the city but we had no choice because most of the hotels in Subic were fully booked.

At Forest View, we had a Deluxe House for Php7400. It had three bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen area, dining area and living room area. It was okay na rin.

The best part was when we saw two monkeys at the back of our house. It was priceless! The kids and the kids at heart had a blast.

We gave them a banana and an orange and they both took it. One for each. This is the second monkey.

We checked out at 11. We went to Puregold Dutyfree and had lunch at S&R inside. We had a huge combo pizza and finished it off. LOL!

After lunch we went to Subic Adventure. It was our second time already. But EJ was still one year old when we first went there. Php500 for adults and Php420 for kids.


Cousins, EJ and Ice. They loved the sea lion show!



After this show, we went to see the "A walk in the wild" show. There was a survival in the jungle tips, there was a bat, and some other night animals.

Next was the "Olongapo Jones" show.

The last show at 4:30pm was the spectacular dolphin show.


The last time we were at Ocean Adventure, they didn't have a lot of shows. I remember we only saw the Dolphin and the Sea Lion show.

After Ocean Adventure we hit the road again. We had dinner at NLEX and arrived at around 10PM in Manila.

It was tiring but it was a fun trip!

New "do"

Every morning we say these words.

I am Eric Joseph.
I am a healthy boy.
I am a strong boy.
Thank you, God.

Here is EJ, my healthy boy with his new haircut. He does look "pogi" if I may say so myself. Hehehe.


August 27, 2010

Tidbits

I have never been the kind to sit down and just wait. I need to be busy otherwise I'd be depressed and cranky. So instead of just waiting for the second opinion, I've made myself useful by doing errands. I have also enrolled in a driving class here. I haven't even started yet and I am already worried about roadside assistance if ever. LOL!

~~

The second opinion from St. Lukes came out yesterday. The diagnosis is Testicular Tissue with Atypical Lymphoid Proliferation. It's different from The Medical City's diagnosis which is, Primary Follicular Lymphoma of the Prepubertal Testis.

According to the Pathology of St. Luke's, the diagnosis is really not definitive because they need more stained slides. And they recommend some more staining.

EJ's Hematologist suggested we go to Singapore for a more accurate diagnosis. He said it's difficult for him to start treatment if he doesn't know the real diagnosis. He referred us to his friend who is based at National University of Singapore.

I will get the rest of the slides at The Medical City which will take 5 days, send it thru FedEx to Singapore. I have to tie up some loose ends first and then EJ and I will fly to Singapore. We will just meet hubby there.

~~

It's a long weekend here in Philippines. We are taking advantage of it and we are going to Bataan and Subic tomorrow. It's a long trip and I am looking forward to it. I love breakfast on the road! And I love family trips. So fun! Missing hubby though.

~~

Happy weekend everyone! Enjoy the long weekend!

August 23, 2010

Awesome Birthday

To borrow my son's words, I had an awesome time!

Yesterday I turned 32 years old. Hubby wasn't here. And if he were, it would have been perfect. But still, like what I wrote in my FB status, I loved yesterday because I got to celebrate my birthday with the people who matters most in my life, my family.


We had lunch at People's Palace at Greenbelt 3. People's Palace is a Thai resto and one of the most well known Thai resto in town. We ordered these in twos.


Tom Yum Goong



Spicy beef and eggplant salad



Phad Thai



Morning Glory (Kangkung) and Pork



Chicken green curry


Their Iced Tea was really good. The green curry which is one of my favorite Thai food was also good. Although I wanted it to be more creamy. The price was a bit steep for the kind of servings they had though.

After lunch, we went around Greenbelt to look for Iceberg. We didn't find it but found another ice cream place instead, which unfortunately I forgot its name. Hehehe, I am really getting old. We all had some ice cream to offset the spicy and hot lunch we just had.

We then had a leisurely stroll and window shopping around Greenbelt. EJ and his cousin Ice, in front of Greenbelt having a grand time.

Late afternoon, we had coffee at Seattle's Best.

We were planning to go to Church but the kids were tired, so we just went home.

It was a great day. I love being with my family. Hubby was sorely missed though.

Thank you God for an amazing year. And thank you for all the blessings.

August 21, 2010

There's Nothing I Can't Handle

I couldn't believe I have been here in Manila for a month now. For the last three years, I only visit and stay in Manila for a maximum of two weeks.

Anyway, there's not much to do really. Aside from praying, hoping and waiting, I've been doing some errands to get my mind off the not so good news. I've also been reading quotations on adversity. And I'd like to share them with you guys:

If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. ~Robert Fulghum

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~M. Kathleen Casey

We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them. ~Charles C. West

We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way. ~Author Unknown

If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief. ~William Shakespeare, Othello

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

We acquire the strength we have overcome. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can't run away from trouble. There ain't no place that far. ~Uncle Remus

Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. ~Garth Brooks

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. ~Garrison Keillor

Bad is never good until worse happens. ~Danish Proverb

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies. ~Erich Fromm

I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders. ~Jewish Proverb

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? ~Rose F. Kennedy

Turn your wounds into wisdom. ~Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes the littlest things in life are the hardest to take. You can sit on a mountain more comfortably than on a tack. ~Author Unknown

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. ~Frank A. Clark

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa

You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. ~Walt Disney

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out. ~Lou Reed, "Magic and Loss"

August 19, 2010

More Waiting

I just delivered EJ's slides and blocks to St. Lukes this morning. It would take another 3-5 days or maybe a bit longer to get the results.

We're having the slides and blocks reviewed again for second opinion regarding EJ's diagnosis. We're hoping and praying the result is not as serious as lymphoma.

I wrote in my previous post that staging will have to start right away. But I called EJ's Hematologist and asked if the staging can wait after the second opinion. We don't want EJ to go through another tramautic experience (blood extraction, CT scan, bone marrow biopsy, etc...) without the second opinion first. The doctor said okay. He thinks it's localised anyway so there's really no hurry.

I've never been good at waiting. And it doesn't help that hubby is already back in Cambodia. I am alone with EJ. It's been really difficult. I couldn't even finish cooking without EJ calling for me. I have to order delivery most of the time. Yesterday I had to bring EJ to The Medical City to get his slides. Sigh.

It's my birthday on Sunday. I'll be 32. Wow, I am old. Hahaha! I have no other wish than for EJ's result to come back negative. And oh, I wish I could celebrate it with my two favorite people in the world, hubby and EJ.

August 15, 2010

Rare Kind

Have you heard about Primary Follicular Lymphoma of the Testis in Childhood? I bet you haven't. That's because it's a rare kind of disease. It's a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Bad news.

EJ has it. The result of the biopsy and other lab tests came out last Thursday (after more than two weeks). But we just had the results read to us by a Hematologist yesterday afternoon.

It has been a difficult three weeks for hubby and I. We keep on putting a brave face. We keep telling ourselves we have to be strong for our son. But there are times when we couldn't keep our emotions in check. It always happens at night time. At least EJ is asleep.

The lab tests and biopsy were done at The Medical City. But we're having a second opinion at St. Lukes. Even our Hematologist suggested it. We're still hoping and praying it's nothing as serious as this.

While waiting for the second opinion, Staging will have to commence as soon as possible. So EJ will have a CT scan and bone marrow biopsy.

Hubby needs to go back to Cambodia on Monday. He has exhausted all his leaves already.

I am scared. But I have to be strong. I have to.

EJ needs to have his blood taken before the procedures. And I am sure it will be difficult for him. He'll have dextrose and I am sure it's going to be difficult again.

For bone marrow biopsy and CT scan, he will be sedated. At least there won't be any struggle that time.

I am praying for strength.

Good news.

The disease seems to be localised, meaning it has not spread. That means a very favorable prognosis. In layman's term, it has great survival rate and curability. And if it's really localised, EJ might not undergo chemotherapy.

EJ is just too young to undergo all this. I am having a hard time explaining everything to him. I hope he won't be scarred for life.

My previous posts were all our happy outings. We have to go out all the time because we couldn't stay home and dwell on the negative. I know God is good and he will do what is right.

August 14, 2010

The Big Boy Turns 4

EJ turned 4 years old last August 10. Due to our circumstances we decided against having a big birthday party. We just wanted to celebrate EJ's birthday with family. And EJ was perfectly happy with it.

We were supposed to celebrate EJ's birthday on August 7 at Tagaytay because we were supposed to go to the hospital for his lab test result on his birthday. Unfortunately some family members couldn't make it on August 8 and fortunately enough, EJ's lab results weren't released on his birthday. So we decided to just proceed with the celebration on his real birth date.

Ang gulo! Hehehe!

So since we ordered the cake already before August 10, EJ had to blow the candles on August 9.

He wanted a Cars theme, of course. We ordered it from Goldilocks. It wasn't bad. Actually it was okay. The cars topper almost looked like they were also edible.

My brother's employees whom EJ fondly calls the "office girls" joined us in singing happy birthday to him.

Did you make a wish before you blew your candle, big boy?

Then on August 10, we celebrated his birthday at Tong Yang in Megamall with my family.

We bought a small cake at Red Ribbon so EJ could blow his candles again.

That's Ice, EJ's cousin, Jurly and Jaja, my sister.

I forgot to take a decent picture of us all. Mano Jeff was still looking for a parking space when EJ blew his candles. And when we were all present, we were all busy eating and chatting I totally forgot to take a picture.

EJ, so excited to open his presents.

Thank you everyone for your well wishes.

Nice and Fluffy

The longer we stay here in Manila, the more concrete my plans have become. But still, they're only plans.

EJ and I might stay here in the Philippines while hubby works in Phnom Penh. Whether EJ and I stay here in Manila or Surigao remains to be seen. This is of course temporary. A sort of trial period. We'll see how everything goes.

Meanwhile, I have been dreaming of a nice bedroom with lots of fluffy pillows and comfortable sheets. I saw these matouk sheets and pillow cases online.


They're definitely my type. Clean and simple. Elegant too. But I think they're expensive so I guess I better stay away from them. LOL!

Trivia about me. I love changing our linens often. At least twice a week. Are they often enough? Hehehe. I just love newly changed linens!

Manila Ocean Park

This impromptu Manila trip has yielded so many surprises. But we're taking it all in stride. We still try to make our stay here as happy as possible. It's hard but we gotta try. Life is not without trials. We have to learn to bounce back from setbacks and challenges.

Having said that, we constantly go out lately. And last week we went to Manila Ocean Park. We haven't been there. And it's been a while since EJ has seen a fish. Hehehe.






The place is quite huge. Unfortunately it's not utilized well. There are still so many spaces available for rent. The park is comparable to KLCC Aquaria. Or maybe even bigger than KLCC Aquaria. I couldn't really be sure.

Anyway, EJ did enjoy the trip. So, it was a successful trip!

August 12, 2010

Saturday at Tagaytay

Last Saturday, we went to Sonya's Garden at Tagaytay for lunch. I've heard about Sonya's Garden for a long time now but haven't been there.

Thank you to my brother and sister in law for bringing us there. We had a lovely time.



Lunch started with a veggie salad spread. Their wheat bread was yummy! I had a whole loaf I guess. My diets for quick weight loss is put to the bin again. LOL!

That's hubby, my brother, my sis in law, Sam's yaya and my father.

After the veggie salad, we had pasta and salmon. Then after that we had this taragon tea. The aroma and the flavor was soothing.

EJ loved the fresh dalandan juice.

For dessert we had a chocolate cake, turon and minatamis na kamote.

EJ putting a protective hand on Sam. Sam and I are friends now. I was able to hold her that day without her crying. Hehehe.

For Php600+ per person, we had an almost guilt-free indulgence. Guilt free because the food were all healthy except that I ate a lot! LOL!

August 10, 2010

Happy 4th birthday EJ!

To a boy who wants to be a teacher and a race car driver, happy birthday!

To a boy who bombards me with what's and why's all day everyday, happy birthday!

To a boy who wants roller shades but doesn't want to buy roller blades, happy birthday!

To a boy who's smart and sweet, happy birthday!

To a boy who always makes my heart sing, happy birthday!

To a boy who turned my world upside down, happy birthday!

May God give you a long and healthy life and make all your dreams come true. Daddy and I will always be here for you. We love you so much. Thank you for coming into our lives.

August 9, 2010

Orchard Road in Megamall

Hubby and I were looking for Triple V in Megamall. We wanted to have their buffet merienda because it's a bit cheaper than Dad's. Hehehe.

But what we found was a different resto in Triple V's place. It's called Orchard Road.

That's their open kitchen. From the name of the resto, you could surmise they serve Singaporean food.


EJ as playful as ever


They have Hainan chicken. But since it was for afternoon snacks we only ordered:


Banana fritters with ice cream



Char Kway Teow



Dimsum


I love their banana fritters. The Char Kway Teow was a bit salty for me and the dimsum was okay. I will try their Hainan Chicken if I will stay here in Manila longer. But I feel I won't. So I'll try it next time I come back =)