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Archive for the ‘health’ Category

bone cancer ribbon

I visited my college best friend who is suffering from stage 4 cancer in the hospital and was a bit surprised at the changes that happened to her in almost two weeks that I haven’t seen her. I was pre-occupied with a couple of wonderful things that happened at our home front that I didn’t get a chance to drop by.

Just a couple of weeks ago, she was saying that her hair was too long and that she wanted to get a haircut ‘coz her natural curls were showing. I told her to just leave it alone and I was glad that she listened, because then she was able to enjoy her hair for a couple more weeks before they all fell out after her chemotherapy. Her cheeks were puffed from steroids. Her amputated leg rested on the bed. Her platelet count dropped to 14—way below the normal standard count of 150. I could say that she had all the reasons to complain—but she didn’t.

She welcomed me with a warm smile and I knew that if she only could, she would leap out of that bed to give me a big, tight hug. I was humbled by the sight of her. Such a strong spirit who refuses to give in to the frailties of this mortal existence.

We talked for a couple of hours to catch up on things that happened for the past couple of weeks. Her illness has not changed her outlook in life. She spoke about her husband and children with a twinkle in her eye—proud of their achievements and a deep love for them that I could sense as she described their activities. We laughed about personal jokes and discussed things that we planned to do in the coming days. She is the same person that I’ve known for more than three decades now despite her missing leg and hair. I quietly admired her strength of character and faith in God’s eternal plan.

I came to visit her that day in the hope of cheering her up, but it was me who benefitted more from that experience as I left her room and felt gratitude for all the things I have been blessed with that matter most in life—health, family and friends.

May we continue to treasure the things that matter most in life. Let’s have the faith and courage to face our challenges with a hope that these things are but for a small moment, and that our eternal rewards go beyond what our human minds can truly comprehend.

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Listen and watch as Stephanie Nielson, a survivor of a near-fatal plane crash that left most of her skin burnt, shares her story of hope and triumph despite her great trial and how she describes her beautiful life centered on faith in Jesus Christ and love of family.

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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)

On our way home from Church on Sunday, our conversation drifted from one topic to another. We passed by some colleges and it made me ask my 14-yr-old son the traditional question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I guess I was expecting to hear a response on what career he would like to pursue; more in the line of doctor, engineer, pilot, computer wiz, or even a fireman! Instead I heard him say: “I want to be rich.”


It made me chuckle, but I followed up with a question: “And how are you planning to do that?” He replied: “I’m going to be famous through my music.”


He then enumerated the things he’d like to do in order to make it happen. I was impressed that at his tender age he already had a plan!


How many of us have planned to become rich in this life? It’s very common for people to aim for the best and that includes being financially comfortable. It is a fact of life. I think that there is nothing wrong with wanting to elevate ourselves in a position where we would have the means and resources to purchase what we need, but more importantly we have to want it in order for us to be in the position to help lighten the burden of our less fortunate fellowmen and not just for our own selfish motives.


It is written in the scriptures that: “…before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted” (Jacob 2:18-19).


As we all know, it is nice to have money, but it is not the most important thing. We can’t bring it with us where we are all going. It isn’t wise to accumulate too much if we lose our souls in the process. I think it’s good to have enough of it for our needs and a little more for a rainy day and to help other people. It is very temporary and a lot of the things that really matter cannot be bought by it—not health, not friendship, not happiness, not peace, and as the Beatles say, not love.


So let us strive to keep our perspective in focus. Let us work hard for the riches of this world, but keep in mind to work harder for the wealth that really lasts—the riches of eternity. 


Have a fabulous week everybody!!! 🙂

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(Photograph by Dianne Bolo-Bacigalupi)


A few weeks ago, I sent an online inquiry about a fitness center program that I was interested in. Although my schedule was pretty hectic, I thought it would be good to invest in one’s health so I wanted to know more about it. I received a prompt call from one of the center’s employees acknowledging the inquiry and inviting me to come to their gym to see their facilities that day. I had something else planned so I politely declined and uttered the standard courteous response: “Maybe some other time.” To me that was the end of our conversation as I didn’t see any opening in my calendar for it. But little did I know that I was talking to one of the most persistent persons on the planet. 🙂

To my astonishment, I consistently received either a text message or a phone call from this fitness center employee in the many days that followed. And the time varied. Sometimes she would call in the morning and sometimes I would get a text message in the middle of the night. I tried to set up an appointment twice, but had to cancel due to various valid reasons. Instead of giving up or getting annoyed, this person encouraged me ever so kindly and untiringly reminded me to reset our appointment at my “most convenient time.”


Finally yesterday, I was sleeping in a dark room and had my celfone on silent mode when I was awakened by a blinking light inside the room. I opened my eyes and saw that my celfone was blinking. This fitness center employee was calling me to remind me of my appointment with her in about an hour! I was greatly impressed!!     


To cut my long story short, I got out of bed, went to the gym, met the persistent fitness center employee, signed up for the program that I was inquiring about, and became a satisfied gym enthusiast. 🙂


More than anything, I think I learned a lot from the display of persistence and patience that this employee exhibited. She didn’t stop and she didn’t get discouraged until she was able to reach her goal. She just pushed and worked hard for it until she finally got what she was aiming for. I think that’s a great example of how we should achieve our goals in life! We should be hopeful, patient, and persistent.


Most importantly, after all our hard work on whatever it is we are trying to achieve, let us remember to thank Him who blesses us with all that we have and all that we are.


Enjoy the rest of the week everybody!! Keep on keeping on!!! 🙂

 

 

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)

Yesterday I watched while the hospital aides wheeled and transferred a very good friend of mine onto her hospital bed as she lay unconscious from the recovery room. I stood in awe thinking how things can change in a snap of a finger in this, our temporary earthly existence.

Not too long ago, this friend supported me in a crucial way during one of my lowest moments and had figuratively become my crutches until I was able to get back up on my feet again. Now, she was lying helpless and numb fighting her own earthly battle, while I quietly stared feeling powerless and completely dependent on the only Being who could bless her with the healing that she needs.


We exchanged text messages the previous day and she expressed how hopeful she was until she found out more about her illness. I told her to have faith in Him and reminded her that everyone will be called “home” at some point and that if she is ever called home now, then I think she is in the best position as she has tried to live up to her potential and is serving Him the best way she can. 


As I waited for her to regain consciousness, I recalled many fond memories of our friendship as well as instances when we overcame misunderstandings that made our friendship even stronger. In most cases, we tried to follow the counsel given in the scriptures to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). Being the more mature and sensible individual, perhaps (okay fine, I am sure) she did a lot more of the understanding and loving while I worked on my idiosyncrasies—which, by the way, is still a work in progress. 🙂


I guess the point I’m driving at is that we have a whole lifetime to perform wondrous things and improve ourselves in many ways; and although we don’t start out as shining, polished gems that we were meant to be, we can do all we can so that when the time comes that we are lying helpless and numb, or when we are called to return back home, then we could look back and declare to the Master as Paul did: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). 


Have a wonderful day everybody! 🙂 Let us all try to do something good in the world today! 🙂
 

 

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(Photograph by Charisse Paculanang)

I was sick over the weekend and was consequently forced to stay in bed for the most part. I had to drop all appointments, activities, and plans for that beautiful weekend and did nothing. Of course the world didn’t stop without me in it. Life went on as scheduled and I just missed out on part of the fun.


As I lay in bed, I thought of someone very dear to me who is currently bravely fighting an illness that would’ve caused me to sink and sulk. I thought how insignificant my fever was compared to what she has. Yet despite it all, she keeps her spirits high and in turn inspires those around her to keep a positive outlook amidst physical challenges of life.

Each of us will, at one point, succumb to the frailties of this mortal existence. Some will return “home” ahead of the others. But while we are given the chance, let us be wise and not take for granted what we are given. Our physical bodies are gifts from God that we need to take care of and if we do it well enough, we may be instruments in doing a lot of good in this temporal world.   

Stay healthy everybody!!! Take your vitamins everyday!!! And why not bring an umbrella just in case it rains?!! 🙂

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