When Cancer Found Its Way Into Our Family Again

Donna

In 2008, my sister Donna succumbed to leukemia. She died 11 months after she was diagnosed. This year, the dreaded C word hit closer to home. This time, it attacked someone very close to my heart.

Phoebe Danielle Lim

The girl in the photo above is my daughter. Known and called by everyone close to her as Kibbie, her real name is Phoebe Danielle. Less than a week before her 18th birthday, she was diagnosed of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma and was recommended to undergo total thyroidectomy as soon as possible. Based on her ultrasound, the mass found on her right thyroid was just 1cm shy from reaching the dreaded 4cm mark.

So, the day after her birthday last August 17, we admitted her to the hospital and on the 19th, she had her surgery.

Phoebe Danielle Lim

This was Phoebe a couple of days after her surgery.

Phoebe Danielle

A lover of stuffed animals, she was very happy to get a stuffed bear from her boyfriend a day before she was discharged last August 24.

Phoebe Danielle Lim

Then, just yesterday, we were told by her endocrinologist that she needs to undergo radioactive iodine treatment six weeks from now. This recommendation was based on the biopsy result gathered from the specimens taken during her total thyroidectomy operation. It turned out that the mass on her right thyroid had invaded her blood vessels and metastasized into other glands.

Phoebe Danielle

This was how Kibbie waited for her doctor…only to be told that she needs to undergo radioactive iodine treatment.

We love Kibbie and we want all cancer cells gone from her body. However, we don’t have enough funds to pay for her treatment and hospitalization. So, we are asking for help in raising funds for Kibbie to fight cancer and be on the road to remission.

Please click on the link below to know more about our fundraising campaign for Phoebe and to learn more about her. Thank you very much for the love.

Phoebe’s Treatment Fund

Seafoods for My Valentine on Hearts Day

love is real.
it is all around.
it is in the air,
on the earth,
in the water.
it is what propels life.
it is what ignites
the fire in our hearts
and makes us listen
to the songs of our soul.
to live is love.

Love

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, I came home to a bouquet of flowers from my husband. Like a teenager, I did not know how to react when I saw it, so I just smiled shyly and murmured my thanks to the man who has been by my side for almost twenty years. Continue reading

Getting Sick, Going Healthy

Last week, when my hubby and I went to the drugstore, I noticed they were offering free blood pressure check. As it has been a while since I last monitored my BP, I decided to take advantage of the offer and was surprised to learn that I had an elevated reading of 160/110. I was diagnosed with hypertension in 2009, but I really thought that it has been controlled with the maintenance drugs I have been taking.

However, as my boss was out of town and I had a lot of things to do at work, I did not mind my elevated blood pressure and went to work every day. When the weekend came, I was already suffering from severe headaches, nape pain, weakness in my limbs and dizziness. Because of this, I was unable to work yesterday and decided to have myself checked.

Earlier today, during my visit to my cardiologist, I learned that my BP had spiked to 190/110 and I was already 145 pounds. I am aware that I’ve got elevated blood pressure and have gained weight, I just did not know it was this bad. So, I was started on a new course of medications and was strictly ordered to lose 40 pounds with the aim to get to the desired weight of 105 pounds to my height of an inch over 5 feet.

I was told that I must stay away from a whole lot of food I love like fresh bread and baked goodies from the bakery oven. My heart cried at the thought of not being able to inhale my favourite soft white breads, croissants, turnovers, pastries and cookies. I could not get to eat savoury and sweet tarts anymore. I should also stop eating processed food like Spam, bacon and hotdogs as well as junk food like burgers, pizza and French fries. And, as I should start on a low-carb, low-salt and low sugar diet, I was also asked to stay away from rice, pasta and all types of potatoes.

As a result, I started researching salad and veggie dish recipes and below are my favourites:

Martha Stewart’s Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Lime-Buttermilk Dressing

Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Lime-Buttermilk Dressing

Who wouldn’t want anything from the world renowned Martha Stewart, right? Especially if it is a salad that comes with shrimp. Going healthy looks good right here. Continue reading

My Love for Peanuts and My Craving for Shrimps

The first cartoon characters I was introduced to were Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and the rest of the gang. I grew up reading about the Peanuts comics and watching their cartoon clips. So, when I learned that a movie was soon to be released in theaters and that McDonald’s offered Peanut toys with their Happy Meals, I was transported to seventh heaven.

Collecting all 10 toys was not easy, considering that I have kids who also loved Peanuts as much as I do. So, when I finally got them all, you can just imagine how happy I was. My joy was similar to the eating the first spoonful of vanilla ice cream on a hot summer day, lying on a hammock while reading a book one cool afternoon or smelling bread fresh from the bakery oven before your first bite.

Below is how my new Peanuts Happy Meal toy collection progressed from three to ten:

My collection was completed over the past weekend, much to the enjoyment of the kids who devoured the spaghetti that we bought, so we could get the toys. And, along with this achievement, my craving was also satisfied when my husband bought some shrimps for me.

I started wanting to eat shrimps when I had my PMS early this month. I was not able to eat any though because it seemed like there was never a chance to either eat out or cook a shrimp dish. Little did I know that my hubby was just listening to my rants about wanting to eat what many jokingly call as the “cockroach of the sea”. So, when he came home after going to the market early Sunday morning, he already got a bagful of shrimps with him.

Although I just wanted my hubby to cook the shrimps simply in garlic and butter, I found out he had something else in mind. He sauteed the shrimps in minced garlic, onions, ginger and jalapenos with a splash of lemonsito juice and orange soda. And, you can see the result in the image below.

I bet you are drooling right about now. Am I right or am I right? LOL! I know how you are feeling…the sad thing with you is, you won’t be able to sample this tasty dish, while I got to eat it to my heart’s delight.

Believe me, my resolution to eat less carbs with every meal flew out the window. I ate with my hands and savored every bite, licked off orange sauce from my fingers and belched like a truck driver. It was probably my first ever totally satisfying meal for the year.

This weekend, my hubby promised he will cook shrimps for me again and to top that off, my aunt said she’d be taking out her baking equipment to cook up some of her delectable pineapple-carrot cake. If that isn’t the perfect way to cap off a hectic work week, I don’t know what is.

So, what are your plans for the weekend? Let me know what you had on your table lately that had you completely satisfied. I’d be glad to know your story.

 

Overdose on Pasta Love Before the New Year

It’s almost 2016! And, before the year ends, let me share how I went overboard with my love for pasta recently. As I mentioned in previous posts, I love pasta so much, I cook it for almost every occasion, especially for my kids, who absolutely adore my spaghetti.

However, for Christmas Eve, which we, just my kids, my hubby and I, spent together for the first time in our li’l home, I decided to cook seafood pasta with my own version of a marinara sauce.  I used diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, a dash of oregano, scallops, squid rolls, olive oil and lots of Parmesan cheese for my sauce and penne for the pasta. Instead of pouring my sauce over the cooked pasta, as is my usual process, I mixed it with the sauce, while it was still bubbling merrily away in the pan.

Of course, I didn’t  cook the pasta all the way through, so it would still be firm and sumptuous when I mixed it in with the sauce. Once everything was cooked, I topped it with more Parmesan. The result? My family loved it! Paired with newly toasted garlic bread from the bakery oven, it was perfection. Even my baby Elle loved it and asked for seconds and thirds. And, that for me, is the best validation any mom could ask for, especially coming from my kids, who are becoming food critics in their own ways.

Continue reading

so, you say i have a dark side…

Dark Abstract Art

Photo Source:
wallpaperup.com

so, you say i have a dark side…
you don’t know how utterly bleak
i can be, when i put my soul into it.
there is a monster lurking inside of me
that aches to take over the genial mask
i put on every day.

so, you say i have a dark side…
you have no idea how pitch black
my heart can be, if i will just admit
to myself and to the world
how disgusted i am over people’s pitiful
attempt to live in conformity.

and, so you say i have a dark side.
you will never know how lost i already am,
if you will not care to delve
into the recesses of my being
and discover for yourself just who the hell
i really am.

Riding on Yummy Dreams of Food

 

Have you had a really bad case of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) when you got really, really sick with migraine, body aches and cramps and thought of nothing but all types of yummy food? I had one such episode just this past week.

It was like there was nothing in my mind but food. There was a parade of cheesy bacon burgers, pizza, chocolates, pasta, fried chicken, French fries and what not dancing through my every thought that I would have ended up eating my hand during my reverie if I was not able to stop myself in time. Continue reading