Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh By the Way...

I almost did not go to work today but after sleeping again after breakfast, I felt I can't be "absent" two days in a row.

So I called for a cab. I knew it was raining outside because the taxi was all wet.

I was early to my client's office. They ordered lunch for me but I didn't have appetite.

I was worried about the presentation because I was told the big bosses will be in attendance. Turns out, only one "makulit" (persistent) executive was present and gone was my nervousness.

They dropped me off where I can find a cab. The first thing the driver said was if I could add to the meter because it's traffic. That pissed me off so I decided not to speak to the driver the whole time.

When I reached home, my mom has not yet arrived from the doctor. So I fell asleep again.

Just when I started to work, she arrived with siopao, siomai and pancit.

Oh by the way, she gave the bad news...I have cancer of the bone.

I asked, "What stage?"

She said, "What do you mean what stage?"

So I had to verify with our doctor. The doctor said, "That's interesting because the results did not show the stage but based on other findings, she would say Stage 3."

Ah okay, Stage 3 out of Stage 4.

We had dinner.

After dinner, a client called following up a report. I sent it out.

Then, I saw an instant message from my ex-husband asking about my mom's account number because he was supposed to deposit some money.

Then I told him.

He was speechless at first. Then cold. Then he said he will pray for me. He asked if RR (our son) knows already. I said yes. And he asked how did RR react. My answer was "Dead ma. Oops no pun intended".

So, in the midst of a serious matter, I can still crack jokes. A good sign. I wonder at what point will I cry? So far, no tears have come. They are bound to come. Just not yet.

Don't cry for me, loved ones. I still have a lot of work to do. And I believe in miracles...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Something in the Air

There's something in the air...

...which prevented me from attending a client meeting this morning

...which slowed me down from my usual pace of work (took me hours to finish 62 slides of a report)

...which I know isn't swine flu (thank God!)

...which makes me super lazy to continue working tonight

...which might tempt me not to show up in tomorrow's presentation

But whatever it is, I know it will be gone eventually. Life goes on. Sometimes things happen to slow us down, so we can rest, so we can go back to our usual self.

Meanwhile, I shall not waste my time (and yours) trying to pinpoint what that "something in the air" is.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I am in suspense these days.

For two reasons.

One, I'm reading a suspense thriller entitled "The Fifth Angel". I'm more than halfway through. Good enough since I only started last Saturday evening and I had to work in between. By tomorrow or tonight, I will be finished I will tell you the ending (ha ha Oh no I won't dare!).

The other reason I am in suspense is that my bone marrow test results are still not out. I still don't know what's keeping my RBC count low. I still don't know what's causing me pain in my back. But wait, I must. No choice. I do have a choice on something. How I will react to the results, how I will react to whatever the doctor will say about what I'm really sick of.

So in due time, I will be relieved in knowing the ending of the book I am reading. I will be told of what I am sick of. In due time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Very Nice Monday

Woke up early today. Early enough to catch my son who was leaving for youth camp. Asked him to microwave my oatmeal for me.

Too early to leave for my client meeting. So slept again.

Took a bath. Had no trouble finding a cab.

Was too early, so ate batchoy and drank Coke Light at the canteen.

When we went to Client's office, guess what? Meeting postponed!

Blessing in disguised. I was able to reach Palanca office early to submit my entry.

Reached home. Mom not yet arrived.

Ordered lunch and dinner.

Took a nap after lunch.

Continued the book I started reading yesterday entitled "The Fifth Angel" by Tim Green.

My assistant arrived.

I did the following - revised a report, sent charts to client, formulated a questionnaire, cleared a codebook, talked to two subcontractors over the phone.

Mom arrived bringing all sorts of casoy - cashew nuts per se, yema casoy, panucha casoy.

Not bad for a Monday, huh?

Now back to my exciting book...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Alone on a Sunday

I woke up rather late. My son was already gone for church activities.

I ate Skyflakes and Graham Crackers for breakfast simply because I didn't know how to make instant oatmeal (am I pathetic or what?).

I heard TV mass.

I took a bath.

I revised a report.

Had lunch cooked last night by my son. But I didn't eat rice. I ate ripe mango for dessert. (Good news! I've been losing the weight I gained these past weeks.)

Took a nap.

Worked on some charts, the last of 13 countries.

Had merienda of fruit salad and orange-pinepple juice.

Listened to Bo preach in Preacher in Blue Jeans.

Watched Susan Boyle again in YouTube.

Hey, it's only past 5 pm and I've ran out of things to do!

Let me see now - my choices are watch TV, read a book, play scrabble, watch DVD. Oh no! All ofa sudden, my life is boring!

But I have learned a long time ago that "boring" is a relative word. It's all up to you. It's up to you to find joy and fun in your life. Our forefathers had much less but they weren't bored. No reason for us to get bored.

So what am I going to do after I write this post? I don't know just yet. But one thing's for sure - I will NOT do anything boring. Once I start getting bored doing something, I will simply move on to the next thing. That is how to get unbored.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Susan, Elaine, Lea, and I

No, we don't know each other from Adam (nor from Eve).

Susan is Susan Boyle, now the much talked-about, sensational contestant of Britain's Got Talent. She is 47 years old, single, unemployed, overweight, and most people would say, ugly (kinder souls would describe her as "plain"). But when she sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables, I cannot remember hearing a better version of the song! She has got tremendous talent! Susan may not look it, but she is bound to be a professional she had dreamed.

When asked who she wanted to be as successful as, Susan answered "Elaine Paige". Elaine who? Of course, us Filipinos are not expected to know her but I looked her up in the Internet and indeed she is a big shot - a British actress and singer, known for her awards and achievements on stage/musicals. She is a producer herself. Out of curiosity, I listened to her sing "I Dreamed a Dream" - great voice, polished...but I like Susan better.

And Lea? Our very own Lea Salonga. I watched her sing "I Dreamed a Dream" in YouTube as well. There is a wonderful combination of beauty and talent - not only can she sing, she can act as everybody knows by now.

And me? Where do I fit in? I don't sing but I would love to. Nobody enjoys my singing. I am a year older than Susan but I can say I'm much prettier than her. What have we got in common aside from us being single? We both have dreams. She wants very badly to be a professional singer. Previously, nobody gave her a chance. Now's her opportunity at fame.

In my case, it's quite the opposite. I used to dream of being famous and popular someday. Now I have given up that dream. My dream is to lead a simple life making as many people as possible happy, spreading love and happiness everywhere.

No, it's not likely that Susan, Elaine, Lea and I will ever meet. But we are all living our dreams, reaching out for our dreams. And you? What are you waiting for?

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Movie: A Great Reward

After working so hard...

After being in so much pain...

After not having a good night's sleep for week...

What better reward than watching a good comedy film on a Friday night?

I was all alone. My mom went off to Palawan with my sister's family. My son was elsewhere (as usual) with friends and churchmates.

I decided to watch what seemed to be a good movie.

A movie by Ben Stiller! (one of my favorite comedians) So "Envy" must be a comedy movie.

And indeed it was. He and Jack Black played best friends.

Ben started out as the better off between them.

But Jack invents a Vapoorizer which makes dog's pooh disappear.

Jack becomes famous and super rich.

He builds a mansion, puts a merry-go-round in his backyard, buys a white horse named Corky.

Meanwhile, it's downhill for Ben. He loses his job. He almost loses his family. And he accidentally kills Corky.

There's a third character, a bum who tries to help but things become worse for Ben.

Jack decides to make Ben his partner. Ben is filled with guilt and confesses. They are friends again.

But then Corky's body is found and it is filled with the chemical found in the Vapoorizer. Jack loses his wealth.

Until the two friends make a new discovery - some kind of flan in a tube.

All's well that end's well.

Not a bad way to end weeks of work, pain and sleeplessness.

But tonight is another night...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

When You Need to Rest...

Because I slept most of last night, sitting up again instead of lying down, I was sleepy the whole day.

And when you lack rest, the world allows you to rest.

So rest, I must.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bone Marrow Test

It took just a few minutes.

First, the hematologist cleaned my butt area.

Then she administered anesthesia.

Before, I knew it, I heard the dreaded words, "Hinga ng malalim" (breathe deeply).

I screamed in pain! It was excruciating as the doctor pulled out a piece of "me".

This is the second time in a few months that I underwent such a test. But this was much more painful.

I hope the pain was worth it.

I hope it meant, "All is clear."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sleepy and Itchy

All day long, I kept sleeping and itching.

But I was able to work somehow with my two assistants.

My boss told me to not go to work on my "last day", Friday.

I enjoyed airconditioning in my mom's room.

My son is here with me.

Tomorrow, I will have another bone marrow test. I wonder why?

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Joy of Knowing

I have a confession to make.

For the past few days, I have been thinking over and over again, "Am I dying? Do I have cancer?"

Today, I went back to office and worked and kept busy.

I slept a little for lunch.

I had hotdog and Coke Zero for lunch.

I finished a report.

I wrote a manual.

I settled an "issue" about PSM (Price Sensitivity Measurement).

Then it rained.

A man offered his umbrella.

The guard helped find me a cab.

The cab driver got caught for making the wrong turn but got free when he pointed to me as a sick person he was bringing to the doctor. Second piece of luck on the same day.

When I reached home, my son offered dinner. I chose longganisa, rice and mango.

He was watching "Leap of Faith".

Finally, after what seemed like forever, my mom reached home.

She was the last patient.

And the verdict?

I don't have cancer! Yehey!

The world is telling me I have much to live for. I still have much to do. I ain't dying.

Thank You, Lord! I long to see You but not quite yet.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Work and Fun on a Sunday

Today, I worked...prepared charts for four countries. Easy work. Easy does it.

Good thing, my best friend and her mom were late in arriving.

They brought chicharon, salad, and pichi-pichi.

Then I helped my friend write a letter of "objection".

A great day to spend a Sunday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

MRI vs. Citiscan

One looks like a coffin, the other looks like an oversized doughnut.

One does not require fasting, the other one requires one.

One does not require "purga", the other requires one such that I've had to drink castor oil the night before.

One does not require drinking anything before the test, the other one requires drinking an orange-flavored dye before the test.

One requires several minutes testing, the other one just takes a few.

One is needed to confirm that one has cancer.

Guess which?

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Pretty Nice Day

This has been a pretty nice day...

...I started using a new shampoo (Sunsilk hairfall) because I've been losing my hair - lots of its
[and it smells good!]

...I didn't have a hard time getting a cab

...the cab driver gave me menthol candy

...I was very early in the office

...I had my one-act play xeroxed for the Palanca

...the office guy found my spoon and fork with gold trimmings

...I was able to finish the manual my boss asked me to do

...I went home early because I didn't want to stay late on a Friday night and tomorrow is my Citiscan

...I rested upon reaching home

...I drank Coke Zero and ate Tostillas

...I finished the questionnaire I've been trying to do since yesterday assistant and I were able to release the charts due today

...we were able to start on the next batch of charts mom made me arroz caldo for tonight

Lord, I lift up to You my Citiscan tomorrow. I hope everything turns out well.

I love You.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Bloody Day

I know that Ted Failon and his wife are in the news the whole day.

But my own day was bloody, too:

1) I had blood tests in the morning but the girl and big guy could not draw blood from my veins except for the last attempt.

2) I was sleepy the whole day I was unproductive at work

3) My blood test results were also not encouraging. It reached 7.0, the minimum level.

4) Next steps? On with the Citiscan on Saturday. And I really must sleep already.....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


For what seemed like forever, I had difficulty lying down in bed to sleep. I could not stay in one position because of the pain in my back and pelvic area. Many times, I sat on chair, pillows behind me and "slept" while in a sitting position.

Recently, my Neurologist recommended a strong pain killer. So strong that I could lie in bed again at night without pain, so strong that I can walk faster to any destination, so strong that I need not tell taxi drivers to avoid the potholes on the road...

And yet -

...I am constantly nauseous, I've vomitted a number of times

...I am always dizzy

...I am sleepy all day long

So, do I give up the pain and live with these discomforts or try another pain killer?

Trial and error.

Till my doctors get it right.

But will they ever get things right?

I don't know. All I know is that I feel like throwing up again. Excuse me...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mother Teresa Wrote to Me

In 1997, I received a letter from Mother Teresa just a few days before she died. Let me share with you, what she wrote:

Dear Nimia Gamo Yumol,

Thank you very much for your beautiful letter. I am glad to learn of your love for God. He loves you in a special way. Listen to Him in the Silence of your heart and you will hear Him speaking to you, "I love you, you are precious to Me; love one another as I have loved you."

He loved us to the very limit of love - The Cross. Let us also love Him so much as to give ourselves to Him in each other. Let us pray.


M. Teresa mc


In one short letter, Mother Teresa teaches us how to become a saint. Let us heed her words and see each other in heaven!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Today, my mom showed the results of my MRI to my Neurologist. The latter showed her the normal spine vs. mine and it was clear that the bones of mine have eroded substantially.

I will have to undergo two kinds of citiscan. One in the abdomen area, the other in the chest.

Good news! I was given a stronger pain killer to be taken three times a day and as needed.

Do I have the dreaded "C" word? If that were so, yehey! I will meet my Creator earlier than expected. (How presumptious of me!)

But I have to remain cool, calm and collected.

The tears, the denial, the anger may come later on.

Then acceptance.

Well, what do you know, I'm human after all. And as of this writing...still alive.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Simple Glorious Easter!

Today was a simple yet glorious Easter! Because...

...I finished a report even if it meant working in the early morning

...being able to sleep on the bed for a few hours without too much pain

...catching a beautiful Easter song played on Studio 23

..."attending" a healing mass with Fr. Mario as the priest-presider (I just love his sense of humor!)

...eating a sumptuous lunch of salad (with two kinds of dressing - Caesar's and Asian), one-piece KFC chicken with gravy, Meltz, Coke Zero -- yummy!

...putting pictures in all my past posts where there were none (they really add life to even the most boring of blogs)

...writing at least 20 sequences of the screenplay I was supposed to be writing weeks ago (I might just make it to the April 30 deadline)

...spending the whole day with just me and my mom in the condo

...I went through my emails and Facebook account

For these and many more little pleasures day in and day out, I thank God!

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Black Saturday Need Not be Bleak

It's Black Saturday and did I "celebrate" it? Naah! I worked!

A close friend of mine came over and she brought chicken (ala Buffalo wings), kimchi, coleslaw, some other appetizer. Mom made mami with quail eggs, pork chop and there's her now famous avocado with banana salad.

Then, it was work time! For hours, my friend and I revised a report which she was due to present to client on Monday. We were almost done when she had to leave. That means tomorrow, Easter, is another working day for me.

What is it with work that is therapeutic? It keeps one's mind off one's pains and troubles.

And so, tonight, I shall be "sleeping" early but for sure I will wake up again because of the pain but refreshed enough to finish a report. Strange lifestyle I have, don't you think?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thoughts on Good Friday

Here are the results of my MRI

MRI of the Lumbosacral Spine

Sagittal and axial T2W, sagittal STIR, and coronal and sagittal T1W images shows multiple osteolytic lesions in the included spine and pelvic bones, the rest of the bone marrow segments showing increased fat signals. There are varying degrees of compression/fish vertebra configuration of the thoracolumbar vertebral bodies, more severe at T12, L2 and L4. There is also posterior bulging at the T12 vertebral body and endplates of most lumbar vertebral bodies, indenting the ventral aspect of the thecal sac at corresponding levels.
The conus medullaris and intradural roots are intact.
The spinal canal and exit foramina are not narrowed.
The ligamentum flavum is hypertrophic from L2-L3 to L5-S1. The L3-L4 to L5 - S1 articular facets are also hypertrophic.
THe intervertebral discs and other facet joints are unremarkable.
There is no evident spondylolisthesis.
The pre and paraspinal soft tissues are unremarkable.

1) Multiple Osteolytic Lesions and Osteoporosis in the included spine and pelvis, with compression deformities as described
2) Metastases, Myeloma and other Myeloproliferative Disorders are the usual considerations
3) Flaval Hypertrophy, L2-L3 to L5-S1
4) Facet Hypertrophy, L3 - L4 to L5 - S1
5) No evident spinal canal or neuroforaminal stenosis or intradural lesion.

Sounds Greek to me and even after I searched in the Internet, I just got the feeling that I have bone cancer! I can't wait to hear my Neurologist explain things to me.

It is Good Friday and I spent most of it working. It feels good to work but at the same time I feel guilty for not properly spending the day the way a good Catholic should. I just listened to Bible readings and two reflections for today.

My reflection is: My God loves me so much, He went through such great lengths and tremendous suffering! My response to that is not guilt but gratefulness and love - how can I not love back such a loving God?

Thank You, Lord, for Your unconditional, fathomless, bottomless love for me and all mankind.

I love You very, very much! I ask only for many opportunities to express my love for You. Amen.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Thursday

Today is Holy Thursday but I spent only a short while "celebrating" it - listening to Scripture, listening to reflections, watching a TV mass with washing of the feet, a little praying, that's it.

The rest of the day, I worked, watched television, spent time with my son.

I'd like to share Bo Sanchez' insight - "Don't focus on the pain. Focus on the beauty of the journey and the glory of the reward." I'm still in a lot of pain and until my doctor explains things to me, I don't know exactly why. But I shall cherish every beautiful moment with my son, my mom, and other loved ones. I shall treasure every sunset and every rainbow. I shall enjoy every fun time with family and friends. And when my time is up, I shall savor every second with my beloved Father in heaven!

Happy Holy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

MRI Results

I received my MRI results but I could not understand a thing. I guess I will just let an expert (my neurologist) explain things to me.

My doctor-friend advised me to seek professional help at once. I wonder if that means something bad or she is just concerned?

I think I will be able to "celebrate" Holy Week after all. My foreign client was happy to receive four reports so far out of 13. Not bad, considering that the first six was due end of next week.

Thank You, Lord!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's Holy Week but...

It's Holy Week, but I still haven't done anything "holy". I mean like meditation, fasting, abstinence, going to confession, hearing mass, Bible reflection...not even watching "10 Commandments" on TV!

I'm still swamped with work and there seems to be no letting up.

Help! Lord, I need You! I miss You! I long to be with You this holiest of weeks. Please fix my schedule so I can do something, anything - to reflect on the meaning of Your Sacrifice for mankind and for me.

I love You Lord, very, very, very much! I offer my "busyness" to You! I offer my life and everything to You!

All glory, and honor and praise be to You, my King!

Monday, April 6, 2009

In Record Time!

For two nights now, I have been begging my mom to cancel our appointment at the De Los Santos Medical Center for my MRI. I can't imagine lying down straight for 45 minutes when at home, I could not do it! I had to sleep sitting on a chair.

But my mom would hear nothing of it. I had no choice.

So when we went to the hospital, she and I were praying that I would be able to do it.

The man before me was moving a lot so the medical guy had to keep saying, "Sandali na lang" (This will just take a short while).

When it was my turn, I had a hard time lying down but I made it. My legs were placed on top of a comfortable foam. And inside the "coffin" I went. I was a bit uncomfortable but I tried my very best not to move. I tried praying the rosary but could not concentrate. I was still on my first decade when it was all over!

My first words were "I was a good girl, wasn't I?" The guy nodded. I asked how long it took me. He said 20 minutes. Wow! I set a record! They earlier said it usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. I made it!

To celebrate, my mom and I ate Japanese food at Sushiya in Tomas Morato. We ordered Bento Box of steamed rice, tofu, California Maki, 5 pieces tempura, iced tea and we even ordered green tea ice cream (something different). Yummy!

Praise You, Lord!

Now the big question is, what will the MRI results show?

Sunday, April 5, 2009


In our family, there are six April birthday celebrants. Last night, we had a party here in my mom's condo.

First things first: the food - crab, lechon, kare-kare, barbecue, two kinds of pancit, KFC (two kinds), Indian mangoes, fresh mangoes, chocolate mousse with strawberry topping, rice, and soft drinks. Yummy!

A lot of them remarked at how big my tummy is and how "manas" my feet are.

As usual, there was much laughter - even if one nephew and one niece are still grieving over the death of their grandfather.

Someone brought a book without a cover. My youngest brother commented, "I cannot judge this book!" Everyone laughed. Then I said, "Inggit ako (I'm envious)". That's because when I crack jokes, hardly anybody in my family laughs.

Oh well, there was picture-taking with our Kuya as official photographer. Wait for the photos.

Tomorrow, I will be facing another test - the dreaded MRI! How can I lie still for 45 minutes when I cannot even do that in the confines of my home? Lord, let me be still so that I would know what is wrong with me. Please?

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I had my blood test today. Results? My RBC count and hemoglobin are still down, even went further close to "minimum" level. But no, I wasn't required to undergo blood transfusion. The dosage of one of my medicines was just increased from twice a day to thrice a day.

Whew! That was a close call!

One down, one more to go on Monday (that MRI).

Meanwhile, tonight, it's party time. Family members are coming over to celebrate the birthdays of all April celebrants. Yahoo!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Down or Up? Something or Nothing?

Tomorrow, I will undergo yet another blood test. And if my RBC count is still still too low, I will undergo a blood transfusion. Oh no! Lord, let the results be normal this time. I can't have that blood transfusion. I have a family get-together. I have reports to write. I have projects to attend to. I command you, red blood cells! Increase in number to a normal level or else...grrrh!

And then on Monday, I will undergo an MRI to find out what really is causing my back pains. Is it something that would require operation or nothing of that sort? Lord, let it be nothing!

Don't we wish we could just command away our problems? But then, as we often hear, there is a purpose for everything. We may not always know right away what that purpose is but trusting that there is one should be enough to get by.

And so, despite my busy schedule and my medical problems and absence of that special someone, I get by.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

When Final Ain't Real

Just recently, a salesman went to the office selling DVDs worth P50 each. I asked for romantic comedies and he showed me three. I was thinking of actually buying them when I was told I had a phone call. Saved by the telephone!

Buying pirated movies? Would that have made me a co-pirate? By the time I finished with my call, the salesman had left. Good thing!

It's annual income tax-paying time and I just finished computing how much I will be paying this year. Funny, I have two worksheets - one labeled "final", the other is "real".

Guess which computation I actually followed? I decided to get real. Although the "final" version would have saved me about P3,500 cold cash. You see, I was thinking of not declaring two sources of income which I felt did not go to me anyway. But then, I couldn't be sure so my conscience decided for me.

Oh well, honesty has a has its rewards, too, primary of which is peace of mind.

So, tonight I shall be sleeping well...unless my back aches again! But better to be sleepless due to back pain than because of a nagging conscience.

This is honest Nimia, signing off.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Beautiful Mom Turns 77

It's April Fools' Day. It's also my mom's birthday. She turned 77 today. I jokingly told her to buy lotto tickets because double 7 is a lucky number. Even without my telling her, she would have and she did.

I feel so lucky to have a mom like Alicia Serapio Gamo. She ... beautiful (I got my beauty genes from her!) but I admit that when she was 16 vs. when I was 16, she was much prettier soooh thoughtful...she remembers what food I like, she buys me clothes and other stuff

...does not mind so much that she is currently my personal maid - she cooks, washes dishes, buys groceries, cleans the condo, etc. for me

...loves me even if I'm not her favorite child (it's our youngest who is her favorite but I don't mind)

...makes sacrifices for me like going out of her way to buy my medicines, put those medicines in medicine boxes, she wakes up in the middle of the night to put Salonpas or hot compress on my back, she gives me pain killers whenever I'm in terrible pain, and so on

...talks about me to her friends and other people who are her regular telephone callers (I'm her favorite topic!)

...moves fast, is well-organized and neat, has common sense, handles money well - all qualities I don't have

...exercises often, dresses up well, does not usually wear bra, knows how to put on make-up and how to fix her hair - vanity personified! (just like me, except for the bra part)

I'm writing all of these things because I know she'll never get to read this. She's computer illiterate.

But one thing for sure...I love my mom and I won't exchange her for any other mother in the world!