Thursday, July 20, 2006

one school day

me : so how was school, roque?
roque : great.
me : what did you do today?
roque : i watered the plants and washed the dishes. but i did not sweep the leaves.
me : oh yeah?
roque : yeah. my friend martin likes cheska.
me : how do you know?
roque : because he keeps on hugging her.
me : is she pretty?
roque : i don't know.
me : do you like her also?
roque : i saw her in the girl's bathroom. and i saw her panty.
me : what?! what were you doing in the girls' bathroom?!
roque : no mom! i was outside doing my play-doh.
me : so what color was it?
roque : it was pink.

well that's just too bad, martin.

Monday, July 17, 2006

it was for us too

the gathering of family and close friends
for our dear friend yvette yesterday
was for us as much as it was for her.

to see so many friends gather for her
was overwhelming
to us as much as it was to her.

to hear mass and to pray together
was uplifting
to us as much as it was to her.

to witness the annointing of the sick
renewed the hope
in us as much as it did in her.

to share a happy afternoon together
gave strength
to us as much as it gave her.

the gathering was really for yvette
but it was a reminder
to us as much as it was to her:

"whoever clings to me i will deliver; whoever knows my name i will set on high.
all who call upon me i will answer; i will be with them in distress;
i will deliver them and give them honor. with length of days i will satisfy them
and show them my saving power."
Psalm 91, 14-16

Monday, July 03, 2006

understanding choices

total brain irradiation is a treatment option for cancer spread to the brain. it decreases the risk of recurrence. but because it destroys both the cancer cells and the healthy brain cells, it commonly brings about dementia. dementia is a disorder of the mind that impairs perception and memory among other functions.

it is a mighty tough decision which my friend and his wife have to make. after being diagnosed with breast cancer, decision to go through mastectomy, chemotherapy and local radiation therapy to prevent spread was easy to make. it was a pretty straightforward treatment protocol to follow. but all those gave his wife only a few months of remission from breast cancer. just a month ago, there was a solitary tumor discovered in her brain, which turned out to be what they feared the most, a spread. they are in a different ballgame now, wherein unfortunately, there are no proven successful protocols to follow. at this stage, palliation is the name of the game. and cure, a miracle.

the wife, a real achiever, driven as she is, obviously was scared of having early dementia. she was worried she will be forgetful and may not be able to express her thoughts and feelings because of it. what will life be then if she could not communicate what is in her mind and heart?

her husband, another achiever, and just as driven, though also obviously worried about dementia, is threatened more by the possibility of a recurrence. "her forgetfulness or difficulty to communicate, i will be able to live with. but the recurrence... i cannot." what will life be then, if months, weeks, hours, minutes, or even just seconds with his life partner will be prematurely snuffed out from it?

i understand why he would rather choose living with her dementia. he continues to be hopeful and wants to at least give a chance for life with his life partner be extended for any period of time. whether that time is short, or shorter. he just wants them to be together and he wants to take care of her. to him, it does not matter if he will have to go through her difficulty in remembering or expressing herself. he will cope with it and will try to feel her thoughts and her feelings.

they say communication comes in various forms between people. many times, life partners have a way of understanding each other without words being spoken. depending on how much one loves another person, any which way should be good enough.