Sunday, September 21, 2008

Memory Fails Me...Again!!

I was eating a burger when I got a sudden flash of a McDonald's outlet I frequented when I was studying in Dunedin, NZ. I remembered the layout, like where the counter was and where I usually sat, but for the love of God I couldn't remember where it was in relation to the house that I rented on George Street!! Maybe it was to the north, but I couldn't remember anything past the Dairy Queen, where a roomate of mine went to but Penthouse and Playboy once. I wasn't even sure if there was actually a street leading straight up.

If I turned left, I would see a nice, expensive-looking motel and across from it was the Botanic Garden where I spent quite a few of my weekends. I loved the old graveyard up there, the Northern Cemetery. It was like being in an old English horror flick: the cracked tombstones, the fallen branches and rotten leaves, the greyness and quiteness of the surrounding, the sudden sounds of big black birds flying off the old trees. But it was also calming and listening to Tommy Page's songs while being wrapped in a thick duvan during the cold winter nights.

The cemetery was opened in 1872 for the people of Dunedin, and approximately 17700 people was buried there. If you go by the address, it was eerily situated in Lovelock Avenue. Many of Dunedin's and New Zealand's early settlers and founding residents, such as entrepreneur William Larnach (of Larnach Castle), Charles Speight (of the drinks Speights) and poet, legislator and journalist Thomas Bracken. The first burial occurred on 2/12/ 1872 when a little girl named Ada Massey was laid to rest in Plot 1 of Block 45. The last plot was sold in 1937. A variety of people were buried here because we could see some elaborated tombstones which, undoubtedly, housed the rich and famous. There were some without tombstones, and these were seen in the hard to get area, like the slopes. They probably belonged to the 'classless' people of New Zealand. Well, even in death social caste played its role.

I remembered New World supermarket being close by. Dunedin city was so small and trusting that they allow you to push the shopping cart home...just leave the address and they'd pick it up the next day!! But I can't remember anything beyond the supermarket...

Surprisingly though, I remembered the taste of the fish & chips at another Dairy Queen near Dunedin College of Education. Eating those hot chips from oily paper bags in the middle of winter was pure heaven, especially when I didn't have much money in my pocket...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One or A Hundred??

I was watching the ending of 2005’s The Wedding Date this morning, starring Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney, when it crossed my mind whether it’s better to be with a guy who has been with a hundred women in his past or to be the first with a guy. Errmm…

In the story, Debra had to return home to attend her younger half-sister’s wedding. She hired an escort, Mulroney, because she wanted to fool everyone that she was so over her previous boyfriend, a local bloke. Along the way she began to feel something for Mulroney, and vice versa. Later she found out that the ex broke up with her because he had sex, about a million times, with Debra’s sister, the one getting married to another man (the commodore of Pirates of the Caribbean). And the ex was still in love with the sister. But all ended well, with the ex being chased away, the wedding went on as planned and Debra being madly in love with the male prostitute cum escort.

At first thought, most of us would prefer being the first which, hopefully, entails being the only one in our man’s life. But, at the back of head there’s always this thought that maybe, just maybe, he holds this secret desire to experiment with other women. You know, just to find out what they are like, to fulfill some hidden desire, or simply to put an end to those curious thoughts. And being a mere male whose life is dominated by his libido, he could intentionally or otherwise, fall victim to his primitive needs.

And to have a man who has been with a hundred women choosing you to settle down with, that’s a great compliment. Imagine, none of the hundred women managed to make him love them. But you…arghh… you are special. One in a hundred…literally.

Assuming he had safe sex with those women that is. With everything from herpes to AIDS roaming freely nowadays, if I were single, I would probably take forever to decide and end up a spinster…

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Real Unsung Heroes

When I googled my name yesterday, I found out that I was one of the unsung heroes because I survived cancer. This has been bothering me since after I completed treatment actually, you know, the way I was called a hero just because I withstood six cycles of chemo and numerous Neupogen shots and 15 rounds of radiotheraphy, and a mastectomy and a 12-hour reconstructive surgery. Arghh...not to forget, the 9 months of being completely hairless...well, almost.

The real unsung heroes are the people who stood beside me regardless of stuff I had to go through, like the pretending they didn't smell the puke in my hair (1st chemo, when I still had hair), being OK walking around with a pale, sickly lady...always ready to catch in case I fell down, buying tons of stuffs they read somewhere would help me bear the pain and depression.

The REAL UNSUNG HERO NO 1 would have to be my husband, who was then merely a fiance who had miles to run if my condition so detested him. Instead, he held the plastic bag out when I vomitted my guts out. He even married me when I only had 1cm-hair on my head and one breast, and the prospect of never being able to have children!! How's that for a hero!!! Not to mention the countless hospital trips he had to make, spending the nights on the hard hospital chairs, placed facing each other so he could stretch his legs, day after day. Any other man would have ran off. And any other future-mother-in-law would have encouraged the son to flee the earth...but not his mom.

Tthe next HEROES would have to be 2 of my collegues, Norazila and Noralida. They visited often, and they brought stuffs...and in return, they got nothing!! In fact, I even offended Norazila once, refusing her visit by making some stupid excuse about visiting relatives when in fact I was having a rest at home, and she found out about this. It's kind of difficult to explain that sometimes I just didn't want to see anybody but at other times, I craved company. I was a wreck then, not knowing how to feel, how I should feel, about everything. And Norazila got the bad end of it...just one time thank god. Noralida was a good support with her visits and countless phone calls, asking how I was, asking the details of my treatment like she was really interested.

Another HERO is my father, whom despite his own high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, visited me at the hospital everyday. I had to lie to him about going for CAT scans or MRIs during visiting hours so he couldn't come.

So you see, these are the unsung heroes. Nobody really cared how much they had done, nobody had ever wanted to know. Most just took it that they did what they did because it was their resposibilities as fiance, friends and father. But that is NOT TRUE. They did what they did because that's who they are: people who care about people, people with honest, sincere hearts, people who are, in every sense of the word, HEROES.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

NOT pregnant!!!

What a disappointment!! I was so upset this morning when my menses suddenly decided to show up early. Then I caught the sight of my 2-year-old on her bike laughing happily and it al went away. Bless her. Nevermind...I'll try again.

Please let me be pregnant!!!!

I can't wait for next week, when my period is due. I hope it doesn't come because I so want another child right now. I had some brown spotting yesterday, which i hope is implantation bleeding because the timing was right. It's too soon for a pregnancy test but everyday is a torture. If I'm not, then I can be a bitch for a day or two and scream mercilessly at some poor students who fail to pass up some homework. If I am..then I'm blessed with another miracle.

The first one is an endless miracle. I conceived when the doctors told me I could not because chemo might have killed off the ovums and besides, my uterus is retroverted for reasons unknown. They also told me that if by some luck my ovums survived, I should not get pregnant because of the high risk of recurrence. I was even given a letter for a termination, should I desired to terminate the pregnancy. But of course, being my usual stubborn self, I excitedly went through the ordeal and gave birth to an amazing baby girl whom I would never trade for anything in the world.

Now I'm getting greedy and I want more.

If you are in my position, it's kind of a dillema because there is a 50% chance of me passing the darn mutated gene to my children, regardless of gender. The prof who did my DNA testing told me that I have three choices.
1. Be content with the one that I have now and don't have anymore children
2. Adopt
3. To hell with science and have as many babies as I want and leave it to GOD.

I choose no 3. The way I see it, I need to have more children BECAUSE of the darn gene.
1. If I don't live a long life, which my doctors seem to believe, I DO NOT want my daughter to feel alone because she has no siblings to turn to. My husband can always remarry and have more children but my daughter may not feel as she could with brothers and sisters of the same parents.
2. I inherit cancer of the ovaries too so I need to conceive NOW, while both are still in working order.
3. If my daughter carrries the gene, I do not want her to suffer alone because she has no siblings. I may not be around if we are looking at 10-15 years down the road, although I pray to God to let me raise my daughter first.

So now you understand why I absolutely have to get pregnant NOW. But I may not...because my oncologist told me that the single ovum that resulted in my daughter might be the only one that survived the high dose chemo I went through...