Tuesday, June 30, 2009


First, sorry for the lack of entries. Lots of stuff going on.

I saw my eye doctor yesterday. I went to see him because what was left of my vision had gone blurry within the past week. After doing many tests, he concluded that the nerve and muscle that controls blinking pf the eye is weakening and within months, it will no longer be able to work, leaving the eye closed and leaving me completely blind.

I always knew that my body would become so weak that I could barely walk, but I had no idea I'd go completely blind.

To delay the rapid deterioration of the third nerve, I will consult with a doctor to go through another gamma knife surgery to target the brain tumor that is causing all the problems with my eyes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Memorial Service Drama

Tomorrow night is the memorial service for my grandpa. It will be held at the church he's been going to every Sunday morning no matter how weak, tired, or sick he felt. Everyone involved in the program is either a child or grandchild.

None of the family volunteered to sing a solo. So I raised my hand. Everyone laughed and wanted to hear a sample of my pitiful voice. My voice was hoarse and raspy because of the chemo I'm on. While they laughed, they also applauded.

But as of tonight, nobody isn't sure whether I should sing. Some relatives are egging me on, others are disagreeing saying I'm too sick, too raspy, or too pitchy.

I wish they'd hurry up and reach a decision. I don't know whether to practice.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Who's Next?

With grandpa going to heaven and me constantly being around my family for the past couple of days makes me wonder whether I'm the next to go. Today after the graveside service, I looked around at all my relatives and almost all of them are in relatively good health. I'm the only one struggling with cancer for eight years, the only one who is half-blind, and the only one going through chemo.

In fact, to be completely honest, I'm a teeny, tiny jealous of my grandpa, who is no longer suffering and is in a better place, without sickness, disease, or pain.

Trust me, I haven't given up yet: I still have some short and long term goals I'd like to accomplish before I sign off and power down. One of the short term goals on my list is getting a pair of these rockin' butt-ugly kicks.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Grandpa Died Today.

He was 92 years old. He served in the US Army duriong WW2 and survived the Bataan Death March in 1942. After arriving in the States in 1979, he petitioned the US government to allow all nine of his children into the States one by one.

If you're inclined to give a love offering, instead of flowers, you may make a donation to the church that that my parents started in the Phillipines. Please make your check payable to:

Covenant Church of God
c/o Batangas For Christ Ministry (in the memo section)
1025 Rio Rd ECharlottesville, VA

ohone: (434) 973-5536

Sunday, June 21, 2009


If you called me last week, you would have had a very sad person on the line with you.

But I'm at a point now where I've come to terms with it, accepted its reality, and I'm viewing it as "Ernie On 'Da Remix".

So many questions to ponder:

*Should I learn how to use a walking stick now in case both eyes go blind?

*Should I wear a patch? Wouldn't an eyepatch and a pair of glasses be accessorizing too much? If not, should I rock a custom made one from Louis Vuitton? It would probably cost at least a grand.

*Should I quit the gym? I definitely feel unsafe walking half-blind around fifty pound weights. And there's definitely no way I can run on the treadmill or use the elliptical machine without losing balance. Step classes are a thing of the past (I am currently in mourning over this).

*I guess I'll sell my bike, right?

*Am I okay with people turning away from me and not looking at me face-to-face? I'm not Elephant Man, I just have an eye that looks asleep. It ain't crusty, flaky, and full of pus like their face.

(Sunday night update: Because the swelling and bruising have subsided on the stitched-up eye, it is opening up ever so slightly in the corner closest to my nose. I'm calling the opthamalogist first thing in the morning.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The original brain tumor grew on my optic nerves, damaging the fifth optic nerve in my right eye which controls lubrication.

The lack of lubrication caused an ulcer to form on the cornea, so he squeezed a bunch of antibiotic ointment on it and patched the eye up. When the doctor removed it the next day, there was little improvement. "This will re-occur indefinitely unless the nerve regenerates," he said. "The best option is to sew it shut permanently, so it will stay moist and still continue to operate."

A team of doctors first numbed the area with local anaesthesia. I screamed from the top of my lungs every time the needle pierced my eye socket. They claimed that they've never had a patient yell that loud. I didn't care. Then three sutures were sewn on my eyelid- one in the middle, one on the left, and the third on the right.

As soon as they were done, they told me to sit up. I gradually got up. Then they kicked me out.

Monday, June 15, 2009



Friday, June 12, 2009

Ahoy matey!

Well, adding insult to injury, my legally blind right eye now has an ulcer growing on the surface. Despite a regimen of eyedrops to keep the eye moisturized, it's still not enough to keep the cornea properly lubricated.

So the doctor took a bunch of antibiotic, squeezed it all over my eyeball, and taped it closed to promote healing. If that don't work, they are going to SEW THE EYE SHUT and keep it that way until it gets better.

That's stuff straight out of a sci-fi movie!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sophie Uliano, nutrionist for many stars such as Julia Roberts and author of "The Gorgeously Green Diet", has interpreted those annoying little stickers on all the fruits and vegetables you buy at the store. They're not just pseudo-barcodes, they reveal how it was farmed.

If the sticker on the fruit or vegetable you buy begins with the number:

*"8"- it's non-organic and probably has a lot of pesticides you must wash off. "Eight isn't great."

*"4"- non-organic, possible pesticides and needs washing as well. "Four is a bore."

"9"- organic and grown all-natural. Best for your health. "Nine is fine."

Hmm. Interesting.
No it isn't.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"If I Can't Lose Weight, I'll Make My Friends Fat."

Oprah, is that your new mantra? What are you doing to poor Nate Berkus, your home decorator/designer you have on for home makeovers? Did you tell him about that whatever "non-diet" you're on? Every time I see him on your show, he's getting bigger and bigger, like Emeril Lagasse. His chin, cheeks, and belly have really opened up the room.

Nate, your berkus needs a workus at the gym.

(But I ain't hatin'!)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Uncle Ernie!

My sister, Ellen and brother-in=law are pregnant! 15 weeks! I am going to spoil that thang senseless until I'm centless.

I got to hear the heartbeat over the weekend: "Blom blom blom blom blom" (very fast).

Would I rather them have a boy or a girl? That's unimportant to me. What's "of the essence" is that I school that baby hard in baby fashion and style.

Let's start with rule #1: Designer diaper bag + Bugaboo stroller > one month's salary.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

? !

Well, the "official" radiologist report said that the original brain tumor is "stable," which is completely different to what was perceived before. Unexpected good news. Kinda' makes you go "?" "!"

No brain surgery needed. !

New chemo regimen to start ASAP -double the dose. :(

Still legally blind in one eye and getting worse. >:(

(Sidebar: I'm in NYC visiting my sister and brother-in-law. I'm planning on returning over the weekend or on Monday. Need something from the Big Apple? Call or e-mail me.)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Before & After Sunday Morning

Before yesterday morning, I was devastated. Shocked. I was off chemo for a couple of months- is that all the time needed for the menace in my head to wake up? Why did we take a break in the first place if there's a risk that things could start to stir?

I can't believe I'm going through this AGAIN. Forget feeling "hormonal"- I'm horrified and furious. And please don't tell me that everything will be fine. Your optimism is appreciated and acknowledged, but YOU'RE not the one going through it. I AM.

WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS? I'm a decent person. I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, and I'm certainly not an evil person.

And please don't tell me to pray to God that it'll be okay. I feel like running out the door and screaming at the whole wide world.

After yesterday morning, I realized I had a choice: fight and wrestle the situation in hopes to control it, or hand over this train wreck, this freak of nature, to God.

I finally gave it up: I'm powerless over this and I certainly can't control it. Whether or not the "official radiologist report" comes out today, tomorrow, or later this week, it will be okay. Whether or not it will be brain surgery or more chemo to stop the tumor's growth, it will be okay. I have faith, real faith, and trust that God knows exactly what I'm going through and will be with me every grueling inch, every painful step of the way.

And just because I know that, it doesn't mean I have to like it. But I'm more at peace with it. I'm more okay with it.

I'll be sure to post "official results" from the MRI as soon as I find out. Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening.