Being Normal Is Overrated

I am never able to use the changing of seasons as metaphor for the changes in my life.

For a simple reason really: More than it being a trite cliché, I’ve never been outside the Philippines in my 29 years of being alive.

I have never seen firsthand the leaves switching color palettes every quarter until they wilt and fall to the ground. I have never seen trees go into hibernation, be covered in snow, and then watch them come back to life.

In the Philippines, we go from heat wave to rain deluge in the span of one day—and this, if anything, best describes my temperament more than the changes in my life.

But I digress.

Continue reading Being Normal Is Overrated



I was diagnosed of Hodgkins Lymphoma in September 2013.

Officially in remission, September 2016.


Actually, I ended my radiation therapy in December 2015, so technically, I’ve been relatively free for quite some time now.

But I had my post-treatment CT scan last August, the photo of which is above, and I needed my oncologist to say the word “remission”.

That day was the first of September 2016. And like I said on my Facebook account, I need that date tattooed on me.

Huge HUGE weight off my shoulders.

The blog posts from this point forward are all going to be new. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write more about my cancer journey as I look at it in retrospect.

Why I Was Wrong To Stop Writing On This Blog

[ First published on June 28, 2015 ]

Note: I debated for months whether I should reupload this particular post. I don’t honestly like seeing how weak I am, but this is something I keep telling myself I should do for my future self. So, my dear reader, one of my many moments of weakness: 


I made the mistake of denying my emotions, believing that if I don’t deal with them head on, they would go away.

“On the contrary, iha, you gave your emotions more power over you,” my counselor told me.

I wanted this cancer blog to reflect only the good things throughout my treatment (and my life following it). What I didn’t realize, however, is that if I kept writing both the good and the bad, I could be looking back today at everything I’ve written and see how far I’ve progressed. That, by itself, is something that I should celebrate.

I realize that only in hindsight would I be able to appreciate the process that I went through and the small triumphs that I was too blind to see at the time. So here I am again, writing.

Continue reading Why I Was Wrong To Stop Writing On This Blog

Random Thoughts While Reuploading Old Posts

  • I miss my dot com website. I used to run the now-defunct, but changes need to happen
  • I realize I’ve only written five articles on that site, three of which I’m reuploading here
  • Do I regret not writing much about my cancer journey back then? Not really. The situation was different then and now. Even if I go back in time, I would still find it grueling to write about my experiences then
  • Because that kind of thing happens–experiences get too horrific difficult for words
  • It’s AMAZING to see how far I’ve come since I was diagnosed in 2013

Now back to reuploading the last post.

Celebrating Small Victories: Chemo Session 2, The Aftermath

[First published August 18, 2015]

You’d think having cancer and going through chemotherapy would mean bleak and dreary days for the duration of the treatment. Sure, I won’t deny the days when despair would poke my slumbering depression like an annoying poke stick, but Life can be funny in its own way.

One minute it throws you down a hill with a huge boulder barreling down behind you, then the next, you’ll find hot demigod Thor a few meters in front of you. Hot arms, hot bod, hot accent–really, what choice do I have but to run faster?

“Run to me, babe.”

Continue reading Celebrating Small Victories: Chemo Session 2, The Aftermath

When Death Calls

[First published on July 16, 2014]

Often, it is our own stories we find hard to write. Not because we lack the words, but because the words are not enough to describe the intensity of living every second in that situation. But in my attempt to chronicle the hell-paved road I have ahead of me, I will try.

It started with a persistent cough.

Continue reading When Death Calls