I Didn’t Feel Anything

22 Feb

If you follow my online journal, then you’re already aware that I had surgery last Friday.

Doctors removed my uterus, my cervix and one of my ovaries. I had intramural myoma, cysts on my cervix and cysts on my ovary (one, or a few of the cysts, or my ovary (I’m not sure. haha) had already burst).

Ever since I started telling people about my condition, I’ve been asked many times about the symptoms or how I realized I was sick. I didn’t realize I was sick until I knew I was.  :))

I never experienced any pain before my surgery.  There were no pains during sexual intercourse. I had my period monthly. I have never experienced menstrual cramps.

When I was still running, my period came the same day every month. When I stopped running, that’s when my period started to become unusually heavy. I didn’t think anything bad of it (I figured the change in my physical activity affected my period). When I had my period too early in December, I attributed it to stress. Then came January. I had my period; I think that was on January 4. My period ended January 9. Two weeks later, I was experiencing bleeding again. I got confused. Didn’t I just have my period a week and a half or two weeks ago? So I decided since I had a long overdue check-up with my internist Dr. Jacob Singh so he could declare me free of Pott’s disease , that I was going to go and visit an OB-Gyne that same week too. Actually, Jay kind of forced me to go to my check-ups. If it were up to me, I would probably have never gone at all. I would have thought about going, yes, but would have never gone.

I went to Tagaytay Hospital and had my final check-up with Dr. Singh. I was finally free of Pott’s disease, an illness I had to drink meds 1 whole year for.

That same day, I signed up to have my check-up with an OB-Gyne who took one century to arrive. I cancelled my appointment with her and asked to be transfered to another OB-Gyne. The other OB-Gyne, Dr. Angelica Malambut had a crazy long line of patients. Jay and I had been waiting more than 2 hours for the other doctor. I wanted to go home. I was trying to assure Jay I would come back another day. He knows me too well. He told me we’re not going home until I was done with the check-up. So we waited for my turn with Dr. Malambut. We were in the hospital since 1:30 PM (had my quick check-up with Dr. Singh). By the time we were done with Dr. Malambut, it was already 6:30PM! This is why I don’t like visiting doctors.

So when I went inside the doctor’s office she asked me why I was there. So I told her I had my period twice that month. I told her I wasn’t feeling anything unusual. She explained to me that changes in the period can be attributed to stress. She asked me if I’ve always been physically heavy. She also explained that sudden changes in weight or diet can lead to changes in the period too. Then she asked me if I’ve had my HPV vaccination. I said no. She asked me why. I don’t know why. 😛

She said since I had my child at 27, I wasn’t exactly high risk. That’s cause she assumed Jay and I had never had sex until we decided to have a baby 😛 So I had to explain the whole situation, how Jay and I have been together 15 years and how we’ve had physical contact way before I was 26. So she told me I was definitely high risk.

So that’s lesson #1: Get your HPV vaccination. Just to be sure.

The doctor checked my cervix. She said I had cysts. She asked me if I go for annual pap smears. Uhm, this is embarassing but I have never had pap smear in my entire life. By this part of the check-up, I was receiving a very friendly “sermon” from Dr. Malambut.

Lesson #2: Go for your annual pap smear.

Dr. Malambut then touched my pelvic area and said there was definitely something growing inside my uterus. She requested for transvaginal ultrasound. I had my transvaginal ultrasound 2 days later. That’s how we discovered the myoma and the cysts in my ovary. The myoma was already 7cmx 6.8cm. The biggest cyst on my cervix was already 3cm.

When I went for my last check-up before the surgery, Dr. Malambut said she’ll try to do her best to save my uterus. By the looks of the ultrasound, there was no saving it, but she said I was too young to lose my uterus. During surgery she found the condition to be worse than how it looked in the ultrasound so she decided to remove everything. She left only my good ovary. I don’t have to go for pap smears anymore. But I will have to go for annual ultrasounds to check my good ovary.

Lesson #3. Go for annual OB check-ups. It doesn’t matter if you feel anything. Just go.

I have to keep a good watch on my good ovary because it’s the only thing that’s saving me from needing hormone replacement therapy.

I will go for my follow-up check-up next week. I’ll find out the result of the biopsy then.

Right now I’m just home resting and blogging. 🙂

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We Can’t Go Back to That Life

18 Jan

There was about a year when Nicole was a baby that I worked full time in Manila during the day, and Jay worked full time (also in Manila) at night.  We didn’t have meals together as a family because by the time Nicole would wake up, I had to be on my way to Manila. When I would get home, Jay has either left for work or only had 15 minutes to spare. Weekday romps (if we could manage any) were always quickies. We communicated through text messages. Nicole spent most of her time with my parents. We weren’t living life as a “family” (at least not in the way I think families should live).

Then in 2006, I left my last corporate job. I have spent most of my time home since then.

Last December, I considered going back to corporate work because we’re about to face financial changes in March this year.

But I realized last night how we can’t go back to that kind of life.

Yesterday, I spent 8 hours in Manila (some 42 km away from my home) for some training. I spent 4 hours total in a bus. I had to leave for Manila soon after Nicole left for school. I communicated with Jay through text the whole day. When I got home, I picked up Nic from my mom’s place. Jay was already in Manila.

Me (to Nicole): I missed you so much today.

Nicole: What about papa, he missed two of us.

Serious Business

10 Jan

Last week, when I told Nicole she’s starting ballet again this week, she told me- “But I thought ballet is finished! I don’t want to do ballet! I want to rest!”

I immediately sent Jay an IM- “she says she doesn’t want to go back… she says she wants to rest, which is why I think we shouldn’t let her quit.”

I know that sounds kind of twisted.

Several months ago, when I was telling one of the mommies at Nicole’s ballet class how Nicole wanted to quit ballet after her summer dance classes, and she continues to attend only because we refuse to let her quit, the mommy laughed and kind of  hinted we were mean, or maybe crazy. But I explained our side and I think she understood.

I mean, really, who wants to flex, stretch, and sweat it out for an hour each week, just because? If I let Nicole quit now, what will happen to the other activities she wants to do in the future but she may not be very good at? If she decides she doesn’t want to do all those other things anymore because she sucks at them? Do I also just let her quit then?

On some level, I totally get what this mother is saying (read Why Chinese Mothers are Superior). I do not demand excellence in academics from Nicole, but in some areas of her life, I can be very strict. I also don’t mind being hated by my own daughter. There are days she tells me I’m mean, and that she doesn’t like me because according to her, I ALWAYS tell her to clean up. The thing is, she tells me she hates me, but I know she doesn’t. She will probably hate me later on, but hopefully by then, she’ll be an adult and if I raise her well, then she can fly on her own and be the awesome person she’s really meant to be.

I don’t care about being a fun mom. I’m an efficient mom, for sure. I don’t want to be her friend. I have enough friends. She will have her own friends. As far as I know, I didn’t suffer through 12 hours of labor so I could have a friend. I’m her mom, I’ll do my job of raising her, and I WILL raise her well.

I don’t regularly watch Modern Family but one time, I was able to catch an episode wherein Claire Dunphy said there can’t be 2 fun parents in the family. That’s totally how I feel about raising my own family.  As far as I’m concerned, I do what needs to get done in this home. I have assumed the role of the neurotic mother who gets the job done, Jay is the fun dad. I’m fine with that. Jay faces enough stress at work to play the strict dad at home. Jay and Nicole can have their fun at home. I now call them M1& M2,  which stand for messy 1 and messy 2. There can’t be 3/3 messy people in this house. Of course, I’m not always serious. And Jay isn’t always a goof ball. We switch ‘roles’ sometimes. Plus Jay totally supports me when I’m right and is quick to reprimand me when he thinks I’m wrong.

I guess what I’m saying is- yeah, I’m a bit of a “Chinese mother”. I don’t think I will ever call Nicole garbage, or insist she learn only piano and violin. But I will die before I raise a daughter who quits before she even tries; or quits just because things get tough. She has to try, she has to try hard. She has to stick to something until she becomes good at it. Or even if she doesn’t get really good at something, she just has to keep trying.

Now, does that still sound twisted to you?

Rosario The Movie

27 Dec

I met up with Jay’s cousins on Christmas day to do one thing: watch Rosario.

After getting back to the hotel after the movie, I tweeted: “Moral of the story: Do not sleep around. Seriously.”

Rosario is the story of Manny Pangilinan’s grandmother.

“The film tells the saga of Rosario, a young and liberated Filipina in the 1920s who has just arrived from New York, and is spending her vacation in their hacienda.

There, she meets and falls in love with Vicente, an older man who manages the tobacco plantation owned by Rosario’s family. When Rosario’s father finds out about his daughter’s scandalous affair, he sends Rosario to a convent.

She escapes, and elopes with Vicente to Manila where they raise a family. But Rosario’s life of married bliss slowly crumbles when Vicente becomes ill with tuberculosis, and she is lured to committing adultery. Temptation and scandal still hound Rosario as she continues to defy the moral restrictions of her time.” – rosariomovie.com

Alfonso & Carmen

Rosario, Alfonso & Carmen

While I have no business judging the moral choices people make for love (everyone knows- Jay and I, we have stumbled), I really pray that now that I have my own child, that I do not succumb to temptations ever again. Several months ago, a popular TV reporter tweeted- “there are more important things than the self”. Nothing could be truer when you already have children.  Above my personal needs are Nicole’s needs. I hope I never forget this. If in case my relationship with Jay crumbles, I hope I have enough sense to just let my vagina shrivel up and get shut, than to hook up with someone who will be bad for her.

In the movie, Rosario (played by Jennylyn Mercado) commits adultery with Alberto (played by Dennis Trillo). Maybe I would understand her choice if Vicente, her husband (played by Yul Servo), was a giant douchebag, but the man was a very good father who really worked hard for the family. The only reason they had to be separated physically was because he got frickin’ tuberculosis. Really, even if the true Alfonso were as hot as Dennis Trillo in the movie, there was no justifying the adultery.

Sleeping in Separate Rooms

I’ve seen how adultery can leave scars and pains long after the adulterers have died. Almost always, it is really the children who suffer. There’s one particularly heart-breaking scene in the movie that involves Rosario and her daughter of the same name. I will not spoil the movie for you so I’ll stop here.

While there are some parts of the movie that could have been done better to make it an awesome film, I still think it’s worth watching. I usually don’t nitpick the movies I watch so I’m fine with this one.  It’s not mind-blowing or anything, but good enough. The movie has superb casting though. And there are lessons to be learned from Rosario’s life.

p.s. Can I just ask- why is Isabel Oli so beautiful? 🙂

These Shoes Are Not Made For Walking

20 Dec

I ordered Frollic Shoes for Nicole online, and they arrived two weeks ago. This is how they look now:

Frollic Shoes

These shoes are clearly not made for frolicking . I kind of expected they would get banged up pretty easily when I finally saw them in person, but then, I knew they were take-away shoes so it’s not like they were supposed to come with thick soles or anything…the problem is, this pair was bought completely on impulse.

I thought Nicole could use a pair of take-away shoes (never mind that her feet are so small, it doesn’t matter if the shoes could be folded or not- they’d easily fit in my bag). I didn’t think I would actually have time to go to a mall to get Nicole shoes so I ordered this pair. So yeah, I think I made the wrong decision in buying the Frollic shoes because Nicole likes to skip and hop (as all kids do).

I wish I knew I’d have the opportunity to go to Shangri-la Mall, cause I would have waited and bought one of these instead:

Ichigo Tiny Dinty

Ichigo Mischa

These pairs are from Ichigo Shoes. They’re P550 a pair. I got the Frollic for P405 (shipping fee included). If I had waited, I would have gotten a nicer pair for just an additional P 145.

Plus the Frollic shoes are completely flat. The Ichigo shoes look like they have a bit of arch support (which I know now, after undergoing 3 PT sessions for my Plantar Fasciitis, is a huge deal).

I Can’t Breathe

17 Dec

Christmas is my favorite holiday because it’s close to my birthday, and ever since I was a kid, there’s usually some extra cash to spend during the month. But this month has been pretty insane for us. There was a bit of sad  news last month and I think Jay and I are coping by spending and eating more than we should. Let’s not even talk about Nicole’s schedule.  Her schedule is driving me and Jay crazy because we like to do things as a family. If Nicole has dance practice 3x a week, that means we’re all at the dance studio 3x a week.

She had her dance recital last Sunday and her stage rehearsal last Saturday, so we had to kiss that weekend goodbye. I even had to turn down a blogger event at the Fun Ranch 😦

Nicole at Her Ballet Recital

Later today, Nicole has another dance recital at school plus a 2-hour dance practice for their Christmas show on Sunday. She’s supposed to have a mall show on Sunday too, but Jay put his foot down and said there’s no way we’re going to travel one hour to Robinson’s-Imus to do the mall show and then go back to Silang to attend the Christmas show in the evening.

I seriously can’t breathe. I can’t even think of what food to bring to her recital potluck later.

In other news, we’re spending Christmas at a hotel in Makati. We’ll be checking in on the afternoon of December 24 and checking out on the 26th. Yay! Perfect, because J&J sent me a disposable camera to document my daughter’s Christmas memories. I’m supposed to take photos of Nicole this Holiday season and then a messenger from the company’s PR firm will pick up the camera in 3 weeks. No other instructions were given. I hope my photos turn out cool 🙂

Kodak Camera

Disposable Camera from J&J

I’m looking forward to working out at the hotel gym, swimming and eating out.

I love my life, I really do. But this month, I could just tear my hair out from the stress.

Merry Christmas. LOL.

Life Lesson #3

1 Dec

Nicole,

Here’s another life lesson that will help you lead a happy life– be Teflon.
When I say “be Teflon”, I mean don’t let anything stick. Especially the bad stuff– the mean words that will be said to you, and the bad experiences you will go through– learn to brush them off.

I don’t want you to be a push-over, but really some fights are not worth getting into. As you go through life, you will learn which fights are worth your time. You fight for the good things; you fight for the things that hold real value in your life (For me, your dad has always been gold. You, baby, are platinum. I will fight for you two to my grave).

When you don’t let anything stick, you are not allowing anger to define you. I have been pissed and disappointed in people many times, a few times I even had murder in my mind. People still continue to annoy me even just online but as long as I don’t act on my anger, then I am not spending any energy on the matter.

There have been times I ranted to people (e.g. your dad, tita Arlene, tito Rem) but these people are sane, reasonable and grounded; they are not the type to fuel anger into rage.  Your dad understands I try my best to be a good person and allows me to rant. Your Tita Arlene is amazing at telling me to chill without offending me. Your tito Rem, minces no words and tells me what I need to hear. Or sometimes he has more emo stuff to deal with and I end up consoling him :)) But you see what you need to do when anger builds up inside you? Tell a few people you can trust and let it go.

Let it go. That’s what I mean about being Teflon. You have to have the ability to let things slide. Keep your ego in check. It’s so easy to be offended by a million and 1 things, sometimes you just have to tell yourself- it’s not people’s intention to hurt you (and even if it is their intention to hurt you or annoy you, you can’t let them win.)

Your dad is now home. I will write you another letter next week for life lesson #4.

Love,

Mama