ArchiveNovember 2021



A single mosquito chased me out of bed today. I’m halfway through the Tuesday scheduled chemo treatments and I’ve noticed a pattern emerging: I feel the effects of the infusions in my entire body the strongest on Fridays and Saturdays. Two days of feeling like a bag of crap… a low-level neck-ache ramps up to a medium-level headache that grabs my eyeballs and disrupts my sense of self. A burning...

Be the light


I’m going to cheat in my journal today and use someone else’s writing to illustrate a principle I truly believe in: with our small acts of kindness we can be a light in the world… and this light will shine way beyond our own small world. When the world feels cold and dark and lonely, take heart: Anybody can make their corner of it brighter.Elizabeth Gilbert This touching short story below to...

From shearing to shaving


Shearing my own head this afternoon gave me assurance that sheep are not harmed or pained when they are clipped for their wool. Maybe that’s a crazy thought, but it’s the one that came to me. So there. I had intended to have the deed done much earlier this week. And I had expected that my honey would do it for me, as throughout the pandemic he has normally—and happily—been the one to...

Love languages


I’ve often marveled at our couple culture. My honey and I are nearing 36 years since we became lovers in Beijing. That’s when he, a China-born Canadian, joined Gates to China, that is, my father-partner and me, in exhibiting on behalf of ten Canadian companies in the first international trade show in China since the sleeping giant opened its doors to foreigners. On our first dinner date in...

Hair loss


“Does everyone undergoing chemotherapy lose their hair?” I asked my oncology nurse. “No, ma’am, depends on the medicine,” she answered without hesitation. Okay, let me get more specific. “Does everyone who gets paclitaxel lose their hair?“ “Yes, ma’am,” she answered, just a tad too cheerfully. At least that clarified what I could expect. In a...

My hot buttons


As I started to draft this, it was about 9 pm, I had just gotten off the phone with my medical oncologist, and yet again he managed to push my hot button. (Yes, again.) I’ll say off the bat that I’m impressed he offered to call right after I had placed questions to him in our Viber chat. Kudos to him for that. If you’re not a current or past patient with gripes in your doctor-patient...

Floating in air


Floating, floating, floating…. Have you ever sensed yourself gently floating in air…? Maybe quietly drifting over a pleasing landscape…? I’m not one for remembering my dreams. But I am familiar with this sense of lightness and contentment, of willing myself to hover gently over the earth, weightless, not bound to the ground below, by gravity. It’s a recurring theme that comes up in my sleep. Not...

I needed to vent


As far as I can tell, I’m not the complaining type. Yet ever since I began the weekly chemo-treatments nearly a month ago, I’ve felt the impulse (need?) to open up and let off steam more than usual. Since the start of the pandemic and the lockdown here in Manila, every Saturday at 5:30 pm a group of six friends get on Zoom for what we call our Sundowner. Each of us brings a snack and a beverage...

Want to know when I post?

Enter your email address to subscribe to my journal and receive notifications of my new posts by email.