Saturday, January 27, 2007

Prayers for JOSEPH NICHOLE "NICHI" L. DELGADO

Once again, I am posting another of my Dad's letters. It is regarding the situation which just arised--the one I was referring to in my last post.

I, the supossed writer, have lost my words where this news about my brother, Nichi is concerned. Needless to say, I'll just let my Dad talk.



My son Nichi has recovered. His bone marrow is normal, his cerebro-spinal fluid is normal, his CBC is normal and the result of the MRI showed no sign of leukemic cells in his brain. This happened because we pray together so that the Almighty God will help Nichi heal from his 5-year bout with leukemia. We are very thankful for all of you for your support, concern and prayers.

Nichi’s battle with the big C is, however, far from over. He accidentally struck his left eye with his finger and it reddened. The ophthalmologist said there is vitreous hemorrhage in the eye and will just observe it because it can heal by itself. By third week of this month Nichi complained of blurring of vision of the left eye. I brought him back to the ophthalmologist and after eye examinations referred us to another ophthalmologist who is a retina specialist. He did his own eye examinations and his findings are as follows:

“Examination of the left eye revealed visual acuity of Finger Counting at 2 feet peripherally. Examination revealed a large inferior exudative retinal detachment with subretinal lipid and turbid fluid as well as focal areas of subretinal and retinal hemorrhages. There is likewise note of some areas of breakthrough vitreous hemorrhage and vessel tortuosity. I am suspecting direct leukemic infiltration of the posterior pole of the eye based on the above findings. Although exudative retinal detachments are not the most common ocular manifestations of ALL, the clinical picture suggests so. The only other thing that we must rule out is the possibility of opportunistic posteror pole infections such as CMV renitis, toxoplasmosis or fungal infections.”

When Nichi heard the leukemic infiltration, I saw tears from his eyes ran down his cheeks. I hugged him and assured him that there is nothing to worry about. I told him it is just one of the suspected causes of his blurring vision. He then calmed down.

The ophthalmologist suggests a vitreous biopsy to determine leukemic infiltration and if found positive expose the left eye to radiation. He, however, said that we have to consult first with the hematologist. I brought the matter to the hematologist and he agrees with the retina specialist of his findings. He also said that he will not subject the left eye to radiation for it will render it blind. The leukemic cells, he added, may disappear or may progress and at worse affect the other eye. According to him there are 3 parts of the body where leukemic cells find refuge: the brain, the eyes and the testicles. These are the parts of the body which cannot be reached by chemotherapy.

Next month Nichi will undergo another bone marrow aspiration and lumbar puncture. I hope and pray that the results will be normal.



Nichi is a nice 12-year old kid, happy, playful, kind, intelligent, God fearing and God loving. I believe he has all the right to stay in this world for the longest time. It is in this regard that I now seek your help to pray for Nichi—pray with us for Nichi so that he can have all the courage he needs to hurdle this trial in his life. Please continue to pray with us so it will be heard in the heavens up high. God heard us many times before. I strongly believe that He will hear us again this time—for JOSEPH NICHOLE “NICHI” L. DELGADO.

Thank you very much.

Always
Willie Delgado


COMMENT

okay... now i'm really crying...
prayers. i could only send you my prayers.
ilakad natin kay mama mary saka st.jude--- God has plans for Nichi!
keep us posted.
regards to tito willy.
always,
faye
Posted by: Faith | January 30, 2007 03:39 PM

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Letter From My Dad

I don't think I've ever posted a paragraph here in my blog that wasn't mine. But this time I'll make an exception because my Dad said it well--our thanks for all the help we received for Nichi.



Nichi was supposed to resume his chemotherapy last Dec 20 and should finish the whole protocol which will run for 107 weeks. I requested that MRI be done first as required by the neurologist. I was afraid because something might go wrong and I don’t want my son to spend Christmas at the hospital. Before Nichi’s discharge from confinement in September last year the hematologist informed me of his condition. He said my son will have more infections, will have anemia and will fall into a coma. Once comatosed, pain killers and sedatives will be administered and then we’ll just have to wait. I kept this information to myself. I thought telling my family about this will do us no good. After discharge from the hospital Nichi was so weak he had difficulty walking. From a sitting position he cannot stand up and vice versa. He lost his appetite and throws up whenever he tried to eat solid food.
The result of the bone marrow aspiration (BMA) done in November was normal. The result of the test of the cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) was also normal (cystospin done 3 months before was negative for blast cells). CBC results were okay.
The neurologist interpreted the result of the MRI. She said there is no sign of leukemic cells in the brain. This confirms the results of the cytospin and CSF. There is also no sign of stroke. She, however, noticed an atrophy (portion of Nichi’s brain shrank). She said it is a mild volume loss which can be attributed to continuous and/or frequent use of steroids, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is irreversible and the effects may show not now but probably in the future. The neurologist commented that she sees no reason why Nichi will have to go through the whole protocol unless it is really necessary. She said he probably be on maintenance to avoid having a relapse. The neurologist is switching Nichi’s anti-seizure drug dilantin capsules to trileptal tablets as a result of a low phenytoin assay. Luckily, Nichi had had no seizure since it first occurred in September.
The hematologist read the letter from the neurologist apprising him of Nichi’s MRI result. He checked up Nichi and went over the results of the BMA, CSF, and CBC. He told Nichi “gumagaling ka ah!” Having heard this Nichi flashed a smile in his eyes. The hematologist then said he wants to see Nichi again next month. I asked what are we going to do now and his reply was “nothing.” He said to bring Nichi back to him next month.



Today, Nichi is back on his being himself again—full of energy, makulit, masayahin, talkative, masarap kumain, etc. God willing, he will be on his way to full recovery. He really looks forward to going back to school this June. I thank God Almighty for hearing our prayers, for touching the lives of people we know, people we do not know, people we have not even met for their continuous support and prayers, for their concern and for their being part of Nichi’s life.
I really appreciate what you have done for me, my family and Nichi. I will say it again and again and again thank you very very much. It is you who made me strong, who made us strong. It is you who made Nichi strong and became his inspiration to live. Thank you, thank you very much. I want you to know that you and your loved ones are included in my and my family’s daily prayers. May God bless you a hundred fold for you kindness.
--Willie Delgado

If it is not too much, though, I will still solicit your prayers because just a few days after I've sent out this message, another situation has arised. We need further prayers this time around so that Nichi will experience the normal life he has always deserved.

Thank you very much.

COMMENTS

I will include him in my prayers. As a parent myself, I can emphatize with you & your family. Best of luck & may Nichi get well soon.
Love & prayers,
Neki
P.S.
Ang kulit ng retro look nyo ha! Hehehehe!
Posted by: Franessa | January 24, 2007 08:54 PM

Neki, It's good to hear from you. Thank you for your Love and Prayers. :-)
Posted by: Tyrene | January 26, 2007 05:54 PM

and my tears always start to fall whenever i read something about your brother...
yes, we will keep on praying.
just stay strong, tye. our nichi has demonstrated unparalleled strength already, now he needs to see you do the same thing.
*artistahin ang loloh mo! hahaha! i'm glad i was there to witness his kakulitan during ate windale and kuya warren's reception.
God bless you and your family.
always,
faye
Posted by: Faith | January 30, 2007 03:33 PM

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ass ng Iba-TALUMPATI

Habang nag-aayos ako ng mga files ko noong isang araw, nakita ko itong talumpati na isinulat ko laban sa aking kagustuhan noon pang Oktubre 2004. Marahil maiintindihan ninyo ako ng maigi kung isasama ko ang isang palitan ng text message sa pagitan ko at ng isa kong kabarkada.

BATTIK: ako’y nagngingitngit ngaUn! Napasubo ako tnx 2 my mudra! Me berk sya n nagpagawa ng freakin TALUMPATI. Para sa anak nya na SO constipated…college na, di pa makagawa ng sariling homework. F*ck! Wat has the world come down to? Pardon d profanity.
LUNA: OK lng…dapat inom sya fibrosine. Noypi b sya?
B: Noyping tamad who aparently can afford to pay sum1 2 do his work. R we dis destitute to sel r brains 2 a nonthinking Neanderthal? Pucha, galit talaga ako! I cnt sa no :(
L:Balik na lng sya sa stone age. Sbhin mo 1st & last yan, bka mawili..At kng anu ano pang ipagawa sa u. Herrer, earth 2 ol nonthinking mammalia!

Sa manilawa kayo o sa hindi, nakasave sa file ko ang talumpating ito sa ilalim ng pangalang, “Ass ng iba-TALUMPATI.” Tamang tama pala ito para sa plano kong isulat ukol sa pagtaas ng matrikula sa UP na hindi ko pa magawa dahil hanggang ngayon ay hindi ko pa nababasa ang 2 isyu ng Philippine Daily Inquirer na itinabi ko ilang lingo na ang nakararaan. Sa bawat isyu na ito, pinag-usapan ang bagong patakaran sa pagsingil sa matrikula ng mga Iskolar ng bayan. At para mapagtibay ang halaga ng edukasyon, makabubuti talagang basahin ang talumpating hindi ko inakala na magagamit ko sa iba pang bagay bukod sa turuan ng leksyon ang isang pasaway na estudyante.

Ass ng Iba-TALUMPATI

“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan”—mahigit sandaang taon na ang nakakalipas nang sambitin ang mga katagang ito ng ating pambansang bayaning si Dr. Jose Rizal. Gayunpaman, hindi naglalaho ang katotohanang dala ng mga salitang ito mapasa hanggang ngayon sapagkat gaano man kadilim o kasalimuot ang kinakaharap ng mga kabataan sa panahon nating ito, sa kanila pa rin nakasalalay ang kinabukasan ng ating bayan.

Nakakalungkot mang isipin, maraming karapatan ang mga kabataan na nasusulat sa ating saligang batas ang naipagkakait sa kanila. Isa na rito ang karapatang makakuha ng sapat na edukasyon. Oo, mayroong mga paaralan para sa mga batang salat sa buhay. Lamang, maraming kulang sa mura, kung hindi man libreng, edukasyong ito.

Kung hindi pa dahil sa pananakop ng mga Amerikano noon, hindi maipaaabot sa mga naghihikahos sa buhay ang edukasyon. Ngayon, hindi lamang mayayaman ang maaaring makapag-aral. May pag-asa na rin ang mga pobreng Pilipino. Ngunit hindi naman doon nagtatapos ang lahat. Hindi sapat ang matutong magbasa o magsulat ang isang bata. Aanhin ni Nene ang pagbabasa kung wala naman siyang naiintindihan? Aanhin ni Totoy ang pagsusulat kung hindi naman niya kayang mag-isip ng isusulat niya?

Ilan lamang ito sa mga nakakapagpabagabag na tanong na dapat isipin ng mga pinuno ng ating bayan, pati na rin ng mga guro sa lahat ng paaralan sa bansa. Hindi natatapos ang pag-aaral sa pagsambit ng mga salitang matatagpuan sa pahina ng mga libro sa paaralan. Hindi nangangahulugang may natutunan ang isang bata kung puno ang kanyang kwaderno ng mga salitang kinopya lamang niya sa pisara. Hindi robot ang mga batang Pilipino. Kailangan nilang matutong mag-isip, hindi manggaya.

Hindi mapagkakaila na palala nang palala ang kaledad ng edukasyon sa ating bansa. Sa panahon kung saan globalisasyon ang susi sa pag-angat ng ekonomiya ng isang bansa, tila yata mas lumiliit ang chansa nating makisabay sa agos na ito. Hindi natin kayang makipagsabayan sa nga dayuhan kung kaunti lang ang nalalaman natin. Kapag nagkaganoon, nangangamba ako kung saan na lang pupulutin ang ating bayan lima o sampung taon mula ngayon.

Noong nakaraang linggo lamang, nabalita ang problema sa ilang aklat na ginagamit sa mga pampublikong paaralan sa bansa. Ang isa sa mga aklat na ito ay naglalaman ng mahigit sa anim na pung maling katotohanan. Ang naturingang kuhanan ng “katotohanan” ay mali pala!

Plano ba ng mga namahagi ng mga aklat na ito na iligaw ang mga bata sa daan patungo sa karunungan? Hindi pa ba sapat na nagtitiis ang pawis na pawis na mga Pilipinong estudyante sa silid aralan nilang tumutulo ang kisame tuwing umuulan? Hindi pa ba problema ang humigit kumulang isandaang mag-aaral na nananalanging maalala ng nag-iisa nilang guro ang kanilang pangalan o mukha man lang? Tama bang gawing kampante na lang sina Nene at Totoy sa kanilang aklat na mali naman pala ang dalang impormasyon? Kung akala ng mga may-akda ng aklat na ito na hindi makakasama sa mga batang Pilipino ang lumaking naniniwala na si Chiang Kai Chek ang nagtatag ng komunismo sa bansang Tsina, nagkakamali sila.

Dahil na rin sa lumalalang ekonomiya ng ating bansa, maraming mga magulang ang hindi kayang ipadala sa mga magagandang paaralan ang kanila mga anak. Marami nang ring mga kaso kung saan kailangang lumipat ng isang bata mula sa isang private school patungo sa public school. Mayroong dalang masasamang epekto ang mga ganitong sitwasyon sa mga bata ngunit wala naman silang magagawa kundi ang tanggapin ang mapait na katotohanan na minsan, kailangan nilang magpakumbaba.

Hindi kailangan ninumang maging bulag, pipi, o bingi upang hindi mapansin na sa bansang tulad nang sa atin, higit na nakararami ang nagtitiis sa “pwede nang edukasyon.” Mayroong mga masuswerteng nakakatanggap ng, sabihin nating, mataas na kaledad ng edukasyon. Sa mga masuswerteng ito, hindi maitatanggi na mangilan-ngilan lang ang nagseseryoso sa kanilang pag-aaral. Nakakalungkot isipin pero, mayroon talagang mga taong hindi naiisip na base sa mga tinatamasa nila sa buhay higit na maswerte sila sa nakararami.

Kaunti na lang nga ang nakakatanggap ng disenteng edukasyon, hindi pa lahat nang ito ay nagbibigay ng nararapat na kahulugan sa kung anumang mayroon sila. Lalo tuloy lumiliit ang bilang ng mga kabataang maaring makapagdala ng maliwanag na pag-asa sa ating bayan.

Nais kong maniwala na likas na matatalino ang mga Pilipino. Sayang lang dahil tila walang sinuman sa ating pamahalaan ang nangangambang mapasawala ang talinong ito. Habang hindi binibigyan ng kaukulang pansin ang bumababang kaledad ng edukasyon sa ating bansa, kailangan nating tanggapin na magiging madilim ang hinaharap ng ating bansa. At hanggang hindi naihahanda nang husto ang naturingang pag-asa ng ating bayan, malayong makamit natin ang kaunlarang matagal na nating minimithi.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tatsulok

The Cheese is alone.

Enter Minnie and Jerry. The Cheese, Minnie and Jerry hang out together. The Cheese thinks Minnie is OK. The Cheese thinks Jerry is OK, too.

Minnie tells everyone but Jerry that Minnie thinks Jerry is extra OK. Minnie wants to be extra nice to Jerry.

Meanwhile Jerry seems extra nice to the Cheese.

The Cheese thinks that if Jerry likes to be extra nice to the Cheese, then the Cheese can be extra nice to Jerry, too.

But Minnie told everyone but Jerry that Minnie thought Jerry was extra OK and that Minnie wanted to be extra nice to Jerry.

The Cheese remembers. The Cheese cannot be extra nice to Jerry if Minnie whom the Cheese thinks is OK wants to be extra nice to Jerry.

The Cheese grows arms and legs and walks away. Minnie and Jerry are left to be nice to each other.

But the Cheese is the one that stands alone.

And hi-ho the merry-o, the Cheese stands alone!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Hit Back…The Flight of the Dancing Queen (Excess Baggage 2)

The holidays had come to a close yesterday—the feast of the three kings. However before I fully let go of 2006, allow me to continue sharing some of my “excess baggage.”

I was lucky this year to have attended four parties in one week. It ain’t easy—partying or more precisely, taking part in parties because for every big day, there are preparations. If it’s not dressing up, it’s dancing, or cooking up the perfect surprise, or organizing what-must-be the party of all parties.

December 12. Acropolis Clubhouse.
It was the 70s, or so we’d like the people to believe. If you think you’re seeing cotton candies with arms and legs, don’t! It’s just us, sporting the Afro do gone pastel. It took a group of ingenious people to whip up those wigs that served as our key in making a statement for our company party. And what a woo-hoo we made!

Hours before we shed off our boring office uniforms for clothes that hopefully looked 70s enough (notice the need for the use of the word, “boring” hehe), Congressman Dodot Jaworski’s van exploded right in front of our humble workplace stirring up a bit of panic amongst us. But role playing is fun. Our scheduled Christmas party gave us reason to play pretend. Pretend that we were from another era. Pretend that we didn’t hear one of our politicians being bombed.

Just as planned, we shipped ourselves to our party’s venue—away from the explosive scene (of the crime)—all the better for us to forget. Forget that there are problems out there. After a year of allowing ourselves to be enslaved, by work mostly, we deserved a few hours of break.

And so, we showcased the dance number we practiced during the precious minutes allotted for our meal times for the past I-don’t-know days. Yep! This was the moment I, the self-proclaimed dancing queen, was looking forward to as relayed in my “Confessions of the Dancing Queen” entry. I would post a video clip of that presentation but I really don’t know how. I hope by saying that we won the Best Performance Award that night, you’d have an idea how we did.

My family saw the clip and they were entertained. Ate said I wasn’t bad. (She is my ate, I expect her to support me in my attempt to celebrate those things in music called beats and rhythm.) Dad said I wasn’t devoid of grace (although he didn’t expound how much I lacked or owned) after all I am his daughter. I should inherit some of his dancing genes. He didn’t say it like a Papa (use the Spanish pronunciation of this word for a more accurate impact) would say it. He did it the way Vic Sotto would deliver it which makes his comment rather a funny compliment.

The whole event, I accessorized my face with a giant mole. That way, I wouldn’t be me. And if ever I get grandchildren in the future, they’d ask me, “Is that you lola?” To which I’d reply, “Look at my mole.” They’d be puzzled but they’d shriek, “ah—yaahh!” (For the record I don’t drink Bear Brand or any milk for that matter. I just think this part is funny.)

I went home with no wig or boa but with a giant mole on my face. When my mom saw me, she thanked me. She did feel that my wearing a do-it-yourself mole was my way of paying homage to her real-life mole!

December 14. FDC AVR.

Two days after the 70s we fast forwarded to a decade hence, thus we dressed up for the 80s.

The 80s didn’t require me to dance and I am sorry to admit how little effort I poured into dressing up. Nonetheless I wouldn’t miss our department party even if I was losing my mind pulling off another party proceeding immediately after our PUNKrismas Big 80s party.

Being time warped to the decade when I was born was fun and at the same time nostalgic. And Punkrismas is rewarding after all I won a wall clock, glass set and a pop-up toaster!

December 14. In a solitary white house in Motoyori.
Surprise! Maid of honor do not only smile on photos, wait on the bride, ask the ninangs to sign the contract, organize the wedding in the absence of the bride, etc. Maid of honor also hosts the bridal shower! Here comes the challenge. Bridal shower? I’ve never been to a bridal shower.

The net is not my perfect savior. All I saw were sites that sell wedding shower paraphernalia in dollars. As if I would and could purchase them! Thank heaven for my sister’s friends who were more than willing to save me from the shower problem. Then there were my friends who were cheering for me from afar.

The bridal shower was a surprise and luckily it worked. That is the hardest thing about surprises. They should work otherwise pray that the ground will open and swallow you alive.

Earlier that night I was suppressing an awful sore throat and an impending fever. I guess the hot tea did the trick. I’d be damned if I were sick!


As a last-minute request, everyone was required to wear red or pink which they did. Very good! The games went well, too even if their rules were mostly thought about on-the-spot. You cannot really screw up when your adrenaline is thinking for you. Apparently, my adrenaline surged up to my brain. Alleluia for that!

Of course, I wanted to throw an unforgettable bridal shower for my Ate, the bride, despite my incapacities. I just hope I fulfilled my goal somehow.

December 16. UST & Intramuros.
This culminates all parties. The third wedding I’ve been to in 2006. I am not really a fan of weddings, to tell the truth. The last one I attended prior to 2006 was way back in 1992 or 1993. But I know there is a grand reason why I had to be on all three weddings and play different parts on each of them.

And since this one at UST is the one wherein I got involved with BIG TIME, I promise to compose a solo article about it soon. For now I’ll leave you hanging with no accounts or photos of this last party in my Hit Back list.

COMMENTS
waaaw tye!
You look really skinny!
Posted by: Nikka | January 10, 2007 06:47 AM

upload mo na ang video clip!
Posted by: evil | January 22, 2007 09:06 AM

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Excess Baggage

It is the first Saturday of the year yet I choose to dwell on several events that took place at the lattermost part of 2006. My excuse? They are too good to let pass unnoticed.

So here goes a few of 2006’s excess baggage.

I did my Christmas shopping morning of December 24. I never planned cramming for Christmas but for the days preceding it, I was either busy or sick. I hardly had the opportunity to enjoy the holidays.

I heard David Letterman say, “if you haven’t done your Christmas shopping, you’re dead!” I nearly thought that I’d be dead. Surprisingly, Megamall wasn’t packed the day before Christmas—at least not in the morning.

During Christmas day, I opted to spend the time alone in order not to be lonely. Contrary to what it might have seemed to be, my decision to stay at home all by myself wasn’t an act of protest. It was rather my way of putting things into place.

And putting things in place I did—well, at least a few of my things. I finally found the time to clean up some of my mess and put a little bit of order in my chaos. By doing so, I discovered that I have bought 5 new books, all of which I haven’t read. Then again I have seven other pending readings—making catching up almost impossible. I am the slowest reader in the world. I blame my short attention span for that. Twelve books will definitely take years.


I got the result of my X-ray. As you can see, it says “No evidence of fracture nor abnormal bone reactions seen in this study.” It didn’t validate what I felt because at that time, I realized that it wasn’t my boob muscle that’s tormenting me; it was my ribs. The doctor said the pain won’t go away until three to six months after. I repeated with disbelief what he said right in front of him. I meant to mock his field of expertise for not finding a way of sparing me pain.

It’s either I am developing a resilience to the wrath of my injury—in other words, I may be getting used to it—or I’ve managed to scare away my pain because as of the moment I am pain free. I just hope that it stays that way forever—if it’s not too much to ask.

Then I got my holiday haircut which was weird because instead of coming out of the salon with shorter hair, I ended up with thinner hair. Actually (I hate to use “actually” but I cannot find anything accurate to replace it), the whole haircut episode was odd, thereby making it noteworthy.

When I had my hair shampooed by the hairstylist’s assistant, I couldn’t help but say, “aray!” while holding my injury site. Then I told my sister who was lying down at the long chair connected to the sink next to me, “masakit pala kapag nakahiga dito.”

My friendly hairstylist’s assistant, probably to sympathize with my pain, proceeded on asking, “bakit ma’am, nagpa-lipo kayo?”

“Kung nagpa-lipo ako e di sana payat ako.” I quipped which of course led me to laugh like crazy which wasn’t at all good for my injury.

Innocent questions that concern, if not ridicule, my weight hardly embarrass me, especially at a time when facts show that I lost weight. By seeing a doctor for my well-publicized injury, it has been brought to my attention that I have become lighter. I’d like to thank stress, sleepless nights and laziness for keeping me “fit.” Those three elements proved to be more life-changing than enrolling oneself in a fitness club. And yes, I did join Fitness First in 2006. (I have to admit; even I didn’t see that coming.) It was futile though, at least for me. I cannot bring myself to workout without constantly asking why I am torturing myself. I guess me and the gym, no matter if it is disguised as a “club,” we don’t go together. I cannot program myself in believing that the times I spend there are in any way healthy for me. But that’s just me. However don’t ask me what I was thinking for joining Fitness First because, most probably, I wasn’t thinking at all.

Oh well, there are some things we learn after thinking after not thinking. If you think there’s a logical error there, don’t.