Wednesday, January 28, 2015

White Birthday!

Yesterday, I turned a year older.

Due to work and my evening class, we didn't do anything special. We were supposed to host a Saturday party to celebrate both my first re-birthday and birthday, but we decided to just celebrate at a restaurant instead. I am looking forward to hanging out with an old friend.

The best thing about my birthdays? I get to celebrate "me," and realize how lucky I am to be here.

We've been getting a lot of snow, and we're expecting more this Thursday and Friday.  Here are a few photos from my phone.

I love how the snow rests on the tree branches. This is the Cherry Blossom at our front yard.

 Daisy is officially a snowdog. Daisy loves the white stuff so much.

 Due to the snow and cold temperatures, some neighbors still have their Christmas decorations up.

 Taken in the morning before driving to work.

It is cold, but I can't complain. 

There is so much beauty in winter. To tell you the truth, I am not yet ready for spring because it was in the winter of my life that I learned to appreciate my existence.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Parc De La Chute-Montmorency And Saint-Anne-de-Beaupre

This is a late post, but I really enjoyed Quebec City! I might have a post or two left for this charming place.

After my friend's wedding, Kepi and I wanted to explore beyond Montreal. We drove to Quebec City and we truly enjoyed what this city has to offer.

Here's Montmorency Falls.

It was a refreshing site to see, and we enjoyed the walk from the Welcome Center to the waterfall itself.

I would have loved climbing up there, but my body wasn't strong enough. It just dawned on me that I've lost so much muscle that it may take me a while to regain my stamina and strength.

I heard that in winter, the rock faces of the cliffs on each side can get frozen and open for adventurous ice climbers.  This is one reason I told Kepi I'd like to see Quebec City in the winter.

The towering waterfall is 83 m (272') tall, a full 30 m (99') higher than Niagara Falls.

After Montmorency Falls, Kepi and I drove to visit Saint-Anne-de-Beaupre.  From Montmorency, it was a good 15 to 50 minutes drive to reach the shrine.

The Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre.

It was so windy when we visited.

But inside the church, I felt peace and calm.

Churches and cathedrals have the power to make one feel small, but that's because it's true. In this vast world we live in, we are but just specks of dust.

This room we found by accident at the lower level of the church. The ceiling looked like a blue sky with stars. It felt warm and cozy.

There is so much to love and see in Quebec City.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Things Are Looking Up

It's another chilly morning here.

When I took this photo this morning, I did not want to go to work and wished I could just stay home and enjoy the view.

I've been trying to be more consistent with my blogging, but January is such a busy month especially at work. It doesn't help that I'm also going to class twice a week. The past few weeks have been spent catching up with numerous deadlines and preparing for our company Winter Board Meeting. It's unfortunate that I already feel spent and it's just the first month of the year. I need to figure out how to replenish my energy or I'll be dragging myself to work each day...not a pretty sight.

GREAT NEWS! Last night, my Oncologist e-mailed Kepi and I regarding my bone-marrow biopsy result.  She said, "Your marrow looks fabulous and you are 100% donor." I am HAPPY and GRATEFUL! My meds are now being tapered and I should be getting my immunization in time for Spring. Things have a way of working out after all.

On other news...

WINTER CLEANING! The first month of the year, I usually declutter my office as well as purge through my wardrobe for clothes that don't fit or that I don't like wearing anymore.  It is easier said than done, but I do hope to get better at becoming a minimalist.  I already have a big bag of clothes ready to be donated. For now, I'm going to stop shopping for clothes. Let's see if I stick to this resolution/plan.

In addition to purging, I'm also making a note that I MUST stop buying hoarding the following:

- pens
- bags
- highlighters
- writing pads
- notebooks
- sticky notes

Things are looking up!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

January 11: First Re-Birthday!

It is officially one year since my bone-marrow transplant (BMT)!

Today is my first re-birthday and I couldn't be happier.  Those who have gone through a BMT would fully understand what this day is all about.  I am beyond words.  I have no words that can truly capture what I'm feeling.

At the 8 AM mass, all I could utter were, "Thank you." I hope it is sufficient. I do hope I am worthy.

I didn't have a cake, so I just used one of my pill containers - "May cause dizziness."

Later that day, Kepi took me out for an Italian lunch, and we shared a slice of Lemon Cream Cake. The cake was delicious and we loved it.

This was taken on January 11, 2014. This bag took almost 6 hours to infuse.

The photo above was taken on Day 0, the day I got infused with my donor's cells.  I still remember it like yesterday.  I cried.

My heartfelt gratitude to my family, friends and everyone who gave me that extra push to keep going. Thank you to my donor.  Thank you God for giving me a second chance in life.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Chilly Update

I woke up to a gusty, chilly morning -7 degrees Fahrenheit!  My ears are tingly and my face is numb. It doesn't help that I'm hauling a big bag of books to be returned at the library. Fun stuff!

Spring semester begins today. I'm taking two elective courses (Tuesdays and Thursdays). It's ironic that this semester just started yet I can't wait for this semester to be over. Over - I mean graduate. I will decide later if I want to keep going. Hard to tell right now.

Next week, I'll be going for my one year bone-marrow biopsy. I am keeping positive. Hopefully, I will get my vaccinations soon. Yes, I have to re-take all my childhood vaccinations. I hope not all shots in one day or my shoulders will be sore.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that travel will be possible this year. Doctor's call though.

Also, my gallbladder surgery "might" push through as well. (This will depend if my biopsy result is normal.) I am scared of surgery, but it's better to have it done than suffer from weekly painful attacks.

Just a short update today. It's time for afternoon tea and biscuits.