Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Spring is here, or is it? We had snow on the first day of spring and the past few days have been cold as temperatures hovered in the near 20s and 30s. I'm still wearing thick jackets and mittens to work. I've had it and I am so ready to shed these winter garments. I am sick of winter.

On the brighter side, I've been seeing signs of spring pop here and there. In my neighborhood, it's the Crocus that I've seen first to bloom. They come in different colors and they're very pretty.

This is my favorite - purple striped.

In addition to the Crocuses or Croci, the Cherry Blossoms and Magnolias are now reaching their peak bloom. The photo above was taken during our visit to the National Arboretum. This tree is a sight to see - really beautiful with flowing clusters of white flowers.

The sky becomes a canvass for these beautiful blooms.
Just a short excuse and recap of my absence in the blogging world. The months of February and March came and went like a mist. I even barely remember what I've accomplished or what I've done. Most days at work, I was running around like a chicken without a head. The load of work has been too much and I've been running on fumes. We were preparing for a big exhibit - the biggest event for the company for this year. 

The preparation actually started in December 2017 but the culmination of events took form in the first three months of the year. There were 11 committees involved, and my committee prepared for seven panels with four to six speakers each.  This is in addition to my very own project as board book appointee. I was in so much anguish, stress and pain and I was not sleeping. The event finally took place in March in Florida with close to 1,500 attendees. During the event, I was working 12-hour shifts for straight four days. 

Yes, the event was great, I traveled on company money, and the experience will look great on my resume. However, it was too much stress and too energy draining. I'm just glad it is over, and I am slowly recovering. Because right after the exhibit, I got very sick and lost four days of work.

I am hoping that as my work schedule normalizes, I can blog regularly again. I will be posting more photos from our visit to the National Arboretum.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

This Birthday

At the Surgical Family Lounge, I sat and waited like the other people who have families going through some surgeries or procedures. There were about ten people there trying to keep busy and killing time. It didn't help that the lounge chairs felt stiff, hard and uncomfortable. I was fidgety. I also felt quite tired and I drifted in and out of sleep. I didn't get a good night's sleep the night before and had to wake up at 3:30 AM to get to the hospital on time.

Kepi's surgery lasted for three hours and his surgeon recommended an overnight stay for observation. This meant welcoming my 40th birthday at the hospital. This is the second time I welcomed my birthday in a hospital. The first one was during my bone-marrow transplant procedure in 2014. For some reason, a tinged of sadness came all over me. Probably because I was in a hospital and bad memories came flooding in. Or perhaps I miss the presence of family and friends. I can't really put my finger on it. I may not admit it in the open but hospitals have a bit of a traumatic effect on me.

I hardly slept that night. Sleeping on a recliner at the hospital isn't really ideal. I don't understand why they offer those recliners for people who want to stay overnight. I was stuck sleeping in one position and my back was killing me. I really should be thankful I have a place to sleep, but I wish it was more comfortable. Again, restful sleep eluded me.

I may be tired and sleepy, but for this birthday, I only wished for one thing - healing for Kepi.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Fourth Rebirthday

I'm still pretty sick, but this sniffle is not stopping me from celebrating my Fourth Rebirthday ~ January 11, 2018. I saw my transplant doctor, Dr. D, on the 12th, and I am quite happy that my tests all came back normal. The doctor was a little concerned about my cold, so if things get worse, she instructed me to go see my primary care physician at once. I told her that I get colds/sinusitis three to four times a year, and she explained that my immune system will always be a tad weaker or slower. I guess this is my new normal and just have to learn to accept it. With my annual check-up out of the way, I'm going to focus on Kepi's surgery which will take place in two weeks.

The new year won't be exciting without a new 2018 monthly planner. I'm also starting this 100 Days of Gratefulness: A gratitude journal. I can't wait to fill these two with new ideas and adventures.

For 2018, I don't really have any resolutions, but here's a few things on my list that I plan to do and keep doing:
  1. read more books
  2. organize the craft room
  3. purge my closet and donate any clothes/shoes that don't fit anymore
  4. continue learning Arabic
  5. continue to eat healthy (pack my food for work)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Sniffles, Surgeries Go Away!

I'm sick again. I hate it! This is probably my second or third bout of sniffles this year. Our freezing weather here is not helping my sniffly situation at all.

I'm sick but I feel safe under the loving and watchful eyes of Daisy.
It is brutally cold. Our heater has been churning non-stop since we came home from our Amsterdam vacation. The weatherman said something about some deep freeze and bomb cyclone. Whatever is going on weather-wise, it is uncomfortably cold. I've been wearing three to four layers of winter wear but the coldness still creeps in all the way to my bones. I'm not sure if the weather is just that bad or that I'm just getting old.

However, I am quite excited to be celebrating my fourth bone-marrow transplant' re-birthday on January 11th. I will be seeing my transplant doctor on the 12th for my annual blood work, biopsy and pulmonary function test. As always, I hope for normal counts and results. I'm hoping that my body will be fully recovered from the sniffles when I go in for my tests.

On another note, I thought we were going to start 2018 surgery free, but Kepi will be going through another head surgery this month. His doctor found a fracture on his skull where his brain surgery took place. I'm not happy about this, but his doctor said it needs to be sealed as it will help with the return of his hearing and to avoid future infections. You see, Kepi's hearing on his left ear has not returned since his brain tumor surgery. We are hoping this surgery will solve this hearing problem.

There was a time I kept wondering why we're always facing health and other challenges in life. However, I don't ask questions anymore. I know there will always be trials. I just have to keep praying that Kepi and I will both have the strength and resilience to overcome them.

Happy New Year to everyone! May 2018 bring us strength and resilience to overcome any challenges that come our way.