Category Archives: Laugh

Things that make us smile, jokes, stories

Prayers for my grandpa…

Hey Friends!

Wanted to upate with another entry prior to this one…but my grandpa (on my dad’s side) was sent to the hospital last night. My grandparents went on a Seniors’ trip with the church and my grandpa fell when a little kid zipped by and startled him during dinner at a buffet restaurant. My dad, uncle, my cousin, and my aunt brought him to the emergency room and waited for the x-rays to be done.

He stayed overnight in the hospital and is still awaiting the surgeon today to see when he will have his surgery for his leg/hip area. Please pray for patience, for wisdom of the doctors and nurses that are taking care of him, and for his pain to be minimalized. This makes me feel so helpless and worrisome cause I can’t go to visit!

As for me, I had my CT Scan on Monday Night and had a nice dinner afterwards to celebrate a good friends’ birthday 🙂 Prior to the Scan, I was given this white/semi-opaque/thick/orange-tasting liquid to drink throughout the day. It wasn’t great tasting, but anything beats Chinese Medicine! (…I found a “bug-looking” head in the remainders of the medicine yesterday… and I found out it was a scorpion head! So… eat that! Andrew Zimmerman… I think I’m ready for his Bizarre Foods Show on Food Network).

I also had another MugaScan & EKG test this morning at TGH. Thank the Lord that he continues to answer prayers when I ask for courage when it comes to needles & injections. Although I can tolerate them… I find I can never really get “used” to them… 

So… it’s “poke-free” until next Friday when I get my blood test in preparation for Round 4 the Monday after Father’s Day! 

On a side note… Ike & I have a wedding cake! 🙂 I went to Select Bakery with my mom on Friday to talk with Costa about the cake. I love his  bakery & pastry shop, because it’s full of such beautiful, yummy, and wonderful varieties of Greek Pastries (especially the soft almond cookies!) I also love it because of the local community that the shop serves. It’ puts a smile on my face to see grandmas and grandpas come and enjoy a date or coffee while reading their newspapers or chatting 🙂  

At first, Ike & I thought of just renting a styrofoam cake. I know, unedible… but we weren’t too serious about cakes. Somehow, our later idea of a simple 2-tier cake is now a 3-tier cake! haha… oh dear! But it’s simple & it’s strawberry shortcake flavoured (which is Ike’s favourite!) What was an even MORE wonderful surprise was that it was already paid for when I asked Costa for the price!!!!!!!! ALLEN YE, we know it’s you!!! haha… Thanks Biu Gor 🙂 We are so touched by your generosity & love for your family & friends. Thanks to Costa too (and Nick!) Have a great trip out west!

http://selectbakery.ca/home.php -> Select Bakery’s Website…

Can’t have too much sugar…but I’m still happy when I see this picture!

Have a “sweet” weekend!  – Vinci

 

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Chemo 3 is NO match for me !

My Dear Friends & Family,

Thanks for your continuous prayers & thoughts as always! They give me strength to keep fighting 🙂 Going into chemo 3, my blood counts weren’t so high. I was on the borderline of having to have the treatment postponed, but my hematologist gave the go-ahead. So to even be able to continue with the treatment is a good thing!

 This round was a difficult one in comparison to Round 2. We waited a good 2 hours before going into the chemo day lab. They were really busy, so I was at a chair instead of a bed for the treatment. The vein was harder to find today. So, the first poke didn’t work (even though it was a fat & juicy vein!) The second poke was successful…Praise the Lord! Since it was a small vein, it was a little uncomfortable (the nurse really dug in!) & the IV drugs were making my arm a little poofy & sore (especially the Rutuxim). My blood pressure was at times pretty low, and they had to slow down some parts of the treatment. All in all though, it only took 4 and a half hours! So… not too bad 🙂

I guess due to the energy I exerted to tolerate the pain in my arm & just the lower blood pressure… I felt like I hit a brick wall after my treatment. Just a little zoned out, mostly wanting to sleep. I tried to eat as much as I could when I got home, but I felt nauseous already. So, I went to bed at 8:30!!! hahah… I don’t remember the last time I crashed so early. Thanks to my family & Ike  for putting up with my “bum-ness” at times. Nonetheless, I feel a little better aside from some nauseous feelings throughout the day.

the medicine story…

As I mentioned in the previous entry, there’s a story about my medicine that I’d like to share with you all. So in the last 2 rounds, all medications (aside from the actual chemo) had to be paid from our own pockets. I applied for some government programs and waited to see if anything would be approved. So this was what happened. The Trillium Government program would provide all expenses in  medications that exceeds a grand total of $1500 from April until July.  We also phoned the Victory program which makes the Neupogen injections, and they provided for injections until Round 3. Well, little did we know that God was in the midst of answering prayers!

So… because I needed injections (and neither my mom nor myself felt comfortable with administering our own injections) and the clinic near our house was too packed for us to go get my shot,  CCAC (Community Care Access Centre), an initiative funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario provided for a homecare nurse to come every morning for the injections in Round 2. The case manager reviewed my situation with me and brought up the fact that CCAC can provide medicine (oral & injections) for patients under the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan (as long as they need a Homenurse) free of charge!  It proved to be a blessing in disguise because of the fact that I didn’t go to the clinic (cause it was booked) and that I couldn’t give myself injections (Cause I’m too chicken)! That means aside from paying my pharmacy fees, ALL of my medicine (excluding Heptovir) is covered!!!!!! What’s even more praiseworthy is that on the same day, the Victory program called to tell me that my case has been approved and that all my Neupogen injections would be covered until November 2010!!! God is truly a God that answers prayers & provides! 

The following song & testimony has touched my heart & soul for the past few months. It is a slight reflection of how I feel & how the Medicine story is one that shows  God’s love & presence. I have come across this song by Hillsongs United several times through friends & even on someone’s Facebook Status. It shows of how BIG God is… how He is a Provider…how He is Worthy of Praise because of the Promises He gives not only to me, but to anyone that has felt like they have lost Hope or are struggling in hard times. Have Faith, Stay Strong & Trust in His Promises! He is bigger than our Circumstances!

”  What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”- Romans 8:31

this is the story behind the song…

Tomorrow will be the start of my Round 3 Neupogen Injections. I’ve been feeling physically bummy these last couple of days. Hopefully, these injections will help my body!  (OH! and I got a HUGE BRUISE on my arm from the IV…eek!)

And…to end off on a lighter note 🙂  Here’s the Round 3 Video from my dear friends! It’s up now ! Love the scene in the elevator… that poor woman….haha

Cheerio for now,

Vinci

Feeling great… and Gearing Up!

Hi Everyone,

Hope all the Canadians had a great Victoria Day Weekend! I sure did 🙂  (and to the Americans, hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend coming up) The long weekend was jam packed with things to do that doesn’t involve being at home most of the day! Not only was I excited to be “out & about”, but I think by the end of the weekend, my body realized it was overly excited too and NOT suprisingly fatigued. After the long weekend, I felt like an old lady that just ran a race…cause I crashed pretty early every night since!  The weekend consisted of…

  • morning brunch at Oliver & Bonnicini’s
  • watched Shrek 4 with Ike & my mom 🙂 (my dad’s on a singing tour out West & in Seattle…so it was really sweet of Ike to suggest bringing my mom out for a movie)
  • dim sum with the family
  • shoe shopping with my mom, aunts, uncle & cousin for their Wedding shoes…haha 
  • strolling and enjoying the beautiful weather with Ike downtown near Harbourfront
  • BBQ with some good friends 🙂 –> Thanks for all the yummy grilled veggies & “healthy food” hahaha….

So, all in all…a GREAT weekend with the people & food I love and feeling like a “normal” person; where I didn’t feel sick at all!  (my unhealthy food quota for the next month has been met… my “cheat” weekend 🙂

As I’m getting ready for my next round of chemo (which is eek, tomorrow), I’m a little excited that after this next round, I’m HALF DONE!!! YAY! I’m scheduled for some CT Scans & Bone Scans after this round to see if they’re shrinking the tumours or not. June’s definitely going to be a busy, busy month.

On another note, there are some things to be Happy About ! I’ll write more about it tomorrow, but it has to do with medical expenses! As we’ve said in previous entries, God’s timing & providence is ALWAYS better than either Ike & I can EVER imagine. I’m in awe of how prayers are answered.

Things to pray for…

  • Where will the next IV be?  in a healthy, workable vein…please, please pretty please 🙂
  • minimal side effects after this next round (Round 2 was okay!)
  • good results showing a shrunken tumour or none at all! (CT Scan & Bone Scan) –> June 18
  • good results for an ultrasound for my liver.. that’s prayerfully  functioning okay through all this chemo -> June 21

One more prayer request… this one has been weighing heavily on my heart for the past weekend…

A family that attends our church has recently lost a loved one to cancer this past week after a courageous battle over a period of several years. Vivien was a woman who loved God and loved her family. Although I didn’t know her extremely well, I could observe that these two things were very dear to her heart. My heart goes out to Vivien’s husband and her two children whom I had some opportunities to interact with when I taught Sunday School a year or two ago. If you have a chance, please pray for peace and God’s presence to be with her family in this hard time. Please pray that God will provide wisdom for Vivien’s husband in how to remember her and how to raise the children. Please also pray that the kids will allow God to still be a part of their lives and not for them to have harden hearts towards God as they grow up.  Thanks y’all!

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears it .    – 1 John 5:14 (New International Version)

XOXO & Cheers,

Vinci

PS: will upload another one of my friend’s fun videos for Round 3 later this week … but Tada!!! Here’ s one from my dear friends Jin & Kin from Round 2… they were on a cruise for Jin’s sister’s wedding….so had to make a separate video. Loved the fact that Andrew and your sisters were in it too 🙂 Thanks guys! (you made me tear up… hehe ) and you have no idea how encouraging these videos are!!

2nd Chemo… Huzzah!!!

Helllo everyone 🙂

After a long day at PMH, I can say that the 2nd chemo treatment was successfully administered! Thanks to your prayers & thoughts, the IV went in with no problem on the first try. The drugs went through successfully… even with a 2 hour delay. The pharmacy was backlogged with thousands of perscriptions, and the nurses didn’t get the IV drugs until 3:30. I am so thankful for the nurses in the University Health Network, they are so dedicated to their work and to their patients. Even though their shift ends at 7 pm, they would stay for another hour to make sure that their patients would get the proper care.

As this 2nd chemo treatment is done, I am literally taking it one day at a time. To make sure that I don’t end up in the hospital again due to a fever or infection, my hematologist has added Neupogen (Filgrastim) injections (once a day) starting this Friday until next Tuesday. So these injections are to stimulate my bone marrow in making more white blood cells to help me fight injections. I will be going to PMH for the first injection, and than they’ll send a nurse to my house for the remaining 4 days to help with the injection. They say that eventually, I can learn to give myself the injection (or my mom can learn), but I think my mom gets really scared to even look at a needle let alone give one to me! haha… so nurse it is.

More things to praise God for  🙂

  • HAPPY BELATED MOTHER’S DAY! Where would I be without my mom? Well, for one thing… I wouldn’t have all the juicing & natural foods for my current treatment! All joking aside, I love my mom! Even with our bickering & arguements (most recently due to the new diet I have — mostly vegan), God has blessed me with the best mom in the world! He’s also blessed me with a lot of wonderful alterna-moms (“aunties” from church, future family-in-law…etc ) So thank you! Hope you all had a great day (and many more to come!)
  • God provided for the next 2 sets of Neupogen injections! These needles are expensive little buggers. They are about $300 dollars each x 5 days = $1500 per chemo treatment. My case nurse was so amazing! She understood that I have no insurance plan, and so she gave their “secret stash” for this round. After phoning the maker of Neupogen, they have decided to cover the injections for after my Round 3 Chemo. Woot! God is the God that provides 🙂
  • They found the vein! They found the vein!
  • Just recently applied for my EI Sick Benefits, will attempt at Trillium Coverage and another Government program that may help to cover the Neupogen Injections for Rounds 4-6. Continue to pray that God will Provide!  You have no idea how glad I am to have Health care in Canada!

Before I sign off, here’s another lovely video that my friends have made 🙂 You’ll see more of this at the wedding!! I love my variety of friends… Now THESE ones are just a bit cheesier, fruitier, crazier… and I LUFF IT!!! THANKS! Love you guys! Enjoy 🙂

G’nite & Blessings,

Vinci

and now… for some musical interlude & things that make me smile:)

Hands-down… one of my favourite movies of all times- Sister Act II 🙂 And.. who doesn’t love Lauryn Hill?

and… one from my lovely friends across the pond…

I love my friends…haha… even though they are fruity … they make me smile 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

-Vinci