Saturday, May 18, 2013

The first haircut!

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are my dialysis days.  I go to DaVita Dialysis Center, and the nurses there hook me up for my usual 3 1/2 hour session.  I sometimes read, watch TV, use my iPad.  This time I slept for about 2 of the hours.  While awake, I watched Star Trek VI and Star Trek VIII on the SyFy channel.

Friday, May 17 was different.  Near the end of the dialysis session, Dr. Moore, my nephrologist came over to talk with me to talk about lab results.  My #s were good!  My hemoglobin #s, potassium #s, creatinine #s, sodium figures were all positive and getting better!  Terms that had no meaning to me 2 months ago meant so much now!  He went so far as to tell me to go ahead and cheat on my Renal Diet!  "If your family is having a pizza, go ahead and have some".  I couldn't believe my ears, green light for eating pizza!  If only he had told me that the day before when John and Laura brought over Lake Harriet Pepperoni Pizza!

2 weeks post ICU, and countless antibiotics later, my strength seems to be coming back.  I can walk for 200 meters.  I can get up stairs more than one step at a time.  I can easily walk to the washroom without assistance.  I can eat pizza (on a limited basis)!  Things I took for granted for so long, then became so difficult, are now becoming doable again.  The process of moving forward is happening.

We celebrated by going out for Chinese food.  Just a quick bite at Leeann Chin.  Then, I went to get a haircut at ProCuts.  My first haircut since March when I left Manila.  It felt great to have a fresh cut and feel normal again.  Again, things I took totally for granted before were now the source of a huge smile at the end of the day.

My cousin Vince called later last night.  Talking to him was great because I could actually talk.  Last time he called I was in the ICU and barely functioning.  What a difference a couple of weeks make.  I'm now on the road to moving ahead.  Cancer isn't controlling me anymore.  I'm not cancer.  I'm taking control of it and moving ahead.

Today, John, Laura, Ruffy, Bernadette and their kids came over to celebrate my birthday.  It's almost May 22 so I got to celebrate being 45 a couple days early.  As I have a green light to cheat a little bit, I got a taste of "Nigel" (fantastic tasting burger) and a Hebrew National Hot Dog.  Absolutely fantastic!  Ria baked me a beautiful cake which was a checkerboard pattern.  The kids had a wonderful time running around in the lawn.  One of my best birthday parties ever considering I was in the ICU just a bit over a week ago.  John, who has been my best friend for 38 years (!!) and I had a blast watching our kids chasing each other around my parents' lawn.  I told him that 25 years ago, we wouldn't have imagined watching our kids running around.  

I still have a long ways to go.  But good days are now outnumbering the bad ones.  I thank everyone for their prayers and thoughts again.  Without them, I wouldn't have the strength to push forward.  I continue to rely on my faith to keep me strong through all of this.  To fret over the situation would be the easiest thing to do.  I won't do that.  I want to improve my life, even with the cancer that I'm totally intent on beating.   I will beat it with all of your support! 

John lighting my birthday cake

Like my compression socks?!?!


  1. Go! Go! Go! I love the good days, and continue praying for many, many more! Advance happy birthday! Keep the faith! - Trinna

  2. i'm glad you are getting better and better..
    indeed it is a birthday gift from God:)
    ..all the best to come... advance happy birthday Armando..

  3. Hi Buddy Boy!!! I read your blog to everyone in the house. We are so HAPPY to hear the
    good numbers! You look GREAT with your new haircut! Gwapo as ever!
    Love the picture with your party hat. And the compression socks could be the new fashion. ;)
    Advanced Happy Birthday! What a FANTASTIC way to celebrate your birthday weekend!!!
    We shall continue praying! Love you Kid Bro!!! :)


  4. Yes, beat it!

    Advance happy birthday Armando and more years to come. God is with you. -Beth/GS

  5. Thanks God you're getting better... Happy birthday and God bless you and your family...
    Tina/your staff from your GSOL webteam

    I am positive this is just the start of even BETTER days! Love it! Stay joyful, Buddy & Ri! Sending love from our family in PA. Mwah! - Buda

  7. Advance Happy birthday Buddy! Glad to read about this good news and that you're getting better. All the Adobo Girls are still praying for you to get well really really soon!

  8. It's time to celebrate! :) Bring out those dancing shoes and blast the 80's music!!! So thrilled and happy to hear that you're getting stronger and better by the day ... just in time for YOUR birthday! YAY!!! Looking great, Bud! Advanced happy birthday! We celebrate with you ... every day is a celebration! Love you Twinkie! - Rinna

    p.s. Ria, your cake is amazing!

  9. Wish I could be there to eat Ria's birthday cake! Eat some for me Buddy! Every mass I go to is for your intention. I am so happy to hear that your "better days" are increasing. Hug the kids for me! We miss you all!

  10. Am sooooo sooooo happy you are feeling much better! keep your spirits up so you can heal even better as you already have the love, support and powerful prayers from all of us to back you up on your journey. Advanced happy birthday! Thank you for giving Set and I a good excuse to drink a round or 2 to celebrate your birthday on the 22nd. Regards to Ria and the kids, Tito Mando & Tita Linda, Mike & family, and Ruffy & family.

  11. you are looking great Buddy. You can and will beat the big C!!!


  12. Dear Buddy,

    As God adds life to your years, may He add 45 more marvelous years to your life. But in the meantime, I solemnly pray that He make smooth the path you are taking towards healing. Happy Birthday!

    Tito Ben

  13. Happy birthday in advance Buddy! We are all so happy that God advanced his birthday gift to you with good test results! You are looking great too :-) love your compression socks. ....Trust Ria to create such yummy works of art. Ria, you are my idol! Praying for you all, everyday! - pot, Edward, Sab and Jaime

    P.S. sab still misses nadya a lot . She is hooked to her phone for the latest message from nadya. She is already planning a trip to the states !

  14. Happy Birthday Buddy! Here's to another 45++ years of living a life full of God's blessings! You are going to be victorious, God will make it sure!

    Btw, you look good--still your good old pogi self ��...with or without the socks hehehe...

    Ria, the cake looks yummy!

    - Ems F.

  15. Buddy-I release a heavy sigh as I read through your blog posts that my mom sent me. Your ups and downs have been incredible and it has been a joy to see pictures of your precious kids and wonderful wife! Please know that you are in my thoughts as you go through this journey. Take care of YOU!
    Lynn Sommers

  16. Awesome stuff, Buddy. Love hearing the good news. You are definitely not cancer!

    Onward and Upward.



  17. Happy birthday Buddy! Our family will continue to pray for your healing :) Positive attitude makes a huge difference in this battle. Keep smiling! -- Alex, Jayjay, Kyle and Denise (p.s. my son kyle remembers that you have the same birthday. he is praying for you he said)

  18. Belated Happy Birthday (Buddy) Armando! I believe I'm a bit late to greet you, nevertheless I am really glad and with the great news I read in your blog that you are getting better that makes us really happy =). With God's grace I know He hear our prayers and "with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26b)." Nothing can beat a man with a strong fighting FAITH in our Lord Jesus =). Our great hope is in Him alone. I do always remember you Armando in prayer and "whatever we bind here on earth, we be bound in heaven." (Matt16:19b) God knows our heart, God knows our pain and God hear us from heaven.

    Mark 11:24... "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

    Let's claim the promises of God and believe and trust that God knows what He is allowing to happen. May the grace of God extend & showers you and your family. May God's face shine upon you even in sickness and in health. May God continue to watch over you, always show you the truth, gives you the strength to trust Him in all things. Have a wonderful and blessed birthday =).


  19. Alleluia!! What a blessed birthday gift!! I love it! Healing AND a haircut :)

    I knew it - this was all just a set-up for a miracle. And why not? There was not one sick person that asked Jesus for healing who did not get well - some in phases, some immediately. There's no doubt He's not just able, but He's very willing to heal you.

    Here we go!!

    -Carmina del Fonso

  20. happy birthday, buddy! hey, cheekbone's back :) will continue to pray for your healing and fast recovery. I salute your unwavering faith. GOD is great!