Saturday, July 13, 2013

Moving towards normal life, and loving every minute

Wow, what a couple of weeks!  So much happened, and so much was so "normal".  I look back (again) at where I was a short two months ago and at that time, never would have imagined enjoying normal things.  First some highlights:

  • For the first time in 32 years (!) I went to Valleyfair, THE theme park in Minnesota.  The last time I was there, I was the age of Luis.  This time, there was Soak City, right in the middle of Valleyfair.  The kids loved it.  What they may not have seen is that I may have had as much fun as they did simply watching them have fun.

Valleyfair on July 10, 2013
  • I took the kids fishing.  I used to love going fishing when I was their age.  Each of them caught a fish. Even Luis, who really didn't want to go fishing at the outset, caught the first fish and he ended up being the "casting expert".  
Fishing at Independence Lake on June 30
  • We had our 1st 4th of July celebration, watching fireworks at Lake Minnetonka.  Of course, the location we went to had a Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream stand next to it so Bianca wanted some - she thinks the Raspberry Chocolate Chip is totally worth the 30 min wait in line.  FYI, Sebastian Joe's is wildly addicting ice cream and has been rated the best in Minneapolis.  

  • Ria and I have been mapping out the Minneapolis food scene.  We've eaten at some great Thai, Italian and good old American barbecue restaurants and absolutely enjoying them (without gaining any weight, on my part, at least -- Ria is starting to complain though...)
Celebrating our house closing at Famous Dave's
  • We've taken up a membership at the local health club, Lifetime Fitness.  Kids like the pools and the water slide.  Ria likes the treadmills and the weights.  I'm using it to get my physical strength back.  
  • I get to ride my new bike around.  This is more for the exercise but I used to absolutely love bike riding.  I ride as much as my body will take (20-30 minutes every other day or so) and I enjoy it.
  • I'm working more and more now that I have time and really enjoy contributing to Global Sources.  First it was 5-10 hours a week.  This week it's around 20 hours a week.  Soon, it will be 30-35 hours a week.  I agreed with management to cap it as priority 1 is still to get back to 100% healthy.  
  • We closed on our new home here in Plymouth, MN.  We'll need to furnish it, but we'll now have a place to call our own during our journey here in the US.  To all our friends in Manila who we never got to say a proper good-bye to, you are all welcome to visit anytime...

Our House

Two months ago, these would not have even been an inkling, but now they are my reality in moving forward as a person.  What I feel is the best part is that all these enjoyable moments are happening and, by the way, I'm still going through Chemotherapy.  Despite this, I've taken the advice of those who have had cancer and changed their lifestyles.  I've learned that one of the most important lifestyle changes a person can have while managing their cancer is to enjoy things and have fun.  I've had a lot of fun in the past 4 weeks and all of it while still still managing my cancer.  

Speaking of which - the medical stuff!  Per my oncologist, my multiple myeloma seems to be under control from the aggressive chemotherapy medication that I've been taking.  My oncologist is very encouraged by the results noting that this is where I should be and now wants to consider the long-term treatment of a bone marrow transplant.  They need to determine the situation with my heart and see if it can take the procedure.  Everything in consideration, we couldn't be happier with my recovery process.  We'll find out in the next couple of weeks with a trip to my Mayo Clinic doctor as to what I need to do next.    

Many people have written that they are still praying for me. I feel wonderful right now doing the normal things in life and a huge reason has been the love and support I've felt from everyone.  I'm a firm believer that cancer recovery and cancer management is only 40% medication and 60% prayers, support and positive attitude.

Before we embarked on this journey, I told many friends and relatives, "Whatever this is, if it's cancer, it's taking on the wrong person".  I need to correct that.   I have so much support from family, friends, co-workers, prayer groups that are all with me in this fight against cancer.  It's not me, it's we.  I know that these are the reasons why we've been able to manage cancer during this journey.  To all of you there, my deepest thank you for your help and support.

Thank you!


  1. thanks for SHARING! happy you are moving FORWARD! May God Bless you in your new endeavors ;-)

  2. Armando,it is really good that you are enjoying your "normal" life, my prayers are still here for you!


  3. Glad to hear from you Buddy and inocenteses are happy that you are getting better . Thanks for sharing your pics! Nice to see you all happy and having fun. We pray for you every night and we offer special mass intentions for you every Saturday mass at our chapel. Sab and Jaime are happy to hear your name announced during mass. They feel happy that the whole village is praying for you :-) God bless you all always


  4. Hi Tito Buddy :-D I'm really happy to hear you're getting better! We're always praying for you and so is the whole village because we offer mass for you every Saturday ;-) We Inocenteses are really really confident you'll win your battle against sickness. Get well soon!

    Isabel Inocentes, Nadya's best friend

  5. Totally made my day! :))

    Make sure I have a room in your new house for visiting! Lol !

    - Buda

  6. Very encouraging and affirming to read your latest update Buddy! You are all enjoying some of the best MN has to offer :) Congratulations on the house - it really will be nice to have your own space, however you wish to define that. We're still among the 60% prayer portion of your fight - keep it up!!
    Megan Kern and family

  7. Great to hear, Armando!! All the best from HK.


  8. Very happy things are continuing to move in the right direction! Stay strong always. We keep praying! - trinna

  9. What a great news, Armando. Keep going! I'm very happy for you and your family.

    Jennifer Bongar

  10. Your blog warms the heart :-) May the Good Lord keep you safe always :-) Take good care ;-)