• Jasmine Mendiola


Mio had chemo last Monday. It was quick, it was brief and it was bothersome.

He didn’t want to eat anything after and his usually prolonged agony post-injection was instantly gone in a few minutes. I’d like to think Dr. Racho missed him as he reminded us that the next time he’ll see us is when all 200 of his former patients, leukemia survivors come together for his annual Christmas party next month. (which my sister generously chose to celebrate my niece, Moira’s 2nd birthday in, so we’re having a Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday rolled in one with Mio’s chemomates!) Next month. Wow. Mio’s not due for intensification until February so it indeed is a high, realizing that our holiday season will be pain-free.

Mio shed a tear or two though during the short vincristin injection. For awhile I worried . I forgot that my son isn’t superhuman nga pala. He’s been a hero for me all this time, what with all the inspiring things he has catapulted the past four months.

(oh but look who’s sporting a super hero shirt EVERY freakin’ chance he gets… he’s addicted to this Ben10 shirt, he INSISTS! that the yayas make sure its out of the laundry so he can wear it right away. Our super heroes however are these people with him, accompanying him in my absence and busy work schedule. Thank God for supportive parents & siblings!)

I”m gearing up for February’s intense medication with a “Bring it on!” attitude. Good thing PCSO has granted our financial aid (many thanks to Ruby Laurel, Betty Richardson & Audrey Tan-Zubiri for the assistance in speeding it up), the concert funds pushing through, I’m not worried as much. But since he’s on a roll now, I’m taking the chance to be productive and working like a horse while his medication and schooling is manageable. His moods are the worst so far and he’s not sick at all. I’m indulging him with everything that he wants and needs, I feel like I’m over-compensating for the lack of my time, what with everthing I have to juggle so I can lay it all out for him when a rainy day comes.

(that’s him watching the Bakugan Season 1 I found at one of the bazaars I visited this month to distribute Mio pins and shirts that my bazaar-seller friends can sell too. Yes. Pasalubong. Over-compensation, check. Boo.)

I wake up everyday grateful and high on this sense of responsibility. But my faith is on top and I am shouting to the heavens of how ELSE I can make use of ourselves. The blessings never end. I’d rather see it like that than fixate on how the expenses keep barging in, the stress, Mio’s unreasonable requests and the anxiety that the slightest speck of bacteria MIGHT cause him to be ill. God forbid.

I come home sometimes or call him on the phone only to be set aside because he’s busy playing. I ask the yaya if he’s eaten, what time he took his medicine (of which the schedule is more frantic than mine) and endlessly reiterate the kind of food he CAN’T eat, how she should persuade Mio to eat in spite of the lack of appetite, how she’s suppose to clean him and remind him to wash his hands like how I taught her…. Poor yaya. Mio would sometimes lash back, “I know already Mom! You’re so kulit.”

(one of those guilty night outs I indulge him on a date where there’s less foot traffic. I’m trying to integrate my frantic work sched with a routine that involves his tutoring sessions near my work studio so I can do precisely this)

I’m so busy, its ridiculous. Its also ridiculous how in spite of this, my son continues to teach me lessons everyday. And I wish to impart them as often as possible. I wish to share an entire year of blessings. I wish for you to be inspired like how Dar and Em have been, enabling them to publish such a beautiful organizer for 2010 called Navi (available in Fully Booked & National Bookstore) for which they capture the beauty of travelling and going places, one they hope for Mio. It was a surprise and a delightful one at that to be told that this one’s for Mio 🙂

Please get one and if you do, check your checklist of things to do this year. Mine would be this:

[ ] investing in a good home-school program for Mio;

[ ] maintaining a comfortable and stable amount of savings (which I’ve failed at so many times with!) so Mio will always be sure to be well taken cared of;

[ ] stabilize work (a more concrete schedule as part-time faculty at John Robert Powers and a well-thought of racket schedule from the production houses and magazines would be great!) schedule so I can integrate facilitating Mio’s home-school program and treatments without having to keep asking other people to sub; and

[ ] maybe rest a bit every now and then. My Mom is hysterical when she realizes I haven’t slept or winked so much with all the work I have to do.

Come to think of it, these aren’t cancer problems. They’re just normal problems on a higher cautious ground. I’m counting my blessings….

(watch this episode of Shoptalk on Counting Blessings on Dec. 28, Mio Fights Cancer is featured!)

…. and I’m missing Mio in every heartbeat I’m away from him. So I’m wussing here in this blog because contrary to what he says he feels, I’M the one who feels lonely without him.

(the short time I get to spend time with him in between meetings. Squeeeze!)

I feel so high on so many things, I think I’m the one going through chemo! I hope Mio is in fact well. But the enemies can’t beat him even with this tiny tiny fear in my heart. Only because Mio’s high on blessings and joy. We hope to see you at his exhibit!

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