Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ipon 2014 ...success!

"Pag may tyaga, nilaga ang ulam!" Haha

Before 2013 ended, posts about the 52 week money challenge were everywhere. A lot of people wanted to do it (I wonder how many people actually did it) and we were one of those though I had doubts about finishing it until the end but I (we) really really wanna do it. Can we do it? How will we know if we won't try, right? So we made our own customized 52 Week Money Challenge and called it Ipon2014.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Living in pain but living a beautiful and awesome life!

I often have sudden nerve pain on my head; but I still feel so blessed because before I can even react and say “ouch”, it’s already gone. That happens every 20 minutes and lasts for an hour or even the whole day, but each prick/pain is only a second or less.

Headaches are becoming frequent these days, as in almost everyday; but I still feel so blessed because all the pain I’m feeling are always tolerable.

image from google

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wagyu Wonderful Lunch at Melo's!

Just because I’m sick (and currently has 3 aggressive bad tumors) doesn’t mean I can’t go out and eat good food. I’m a lakwatserang naka-wheelchair once again…

Thanks to Ma’am Caron Santiago Macasaet (owner, together with her husband, Sir Paul) for inviting us, Talitha and I had a really wonderful Wagyu Steak Lunch at Melo’s last week (Wednesday)!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

How caring are you?

A couple of my concerned friends told me about GoFundME, YouSharing and other Crowdfunding sites. When they told me about it, I refused and said there’s really no need for it coz it’s not like I’m raising funds for a much needed medical procedure like surgery or something. I’m continuously doing a fundraising campaign to sustain my recurring medical needs; NF is a continuing battle. Besides, there are a lot of people who needs more help compared to me. I didn’t want to put up a fundraising page then, but I considered and told myself that if I really need to raise a big amount for my surgery, I’ll make one.

Please don’t feel obliged to give. Share only if you can and I’ll sincerely appreciate it. You can buy a shirt from me. May tshirt ka na, nakatulong ka pa at may chance ka pang maka-inspire ng kung sino mang babasa ng nakasulat sa shirt mo! Haha. Praying for me is helping too. I really feel comforted and more at ease whenever someone tells me that they’re praying for me.

Anyway, here’s my youcaring page, I tried creating a gofundme page but they  don’t accept Paypal. We have a dollar account but my mom’s not sure if it’s still active. Time is moving and we still have a lot of things to do, so I'll use my Paypal at youcaring site instead.

Please read:
3 bad tumors: Please help me shoo them away!

3 bad tumors: Please help me shoo them away!

 photo MRI1_zpsc5f7c0cc.jpg  photo MRI2_zps7dab5bd2.jpg  photo MRI3_zpsed369f26.jpg

MRI scan results are out and it’s 3 pages long! Meningioma. Schwannomas. Lesions. Mass. Soft tissue. Irregular. Abnormal enhancement. Definite progression. Tumors, tumors and more tumors all over my cranial MRI. Aside from the 4cm big bad brain tumor, there are also tumors on my optical wall (on each side) that needs to be treated. That’s 3 bad tumors! Hopefully the other tumors will remain small and behave forever!

It’s Hypofractionated Stereotactic Radiation Therapy (SRT) times two that costs Php 593,450.00  and we need to raise it within this month.

Here’s the copy of the estimated price quotation we got from Medical City (the only hospital in the country that has this kind of treatment) – the red marks are the discount.

Here’s the plan according to Dr. Vega (radiation oncologist):

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stiffed neck ...gone!

A miracle causes great happiness among people. From a biblical perspective, it is an event in the external world brought about by the immediate and simple volition of God. I do believe in miracles. They happen every single minute. There are no explanations necessary, they just happen, and we know that they do happen because we can feel them when they happen.

This is too good not to share, though I know some people won't believe me. But still, I want to share this amazing miracle that happened to me yesterday and how amazing God is!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'm a bosconian. Proud Bosconian!

Here it is. My speech during last Sunday's DBS Grand Homecoming. My mom read this coz I can write (and I have A LOT to share), but I can't deliver it. But still, I CAN! It's 3-pages-long, size 14 Calibri font, narrow margin, single space and it's focused on just one topic. Haha. Ako na ang madaldal! :P

Very short intro
I copied a couple sentences from of my previous articles & writings, should I sue myself of plagiarism? LOL.

Read on.

I am Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza. I am known as Kcat to everyone, but most of my DBS friends call me Tack. I belong to the pioneer batch, DBS Batch 2000. It is really a great honor to be sharing my story with you, my fellow Past Pupils. Thank you so much for making me a part of this.

Our home is our first venue of learning; the second is our school. After studying nursery school at a learning center near our home, I was ready to study in a bigger school for my preparatory schooling.  My parents learned that there was a newly opened Don Bosco School in Manila for girls, and since my dad and my mom’s brothers were Bosconians, they were eager to enroll me here. I was accepted and I was lucky to become one of the first batch of students in DBS way back in 1989 and proud to be one of the first graduates in year 2000.

In those eleven years, I thought I was only here to study, study, and study. I have learned a lot, but not only lessons from textbooks, but DBS also taught me about life: what life is, how to value life and how to live it well, not by myself, but together with everyone. And all these form a big part of who I am today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Please help me shoo this big bad tumor away

Hello! I’m Kcat Yarza. As you all know, I was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NF–tumor of the nerves) and I have so many tumors all over my body (inside and out), including the brain. I got lots of small, benign and harmless tumors in my brain except for one aggressive big bad tumor that measures 3.8 x 4.7 x 4.3 cm and causes further compression of the brainstem. Although no too severe (yet?) this causes my frequent dizziness, nerve pain and headaches. If I am able to walk by myself, I would have fall down often and lose my balance. Maybe that is why I kept on falling from my chair countless times.

This tumor needs to be treated with 5 sessions of hypofractionated stereotactic radiation therapy that will cost Php 400,000 or it could be more. It’s not really an emergency but we need to prioritize it because it’s already big and we don’t know how aggressive it is. If it gets bigger, it could cause more harm. How soon is soon? Hopefully before Christmas. Maybe. With your help, this CAN be possible! God will provide.

Every cent counts.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Big bad brain tumor

In May or June (this year), I noticed that I frequently have headache, nerve pain (inside my head) and I often feel disoriented. Good thing, I already know how to manage it. That’s what life is with Neurofibromatosis (NF) and I’m used to it. Then a few weeks ago, I’ve been feeling disoriented and I almost had a seizure. I know the feeling every time I’m about to have seizures. I just know. Amazing, right? I just have to stop what I’m doing, be calm, drink water, drink my anti-seizure, drink water again, and deep breathing. Inhale. Exhale. It works all the time! I never had seizures ever since I started doing this. Almost seizure but it never succeeds! I always win! Haha.

After that, I told my mom that I almost had a seizure and told her about that ‘disoriented feeling’. Then we remembered that it’s been a while since my last cranial CT scan to monitor my tumors. After that, my mom told my neurosurgeon, Dr. Lopez about it and a few days after we got the letter of request and I was scheduled to have the CT scan at PGH-FMAB.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monday holiday with the fam (after CT Scan)

Yesterday, after my CT scan (will write about it after my check-up on Thursday) at PGH-FMAB, of course off we went to its next door neighbor, Robinsons Place to have our very very late lunch, merienda and early dinner in one.

From PGH parking lot to Rob Place parking

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Too good to be true, but it's really true!

My mom always massages my legs with Oleia. Today, Lastnight, when I scratched my legs while I was in bed lastnight, I was surprised when I can't touch the tumor on my right lower leg. I was too sleepy to find it, so I just told Talitha to send me a message on Viber that my tumor is missing. :P I found it today and it shrunk in size. I think it's only 1/4 in size compare to my June 2010 blog post. Amazing!

Amazing, right?

Suddenly, it's ramen night with the GYA Peeps!

The GYA Peeps & I were looking forward to try Ippudo at Megamall (Mega Fashion Hall) but not this soon coz we still have other plans.We were talking about ramen & stuff the other night then yesterday afternoon, bigla nalang may lakad ... ramen at Ippudo! Thank you for not showing up yesterday traffic & rain. And thank you for lining up Katren Banix coz when we arrived, we were already in front, just waiting for the others to come.

Photo from Katren Banix' IG

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dinner for Carlisle tomorrow!

Finally! I'll be able to step out of the house. My yaya/secretary has been busy and is still busy until September (?) ends. Pero keri, wala ding pang-lakwatsa. But we're scheduled to attend Carlisle's Dinner For A Cause tomorrow talaga - Talitha, Maro, Michelle, Camille, Kathreen & Kariz. We've already paid, so there's no backing out. Push! Go! Kain galore. Since Camille won't be able to join us tomorrow, my dad is going with us instead of her. My dad's gonna be eating for her. Thanks Camille for helping out Carlisle pa rin :)

Wanna join us? Tara!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Let’s Help Andrei Fight Cancer

A few weeks ago, someone posted on my page I AM KCAT on Facebook, seeking help for her sick son by posting about it and spreading his story. As usual, I overlooked that post and it was only yesterday that I got to talk to her. Good thing she was currently online when I sent her a message on Facebook.

#HappyBirthdayDonBosco Celebration

My siblings and I were planning to eat out and watch a movie when the month of August came but Talitha suggested, "Sa birthday ni Don Bosco nalang tayo umalis." And DB birthday celebration it is! Janna, Dong, my mom and Tito Jun also joined us for dinner. We were supposed to dine at Bannaple but since it is outside Greenhills Shooping Center and it was raining kinda hard, we decided to just eat at Greenhills Promenaded. Banana Leaf it is!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Marinelle (9) is battling with cancer and she needs our help

A few days ago, my friend (I mean gwapong friend. Haha) Armin’s niece, Vera posted a message on my Facebook timeline asking me to repost the link she sent me.

It’s about her friend, Manel, who was diagnosed and battling with cancer.

Here it is::

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mami after grocery shopping

Dinner at Masuki with the family minus Talitha (she's still on the way home from Baguio) after our grocery shopping in Unimart, Greenhills.

Mami ni Dadi. Mami ni Mami. Mami ni Ate. Mami ni Bunso.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sushi Friday

Talitha & I have been meaning to try Genji M's sushi buffet coz they are generous with their promos. Luckily they have this 3-Day Unlimited Sushi & Rolls for P100 today until Sunday. Wow!

We love sushi!
Sushi dinner with the famm, Maro had bulgogi

Monday, July 14, 2014

Saturdate KAIN

6 minus 3 plus 3 divided by 2
(Add Lea, Kokie and Sarah in the equation. Go figure.)
Someone's craving for Baskin' Robbins ice cream, so off we go to  BGC and I just have to say this: Pau was the first to arrive!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lunch at Mahogany Market

Weekend lunch in Tagaytay need not to be expensive yet very delicious and filling at Mahogany Market.

Tawilis, Crispy Shrimp, Bulalo, Pork sisig, Lechon kawali

Monday, June 30, 2014

Merienda: Isaw

I often ask Janna MOMO, "Kelan mo ba ko patitikimin ng isaw ng Kelchie's?" Coz I'm so inggit with the photos they post on their page in FB. Besides, it's only 1 bangka away from Marketplace, may chance pa silang magkita ni Gregory! But not today. :P

Wish granted. Isaw ni Kelchie.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I'm a Lakwatserang naka-wheelchair..thanks to my PWD ID!

"I don’t think the discounts and privileges given to senior citizens and PWD ID holders are being given because these two groups of people don’t go out that much anyway, it is to let us know that we are still part of the society and that we can still enjoy life like normal people do. Because life is beautiful, no matter what."

My gamit na gamit na PWD ID

Coz I'm a lakatserang naka-wheelchair and most of my PWD friends often ask me about the privileges of the PWD ID, might as well share how it benefits me.Gusto ko lang... :P

SaturDATE with the brother and sister

Since the movie was not until 11:30 pm, we had our dinner at French Baker first. Malamang. :P

Grilled Chicken, Chicken Ala King & Pasta

Saturday, June 28, 2014

DIETox Juice, anyone?

A few weeks ago, Ate Niña Candelaria & her nephew John Paul Halili brought a bottle of cold pressed vegetables and fruit juice — DIETox Juice.

Talitha & I were meaning to try that, so why not?!

Selfie with my Yellow Juice:
Pineapple + Cauliflower + Cucumber + Mint + Lemon + Ginger

Monday, June 23, 2014

KCAT CAN: Unwavering Faith

Unwavering Faith

Late last year, I met Joyce Quiñones because of the group Neurofibromatosis Friends (NFF) Philippines. Her younger sister, Shiela was recently diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) just like me.

She has multiple tumors in the brain that affected her hearing and vision. She needed to undergo surgery to have the tumors removed but her family doesn’t know where to start. Upon my suggestion, they went to see my neurosurgeon, Dr. Willy Lopez, and after that clinic appointment, they were enlightened. Her craniotomy and radio surgery were both a success!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Burger night with the GYA Peeps

Tried 8 Cuts Burger Blends with the GYA Peeps last night. Talitha, Camille, Jenrik & I waited for more than an hour not only because of the not-so-long queue but mostly because ANTAGAL NG MGA KASAMA NAMIN! Tss. Though we still waited some more after everyone has arrived but it's worth the wait!
Burger,Fries, Onion Rings, Wings, Desserts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Let's eat Yema Cake!

After watching "Let's Eat", a Korean Foodie Rom-Com Drama, I told myself: "Ako rin, gusto kong ma-post ng ganyan sa blog ko!"

There was a foodie blog in the drama owned by one of the mains characters. He only uploads photos of empty dishes because an empty plate is sign that the food was delicious. Get the drift? I wanna post the before & after naman.

I'm neither a food critic nor a food blogger so don't expect food reviews or something like that; I'm doing this because I LOVE FOOD! Game.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

8th MAY Birthday Project 2014

It’s been a month since our annual gift-giving affair at Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and of course it was a success once again!

Happy Volunteers (JCL Photography)

Monday, June 9, 2014

KCAT CAN: A test of faith

A test of faith

I recently had a long, deep and meaningful conversation with a friend. She shared her problems with me and I helped her realize what she should do in order to solve it.

When she was finally enlightened with a solution, she asked me, “How about you? Do you have any problems, too?” I told her that I have my share of problems though I can’t enumerate it because it will take time to recall all of it. Besides, I don’t really think about my problems. I would always turn my focus on the solution, rather than sticking with the problem. Some people might think that I’m in denial, but I’m not; and I’m sure about it. Life is full of problems and I’m not exempted from having my own share. It’s just sad whenever we focus on our problems and tend to forget that we still have a life to live. We don’t need to avoid our problems; we just need to handle it well and not let it take over our life.

American Christian pastor and author Rick Warren wrote, “When you stay focused on your purpose, not your problem, you can be happy even when life seems to be falling apart.”

Monday, May 26, 2014

KCAT CAN: The best birthday treat

The best birthday treat

"I am Kcat Yarza. We’re here to celebrate my birthday by sharing my blessings that I call family and friends.” That was the introduction I gave in each ward during our 8th MAY Birthday Project at the Philippine General Hospital last May 17.

“We want to let you know that you are not alone because someone cares for you.” I relayed everything in Tagalog, of course. I paused and got distracted whenever I saw someone crying not because I feel pity for them but because I saw in their faces that their prayers were somewhat answered, especially when I said the line, “Habang may buhay, may pag-asa (while there’s life, there’s hope).”

Monday, May 12, 2014

KCAT CAN: Beautiful despite the imperfections

Beautiful despite the imperfections

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” − Psalm 139:14

When I was a child, I was diagnosed with various illnesses and conditions, which we later found out to be just one kind of disorder – Neurofibromatosis (NF).

NF is a neurological disorder and causes benign tumors to grow on nerves that can affect many parts of the body, including the brain, spinal cord, nerves, skin, and other body systems. It can be inherited and can be caused by a mutation in genes. Once you have it, you can pass it on to your children.

Monday, April 28, 2014

KCAT CAN: The sincerity of children

The sincerity of children

Look at children. Of course, they may quarrel, but they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside? Children don’t usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. — Dalai Lama XIV

One day, my friends wondered. “How does one feel when one is doing something just for the sake of getting the job done, to gain praises or popularity, without a bit of sincerity?”

Monday, April 14, 2014

KCAT CAN: Power of a heartfelt prayer

Power of a heartfelt prayer

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

What are you praying for? Most of us pray for good health, guidance, safety, finances or a better understanding of life. We would pray for ourselves, our friend, our families and the world. Those who are sick like me, pray for complete healing. Others ask God for forgiveness or thank Him for all the blessings they receive. Most prayers are done inside places of worship, at home, at work, while traveling, or wherever we maybe because God is always with us. There are those who do their prayers while lighting a candle, holding a rosary or crucifix, or while kneeling. Most people pray silently while some say it out loud or write it on a paper.

It’s amazing to know that there are so many various ways to pray and communicate with God, but do we have the time for Him or are we too busy with our lives?

Monday, March 31, 2014

KCAT CAN: The best way to fight life’s battles

The best way to fight life’s battles

In our Neurofibromatosis group page on Facebook, one of our NF friends posted, “Sadya bang ganon…? Tayong mga maysakit parang bawal magalit at bawal gumawa ng kasalanan? Dapat alam kung ano ang tama at alin ang mali? Kailangang magpaka-bato pagdating sa love dahil sa takot na baka di tayo sapat.”

I immediately disagreed with two letters, “NO!” Then, I later explained, “Hindi maiiwasang magpaka-emo minsan, pero don’t take everything seriously nalang and choose to laugh at it than be sad about it. Mahirap? Pero hindi impossible.”

Monday, March 17, 2014

KCAT CAN: Choose Happiness

Choose Happiness

“I want to have a reason to be happy like Kcat,” reads this Facebook status from my friend Cecille.

I told her that she can be because she has a lot of reasons to be happy like being alive, waking up to a beautiful morning each time, being surrounded by family and friends, and having a job.

“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself,” says a quote from American author Alice Walker.

MAY Birthday 2014 on May 17: Birthday Wishlist

It’s already summer time and the month of May is just around the corner! It’s going to be my birthday once again meaning MAY Birthday Project is here!!!
1st MAY Birthday Project in 2007
Since I was a child, I am always excited whenever my birthday’s coming because it means gifts, foods and party with my friends and cousins. Up until now, I still feel the same excitement because my birthday means there’ll be foods, gifts and family and friends to share and bring JOY to those who are in need.

In 2007, while travelling by car with my family, I was thinking aloud, “I want to celebrate my birthday with the kids in the hospital." Ideas kept coming out of my mind, but I told myself, “But we are not rich, how can we fund the event?”

I am rich with blessings though, blessings that I call family and friends, and so I’ve been sharing them with the patients of Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Charity wards.

7 years of gift-giving
Like most people who’s about to celebrate their birthday, I too have a birthday wishlist that I’ve been asking for 8 years now. Please give me a birthday gift from my wishlist and help us in making this year’s gift-giving event as successful as the previous years. Donate. Join. Support.

Monday, March 3, 2014

KCAT CAN: Carlisle's Plea For Help

“Wala na po bang ibang option?” Marie desperately asked the doctor when she was told that Carlisle needs to undergo another brain surgery. She’s completely aware that craniopharyngioma is a tumor that may come back even after surgery and radiation therapy but she never thought that it can be this fast, it hasn’t been a year since Carlisle’s recent brain surgery.

“I know this is for the best, but as long as there are other options, that I’m sure there will be, I don’t want to risk his life again,” Marie shared.

Carlisle's Plea For Help

On the dawn of March 31, Marie Ruth Berma was blessed with a bouncing baby boy who immediately cried after coming out of his mom’s womb, a sign that he was healthy. The handsome little boy with rosy cheeks and birthmark on his foot, was named Carlisle Von Patrick. For Marie, Carlisle was perfect.
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