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My Family and Support Network

February 23, 2010
Note: written as if my mother is writing it… but the author is me — nanaysdaughter

Cancer is a disease that does not only affect the individual who has been diagnosed with it. It affects the whole family. Cancer is like a THYPHOON, a STORM, and at the epicentre, stands the immediate family, who gets the news every second of every day, while relative and friends stand in the outer circle. And as you know, in a storm, those that stands further from the epicentre, gets more confused and more agitated.  So, to those of you who are in the outer circle right now, this blog is for you, so you have some form of inside look with the option of either joining the inner circle or staying right where you are and to wait for your turn some time in the future (to back-up my inner circle of support).
May this also serve as a resource for other women fighting against breast cancer.
Here is my current support network- which is of course my immediate family:
Lanie – my daughter, the sole breadwinner (single mother), prayer warrior, self proclaimed nutritionist, scheduler (medical appointments), “medical reporter” (to families and friends)
Zarah Alexis – my 4 yo grand daughter who is very sweet and sensitive (always asking “are you OK nanay”?)
Tatay Cenon – my husband, who now took over Zarah’s morning bath and morning rush to get to pre-school, as well as myriad of domestic chores, that I cannot do
Bong – my son– who cooks delicious food under the nutritionist’s guideline (lanie)
Lehani – my daughter-in-law who just started working here in Singapore(our source of laughter)
Bunsoy – my 4 month old grandson (who coos and smiles everytime)
LC/Cacay – the boisterous 2 year old grand daughter who keeps Zarah pre-occuppied
Those who are currently in the inner circle:
Pastor  Andy and his wife Joy — our spiritual advisers and prayer warriors (with Lanie)
Joanne — always reminding us that she is just there
Myla, Andrew and family – moralle support and prayers
Angela Ong – prayer partner and spiritual adviser
Georgina Tan – Breast Cancer Nurse
Dr Wong – Surgical Oncologist
Danny Meneses – Alternative Treatment adviser
I know that most of you wanted to help in one way or another. However, my family and support network can only do so much to help and keep you updated.
Therefore, I asked my daughter to creat this blog to keep you updated (at least a gist of what is happening in our family, as we battle this disease). I als do not have an insurance, so this really impacts our family’s standard of living.
This is just the beginning and we have to be humble enough to ask for help or accept any help you can offer whether it is financial, moral, spiritual, physical, logistics or leading the support team (project management), or fund raising or answering queries on behalf of my family (by updating this blog on a fortnightly basis).
Here are some tips for starters (if you want to join the inner circle):
1. we are looking for a most cost-effective way of having a daily supply of organic veggies and fruits
2. we are looking for a water distiller or a supplier of distilled water (most cost effective)
3. our family would like to build and maintain a veggie/fruit garden
4. any breast can nurse/medical worker who can come to our house once a week (for free or for fraction of the cost)
5. a phsyiotheraphist or chiropractor to provide free services (at home)
7. help in securing Insurance even if I am already cancer stricken to cover other expenses not related to cancer
8. a periodic respite from the chaos (child minding for all 3 children- so we can all have a decent family talk that does not fall in the wee hours of the night)
9. supply of raw salads and fruits, raw almonds, (ALL-ORGANIC)
10. Keep us in your daily prayers, devotions, meditations.
Some hints:  It is OK to say, that you do not know what to say or how to help us. It is OK to say, you do not have enough resources or time to help us, but please do not ignore us. Please do not cry in front of us, nor pity us. We can still crack jokes and be joyful in the midst of adversity.

It is definitely OK to stay in the outer circle for now–the purpose of this blog is just to keep you informed on the current diagnosis, treatment and to answer the most frequently asked question: “How can I help?”

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