Sunday, July 24, 2016

It's bcoz... WHY NOT?!

Why am I so strong? Why am I so brave? Why am I still a happy & cheerful person despite the not so good things that's happening in my life? Why am I so confident about myself? Why am I able to laugh at myself? Why am I full of positivity? Why do I find it easy to move on with my life?

Why? Why? Why?

Ever since whenever (even before I was diagnosed with NF2 in 2004), I often encounter these questions and people would complement how brave and strong I am and that I have a very a positive outlook towards life.

While smiling, I would alwaya answer: “Ganon talaga.” Or “Why not?” Haha.

Now I realize that my Faith has been working since then. Faith in myself, Faith in others and of course, Faith in GOD.

And now I totally get it, this is the reason why I have a very big and very strong FAITH today. Wow. Wow. Wow. Thank you Lord!


• I am strong because God is the strongest.

• I am brave because God is at my back, in front of me, my left-side and right-side, above me and below me. He is all over me, protecting me.

• I always feel so good because God is so great. He is the greatest!

• I am able to face these challenges because I am not doing it alone. I am surrounded with awesome people and of course, an awesome God.

• I am always ready because God already prepared me before I was born.

• I am a fighter because God is with me in all of my battles.

• I am a cheerful person because God is always making me happy!

• Amazing things are happening in my life because an amazing God is doing it.

Indeed. EVERYTHING HAS A REASON.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cranial Surgery: Success! It was double the awesomeness.

“Lord, please continue doing amazing things in my life. I don’t think I need to tell YOU to make my surgery a success because it will be successful like always, thanks to You!”



I’ve been telling those words to God everyday until I was waiting in the surgery suite, waiting to be transferred in the operating room.

Looks can be deceiving. It's not as painful as it looks

June 17, 2016, 7 am. After a couple of minutes waiting in the surgery suite, I was brought to operating room number 10. This is it! When I already felt like I was about to doze off from being sedated, the last thing in my mind was, “Lord, Ikaw na po ang bahala ha.” (Lord, it’s all up to You)


Before entering the Surgery Suite
And then I woke up. I was in the surgery suite again. The operation was done and I already knew that it was a success. It felt like I had a really good, deep and long sleep. I was asleep for almost 10 hours, that’s why. The surgery took that long huh? It was not only a tumor excision, reconstructive surgery and tarsorrhaphy were also done. Titanium mesh was placed and my right eye lids were partially and temporarily stitched together in order to protect it.


While I was looking at the exit sign in the waiting room (surgery suite) before the operation, I told myself, “Later, after this operation, I will have a clearer vision and that signage will not be too bright and cloudy anymore.” And I was right, the exit sign was clearer!

When they wheeled me out from the surgery suite, I thought I’ll be brought to the ICU and I was so surprised when they wheeled me back to my room instead. I was feeling very fine. It really felt like I just slept in the operating room. No ICU stay? Wow! This is the first.

Nothing was painful. My head was not feeling heavy. I didn’t feel any discomfort. I was as talkative as always. After a few hours or minutes, I asked my mom to give me my mobile phone so that I can see how I look like and then I clicked the camera and took a selfie before sleeping.

Hours after the operation. I was very much okay. I took that selfie by myself. :)

It was a sleeping galore. I didn’t felt like I got weaker, I kept on sleeping so that I won’t think of eating coz it’s NPO (Nil Per Os - nothing by mouth) for me. Haha. My red blood cells were low so I had blood transfusion while I was doing my sleeping escapade.

The following day, I was already on a liquid diet (YES!!!!), soft diet the next day and 3 days after the surgery, I was already back on a regular diet!

With my neurosurgeon, Dr. Willy Lopez

My taste buds, chewing & swallowing didn’t change. I already had a lot of major surgeries and it usually happens but not this time. I had numerous mouth ulcers and even sore throat after a major surgery and I’m so used to it but it didn’t occur this time. I didn’t get a bit weaker. Nothing changed.

Selfie!!!!

The only thing that needs to recover are the scars on my head. So I told myself that when the staple wires on my head are removed, it means I have fully recovered. But I never expected it to happen this fast. 1 week and 4 days after my operation, we went to my neurosurgeon’s clinic for a check-up. We thought that he’ll only remove the stitches on my eyelids, but he removed all the staple wires on my head as well. Wow. It’s already healed. Speedy recovery it is!

Dressing of the wound at home. I was discharged from the hospital 5 days after the operation
My surgery last April 11, 2016 was so amazing and I never thought that greater things are going to happen. Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! Because God is in control, amazing things keeps happening in my life and it gets more and more amazing!

Please don’t idolized me, I am not the one who is doing all these amazing things in my life. Believe me God is really taking over my life. I am not in control, I am God’s instrument. I am letting Him use me. This is all His doing, I don’t want to take all the credit for it.

I am strong because God is the strongest.

I am brave because God is at my back, in front of me, my left-side and right-side, above and below. He is all over me, protecting me.

I always feel so good because God is so great. He is the greatest!

I am able to face these challenges because I am not doing it alone. I am surrounded with awesome people and of course, an awesome God.

I am always ready because God already prepared me before I was born.

I am a fighter because God is with me in all of my battles.

I am a cheerful person because God is always making me happy!

Amazing things are happening in my life because an amazing God is doing it.

"How do you combat all the challenges in your life?This is a question that I often encounter. I always say that my biggest weapon is my faith in God and faith in myself.I have realized though that my faith in people is also important, especially those who are part of my life……”(Excerpt from Being Ready (April 11, 2011)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for paying with me. Thank you for all your love and support. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for letting God use you and become His instrument to help me. Thank you for being one of my blessings. Thank you mother, father, sister & brother. Thank you Dr. Willy Lopez and the medical team. THANK YOU!!!

“God also knows that we need people to help us and to guide us. He sends mortals from different walks of life to help us in many ways and means. He is so able to show His power and might in doing His part.”

From now on, I will go back to focusing on improving my health and I am claiming that a big improvement will happen to me before the year ends.

When I become better, God can make use of me more!

Fight! Fight! Fight!
Neurofibromatosis is a continuing battle not knowing when another tumor will show up and cause me harm but I am not backing out. I will keep on fighting! God is bigger and stronger than NF!

Friday, May 27, 2016

I am ready for my next cranial surgery but...

I have already recovered from the open-brain surgery as soon as it finished last April 11, 2016. I regained my full-consciousness at once after the medical team have successfully removed my 6 centimeter brain tumor and closed my head. I woke up at once. I was already 100% conscious. I can still remember every detail of everything that transpired from the time I opened my eyes. I felt like nothing happened. No discomfort and pain. From then on I started to recover, not little by little but I had sudden improvements. Amazing things were happening. For example, just the day before, I can’t get up from the bed on my own, and then the next day I CAN! And that didn’t happen just once bur many times. God surprised me many many times and it’s really amazing!


 

 Here’s the list of my improvements. I’m not sure if everything is on this list, but one thing’s for sure: I had an amazing recovery!

1. My vision is brighter. It’s too bright though but I believe that my vision will still improve.

2. My vision is clearer. It’s not blurry anymore and I can do without eyeglasses.

3. I can see in the dark, I can see what’s happening inside a dark car at night, everything that’s going on in the dark parking lot & I can already see silhouette people or things in a dark room; it’s not all pitch black for me anymore.

4. My eyes don't hurt anymore when it's too bright. I can look in the sun without hurting my eyes. Of course it’s ‘nakakasilaw’ but my eyes don’t sting anymore.

5. I can eat on my own already. No one needs to feed me. I can properly shoot the spoon in my mouth again.

6. My left foot isn't swelling anymore (after 10 years).

7. My right eye is not too bulge out anymore. It went inside a little bit and is already parallel to the left.

8. My right eye can see. It’s still blurry because of the scar on my cornea but it it can see what my left eye can see.

9. My knees and legs are not weak anymore. I can stand by myself again.

10. I can sit on the bed. I can sit without backrest.

11. ’Kaya ko na uli ang sarili ko’

12. I can get up from lying down. I can do it without any help.

13. I am able to transfer from the bed too the chair & vice versa using my own strength

14. II don't easily get tired.

15. I can use the pedal & exercise again

16. My brain cells are already working because I can be able to write properly and my writing-style is already the same as before.

17. My arms and legs are not that skinny anymore.

18. I can easily find what I'm looking for as long as it's located somewhere that I can see. Unlike before, I I find it hard to see what's already in front of me.

19. I would always slouch when sitting and when I was weak, I needed someone's help to fix me and make me sit up straight, but not anymore! I can sit back straight again on my own and I can do it easily, without feeling like I am falling.

20. Before, the computer monitor in front of me needs to be open when I'm using the mirror for added light. Now, the light on the ceiling is already enough. I can use the mirror and use it properly even without an added light.

21. I don’t nearly fall off the chair anymore when reaching for things that’s near me.

22. I don't ‘hikbi' and hyperventilate at once when crying.

23. I’m less ‘madungis’ when eating. I can already control my food intake

24. My regular chewing & swallowing are back!

25. Minimized GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) ‘Nuff said.

26. No pain still. Period.

I believe that I have already finished my FULL RECOVERY because I can’t think of anything more to recover from. I feel so great! Everyday. Since day one.

I am ready to have the next cranial surgery for the removal of tumor in my optic wall. I am ready, but the Php700,000 isn’t ready yet. We are not yet done raising the funds. God will provide. HE always does. Maybe you are one of God’s instruments in helping us.

You are one of my countless blessings, right? Here are ways on how you can help.

1. Buy my book


Price: Php450.00 plus shipping fee (P60 Metro Manila, P100 Provincial)

You may place you order to me via Facebook or my mom, Madge Yarza – you can send her a PM on Facebook or contact her at  09272459400 and send us these details:
Name:
Contact Number:
Quantity of book/s:
Shipping Address:
You may send your payment via BDO, BPI, Money Transfer, or Paypal. Meet-ups can only be done in Kalentong & Hypermarket in Shaw Blvd. since it’s near our place.



2. Care & Share by donating

• BDO
Account Name: MARIA KATHRINA L. YARZA
Savings Acct Number: 00 02 809 824 88

• BPI Express
Savings Account # 1899 394 7 51
Name: Maria Kathrina L. Yarza

• Money Transfer (Western Union, LBC, Cebuana-Lhuillier, MLhullier, Palawan, etc.)
Name of Recipient: Madeliene Lopez YarzaAddress: 451-M M. Vasquez Street, Barangay Harapin Ang Bukas, Mandaluyong City 1550 PhilippinesContact #:  09272459400 

• PayPal
 kcatyarza@yahoo.com


3. PRAY WITH ME

In this way, you are bringing us closer to God. Both of us. You & Me.

4. Share my story to everyone you know

Forwarding this may reach people who wants to help as well. Internet and social media is very powerful these days.


“Through social media, missing persons are found; sick persons are given chances to live a healthy life. I say, that is the modern bayanihan movement.”




I often tell God: “Lord, please continue to do amazing things in my life so that I can keep on bragging how great YOU are.”


You can also share this note on Facebook

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Stitched




Breakdown of my stitches:

7 - HEAD
  1. Open-Close Brain Surgery 2005 – 1st major surgery.
  2. VP Shunt 2005 – My head was super painful, I often passed out from the pain, hydrocephalus was already transforming, my head was so stressed from the pain.
  3. Cochlear Implant 2008
  4. Tumor Removal (that’s making my right eye to bulge out) 2011
  5. Immediate Brain Surgery (6cm progressive tumor that’s causing a lot of pressure) 2016
  6. Minor Surgery: Tumor removal in my forehead (thought it was just sebaceous cyst, was not diagnosed with NF yet) 1998
  7. Very minor surgery to close a scar from a rollerblading accident 1996- I fell on the ground & my chin was cut-open.


1 – LEFT ARM: Tumor removal (thought it was just sebaceous cyst, was not diagnosed with NF yet) 1996


1 – LOWER BACK: Tumor removal (thought it was just sebaceous cyst, was not diagnosed with NF yet) 1996 –my left arm was being closed, while my back was being opened. I was was very much awake & I was 12 years old then. That was my first minor surgery.


1 – LEFT RING FINGER: Tumor removal (thought it was just sebaceous cyst, was not diagnosed with NF yet) 1998 – this was done together with my                 forehead minor surgery


3 – STOMACH
  1. Gastrostomy 2006
  2. Feeding tube insertion – Gastrostomy 2006 –Yes, there were 2.
  3. VP Shunt 2005 – there is a tube inside of me from my head going to my stomach to drain the fluids.


1 – RIGHT HAND: A schwannoma near my palm was getting bigger and painful so it has to be removed 2009- I was able to watched the whole procedure and       it was about 20 or 30 minutes.


1 – RIGHT BIG TOE FINGER: Schwannoma removal 2012 – The tumor was so small yet very painful that’s why I had it removed.

TOTAL= 15 Stitches (so far)

Friday, April 29, 2016

35 Staple Wires on my head

After 18 days, the staple wires on my head were removed.


Here is the video taken by my dad:





My AMAZING STORY because God is in control

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

“Lord God let me share to the world how great YOU are & make this surgery a success!”

That’s what I thought before dozing off in the operating room. And after a minute (feeling like a minute had just passed), I was already up because I wanted to eat omelet.  Then I saw Dr. Geraldine Jose, my anesthesiologist, smiling at me while I was being reclined on the bed and surrounded by all my doctors. The surgery was already over? I had to give a thumbs up because I felt OKAY; Since I can’t speak yet, I kept raising it.. I’m OKAY. I’m OKAY. I’m OKAY!!!!!!! The surgery was a success! Thank you Lord!!!!!

I can see how happy Dr. Willy Lopez, my neurosurgeon, and the whole medical team were while they all look at me with big smiles..  I too was very happy, although I move in limitation, I felt wide awake. Right away, I was a completely conscious.  It was so amazing!!! I was not feeling any pain or discomfort and it seemed like nothing happened, like I just slept for a minute. Very very very AMAZING!

And then I saw the exit sign when I was about to be wheeled out of the operating room and it was very very clear! Then I was brought to the ICU and I saw my mom, dad and  tita angie. (I can’t be able to talk yet so I wrote on the whiteboard and kept raising my thumb up. AMAZING!!!!!! I was very much OKAY! Amazing!

January 2016, I already felt like something was about to change in my life, something is not right with me. Changge is about to happen and it’s not a good kind of change. I don’t know. I wasn’t sure. I prayed. I told God about it. Don’t make me feel hopeless. Don’t make me feel like giving up. God assured me that He will take full control of me.

I am letting God take full control of me now. I’m not doing anything, HE is doing everything. God has been doing great things to me. Amazing!

I was feeling like I was getting worse and worse; my vision, mobility, swallowing eic. I was getting weaker.  And now I AM FEELING BETTER AND BETTER EVERYDAY! Amazing!!!!!!

When God assured me that He taking over my life, I believe Him completely. I gave Him my 100% trust. I mean I’m relying on Him 101%!

Actually, this has also been a wake-up call for me. I keep on praying the serenity prayer everyday as I start my day..

God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

I finally received the wisdom now. To know the difference between the things that I can accept and the things I can change in me.  I will get better. I will improve. God told me. I’m very much determined. I will improve. I decided to focus on myself this year and set aside the things I want to do. I will get better so that I can do more.  I will get better so that God can use me more!

Please don’t idolized me, I am not the one who is doing all these amazing things, believe me God is really taking over my life now. I am not in control, I am God’s instrument. I am letting Him use me.

Beside my BIG BIG BIG FAITH in God & in myself, I am also putting my faith is you! That you will help and support me as well. I can’t do this alone. You will help me, right?
 2 months I’ll be having another surgery to remove another tumor in my brain that’s causing pressure and we need to raise at least 700 thousand pesos for that.

IHow can you help:

1. My book KCAT CAN is very much available for 450 pesos plus shipping fee of 60 pesos for Metro Manila & 100 for provincial. Please message my mom, Madge Yarza on Facebook or send a textx message at 09272459400 with these details:
Name:
Mobile Number:
How many book/s?
Shipping address:

2. You can send the payment by depositing it either at BDO or BPI.

BDO
Account Name: MARIA KATHRINA L. YARZA
Savings Acct Number: 00 02 809 824 88

BPI Express
Savings Account # 1899 394 7 51
Name: Maria Kathrina L. Yarza

3. You can donate through:

- BDO
Account Name: MARIA KATHRINA L. YARZA
Savings Acct Number: 00 02 809 824 88

- BPI Express
Savings Account # 1899 394 7 51
Name: Maria Kathrina L. Yarza

- Western Union, Cebuana Lhuillier, LBC, Palawan, M Lhuillier, and other money transfer services.
- Here are the details:
- Recipient: Madeliene Lopez Yarza
- Mobile Number: 09272459400
- Address: 451-M M. Vasquez Street, Barangay Harapin Ang Bukas, Mandaluyong City 1500 Philippines.

4. You can also go to my GO FUND ME page made by Tita Annie Campbell at : https://www.gofundme.com/vyxjfnd8

5. You can send your donation via PayPal at kcatyarza@yahoo.com

6. PRAY WITH ME

7. Please share my ongoing story to everyone you know.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!



God is really taking over my life right now. I am not doing anything, God is doing amazing things in my life right now. Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! I am alive and I am strong because I have a very strong God! An amazingly strong God is working miracles on me every second and I can really feel it!




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

KCAT CAN: Let's touch each other's lives

Ma, may sasabihin ako sa’yo, author na ako.  (Ma, I have to tell you something. I’m now an author). Those were my words to my mom before going to bed the night after my book launch. I was so happy; I still am.


Years ago, some friends suggested that I write a book about my life. Well, maybe someday. Maybe. At that time, I really did not think that it would be possible. In 2008, I came across Yvonne Foong who authored her book, I’m not Sick, Just a bit unwell: Life with Neurofibromatsis. Her outlook in life, her positivity living with Neurofibromatosis has inspired me.

I am going to publish a book. If Yvonne can, I, too, can do it! I am going to tell my story. As I start, I looked back and was amazed of the things I was able to overcome. Little by little, I started writing it down. However, I was not motivated enough and was too lazy to put all my focus on it. I also became accommodated with other things and busy with my column in Manila Bulletin (June 2010 – June 2014), setting aside my manuscript but not the dream of publishing my own book someday.

In November 2014, recent scans of my brain reveled that I had tumors needing of treatment via radiotherapy that would cost half a million pesos. I had to do something. It was right timing, an answered prayer, the idea of compiling my writings for the past 4 years came up. This way, I will be able to sustain my medical needs, treatments, tests and maintenance; sustaining my essential needs and at the same time fulfilling my dream of publishing a book.

I have always believed that if we want something to happen, we have to work hard for it. God helps those who help themselves. Just like the Filipino saying: “nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.” God provided. I did what I can and He sent people to help me accomplish my dream. Indeed, we can make our dreams come true! It may have took me a year or even 4 years accumulating all my published articles. It was not at all easy but I persevered. In the end, it was all worth it!

KCAT CAN: I have a pen that writes

A life written in permanent ink. Every chapter, each page filled with concrete experiences. As I write it all down, mistakes cannot be erased. There is no turning back.

This is the life that I'm living - a life permanently written. As I take the path each day, I am confident that I am on the right track. For these are not at all in vain, God guides. He is the guideline in my story called life.

...and because of Him, I CAN!


November 14, 2015. As Jet Ramos started with program, I suddenly felt surreal. I froze for a while and told myself, “This is MY book launch.” I wasn’t just an attendee of someone’s book launching but it’s my book. Wow!  The book launch was a success. Most of the people who attended told me that they all had a good time. I was out of words and all I can think was: THANK YOU. Yes, in capital letters.







Here is the video of my Thank you message during the program.
video

Please support, Like and Share KCAT CAN: I have a pen that writes on Facebook.
For orders, please fill up an order form at book.kcatyarza.com

It is on Goodreads too and an eBook version will also be available SOON.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

KCAT CAN ...I have a book that inspires!


As I was looking at the proof copy of my book in front of me, I suddenly felt the creeps and had goosebumps all over my body then in my mind, I shouted, “ANG GALING!”

Like you, I am very amazed with myself. I’m not bragging or something pero ang galing talaga! As in. Never in my life did I imagine the things I have done (and still doing), which I won’t enumerate.  Super nakakatuwa!

In 2008, after reading Yvonne Foong’s book about her life NF, I told my mom that I was really inspired by her and want to write my own book too. But how? I didn’t know how but I stated writing my story anyway. Fast forward to 2010, Angelo Garcia offered me a weekly column in at the youth section of Manila Bulletin (Students & Campuses). I was able to write 111 articles from June 5, 2010 to June 23, 2014.

 In November 2013, after Dr. Gaudencio Vega (Radiation Oncology), explained about the radiation treatment I’ll be needing to treat the tumors on both my optical wall and a 4-centimeter tumor in my brain, we were presented with an estimated price quotation and it’s more than half a million pesos. I suddenly thought of republishing my previous columns I’ve written for the past three years and put it in a book.

In this way, I’ll be able to continuously raise more funds to sustain my medical needs while sharing my life with others.

I had a lightbulb moment right then and there. I kept on saying that I publish a book when we reached home, I immediately turned on my computer and started doing the book.

After almost a year, it is finally done. As they say, Self-publishing is not as easy as it looks but it is REALLY REALLY REALLY WORTH IT! Thanks to my mom and my sister, Talitha (who is also my editor) I was able to do it!

I am inviting you to the launching of my book, KCAT CAN – I have a pen that writes on November 14, 2015 at Googel Restaurant in Mandaluyong City at 4:00 pm (we’ll be there until 8pm).


I believe that through this book, I will be able to help and inspire you while helping me sustain my endless medical expenses.

My book won’t be available in any bookstore and you can only buy it from me. It will be available after the launch and you will be able to find it on my website and FB pages (KCAT CAN - I have a pen that writesI AM KCATArt Ah Tack). I assure you that your P450.00 will be worth it!


Like and follow
on Facebook for more updates.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

9th MAY Birthday Project 2015 was a success!

The month of May is over but the happy memories it brought us will always remain, especially of the 9th MAY Birthday Project 2015.


Even though I only started campaigning for the project a month before the actual event, a lot of help still came pouring and made it possible to continue with this charity event....and more!

May 16, 2015 – 9th MAY Birthday Project 2009
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