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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I'm thirTyEEN two!

I’m a great believer of the words “nothing is impossible” but before hoping for the impossible, I believe we should do the things that are possible, those little things that we can do – even though we think that these are just too small, trivial and insignificant. With that in mind, I am able to reach out and share via MAY Birthday Project, which is now on its 9th year. I am able to raise funds and pay for my endless medical expenses. I am able to meet and find a lot of persons with Neurofibromatosis (NF) who are living in the country and was able to achieve my dream of putting up a support group (NFFriends) for us. I am able to inspire more people by living my ordinary life, extraordinarily well. I am not doing something great, I’m just doing what I want, what I can and what I believe in while enjoying the beauty of life.

I believe that my 32 years of existence here on earth is very meaningful and I will definitely do more. Happy Birthday, Kcat!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Yes, there is MAY Birthday Project 2015 on May 16 (My birthday wish)


During Pope Francis’ visit in the country, he said, "You know how to give but you have not yet learned how to receive. Become a beggar. To learn how to receive with humility, to learn how to be evangelized by the poor. Do you know that you too are poor?"

My mom and I were blessed to be one of the PWD delegates who were there, just below the stage, a few feet away from him.

My mom relayed to me what Pope Francis said about giving and receiving and I silently said, “Thank you Lord” because I believe that I know how to do both.

(click to enlarge)

Once again I’m going to be celebrating my birthday next month and since 2007, I vowed that as long as I’m having a birthday, there’ll be MAY Birthday Project and it’s going to be our 9th this year.

I had radiotherapy that treated the tumors on both side of my optical wall and if left untreated, it can cause me blindness someday. My mom was hospitalized due to Pneumonia and her Lupus, she became so weak that time. Everyone in our home (my mom, dad, brother, sister and me) were all barking with cough and flu at one point, I even had a fever. I need to have a brain tumor treated with radiation soon coz it’s compressing a brainstem and it’s affecting my balance; I want to practice walking again but with that untreated big bad brain tumor, I can’t. But still, I feel so blessed!

I’m rich not with material things but with people in my life. This is the main purpose of this project: I want to share my blessings who I call family and friends. For 8 years, we have successfully reached out using our hands and hearts while giving joy and hope to the patients of a couple of charity wards at Philippine General Hospital (PGH). But since my mom and I can’t be exposed to hospital environment right now, we won’t be doing it at PGH this time. Intead were doing it at Laura Vicuña Foundation with a couple of street kids.  This foundation is run by Daughters of Mary Help of Christian (FMA). Yes, the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco who taught me about God and life with Him during my eleven years at Don Bosco School – Manila.

From their website
The Laura Vicuña Foundation, Inc. which was organized in 1990 is a noble partnership between the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (more popularly known as the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco) and some distinguished lay professionals/collaborators to address the needs and problems of streetchildren. The Foundation aims to ensure continuity and convergence of educational and development interventions to empower children to become honest, productive and self-reliant Christian citizens. It has evolved an integrated development program called the JOURNEY OF HOPE.

Actually, I saw an image of Blessed Laura Vicuña in 2006. Maybe it’s true, maybe I was just imagining it, but whatever that is, it reminded me of her words, “Suffer silently, smile always” coz that was the time I when I kept on complaining, before my anxiety attack and I needed those words that time.


Anyway, what’s a birthday without a birthday wishlist, so here it goes:
• Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, powder, etc.)
• Canned goods or something like that like noodles, etc.
• Candies & Treats (candies, chocolates, cupcakes, cookies, etc.)
• School supplies (the kids are all in elementary)
• Toys & Stuffed Toys
• Cash (for the foods, to make the event more fun & extra special)

We’re planning to hold a party and activities for the kids to put an endless smile on their face & hearts. Let’s make a fun & successful event not only for the kids, but also for us!


So please give me a gift on my birthday. Please contact me at 0915-1325228 (mobile & viber) / 0923-5219600 or my mom, Madge Yarza at 0927-2459400.

We can only do meet-ups in Kalentong or Hypermarket in Shaw Blvd. I can also ask my sister to meet you at MRT Shaw station at around 4pm, after her work. You can also bring it here in our home or have it shipped (We don’t really have a partner courier though). For cash donations, you can send it at BPI, Paypal or through any money transfers.

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

Paypal
purple_tack@yahoo.com


Deadline of sending your gifts / donation is on my birthday, May 13 since we’ll have to repack the collected items.

I’m not sure yet how many kids there’ll be, all I know is they won’t reach 150. But every year whenever we have excess loots, we donate it somewhere else coz there’s always someone who needs our help.

Wanna join us on the event? Sure you can! It’s going to be on May 16 – Saturday, 2pm at Don Bosco School in Sta. Mesa, Manila. More details soon. :) For now, please help us in making my birthday wish come true.

"We're not rich naman, so we won't be able to fund the whole thing without everyone's help.. salamat! Super happy talaga ako when I saw them na tuwang-tuwa pati na yung mga bantay nila.. Hehe. Para akong candidate sa election while i was roaming around.. wala nga lng shake hands, we're reaching out.. Kahit na I'm not a politician, celebrity or someone famous/influential to do that kind of stuff.. Go pa rin! Baket ba? gusto ko lng.."  — Kcat, MBP 2007
"Ang saya kasi eh! I always say, I may not be able to smile, but I'm happy.. Super happy! Even though my vision is kinda blurry and it's difficult to see from afar, I can still recognize the smile on their faces and it really really brings so much joy whenever I see it. Every ward was filled with smiling faces, both the giver and the receiver.. Ang saya! Promise." — Kcat, MBP 2008

"I kept fighting and living, and I'm a lot better now.. Yes I'm still sick, but I'm feeling great! Being sick doesn't mean you have to become, look, and feel sick. Ayun, I hope I gave them HOPE (ang redundant) to keep fighting & living.. Kasi nga LIFE is BEAUTIFUL...no matter what!" — Kcat, MBP 2009

"I got to share my blessings again.. Those blessings were not exactly the stuff that we gave them, but those who gave it — our families and friends (or friends of friends of friends...). They are my greatest blessing, along with my faith. I got to show them how my faith gives me hope. Habang may buhay, my pag-asa.. " — Kcat, MBP 2010
"All in all, it is a tiring yet a fun-filled day. I may not be able to hear the people who wished me a “happy birthday” and said their “thank you” while going around, but I was able to see and feel how happy they were." — Kcat, MBP 2011

"Before the event, a few people told me of their interest to join the event, but they were hesitant because they were coming alone. I encouraged them to come because our purpose for joining the event are all the same. Indeed, many friendships bloomed because of the event. No one went home without gaining a newfound friend." — Kcat, MBP 2012
"The event was so tiring especially because of the very hot weather. It was really exhausting, but with all the smiles and happiness that had been passed around, I must say that it was all worth it!" — Kcat, MBP 2013

Family, friends, friends of friend, friends of friends of friends and so on — all of these people are called blessings; blessings that we share on MAY Birthday Project." — Kcat, MBP 2014

Here's a video of last year's event (video by Jbphoto)
Kcat Yarza's May Birthday Project 2014 from Jbphoto on Vimeo.

You can also read my previous articles about MAY Birthday Project
No reason not to be joyful (2011-04-25)
Blessings shared (2011-06-06)
Still glad to be 'Sick' (2012-03-19)
The merry month of May (2012-05-28)
Have the heart to care and share (2013-03-18)
A birthday like no other (2013-05-27)
Choose Happiness (2014-03-17)
The best birthday treat (2014-05-26)


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