COUNTING DOWN TO BABY REYES

With my due date just around the corner, I’m sharing some maternity photos that Andy Shepard captured. Also, enjoy a few fun facts about my pregnancy below










Best Part of the First Trimester: Hearing our baby’s heartbeat for the first time! Andre and I scheduled an ultrasound at 10 weeks to check up on baby and make sure there was indeed a heartbeat. I’ve never been so nervous for anything in my life! Hearing that tiny heartbeat was the sweetest thing and really made the pregnancy feel so much more real.

Worst Part of the First Trimester:
The nausea! It kicked in about week 10 and didn’t subside until around week 16. It was an all day, every day nausea that never went away. Also having to take the prenatal vitamin that was also making me feel nauseous which is why I ended up taking them right before I go to bed.

First Trimester Food Cravings:
iced honey green tea

Best Part of the Second Trimester:
Finally gaining my energy back and being able to get up and go somewhere. Pregnancy massages.

Worst Part of Second Trimester: The nausea that lasted the first few weeks into the 2nd trimester. Other than that, it was great! I had the most energy and felt the most like myself.

Second Trimester Food Cravings: Chocolates (all kinds), strawberry milkshakes, fried chicken, Eggos ice-cream (esp. ice-cream sandwich & haagan daaz mini),

Best Part of Third Trimester: My Baby Shower and having my best friends fly in from out of town to attend the shower! Getting to listen to baby’s heartbeat at weekly doctor visits!

Worst Part of Third Trimester:
Finding a top to wear every morning since I basically rotate the 2 pairs of maternity jeans that I’ve purchased. My massive and annoying boobs.

Third Trimester Food Cravings: Cheetos Puffs, mango, yan-yan

I can hardly wait until our baby make their debut. Both Andre and I are so excited (and antsy) to meet the baby and already feel so blessed to be able to be their parents.

THE BEAUTY IN IMPERFECTIONS

When I first found out I was having surgery, one thought that came to mind was ‘I wonder how big the scar will be?’. I assumed it would be this ittybitty incision, and that it would be easy to cover up but boy was I wrong. I woke up to find my entire stomach covered up in bandages and days later after the covering was removed, I realized how big of a scar I had. So apparent it ran down my entire stomach ending a few inches past my belly button. I was sad to say the least, but looking back at it now, I have no reason to feel ashamed. I’m proud of what it means. It means I survived something that would have certainly killed me, if it weren’t for the wonders of modern medicine, perseverance, and a whole heap of love and faith.






And now, 4 years later, I’m growing a tiny human being inside and it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. I never thought I would get to experience this having come a long way with this battle. So now, instead of being ashamed of it, I’ve learned to embrace it. Embrace the fact that I had to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of my life. And with my due date just around the corner, I know the best days have yet to come! I thank my lucky stars that I beat cancer’s ass and I’m still standing here today to tell my story.

Special thanks to Andy Shepard for capturing these amazing photos.

THIRTY-FOUR

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I personally love reading these types of posts, so I hope you enjoy finding out some new facts about yours truly! Let’s get started, shall we? To celebrate turning 34 today – here are 34 things you probably don’t know about me!

1. I’m horrible at giving driving directions!
2. I HATE PEAS!!! Always have!
3. Every time Resident Evil, Lord of the Rings, or Friends is showing on cable t.v., I will (pretty much) always watch it!
4. I can’t stand wearing socks. It’s annoying how they always tend to slip right off my shoes and then makes walking quite uncomfortable.
5. Collector of snow globes, pencils, and postcards!
6. I use to have a boxer name Casey and she was the best dog EVEEEEEER!!!!
7. I steam ALL my clothes – hardly ever iron, I can’t stand wrinkles.
8. I’ve been to 13 States and 10 Countries
9. While trying to get my driver license in Seattle, I failed the written test 3 times before passing. I never really studied and figure it was similar to driving in Guam! Boy was I wrong!
10. I’m a nail-biter, the only way I stop is when I have nail polish on!
11. Born in Philippines, raised in Guam, and became an adult in Seattle!
12. I don’t like cooking!!!! As well as baking!!! Annnnd cleaning the bathroom!!!!
13. I never learned how to do laundry till I moved to Seattle and I still get confused on which settings I should use!
14. I can never figure out how to spell February or definitely
15. I’ve once lied on my resume to get a job (which I got) only to get fired a few month later because I couldn’t figure out how to do my job! Oooops!
16. I don’t really have a favorite color. If shoved into the corner and manhandled until I came up with one, I might say grey … or dark green. But I might also change my mind as you walked away and say pink!
17. When I first moved to Seattle and started to attend Seattle Central Community College, I was placed in an ESL class cause I failed the English portion of the computer test. I retook the test cause come on now…people from Guam speak English!
18. I think of my favorite foods in terms of the texture they have. I love crunchy things!
19. The more excited I get, the louder I talk (which can make swearing all the more inappropriate)
20. I’m still scared of the dark and if I’m sleeping by myself I HAVE to HAVE the t.v. turned on!
21. Love bowling! I was in a bowling club back in Middle School and continue to bowl as least once a week after 10 p.m. at the Garage cause it’s happy hour!
22. My favorite shows growing up were Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210. I am pretty sure I have seen every single episode. Zack Morris and Dylan Mckay were my crushes.
23. Counting this past election, I’ve only voted once in my life and that person didn’t even win! Pretty lame!
24. I once bought an essay paper online cause I just had too many things going or maybe I just forgot about it but whatever the case was I passed the class!!
25. I have no tattoos and the only piercing I have is on my ears! I’m a BIG wussy when it comes to pain!
26. The first car that I ever bought is a 2007 blue Honda Civic, which I’m still driving by the way!!! F car payments!
27. I can’t eat a banana because I hate the taste and texture but I don’t mind them in smoothies or made as ice-cream!
28. I didn’t like reading until 8 years ago. I hated it actually and couldn’t read more than a couple of pages before falling asleep. Now I read a couple of books a month.
29. I once got my hair burned off from a backyard 4th of July firework show!
30. I always wanted to be a flight attendant growing up!
31. My first concert was Dr. Dre at Showbox Seattle! Yep, I was a gansta at one point!
32. I borrowed my friends car and drove it to my last school day college only to come back out and realize it was stolen! The car was found 2 days later, a block from where I worked and for over 5 months I was driving the car using a screwdriver! Classic!
33. My gamer name is Camster and I enjoy playing Call of Duty Zombie.
34. I started blogging over 3 years ago when I was diagnosed with Leiomayoscarcoma (soft tissue cancer) and wanted a way to document my experiences so friends&family were kept up-to-date with any progresses made. Fast forward….I’m healthy and happy as ever and the reason why I continue to blog is because I enjoy documenting my day to day life experiences as well as my travel adventures!

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to greet me whether it was on social media, phone calls or texts, or just taking the time to come visit me! Thank you!!! Love you guys!

xo,
cams

TAKING STOCK 11

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Making: a tiki bar
Cooking: steak fried rice
Drinking: Moscow Mules
Reading: The Passage by Justin Cronin
Wanting: to watch Jurassic World
Looking: for summer clothes
Playing: card games
Wasting: bandaids on my big toe
Wishing: that my email stops getting hacked….so frustrating having to change my password…ALL…THE…TIME!!!
Enjoying: Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale!
Waiting: to purchase vacay tickets
Liking: the summer heat
Wondering: about my next scan
Loving: outdoor movie nights
Hoping: Jon Snow is not really dead; that the red women Melisandre will bring him back to life!
Marveling: that my 1 year is coming up
Needing: to look for a seamstress
Smelling: hotdogs, burgs, & kabobs on the barbie!
Wearing: baseball caps
Following: The New Pike Place MarketFront
Noticing: that I can’t wear necklaces during the summer, I start itching real bad!
Knowing: that I should start looking for a birthday gift for Dad!
Watching: Season 5 of Breaking Bad!
Listening: to Undisclosed on Podcast #freeadnan!
Thinking: about buying a pool
Feeling: like I’m about to melt
Bookmarking: hiking trails
Opening: otter pops
Giggling: at group texts…
Feeling: grateful

NATIONAL CANCER SURVIVORS DAY

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Why I started blogging…

Caringforcamille.com emerged soon after I was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma in the summer of 2013.

While I was recovering at Evergreen Hospital from my first surgery, my sister Diane commented that I should consider starting a journal. So I did…I wrote about my thoughts, the pain, hospital food, etc… just about anything that came to mind. It was quite comforting writing in this journal because it wasn’t always easy expressing my feelings and it certainly didn’t help with the healing process had I kept everything bottled in. Even after I got released from the hospital I continued writing – this time, I wrote about recovery, my diet, the meds, the joys of a handicap pass, my fears, and my new life.

Only my family and close friends knew about my situation, but I knew sooner or later people will eventually find out. I mean how long can I keep this cancer hidden?!? My friend Muriel was the one who thought of the idea to start a blog. It would be easier to direct friends and family to the site so that I wouldn’t feel bombarded with everyone asking questions since I was still in shock and recovering. I thought…what a GREAT idea!!! Since I already had a journal going, I just needed to transfer the material online. And so with the help of my dear friends…caringforcamille.com was born.

Gosh, I can’t begin to tell you how nerve wracking it was to make my blog public. I mean, everyone was going to know my story and I don’t think I was ready for all the talks and people feeling sorry for me. It took me about a week after the blog was ready to make it public. There were days where I felt like okay, todays the day, but for some reason I couldn’t press the send button. My friends being supportive as they were kept telling me to not be so scared – that nothing bad will come out it, that I’d have more prayers and support on my side. So when the day came when I made it “Facebook” known (cause come on now – it ain’t official till it’s on Facebook right?!?) I made sure to not be online for the next few hours.

When I finally had the courage to get back online and read all the comments – I was in complete shock! The amount of love and support that I received from everyone was overwhelming!!! I was in tears from reading all the encouraging and inspirational posts and comments! THANK YOU! All this time I thought of the bad but all I got was the good. Thank you guys for making this journey that much more easier for me!!!

Fast forward to my second surgery, I went to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to get a second opinion on my diagnosis. I met the most amazing surgeon Dr. Pillarisetty who told me that he would be able to remove the tumor without having to go through chemo or radiation treatment. Of course, I said let’s do it! The surgery date was set – it was one month from my previous surgery. I was pretty hesitant considering I wasn’t even fully healed yet and just had my staples removed. To be opened up again was just overwhelming to say the least but I couldn’t have this tumor in me…killing me!!!

My second surgery was a success; they removed the tumor and all traces of bad cells. With that in mind, I thought that would be the end for caringforcamille. I mean, I started the blog to keep friends and family updated with my cancer journey but now that my cancer was gone, I didn’t know what else I could write about. After speaking with my sis and dear friends, they all encouraged me to keep the blog up. So I did.. writing about my fun adventures, personal life, things I love, food especially brunch, events, and the list goes on.

Well, all good things must come to an end right?!? Unfortunately my cancer came back about 8 months from my last surgery. I was devastated but remained hopeful. Luckily, I kept the blog going so I was able to keep everyone updated with my current situation. This time around, I did 5 weeks of radiation before going under the knife…again! My third surgery was scheduled at exactly a year and one day from the second surgery. Not much time has passed, but I was more ready for it than last time!

I had another successful surgery!! The recovery was a bit challenging with getting addicted to the medication and all. Since I’ve already had a recurrence, Dr. Pillarisetty wanted me to do the MRI and the CT scans every 3 months instead of every 6 months like I was initially doing before. So far, my last 3 scans have been normal and in the clear!!. Yay!!! Praise Jesus!!!

When I look back at the last couple of years, it’s quite interesting how my life has turned around. Cancer makes one aware of just how precious life, family, and friends are; that small annoyances are not worth fussing over. I’m glad that I have this blog to look back at and realize that even though you are faced with the most difficult struggles, just know that there are so many people rooting and cheering for you. I am grateful for the support I have received from people near and far; for the many new friends I have made, for people who have come back into my life.

Today I celebrate life along with my fellow cancer survivors and hope that a cure is found.

xoxo,
cam

WOULD YOU RATHER…

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1. live in a tree OR on a boat? IN A TREE
2. be blind OR deaf? DEAF
3. have permanent clown face OR permanent clown clothes? PERMANENT CLOWN CLOTHES
4. have a third eye OR a third arm? THIRD ARM
5. be in constant pain OR have a constant itch? CONSTANT PAIN
6. be homeless OR live WITHOUT family and friends? HOMELESS
7. go without the internet OR a car for a month? INTERNET
8. live one life that lasts 1,000 years OR live 10 lives that last 100 years each? LIVE 10 LIVES
9. shit bricks OR puke slugs? SHIT BRICKS
10. use sandpaper as toilet paper OR use hot sauce as eye drops? SANDPAPER AS TOILET PAPER
11. eat healthy OR exercise regularly? EXERCISE REGULARLY
12. have a head the size of a tennis ball OR the size of a watermelon? WATERMELON
13. peel all your nails out of your fingers OR pull all the teeth out of your mouth? PEEL ALL MY NAILS
14. lose $1000 OR lose all of your phone contacts? PHONE CONTACTS
15. be really hairy OR completely bald? REALLY HAIRY
16. wear a snow suit in the desert OR be naked in Antarctica? WEAR A SNOW SUIT IN THE DESERT
17. have your body found on a pile of sex toys OR a pile of drugs? DRUGS
18. be a vampire OR a wizard? VAMPIRE
19. be in a real version of The Walking Dead OR Jurassic Park? THE WALKING DEAD
20. have the hiccups for the rest of your life OR always feel like you have to sneeze but not be able to? HICCUPS
21. go through a whole day with a very visible panty line OR with lipstick on your teeth? LIPSTICK ON MY TEETH
22. be gossiped about OR never talked about at all? BE GOSSIPED ABOUT
23. be stranded on an island alone OR with someone you hate? SOMEONE I HATE
24. eat posion ivy OR a handful of bumblebees? POISON IVY
25. end hunger OR hatred? HUNGER
26. have balls hang from your chin OR have a five inch tail that wags every time you get excited? A TAIL THAT WAGS
27. always get the first dibs OR the last laugh? LAST LAUGH
28. be born with an elephant trunk OR a giraffe neck? GIRAFFE NECK
29. smell like eggs when you burp OR have a green cloud appear when you fart? A GREEN CLOUD TO APPEAR
30. get even OR get over it? GET EVEN
31. be a dog named killer OR a cat name fluffy? DOG NAME KILLER
32. smell like poop and not know it OR constantly be smelling poop that nobody else can smell? SMELL LIKE POOP

TAKING STOCK 10

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Making: vacation albums
Cooking: chicken&shrimp pasta
Drinking: Vinacafe Premium Coffee Mix…just add water! It’s actually pretty darn good!
Reading: Rose Gardner Mysteries by. Denis Grover Swank
Wanting: a bike with a cute ‘lil basket!
Looking: for one-piece bathing suits
Playing: Trivia Crack! find&play with me @cams012
Wasting: eyeliner…I’m just learning how to do the cat eye thing…
Wishing: for a puppy!
Enjoying: BINGO!
Waiting: for my tax return
Liking: that ATT&T now offers roll over data, which is not really saying much since I always go over my limit…but hey, anything helps!
Wondering: what color I should dye my hair
Loving: the GIF keyboard
Hoping: to start gardening
Marveling: at the endless amount of split-ends I have and I just recently had a haircut!
Needing: a massage…my back hurts!
Smelling: Spring florals!
Wearing: lokai bracelet
Following: US The Duo…such a cute and talented couple!
Noticing: that I have a thing for mangoes…mango juice, mango gummy candies, dried mango…
Knowing: that I should start organizing a spring clean-up soon
Watching: Korean movies on Netflix
Listening: to Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding
Thinking: good thoughts
Feeling: sleepy…zzzzz
Bookmarking: birthday presents for the sister
Opening: a bag of shrimp chips
Giggling: at Mii
Feeling: HAPPY for my friend Aurora Fallon for finishing up her chemo treatment. Read about her journey here!

CURRENT FAVS

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1. Color : GREEN
2. Food : KOREAN BBQ
3. Perfume/Cologne : CHANCE EAU TENDRE by CHANEL
4. Day of the week : “wacky” WEDNESDAY
5. Fast-food : MCDONALDS
6. Thing to do when bored : READ A BOOK
7. Song : THE FIGHTER by. GYM CLASS HEROES ft. RYAN TEDDER
8. Font : SEGOE UI
9. Video game : CALL OF DUTY ZOMBIES
10. TV show : TOTAL DIVAS
11. Vegetable : EGGPLANT
12. Store : MADEWELL
13. Music Artist : SAM SMITH
14. Celebrity : LEONARDO DI CAPRIO
15. Meal of the day : BRUNCH
16. Ice cream flavor : JAMOCA
17. Soda : MT. DEW
18. Vacation spot : BORACAY ISLAND
19. Movie : THE NOTEBOOK
20. Disney Princess : ARIEL
21. Restaurant : DIN TAI FUNG
22. Number : 12
23. Junk food : SHRIMP CHIPS
24. Sports team : SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
25. Book : THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho 
26. Hobby : SCRAPBOOKING
27. Holiday : HALLOWEEN
28. Coffee shop : MOORE COFFEE
29. Candy : TOBLERONE
30. Plants/flower : SUCCULENTS
31. Pub/Bar : ATHENIAN
32. App : SCRAMBLE w/FRIENDS

TAKING STOCK 09

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Making: file tags to be more organized
Cooking: absolutely nothing! since coming back from my trip, I don’t think I’ve set foot inside the kitchen
Drinking: peppermint tea from Trader Joe’s
Reading: “Chew” written by John Layman with art by Rob Guillory
Wanting: to hit the snooze button…like 10 more times!
Looking: for tickets to SF
Playing: sungka with my niece Mae
Wasting: life thinking about the “what ifs”
Sewing: gonna start looking for a class
Wishing: for an cancer-free-adventure-filled year!
Enjoying: the Seahawks spirit
Waiting: for the weekend, heading to Leavenworth for some fun cabin adventures!
Liking: that “Friends” is now available on Netflix…all 10 episodes!
Wondering: why?!?
Loving: the “selfie” stick – definitely best thing I took on my trip!
Hoping: that my 2nd scan at the end of this month goes well
Marveling: at the barista from Moore Coffee who makes drinking mochas so much more fun!
Needing: motivation to hit the gym
Smelling: “Luna” Scentsy bar
Wearing: Dr. Martens boots
Following: a to-do list…
Noticing: that my closet is getting out of control again – so glad spring is just around the corner
Knowing: that I should just move on…
Watching: Top Gear UK
Listening: to Serial on Podcast….I’m hooked!
Thinking: about going back into the restaurant industry
Feeling: jet lagged
Bookmarking: treehouses
Opening: up storage boxes so I can finally put away the Christmas ornaments
Feeling: exhausted

TAKING STOCK 08

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Making: a to-do list for my trip next month
Cooking: cornsoup…perfect for the cold weather
Drinking: Space Dust IPA from Elysian Brewing
Reading: “Locke & Key” written by Joe Hill and featuring artwork from Gabriel Rodriguez
Wanting: some ghetto chicken
Looking: forward to chopping down a christmas tree
Playing: with the new Pyrenees puppy…Brie!
Wasting: time worrying
Sewing: one day this will happen
Wishing: for good deals during Black Friday
Enjoying: my Madewell skinny skinny jeans…my new favs!
Waiting: for bus 545
Liking: #bestiebox
Wondering: how to make green bean casserole
Loving: the holiday season
Hoping: that one day, they’ll find a cure!
Marveling: at how fortunate I’ve been
Needing: motivation to hit the gym, the weather is absolutely no help at all!
Smelling: like pho…it’s horrible
Wearing: a yellow coat
Following: faithforfallon.com
Noticing: that I have a green thumb…my office plants are still alive. Yes!
Knowing: a secret that I can’t tell…so don’t ask!
Watching: season 4 of “The Walking Dead”…no spoiler alert pls!
Listening: to Sam Smith…his voice…OMG!
Thinking: about bathingsuits&beaches
Feeling: a bit of giddy&nervous all at the same time
Bookmarking: tourist sites and must-eats for Korea
Opening: my storage box full of christmas goodies
Giggling: with the girls during our clothing swap…so much fun!
Feeling: blessed

TAKING STOCK 07

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Making: a room feel “homey”
Cooking: steak fried rice
Drinking: ice nutella mocha
Reading: “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt
Wanting: more candles
Looking: forward to pumpkin patches, haunted houses, & Halloween…eek!
Playing: Rummikub
Wasting: bandaids…my new boots were NOT made for walking 
Sewing: nope, not even close to starting
Wishing: that December 19 will come sooner 
Enjoying: football. Go HAWKS!!!
Waiting: for good news…more like praying!!!
Liking: the Cartwheel app by Target
Wondering: what I should be for Halloween
Loving: my new bed sheets
Hoping: for good weather this weekend, I’m heading back up to Richmond Night Market!
Marveling: at my life and the path that I’ve been on
Needing: someone to go and play Bingo with me
Smelling: pumpkin spice everything…it’s gross
Wearing: boots&vest&jackets&beanies…oh how I love Fall!!!
Following: the 10-Minute trainer workout video…let’s see how long I’ll last
Noticing: that I need to cut back on data usage, I hate going over
Knowing: just knowing. it can feel like such a complex concept sometimes.
Watching: The Fault in Our Stars
Listening: to “Dream” by Priscilla Anh
Thinking: and praying for my friend
Feeling: comfort
Bookmarking: travel gear
Opening: facetime
Giggling: at Total Divas…love that show
Feeling: anxious

 

TAKING STOCK 06

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Making: shishkabobs
Cooking: …more like bbq’ing steaks and ribs
Drinking: cranberry mojitos
Reading: “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt
Wanting: to find an outdoor swimming pool so I can relax and soak up the sun
Looking: forward to my sidekick getting married next month
Playing: with the puppies
Wasting: food…I don’t have much of an appetite these days
Sewing: I think I should take this category out
Wishing: for no more cancer
Enjoying: the “cool touch” Kleenex, feels so good on your stuffy nose
Waiting: patiently for that miracle
Liking: this hot weather!!!
Wondering: about what color to paint my toes/nails
Loving: the mornings
Hoping: everything goes well with my treatment
Marveling: at the radiation machine that I’m in everyday; the way it spins around is pretty cool
Needing: to sell my clothes…I’ve already broken 3 garment racks
Smelling: nothing…my allergies have taken over my sense of smell
Wearing: short shorts
Following: FIFA!!! Go Messi!
Noticing: that I have over 60 snowglobes…crazy!
Knowing: that July is going to be a busy month-so much exciting things going on!
Watching: Orange is the new Black!! I’m soooo addicted!
Listening: to “The Cranberries” on Pandora
Thinking: about my family – I miss them!
Feeling: nauseous
Bookmarking: getaways
Opening: a lot of mail
Giggling: at the FIFA commercials
Feeling: tired