Weaning: the challenges and joy

Two massive masses of excruciating, throbbing pain on my chest

Pain that pounds along to the blood coursing through my veins

Eyes heavy and hooded, holding back expressions of pain

I shy away for fear of being kicked or elbowed in the most tender of places

Uuuffffhh!

A kick I didn’t see coming knocks me off my feet, I fail to brace myself

For the waves of pain shooting through my body

I hold our baby girl away from me

Her eyes well up in confusion

She longs to be held

She too is undergoing a transition, a right of passage

From being a milk dependent babe

To a grown up independent toddler

Her body, weary from lack of sleep of the night before,

Her lips peel back to let out cries of hurt, needing her mama

The sweet delicious comfort she has known since birth is snatched away,

Been craddled in the warmth of mummy’s arms

Suckling, a scientifically inexplicable bond

Learning to sleep without aid of suckling milk is a foreign feat

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Swollen breasts harden, small breast ducts bulging beneath skin

As mum’s brain registers the cues of baby’s cries,

Sends signals to the breast: produce more milk!

Doesn’t matter that milk storages are overfull

.

.

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With each passing day, the pain reduces, albeit minimally

Baby girl struggles reduce, sleep embraces her with open arms

During the day, mother and daughter slowly learn a new dance

Slowly we advance to the next level of mother-daughter bonding:

Before weaning, she could never sit still for more than two heartbeats

Eager to perfect her walking, increase her speed of running,

Suddenly she is all about cuddles,

Crawling into my lap is now a normal need for mama’s comforting hugs

Independent she grows, confident in her mama’s immoveable love.

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.

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My mummy heart expands further than I thought possible

Love fills me, reassurance that the special bond between me and baby girl isn’t lost.

Initial fears now prove a waste of emotional strength

Our mama-daughter bond has evolved, matured, grown and strengthened.

Mother’s Heart: Forever Love

My baby girl,

It is time to sleep;

Close your eyes,

Not one little peep.

Mommy’s gonna tell you

Of a love so deep

My love I give to you,

Love that’s yours to keep.

.

A mother’s love doesn’t end

When her daughter

Down the aisle she sends,

This your mum found to be true,

As she entered marriage

And motherhood without a clue.

.

Mom and grandma’s love relationship attempts,

Grew from one of strife, frustration and contempt,

To appreciation, mutual understanding and love,

Resentment now replaced with gratefulness to God above.

.

Through tears, fights, disagreements in marriage,

A mother offers words of wisdom, prayer support

That bears her daughter up in heavenly carriage

Marriage now binds them in deeper rapport

.

My little princess, this is just the beginning,

My heart, my time, my all, is yours for the taking,

May God bless this mother’s heart

Keep me by your side, never to depart.

Love as fragile as a Rose

Love as fragile as a Rose;
It’s beauty fully appreciated
When received as a single flower,
Or in a gorgeously adorned bouquet

You smell its fragrance
Only because you long to
As you inch closer to sniff,
Hands steering clear of its protective thorns

It is most appealing and vibrant
When freshly plucked, it shines
With rich, radiant rosiness,
Or its pure, graceful pearly white.

As time passes, alone it darkens.
The petals you see blacken
Slowly withers away, beauty fades.
But peel the outer layers away, reveals the beauty within

If you treasure the rose, love it.
To keep the love alive, nurture it.
Prune the rose, cut the stem diagonally.
Plant it within nutrient-enriched soil,

to see it thrive and flourish.

Though the thorns may bleed you
If you hastily approach, no caution.
But if you tenderly strip away the defenses of thorns,
Take the time to get closer and discover what lies beneath,
What joys, pleasures, sensations new experience brings
And you will forget the initial pricks and thorns,
As you enjoy a rose garden full of love.

Written by the much younger Mrs Dew 🙂

The heartbeat races

The heartbeat races
The brain pounds to the beat
Of the reverberating drum of life

People to love,
Lovers who break your heart,
Friends to cherish
Buddies who betray your trust

Life is a double sided coin,
Life is a rollercoaster, a journey, an adventure,
Life is your tune to create.
It all depends on perspective and attitude.

Humanity: violence and hope

The World, I fear, has lost its mind;
It’s running amuck, humanity is stuck in a grind:
Hacked to death, storms a’raging;
Terrorists’ plots and massacres from bombings;
The news around invades one’s peace of mind.

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Politics, a terrorizing version of chess;
The true nature of a leader steers us all towards chaos or progress.
The Media adds fuel to riots galore;
Violent-ridden streets, rivers of blood and gore.
It is time for wisdom to rule, time to think for oneself.

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Youths in their years of twenty-somethings,
Caught up amidst turmoil and woes, what is life’s meaning?
We are now adults, still lost in a storm;
We’ve forgotten where we came from,
Lost in the thrill of chasing Forbes-Hollywood of fortune and fame.

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As a youth and leader of tomorrow,
Now is the time to educate, observe, avoid past mistakes and sorrow;
Decide who I am and where I want to be.
A better world starts from within, you see?
I shall not be caught up with the masses and their passivity.

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Dearest reader, stop all the hustle;
Reflect, and breathe life outside of your passionless daily hassles.
Re-evaluate your goals and priorities;
Life is filled with endless possibilities!
Who are you? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Do you want to be swept up with the masses, endlessly stuck in the grind?
Or do you want to set new visions, forge a new road to a brighter future
For your children who are yet to arrive into this tumultuous world?

….

This is a Poem I wrote in the wake of #UK cleaver-murder of 22nd May, 2013, originally posted on an old Facebook page i started here

6 years ago I wrote this post. The last chapter brings chills down my spine, as when I wrote this, I had no idea I would be a parent any time soon.

Now with a daughter of my own, this poem resonates on a whole new level with me. What sort of world have I brought our daughter into?

What can I do starting today that will build a better world she can live in and thrive?

What can YOU do to be the change the world needs in your little corner today.

You can choose to be different

Be a positive influence to your siblings, classmates, colleagues, neighbors, employees and even the bosses above you.

If you are blessed with greater spheres of influence in education, politics, engineering, medicine, etc, stop being afraid of ridicule and stand for what is right!

This was written by a younger, more idealized version of me…you once were a better person, you had dreams of a better future…you can still uphold those standards of integrity and make the younger you proud!

I survived my 1st year of parenting!

And just like that, it is now a day to our baby girl’s first birthday and I want to scream to the entire world “I survived my first year of being a mama!!”

I imagine myself drenched in sweat, weary from countless nights of interrupted sleep, dirt under my fingernails from all the poopy diapers I have changed, standing victoriously on a mountaintop. Yes I am on top of the first mountain in a whole range of mountains, but for now I want a pat on the back, an award for participation. A personal moment to say “girl, you did it!”.

This time last year, I was on one of several beds in the labour ward. Anyone who has any experience with Nigeria hospitals will imagine or know first hand the trepidation I felt. I had to constantly use exercise my faith so as not to be overcome with worry . All I knew was that as long as I had a natural birth, by the grace of God, I and my baby will be in good hands.

I was divinely favoured to have a relatively pleasant and easy labour and delivery story (no need to bore you with my tales of the inadequacies of the healthcare system here). With simple child-like faith, I believed for a relatively stress-free labour experience and I was beaming (like a child who opened their Christmas gift to find it was what she has asked for and doubted whether she will get it) when I found out I was 2cm dilated with pain-free contractions. There were some challenging moments as time when doctors insisted I go for a C-section but honestly the whole experience was divinely blessed with God’s grace.

Our child has been a blessing from the moment of conception, to labour and unbelievably easy pushing part of the delivery. I literally pushed and grunted and our baby slid out.

Within first few minutes of her birth, a song of praise burst forth from my lips. Mind you, the words was more or less whispered under my breath as I was exhausted and beyond famished. As they were stitching me up, I turned my head and watched in awe as they cleaned up this pale skinned, raven haired little human with olive oil.

The struggles and anticipation of the previous nine months and the grueling ordeal of labour were already fading into memory.

How do I condense all the struggles of a rookie mama into a paragraph? Or two? The journey of bonding with our precious baby was no walk in the park. It is assumed that because a baby grew inside of you for nine months, you will form a magical bond that will detect whether they are hungry, tired or need to go poopy.

In the first several months, the process of trying to figure out why your baby is fussing goes like this:

Changed her diaper, check. Nursed her like five minutes ago so she can’t be hungry. She just napped like 30 minutes ago. Probably she is feeling the heat? Is she feeling uncomfortable because of the immunization shots she took yesterday?

Oh I look back with fondness at how frazzled different stages of the past year made me. From mommy and baby struggling to latch properly, figuring how to nurse baby girl in public like it’s no big deal, to learning how to survive the crowded immunization clinic days. Dealing with immunization aftermath like fevers, swollen tenderness and fussiness. Teething periods. Introducing solids. Progressing through purees to semi solids to beaming in pride as baby girl ate a whole banana by herself.

Oh and the moments when as a parent I beamed with pride and urged our baby girl to perfect a milestone or new skill: holding things with her fingers, grasping, rolling over, pulling herself forward, crawling, pulling up, standing, cruising and so on.

Right now we are helping our daughter learn how to perfect her balance and walking. As parents we are always teaching and encouraging our children to improve or perfect new skills and talents but there are so many lessons our little ones teach us to. I recently did an article on lessons I have learned from observing baby girl learn to walk. (Read here)

I honestly don’t know what my second year as a parent will hold but that’s what makes being a first time parent be so much fun.

Please share stories about your experiences with me too! What was your most challenging and rewarding moment in the first years of your child’s life? Is it easier the second or third “child” around? 🙂

When we allow our Health Challenges to Define us

Since I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous #Leukemia #CML when I was 17 years old, over a decade ago, I remember my life seemed to revolve around hospital appointments, blood tests, scans, bone marrow aspirations. I had to consciously plan my day so that I have at least one full meal and ensure a bottle of water and chemotherapy (#gleevec) tablets are packed in my bag.

Where before I was an over-achieving student, my body now slowed me down. You know those all nighters spent cramming for an exam, or writing that paper, or preparing a presentation? From then on, I would be plagued by constant fatigue, flu/cough and struggling with chemo side effects like vomiting and diarrhea.

To everyone else, I maintained my bubbly, cheerful, friendly, energetic persona but now I was coming late to class, begging lecturers for extensions on deadlines and so forth. And my once forbearing and diplomatic persona was not so lenient anymore.

I wasn’t the typical #cancer patient. I wasn’t deathly pale (though I was far lighter skinned compared to before my diagnosis and chemo treatment) and sported a full head of raven black hair. Plus I didn’t have to go to the hospital for chemo treatments when mine was concealed conveniently in my bag to take “on-the-go”. I looked just like every other student. I remember one lecturer going so far as to say I was using my illness as an excuse. Hmm. I will chalk that one up to ignorance. Then came another mid-semester drop out. Each time it got harder and harder to return back to my studies.

I am sure you can relate to how such physical and health limitations begin to define us in such a permanent way. We don’t even realize when it becomes a part of who we are. I had gotten admitted to medical school just after I was hospitalized the first time I was diagnosed. I got to defer admission to medical school, but after my health took a hit my first year there, my doctor didn’t allow me to resume.

I relocated closer to my parents and would still pursue my dreams of being an emergency/disaster response doctor for several years to come in one pre-med course after another. Each time, I would transfer over to what I thought was a less intensive course.

I had to look for another degree to graduate with. It took me 9 years from when I graduated high school to obtain my college (university) degree. I had to leave behind my career dream a long time ago. I graduated with a management degree in Human Resource Management

Now, even in #remission, I’m afraid to push myself so I don’t break down. I can’t seem to find something to be passionate about, due to this deep-seated fear that it will not work out. I keep expecting one bad break after another and when good things happen, I am beyond grateful.

One thing I am free from however is living life as a if I am a ticking time bomb. This “tip-toe” kind of living when one believes they are living on borrowed time. When I got diagnosed, I was acutely aware that my cousin suffered from #leukemia for several years before dying at age 18. For so long I went through life one day at a time. I couldn’t even picture myself graduating, not to talk of getting married.

When I finally graduated university, after several interruptions and relocations, it was a huge breakthrough and victory God gave me as this wonderful man blindsided me with a ring on my finger. I didn’t even know where to begin wedding planning because I never spent a moment browsing social media for my dream wedding gown or wedding gown receptions. Time to take a leap of faith.

I have had amazing breakthroughs (miracle conception, pregnancy & journey into motherhood) since getting married and mentally am working through and moving beyond all that now. But I wanted to write down and attempt to capture how totally hopeless life can seem, or how one’s diagnosis can colour everything about one’s life if they choose not to actively take charge of their diagnosis and more importantly their emotional and mental state of mind.

Instead of letting our health challenges define us, or be the boss of us, why don’t we take charge? Arm ourselves with information, seek help, get proactive in selecting a team to help you overcome. It is said what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. But even if it purportedly will kill you, will it hurt to go down with a fight and a champion’s smile on your face? Better yet, why not be determined to beat the odds and be part of the 0.01% that do survive?! Never underestimate the potent value of just a little Faith

Are you struggling with any issue, not something as ominous as cancer but issues like asthma, body image issues, eating disorders, a bad wrist/back, anything that serves as a limitation? Are you so nervous to talk with people that it is really affecting your mannerisms and happiness? Even if you have technically or physically gotten over an illness, are there still lingering issues affecting other areas of your life? Please I would love to hear your own story and where you are at the moment in your journey.

P.s. about The coffee pictures in this post … 😀 Maybe I just want you to remember that cup of coffee you left sitting on your table and come sit and read my thoughts. Come have a little chat with me

May God comfort the weary soul

If words could adequately describe
My bone-weary, battle-bruised exhaustion,
Eyes tingling and heavy from shedding an ocean of tears;
Head cobwebbed from a night of constant interrupted sleep;
Body weighed down from physical exhaustion,
Heart crushed and aching,
Soul quietly fading

All praises belong to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he is the Father of tender mercy and the God of endless comfort.

He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial. We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 TPT

The day barely begun, already I have been through the emotional rollercoaster and back. I swore I will respect myself today. No more begging and groveling, no more chasing barefeet and bare-soul. God, I asked him for some mercy but Your Word says You are the Father of tender mercy. Wrap my battered soul in Your arms of endless comfort. Gone are the days I could spend wallowing in shame, regret and self-abasement. As a mother of a suckling babe, please help me to be stronger, a warrior in this area of weakness.

Almost instantly you send me your answer, as she raises her adorable doe-eyes to mine, lips smack in satiated satisfaction, she flashes her one-cheeked dimpled smile and utters her good morning in her own language “aaeesh ba ba ba ba…”.

You are a God who answers prayer. Your answer was already lying within my arms as I wrestled the emotions within. Help me to forgive and to love the way You love me. Unconditionally. With patience, kindness, and perseverant endurance.

Today Lord, I chose to turn to you instead of wrapping myself in my present circumstances or lack thereof. Help me Lord to do so even as I am tempted to fall into old habits.

Thank You Lord for your many blessings. The cool breeze sweeping through the room, bringing comfort to my weary head. Thank you God for the divine gift of motherhood and the seemingly bottomless reservoir of strength you provided along with it. With the challenges of keeping charge of an active little gymnast, you have provided the grace and strength. With all I have been through and all that I am going through, I know that You are God.

Thank You for the promises in your Word: I choose to trust that You will work all things out for my good. Thank you for the plans you have for me to prosper me and not to harm me. Thank you that though I walk through the waters, you will not allow me to drown. Even amongst the blazing fires of suffering and trials, you will not allow me to burn.

Thank you for the gifts you deposited in me. I know the present trial is to push me to reach within myself and tap into dormant gifts and use them to shine for your Glory and to testify to your mercy, comfort and unending goodness. Free me of this fear-mindset that has held me back for far too long. I choose to walk in confidence and boldness of the calling you have set before me. Thank you that You are my strength in the areas of my weakness. Amen

Head faintly throbbing,
Eyes still tingling and heavy,
Ears ringing with squeals and baby babbles,
Stirrings of hope rising in this tired soul
Sunlight streams through the netted windows
Filling my world with a warm, comforting golden hue,
Reaching down into the reservoirs of strength,
I rise up to face the day

If troubles weigh us down, that just means that we will receive even more comfort to pass on to you for your deliverance! For the comfort pouring into us empowers us to bring comfort to you. And with this comfort upholding you, you can endure victoriously the same suffering that we experience. Now our hope for you is unshakable, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings you will also share in God’s comforting strength.
2 Corinthians 1:6‭-‬7 TPT

Woohoo 2019, Hello WordPress!

My adorable chubby cheeked 9 month old baby girl lies asleep in my arms, gently snoring after a nursing session. After 9 months of this motherhood thing, I expertly multitask, taking advantage to type my first blog post of 2019:

I had initially thought life would return back to “on track” 6 months postpartum… Baby girl will turn 9 months exactly in 4 days and I realize I will need to take determined steps and probably make further sacrifices on sleep to make that happen.

It’s so tempting to remain in this comfy, heartmelting bubble of home building as a stay at home mum, putting everything on hold to be there every step of the way for their first year. Nursing one’s first child, showering their feathery cheeks with endless butterfly kisses, oohing and aahing over everything they do, watching them first roll their way into exploring the world, to getting excited about introducing solid foods. Fellow mums will understand my puree vs. Baby led weaning dilemmas, diaper emergencies etc

So thrilled with each new milestone. From the moment baby girl mastered sitting, she started crawling forwards (she used to push herself back for the longest time was so hilarious!). A week later, she was already pulling herself up to stand. And now expertly crawls, climbs, jumps, cruises holding onto anything she can grab onto.

We moved into our home when she was 3 months and with one project after another plus keeping an eye out on an energetic mobile 9 month old…its hard to keep track on how time flies!

She is still knocked out in the cradle of my right elbow, so I have managed to type up my first blog post since I was heavily pregnant. I have been so shy to share this blog with classmates, friends, associates who have known me in person because only some friends know the health challenges I went through as I didn’t want to be defined by them. What pushed me to restart my blog ASAP in 2019 is because of Andrea, my first blogger friend who encouraged me when I was so hesitant on WordPress.

So much has happened healthwise, I took a real leap of faith ever since I became pregnant with our precious miracle and I need a whole book of blogposts to document this faith journey. In summary, have been off my chemo meds since becoming pregnant and stayed off to breastfeed and give our baby the healthiest start possible in life. With all the stress of full time motherhood + not having a full night of uninterrupted sleep in 9 months, I have never broken down And never been this healthy and strong since my diagnosis. God has been so so faithful. In so so many other areas of my life. I know I have been social media quiet for the most part in 2018 but it has been so so busy adjusting to been a new wife, a mama, moving across town, managing a bigger home., owning two dogs for first time and still managing to go on The sewing machine to create matching outfits for baby girl and I..

I know I feel like Oliver Twist with nagging sense of dissatisfaction with so many dreams bubbling inside of e yet to be realized but if 2018 could produce miracle of life and health… My career, hopes, dreams and unutilized talents should be no small feat to become a reality in 2019 right?

Happy new year to you dearest reader, have an amazingly fabulous and blessed 2019!

P.S I DID IT!! She just woke up now hitting publish!!

How my life was changed forever: CML

Chronic-Myelogenous-Leukemia Cartoon

It has taken me over 11 years to tie myself down to a chair and attempt to chronicle my journey. Been an sporadic diary keeper throughout my early teen life, pausing every now and then to jot down meaningful events in my globetrotter childhood, one sole event pushed me into the healing world of words, ink, pen and paper.

My procrastinating excuses, delay tactics and seemingly justifiable reasons for my caution of sharing my personal life on such a public platform aside, it seems this cartoon graphic has finally given me the inspiration I need to release this story. My mouth twists with a sad, humorous smile at the comparison between the lightheartedness of the cartoon and how the depiction of the cancer really turned my life inside out.

This is my story:

The main feature that had defined my childhood and teenage years was our family moving countries every 5 years on average. My dad’s work with an NGO provided an exposure for my young mind to the poverty and health needs of the developing world as I paid attention to experiences narrated over a restaurant table between my dad and friends and colleagues. Cushioned from this reality, in subsidized housing and top schools in the country post, means my younger self was somewhat protected from the slums we passed everyday in India, to the war-ravished buildings around us in Rwanda, and the SARS outbreak in China. My empathetic growing heart though registered everything keenly and I concluded my most tangible way to help was becoming the kind of NGO medical doctor that works on mission trips and in free clinics.

My years as a student flew by, studying as hard as I can, not joining in the usual teenager shenanigans and distractions. Made it into the International Baccalaureate program, the 2 years flew by in a busy schedule of Model United Nations (MUN) conferences and trips; service oriented projects, visits and fundraisers as well as academic workload of papers, G4 projects, and the big extended essay (research paper).

 

 

In February of the year I was to graduate high school, the crossroads into really beginning my life, I came down with food poisoning and a daily increasing pain in my left side. Refusing to stay at home, and carrying around bottles of water and banana as my main food substance, I doggedly attended classes and rounded up my academic works.

I endured it for a month, been treated for food poisoning, it turned into constipation and treatment for constipation swung me into an extreme case of diarrhea. The pain was not in my right side, so school nurse ruled out Appendicitis. When the pain in my left side got too much to bear, I would rest for a period or 2 in nurse office, waiting for the tablets of Ibuprofen to kick in and grant me even if just a little relief.

By middle of March, I had handed in my paperwork, my 150 CAS (creativity, action, service) hours logged in, G4 projects done, philosophy and extended essay handed in. I learned from this experience how one’s mind and will can accomplish unimaginable things, pushing the body beyond normal physical endurance.

 

On the night of which I had handed in my medical school application at school that day, I gave in to the pain, crawling on my knees to meet my parents in the living room, I admitted it was time to try the local Beijing teaching hospital.

My dad drove me and my mum to the emergency room and the rest of the night passed in a blur of semi-consciousness and I was roused only to give blood and poo samples. My dad had to go home to my brothers, while my mum stayed with me following up on tests and the lab results, her hushed conversation with the doctors in Mandarin Chinese filtering in brief moments of consciousness.

In the morning, I could tell the news was bad as my mum and doctors kept dodging my questions or downplaying their answers. Two days later, they finally let on that due to my abnormally inflated white blood cell count of 255,000, the doctor suspected it was Leukemia and that it was similar to what my cousin had. All I could process was that my cousin had Leukemia for several years in his teens and died a year ago at 18 years of age. Not willing to process that bit of information and how it would apply to me, I tried to show interest and ask what needs to be done.

A bone marrow test later brought the doctor’s verdict and the diagnosis that still affects our lives 11 years later: Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML).  An excruciatingly painful locally anesthetized bone marrow extraction had confirmed the CML diagnosis.

My first thought: what about sitting the final exam needed to get my IB diploma? What about the rest of my school year? Graduation? Most importantly…what about medical school??? I was too young to be living with a death sentence. I know how poor my cousin’s quality of life had been while living with the diagnosis. I still had so many hopes, and dreams. I wished I could save the world, but I could only impact one life at a time. Enough about saving the world….what about saving myself? Being the optimistic smiling child, I looked for the bright side of everything. Perhaps my type of Leukemia was somehow better than my cousin. Mummy, what type of diagnosis did my cousin have?

Having no time at all to deal with my diagnosis, I did my best not to throw tantrums while stuck in the hospital. From my endless questions to the doctors and nurses, it seemed I wouldn’t be out anytime too soon. My mum, who had always been the softer parent, and whom I had taken for granted before, now surprised me with such strength, resiliency and endurance as she went up and down the big hospital looking for delicious food to tempt my appetite, then going back to those stores to get my favorite century egg rice porridge (皮蛋瘦肉粥).

With my 24/7 drips of all the nutrients my body had lost over the past month, I was soon springing on my feet, feeling energetic and restrained within the four walls of my room. I was eager to be out of the hospital and feel more “normal” at home. Borrowing another patient’s laptop, I eagerly logged into my mail, waiting for a response from any of the schools I had applied to. I got a positive reply a week later: I had gotten accepted! Hope rushing into me, I talked to my parents and they asked me to email them about my medical condition and if they can defer my admission. The response was heartwarming about me taking care of my health first, there will be a space waiting for me after my treatment. I dared not to think how long that may be…

Two weeks later after I was first admitted, after beginning treatment of hydroxy urea and other tablets (I stopped counting at 25 tablets…), I was finally released to go home.

Once home, I had access to the internet and did some research. Ignorance about CML made it into a killer beast and I know that knowledge is power. Perhaps I can empower my naive optimism into something more realistic.

At home, I was fussed over by my mum, and since my immune system was low and at risk, was made to stay indoors as much as possible, with restricted visitors. Frequent hospital visits, daily pill popping, hand sanitizers, face masks and changes to my diet eventually became the new normal. I was later switched to a new drug called Gleevec (imatinib mesylate).

Glivec_400mg

The whole family had to go on a trip to Thailand for a second diagnosis, to confirm the validity of the initial diagnosis. The only cure for CML is a bone marrow transplant from a compatible donor, and after which, chances are the body may reject the bone marrow. I held on to this thin hope, we packed five suitcases in hopes one of my family members would qualify to be my donor. I would have my family around me while I go through my transplant and recovery.

Story to be continued…

 

 

Rainy Season: A typical day

Dear Diary,

It is day 2 posting on WordPress since I opened this account. After 2 months of scouring the data bases of Google & YouTube, shadowing various bloggers & YouTube channels, desperately searching for any and all knowledge about how an average blog & YouTube channel operate, I finally summoned the courage to start the Dew Diary.

Been an avid Diary Keeper for most part of my latter teen years, I have to bashfully admit I only clocked in entries to record momentous life events, or attempt to empty out my deepest anguish, pains, regrets, on paper. There are times even the closest confidante can never understand what you are going through and seem to get peaked when their bubbly optimistic, always-smiling friend shows them their human, bitter side. So, as a service to humanity, one must attempt to bottle the more cynical feelings of disappointment / reality checks into words and transfer them via ink unto pages seen only by a future me.

Aha!!! This post meandered it’s way into the more melancholy side of yours truly, who sits here with pad in hand, cross legged on a yellow furred sofa, as rain drops fall steadily all around my cocoon. My market produce lay forgotten in bowls on the floor and side tables, my previously energetic intentions of storing away and cooking pounded into nothingness with each roar of thunder.

A sneak peak from the safety of my slightly ajar door shows this view:

A mere 4 hours prior, the warm golden sun rays shone through darkening grey edged fluffy clouds in the silver sky backdrop. I had just gotten breakfast and a packed lunch for my husband and seen him off as he left towards later half of the morning. Checked my wordpress for my first ever friend, who inspired & encouraged me to analyse the effects of the tropical climate on my mood and creativity.

Suddenly, been more aware of my surroundings, a lightbulb, a Eureka like experience, turned on in my soul, said good riddance to the meek onyinbo (white) insecure iyawo (wife in Yoruba, one of 3 main languages in Nigeria). I noticed my heightened, more bubbly energy this morning was further fueled by the golden interior light of our marital home, a peek outside the windows revealed brilliant sun rays shining down from a rain laden, grey-fluffy clouded sky.

Palm tree

Our touch of tropical paradise

My years of experience here a hurried reminder that the weather could turn on me any moment, my lack of fresh farm produce prompted me to start packing for a quick dash to the nearest market locale. An umbrella…check; recyclable shopping bags…check, a water bottle for my trek to the main road…check; money and house keys….check check! My fledgling blogger instincts had me dashing back to the house for my tablet…the only portable camera source I have. All my research, tips & hacks on starting a blog on a budget (make best use of what you have!) came flooding back to me!

For first time since I got married a few months ago, I did not want to hide my “white ” skin wrapped around my head and shoulders like a shawl, makeshift hijab. I didn’t want to draw any more undue attention to people from afar as I made my way through the dirt roads of this more rural part of town to the main road (mini express road leading to the next town in one direction and to the city center in the other direction). So I would endure stuffy heat, just for the covered protection and my mind would take comfort that I could sneak through the neighbourhood and market undetected until people caught a closer glimpse of my face.

I made my way carefully through the dirt roads, rain and mini streams eroded the paths further that it was uneven and any wrong step I may slip or lose my footing.
Now that I wasn’t rushing through the neighbourhood, with my head down, flying as fast as my feet could carry me, I admired the tropical foliage, make shift farms (of maize, Coco yam, different leafy greens) on undeveloped plots of land & the neighbour’s mini gardens surrounding their fences.

I will continue my adventures at the market in another post…stay tuned

On Becoming Mrs Dew

Dear Diary,

Today marks a milestone, an anniversary, a time to reflect and be grateful for one of the main blessings of my life

I found love at a point in my life where I was focused on anything but finding a man. I thought I was in a temporary location and was looking forward to starting my career after finally a bachelor’s degree in HR Management.

But found love I did, the kind I only read about in books: “love at first sight”…a tall dark handsome intelligent man with a heart melting smile sauntered into my life. He gently pushed through my defense barriers, asking for a chance to defy my assumptions and started on the journey in winning permanent access to my heart. 

Love, not just the feelings of attraction, tingly sensations, and wild romance. But the 1 Corinthians 13 kind, the Love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes for and believes in the best. Love that is tested, tried and found pure and willing to nurture, grow & develop.

We celebrated 4 months of married life yesterday. An adventure, a new phase of adventure with my lover and best friend. It has been one lesson of love after the other. Marriage is where dreams and expectations clash with reality. But we fight to make our dreams into reality. 

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