The Only Girl

Once upon a time there was an innocent baby girl born on into a world of heartbreaks and chaos on New Years Eve. A world that continues to shoot each other then yell for change. A world where people live paycheck to paycheck while the rich continue to drive the lower class out of the neighborhoods we grew up in. A world where people think that suicide is the only option. A world where kids lose their childhood fighting a disease.

I just recently started reading a book called, “Defeating the Demonic Realm”. I’ve been in a dark place recently and needed to find a way overcome my fears. Heartbreak seems to be on the top of my list and next in line – the fear of failure. I have learned that we are all battling something behind closed doors and most of us are losing – I don’t want to lose.

The Bible states not to go after the devil itself. But to break the its schemes and wiles of the devil.

As I lay here in bed after spending an entire day applying at several colleges, I continue to tell myself, “UNOP has a 17% graduation rate, I’m going to be in that 17%, but I don’t want to go to UNOP, I want take classes at ASU.” Indecisive me. My brain seems to be going 100 mph.

I applied at three schools today – UNOP (least favorite), Arizona State University, and Penn State. I have this huge feeling that I will end up at Penn State University but we’ll see. I spoke with an enrollment representative at ASU today and he was concerned over my previous test scores and after speaking to him, I felt discouraged even though I averaged a 3.5 GPA during my community college years. The admissions process is a headache and I’m dreading it.

Anyway, this was a huge decision for me since I never had time to focus on earning my BA nor did anyone in my teenage years provide me with any guidance. My father labeled me a failure for most of my life and I never pictured myself getting serious with school. Getting money was all I knew and something I never failed at.

I told my mother my plans on getting my BA in Business and her response was, “Oh.” No excitement in the tone of her voice, no “I’m proud of you!” Just an “Oh” as if I just made the worst decision of my life. It was nothing surprising to me. I was the oldest in the family, the least favorite. Through my parents eyes, I was just another source of income. Just another head in the household to help pay rent. Me graduating from college was not in their plans for my future.

However, I do admit I fucked up in high school. Got caught up with the wrong crowd and dropped out like an idiot. I made some shitty decisions as a teenager and my parents, especially my father, continue to hold that guilt over me til this day. Everything positive I chose to do with my life, just isn’t convincing enough to them. My ex-boyfriend used to tell me that I had no talent and how much of a failure I was. If the negativity weren’t coming from my parents, it was coming from the man that supposedly held the key to my heart — But that’s okay. The way they chose to treat me is just one of the devil’s schemes to stop me from overcoming my fear by making me believe that I am a failure and I’m not worthy. The truth is, my God won’t let the devil win.

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Temporarily Deactivated.

I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram recently and I must say, it felt like a ton of weight off my shoulders. No more reading negative news on my feed, no more foodie pics, and I no longer have the satisfaction off laughing my ass off over hilarious memes.

I do however, miss posting the images from my Canon on Instagram displaying my trips to New York and showing off pictures of my kids. But from what my best friend tells me, I’m not really missing out on anything. Good.

The only access to social media I allowed myself to be on was Snapchat – with my 20 friends. Lol. I do continue to post on there because I feel it’s safer – with my 20 friends. There were way too many creepers on my Facebook list and I lost count on the amount of followers on Instagram. I received threats on Facebook through a new game Profoundly. This is a game where FB’ers can send you messages anonymously. I admit that I was terrified so I decided to take a break and deactivated my FB and IG.

I needed a serious break.

Trolls, I call them internet gangsters, get a kick out of pissing random people off. Maybe it’s out of boredom, maybe they have self esteem issues, or maybe they’re just plain psycho. Whatever it is, I don’t want to get caught up in it. I’ll probably never find out who sent me those threatening messages on Profoundly, but whoever it is, must have developed some deep hate towards me. And what scares me the most is that it could be someone I know or someone in my “circle”.

Anyway, I’m on Day 2 and have not been tempted to log back on. I deleted the apps on my iPhone and downloaded books to read on Kindle instead. This is totally out of my comfort zone since I’ve grown addicted to those sites. But I need to start reading more and be more productive outside of social media.

I do promise to get back to posting more of my travels. But I’ll save that for a later time. It’s time to focus on myself and tune out the world – temporarily.

Today, I made myself a refreshing drink for once. So here is an image of that. I’m just glad Mother Nature decided to bring out the sun today. Tired of the rain.

Clarion Alley – Mission District, SF

Amongst all the places I love to visit in San Francisco, it’s Clarion Alley. This alley lies between 17th and 18th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District and is known for its murals by the Clarion Alley Mural Project. I try to come here every few months because the artwork changes every so often. But I noticed that some murals have remained on some buildings for more than a year.

I stopped by the alley yesterday since I had some time to kill. After my short walk on Valencia Street, I decided to grab a prawn burrito and my favorite, horchata, at Pancho Villa Taqueria on 16th St.

Here are some photos that I captured during my walk. Some were taken from my Canon and the couple were taken with my iPhone.

The mural above happens to be one of my favorites! 😍

Hella Hella. ✊🏽

I have more photos but these are currently on my Top list of murals on Clarion Alley. Except for the exquisite painting of the woman below. I captured this while I was walking on Valencia Street. How beautiful is this? 😍

Fridazed

On the muni traveling on 17th

1 hour late to the hospital even though

I set my alarm at three

a.m, no work but I’m not on vacation

Sitting in the bus looking outside

Surrounded by gentrification

An old Filipino lady next to me asking if I knew her uncle

I said no relation

Almost missed my stop, can’t even remember how to use public transportation 🤦🏽‍♀️

No paper and pen cause of technology advances

Nowadays kids can’t tell the difference with what’s on a screen to how real life bypasses

Using this phone, constantly looking down, pushing up my glasses

Should’ve got lasik, but if the doctors mess up

No second chances

Like I told my baby daddy years ago

No second chances

Like I told my ex, who don’t even know what his future plans is

Like I’ll tell my next relationship, mess up

No second chances

Cause half of these men out here don’t even know what real romance is

My backpack is full, while they’re over here half assin,

Now I’m just ramblin

Just trying to get to the hospital before

my daughter’s bone marrow transplant and

She gets second chances

Scrolling through Facebook reading comments from strangers,

Posting up prayers more than the ones

Who claim to be my one dayers

Next thing you know I’ll see a subliminal

two minutes later

After speaking the truth, as usual

another undercover hater

2 buses and a crowded train ride

Going up the elevator, 2 hallways down

straight to the right,

Laying in her bed, with a heart bigger

than her height

Hey baby girl, I finally made it, now let’s wrap this shit up and win this fight.

I haven’t posted much about my previous travels, I will soon, I promise, but to catch you up on some things, my daughter is suffering from Germinoma, which is a form of Brain Cancer. The severity of the cancer has taken her mobility and most of cognitive function away. She is also suffering from dementia caused by the cancer. Because of this, my daughter is now in a wheelchair and needs assistance when getting from point A to B. Sometimes she’s coherent, but there are days where she mixes me up with her dad or grandma. Sometimes she thinks it’s still June when it’s December. It seems like she’s a totally different person now and I am still coming to terms that she’s not the same. She’s not the Deyzha I knew a year ago who would go running 2 miles with me at the Waterfront.

In August 2018, she underwent brain surgery then she was diagnosed with cancer the month after. We only had two options for treatment. I chose the 2nd option since more kids with Germinoma responded to this treatment as opposed to the first option. On the downside, this specific treatment required 3 cycles of chemotherapy, 9 days straight of 3 high dose chemo drugs, stem cell harvest and a bone marrow transplant.

This treatment also required me to become a nurse overnight. At home I had to flush her central line once a day, draw her blood, and give her injections in the evening. And I HATE NEEDLES. I literally had to suck it up in just a weeks worth of training. I was scared.

I literally had to push my work and social life to the side so I could put all of my focus on her. Honestly, I never had any time to grieve, up until now that it’s almost over and our family can focus on her recovery. But I gotta admit, I have an occasional breakdown where I become a big overdramatic crybaby. You can’t blame me though. I went through a LOT. Anyway, the MRI before her most recent MRI showed that the cancer was going away. So I’m hoping that result still stands.

This is definitely not a trip to New York but it has been a journey. Which is why I decided to share this huge piece of my life with you.

Untitled.

Music was her therapy, the lyrics were her recipe

as the disease took over her body and her family

she sang her heart out until she could beat the enemy

Who took her mobility and her ability to shoot a three

Her chances to go to a University and become a chef like she wanted to be

All disappeared after Oncology revealed the answer

“Your babygirl has cancer and we don’t know how long you’re going to have her”

Three cycles of chemo plus 9 more days of toxic drugs

A bone marrow transplant then remain in isolation for a few more months.

Separated by a glass window from her little brother

Holding back my tears, trying to be strong cause I’m her mother

Her baby sister having to step up and play the big sister role

While I remind myself every minute of the day, that God is in control.

She’s going to beat this, if I say it out loud, I will speak it into existence

Even when I can’t be at the hospital, I will speak on it from a distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington DC – The President’s Palace

Since I’m sitting here waiting for my flight to SFO at Dallas Love Field Airport, I might as well kill some time and tell you about my short trip to the District of Columbia. 

On Wednesday evening, my daughter and I took a red-eye to Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Not sure if I mentioned it in a previous blog entry, but did I ever tell you about my fear of flying? I know it sounds super ridiculous due to the fact that I just flew to New York City a couple months ago, let alone to Virginia two days ago. It is getting easier, but I just hate dealing with turbulence. The flight here to Dallas was brutal even though I sat in the 4th row closest to First Class. One of these days, I’m going to find a professional hypnotist to help me get over this fear.

Moving forward, we picked up the car rental at Alamo Car Rental, then I drove directly to The White House. I couldn’t sleep during the entire flight so can you imagine how physically and emotionally drained I was.

We arrived at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building Parking Garage. Let me tell you, that building is creepy looking. Before entering the garage, the security guards searched my car. After being cleared, I drove down about 3 levels until I finally found a parking spot in a dark location. 😐 It didn’t feel safe, but it’s a Federal Building and the security probably saw me scratch my head on the security cameras.

Our check-in time at the White House was at 7:00 am. We arrived at 8:30 am only to find ourselves in a long line wrapped around the street corner. At that moment, I was desperate so I stepped out of line and walked towards the front. I asked the Secret Service Agent if it was still okay for us to go on the tour even though we were late. He greeted us with a smile, opened the gate, and lead us straight to the first security check-in. Phew! 

After three security checks and being sniffed by a dog, I found myself surrounded by decades of history – I couldn’t believe that I was inside the White House.

Sometimes I question myself, like, did I really deserve this?

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the East Wing was this portrait of President John F. Kennedy and his children. 💙

TIP #1: The tour is FREE, however, BOOK IN ADVANCE! To book a tour at the White House, it requires advance planning. You will have to contact your local member of Congress no less than 21 days prior to your visit (click here to find your local representative) I booked my tour 6 months in advance and didn’t get accepted until a week prior to my visit!

TIP #2: DO NOT bring a purse, a tote, or a backpack. They will not let you in. All I carried were my car keys and wallet.

TIP #3: Follow the rules. There is no ifs, buts, substitutions, or maybes. I mean, come on! You’re at the White House. This specific house has top notch security!

Photo: The Blue Room is the center of the State Floor of the White House. This room has been the traditional place for president’s to receive guests. 

Photo: Located on the ground floor, the Vermeil Room serves as a display room or for formal occasions. The painting shown in this picture is of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Aaron Shikler 1970. 


The Artist Forest Beach “Albany Bulb”

As I prepare for my trip to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for other places to check out locally. After doing some research, I found a park not too far from me called, “Albany Bulb” which is located in the Albany Waterfront next to the Golden Gate Fields race track. The Bulb was known to be a landfill for construction materials until 1987, when it went through a series of legal issues. The park later became a homeless encampment, a place for teenagers to wild out, and a perfect place for dog owners to let their pets run about. So I bet you’re wondering why a woman like me with no dogs would be interested in seeing this piece of land, let alone an old construction dump! 

Even though I consider myself a newbie when it comes to travel and photography, I always tend to find beauty in almost everything, including landfills. 😂 Albany Bulb just isn’t a place for hikers and dog walkers, this oasis is surrounded by sculptures and graffiti art painted on concrete slabs. It’s an art lovers haven. The further you hike, the more you see. 

I took my son with me to check this out. I made a huge mistake by pulling up directions from my Yelp App (travelers beware! Do not use Yelp to navigate. It gave me the wrong directions.) I ended up parking my car at Point Isabel, which is a huge dog park next to the water. There were dogs everywhere! 

TIP: Point Isabel is a Dog Park. 🐶 And parking is very limited, especially on a weekend. On a happier note, they have restrooms 😂

Anyway, my son and I took the San Francisco Bay Trail from Point Isabel which is a mile away from Albany Bulb. The trail’s path ran parallel between Interstate 80 and the water. The walk wasn’t pleasant since the freeway is literally next to the trail. We arrived about 45 minutes later. And yes, it took us 45 minutes to walk a mile and a half. Mind you, my son is 6 and gets easily distracted.

Another TIP: If you’re with little ones, unless you own a bicycle with multiple seats, do NOT park at Point Isabel if you don’t want to walk a mile and a half!

We walked towards the sandy area where we came across more dogs running about. From that area, you can either hang out on the beach (watch out for poop) or catch a distant glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. There wasn’t much to see. After that, we took another trail towards the south end of the Bulb where we came across a castle made out of scavenged rebar, plaster, and concrete. 

“Mad Mark’s Castle” was completed in 2000 however, it deteriorated through the years. This is a before and after pic of the castle.

The before pic was taken by a photographer named Peter Merts. The second photo was captured from my camera. 

My son and I hung out at the castle for the most part. The castle offers a panoramic view of the ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. We didn’t get to explore the rest of the Bulb since we had a long walk back to Point Isabel, however, I do plan on returning so I can check out the sculptures and the rest of the art work. 

Here is a video from our short visit to the Bulb. 
Discover the Bay | Albany Bulb