songs of a wounded healer

27 years old. doctor-in-the-making. wounded healer. hopeless romantic. hari ng sablay. a seed of hope waiting to spring. loves jason mraz. favorite song is "dare you to move." fan of sushi. currently has central obesity. a frustrated poet. wants to learn tennis. a mental health advocate. knows how to cook fillet dori with le'mon sauce. fan of lifehouse. a pediatric cancer advocate. dreams of becoming a five-star physician someday. wants to play the guitar. a dedicated friend. his motto is love strong. a knight of Christ. a frustrated Jesuit-wannabe. a soldier of hope. aka mr. brightside. in less than a year, he will hop, skip, jump and tell himself: "yeah, I made it."
I met this young boy during my regular rotation at the Pedia Ward. He was re-admitted almost at the same bed where I saw him before. After a momentary hiatus from cancer, there were blasts [rebellious white blood cells which can be seen on the bone marrow or even on complete blood counts when there is widespread dissemination] seen on his complete blood count [CBC]. The parents and doctor are discussing whether or not they would start on another cycle of chemotherapy. The boy cried, saying tender words of resignation which almost launched a hundred arrows to my heart, “pagod na ang katawan ko.[my body is tired]” After a few weeks, he finally said goodbye.

May you rest in peace, Bryan. Thank you for being an inspiration. Please guide all the other children with cancer. (via rogrogrog)

Here I am writing an essay for the department I am applying in. Describe three meaningful instances in Internship. This has got to be one of them.

“Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-color boxes, but what you’re really looking for are the 64-color boxes with the sharpeners on the back. I fancy myself to be a 64-color box, though I’ve got a few missing. It’s ok though, because I’ve got some more vibrant colors like periwinkle at my disposal. I have a bit of a problem though in that I can only meet the 8-color boxes. Does anyone else have that problem? I mean there are so many different colors of life, of feeling, of articulation.. so when I meet someone who’s an 8-color type.. I’m like, “hey girl, magenta!” and she’s like, “oh, you mean purple!” and she goes off on her purple thing, and I’m like, “no - I want magenta!””
John Mayer
There are two types of waiting. There’s the the waiting you do for something you know is coming, sooner or later—like waiting for the 6:28 train, or the school bus, or a party where a certain handsome boy might be. And then there’s the waiting for something you don’t know is coming. You don’t even know what it is exactly, but you’re hoping for it. You’re imagining it and living your life for it. That’s the kind of waiting that makes a fist in your heart.
Life is a series of hellos and beautiful goodbyes. But most of the time, we are in between.
From a good friend

Blood, sweat, tears and stars

It feels a little weird, unusual and rather odd to wake up in the morning without having to calculate the number of minutes you would eat your breakfast. Without having to feel guilty that you slept for two hours in the afternoon after regurgitating all that information you studied in Anatomy. Without having to worry that there are only eights day before the board exams. Without having to feel anxious, excited and scare all at the same time. 

I am just thankful that it is all over.

No words can describe the whole process. Technically, I started studying since first year- from the day our cadavers were blessed in Anatomy back then. Second year was exams very week. Third week was OPD. Clerkship and internship was hospital work. I had a total of five years preparing up for an exam. 

The day before the exams, I was nervous like crazy. The excitement that the process was about to end was on one side. The fear of failure and not knowing the answer was on the other end.

Around 30-40% of what you will review will come out in the exam. The rest will come from the whole five years of medical school. My tip for the medical students out there:

1) Do you best in all the smallest things you will do- from studying for an exam or a preceptorial (this knowledge may come in handy in the near future) to extracting a blood from your patients. Know why you are extracting a blood gas. Try to interpret the results. Know why you are extracting CBC for the nth time. Interpret the results. Why are you doing it?

2) Be thankful for your patients, consultants, friends and family. They are your shining armor.

3) Remember that your future patients won’t ask you board rating. The boards is a test you have to pass.

4) Know the reason why you began travelling this yellow brick broken road called medicine. You will easily get swallowed by the system and fatigue. Disillusionment can overshadow you, but do not let it consume you. Hold on to reason. Hold on to why you became a doctor in the first place. Remind yourself that. It will be your source of ATP when you are broken and tired.

5) Medicine is 20% knowledge. The rest is sheer heart. 

6) Pray. Doctors can only do so much. The rest is all in God’s hands. 

With that, I congratulate our future physicians. Let’s set the world on fire. So help us God. 

Studying medicine is like riding a roller-coaster. The peaks and troughs carry you away- that sometimes, you forget why you rode it in the first place.
Note to self after taking the board exams

We have done our part. Time has come. Please Lord, be with us in this leap of faith. =)

Sunday morning when we braved the rather busy streets of Quiapo, as part of our usual tradition whenever we would venture into something life-changing, such as the exams I am about to take.

The street was as active as it could be- from the vendors to the devotees themselves. The place was almost a city in itself. It had its own life.

In contrast to the chaos outside, the inside was still filled with people. But this time, they were in unison. Praying, singing and wishing.

In the sea of people, a person struck me. There was another reviewee from the review center I attended. I felt less alone. I was not the only in that church standing on the edge of uncertainty and hope. 

May God bless us.

He took his pain and turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that’s what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you.
Hannah Harrington, Saving June (via buhaybabae)

(via countingsouls)

We can never learn and relearn everything. We will always feel unprepared. We will have some regrets. But we can say we did our best and we need to give ourselves due credit.
Note to self as I approach the last few days

The last few minutes

And so we are down to the last two minutes of the basketball game. Down to the last few minutes before we finally reach the culmination of our five-year preparation for the medical board examinations. 

We will be taking our examinations for the twelve different subjects, composed of the basic sciences (Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Legal Medicine, Physiology and Pathology) and clinicals (Surgery, OB, Pedia, Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Pharmacology).

We began our review, facing that formidable task of synthesizing and collating all the information that we have. I was very fortunate to be enrolled in a review school, which guided me in my review. The whole three months was rigorous, both mentally and physically. 

During the start of our review, I wanted to defer and take the February boards instead, since, I feared that there is not much time to cram all the twelve subjects. However, just like in any battle and most of the battles that I have fought, I am usually half-armed when I wage a war. There is no way but through. 


I was blessed to be able to listen to a talk by a doctor who passed the board exams just after his family was devastated by the Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte. He narrated how he had to deal with the uncertainty of the safety of his family in the midst the mental torture in his review. Yet, he made it. 

Eman Bautista is another success story. He is 65 years old when he took the Philippine Medical Board exams. He had struggles with finances and marital problems which deterred him from finishing the medical degree. I was amazed at how the brain of a 65 year old man can memorize tons of information for an examination like that. He spoke to us wearing his barong, and his stories of pain, laughter and hope. He even drew the heart of a patient with Tetralogy of Fallot.


I pray for all the medical students taking the board exams this August 23rd. May God bless us all. 

If I just breathe, let it fill the space between.
Michelle Branch
This is my goal after the board exams. 

This is my goal after the board exams. 

It’s the feast day of my favorite saint. Please help me in my board exams. =)

It’s the feast day of my favorite saint. Please help me in my board exams. =)

The facial nerve has a very complicated course. I can do this, nevertheless. 

The facial nerve has a very complicated course. I can do this, nevertheless.