Friday, 9 June 2017

The Beginning: Little Thing Called Miracle


- Louis Zamperini (Taken from Miracles by Coldplay)

Do you believe in miracle? Do you still keep your hope up when suddenly everything stops, like when one day life tells you that you're having a cancer? I do. I believe in God. What could possibly keep you going through the battle, if not the desperate of hope in a little thing called miracle?

My miracle :)

2.5 years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. I was in the middle of my most productive age when the doctor told me that I am having a blood cancer, only two days after I handed my dissertation for my postgraduate degree. I was alone, lying down in a hospital ward full of strange people in a strange country, where my family were (literally) thousands miles away. Up until know, I don't know how I got the strength a second after the doctor finish her first sentence "Laras, I'm sorry to tell you that you are having a blood cancer". I didn't cry. I didn't shock. I didn't blame anyone or anything, and I refuse to take a responsibility of it. No one deserve cancer. I just sat still and my mind told myself right away that "Don't be afraid, if God say so, anyone can die anytime, with or without cancer".

2.5 years after that, I still have the same strength and hope. My life might changes dramatically, I could no longer have the job I wanted or ambitiously travel the world on my own anymore, I might never had a chance to get a scholarship abroad and winning the best dissertation award again, I was snooze on my most productive age. But that doesn't stop me to believe in God. I still hang in there, alive, just because I still have the mission: I want to be the living proof that God's miracle is exist.

Alhamdulillah, my treatments went well, all the routine scan showed that my body is now cancer-free, doctor finally told me that I got my remission. I couldn't thank God more. Until one day, just after I had my last scan, I feel something different with my body. My period was late. Well, it's not something very peculiar considering that two months before my period cycle also not in place, not to mention that chemotherapy itself had stop my period for months. But now I feel the urge to pay a visit to the doctor again. I thought, "what else now".......

....surprisingly, the USG scan showed that I am pregnant.

My husband and I were shocked. We didn't see it coming. We've been married for 3.5 years, 1 year apart and 2.5 years struggling with cancer and (still) long-distance-marriage, we never expected this. We've been trying effortlessly, and we barely know anything about "Trying-To-Conceive Program". Being pregnant. For some people, it might just an ordinary event. For another, it's probably a miracle, something that they longing for a very long time. For us? It is more than miracle. If you understand how the battle (just to be alive) of it, you might understand how the feeling really was.  It was unbelievable and we couldn't thanking God enough for this.

Now, I am 7 months pregnant. It took me a long time to write and post this because at first I don't have the courage to share the stories. On the one side I still terrified (in a good way), I don't know where will this be going, but on the other side I simply want to inspire people out there who's looking for hope.

Can't wait to see you!

A wise man once said,
Hope... Sometimes that's all you have when you have nothing else. If you have it, you have everything.

I know, it's still a looong way to go.. I still don't know where it will be going, I could only hope for the best. But once again, God has prove me that He works in a very unique way.

Never stop believing in yourself. Most importantly, never ever stop believing in God.

You know what? It might sounds cliche, but I think it sounds cliche because it's true:
God's miracle do exist :)

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Letter from Newcastle

Dear my husband,

How are you? I hope you are fine... 1 year we've been through this long-distance-relationship. I know you're doing great in our homecountry, like I do here. Newcastle treat me well. I hate to confess this, but I already feel that this city is my 2nd home. Surprising, isn't it? Who knows, this city was something strange to me, never heard of Newcastle before. When people talked about United Kingdom, they always mention London, or Manchester, or Birmingham, or Liverpool. Nobody ever talked about Newcastle upon Tyne. But here I am now, already in love with the city, for so many reasons. Thank God for letting me call this place my 2nd home for the past 12 months :)

I'm writing to you to say thank you, from the deepest place in my heart. Thank you. Thank you for believe in me and letting me go to pursue my dream. Yes, studying abroad was my dream, travel the world was my dream since the time I couldn't remember. For some people it's not a dream, because they can easily ask their parents to do so, to fund them to studying abroad, or to travel the world. But my parents is different, they give me more than just money: they've been teaching me a life lesson. That you must work hard and dream high without being such a spoiled brat. Since highschool, I swore that someday I will study master abroad without my parents money. I did it. I got the scholarship. Some people said that I was lucky. They are wrong. I'm not only lucky, it was also the result of hardwork. Endless hardwork. You knew it and you keep supporting me from the very beginning.

Hardwork, tears, sweat, and the most important thing: sacrifice. By pursuing this dream, I have to let go another dream. I have to leave my work, my own studio that I've built from zero. You know it's not easy, as I rise and fall many times in the process. Then I also have to leave the chance to continue my dream job, a career as a TV travel presenter. Gosh, how good it is to be paid for traveling, eating and being present in television, right? :) But life is not always about chances, it is also about choices. and... the hardest thing, I have to leave you.

But you are such a gentleman. You know what compromise is, and you understand what the commitment in relationship really is. Did you? Well, cut the crap. I know you hate to let me go, you hate it more than  anything else in the world. But I know, when the time came, you finally let me go only for one reason: because you simply love me. You just love me so much that you let me become who I am, who I want to be. I know I will never be able to be grateful enough for this. When other men probably breaking up with their couple because of things like this, you stood up and ask me to marry you before I leave. That is you. My gentleman, my amazing husband.

But people never really understand, aren't they? Friends, family, foes, I don't know what they are talking behind our back. Maybe something like - how come I leave just when we got married, how come you let your wife go faraway for a long time, and stuffs. Well, I don't care about what they say, really. Your sincerity to 'release' me was the only thing that matter. You understand how bad I want this in my life and how did I struggle to get this one-time-in-a-life chance.

So yes, I am very thankful, very grateful to have you as my husband. Thank you for believe in me. You know I will not dissapoint you in any way. Look now. I beat the world, I got an award from Newcastle University for the best dissertation!!! Can you believe it?? I can't. It's like a dream, hehehe. It's just one amongst other things that I will prove to you, that I will become a better person when I get back home, and I hope many more virtues to come. Because of you, because of the trust that you have given to me,  I could learned so many precious things here. About friendship, about knowledge, about reading a map (and you know I do this better than everyone else, my skill keep growing ;)), about being independent, about 'no guts no glory', about life... Can't mention it one by one, too many valuable things.

And I am glad because you always 'here' with me. Together we will continue travel the world, won't we? Even when together doesn't always mean go side by side, but I know we will always be together, no matter what.

Once again, thank you.

Now I have to start packing my things and fly to my home sweet home: to you.
See you soon?

Yours always.

View from my 2nd home
My home sweet home: you :)

Millenium Bridge at night picture by Meilani M.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Norway Food Fiesta

What we eat while we were in Norway; not always Norwegian food, but trust me it is all good!! Even the vietnam food, surprisingly good. So stuffed!!! Yummm..

Waffle with sour cream, strawberry & blueberry jam, nutella and brown cheese 

Vegetarian food ala Vietnam

Homemade choux - vannbakrls med vanilla krem

 Breiflab fish

 Homemade blue shell soup

 Homemade kveite fish - hallibut with butter sauce

 Homemade blueberry tart with fresh cream

 Soft ice ala Norway

 Pizza med pepperoni

 Traditional Norwegian food kjottkake -
meat ball with brown sauce and boiled potatoes

Homemade nosk laks med romme oge potet - 
norwegian salmon with sour cream and potatoes

Frokost ala Norge - smoked salmon

I am so glad that I was staying with my adorable aunty while in Norway. She is such an amazing cooker (she got a degree for that oh yes), and she knows where to hunt for a weird but delicious food!