It was October 2011 when I found out that I had the Big C. I was diagnosed with the rarest form of cancer – the cancer of the bone.
It was a very devastating event in my life. The doctor told me I had five years left to live. I was only 23 then, too young to have this kind of disease.
I had so many questions in my mind. But mostly I asked myself, “Why me?”
Year One with Cancer: In Denial
The first year was really a struggle. I spent tremendous time researching on alternative medicine and faith healing. But in the end, I followed what my doctors told me to do: to have radiotherapy and rehabilitation therapy.
Perhaps you’re wondering why I would undergo rehab therapy. You see, I could not walk for almost a month. I needed rehab therapy so I could walk again and also cure my scoliosis.
I was very depressed. What was worse, I was the only one who knew about it.
Life continued for my family. My husband had his work as an engineer, my parents bickered about the small things, and my two sons…well, they grew up so fast that I couldn’t even hug them because of my cancer.
Still, I didn’t want things to be rocky for my family at the time. I didn’t want them to think that I was making it up.
This was taken at my father-In-law’s birthday celebration. Nobody knew that I had chemoradiation therapy before the party.
Year Two with Cancer: Finding Purpose
Second year came and I was ready to tell my family that I had cancer.
The very first person I talked to was my husband – and that was by accident. We were fighting about something when I squealed it out.
After two to three days, I told my parents and eventually my sons. The hardest part was telling my boys that I was not going to live long. I never lied to them, so I told them about how the disease was affecting me. Sometimes my youngest son would even accompany me to my therapy sessions.
By this time, I had come to the realization that life was precious and God could easily take it away from us. That was why I started my yearly hunger-relief project to treat the kids in my community during my birthday, to let them eat at least one full meal.
Every year I celebrate my birthday by feeding the kids in my community.
Year Three with Cancer: Getting Worse
Third year came and I was really happy during this time because I was cancer-free for almost a year.
However, that happiness did not last long because I started to bleed whenever I got stressed out. So I went to my OB-GYN to have myself checked.
It turned out that I had acquired another disease. This time it hit my cervix.
My cervix had a lot of little cysts or tumors. The doctor needed to take them out to check if they were cancerous. And then, it seemed like in just one snap, I had cervical cancer.
I was not scared that time because I knew I would have it someday. I was a teenage mom who gave birth at a very young age of 15. I knew it was because of that.
My doctors then explained to me that my bone cancer may actually have been secondary bone cancer, which is cancer that has spread into the bone from another part of the body – and in my case, my cervix.
Continue reading as the author looks ahead at last two years of her life with cancer…
Year Four with Cancer: Living Life to the Fullest
The fourth year has come and I am getting weaker everyday. It is not so evident physically, however, because I have gained weight due to the steroids and other meds that I have been taking.
Now, I am just praying that I can surpass this year and the next year. I am willing to do anything just to have my life back.
I am very afraid for my sons. I don’t want them to feel that I would leave them just like that. That’s why I see to it that I communicate with them. I don’t even feel guilty about spoiling them.
I also spoil myself and eat anything I want. Doctor’s orders, actually – but, of course, I am to eat in moderation. He told me that we may never know when God will take us, so I should take this time to live my life like it was my last day.
I may have many regrets in my life, but I am still thankful in all the things that came into my life whether it was good or bad. Maybe if I didn’t have cancer, then I would still be working very late and forgetting to bond with my kids and family. Maybe this is God’s way of saying that my family is more important than anything.
Being a stay-at-home mom, I am very happy with what I am doing now. I am so proud of what I have conquered despite my age and despite what people may say about me. Only God can judge me.
Our last family photo before I was diagnosed with cancer.
Year Five with Cancer: Wishes for My Last Year of Life
In my last year, I want to travel abroad or just go out of town, if our budget and my husband’s time permits. I want to stay with them for at least a week (I would even settle for just three days), be happy and talk to them about beautiful things.
Most of all, I want my family to continue my legacy of feeding children during my special day. I have a lot of things running through my mind now, but I am not scared to face death. I know God will not let me suffer for a long time.
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