“…anything could happen to anyone at the least expected time, place and circumstance.”
I have to be honest. I am not that comfortable telling my life story. This is why I chose to hide my identity. I am struggling with a condition not common to people my age.
Everything happened very fast and very recently. In fact, it hasn’t been a year yet since I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. But I know deep within I must share this to inform the world that anything could happen to anyone at the least expected time, place and circumstance.
I am a 24-year-old woman who works as an industrial engineer in Taguig, Philippines. I am young and I have all the plans and dreams laid and planned out for myself. I made sure that every single step I took would lead me to the fulfillment of my dreams. I took care of myself, never partied much, and tried my best to be healthy as possible. I even minimized the stressful nature of my work by keeping my spirits up. I’d go home whenever I could to be with my family in Antipolo, Rizal and at the same time refresh myself with the toxicity of the metro. Basically, if I compare my life and lifestyle with others, I pretty much did a good job because I didn’t tire myself with trivial matters.
So what else could go wrong then? I also asked myself that same question.
One day, I just suddenly felt a little lump in my breast. It wasn’t that big or painful for me to worry about. Then it got bigger by the day. Still, I wasn’t alarmed. “I am definitely healthy and young and most importantly, I have never abused my body with substance or anything detrimental to my health”, I told myself.
I went to a hospital in Antipolo and my doctor suggested that a minor surgery would be done on me. The tumor on my breast would be removed and examined to know if it was malignant or benign. It did not give me any hint of panic at all since I was perfectly feeling fine and I was already anticipating that my result would be benign.
A few weeks later, I went back to the hospital to get the results. The doctor was not in her usual happy disposition. She handed over the result and told me that the tumor in my breast is malignant. Then she carefully composed her words in the best way I would understand, “YOU HAVE CANCER!”.
Before the news could sink in, she began to detail the medical procedures that I need to take thereafter. Things happened so fast that I never had the chance to wallow on the hurtful pain of the truth.
I went home that week and told my parents everything. They were devastated. The news broke them as much as it broke me but there was nowhere else to go and there was nothing else we could do. I need to accept my life and the hurtful changes it has to take. A few weeks later, I decided to go back to Taguig to inform my company and discussed my indefinite hiatus. It was hard for me. It was hard leaving the life I had and the dreams I was beginning to fulfill.
That night, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t accept the truth of the matter that was transpiring. “I HAVE CANCER?” “I HAVE CANCER!” The thought kept coming to my head. I was restless and didn’t know what to feel or think. In the following days, I occupied myself with domestic work to deviate from impending pessimism and melancholy. Until, I finally decided to pack my things. I must go home.
I couldn’t take what was going on in my life. I finally went home. This time, I didn’t know when I would be back to my work (or if I would ever be back). I need my family! The good or the bad, happy or sad, they are the only ones I could turn to for unconditional love and support. They are God’s blessings to help me through life.
Together, my family and I started our journey to find physical healing. We come to our knees along with our friends and relatives to lead us with every step to take. Divine Providence has intervened on our behalf. No, I did not immediately and miraculously get healed. But every single day I am led to the people who make my medications and treatments available and free. I am also able to meet new people and have the chance to train new sets of skills to end me with another career while I am on my treatments.
I couldn’t detail more all the wonderful things that have happened. What I could only tell is that anything could happen to anyone, any time. And every sunrise is a miracle we all must savor.
-A Happy Survivor