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Published: 2017-10-18   

Coping with Breast Cancer: Picking Up the Lessons

“Because even if the disease seems to be winning, there is a takeaway in all these---love.”

“Because even if the disease seems to be winning, there is a takeaway in all these---love.”

By: Souqpinoy Staff

How does one even begin to write about cancer? Oh, you know cancer, that type of word sends families crying together, asking God questions, or even leads one into introspecting overload. And yet for this month of October, one topic glaring with its head pinning you down is Breast Cancer. One can only hope that to write about it raises awareness at the very least. It should disturb, it should annoy, and it should make one move, create action. Action that is leaning towards prevention. Awareness and prevention. These two sounds good together, tag team.

At souqpinoy, we would like to honor the families who fought together to get over cancer. Yes, you will need family, you will need support group, because even if the disease seems to be winning, there is a takeaway in all these—love. This is what I saw from the two people I interviewed. 

Tita Daisy is a graduate of Medical Technology and works as a Laboratory Technician and Phlebotomist(1) in one of the hospitals here in Dubai. She’s also a mom to a 23 y/o son. The first time she noticed there was something unusual in her body she brushed it aside. Tayo’ng mga Pilipino yata talaga ay kilala when it comes to shrugging off body pains. It took the persistence and insistence of her friends para magpatingin siya finally. She underwent a Mammogram and an Ultrasound and without telling her the result, the doctor immediately referred her to a Breast Clinic. She met with the surgeon there at agad rin siyang pinag-undergo ng series of tests pero hindi pa rin sinasabi sa kanya noon kung bakit madaming tests ang kailangan. When all the test results were in, she was asked back into the clinic. At doon nga kinumpirma sa kanya ang kanilang initial diagnosis — Stage III Breast Cancer. Her surgeon was very kind in choosing his words; pero alam na ni Tita Daisy ang resulta noon pa lang nakita niya ang Mammogram results niya. 

She listened intently to her doctors and how they should proceed with the treatment. Looking back at it all, her medication helped her but she gives more credit to her support group. Hindi siya pinabayaan ng kanyang pamilya, mga kamag-anak, at maski ng mga colleagues at workmates niya. Naniniwala rin siyang malaking bagay ang will ng isang tao para mabuhay. Magtiwala na ikaw ay gagaling at manalig sa Maykapal. Isuko ang buhay kung kinakailangan and make peace with your Creator. Tita Daisy is now a happy survivor who is always willing to share her story I hopes that it will inspire others to gather the will to survive. She furthers, there is no one sure path, every case is different. Makinig sa doctor at gawin ang mga ipinapayo nila. Unawain ring iba ang pagtanggap ng katawan mo sa treatment kaysa sa iba kaya do not be disheartened kung feeling mong parang hindi bumubuti ang pakiramdam mo.

Alma is an OFW working in one of the big malls in Dubai. She recalls the time that her mom noticed a lump in the breast towards the armpit area. Nagsabi raw agad si Nanay niya kaya nasamahan ni ate niya sa hospital. The doctors told them it was Stage 2 Aggressive Cell – yun daw yung tawag sa Breast Cancer na mayroon ang Nanay niya. Sinabihan din sila na kailangan maoperahan agad para maalis ang lump. They heeded and her Nanay stayed for 3 more days in the hospital after the operation for observation. After that, the doctors waited for 2 more months bago pa binigay ang Chemotheraphy. Naaalala niyang matiyagang lumuluwas pa-Maynila, dahil galing pa sila ng Bulacan, at pumipila ang ate at nanay niya sa Philippine General Hospital (PGH) para sa cycle ng Chemo. Ipinagpapasalamat nilang naagapan at nalaman agad nila ang dinadala ng nanay nila. Malaking bagay na agad naoperahan kaya’t naiwasan na maapektuhan pa raw ang ibang bahagi ng katawan. Naaalala niyang tulong-tulong silang magkakapatid sa pagsuporta, panalangin at pagmamahal sa kanilang mahal na nanay. Iyon din ang mga panahong nakita niyang mas naging madasalin pa’ng lalo ang kanyang nanay, tunay ngang mas makikilala mo ang pagmamahal ng Panginoon sayo sa mga ganoong pagkakataon. Nakaligtas sa cancer ang nanay nila; ngunit malaki ang inihina ng katawan kung ikukumpara sa dati, marami na ring mga gawaing hindi na nagagawa ng kanyang ina para na rin mapag-ingatan ang braso na naapektuhan ng operasyon. But nevertheless, having their mom beside them for more years and their family being more bonded are the best results one could hope for after battling with the disease. Hanggang ngayon ay masaya nilang kasama ang nanay nila at ginugugol ang mga oras sa mga apo.

Some of us may not be so blessed to still have their loved ones next to them because of cancer. I had a good friend taken away from me; she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer but her other organs gave way first even before she succumbed to cancer. If there is one lesson I would credit my friend for is for the people around them not to hold back; yakapin na ang mahal sa buhay, sabihan na mahal mo sila, iparamdam na mahal mo sila. I visited her and spent one afternoon with her during one of my vacation days on a cold November. I told her I will be back for a vacation again by February and I will visit her again; but she already came home to heaven December of that same year. 

So yes, in all of these, hanapin natin ang tinuturong leksyon. Mas maging sensitive sa mga nararamdaman ng katawan, maaring mas maging mapag-ingat sa mga kinakain sa araw-araw para mas may depensa ang katawan sa sakit. Maari ring mas gugulin ang oras sa tabi ng mahal sa buhay o mas maglaan ng oras para sa sarili. Pwede ring maging mas mapaghikayat sa mga mahal sa buhay upang magpatingin at alagaan ang kanilang pangangatawan. Maging mga instrument nawa tayo ng awareness towards Breast Cancer.

References:

(1) Phlebotomist – people trained to draw blood from a patient [mostly from veins] for clinical or medical testing, transfusions, donations, or research. (via Wikipedia)

Photo Credits: as on the photo

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