Teacher Wanderer: My First Chemo: Finding Blessing amidst Suffering

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

My First Chemo: Finding Blessing amidst Suffering

(Day 83 of the unknown, Day 3 of not being able to talk so I am writing instead.)

What is pain?

From a poetic standpoint, pain is the absence of bliss. From my seven-year-old self, it was scraping my knee on the rock.


As of now, pain is a battered cancer-stricken body, faltering faith, old and fresh scars, and deteriorating strength. It is not the absence of hope but just a tired fighting soul. It is listening to my husband sobbing uncontrollably while hugging me tightly telling me that he loves me and my inability to say back, “I love you, too.” because I could not even open my mouth.  
My first chemo was not totally what I expected. It hit me. And it hit me hard. The warnings were given but there’s always these assurances that I might not experience them all. Unfortunately, the side effects came one by one. There’s the nausea, wild rash on my back, nose bleeding at the middle of the night, blisters, bruises, mouth sores (that totally debilitated my ability to eat, to speak, and even to drink), and the worst bone pain I have ever had.

I take pride for having the ability to manage my mental and emotional state no matter how dire the situation is. This time, I broke down. I realized that when your body is down physically, the ability to fight also leaves you. But then, I think of the people who care about me. The hundreds of messages I keep on getting from different parts of the world, the food, the flowers, and thoughtful gifts from the neighbors, friends and family. 

A day after my chemo, the bone pain started and I have no words to describe it. My best friend, Chelle, who currently lives in Italy had flowers delivered in our house. Things like this reminds me that’s God’s one way of telling me I have reasons to fight. I don’t want to see my husband crying and hearing him question God, why does it need to be me or why is the process so painful?
My best friend, Chelle, had this flowers and bear delivered in our house a day after my chemo. Thank you so much, Chelle!

It is easy to question God’s reasons for putting me in suffering like this. But, how could I question Him when I am blessed in so many other ways? I have a husband who loves me beyond words. We only live once and I am one of those few people who know real love and know how it feels to be taken cared of selflessly. I am blessed with family and friends who give me strength. My body might be weakened and my faith for a moment but I know I would stand up, stronger than ever. The road is dark but I have people fighting WITH me and keeping the light.

Sometimes, I still can't believe I got so blessed having David's family in my life. They have shown me nothing but love and support. David's niece, Liz, drove all the way to our house to bring all these stuff for me.

When pain consumes me, I remind myself with this quote I grew up with, “There are many things in life, many things we don’t understand, God doesn’t always tells us what are His plans, but in His time and in His will, He clearly lets us know, He only wants the best for us because He loves us so.”

To Port City Church, thank you all so much for reaching out to us and making us feel that we are not alone in this battle.

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