Friday, September 17, 2021

Life, Interrupted (Battling Cancer amidst Pandemic)

 To find meaning amidst pain and suffering has always been my goal ever since we heard about my cancer diagnosis.  Six months flew by so fast and I failed miserably to write another blog article.

At times, I blamed it on my lack of motivation but the truth is the macabre tapestry of the inexplicable side effects of chemotherapy and radiation hampered my desire to be the source of inspiration to the people who are going through the same situation.

Last year, I was determined to start my own business. Then, the pandemic happened and before the year ended, I was diagnosed with cancer. 

It was a whirlwind of events after that. When I first heard after my surgery that I needed to have chemotherapy, I cried. The tears were shed full of questions as to why. The lamentations were so strong that my faith crumbled. I would not sugar coat the suffering I had to romanticize finding meaning amidst suffering. 

When my hair started falling on my first chemo, I was too sick to care. My mouth was full of blisters that I could not even speak. I had to text my husband whatever I had to say. Then, I would wake up in the middle of the night with a bleeding nose. At times, it would happen while I was taking a shower and the water would turn red. The next week after the chemo infusion, I would start having stomach upset. Six to ten times a day going back and forth to the bathroom each of them feels like your whole inside is being expunged. Sometimes, it feels like you have an open wound and it’s being rubbed with something sharp. Then the pounding bone pain. Every bone in my body, big and small, was so much in pain that doing anything was a struggle. 

When I started swelling, I had people telling me that I looked good. The thing about going through chemo, you have a lot of steroids in your body. They infuse steroids before the chemo meds and anything I complain about like pain, I immediately get steroid medication.  So, gaining water weight was not surprising. What the others perceived as me looking healthy was actually something that could be a sign of heart failure so I had to undergo tests to find out. In reality, I was not looking good. 

While celebration was in order after I completed the six intense chemotherapy sessions, I mentally prepared myself for 30 Radiation treatment. I knew that my body would be going through a lot during the process. But, I didn’t expect that when I was on my last leg of completing the treatment and my skin was burnt and full of blisters, I would be dealing with an emotional trauma seeing my mother fighting with Covid. But, I finished all the 30 treatments and my mother survived Covid. 

In every story, we are always looking forward to reading the resolution because we want  a happy ending. While my story is still in the process of finding the resolution, I have survived the worst and the protagonists in my story are far too many to succumb to the pain and suffering. 

I still need another surgery and my chemo is until January next year. Having survived everything, I knew that my life might have been interrupted, but I am lucky to be alive and get a chance to fight. I am still working on my own business, the iPrint Sign Solutions and creating educational products, and while the road might be murky at times, I find solace knowing that I am fighting a good fight. 

I would always be grateful to David’s sister, Renee, for her patience, and for all her sacrifices to help us. She and her whole family had been there to make everything easier to bear.

To my husband, Beb, thank you for everything. This might be the hardest battle we’ve ever fought but I couldn’t ask for a better person to be with than you. Thank you for taking care of me and for making sure that I have everything I need. There is no suffering too great to bear if you’re with the right person.

“It is a privilege for us to look at circumstances and discern God’s involvement in them. To recognize them as more than mere happenstance but rather God’s own detailed design and plan. To see that He is allowing us to cooperate with Him in bringing life from death, growth from loss, testimony from tragedy.”


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