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Saturday, February 13, 2021

To All the People Who Are Making a Difference with My Cancer Battle; Thank You!


“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference.”


To put into words the pain and suffering that one goes through while fighting cancer would be a futile attempt of defining an inner affliction beyond explanation. Since my diagnosis, my husband would always tell me, “I don’t understand why this happened to you. You don’t deserve this.” But, who does?


My faltering faith was not without basis. Ten days after my first surgery, I had to be rushed by the ambulance to the hospital for an emergency surgery because of ruptured blood vessels. I also found out that the cancer cells were present in two tumors and lymph nodes. On top of that, I am HER2- positive which means I need a more aggressive and long-term treatment. The overall survival rate for this aggressive form of breast cancer is poorer than others.

I wouldn’t lie. I was so down and in extreme pain after my second surgery that I started withdrawing from everyone. When I refused to eat and couldn’t say anything without crying, David, with tears in his eyes told me, “We’re going to make it together. I will be with you but I need you to be strong and fight.”

I know that the road to healing is still long and arduous. The battle has no promise to be won and yet I couldn’t be more grateful to hundreds of people who reached out, sent love and prayers, and cheered me up with flowers, chocolates, and other special gifts.

“Kindness is loaning someone your strength instead of reminding them of their weakness.”

To my husband...
Six years ago, we were newly wed with no inclination of the horrible thing that was looming to come. You held my hands, took care of me in every possible way, and did everything to make things bearable. You constantly reminded me that you would gladly take away my pain if you could.

To my family especially my sisters…
Distance proved to be nothing when it comes to showing love and care. After all, “Being a family means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.” For the calls, for the reminders that you’re all with me in this battle, for cheering me up when I was so down, thank you. I have sisters so I’m blessed with best friends for life. Shayne and Charlie, Gelay, Trish, M.A., Sissy and Joan, thanks for always sending messages.

To David’s family…
The love and care you have shown me is beyond explanation. Thank you for reminding me that, “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”

When we got home after the surgery, I was just telling my husband about getting eight injections for the sentinel biopsy around my left breast. Some of them were extremely painful because I felt them pierced through my cysts. Then there was a surprised flower delivery from Samantha, David’s daughter. I cried because when you were in so much pain, the good times seemed almost effervescent and dreamlike until you were reminded that you’re not alone in the battle.

Thank you for the cards, the thoughtful gifts, the love and prayers, and the beautiful messages. Alex, thank you for the visit and sending me messages to remind me that you love me and you’re praying for me. Renee and Amber, I couldn’t be more blessed to have sisters-in-law like the both of you. You accepted me without questions and loved me without reservations.

To Heather and Randy…
“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.”

Genuine friends are hard to find and David and I couldn’t be more blessed to have the two of you. Thank you for driving all the way to our house just to bring us food. Thank you for the flowers and the very thoughtful gifts. We can’t wait to celebrate complete healing for the three of us!

To Jess and KC…
I am with my husband because you two made it happen. And even after everything you have done for us, you're still there making us feel your love and care. Thank you so much!

To My Friends and Former Co-Teachers in Jakarta…
David and I got married in Jakarta so the place will always be special. But, the place is also memorable because of the people who became parts of our lives. To my Batangas friends, ESIS friends, Dr. Chitra Soetoyo (the owner of the school where I first taught in Jakarta), who sends me messages full of positivities and prayers, thank you so much! Sir JB, thank you for always being there. Mare Myrna, Pare Chris and Aurelle, Cher Marina, Cher Kat, Boss Jun, Beb Weng, Cher Tess, Mitos and Perry, Ms. Rain and family, Ms. Dina, Ms. Mary, Ms. Kate, Cher Ana and Sir Kiko, and others thank you for checking on me always! To everyone who sent us messages, thank you so much! Our faith is stronger because of the prayers of people like you.

To Our Neighbors…
Thank you for the amazing food, for the special gifts, for the cards, and for plowing our yard. We are sincerely grateful for all your kindness.

To My Medical Health Team…
“You are the most positive person I’ve ever met.” That’s what my Physical Therapist told me in one of my visits. I am blessed to be given people who truly care. They gave me so much hope that I would be fine. When I’m confused on what to do, I have a nurse navigator whom I can call anytime. She takes care of my schedule with my two surgeons, Oncologist, and other health providers. My two surgeons are the best. They’ve been really kind, compassionate and professional.

To My Former Co-Workers/ Co-Teachers,
To all my former co-workers/ co-teachers at Naga Parochial School, Sto. Nino Formation and Science School, El Shaddai International School, Bina Bangsa School, and Creative Child Place, thank you all so much for the love and prayers. I have no words to express how grateful I am for all your kind and encouraging words.

To My Former Students…
My first purchase using my first salary was not a luxury gift for me. It’s for teaching materials/ visual aids. That was not the last time I used my own salary to buy teaching materials, rewards for my students, training materials, and even meals for the students during competitions. I have no regrets. Getting hundreds of messages from my former students who are already lawyers, nurses, pilots, accountants, business owners, engineers, doctors and others reminded me that all those sacrifices were not in vain. Teaching is not just a vocation but a blessing. Thank you all so much for remembering me many years after I became part of your lives.

To the Parents of My Former Students…
Thank you so much to the parents of my former students who remember me not just as their child’s teacher but also treat me as their friends. I am so humbled by your kindness and constant shower of support and prayers. Thank you for checking on me all the time.

To My Elementary, High School and College Batchmates and Teachers…
Thank you for reaching out, for sending love and prayers, and for showering me with positive messages.

To Port City Church…
Thank you for the prayers, the kind thoughts, and encouraging words. Jammie, I am still in awe with what you did for me. The day that you came to our house with those very thoughtful gifts was a very dark time for me. I was in a lot of pain but you reminded me that, “strength is shared hope from friends and strangers.” To the Cancer Group of Port City Church, thank you so much for following up on us and reminding us you’re there if we need anything. To the church leaders and members, thank you for reaching out through gifts, cards, prayers and warm messages.

To My Filipino-American Friends…
Thank you so much for calling me, bringing foods and gifts, sending positive messages, and for simply checking on me. Kat and family, Ate Evie and Kuya J, Ate Inday, thank you all so much! Faye, thank you for sending me regular messages just to check on me and for lifting my spirit whenever I feel down.

To the rest of Our Dear Friends and Family…
Thank you so much for the thoughtful gifts, the cards, the food, the calls, the prayers, and all the messages.

To everyone…
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. After my two surgeries, I’ve been in and out of different Health Care Facilities undergoing tests and procedures. I just had the third surgery yesterday (Feb 15) for my Lifeport Placement. It’s been hard. REALLY hard. On top of that, I will have one year of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. My Oncologist told me, “It will be a rough one year.” My treatment will be so intense that I am 100% sure to lose my hair. At times I feel downtrodden. But, I have an army of people all around the world praying for me. I have loving family and friends who constantly remind me why I have to fight. Thank you all so much. If I do emerge victorious, that’s all because of you. You shared your strength with me when I needed it the most.

To Beb, this might be the most painful and the worst battle of my life, but, I’m so blessed to fight it with you.

Thank You, everyone!

Thank you Sam for bringing our lunch on my first day of chemo on your day off
and ordering my first wigs! 

Thank you Sam, Zach and Olive!

Thank you Renee, Paul, Maddie and Liz!

Thank you Renee, Paul, Maddie and Liz!

Thank you Renee, Paul, Maddie and Liz!

Thank you Renee, Paul, Maddie and Liz!

Thank you Kat and family!

Thank you Heather and Randy!

Thank you Heather and Randy!

Thank you Heather and Randy!

Thank you Heather and Randy!

Thank you Aunt Sherry, Uncle Bill and family!

Thank you Aunt Sherry, Uncle Bill and family!

Thank you Kay and Karen!

Thank you Amber and Lyndon!

Thank you Amber and Lyndon!


Thank you Tiffiany and Kids!

Thank you Tiffiany and Kids!

Thank you Hannah for the very special personalized gift!

Thank you Hannah for the very special personalized gift! 
(The quote was taken from my first blog entry about my cancer battle.)

Thank you Jenny and family for the very special personalized blanket!

Thank you Jenny and family!

Thank you Tiffiany and kids!

Thank you Jammie, Debbie M, Barbara H, and Sheila O!

Thank you Jammie, Debbie M, Barbara H, and Sheila O!

Thank you Jammie, Debbie M, Barbara H, and Sheila O!

Thank you Jammie, Debbie M, Barbara H, and Sheila O!

Thank you Mercy Health Muskegon!

Thank you Pat!


Thank you Ate Evie and Kuya J!

Thank you Ate Evie and Kuya J!

Thank you Tom and Pat!

Thank you Mercy Health Comprehensive Breast Center!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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This is a fraction of who am I. The ‘I’ is often ignored because ever since I could remember ‘we’ and ‘they’ hold more responsibilities since they denote more number of people involved.

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