I received a text message from Kinkin asking if she could call me. I readily replied that she could call me anytime!
The next minutes were hard for me …….. She called because she wanted me to know that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had a left breast mastectomy. I had a hard time breathing while listening to her talk about her health. I did not know what to say — I was afraid I would say the wrong thing! Kinkin was calmer than me, though……… she went on to say that she also called to ask me about what benefits could she get from her SSS coverage. At that moment, I forgot everything that I knew about SSS benefits…. I had to go ask Euca about it. I know Kinkin is a strong and brave lady, but, I also know that I do not want her to go through chemotherapy, pain, loss of weight, discomfort…. all I can do is pray that the Lord may stop the bad cells from multiplying.
This call brings me back to memories of my cousin/best friend/confidante/ “twin sister” (this was how we called each other). Edna was a day older than me . …… we became close when I lived in their home where my tio Ben and tia Luz treated me like another daughter. Edna and I went to college together, until I left for abroad. I used to sleep on her bed , we would chat and confide with each other. She went on to get married, have a family as I also went on my way with my own family. We never lost touch. When we were on our early 40’s , I was devastated when I received the news that Edna had leukemia. I couldn’t believe that the energetic, dynamic and indefatigable Edna was sick with cancer! When she passed away and was brought from the US to Cebu, where she is buried, I could not bring myself to go to her funeral. I just did not want to see her inside a coffin and I could never ever say goodbye to her !!
Edna’s very good friend (and mine,too) Helen came next as the victim of this deadly disease. Helen was our classmate in college and was Edna’s officemate when they started working in the corporate world. Helen is one admirable person who has undergone double mastectomy and has come out triumphant in her fight with a destructive disease! She licked the cruel enemy !!
Another victorious warrior is my childhood friend, Mila. We grew up together in a compound set up for employees of a company where my father was the labor relations officer and Mila’s dad was the company doctor. We went to the weekly free movies together, played bowling together, attended the same children’s party up until we were attending the same adult parties . We even ended up working in the same corporation! Our daughters became classmates in grade school …… we always kept in touch even as we have moved to Zamboanga. Just like Edna, Mila was diagnosed with cancer when she was in her early 40’s. Like a strong woman that she is , she has undergone surgeries, chemotherapy, weight loss ………. name it, she has gone through it. All these never dampened Mila’s spirit, she was and is the Mila we all knew these years …….. forever smiling , did not stop going to her church activities , goes to parties (even attended my last birthday party)…… she is , as always, the strong, happy Mila of my childhood !
All these made me stop and think about how cancer is so near home, so near me! I would want to do something about bringing the message of awareness to my family and friends. I promised myself that I will research on cancer detection, prevention (if ever there is) and awareness . I will then give these informations out to everyone I know. Saving even one life is worth all the efforts I will give to this information drive.
Below is a short video about cancer , that I would want to share with you.