October 19, 2011

"Our memories; Well, they can be inviting. But some are altogether mighty frightening " ... -Gwen Stefani (No Doubt)

As promised, i am going to share with you, my reading audience, the speech i delivered tonight in our Toastmaster's meeting. For those of you who do not know, but are interested to know what Toastmasters Intenational is, it's actually a club where people deliver their prepared speeches and be evaluated as well. It's an avenue to practice speaking in public and improve gradually as you go about the different steps and speeches. Being a new member, i did my Basic Speech 1 , which is called the ice breaker. To know more, you may check out this page about the different speeches: http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/toastmasters-speech-0-competent-communicator/
 According to the guide on that page, the first speech of the Toastmasters program is about introducing yourself to your peers, providing a benchmark for your current skill level, and standing and speaking without falling over.

So, here's my 6 minute speech .... entitled, 

The Big C (no, not the vitamin)

           Do you remember the time when you were little and everyone around you would ask what you wanted to be when you grew up? I bet some of you once wanted to become someone you are not today. Perhaps you said “I want to be a teacher; or a doctor; a scientist maybe; an astronaut; or even a rockstar”. And when asked “why?”, I guess you would’ve said “to save the word, to heal, to have a house, to have a really nice car, to be able to travel the whole world, to win a Nobel prize, to have crazy fans scream my name out loud”. As for me, I had never intentionally wanted to become a doctor. And I never wanted to have cancer. But as it turns out, I am a doctor and I do have cancer.
            For most of my life, I’ve had it easy. School was never tough because my parents were never pushing me to do something or be someone that I didn’t want to be. They allowed me to grow in my own pace but with their guidance, nonetheless. I managed to breeze through gradeschool, highschool, college and medschool. I have gathered little achievements here and there; from a few honor rolls to my very own first kiss. And I’ve established great friendships with a number of ordinary and extraordinary people. Indeed I’ve grown, brain-wise but not height-wise, evidently so. All through those years I have maintained good grades, as well as ably maintaining the same height then and now. So as you can probably tell, I’ve been used to being a little girl; a little lady with a little voice; and now, a little woman. But this little woman was diagnosed with the Big C one lovely Monday morning while taking care of her patients in the hospital. And I bet you can hardly imagine what it must’ve felt like: to be a doctor one minute, and be the patient in the next. Well, imagine no more because I’m going to tell you. 
             You see, when something as big as cancer happens to you, it becomes more of a test of character rather than a test of health. It unveils who you really are, beneath all the fa├žade, beneath all the expectations. It gets you down to the basics, bringing you to the core of your humanity. I have to be honest, I was sad upon hearing the news; sad, but never scared. I also felt betrayed. I felt like life was cheating on me. Because I thought I was doing everything right, and thought I had my entire life figured out, but I was so wrong. So I felt scorned; like being stabbed in the back, helpless and utterly vulnerable. And later I grew ashamed for having felt those things. I picked myself up, prayed and trusted God entirely. Somewhere along the way I felt empowered. Then I felt peace.
            That one event made me realize who I really am. I’m still a little woman, with a little voice. But I am not easily scared, for I fear nothing but God. I don’t have my life figured out because I’m only me, a finite human and only God has the blueprint to my life. I am ridiculously spontaneous but very optimistic. I still have dreams and they’ve never changed ever since I finished medicine: dreams of being able to touch people’s lives whether by a prescription I’ve made, by a smile I shared or even by a speech I delivered.
            So ladies and gentlemen of the audience, if you’re down, and depressed for a failed a relationship, a horrible unforgiving boss, a loss at the lottery; or frustrated at never being able to buy that new MonteroSport that everyone’s crazy about, or sad at never having awesome Boracay pictures to post on Facebook simply because you cannot afford the trip, or even just crying for having to cancel a date with Mr. Hot Guy or Ms. Sexy Lady because you had the flu. Well I suggest you stop, dry those tears and think. If this little woman can single-handedly fight with the Big C (with joy and fearlessness, at that!), then SURELY you can handle a little runny nose, can’t you?

well, that was it. i think i did well, or i hope i did. :)  till next time, :)