January 9, 2012

" cause hopelessly, the hope is we have so much to feel good about" -OneRepublic

It has been 11 months since the day my world came close to crumbling down; 11 months since I discovered I had cancer; 11 months since I last made rounds in the hospital as a medical resident; 11 months for my life to undergo a complete "overhaul". Yes, it has been 11 long months....and I’m still alive :-)

Hurray, hurray! :)

But enough about me...

Just a few days ago I received news that an acquaintance of mine had been diagnosed with cancer... acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to be exact. If I'm not mistaken he is in his early 30's or late 20's. Yes, just like me, he's also a bit too young to be stricken with the Big C. when I found out, my jaw dropped and I became dumbstruck for a few seconds. The link to the first blog entry about his diagnosis was posted in FB and I was hesitant to open it, for fear of not knowing how to react when I’d read his story. But I clicked it anyway and my tears just began flowing non-stop upon reading the first words 'til even after I've read the entire post twice.  
It took me quite a while to compose myself. I cried so hard because somehow I was brought back to the time when I found out that I, myself, had cancer; back to that moment when my pathologist told me face to face that I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma (although it took me about 10 seconds to realize that HL was cancer... despite being a doctor); back to that unforgiving post-valentine’s day. And besides that, I was also transported back to the horrible chemotherapy days, the countless needle punctures, the notoriously painful bone marrow biopsies. 
I cried because I want NO ONE to ever go through all that....no one. 

But remarkably, after I gathered my emotions, I discovered an entirely new dimension to my story. I realized that my story does not end in being able to face cancer, hit it in the face, survive chemo and radiation and kick it in the a**. My story goes on with an amazing opportunity to be able to help this new cancer warrior... to really empathize in the truest sense of the word. to share with him everything that I’ve learned throughout this entire experience, from being able to find peace despite the never-ending "why’s" to knowing that garlic candy is a good way to curb nausea; to be able to constantly remind him that he shouldn't think of himself as being "sick" but just "resting and taking a break"; to encourage him to fight strong, because an army of prayer warriors are marching behind him every step of the way. 

My readers, if you have prayed for me, please also pray for my friend. His name is Lito and his fight has just begun. I am also aware that he has a rare blood type. I’m still not sure if they still need donors at this time, but if you know anyone who is a type O- (O negative) please let me know. 

this pretty photo of me(*ahem, hehe) was taken last MAY 2011,  3 months into my chemo...

Excerpt from my older post: After 3 sessions, running my fingers through my head was like harvesting rice in the field.  

to Lito: never worry about hair loss. .. i have plenty of wigs! :)