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One day in November 2011, I entered my surgeon’s clinic with a big smile on my face and a gift in one hand, a white paper bag with an original Lacoste shirt in it. One of the perks of being a doctor is that a fellow doctor doesn’t charge you a professional fee when you become a patient. We call it NC (no consult). I visited him three weeks ago because I felt a pea-sized, painful and fixed lump under my left breast. I wanted to do a mammogram or breast ultrasound so I asked my best friend, Lynn, to accompany me. She suggested that we first consult her cousin’s surgeon for an opinion. The surgeon said, “ Excision biopsy or removal of the breast mass is the better diagnostic tool to determine if a mass is malignant or not. It can be done as an outpatient procedure. Anyway, about 95 percent of cases are benign.” I had a convention in Cebu in three days so I opted to do the procedure after I returned. Five days after my trip, the surgeon removed the mass with difficulty. He told me to return after one week for the result.

As I handed him my gift, he unceremoniously exclaimed, “It’s malignant!” MALIGNANT meant CANCER! I almost dropped the gift bag in shock. I composed myself. I sank into a chair but kept my face expressionless. I had to behave as if it was nothing serious because my mom was with me. I didn’t want her to worry. But at the back of my mind, I groped for words. I thought about what would happen to my family, especially my widowed mother and my older brother who has Parkinson’s disease. How can you find peace of mind in the midst of the Big C? CHOOSE A MEDITATION EXERCISE When you wake up in the morning, before you do anything else, sit on your bed. Be still. Close your eyes. Empty your thoughts. Focus on your breathing. Start your personal communication with the Lord. Prayer is a very powerful meditation exercise. There are four simple steps to do this, through ACTS (ADORATION, CONFESSION, THANKSGIVING AND SUPPLICATION). "I adore You, O, Christ, and I praise you. For by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world. I glorify You and praise You in everything I think, say and do. You are my Creator, My Healer and my Savior." "I am truly sorry for being mean to my nephew. I am sorry for yelling at my brother. Forgive me for fighting with my mom. But most of all, I am sorry for hurting myself when I hurt others because I love them dearly." "Thank you, Lord, for waking me up in the morning. I am still here on earth for a purpose. I thank You every blessing that I receive, be it great or small." "Today, I ask for the healing of my mind, body, soul and spirit. Please give me the strength that I need to carry on and bear the trials that will come my way, especially the possible side effects of my treatment. Grant me the finances and the people to help me in my healing journey. CLAIM INNER PEACE After your meditation, claim that all the things you asked for are already given and done for you. The Lord knows your every plea. He will provide everything that you need in the way that is best for you. But you need to ask Him and claim the healing that you crave in order to have peace of mind. Your mind cannot process the negative. Instead of thinking, "Don't worry," think instead, " I trust You, Lord." COMFORT YOURSELF, YOUR FAMILY AND OTHERS From Isaiah 40:1, "Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God." At the end of the day, when everything has been thought of, said and done, find comfort and solace in the loving arms of God. Feel His embrace as you find peace in the way you treat yourself, your family and others. Be the salt of the earth and the light of the world so others may see the face of Jesus Christ in You because the Big C in you is not cancer. It is Christ in You. Hope you can share this story.

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