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From Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future.”

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2011, the subsequent Christmas holiday had set a new meaning for me. Whereas before, I made plans about what to prepare for noche buena and media noche as well as complete my gift list for family, relatives and friends, I suddenly found myself busy recovering from my illness. I had surgery one week before Christmas. Two weeks later, I got the result of the tissue examination on the breast and lymph nodes that were removed from my chest which yielded positive for cancer cells on one lymph node. Thus, I had to undergo chemotherapy one month after my surgery. All these would require that I be prepared in mind, body, soul and spirit to win the battle against cancer in the subsequent months and even years to come.


The first thing you need to create hope for a future is to set new goals to ensure your full recovery from cancer. The common acronym used for goal setting is that it must be SMART, i.e. specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-specified. It starts with one baby step at a time. One fitness goal is to eat a healthy breakfast everyday like a platter consisting of fruits in season like watermelon, papaya, pineapple as well as cucumber, carrot and turnips sticks with a vegan dressing on the side. Another fitness goal is to move your body or exercise at least 30-45 minutes 3-5x a week or 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise. You can also start your daily 10, 000 steps of walking around the house or in open air.

Og Mandino, the best-selling author of the book, “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” wrote in The Scroll Marked VIII, “First I will set goals for the day, the week, the month, the year, and my life.”

Nourish your body, mind and spirit. Feed your mind right. Go to the comics section and laugh your heart out from all the jokes that you read. Watch old movies that will bring a smile to your face instead of a frown. Attend a spiritual retreat or go to the Holy Land as a pilgrim and experience first-hand the path that Jesus walked. It’s also the time to write the memoir to share your life hacks.


The second thing is to ask for intercession. From Matthew 7:7, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened.”

Ask and you will receive. Don’t be proud to ask for prayers from your family, relatives and well-meaning friends. Have the humility to accept the help of prayer warriors to hasten your healing. Let them saturate the universe with their gifts of tongue and genuine concern.

Seek and you shall find. Look for your own lifesaver. Find a health practitioner who will guide you in your quest for true healing. He will respect your choice and will give you a lifeline to hold on rather than a death sentence.

Knock and the door will be opened. It is time to look for a window of opportunity or an open door to help you attain the healing that you crave.


From Hebrew 11:1, “Faith is the realization of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”

Be childlike in your faith. A child has complete trust in whoever takes care of him and shows him an unconditional love. That is what the Lord does. If you are steadfast in your faith, then you believe that God will not abandon you and will provide all your needs including your healing.

When you have the faith of a mustard seed, you are encouraged and empowered. When some people say that you are at the end of the road, instead of giving up, you continue to move forward. When others point you in another direction to spread your wings, you choose to look inside yourself and awaken the healer in you.

Do your best and God will do the rest. Let go of all your fears and other negative emotions. Offer them all to the One with bigger hands. Surrender them all to God.


From 1 Thessalonians 5:18, " In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you."

Choose to be thankful for every blessing that you receive, big or small. If you are a recipient of a good deed, choose to pay it forward by helping another who may be discouraged. To be grateful is not to expect a reward from the one whom you helped.

Embrace your illness because it is a part of you. It is meant to teach you a lesson. Be thankful for that second chance to live your life to the fullest by answering your true calling.

Fulfill your sacred mission. Each one of us has been put on earth for a purpose. Each of us has our own value. We can contribute to making our world a better place not just for ourselves but for the future generation. Be the best version of yourself. Be the voice of those who suffer the same fate. Share your struggles and your triumphs as you face your greatest challenge, i.e.,to overcome your sickness. Stop being the victim but be the victor. Start making your mess your message. Let your sickness be your swan song.

The four things you need to create a hope for the future despite being diagnosed with cancer are Goal, intercession,Faith and Thanksgiving.

According to James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” Every day that you wake up in the morning is God’s gift to you. What you do with this gift of a new life is your gift to God. Make it worthwhile. Find your true purpose and fulfill God's will so that when it is already the end of the road, you know that you've done your part as the ambassador of God on earth because you serve with the big heart of God.

How did this story affect you?

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