One day in November 2011, as I was doing my daily self-breast examination, I felt a pea-sized lump that was painful, fixed and nodular under my left breast. With the help of my dear friend, Doc Lyn, I sought consult with a good surgeon who removed the lump. The tissue examination of the mass revealed cancer. Thus, one week before Christmas, I had a modified radical mastectomy, which in lay man's term meant removal of the whole left breast tissue with its attached lymph nodes that left a scar which extended from the midline of my chest up to my left armpit. One month later, I had chemotherapy so I lost my hair, became pale and ashen and my nails turned blue and became brittle.
However, when I got sick, it was not a death sentence for me but a detour. I've learned that there are three important things I have to do before I die. For the next 30 days, I will share how I changed my life after cancer diagnosis using these 3 simple steps so you can change your life, too.
For the first 20 years of my private practice as a physician, my life centered on my private practice. I spent less time with my family and even ignored my health. I was able to recover and set my priorities straight. I've learned to value what really matters most in life: my faith, my family and my health.
You can do the same. Be still. Take a deep breath and evaluate your life. Thus, for every day, I will share verses that you can read and memorize that it becomes a mantra to start your day of healing through the Holy Bible, the greatest story ever told.
After every chemotherapy session, I felt a menthol sensation along my nose and had a headache. When I got home, I'd immediately go to the rest room and hug the toilet bowl because I was vomiting everything I had in me. My stomach was churning despite taking expensive medications to counteract the side effects of the treatment. But eventually, I was able to overcome all these because I prayed and surrendered to God's will. The Big C in me was not Cancer. It was Christ in me. He has been the source of my strength.
Prayer will be your meditation exercise. It is your personal communication with the Lord. You can do it through 4 simple steps: adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.
As I recovered from my illness, I was able to write and published 3 books on child health for easy reading for parents. I became part of the Self Health Empowerment Movement (SHEM) founded by my good friend, Doc Romy Paredes, together with Doc Pao Tongson and his wife, Chef Imee Enriquez-Tongson as well as other volunteers. SHEM give talks all over the Philippines and even in other Asian countries on how to take charge of one's health and awaken the healer in one's self.
I feel blessed that I've been given the chance to start anew and fulfill my sacred mission which is to help cancer patients avoid the recurrence of cancer by balancing medical and non-medical solutions and also help their families cope with the disease. Because I was tested through what I suffered, I am now able to help those who are being tested. I am now God's instrument of healing and His ambassador here on earth. I will help you in your journey. You just need to choose.
From Deuteronomy 11:26-27: "I set before you here, this day, a blessing and a curse: a blessing for obeying the commandments of the Lord, your God, which I enjoin on you today; a curse if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord, your God..."
Choose to be blessed and be a blessing. Start your journey to change your life after cancer diagnosis, especially during the Lenten season.
Today, you choose to commit. When you PAUSE, you reflect on God's words. When you PRAY, you ask for God's help, And when you PERFORM, you do your best and God will do the rest because "...faith without works is dead."(James 2:26)
From Proverbs 16:3, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do and all your plans will succeed."
I adore You O, Lord and I praise, You. I am truly sorry for having offended You. I thank You, Lord, for this brand new day to glorify You in everything I think, say and do. Grant me the grace to commit to do this 30 day journey with You as I seek the healing of my cancer. AMEN.
Start your journey by having a journal on hand. Write a short commitment letter stating your name, when, where and why you are starting this healing journey and what you want to achieve by the end of 30 days. Offer the letter to God and be like Mary who made a commitment when she said: "I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word," when she was told that she will conceive Jesus in her womb.
Hope you can share this to help others in their cancer journey.