A mayor who went to the “summer capital” with his convoy of policemen who ignored the city’s safety Covid protocols made the news. He said he just wanted his wife who has stage 3 breast to destress in the scenic and cool city. Immediately what came into my mind was that he is going to be a widower soon. I checked myself: I am more than 5 years a survivor of stage 2B breast cancer and it looks like I’m not dying soon! And it is ironic, that when I finished the treatments, I feel no need for a live-in maid like before and had to do everything by myself. Sometimes, people even forget I am a breast cancer survivor and treat me like any one else.
Before I had the bout with cancer, I often wondered why some charitable people go through all the trouble of raising funds for indigent cancer patients, especially children when they will die anyway. I thought it was kinder to let them just die fast, why prolong the agony?
But all these changed when I met sis Conchi and Fr. Larry. Sis Conchi was a 12-year survivor of stage 3 colorectal cancer. Looking at her and her joyful attitude, nobody can tell what she’s been through. She succumbed to another cancer probably after being stressed out taking care of her husband who had lung cancer and who eventually died. Fr. Larry survived stage 4 lung cancer for 8 years. He then developed kidney cancer, had the affected kidney removed, and is now doing well, hale and hearty as always!
So , when I discovered I had breast cancer, I had mastectomy and all the treatments, hoping in the thought that when I’m done I’d be fine and I can get on with my life.
When detected and treated early, cancer is not a death sentence like most people think. There are so many survivors, living for more than 10 years.
But even with knowing first hand what it is, I realized I still subconsciously associate it with sure and early death.