A Pause in a Bachelor’s Life
Blog Entry Winner #4:
“Stage 4 and it is progressing.” That’s what my doctor said to my mom about my lung disease and I at that time who was barely and abnormally weighing 38 kilograms wasn’t feeling anything. I wasn’t even afraid of dying because I wasn’t thinking of it. I was thinking that I couldn’t really go back to work. It was July 2005 when we started the tedious, emotionally and financially draining series of treatments. Of course, I had my Chemotherapy sessions, tablets that I couldn’t swallow easily, capsules that tasted arrghh! and whatever things. In the first trimester of my treatment, my typical day looked like this : in the morning, as soon as I wake up, I would feel a very strong discomfort that goes underneath my physical body. Then, I would just blurt out. “Why did you let me live God?” “Didn’t I pray to you last night that you just take my life away and not let me wake up the next day?” of course, nobody answered. I would always cry in the morning not because of my illness but because of the disappointment and frustration that I am still alive.
After that very emotional moment every morning, I would go to the next room which is conveniently cooled; for me not to throw tantrums because of the room temperature. I would sit on the bed, take 2 dosages of prescribed Ventolin pumps and 4 tablets that I couldn’t remember the names and then I would eat my breakfast. (if you think breakfast in bed would be nice, try having that with lunch, dinner and in between meals in bed for almost a year and let’s see if you still have the same attitude towards it.)
After breakfast, I would lie down on the bed while watching TV.. Then lunchtime would come, which would also be dominated by vegetables (FYI : I had a vegetarian diet al through out my treatment with very occasional meat intake). After lunch, 3 tables of medicines which I can remember that some of them have 1000mg dosages and I’ll have another 2 dosages of Ventolin pumps. After that, I needed to take a nap. And then wake up at 4. If my body condition felt right after the nap, I would turn on the T.V. but most of the time, I would vomit everything that I had on that day, food, expensive medicines and my tears. I would blame God again for letting me vomit the things that I thought I needed. It was tears galore again. And then dinner time came, if I don’t have chemotherapy sessions (which I personally requested to be night time because of the temperature) , I could eat my dinner but most of the days of the week, I had; because my chemotherapy sessions were done 4 times a week and each session lasted for 1 hour and a half. After that painful, literally painful session, I would go back home. And then I would not let anyone be talking to me because I would still be gasping for breath even though I was just sitting all the time. After each session, I would refuse to take in anything because that would surely taste like a metal (or something that is so foreign, unfamiliar and disgusting taste). When my mood goes back to normal, I would ask them to prepare my meals for dinner. And then after that meal, I would have 4 tablets again and —sleep. No. it was a joke. It wasn’t that easy. I would not sleep yet after that because I still had to wait for 1 hour so I could take my final meal apart from my dinner. And then I would take3 more tablets and another 2 dosages of Ventolin pumps before I go to sleep.
When I would already be on my bed, I would pray the wrong prayer:”Pls. let me not live tomorrow”. And then go to sleep. That typical day description would still look simple because I didn’t include some more emotional encounters with my Dad (whom I haven’t talked in years), some emotional and moral support from long time friends, the help I got from my siblings when I needed a glass of water, other sessions like, blood tests, liver tests, kidney tests, heart tests, throat tests, x-rays, vaccinations (flu, pneumonia etc..), throwing of tantrums, and if you think it’s only in the movies when the sick character throws food and dishes, well, me too. I did. There were many dishes, glasses, silverwares that had been thrown and broken because I didn’t like the food or the food didn’t taste well. Even before I got sick, I was already a moody person who is always temperamental. How much more when I got sick? But then there’s one person who never lost her faith that I would soon be okay and fine and that was my mom. I was so thankful to there was her who understands my mood swings and temper.
Then Christmas came, during this time, I was already okay not completely but better. For example, if before I would have 6 dosages of ventolin pump, now, only 3. If before 14 tablets and capsules a day, now only 10. If before 4 times a week for chemo sessions, now only 2. I even cooked baked mussels and roasted chicken for my family’s Noche Buena (I learned that from watching cooking shows everyday). But of course, I still had some bouts of tiredness in the middle of cooking but my mom was so attentive that she would stop me from cooking and lead me to the nearest chair. She would say, “Son, I’ll just finish cooking this.” But I would reply “no. let me have a few minutes of rest and go back and knock it off.” On Christmas day, my relatives all came to our house to visit us. I got good presents and one of them is a sky blue Armani shirt (that’s my first and only). All of them were saying that I should stay strong and keep the faith. I even remember my uncle telling me that “If only we could have our part from all the sufferings you are going through, we would.” I felt the love of a family the love that forgets the shortcomings and mistakes that a person has done.
And then, New year’s eve came, I was all locked up in our house with all the windows and doors closed and my family outside looking at the fireworks in the sky (I was locked up for health reasons). During that time, I looked at myself on the mirror. And a voice spoke, “You’ll be okay, you just have to wait.” That voice made me feel that there is a bright tomorrow that awaits for me the voice that encouraged me to pray for the health of my family, forgiveness of our sins and thankfulness to every breath that I take; and I know it was Jesus Christ.
In the third trimester, most of my treatment intakes were eliminated. 1 chemotherapy session a week ,No more Ventolin dosages, 6 tablets of those bulky things, no more vomiting, no more emotional mornings, no more tears when alone, no more throwing of tantrums, no more bitter prayers, only thanksgiving and praise to glorify God.—the GOD Who heals. The illness was not given to me as punishment for my sinful body but as a nourishment of my soul. I should not accept it as a rift between me and God but as a Gift of God to me. I should not be bitter but be better. I should not grieve as a retort but believe as a response.
Now that I am a Christian, I have understood the essence of that part oif my life. –to be still and know that HE is our God. He let me live because he wants me to be a living testament of his wonder. To honor God and make disciples in Jesus name. And as a Christian, as a the follower of the Second Adam, I have realized that he really did answer my prayers and still does. When I was sick, I prayed that I would not live the next day, and it happened because I’m a new individual now. I now follow Christ and accepted him as my Lord as Savior. The old is gone and the new is here. I also prayed for my family’s protection and he did answer it. During the Ondoy typhoon, not even a single sole of my family member was submerged into the water. When I was a kid, I prayed to be a singer and I am now. I sing at my friends’ wedding. As a kid, I also prayed to have my own job that has my own room and he specifically granted that prayer because that’s where I work now. I also prayed for independence and he granted me that when I moved out from our house in Q.C to here in Makati City 4 years ago at a lot more.
Presently at the age of 24, I still have a lot to learn, a lot of struggles to bear, a lot of blessings to count and a lot of prayers to speak and I know even when everyone else counts me out, I know that God will count me first! That’s why he gave me the name “Adam” anyway.
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