People Series: How does a teenager survive a life threatening disease?

10:02:00 PM

{Photo Credits: Tumblr}

I have been feeling a lot of different emotions lately. I know that it may seem like I am such a happy and outspoken person but what some one you don't know is that I am a very sensitive person and I am also very secretive on my personal woes. Whenever I am feeling frustrated in life, I either talk to my mom or my friends who are always behind my back who will surely give me the utmost strength that I needed to carry on.

Ever since I started this blog, I decided to feature certain people who have the most inspiring stories to tell called the "People Series" to help some of my readers who might be going through some struggles of their own. 

This feature that I'm posting today is about one of my favorite people in the world. 

Em is one of the stongest people I know who have been one of my insipirations when I felt like I wanted to give up on life. She's one of those people who will surely knock a sense in my head whenever I am being such a pessimist. Yes, she's my boyfriend sister but as the years went by, she never failed to make me feel like I was like a sister to her too.

Em was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the cancer of the bone, when she was just 16  or 17 years old.  How does a teenager cope with such sickness? Well, here's her story.

1. When did you find out that you had cancer and which type of cancer did you have? 

"It was January of 2010 when I found out that I had cancer."

2. What was your initial reaction? 

"My mother did not tell me directly that I had cancer. When I saw her searching about osteosarcoma (cancer of the bone) before we got to the hospital, I asked her what the term meant. All she said was “Yan bukol diyan sa balakang mo”. (That was the mass on your hip) Then I underwent biopsy. When the result came out, my mother told me “Kailangan mo mag-undergo ng therapy. Chemotherapy”. (You need to undergo therapy, chemotherapy) When I heard the word “chemotherapy”, I finally got what it meant. No need for further explanation. After that, I just cried until I fell asleep. When I woke up, I felt as if nothing is happening. Like, I have cancer... okay."

3. How were you able to cope? 

"I just thought of my family and friends. I got strength from them. I told myself, "If I will be weak, they'll become weak as well. So, I needed to be strong so that they'll be strong for me too. So I just went with the flow on whatever that doctor has planned for me." I also knew how affected my boyfriend and father was. They don't show me but sometimes I catch them being totally affected. I can't show them that I'm bothered so that it'll lessen there heartache. This is also where I realized how strong I was."

4. Were there moments where in you wanted to die?

"I did have moments where I just wanted to give up. There were times where I wake up in the middle of the night and call my boyfriend just to cry. But when I finally get tired of crying, I stop. I sleep then when I wake up, I'm okay. Its my attitude to ignore stuff that are happening especially whenever I don't feel like it will hurt me. It has a disadvantage though because eventually, I will end up bursting into tears sooner or later."

5. What's your advice to people who are going through the same thing that you went through?

"Be strong and have faith in God. You are the only person who can help yourself. No one around you can do something about it but yourself. You'll be the only person who will be decideing for your future. Just think of it this way, whatever you get to decide in life will greatly affect those people whom you love so dearly."

Septemeber the same year, she was declared cancer free after going through a series chemotherapies and an operation where in they needed to cut off half of her pelvic bone to get rid of the the tumor. She's now a healthy 21 year old and part of their graduating batch in Ateneo De Naga University, Bachelor of Science in Accountancy 2015. I'm happy for you, Em!

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