Here is a brief background of my journey to cancer and healing.
In October 2013, a numbing pain in my inner thigh woke me up from sleep. A nerve was pulsating abnormally. An unusual mass, the size of a tennis ball below my kidney in my right retroperitoneal muscle was found through a CAT scan by a doctor in the Philippines. One doctor said by looking at the images that my tumor was malignant. Shocked by the findings, I assessed my lifestyle. I thought that I was eating right. My eating habit was composed of the following: more vegetables than meat, fruits, green tea, and occasional coffee. Sometimes, I also go to the gym. I was never confined to a hospital before, except when I gave birth. I used to visit my dentist more than any other medical practitioner. There was no pressure on me going to work since I gave up my ship career in 2011. It was unacceptable to have cancer when we were preparing to get pregnant. Having reflected on the possible causes of my condition, I considered the following bad health habits: smoking, occasional wine indulgence, staying up late, getting stressed out so easily, not drinking enough water, and different time zones as a result of traveling.
When I was working on ships, I only had water after meals or when suffering from excruciating pain from migraines; otherwise, I don’t feel thirsty. I did not believe the doctor’s report so I went to cruise with my husband and looked for a surgeon in Singapore. We did find a good surgeon. However, I was told that the tumor needs to be removed.
While waiting for my surgery day, I went to Chinese Herbal medicine and told the owner I had a tumor. He gave me cordyceps mushroom in capsule form and said that a man from Malaysia had testified to its effectiveness in curing cancer. I took the capsules before and after surgery. A few months later, during chemo treatments, I read an article about a man with synovial sarcoma from Malaysia who took cordyceps and recovered. To these days, I am still wondering if this is the same person.
Moving forward, I underwent my 2 hours and 30 minutes laparoscopic surgery at Mt. Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore last March 2014 by Dr. Ravi. Pathology. Later on, he diagnosed me with synovial sarcoma. A very rare and aggressive type of cancer. Adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation were prescribed immediately due to the size of the tumor. There was a concern that it may have metastasized to my lungs and bones already.
Hearing the earth-shattering news, talking to an oncologist and radiologist one after another was an immense occurrence on that day. I was under so much pressure. I later found an Integrative Clinic at Mt. Elizabeth and mentioned this to the doctors, but they discouraged me to proceed. Apparently, there is no proven science on its effectiveness. Days later, I did a PET scan which miraculously showed no cancer cells. My oncologist was very surprised to see it. Despite that, I was still advised to go through chemo and radiation.
It has been a long while since I had a long and sincere prayer. I had no harbored resentment and was only thankful to God for the superb life that I had. Our children were 12 and 11 years old then and were my biggest concern. I quit smoking a few days before my surgery and despite all the tension, I did not crave for one. I was drinking two liters of water every day. All the songs I used to sing at church as a kid came back to memory. My sister and I went home to the Philippines to be with the rest of my family. I had to put a strong personality, and let everyone see that everything was under control. If before, I had little knowledge on what food to eat and what to avoid, now, I started to pay more attention to my meals. Some friends also helped me with my meal plan, and I started eating healthy from then on. I read about alternative treatments and have been inclined to do it. However, the absence of strong testimonies, lack of protocols available, and the absence of decent legal facilities about this type of treatment had me crashing this out from the options. The information available about conventional treatments and practitioners doing the integrative treatment options was scarce.
My first chemo was done in Manila and the succeeding ones in Canada. The fifth round almost killed me with heart problems, nightmares, and fever. With prayers, I bravely opted for the 6th round. Even now while I type this, I can still taste the metal in my mouth and my stomach still churns at the thought of it to the point that I won’t even wish chemotherapy to my worst enemy.
The next protocol was radiation. It was all set to go and my oncologist was to give me my schedule by the next appointment. Before that day, our neighbor, Sharon, said that her husband was diagnosed with skin cancer and prayed hard all throughout. According to Sharon, one night while her husband was sitting down alone, he felt Jesus touch him and told him not to worry about his health.
That was my prayer that day, too. For God to send me the message not to do radiation. I went to my appointment with my husband and my oncologist met us with close arms that morning. He said to us, “Well, in this hospital, before we give this type of treatment, we do a panel discussion. We studied your case and all five of us agreed that we will not prescribe radiation to you anymore because there are a lot of organs which will be affected.” I cried in joy and went to the Immaculate church to pray, but mostly to thank God for this spiritual intervention.
After the last chemo session, I joined a support group in my hometown in Kelowna called Inspire Health. They provided free yoga classes, acupuncture, anticancer cooking demos, guided meditation, tapping, and the likes. I subscribed to The Truth About Cancer program that was more into ancient, natural, and noninvasive cancer treatment. Read books and articles about integrative treatment, nutrition, and causes of cancer. Contrary to what the conventional doctors said that cancer is a mutation of cells that happens without apparent reason, I was learning that cancer is caused by poor diet, an overload of toxins, dehydration, unhealthy lifestyle, and many other contributors. It was enlightening to learn a simple logic that cancer is not genetic. It is the lifestyle and eating habits of the family that causes the same sickness of another family member. It does make sense, right?
Every month I had to do a CT scan, and everything looked fine. From monthly check-ups, it became every six months. I also had to flush my port-a-cath, which I disliked. In July 2015, I decided to get my port-a-cath removed without my oncologist’s advice. I bid farewell to treatments, check-ups, and cancer. I had no stress anticipating the results of scans and discussions with my doctor. I ate well, went to the gym regularly, lived, and breathed with a promise of self-healing every day.