Saturday, April 22, 2017

My Breasts and I - Part 3

Written on January 19, 2017

The other night, while waiting to see if my OB will come in, I rehearsed what I was going to say to my husband. I wanted to tell him in case I leave earlier than expected, it's OK for him to marry again. I rehearsed a lot of times but when it came to actually telling him my piece, I cried. Twice. I cried because in reality, I pray for a few more decades with him. If we live long enough to see the next UP centennial and join in the festivities, all the better. This preceding sentence is meant as a joke.
Yesterday, I went to my OB's other clinic. I couldn't get an explanation for the symptoms because the Tomosynthesis Mammography results showed something but it couldn't be identified. I was referred to a Breast Doctor in the afternoon who in turn referred me to another Doctor in St. Luke's so I can undergo a breast ultrasound. I felt my pockets were so much lighter than when I left home. I felt tired. My body felt tired especially the parts that need to be checked. They've been pinched and touched that I literally felt blood coursing through my veins with a vengeance when all the pinching and poking was over. I just wanted to sit down and not move anymore but I eventually did.
While riding a jeepney on my way home, I prayed. I remembered what I read the other day about needing to wrestle with God in prayer sometimes and I felt exactly that way - that I'm wrestling with God in prayer. I asked Him to keep holding my heart and when I despair, to not listen to me ramble and complain. I wanted to cry but I was in a public vehicle. A part of me knows I shouldn't entertain negative thoughts but to be honest, I can't help it especially because I don't know what's wrong. For all I know, I could be worrying about nothing.
To cut the long story short, I don't have news yet. The waiting game continues. My OB said there's something of interest in there but more tests are needed. Juval, as usual, has been his very supportive self. He even breached the topic of having implants as a preventive measure. I don't know how I feel about it at this point. I realized I have to be sure I will do it not for vanity's sake if I ever do it at all. I'm also still hoping I'd be able to conceive and nurse our children and not feed them from bottles all the time.
I decided not to see any doctor today. I've not been doing anything related to income generation since Tuesday and the idea of work piling up is draining me even more. I also got to talk to some people who said they've been inspired to talk about their own struggles or to get themselves checked as well because of what they read. There is also one magnificent thing that revealed itself today. I met someone years ago who is going through exactly the same thing that I'm going through. I don't rejoice that someone shares my plight but that God knew we'd need each other way before we knew we would. God, in His limitless wisdom, made us meet each other years ago so we can walk with each other, pray for each other and be accountable for each other while we both seek God's plan in our lives.
My prayer this morning was for God to allow me to remain hopeful that 10 years from now, I'll look back to this day and tell myself, God knew this needed to happen when it happened and it wasn't without reason. God knew I'd realize He is in control all the time. I pray that God continue to reveal His sovereignty in my life, in our lives every day.

My Breasts and I - Part 2

Written on January 18, 2017

I woke up today feeling tired and worn. I didn't sleep much last night. My brain was busy thinking about nothing in particular. I think my brain never stopped thinking even I as slept.
Throughout the day, I went back and forth between hope and despair. I bathed and dressed and by 11AM, I was ready to leave the home any minute. However, the truth is I did a lot of things so I won't have to go to the doctor. I took at least 2 naps. I ate very slowly. I watched TV. I cleaned the room a bit. I prayed for peace in my heart.
Come 3PM, I still wasn't sure about going. My husband was stuck with work stuff so I really had to go alone. At 3:12PM, I texted him to ask him not to get mad at me but I really do not wish to go alone. He didn't get mad. He probably expected I'd chicken out at some point.
At 3:30PM, I left. I prayed to God while traveling. I told Him I'm not scared about meeting Him because I'm now sure of His love for me. What I feel scared about is the idea that I may not have done enough for those I love. I prayed to God and asked Him to care for my husband, my siblings and everyone I care for. I asked Him to remind all my loved ones that things happened the way He willed it.
The Breast Clinic at the Providence Hospital in Quezon Ave. closes at 5PM so I took the MRT but in my heart of hearts, I was hoping not to make it on time. I got there in the nick of time. I have in my hands now the results of yesterday's test. I don't understand anything stated on it and the doctor, unfortunately, isn't in. I didn't mean for this online diary to be more than 2 parts but even this online diary is not within my control.

My Breasts and I - Part 1

Part 1 - Written on January 17, 2017

I asked permission from my husband to write this piece. He's usually more careful that I when it comes to social media and I felt I needed to ask first if it's OK to discuss this publicly. I'm sharing this with the hope that those who see changes in their bodies would get themselves tested as soon as possible. I admit I procrastinated. I could have gone and seen my OB last month but I was in denial.
I was 22 years old when I had my first breast mass excision. There was a mass removed from each of my breasts. Juval Hirtz and I were already sweethearts then. He and my family took turns taking care of me when I was hospitalized.
Two years ago, I had another breast mass excision. This time, it was from my left one. It was also deeper in the tissue so it was more painful than the first operation. It also took longer to heal. Juval and I were already married then.
Two months ago, I started noticing some physical changes in my left breast again. One of the symptoms was similar to what I had 2 years ago and then there's another symptom. Self-preservation is hindering me from discussing the symptoms online. I didn't realize I'd be embarrassed to describe the symptoms until I wrote this.
During my discussion with my OB last Saturday, we talked about possibilities and options. If needed, I can choose to get my breast (assuming there's a problem with just one of them) removed and replaced so I won't go through much depression. I learned that some patients went through hard times upon seeing the changes in their bodies. I was told such surgeries now involve giving replacement options. I jokingly told my OB the size I wanted and she said it's not available in the Philippines.
I was also told there's no sure link between my current inability to conceive with my (assumed) breast issue. I can still conceive in the future. I have a good 10 years left in me to conceive I think.
Tomorrow, I'll know the results of today's test. My heart is surprisingly at peace. Whatever the results may be, I'll hold on to Jesus for I'm sure He'll hold on to me. I know everything will happen for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He said so in Romans 8:28.

What is Forgiveness?

In the past weeks, I have been struggling to find a personal meaning to forgiveness. I know I needed for the concept to make sense for me at a personal level so I'd know if my heart has really forgiven. God heard the silent prayer of my heart and in a moment of silence, He had given me the definition that makes sense to me:
True forgiveness is when you remember the wrong that was done to you BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYMORE.
It doesn't matter anymore - How much simpler can that be? Because of grace, I have been forgiven. It is that same grace I am called to extend to those who have hurt me in the past. It is called grace because it is undeserved, just like the forgiveness I received. It is not easy especially when the wound is still fresh but by God's grace, I will triumph over it. It may take time but with my heart surrendered to God, it is no longer my heart but His and His heart forever overflows with forgiveness to those who genuinely seek His will.


A Vision of Contentment

Polka has recently moved in with Juval and I. She was harder to deal with than usual. She kept on spilling her food and barking incessantly. I kept it to myself but I was beginning to doubt if my desire to have her move with us was beneficial for her, too.
Yesterday, my brother Thomas told me to try and let Polka run around which I did with hesitation. I was hesitant because I was thinking about the possibility that Polka will destroy slippers or eat plants, etc. Polka has proven me wrong and I have never been so happy to be wrong. She is now a vision of contentment. Life has many surprises. We woke up to an offering of a dead bird in front of our room. That's a different story courtesy of Milky.

Going back to writing

My last entry was at least 5 years ago. So many things have changed since then. I haven't stopped writing but I used other  channels and most of what I've written were in other social media platforms. This morning, while resting from the household chores, I happened to scroll memories from my Facebook account and I saw some of the things I wrote years ago. It's a great thing that I could still retrieve my old password. Here's to restarting this blog. 

To catch up: 

1. I now work freelance but still in the same line of work. I now work on several HR-related projects at the same time. 

2. I have received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior almost 2 years ago. Since then, my life has been all about trying to please Him. 

3. We're still awaiting for our love bundle to arrive from God. If it is His will, it will happen in the right time. 

4. I have started training myself to be more domesticated and the grand goal is to be my husband's personal Proverbs 31 woman. 

From today onwards, I'll begin posting my thoughts again in this blog. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happily ever afters

Last night, my youngest sister was talking to me about a song that had recently become one of her favorites. The song talked about the writer's cynical take on happy endings and fairy tales. It brought me to thinking about my own ideas on and of happily ever afters.

When I was younger, it seemed much too easy to give advice left and right. I never ran out of people to give an advice or two to for some reason. I was sure I was doing them a favor. I was sure I was giving sound advice. This was all before painful eye-openers have been presented to me by life. This was all during a time when I thought my happily every afters are fated to come to me regardless of what I do and that some people are meant to breeze through life and I was one of them. How foolish I was.

Years of heartaches and heartbreaks after, I have slowly become a different person. Now, every time something painful and shattering happens to me, I try to seek answers inside of me before anything else. I know it's contrary to what most people will suggest. Most people will want to speak to others, ask for their opinions and most importantly, give them instructions on how to survive. At times of heartaches, people are naturally inclined to seek the warmth of another human body, the acceptance of one soul for another and forgiveness when necessary so their healing process may begin.

I operate a little differently. I seek inwards. I talk to myself about what I'm going through. I forgive and ask forgiveness from myself for wrong decisions that I make. Sometimes, when I'm being very cooperative with myself, I even find peace because I get to be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together. When I understand how and why things became what they have become, then my healing process begins. When my healing process begins, I am able to come up with a plan to be prepared for a similar situation in the future. When I have a plan, I feel guided. I feel I have a purpose.

I think I prefer to look inside rather than seek answers outside because I believe I have the key to prevent the same painful experience from taking place again if I choose right. Of course, there are things that I cannot control but at least, I can prepare for them. I believe we were all given the ability to do better at everything we do if we put our minds to it. I believe there is no greater measure of being truly human than being able to make mistakes, correct them and learn from them.

I have become more patient, more understanding, more forgiving and more loving because of heartaches and heartbreaks. I have become a little less judgmental of people's choices. I have become a little less cynical about happy endings and fairy tales although my life story will no longer be about fairy godmothers coming to rescue me from pains I have brought upon myself or about a knight in shining armor kissing all my woes away and bringing me with him to chase the sunset in perfect bliss. I know now my happily ever afters can take place with a little work, a little more faith, a little more love, a little more wisdom from an untiring work-in-progress called myself.

Yes, I do believe in happily ever afters. I hope you all find yours. Happy Thursday!