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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Biopsy

I had a core biopsy done yesterday on cystic growths in my breasts.

Many of you may not know, but I am “lumpy” :oD I have multiple cysts and nodules in both my breasts. I have known about this since 2003 and had been having my annual mammogram and sonogram since then.

I dreaded the thought of having a biopsy, but I guess, this procedure became inevitable the moment my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and died from it the following year. It was just a matter of time.

Last month on my breast sonogram routine exam, the doctors found multiple new growths (bilaterally), and some of those existing ones increased in size. But what really concerned them are two particular lumps, one from each breast, that look suspicious. These findings established the need for me to have biopsy done on those two lumps in question, especially given the history of my family, particularly that of my very own mother.

I first noticed the lumps during a self-examination. Looking back, I realized that it was God’s providence that led me to discover those lumps. I can never forget that day. I came from a friend’s Mary Kay party, where one of the sales people, a former nurse, talked about Mary Kay’s support on Breast Cancer Research and the importance of doing a self-breast examination.

Mind you, I had never done a self-exam before then – oh yes, I’ve heard of it, but I ignored them thinking that I was invincible; you know how it is when you’re younger. Plus of course, at that time, I had no idea that cancer was already lurking in my mother’s bosom – silently, slowly but surely eating her away, so to speak.

That Mary Kay sales lady would never know (God bless her!) but her talk resonated within me, so much so that the first thing I did when I came home was to do a self-exam. To my horror, I felt a knot, something akin to the size of a piece of marble. Then, I became hysterical when I realized what it is and could be. The fear of death rose up within me like a bile. I cried, I wept, I sobbed, and I called the doctor. And the rest is history.

One of the lumps in question is actually a cluster of cysts. The doctor dealt with this first but it was nothing but a normal cyst filled with liquid. The doctor aspirated the liquid with a needle. This one was definitely not a problem, thank God. On the other hand, the other one is a solid mass — tender but solid. For this one, the doctor couldn’t aspirate anything, so she had to take a core tissue sample (using an instrument fitted with a needle which they stabbed me with about 10 times!). The sample tissue was sent to the pathology for tests. The doctor confirmed that it was a good call to have this particular lump biopsied. Better be careful than sorry – and I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t have to be told about the devastation that cancer can bring about to someone’s life. I have witnessed it first hand with my mother.

How am I doing, if you ask? I was a bit apprehensive going in for the procedure because of the physical pain than anything else. As it turned out, everything was much better than I expected. Thanks to Lidocaine. :o)

In all honesty though, the real battle took place in my mind. As I laid in bed while the procedure was being done, I couldn’t help but think about my mother. Memories of her plight – the emotional and physical turmoil she had to go through with her fight against breast cancer – they’re all still fresh in my head. Afterall, it’s only been a year since she passed away. What if the biopsy yields bad news? I wondered.

But it is in moments of weakness that our Lord’s strength is made perfect. I simply cannot- MUST not – allow fear to do it’s number on my mind. So I took hold of my thoughts and laid them captive in Jesus Christ. His peace came over me and held me. I know that as a child of the living God, infirmity no longer has power over me. Any curse on me or my family in form of disease or sickness, has been broken by the blood of Jesus and the power of His resurrection. This I believe with all my heart.

In a couple of days, I will be receiving the results of my biopsy. But I believe that it will just be another confirmation of God’s mighty work in my life. Whose report should I believe? Of course, the report of the Lord that says “CANCER has no place in my body, His temple!”.

I will praise Him with all my heart; I will glorify His name forever. For great is His love toward me; He has delivered me from the depths of the grave….” (Psalm 86: 12-13, with my paraphrase)

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Good job, Joe!

Let me take this time to praise my husband.

It has been almost 10 years since Joseph started working as a DSL service tech with the former Bellsouth, now AT&T. For the most part, this job has indeed been a blessing to us, to our family.

But there are times that he gets frustrated over his work. The repetition, the routine, the sometimes unreasonably demanding supervisors and managers and above all, the rude attitude of customers – all these factors combined have turned his job from an initially interesting endeavor into a dreadfully wearisome task, making his job an unpleasant experience – AT TIMES.

That’s why it was a joy to receive a letter from AT&T citing Joseph as among the top 10 of their crew who gave the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE this past month. (This isn’t the first time, by the way. I just never blogged about it before). It’s been a while since AT&T has done this for their crew. I am so glad that the management has decided to revive this practice.

A little remuneration was given for the effort, but it’s not so much about the reward itself, but it is in knowing that the company recognizes the hard work and dedication he pours into his job that is valuable to him, and I dare say, to the rest of the crew as well.

With all the pressures he gets in his kind of work – I would say this one is definitely hard-earned.

Keep up the good work, Babe! You know that the Lord will reward all that you do, when you do it as unto Him. Promotion comes from Him.

Luv Yah! … and I’m looking forward to more gift cards in the coming months… :oD

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He Never Lets Go

My father is going to be admitted to the hospital once again starting tomorrow, April 30th.

This past couple of weeks, he has been complaining of chest pains, shortness sometimes difficulty of breathing . It has become a great effort for him just to walk from his bedroom to the dining room – and that’s just a few feet away. Yesterday while at the doctors, they did an EKG on him and found out that his heart is racing faster than normal. So the doctor suggested that it is best for him to be admitted so they can run tests on him in the hospital thoroughly. My husband and I agree that this would be the best solution.

If you recall, June last year, he was diagnosed to have a cardiovascular triple vessel disease where the 3 major arteries of his heart are clogged. This calls for a triple heart bypass but we never had this procedure done on him firstly due to his diabetes and age which would make the surgery even riskier than it already is. Secondly, we just cannot afford the Php1.5 million needed (around $37,000), just for the surgery alone (excluding the aftercare expenses). So, my father’s heart is really, really fragile – its function fully dependent on the smaller blood vessels on the lower part surrounding his heart to deliver the blood and oxygen needed for him to live.

So my friends and family, please help me pray for this recent situation that is threatening the peace of the Lord that’s guarding my heart to unravel. Please lift up my father, that he may have the grace and the faith to sustain him; for me and my husband for provision and strength in our spirit that we may hold on to the promises of God’s word.

Even though I walkthrough the valley of the shadow of death,
Your perfect love is casting out fear.
And even when I’m caughtin the middle of the storms of this life,
I won’t turn back, I know You are near

And I will fear no evil,
For my God is with me.And if my God is with me,
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go,
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go,
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me.
(Lyrics of the song “You Never Let Go Of Me” by Matt Redman)

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Farewell, Jude


(My cousin and his wife)

As most of you already know, yesterday early Sunday morning, I received one of the worst and saddest call that I’ve ever had in my life. My cousin Jude (based in California), a 35 year old guy, had a heart attack and died within a few minutes. In the hospital where he was taken, they discovered that he had a huge blockage in his heart of a blood clotting called embolism (which can travel to any part of your body, from your lungs to the heart or to the brain). This disease apparently, is a silent-killer.

My cousin appeared to be all normal and healthy. He was very active and wanted to do everything from mountain climbing to swimming, from biking to hiking, kayaking, scuba diving. He loved the outdoors. Not only that, he had a good sense of humor – he was always the life of a party, a one-man act. He was also a handy man, he loved to tinker, to dismantle mechanical stuff inorder to learn how to put them together. His recent feat was when he was able to put together his car’s engine/motor parts just by reading and asking those who know. Most importantly, Jude had a heart to serve. He was always ready to be of helping hand, especially to the elderly. Above all, he loved his family and he loved God. He was, in every sense, a good man.

Apart from coughing last two weeks ago, which the doctor thought to be asthma, he was not complaining about anything at all. So his demise came as a huge shock to all of us, especially to his wife and 11-yr old son.

Jude was one of the closest cousins to me. I still remember our heart to heart talks and moments when he came to me for advice. I would surely miss his calls on weeknights or during weekends when he would make me laugh so much just recalling about fun and good times at CFIF where we worked together. And I do remember him also sharing with my grief, him on the phone sobbing over the loss of my mother.

His untimely death will be felt greatly, not only by his wife and son, but by his mother and siblings in the Philippines (whom some of them he was financially supporting), his relatives, as well as by those who knew him as a friend and a co-worker.

To Jude – we love you and we are greatly saddened by your sudden passing away. You will be remembered fondly and missed terribly by all those whose paths you have crossed during your short journey here on earth.

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