Facing our mortality

My mother was recently diagnosed with colon cancer.

It was not a diagnosis we were all prepared for. Even as doctors, most of us shrug off dealing with the Big C, until it hits close to home. In this case, the woman who gives my relative joys in life.

We spent 10 days in the hospital. Surgery was imperative. At her age though, recovery – both psychologically and physically – would be challenging.

From a first person perspective, I cannot tell you how gruellingly stressful those 10 days were. The tension and lack of sleep were expected. The anxiety was the icing on the cake. Many things race through your mind. Many questions fill your quest for answers. The most important one is WHY…

I chose to write this on Valentine’s Day, in order to remember how much love she has unconditionally shared in her lifetime. I will always be grateful to the woman who has taught me resilience and strength, honesty and kindness, love and gratitude, forgiveness and faith.

The Big C is a family affair.

It is a life changing moment.

A realisation of our mortality.

When you are diagnosed, it’s like having a stopwatch automatically turned on. Time is ticking. Often times, I tell myself how quickly the day has passed. Another morning. Another evening. Another week. Another month. Another year. Most (if not all) of us fail to appreciate life in full until the countdown.

I thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and well-wishes. It is different when someone dearest to you is afflicted with the emperor of all maladies. It becomes a waiting game.

Medical science has no concrete answer to cancer. Chances, odds, risks and benefits suddenly flood your mind. To heal often. To comfort always. Where does one find an answer to anxiety in the midst of depression? Even with surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy and how medical science has remarkably changed the landscape of survival, like a thief in the night, cancers will always fight their way back. It is, after all, their survival as well.

No one gives up without a fight. Yet it is difficult to accept our mortality but it is there. Laid upon us on a silver platter.

There is no easy acceptance of fate and how the story turns out or ends. But we will make moments where our relative joys in life will be most cherished. And each day now matters more than ever. Because the light at the end of the tunnel can now be seen…

I’ve always said, we’re all going to die one day. The only difference is when and how…

4 thoughts on “Facing our mortality

  1. lordmychef February 14, 2019 / 9:38 pm

    Hi Doc Benjie. Just to let you know I have kept your mom – and you – in my prayers and Masses. Been missing your blogs but I knew and felt there must be something. God bless you always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pam February 14, 2019 / 9:40 pm

    Your article truly hit home. Cancer is such a devastating illness that sucks the life out of the entire family. I pray that people who have to go through it be blessed with the grace and courage to move on no matter what.


  3. Mely V.Europa md..Csmcav February 15, 2019 / 6:50 pm

    Hi Benjie I don’t.know if.you remember that time
    we were in Chicago and you brought your mom along
    I had observed what a.loving son you were to her when we went out to.dinner
    I saw what a sweet Inang.you had.I’m sure with all the love showered on.her
    she’ll weather this unfortunate storm tossed on.her. will pray for her quick recovery. M

    Liked by 1 person

    • kidatheart February 15, 2019 / 7:13 pm

      Yes Mely. I remember those days. Thank you for your prayers.


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