Sunday, April 24, 2011

How I survived Leukemia

Everything about me was normal when I was born. And everything stayed the same as I grew up. I think.

For that, I consider myself lucky. But not lucky enough to be spared from a disease I did not dread until it became a reality.

Not knowing is a nightmare. It is like trudging a dark and dank surreal world. But the diagnosis is worse. It is the unanticipated pull back to earth spiced up with painful lashing, one after the other—one whip for every complication that is leukemia.

I remember hiding and crying. Asking questions that begin with “why.” Questions with no definite answers. Answers that come along when most of your fears and worries are over.

I am not much thankful that it is over, nor for the fact that I survived it. It’s just how it is because it is how it’s supposed to be. And I had no control over it.

I cannot say that I am less troubled now. Because I often catch myself worrying. Wondering what will happen next—if the trouble and the trauma is the worst I will ever have to deal with in life. Even I know that it is too early to tell. To say that the worst is over.

Sometimes I feel defeated. Because part of me died the day the battle ended. It is compulsory to live just so I will not lose altogether. I find much consolation in living the best way I can. If only to express that I learned something, that I got something good out of which is undoubtedly bad.

Some people, perhaps they will have a hard time understanding how a thing like this can change people like me. How something probably as abstract as leukemia could affect a person forever. I will be happy for them if they live their lives never finding out. I pray that they never find out.

I never had leukemia but I did suffer from it.

I lost a loved one because of it—my brother who always expressed his will to live. A brother who could have been a great somebody if he were given a longer lease on life. A brother who made me believe that there is heaven because after all he’s gone through, he deserved heaven.

Losing him, the process and the end in itself, was suffering.

I didn’t have to be on the verge of dying to survive leukemia.

I go on with my life but things will never be the same again. No simple bleeding or body pain will ever go unnoticed. I will forever think that I may be a carrier of the faulty gene which when triggered, can lead to the same thing that killed my 13-year-old brother.

I survived leukemia. But a good person I know and loved, didn’t. He suffered so badly, he didn’t make it.

Often times I live in fear. Sometimes, sorrow.

I guess, this is how I survived—scarred and scared.

This is how I live.


Anonymous said...

I came upon your blog just searching for the old hospital in QC. Chanced upon my dad's name in one of your entries and found myself reading through several entries. My dad was Nichi's hematologist. I'm sure he must remember him very well. I think in a few days I must show him your writing.
It will be almost 5 years since you lost your brother. Please Allow me to give our condolences to your whole family even this late.

E Purugganan

tye said...

Hi E Purugganan!

I your comment just now. Dr. Purugganan was very nice to Nichi. He made Nichi understand his ailment without freaking him out. Dr. P was also like that to us (Nichi's family).

I hope he's good.Please extend my family's regards and please...please thank him for us for being part of those who helped us extend our time with Nichi as long as the heavens allowed.

-- tyrene delgado