Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Marathon Begins

Cancer’s a bitch. And yes, so am I. But unlike my endless peril in finding love only to beat the shit out of the poor guy, I wouldn’t even wish cancer on my exes or my enemies. 
It’s worse than dysmennorhea, worse than labor contractions, worse than any break up, pre-breakup meditated, any heartache and any disappointment mankind has known. It eats you up and your loved ones alive as if your heart is crushing and pounding on your vital organs all at the same time. From a single mother’s point of view, cancer leaves you helpless and paralyzed at the sight of your child’s growing pain.
Last night, Mio, my five year old son asked me to kiss his arthritic foot to make the owie (ouch-ie, pain) go away. I do this out of habit and with little faith that indeed, my kiss does comfort him somehow as it always does with the slightest scratch or bruise he used to get. You see, my son isn’t the most agile little boy there is. I always say that he didn’t inherit my social skills or activeness and instead manifested his idiotic father’s reclusion, technical fascination and diesel-likened personality only slightly infused with my wits and artistic flair.
This time however, he follows it up with another question. “Mom, when you kiss my owie will it make the enemies in my blood go away too?”
Jose Emilio has just been diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia or ALL. 
Little faith there is no more. I am left with that alone.
ALL is the kind that’s rapidly developing and in the doctor’s way of explaining it to my son, the enemy is attacking his body fast. Invading would be the right term to use. An excess of white blood cells (which ironically is what I lack in thus my weird skin- evident blood disorder) is suffocating all the other healthy cells in his bone marrow and signals his anti-bodies otherwise.
That’s how I understood it but to be honest, I don’t get it; I don’t get it how my bouncing baby boy born with healthy bones, ten toes, ten fingers and grew up with twenty healthy teeth can have cancer; I don’t get it how my son who irks at paint or crayon stains on his hands, asks for alcohol after he pees or holds money, chose to be a vegetarian, hates softdrinks and candy (which I’ve been trying to shove down his throat, believe me) and takes his time with chocolates and ice cream would be so ill; I don’t get it how a child born and raised by hundreds of my friends, schoolmates and family—loved even by strangers, would have this disease.
I don’t get it.
But I am beyond understanding the mysterious ways of God. Regardless if this is a punishment for my shortcomings, my arrogance in thinking that I can brave the trials of single parenting by myself or the anger I harbour for those who have hurt us—this is yet the biggest battle I have to fight and my soldiers have raised their armors.
Fighting cancer is worse than war because no evil or goodness prevails in pursuit of life. And seriously, this isn’t about me anymore. It has never been and it is foolish of me to think that this has anything to do with my dedication as a mother or my capacity to love. It simply is a bitch tampering on my child’s future and I will not let that happen.
Mio, is not mine, in spite of the name my Student Council group and surveys have given him during my pregnancy. It is precisely for these simple reasons that he is ours. He is a bright boy with the longest lashes in the whole wide world who paints and draws in two dimensions—a far cry from a child’s usual flat sketches and stick figures. He is the shy boy who dances to the beat of the drums and wants to be an artist. 
The past three days has been a field trip for Mio. When asked how he’s feeling or if he’s better, he’d candidly reply “I’m not sure... I’m fine now...” The fact that people bother and hover him actually delights him while massaging his ailing foot or scratching his wounds under the blanket if only to hide his discomfort from me and his visitors. He knows he’s sick and yet he remains thankful to God in our evening prayer for the toys he receives, for the nurses and the medicine that will help his owie go away. I have yet to give him the world I promised him.
I think you’ll all agree when I say that Mio deserves this army. His childhood is the war I wage. I’ve always thought I had forever with my little boy and I used to just want it to pass us by so he can be a grown man, the kind who is everything good, smart, healthy and handsome.
I’ll have to put that on hold and fight this battle NOW. And because he was born to a drama queen, I am torn between the honor of playing the hardest role I have yet encountered in my whole theatrical career or the anguish of putting up a strong face amidst this ultimate test in life.
I have nothing but your love and support although I hate being over-bearing. But like any parent, I will beg, borrow or steal. But we are good people with kind hearts. I can only ask for you to rally the gates of heaven so my son—and all the other children in the world unjustly suffering this illness to have a chance at a normal and yes, dramatic life.
I can only take it one day a time. And today, if I have to remain grateful and open to what tomorrow brings, I can only be sure that my son has turned into an instrument of love and prayer. He has always been, always will be yet here we are only realizing it now.
I plea that you continue fighting with me. Mio can teach us many things everyday and I vow to allow him to do that in his little ways. Help me help him. Please.

36 comments:

  1. Jas, so sorry to hear this. Will be praying for your son.

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  2. hi jasmine! i can't even begin to imagine how horrible this is for you, but you might want to check out this site. from the parents of leukemic children i spoke with there, the support group available really helped them get through the ordeal.

    http://www.life4leukemicchild.org.ph

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  3. Prayers will always be you both. Always hold on to Him.

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  4. Jay,
    I don't know what to say. My heart goes out to you and Mio... I just want to embrace you and make you feel God's loving embrace to tell you how much He loves you and Mio... Yes, He does. Cancer or no cancer... Love you. Stay well. Mio will need you..

    And by the way, I am glad you started this blog. This helps... you and us. Thanks.

    Sangko

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  5. After seeing you and Mio today, I'm in a way happy that I've seen how a great Fighter you are.. so strong and still can afford to keep the smile and kakulitan. You've grown to be such a good mother to fight the emotions and show Mio that everything will be alright. Don't worry my dear cousin, we will always be at your side through this fight and everyone else... love you and Mio so much!

    Ateng Mildred

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  6. hi jas. my dad was diagnosed with cancer early this year and through God's grace he is now in remission. i will be among mio's prayer warriors.:) my love to your little boy. take care.

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  7. Hi Jas,

    My prayers are with you and your son. He is lucky to have a mom like you. :)

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  8. We may not know each other but our prayers are for Mio and for you...

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  9. Jasmine and Mio, we are storming the gates of heaven for you. Ngayon tayo kumapit, Jas. Do not let go!

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  10. hi, i really hope and pray that God will hear all our prayers. You are one brave mom... and you've raised one brave son too...

    noreen (your cousin pizza's n@wie sister)

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  11. My heart bled while I was reading your story. I was diagnosed with cancer too but what I went thru was nothing compared to what your son is probably going thru now. But keep the faith. I too have surrendered everything to God.

    Mio will always be in our prayers. He is such a strong, strong boy.

    ~Faye (also your cuz pizza's n@wie sister)
    http://fightingformaia.blogspot.com

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  12. This is Rowie Azada-Palacios. Sending you my and my family's thoughts, prayers, light, and love.

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  13. My prayers are with you, Jasmine.

    N@wie Aiai

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  15. hi jasmine! I am so sorry to hear about your son. Always remember that God is in control and nothing is impossible with Him. Praying for you and Mio.

    -Camille Vergara

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  16. Jas,

    We always need to gird up for the unexpected. Keep positive and keep the faith, no matter how it seems so much easier to just give up. This is what colors our life, how we fight. Ill call you soon.

    Take care
    David

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  17. hi jasmine -

    i got your blog from a sis at n@w. praying that you and mio will beat the odds!

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  18. Pau twitted about your story and I really don't know what to say, except that you and Mio will now be in my prayers.

    I dedicated a page to Mio on the Livestrong website, and used his photo which I got from a blog of your friend. If it's not okay to use his pic, please do let me know, I'll take out. Here's the page:
    http://www.livestrongaction.org/dedication/jose-emilio-mio-mendiola

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  19. Hi. I cried while reading about your little boy. I am a mom, too, and I know how painful it is to watch your little boy go through this ordeal. I am including him in my prayers. He's such a precious young man.

    Do you have a GCash account where we can also send money, as it's more convenient for people like me who don't usually go out lunchtime or any other time during office hours? I don't have much, but I would like to help. If you're not comfortable posting it here, please email me at destiny22076@yahoo.com.

    May God bless you and especially Mio, always.

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  20. i know how you feel... i had a nephew who suffered ALL too. be strong & we'll help you pray.

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  21. I admire you for your disposition and how you traspired it to your son. I pray for you and Mio..

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  22. We may not know each other, but I'm also a mom.. I admire you for being so strong for Mio.. God is always with you and Mio. Me and my family will pray for you. Try to read the book of Job from the Bible. Have faith my dear. Hindi Nya kayo pababayaan.

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  23. I only got this link from an online friend. I was so surprised. I will definitely pray for Mio, Jas. You are a very nice woman and I know you can get through this. Be strong!

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  24. Hi! We might not know each other personaly but I just want you to know how touched I am with your story. My son Matthew was diagnosed of having Diabetes Ketoacidosis when he was 1 year old. He is now insulin dependent. We prick to check his blood sugar 3 times a day and injects him 4 times a day. Our doctors say this is permanent. When I learned about this, it was the end of the world for me. I didnt know how to move on and live life. Just like you, its very difficult for me seeing him in pain. I know what your going thru is nothing compared to me but you seem to be a strong person and we'll definetely pray for you and Mio. Your son Mio is truly lucky to have a Mother like you. May God shower you with more strength and patience. Send our hugs and kisses to Mio. God bless!
    Grachel

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  25. Hi Jayphen,
    I just got the news from Kat this morning. I will include Mio and you in my prayers and we at CSC will have a special intention for him in our daily prayers. I will get in touch with parents from our FS class and get something moving. Please give all my love to Mio. I hope to visit him next week if its alright. You are a strong woman :-) kakayanin natin ito! take care. please tell Mio I am praying for him.

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  26. Will pray for Mio and you...take care...

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  27. Hi jasmine...we don't really know each other very well, except for a few messages we've exchanged about a month ago. please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your very precious, Mio. i'll be offering prayers/intentions for your continued strength and Mio's immediate recovery. God bless.

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  28. Jas and Mio Erika and I continue to pray for both of you

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  29. I heard about you and Mio from my churchmate back in the Philippines, Ruben del Valle. I have been reading your blog tonight and have been praying for God's love and joy, peace and strength, as you go through this trial. We're all believing for Mio's miracle. Hold on. Keep the faith!

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  30. "With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible."- Matthew 19:26

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  31. You know what i know your son can made it.. He can actually win this fight, Im not a doctor but I know it. Pagmamahal mo palang panangga na niya.. Just stay strong and have faith. just always remember sa bawat gabi na puno ng dilim meron at meron pa ring tala na magbibigay ng liwanag at pag asa.

    Mio stay healthy..

    I'll pray for you and your mom..

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  32. Hi Jasmine,

    I just read your Blog now, I may not be able to offer any financial aid but I assure you that I will give my 100% spiritual support to both of you. Be stronger, Mio really needs you to be. God will always be there to LOVE, GUIDE and TAKE GOOD CARE of your son..... He is the best doctor..... I will always pray for MIO......

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  33. From this day on... Mio will always be in my prayers... Stay strong. God has His ways.

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  34. fight mio...ill pray for u... God bless... - from Spongebob

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  35. Hi Jasmine,

    Me and my family will be praying for Mio's recuperation. I can't help crying when I see your post.Hugs and kisses to Mio.

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