Sunday, August 26, 2012

Day 11 : The Diagnosis

Day 12 - August 23, 2012
The day my life changed

INVASIVE DUCTAL CARCINOMA Stage 2A (early stage, thank GOD!!!) or more simply put, Breast Cancer. My surgeon confirmed it on this day. N and I sat down on her visitors' chairs and were told, "It's not good..."

I recall hearing those words like they were said a few seconds ago. It's been 3 days since then and I've never been the same.

It took me 3 days to start writing about it here, not because I had to recover from shock or anger. I didn't want to be abrupt, I wanted to make sure that every word is meant and comes from the heart.

My first reaction to the news? I paused for about 5 seconds when my surgeon said the words and then immediately, I buckled down to business. What's next? When do we do it? How is it going to be done? If there weren't a few others waiting for their turn at the clinic, I would've spent an hour or more just asking questions about my condition and how best to deal with this CRAP that's taken residence inside my body. But I had to keep it short so I made sure I covered only the most important ones, the ones my family will surely be asking me as soon as I tell them the news.

Anger was never an option. It would have taken up precious time, the time I needed to focus on praying and gathering information about this illness. Shock? Maybe a little. But it was so little, it hardly showed. Fear? I'm human, of course I'm scared. But it's not enough to bring me to a point where everything falls apart. My surgeon, before we left the clinic that afternoon asked me, "Did you know what was coming? Did you have a strong feeling that your lump was malignant?" I said, of course not! I was surprised and asked her why she was asking me that. She replied that it was what she thought, based on my reaction, which was totally calm and non-emotional. I didn't realize how quietly I took the news until she told me that. For this, I have to thank all those who prayed for me, because those prayers gave me the strength to accept God's will.

Breaking it to my family wasn't easy. After all, we're all still officially in mourning. However, I was amazed that I remained calm while I spoke to my Mom and Anissa. N took care of breaking it to my brother. I didn't have to convince myself not to cry while explaining things to them. I just didn't cry at all. My strength was coming from a higher power and I knew it in my bones.

Honestly, I worry more about the people around me because some of them didn't take the news too well. A few of my closest friends had to compose themselves first before deciding to call me up. Some have not even called because they're too emotional still. I wish they would so they could see how okay I am and I could comfort and reassure them.

It's been 3 days since I learned I have Breast Cancer. I don't feel much of a difference. I wake up each morning like usual, only 10 times blessed. The past 3 days have been so normal, just like any other day. The only difference? I feel loved like never before.

GOD'S LOVE IS MOST EVIDENT. He has filled me with the Holy Spirit and that's why I don't feel the need to worry or fear too much. This is such an amazing gift! To be able to say, "Oh crap! I have breast cancer!" and not throwing a fit or feeling sorry for myself.

I AM SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO CARE. The prayers haven't stopped. I know because this is precisely why I am strong and determined to beat this shitty illness.

I AM THANKFUL. This is so much better than having to worry about my kids' health. I wasn't spared but they were. That, to me, means so much and I will always be grateful for it.

IT'S BREAST CANCER, the most treatable kind and the easiest to manage. I am soooooooo blessed to have caught it in time!!! Two of my aunts (Mom's sisters) are survivors. I don't have to look far to see that this is not a death sentence.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your infinite love
For the gift of Your grace and for the courage I hold in my heart, which can only come from YOU
Strengthen me more as I begin my journey towards healing
Grant me the patience to continue to be still as I allow Your able hands to work on me
Continue to fill me with hope and positivity because these are what have made me understand why You put me in the exact place I am in right now
Never ever allow me to live in doubt or fear because I don't want to miss seeing all the great things You have lined up for me
Bless all those who have prayed for me and are still praying for me, for their love and genuine concern are what I need to reassure me on the not-so-good days
I know that the journey is just beginning and I'm never alone because You've brought me here and You'll be with me every step of the way
I thank you for these circumstances, which have helped me see things the way I've never ever seen them before
I'm ready for this challenge because You have strengthened me and given me the courage to face it with hope in my heart and complete confidence in You

So yes, I have the dreaded Big C and I'm officially a breast cancer patient.

One day, I will be cancer-free and you can call me a SURVIVOR.

Game face on!!!

(P.S. I've decided that I want to continue to chronicle my experience here, while writing about all the other stuff I'm so used to sharing --- fashion, parenting, food, travel. Someday, I'd like to be able to read back and see what I've gone through and be amazed at how God has helped me weather this storm.)


  1. Even us your virtual friends online will be here to support you all the way! :) Kill the cancer!

  2. Hi, Patt. I'm surfing Facebook and read your status. And frankly, I don't know what to say. I really hate the word cancer, esp when it is next to people I know. I know of an acquaintance (who turned into a good friend) I exchange Christmas cards with (we met twice), she lives in Melbourne, and she had stage 4 breast cancer a few years back. And now she's healthy... Probably healthier than me. I am telling you this hoping i can add to your enormous supply of faith and strength. Love always. Che

  3. Praying for you Patty! I admire how tough and how well you're taking it.

  4. What an inspiring post ! Thank you for looking at it a different angle and I am with you all the way in your fight against breast cancer.

  5. Hi Ma'am, I accidentally clicked on a link and it led me to yr page. You may not have any idea of it yet, but right from the moment you learned abt the big C, God is already setting you up to inspire and change lives. I know I am blessed by reading this :) I also know more people will still be blessed. Will be praying for you po. Keep the faith! Our God is mighty to save.

  6. RESBAK na!! :) (not using phone so no autocorrect!)

    very inspiring athens. mwah!!

  7. You're meant to inspire others, including myself, that's why you're given this. Keep on truckin' kumz! I'm so proud of you <3 One thing though I will ask of you is to make some lifestyle changes. Your spirituality is 100% so pls match it w better health n nutrition. Love you always!

  8. I admire you for your courage. Keep on fighting. We will back you up with our prayers.

  9. Your blessed in so many ways because you are also a blessing to a lot of people. Praying for you as you go on this journey.

  10. Hi Patty,

    I admire your courage and strength, and I want to thank you for your honesty & transparency in sharing what you're going through. It is encouraging, it makes one see the Big C as an enemy that can be defeated with utmost grace, as you do. I will share your blog and your beautiful prayer with someone dear who also just found out that she has cancer. We'll be praying and believing with you my dear, all the way!

    BTW I love your blog!


  11. Tough lady that's how i've always known you to be.. And i was never wrong! Youre in our prayers Patty! Fight kung fight! Kill kung kill!!

  12. You're one he'll of a tough womn, Patty! I continue to pray for you my dear.

  13. Mom was right, you really do write so beautifully. You probably don't know me personally (since we haven't seen each other for since I was a little kid), but I'd always hear your name being mentioned by my mom every time she shares a good story. You're truly an inspiration to her, and to me. I'm grateful that I got the opportunity to read your entry. It's always nice to come across people who look at life so positively, and who is not afraid to acknowledge that it is all because of God's unconditional love for all of us. I genuinely commend the kind of faith you have in Him, Tita Patty. Know that I am with the hundreds of people out there praying for you. May you continue to touch lives just as you have touched my mom's... and, well, just as you have touched mine, too :) God bless!

  14. I pray that the Lord Jesus cover you with His most precious blood and keep you from harm as you undergo this process. I admire your strength, courage, and fortitude. You really really made me admire and respect your more. All the best, Patty. We are all rooting for you. xoxo

  15. Cai, Che, Jackie, Sarah, Nika A., Sheelah, Teeyah, Pia, Marge, Elaine, Freida, Jaki, Maridol and Aileen --- your comforting words are so appreciated. May God bless you all and thank you for your well-wishes!

    To Anonymous --- I am so intrigued. If your Mom knows me then you should come forward and introduce yourself to me too :) You can email me at if you want. I would love to know who you are. Thank you for the very kind words!!!

  16. I'm in awe of you right now. It's very rare for someone who's diagnosed to immediately jump into the acceptance stage surpassing the rest of the DABDA stages in quick succession. I'm in the healthcare field and have seen a lot go through the 5 stages slowly. You have a very good attitude and a strong faith which are the necessities in fighting off every illness. I tip my hat off to you. Will pray for your swift recovery. Thanks for sharing your story of strength with us. Very-awe inspiring.

  17. The Mommist, thank you and you're welcome. I have no doubt that my experience will be able to help others, even those I don't know. I hope I'm not rushing through the DABDA stages and setting myself up for a bigger problem later on. Just that, it doesn't feel "pilit" at all, the positivity I feel. I can only attribute this attitude to praying constantly, as well as to all the prayers that have been said/are being said for me. Needless to say, I also feed on the positive words coming from all around me. They really, really help!

  18. With that kind of faith and attitude, you'll rock everything smoothly! I've seen it happen. Again, you're awe-inspiring. A rare trait nowadays but badly needed in a sea of energy vampires.

  19. The Mommist, constantly praying for sustenance from up there!

  20. Hi Patty! I only found out about your condition now. Was just browsing through FB, saw this link and read your story. I will be praying for your complete healing, God's sustaining grace as you go through the process of healing. I admire your strength and positive attitude. Take care and God bless you always!

  21. Hi, Joyce! I miss seeing you around in Eastwood on Sundays. We've stopped hanging out since my Dad passed away 3 months ago but always still in the area. I hope to bump into you again soon and thank you for your prayers!