“Hindi lang pala highblood ang nasa lahi ninyo, kuna ni manang mo. Cancer din pala.”
This was what my mom told me yesterday, as i was alighting from the tricycle in front of our house in barrio camantiles, to formally start my week-long holy week vacation courtesy of my ever galante boss.
Indeed, more and more relatives are dying of different kinds of cancer, these past few years. and i thought, before the events did manifest themselves, that cancer is just a thing you watch in romantic movies starring Julia Roberts. My eldest aunt on my mom’s side succumbed to lung cancer two years ago; and she’s not even a smoker. Late last year, Aunt Obet died of a cancerous growth in her throat, something which has been bothering her for the longest time; it started out with a goiter.
I thought the family will be given a quite long break from all this cancer thing as we’ve suffered terribly from these two deaths; surely we’ve suffered enough—then this one came.
My aunt tuding has recently been diagnosed of having cancer. Prior to that, she has been complaining of her left eye involuntarily “shedding tears”. We all thought she had some kind of infection, and that it was her eye’s way of coping with it. Until she had herself examined to find out it wasn’t a simple infection. The family was ready to support her in her fight, but the doctor’s suggested battle plan/ treatment has taken her aback. it involved carving a hole in her face, to face the cancer eating her eye and potentially parts of her brain, head on. Hearing this from her as she was telling us of the doctor’s suggestion, me and my sis had to put on a brave front, that afternoon we visited her. She’s put out a brave front herself, not going hysterical and freakin’ out on things that have come her way so far. but she has already come to a decision. There will be no operation. She will face the great beyond with morphine on her side. The family respected that, and we strove to lead our lives like the shocking news never really got to our doorsteps; but it has.
Mom arrived just a few minutes ahead of me. together with her sisters including aunt tuding, she came from a wake of another relative who died of.. yes, cancer. When she told me this, there was no need explaining why she’s all sad and troubled.
“bakit kaya nangyayari ito? Dati naman walang ganyan na sakit.”
“I wish i knew, nanay. I wish i knew”, was all i could bring myself to whisper to the wind.