There are moments when we want to reminisce about those things we enjoyed doing in the past. It’s not exactly a different world, just simple reminders of how life should be. Life is a continuous struggle but then amidst such pain and suffering we see the light and still enjoy whatever life deals us along the way.
Last night, I woke up to this ungodly hour of 1 am and it was hard to go back to sleep. My mind was full of images of places I’ve been to not long ago. I can’t even recall if they were just snippets of dreams I had earlier. I had this fear of going back to the hospital even for a simple check-up. I had phobia of those people lined up outside a doctor’s clinic waiting endlessly and patiently for the doctor to arrive.That feeling of being treated for a simple allergy then they find something more serious than those red marks on your skin. Fifteen years ago, I was hospitalized for almost a week because of allergy and then one of my doctors (my OB-Gyn) suggested that I undergo TVS ultrasound since I was already there. After two years of treatment, there was no option but to undergo a first major operation …total hysterectomy because of endemetriosis. My second major operation was in July 2009. They had to cut a portion of my sigmoid colon and remove the affected parts. A few months after my last chemotherapy, I underwent a kidney bypass and had to be hospitalized again. For almost six years now, I am in remission from colon cancer. I thank God for second chances at life, I thank God that He let me see the beauty of life despite all the setbacks.
Three weeks after my so-called “graduation” from chemotherapy, our friendly neighbors invited us to join them to visit a place in Tanay, Rizal, a two-hour trip by car from our place. I was even hesitant to go, I was thinking I would not be able to endure that trek down the place and the climb back later to civilization but it was one of those trips that I would remember vividly. We brought along my then six-year old niece who stayed with us during the Christmas break. The log cabin where we stayed was still in the middle of construction so we fetched a tent and enjoyed the cold breeze of the countryside. All you can see was the long-range of the Sierra Madre mountains from afar.
We roasted marshmallows, grilled hotdogs and milkfish and brought along a big pot of adobo and a pan of pancit. Everything tasted so good but the company was even better.
And the best sharing about life was done inside that tent with Jane, our neighbor and Nissa, my daughter while the two younger kids were looking for ants and other insects just outside the tent and the men in our group explored the place. Looking back, I felt so happy that I was able to endure the 15-minute walk, a kind of litmus test after six months of treatment/chemotherapy. It felt so good that it was nice again to go back to being normal, if normal means there were no more pain of the IV and the effects of the drug, if normal means going out and bonding with friends and family, if normal means you could forget the endless laboratory tests and the hospital and seeing your oncologists.
Chasing dreams and remembering the good old days, an escape from the ugly realities of life. Sometimes, life is full of angst and broken dreams but it’s nice to reminisce about something that would put a smile on your face again and you could face the world one more time with more dreams to pursue and happy memories to recall.