Guest Blogger: Margareth Rose “Meggie” Santos
I always keep in mind that God is enough.
If I have Him, I have all that I need. I don’t want to sound like a preacher but my heart is always filled with joy every time I think how God made miracles in my life.
My 2-year cancer story is among the most spectacular miracles I personally witnessed.
The day I knew I had cancer was not the day I went to see the doctor. I knew I had it years back. Just like the rest of us when we feel something, I always ignored believing it will come to pass. Denial is an easy excuse to face a sordid reality.
The pain would be intermittent. Sooner than I thought, my breast was already deformed and had a discharged.
I kept my condition to myself.
I was worried at the cost of getting sick, and with my family members “depending ” on me, coming out with the truth that I had cancer would like an explosion.
One day I decided I should do it. I stopped smoking and went to see my pastor friend Efren and his wife Winnie.
Honestly, I didn’t know how to handle the situation. Telling my family and discussing the financial aspect of the treatment were difficult.
I only had a part time job and had very little savings left.We prayed for guidance before they accompanied me to my doctor.
But God always has His ways.
That August weekend, my friends and I planned a trip to Davao. I took it as an opportunity that it would be the right time to tell them my story. But it never happened.
After a 3-hour trip and shopping, I took a shower. That was when my wound bled profusely that I almost consumed a roll of toilet paper. It never stopped.
There was no other way but call for help and told my friends that I needed to be brought to the hospital. It came as a shock to them because nobody knew my lump was already in that advanced stage.
After that frightful evening at Davao Doctors Hospital, everything was never the same again.
We went home to General Santos City the following day. I was brought to specialists and one test came after the other. When all the results were out I knew I was in advanced stage of invasive ductal carcinoma.
Mine was sadly a case of neglect.
My doctor said cancer nowadays doesn’t have to be that damaging as it used to be. As long as your body is receptive to the medicines, you can be treated. That was were I anchored my hopes on.
I am fortunate that my doctor, Dr. Cortez happened to be a very close family friend. It is important that we trust our doctors.
That evening I prayed to God and asked Him for me to get well and for Him to guide me in all of my decisions.
Truly, God’s way is amazing.
The outpouring of support was overwhelming.
Friends near and afar, family members, high school classmates and batch mates from Batch 77 of Notre Dame raised funds for my medication.
My former colleagues from South Cotabato ll Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Socoteco 2) and party mates from politics, friends from Rotary, my prayer support group from Singles For Christ and a lot more.
I told myself in jest it pays to be Ms. Friendship. God has blessed me with friends who stood by me.
My first chemotherapy treatment was on September 22, 2015.
I needed six and an additional two more sessions. On March 30, 2016, I have completed eight. Each time I went to the hospital for the session, I would ask God for strength. The prayers helped me complete my medications without any complication.
I had my mastectomy and on July 12, 2016 then my repeat biopsy after. The result was favorable. All of the 10 lymph nodes test were negative.
My cancer stage was downgraded from stage 4 to stage 2b. I still undergo daily treatment and calcium shots every six months to strengthen my bones. These procedures could continue for the rest of my life but I already claim my victory!
I have claimed that the Lord has healed me. Now I am a woman of faith coming out stronger, braver and bolder. I thank the Almighty for blessing me with a family who stood by me all through out my journey. We’re all in these together.
I am a neophyte warrior, happy and contented with God’s mercy. I have just been blessed with another lifetime. We have an amazing God who heals. Cancer is just a chapter in our life and not the whole story.
Nowhere in my life has this saying became even more meaningful, ”Where there is great love, there can always be miracles”.
I find joy and gladness not only today but in almost everyday of my life because it has been said that contentment only comes when we realise God is all we need.
There are infinite possibilities in life. In my own experience, one can never be a loser because you get something good out of being hurt. You become stronger in spirit and closer to God, Life acquires more meaning.
It is just sad we have to experience pain before we value life and learn to live it to the full.
Every woman should do these:
- Go to your doctor and do not waste time in denial. I learned this the hard way. This doesn’t have to happen to you.
- Prepare yourself for the results. Keep yourself strong. Our lives are tested by the courage we face every challenge.
- Leave the treatment and other processes to the the experts: your doctor and God. After all is said and done, let your faith take over.
- Do your daily journal. In my case, it gives me a sense of worth. You see your journey very clearly.
- Do not be ashamed to ask for prayers. It helps a lot. My friends and acquaintances stood by me and I never felt alone.
- Ask God to heal you. He listens.
I realized life can be lived simply without racing for time. Cancer made me slow down and be thankful everyday.
Margareth Rose Santos, or fondly called Meggie by friends, now teaches part time at Brokenshire School of Socsargen, Inc. and is based in General Santos City, Philippines. She continues to be an active member of the Rotary Club of Dadiangas and the Cancer Society of GenSan. In her free time, she still takes part in Socoteco-2 activities where she was a former Institutional Development Manager. Meggie was also a former Sangguniang Lunsod member (city councilor) of Gensan.