Every year is like a new chapter of a book – your life. Sometimes it can be personified as one of your friends, the reliable one or your fr-enemy, it’s up to you.
For me, it’s that one person who made you question your friendship. This was a bad year. How bad? Really really bad.
2015 is the year I cut my long lively hair because I was broken hearted over a facebook post. I knew adding him as a friend is not a good idea.
This is a year that I thought would be my last. I’ve hit depression so low I’ve barricaded myself from all my friends. It was the not usual seasonal kind of sad, nor the teenage rebellious phase, it was real.
I’ve never been so emotionless, so tired. Even the things I loved no longer appeals to me. I can’t read, I can’t eat, I stuffed myself of sleeping pills everyday.
I made excuses not to meet friends, I also made excuses not to have lunch at work. I despised human interaction.
I started asking myself, “What’s the point of all of this?”. I asked internet forums, I even registered to an online counselling. No one can answer me.
It changed one morning as I am taking a bath when I discovered something different. I had a pea sized lump in my right breast.
It surprised me that I did not feel any concern on this new discovery. As any matured adult would do, I went to see our office doctor for a consultation.
Nothing major, maybe I scratched it while I was sleeping. No surprise there, I almost always wake up with new scratch wound anyway.
Few weeks had passed and the lump was getting bigger, swollen, and it started to hurt.
I visited the doctor again and the first thing she asked me was, “do you have a history of breast cancer?”.
I said no, not that I know of.
She endorsed me to see a gynecologist, which in turn endorsed me to have a breast ultrasound. At this point, I can no longer walk for a long time without catching my breath. I completely lost appetite, I was just really tired.
The ultrasound technician (if that’s the right term) was a little bitchy, excuse my french. The first thing she said was, “get your hands up over your head”, I did so and she acted like I am wasting my time.
She stopped and looked at me.
“Do you have a history of breast cancer?”, she asked. I did not answer, this is serious.
“Okay, we’re going to get through this. It will be okay,” a sudden change of attitude? This is really serious.
She then proceeds to show me the monitor. “There are a lot of cysts here, and here, and here..”, her mouse clicking very fast.
“Okay. let’s have the other one.” I thought only the right one. “If the other one is infected, this one is also infected.”
True enough, there were another batch of mouse clicking for the left one. Though it did not swell, it had a lot of cyst inside.
“You will have to come back for another consultation. I will look into this thoroughly, don’t worry”, she said as she closed the door.
I was heavily medicated for the following months. I did not cancel my plans to go out of town on my birthday. I could not travel long enough as was tired. My friends carry my luggage and was very understanding that I could not participate in any strenuous activities.
My symptoms was that of IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer), it was an aggressive type of cancer that tends to grow and spread quickly in a matter of hours or weeks. You can read more about it here.
The medication seems to have an effect and I was getting better. I took it as a sign of second chance in life, though I can honestly tell that some days I wanted it to be my escape.
I went home from work one night and saw our youngest dog, Lavagurr, on the floor. Though the other 3 dogs greeted me with the usual high energy, she just bobbed her head and ignore me.
I don’t know what’s wrong with her. She smells terrible. I asked my younger sister to talk to our neighbor to hire his cab to the animal clinic. The fastest he would be back is 7:30pm. It’s already 6:15pm. I declined, I need to be there immediately.
I called her again, she seems to be catching her breath. She’s in pain. I caress her head and told her I’m here.
She stood up, placed her head on my hand for a moment, then walked on the farthest corner of the room.
My mother arrived then, we rushed her to the animal clinic immediately. We could not find a cab as it was rush hour, we had no choice but to ride on a jeepney instead.
There was a point on the way that the vehicle stopped and would not start.As a girl who loves fiction, I’ve read about this kinds of omen a hundred times, yet I refuse to believe it.
We ran and placed her on the steel table. The nurse immediately said, “Ma’am, she’s gone”. He poked her eyes to prove that there’s no life in them.
I sat down and cried. It’s really different when someone told you it’s gone. It was weird, like a joke gone horribly wrong.
We picked a spot near the river to bury her. It still felt weird. How could this stiff sticky object be my furry baby a while ago?
I could not move, I could not stop my tears. I felt paralyzed as my mother dig up the dirt for her resting place. I can’t do anything.
We arranged stones to cover her spot, said goodbye and never looked back.
One friend told me that a pet dies to save its owner. I do not know how great of a saving I am that my baby have to die.
These things brought too much of sadness for this year. The amount of good things that happened cannot surpass the level of sorrow these events have caused.
And I’m glad it will be over.
On Christmas day, I received a message I’ve been waiting years to receive:
I felt free of all the hatred I felt before, I felt all the sadness have ended at that moment and things will be okay again.
The only thought that keeps me going today is: it must be one hell of a bright future to be going through a lot of heartaches.