What Cancer Has Taught Me

Find Strength In Your Pain

The Cancer Voice Asia | Find Strength In Your Pain | Photo by Gabriel Matula on Unsplash

PAIN: Feel it, live it, embrace it, and learn from it.

For some people who suffer pain 24/7, it just takes it out of them not just physically but emotionally and mentally. It just drags them down more and more, the worst thing about is, it’s never going away.

The Cancer Voice Asia | I'll find strength in pain. Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash
I’ll find strength in pain. Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash

I would like to share two stories of people who are close to me these days. One has suffered from chronic stomach pain which made her end up for an emergency surgery in September 2017. Whilst, the other one is suffering from another kind of chronic pain for having cancer, two times surgical operation and she feels pain every day.

 

Shown in the video is Kathryl Superticioso Canto, my younger sister who had her emergency surgical removal of stones that were blocking her appendix that eventually increased the risk cardiovascular disease which she previously felt before she landed to the hospital here in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The intermittent pain she felt for almost a month until she could not deal with the discomfort she felt until she gave me a call and I ran her into the nearest hospital where we were living. It’s the same hospital where I was undergone with my surgical tumor last February 2017.

Until we realized after several laboratory tests and MRI that she needs to be operated as soon as possible. We did all our best to free her from such terrible pain as soon as possible. I did a careful decision before she will undergo surgical operation like what I did before my tumor was removed and called my personal surgeon to ask another option and suggestion for my sister through a phone call.

We responded fast for her emergency surgery and she was soon sent to the operating room (the video above showed before her surgery started the pain you can see in her face). I waited for hours until she will be sent to the recovery room but the doctor sent her to ICU. I was not supposed to stay in the ICU but I beg to the nurses and doctor to be with her the entire time she is in the ICU. She still feels the pain which I could not do anything else but just to rub the palm of my hand wherever she felt the pain in her back. I made sure that she was all safe on that day and released from the ICU the next day.

Even I still need to catch my flight back to the Philippines the next day, I waited until she was transferred to her hospital bedroom. It made me feel relieved if I see her one more time safe and already free from danger.

Such a tiring week for me at that time, but a love for the sister never hindered and I never felt that exhausted yet.

The Cancer Voice Asia | You'd never say, "It's just cancer, get over it." Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash
You’d never say, “It’s just cancer, get over it.” Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

This time I will not show the photo of a friend who suffers pain 24/7 daily. She becomes closer to me now unlike the first 6 months we knew each other. From the first time I learned that she has Thyroid cancer, there is a boundary between our communication even I was trying to reach her out.

But reaching out someone who has cancer who already feel isolated and is not confident in sharing about her pain and struggles with cancer is really complicated.

All I have to do is to be patient until the day comes that she starts telling me what is really inside her, what she thinks or what she feels.

And so it happens, I am so glad that she finally shares things that I used not to know before and I badly want to know before.

I see her suffering from pain on a daily basis.

And lately, she was in dreadful pain, I went to her bedroom, she was tolerating the pain she feels everywhere in her body, crying and even howling of too much torment.

Yet, until now, it seems like there is no answer to her question. No matter how I tried to inquire many questions, I still got no right answers. Many doctors keep giving her different medicines or even a strong aspirin that can help her pain to stop. She drinks 3 tablets of paracetamol each time she feels the pain; yet, the medicines have no use anymore.

This pain my friend feels every day, it’s irrepressible and a mystery at the same time.

Mystery because there is no doctor that can cure or can give a cure on what she is facing now.

So, I gave you two real-life stories about the people who feel different kinds of pain. And the latter story is the most difficult situation for me to understand, too. Even I don’t know anymore what else advise I should give.

It seems easy to give an advice or suggestion to be mindful and be positive always, but actually, it isn’t. When I see her in pain sometimes, I just simply give her a smile and leave.

But how to deal with such pain in general?

Like cancer, people like us got cancer but not all cancer is the same. Similar to pain, you may feel pain right now, whether it’s emotional, mental or physical – how can you feel, live, embrace and learn from it?

You know what it’s like to feel pain. That unpleasantness can take many forms, especially physical pain. It may last for hours, or days, please do remember that some other people are facing with pain perpetually.

When experiencing emotional pain like loss or any tragedy of a loved one, we tend to feel the pain or hurt. Some is denying it and some is feeling it.

The bottom line of this kind of pain is to never forget to be kind to yourself and let the pain stays until it’s over. Live it, embrace it and learn a lesson from it. In that way, it will be easy to forget and move forward.

Meanwhile, for every peer cancer warriors across the globe, I feel your pain.

I understand the pain you feel and I wish I had a better way to say it. Your struggles to be okay despite of pain throughout your cancer journey is unfathomable. And yes, it is okay to scream, you’re allowed to cry, but never, ever give up. Anything is possible in having hope for a cure from cancer.

No matter how things are unable to perceive for the cure of cancer and even the pain you feel daily, there is always a strength you can in your pain.

 

Cielo Superticioso, is the author of The Cancer Voice Asia created last August 2017. She starts the advocacy of The Cancer Voice after she successfully beat cancer in Saigon, Vietnam by writing articles. She is committed and determined to continue the campaign in order to strengthen the cancer awareness because no one should fight cancer alone.

About Author

Cielo Superticioso, is the author of The Cancer Voice Asia created last August 2017. She starts the advocacy of The Cancer Voice after she successfully beat cancer in Saigon, Vietnam by writing articles. She is committed and determined to continue the campaign in order to strengthen the cancer awareness because no one should fight cancer alone.

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