by Charmaine Alcantara

Earlier in 2021, I had a medical condition that prompted me to seek the help of an OB-Gyne. I was bleeding since December 2020 and was alarmed by the volume of blood that was coming out of my body. I have anemia and was on medication, and because I was profusely bleeding, my situation was aggravated.

I went to the doctor and was advised to have a transvaginal exam . I was also given medication supposedly to help stop the bleeding. After a few days, I brought the results of the exam and was physically checked by my OB-Gyne. My doctor was able to remove a polyp on my cervix, which was sent to the laboratory for histopathology.

My OB-Gyne prescribed another medicine to stop the bleeding, and I was instructed to use it for six months. All along I thought that my medical condition was taken care of, so everything went back to normal as if nothing happened, and I just took the medications as prescribed.

A few days later, I had to call my doctor and asked her for advice because the medication seemed not to work. I was still bleeding and nauseous most of the time, and some people noticed that I started to look pale. It made me uncomfortable. I also told her that I got the results of the histopathology. She asked me to send it to her.

Immediately after she received the results, my doctor told me via text message that I needed to look for an OB Onco because the polyp that was removed was leaning toward malignancy, and that she wanted me to be checked as soon as possible. When I received her message, I immediately called her and was in disbelief about what she said. After talking to her, my immediate reaction was to cry.

Many questions were running in my head, and I was looking at different scenarios what would and might happen. You see, my mom suffered and died because of cancer, and when I heard the word malignancy, it all came back to me — the pain of losing someone you love because of cancer. I was at work that time when I talked to the doctor. I was trembling and crying at the same time. My officemates and boss consoled me, and our chaplain prayed for me.

I was in shock. I called my husband crying, and he told me not to jump into conclusion, and to just stay calm. I was able to finish work that day and told my superior that I have to take a leave of absence.

Fast forward. After several doctor’s appointments and hospital visits, we were able to get a clearer picture of my condition, and what treatment plan would be best and effective for my case. In one of the consultations, the treatment that was suggested would mean that all my reproductive organs have to be removed. If done, I could no longer bear a child and it could also cause clinical menopause and osteoporosis.
My husband and I talked about the pros and cons, and I have to admit that part of me was sad because we still don’t have a baby girl. We had to decide as soon as possible because time was of the essence. It was very tiring physically, draining financially, depressing emotionally, and most of all challenging spiritually.

Aside from that, there was a different battle within me that was taking place. Most of the time, I would wake up in the middle of the night, crying my heart out to GOD. I would wrestle with Him and would ask Him questions. I dreaded every laboratory and check-up session because the same diagnosis would come up, that the chance of it being cancer is high.

Pastor Dee-jay and I had to talk to our kids and tell them that there is a possibility of me having cancer. I had to put up a brave face even if I feared for what was to come. We assured them that whatever happens, God is in control of everything.

He said in Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Informing my siblings and my father was made extra difficult because we were still grieving from my mother’s death.

God, in his own way, showed me that He was with me every step of the way. He always reminded me that I have to put my faith in Him. He used people from different areas of my life to send His message of love, hope and peace. God had His ways of assuring me that He is and will always be in control.

We found a doctor after several consultations with different OB Onco from different hospitals. Dr. Glenn Paraso, Tita Bing Osorio, and Ate Maydy Tovera of Mary Johnston Hospital (MJH) were very helpful to us. After several considerations and prayer about the procedures, as well as the financial aspect of the process, we decided that I would get the services offered by MJH. It was a blessing because we went through a lot just to decide where and which doctor would do the procedure that I needed. The initial plan was to do a less invasive procedure, and that was what I prepared for, mentally and emotionally.

Finally, on Feb.16, 2021, I was admitted at MJH to undergo Laparoscopic Hysterectomy. As a hospital procedure upon admission, I was checked by resident doctors and was interviewed. During one of the conversations with the doctors, they told me that I would be undergoing open surgery because they would also be doing Bilateral Lymph Node Dissection.

I was shocked and speechless because I was not aware of the other procedure. After they left, I started crying. Pastor Dee-jay and I talked and he asked me if I still wanted to continue with the surgery. We texted Dr. Glenn and told him what happened, and he explained that the doctor wanted to be sure that there were no other areas affected, so they opted for the open surgery. After hearing the explanation, I was left with no choice but to continue with the surgery the next day, and prayed that everything would be okay.

Early morning of Feb. 17, 2021, (coincidentally, my youngest son’s birthday) I was scheduled to undergo Extrafascial Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salphingoophorectomy (EHBSO) with Bilateral Lymph Node Dissection (BLND).

To our surprise, an emergency appendectomy had to be done because when they opened me up, my appendix was inflamed, so they had to remove it. The surgery was successful in spite of the hurdle. Praise God that the tumor was confined only in my uterus. The specimen was taken for biopsy, and it showed that I had Endometrioid endometrial Carcinoma Stage 1A.

A total of seven doctors took care of me because I also have asthma. Before the surgery itself, we had to prepare for the possible expenses. I am thankful that I have HMO provided by our office, but just the same, one has to be prepared financially for other expenses. God used many people who in their own way helped us.

We are very blessed to have family, friends, relatives, workmates and churchmates at Fairview Park UMC who extended help not only financially but also through words of assurance, and most important of all, prayers. We felt the love and care of God through our brethren in Christ.

God has been true to His words in Philippians 4:19 “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” He provided for us and He sent help when we needed it most.

A month after surgery, I underwent three sessions of Brachytherapy (vagina radiation) as prevention for any recurrence of cancer growth. I claimed for complete healing, and is currently recuperating well.

This journey that I went through made me realize that God, in all His glory, will manifest His faithfulness and greatness, and that no amount of fear and anxiety will surpass His love for us. We go through struggles and trials in our life, but God is very true to all His promises that He will be with us even if most of the time we doubt and neglect to call upon Him.

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
Our physical bodies are like jars made out of clay that signify weakness and fragility. But our bodies are designed uniquely by the hands of the potter who molded and shaped us for whatever purpose He desires. God is not finished with us yet. He is not finished with me yet. He has a perfect plan for you and me. Trust His heart even if you don’t understand.

I am a living testimony of God’s unconditional love and faithfulness!

Featured Posts
Join us in the Grand Opening of Good Eats @Klepper
Sa tulon ng KKFI, ako ay naglakas loob na sumulong patungo sa aking pangarap at nagwagi
Unti-unti naaabot ang pag-asang di inaalang matutupad
Ang mga karanasan ko sa KKFi ng siyam na taon ay humubog sa akin.
Ang KKFI ay naging tulay ng pag-asa para sa mga kabataang nahinto sa pag-aaral
Paddling hard through life to succeed
I learned many skills from KKFI
Online classes have its benefits besides being difficult due to financial and gadget requirements. I am also learning while the teacher teaches my son.
KKFI taught me skills to be an economically, emotionally and spiritual person
Binago ng KKFI ang buhay ko.
We were brought closer to each other.
Nagliwanag ang aking kinabukasan dahil sa KKFI
Thankful to God for His faithfulness.
Nanay Wilma Galacio is thankful for a lot of blessings.
Laking tulong ng KKFi sa amin.
Cancer in the family can be an opportunity to help.
Nagkaroon ng tiwala sa sarili.
Nabago ang kanyang buhay
Natuto akong mangarap
Kamangha-mangha ang galing sa pag-awit
SI Ate Love ang nagbigay ng pag-asa.
Alvin Cea found a family in KKFI.
Follow father's footstep
Perseverance pays off
Education during the pandemic
Our mission is to help others.
It is never to late to change.
Try harder
A child blossomed in KKFI Supervised Neighborhood Play.
A mother's love
KKFI: Transforming lives and communities
Ang mga tao ay nagsabing "Mamamatay sila sa gutom ngayong pandemic."
Damayan is sharing.
Teacher tells her experience with the new normal
Naging aktibo sa aktibidades ng KKFI.
Responding positively to the COIVD-19 pandemic.
Like Alice in Wonderland, Allysa learned something from the hole called COVID-19 pandemic.
Gilead staff are gearing up for the new normal.
KKFI will not give up on the youth.
Mga miyembro at opisyal ng NHOAI nagpapasalamat sa KKFI.
Nagpapasalamat sa KKFI.
Ang pagtulong ay bukal sa puso bilang pagtanaw ng utang na loob.
Isa sa pinakadisaster-prone na bansa ang Pilipinas ngunit mga tao ay may malasakit sa isa't isa.
KKFI Social Worker talks about helping the needy.
Maliit man ang papel na ginampanan, laking tulong pa rin sa kapwa.
KKFI is a home because like in my place in province, I can freely do whatever I want – meditate, study, rest, recreate…, less distraction.
Residents choose KKFI because it is their "home away from home."
These youth have experienced bullying and discrimination from their schoolmates and teachers. Their light might be dimmed but with KKFI they found the courage continue to shine.
The history of LikhAral
A KKFI scholar's story of transformation
Nagbigay ang Smarter Good ng desktop computers sa mga ALS learners