Sunday, June 23, 2024

Binding Hope With The Pink Ribbon

by Keisiah Dawn Tiaoson | October 31, 2022

           Imagine having an abnormal cell growing rapidly and spreading uncontrollably inside you no matter how hard you try to intervene. Imagine praying at night, begging the seemingly endless pain to go away and never return. Imagine finding yourself in a position where you act stronger to hold yourself together—so that no matter how hard and endless the battle may be, you still fight to hold on to the hope of being triumphant for the sake of those you hold closely to your heart. 

What is Breast Cancer?

           Breast cancer is a condition in which the cells in the breast grow out of control. This type of cancer can spread through blood vessels and lymph vessels outside the breast. The most common types of breast cancers are Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. Early signs of breast cancer vary from one individual to another.

Fighting with Faith and High Hopes

           As of January 2022, millions of men and women have suffered from breast cancer. Mrs. Kathleen Delona, an Assistant Professor in Silliman University, is one of them. She faced the challenge with true friends and family who, throughout those seemingly hopeless nights, became her source of inspiration to keep moving in life.

           Despite the many challenges brought about by breast cancer, Mrs. Dellona is living proof that prayer, strong-will, and endurance can win even the deadliest of battles. Still, that is not to say that the journey was easy. Mrs. Dellona shares that stress, one of the major constituents of cancer, is her ultimate enemy. She said that despite her radiant smile and warm presence, life was never easy on her. She too, had experienced problems both inside their house and in the four corners of the classroom.

           She is well aware that every problem comes with a solution, and along with that some solutions take a little more time and effort. This adversity asks to be paid with the cost of health deterioration. She bravely acknowledged that even in times when all the good in life is gone, dwelling on the things we cannot control does nothing but make things worse. In addition to that, she shared that one of her many keys to survival is looking on the bright side and accumulating reasons to be thankful.

A heart of gratitude

           The experience of being a breast cancer patient renews the heart, the mind, and the way one views certain aspects of life. It reminds them of the value of time, of love, and of people that are often taken for granted. It is through this that they are reminded there is always love and  affection around us. Mrs. Dellona is beyond thankful for her chance to embrace life for a second time.

           During her life’s heavy rain, she was enveloped with prayers and love that did not give up on her. She was surrounded by family who gave her the drive to get better. Her friends showered her with emotional—and even financial—support. Her siblings, especially her two  sisters and brother whom she specifically mentioned, engulfed her with all the strength she needed. “Above all those who prayed with me and prayed for me, it is just by the grace of God that we are able to surpass everything that comes our way”, she shared.

           She fought, and she won. She held her head high and revealed to the world her story of courage, hope, and faith.

A Message to All

           The Breast Cancer Emphasis Month Celebration is to convey the message to those who suffer from breast cancer that they are not alone in their journey. It is to make them feel that we, by being aware about it and by being informed about it, are their allies. Breast Cancer Emphasis Month makes Mrs. Dellona feel in her heart a mixture of happiness, sadness, and a hint of feeling good.

           She feels happy and good because people who were diagnosed like her are remembered during this month. Happy and good because, through this, the importance of stressing a healthy lifestyle is again being talked about, especially in the food we eat each day and the physical activities we choose to get involved with. 

The memories of the pain she felt from her treatments and chemotherapy is a sadness that will always stay with her. She experienced treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, bone scanning and several laboratory tests, but to her what was most excruciating was the pain of being away from her family for a month and a half.

           This month for breast cancer awareness provides people with the knowledge of how to cope with this disease and how to support people and families who suffer from it. A well informed community that works hand in hand through programs and financial aid helps nurture a harmony of physical, mental, and emotional peace.

           As we celebrate this month, may we be reminded to bring value to our health through healthier choices. Time and life are two precious things; give life importance by spending it doing what brings peace and happiness to your soul. Tied by the pink ribbon, the universal emblem of breast cancer, let us continue to spread awareness, unite people, and bind each other with hope.

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