Monday, March 17, 2014

My Ate Marcel Battles the Big C

I have been trying to keep this to myself but I realized that by sharing our pain, people would get to be more cognizant of breast cancer and how it affects and devastates the families of its victims

It was only last December 2013 when I visited Ate Marcel and her family in Manila that I found out about the Big C. The biopsy results confirmed what she had dreaded ever since she felt a lump in her chest. The diagnosis was breast cancer stage 3b.  

I remember going to the toilet right after we talked. It was there at that very private area where I tore up and really cried. After regaining my composure, I went back to the living room where Ate Marcel, Kuya Tony and their kids were gathered


I remember going out with the whole family and with younger brother Junjun for some bonding moments. It was supposed to be a happy occasion for Christmas was approaching and yet there was that dark cloud of gloom that hovered over us

That was one sad Christmas reminiscent of the one that we had the year Papa Rogie passed away  
with daughter Katrina after a chemotherapy session

Yes, my dear Ate Marcel is facing the biggest battle of her life and we need the power of a Prayer Brigade as she continues her treatment regimens

Ate Marcel’s last visit to Bohol was only last January. She insisted in coming home to pay her last respects to our late uncle “Papa Rey Gatal” before he was to be buried last January 3. It was a heart-wrenching reunion for Ate Marcel and cousins Ate Roni and Manoy Rocky who practically grew up together since our respective houses in Gallares St. were right beside each other.

I couldn’t help but shed a tear when Ate Marcel was sobbing on Manoy Rocky’s shoulders. Manoy Rocky, then Tagbilaran City’s Kabataang Barangay Chairman was the one who insisted that Ate Marcel accept the offer to represent the city in the 1983 Miss Young Bohol Pageant. She followed his advice and the rest is history

Cancer is such a treacherous disease. Once it latches onto the cancer patient’s system, it is irreversible unless there is medical intervention. The malignant tumour results from the abnormal and uncontrolled division of affected cells

Right now Ate Marcel has lost her hair as a result of her ongoing chemotherapy. Ate Marcel has always been a survivor and has been a veteran of life’s battles and wars. She has always been a strong, opinionated and determined woman who has never been known to back out from trials and challenges.

But Ate Marcel can never do this alone. Let’s rally behind her as she faces the biggest battle of her life. Give her some words of encouragement and please offer a prayer for her

Making this public has been a very difficult decision for us. We could just keep quiet about this but it would be unfair for family, friends and classmates

We want to share this so that everyone would realize that cancer is very real and can happen to anyone including your loved ones.   

Here is my Ate Marcel during the prime of her youth when she was crowned the 1983 Miss Young Bohol

 Her runners up: 4th RU Tessie Labunog, 3rd RU Elizabeth Gales 2nd RU Joy Tago- Yap 1st RU Miss Binangbang

Here's the link to her Miss Young Bohol victory:

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