Today is Valentine's Day, 2015.
I have stayed for almost a year at my job. That, I consider an accomplishment, as it's been so hard to look for a good job you like, much less tolerate. To be honest, things are still confusing where I work because of the company transition. So many people are laid off and so many leave on their own too. The rest are on their toes. It seems only top management can really keep their head together--they know they're almost indispensable.
I feel mostly disrespected at my job. Yes, the people are approachable and you can ask for their help and they will help you most of the time. However, I feel like second class. Actually, in the eyes of the higher ranking employees, I feel like garbage. Sometimes I feel like I'm being treated and viewed as garbage, too. I don't really blame them for thinking that way; this isn't Agency life. This isn't PR. I feel demoralized here (it was much worse in my second job, though). People like to powertrip sometimes and put so much importance on the power of their positions. I can't do much about it; I'm seen as small fry. I know I'm not the only... "small fry", but I'm the only affected one. I know I'm not what they think I am; I can do so much more. Now I realize I'd rather be trusted too much, be given hard projects because they believe in me and because they know that despite how hard it can be, I can do it... than not be given challenging (not even the super easy ones) tasks because I'm considered "too junior".
Today is Sunday, February 15, 2015.
Anyway, I've had the most wonderful holidays for the longest time and today I am glad that I did. Miles* spent Christmas and New Year's Day with me and met most of the relatives important to me. Grandma really liked him and this time I'm sure she's sincere about it and not just being polite. We've had a few nasty issues when he was here that made me reconsider my relationship with him. I was so scared and I still am, but I'm just playing things by ear for now.
When we went to Boracay with my parents last January, he proposed to be while we were out sunset sailing. I've never loved an island before and I've never loved the thought of a vacation as much as I did after Boracay. We had so much fun, despite the island beingless than perfect. I had such high expectations that they weren't completely met; haha. Nonetheless, I loved it there. Nobody cared what you did or wore or who you were with... except us. We had started playing a game where we tried to identify golddigging women who were with foreign men. I'm pretty sure that we were identified as such sometimes... but I'm fine just knowing they had to take a good long stare or a second look because they weren't sure.
Now, looking forward, my parents and I plan to visit Miles' family in Florida in November. That was 10 months from when we considered it. At the moment, my dad is still not over it and freaked out a lot when we announced the engagement. I felt so bad for him; he was drinking and crying to my mom and I wish I could comfort him and instead make him see how it's actually such a good thing. He knows it is; he just didn't want me to be away from them—it's one of the things he hates the most. I'm sure mom was sad, I was finally at “that level” and ready to leave the nest. However, she was also taking it fine, so I'm confident she will be good for dad whenever I leave. I wish he would be happier that I will start a better life even when I don't see them physically everyday, because I'm finally starting to build my future with decisions that will make it significantly brighter and better.
I was looking forward to all that. There's actually more to what's been happening recently, but right now, the most pressing matter than stirred us around was the news Dad and I found out on Valentine's day, 2015. After showing signs of sickness for about 4 months, dad brought Mom to the hospital to be confined. On Valentine's day, I was scheduled to stay with Mom at the hospital. Dad was updating me on the procedure they were going to do and was telling me to hurry and come over. I was scared and hoped they didn't find anything, but hope slapped me in the face. They did find something, and it was bad. Dad took it... badly. So did I. No details on that.
All I can say is I hope the pain she's feeling will just go away... but we still have around a couple of days for the test results. For now, all she can do is bear with the pain, gas filling up her stomach. She can't eat or drink yet, so it's uncomfortable for her. But Dad and I have been doing our best to make her as comfortable as possible. We spoiled her with love and attention and support, with all our might. I haven't stopped and I never will. Once all three of us get through this, Dad and I will take care of her; we'll all take good care of each other from now on.
I stayed with her all day at the hospital yesterday and she was exhausted because the pain went on and on all day and it was such bad pain. I wish I could just take all of the pain at least; something, anything bad on her body that's been making her miserable so she can go back to being healthy and happy. That's all I want. I know I would be so scared of the pain and I wouldn't be able to take it, but anything's better than seeing my dearest loved ones in pain.
When Dad arrived late at night, he took over and I felt like I turned to mush from staying perfectly solid all day... and was glad I could somehow recharge or share the job with him so that we can preserve our energy and work together in giving them to Mom. But that night while I was sleeping/trying to sleep I heard things and I felt lost again. I knew I needed to be stronger, I am training myself, because it's not just for Mom but Dad too. They need me, and I need them. We will be drawing strength from each other so the set-up for now is for Dad and I to be strong, gather strength from one another and offer each other strength; then getting additional strength from our other loved ones.
Dad and I took a quick run to the house to grab a few more things and had time to talk on the way back. It was because my head was hurting so bad. I wasn't tired; even though I haven't been eating properly and sleeping. It was all the... feelings that have physically found their way up to my head. I was feeling faint and like I was about to burst after Dad and I left Grandma's house; so then I let it out on him. When he let it out, too, I was the first to stop to make him snap out of it. There were things he spoke about that reached out to me with the way he said them; we talked about each other's fears and hopes and dreams and I guided him towards planning for our next steps to keep him grounded. It was hard for me and I expected he would be the one taking charge but I managed to make him take charge with me. That's a good start.
I've been reaching out to friends and my close family members for words of strength because I don't know when the shock will leave me. But whenever I'm with Mom somehow I find strength and somehow I remain sturdy because I want her to trust me completely and rely on me. And somehow, I think she does. I now just need Dad to do the same, to be able to command the bad stuff inside her to get up and leave her alone forever.
I also talked to Dad about fixing my relationship with my half-sister. This time, for some reason, I was okay with it. I had always been against doing anything that has to do with her, but something about my dad's words was convincing this time.
It's February 22, 2015.
All throughout the day of February 16, my mom was in pain. Her stomach was so much bigger than the past couple of days and it scared us, because the stomach could burst. We waited in pain 'til noon because she was scheduled for operation in the afternoon of the 17th. We went through so much and we were terrified over and over again because her stomach felt like it was going to burse and dark colored liquid was coming out of her stomach through her NGT. When she hugged my dad and I and told us to take care of each other, I wanted to pass out. I had been in contact with all of my relatives, including those in the UK and the US, and my cousin got in touch with her brothers and whoever she could get a hold of to donate blood to my mom. My cousin rushed here with his girlfriend and my aunt and uncle came along—thank God. Mom needed blood transfusion before going under the knife and the fact that we weren't getting any blood really kept us on our toes.
The doctor at the blood extraction laboratory was being a real demon as well. He wasn't accommodating, refused to take my cousin's blood because, according to him, it should be taken in the morning (it was morning...). My cousin got so pissed his blood pressure went up, and he got disqualified as a donor. My mom found out and panicked and told us to call this politician connected with the Red Cross. Thank God he woke up from the text. He responded quickly and my cousin drove to the RC to get three bags of blood.
When the surgeon arrived on the 17th, he cancelled everything he had that day for my mom's stat operation. Dad and I were still scared because her red blood cells and albumin levels were still low and it was dangerous for her to undergo operation. We prayed hard and when my other relatives came, we were somehow consoled a little. My grandma was also there—she was so calm and awesome to look at. Her face was bright; and despite knowing what she now knows, she had a pleasant and peaceful demeanor about her. Before my mom went into the OR, I told her to focus on what she wanted to do in the future—to pick one thing she was looking forward to and hold on to it. I was talking about my future daughter. I told her to imagine a baby she was going to take care of.
When she went in, my dad started bawling again. I wish he would someday be brave enough to get a hold of himself... but I know how he feels, and I feel so bad about how scared he is. We went back into mom's room with my relatives and gathered there while we waited for the operation to end. My relatives were forcing me to sleep; I haven't had any because I needed to get my mom through days and nights of intense pain. I didn't mind at all and I wanted to; I wanted her to stay strong until we get to the next steps. When I look back on all of that now, I realize my dad was a bigger mess than I am... or mom. He's been all over the place and needs me just as much as my mom does. They basically share the same level of pain and illness; just showing it differently.
After over five hours, we got a call from the OR. They asked dad to come down. He immediately asked me to go along, and one of my Aunts offered to escort us as well. She knew. I'm so glad she and my other relatives knew my dad and I were at our lowest low and stayed with us. I cried so hard when they showed us the mass. I didn't look. I couldn't. I was scared of it. It was huge... no wonder my mom was in such pain. He said it looked malignant and the stage looks about 2-3. My heart broke for the thousandth time... I thought I was going to die. I was so afraid... to be honest I still am, and I think I always will be. I feel like I was running out of people, of things to hold on to. Especially hope. Yes, she was going to be okay... but what is the extent of that?
She was back in the room after staying at the recovery room for about 2 hours. My relatives went home after the operation. I was so grateful to them and I will forever be... they were such a powerful bunch... especially my grandma. She was inspiring. She lighted up the room.
I ran to anyone and everyone who sat and listened to me. I made a new friend; a girl I went to college with for four years but was never close with. All the while, they—but especially my new girl friend (Zoe*) and a guy friend (Ray*), both into their faith and draw strength from it—told me that God will save us. Call me a hypocrite for being so into modern, radical, New Age-y spirituality because now I am more Christian than anything else. I don't want to call myself that, though. I still feel New Age, but I am working on getting closer to God again and trusting Him with everything I have. I really felt that He was the one who got us through the operation, and the pain before that. While we are waiting for the histopath results on the 24th, I have to believe that my mom is cured. She is healed. And that no matter what the future brings, God will provide and good will prevail.
Zoe went to the hospital to visit me the day after mom's operation. I thought it was really sweet and I felt so embarassed she went all the way here to see me. She brought two friends with her, both of those friends go to this assembly for a morning prayer near the hospital where mom's confined at. They invited me to go afterwards, which I would love to do, if only the place was more accessible. They were such strong women. They were going through things as well but they had the strength to pass on some energy to me... and it made me question why they were doing it. What do they get from it? Why would they pray over me? They were meeting me for the first time. How can they smile despite the heavy shit they were going through?
I always lose grip on what's important, every now and then—and that's my faith in God. I held on to Him, gave it all up to Him right before mom's operation—but it wasn't giving up. It was only then that my mom was relieved. I thought I had been lifting everything up to God before then, but I haven't been. The truth is, I was still relying on my own energy and power, and my loved ones'. Not God. I need to keep doing that, because I know that God wants me to. For some reason, despite how bad I can be as a person, I found a way to shamelessly cling to Him. I just knew He had already forgiven me and that He will take care of things. That's something my dad needs to work on—he feels so unworthy; he feels punished. He is afraid because he feels this is karma workin against him. Perhaps it is; but never mind that... what's more important at the moment is for him to accept himself, forgive himself and love and appreciate himself so that he would understand that God will be there for him. He needs to trust in God so that he can lift the weight off his shoulders and help me and mom get through this big challenge.
Learning that the sickness started more than 10 years ago and understanding exactly what caused it broke me again. Mom now explained in detail how she felt at the time (her world ended) and I don't know how I could've handled it. I would've ran away... but she stayed because of me. I keep on looking back on so many things that could've saved her, that could've made things different. There were so many instances and it drives me crazy knowing if only one of us pushed harder, things wouldn't end up this way. I am so obsessed with processes and looking back on what went wrong and what could've been done and it gives me headaches because obviously it can't be undone and redone. But now, I know what to do... at least for myself... if I can still save myself.
Keep doing what I'm doing and not change. At the first definite sign of danger, run. Don't stay. Don't look back. I won't regret that I am not sick. Nothing is worth it if you yourself aren't happy. Other people's happiness aren't your happiness—never. Your happiness is yours. If you are as happy as the people you love, then that is happiness. But you need to put yourself first—it isn't selfish—if you love your loved ones. How can you love others when you don't love yourself? How can you take care of other people if you don't take care of yourself? How can you make others happy if you're not happy? The truth is, you can't. Virtually, yes. But it's not real. It's not real if, while you're doing it, you're destroying yourself.
This happened and we can't turn back time to undo it, so we just have to face it and fight. Right now, we are still very broken inside, but mom, dad and I need to work from the inside out (starting with ourselves) to beat this thing. God will guide us every step of the way, and our loved ones will always be beside us, helping us. But real power will come from within. I believe that.
It pained me a lot when, at one point, I got upset because an aunt told us what she felt about the mass that was taken out of mom. Mom and dad saw me get upset and were crushed! Their BPs went all the way up and it felt as if, if I gave up, they will too. Now, I know. I can never give up. The reason they kept hanging on was because I was the conduit of all the energies we were receiving from all directions, including God. It put a lot of pressure on me, but now I have accepted the responsibility. I also mustn't let it bother me or stress me out. I was doing well; I impressed my parents. For the first time, I pleasantly surprised them with something I didn't know I had—strength. They suddenly believed I was capable of anything... their daughter, who didn't go after extracurricular activities, didn't get good grades even when she tried, didn't even try to be an achiever in anything... who did most things half-assed or halfheartedly or halfway and then just left them...
Yeah, they are right. I'm fucking useless in so many things. But now that I found out I have something strong, something special that not a lot of people have, I feel empowered. I just need to work on accepting myself more, probably, and trusting in God more. Yeah, I'm scared. Yeah, we're all broken. There are more bumps ahead and it won't be a breeze going through all this. But we have God. No matter what, we will fight. All of us. God is with us... we'll beat this thing. No matter what, she will fight. And she will win. I already know it. Victory is ours.