Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Faith Healing , does it work ? part 6

The first surgery was chronicled in this blog of mine, The Journey to the surgery Room.Before the surgery was made, I revisited the cyber healing of Fr. Suarez in youtube before I went to the hospital. I was taken aback by this:

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How can I forgive a person who's responsible for my misery? How can I forgive a person who must have known that I already got the C but he did not bother to advise me and help me see a specialist? He must have thought of the financial burden of medication and treatment. How can I forgive a person who did not bother to call and ask how I am when he learned about my illness?

It was not an easy task to forgive especially if a person does not even care.

So if the condition to be healed is to forgive, I am sorry but I thought I had a lot of reasons why I can't.

The second surgery was made by the oncologist which is narrated in this blog, Two Angels and One Devil.

The verdicts of the specialists were to be handed down last week of October. Between the periods of surgeries and the follow-ups, I started dreaming about my mother. She was cleaning a house. So in the dream, I asked her if that's for me.

In my blog Is there a miracle , I wrote about her message that I can choose to live longer. She made me understand how she also forgave us, her children many times. She asked me why I am not wondering that despite the person's refusal to help, I could get the best medical attention that I need? She pointed to me that the individual must have closed his house for me in anticipation of the burden of caring for one who's sick but I managed with my brother's help.

So it is my choice. Anger and unforgiveness contribute to one's illness.

That night, I cried and said I forgive.

The following day, my oncologist told me that the tumors and the lesions in my liver are no longer there as revealed by the liver biopsy and the series of blood tests that she ordered before the surgery. But I would be on the watch. Follow up would be within three to six months.

November 1, the gastroenterologist told me that the polyps she removed were hereditary risks. I asked why the CATscan showed a bigger mass and sometimes there are blood in my stool? She also expected worse than what she found. It was just like finding a mouse in a scary silhouette of an elephant. The blood tests now are found to be normal.

Yesterday, I e-mailed Dr. Emer. He's in Europe. He's happy that he could help. Rome was also ecstatic. My friend in Concord is also glad. My friend in New Jersey was upset. He said that he was already collecting for my vigil. (hahahaha)

To my other friends who sent their concerns and prayers, yes, prayer healing works if there is faith and forgiveness.

And I am now praying extra for those who need the prayers too.

cathcath's healing


Monday, November 5, 2007

Faith Healing , does it work ? part 5


So I called Rome. He's the most prayerful member of the blogkadahan aside from Dr. Emer. Honestly, I have not been in contact with them since I isolated myself from any group of any kind.

My first reaction when I received this card was, "does he think that he should send a Christmas card months before December because of my condition?"

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But when I opened the card, there is the small novena of the Mother of Perpetual Help. When I opened the first page, this is what I read:

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Nobody knew about the good "news" yet. Besides my primary doctor still has to get second opinions from other specialists. And am not sure either. Men of little faith. They receive miracles and yet they hardly can believe. That's who I am. Shame on me.

But he believed when I told him the good news. The circumstance of finding the novena and the ease by which he was able to send it on the day, (it took only a day from LA to reach my place when the regular mail takes about three days, the most) I receive the good news affirmed his faith. I told him that I would not write about it until all the examinations from the second group of specialists are done.

He said that he was overseeing the renovation of his kitchen when he saw something on a dusty pile of wood or something. It was the novena. He didn't know where it came from. It had no dust in it as of someone hast just put it there for him to see. His novena got lost and besides, what he saw was new. No mark that it has been used. So he sent it to me late Saturday afternoon. The mail came Tuesday morning. I got it in the afternoon when I arrived from the doctor's office. It was late by few hours for the deadline that I made.

Little did he know that when I touched the novena, I cried. It was a feeling that I could not explain. But a voice said, For years, you have come to me for your problems, why did you forget?

Then came several more signs. My friend in Concord, CA. sent his copy (the blue one on the right) of the novena which he never removed from his wallet ever since he left the Philippines. No he didn't know why I need the novena.

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Then Resty sent me a link of Father Suarez' healing in youtube. And this was what I viewed.
See his vest.

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Faith Healing, does it work? part 4


So even with the "gift" of mine, I could not tell what future awaits for me. I remember the homily of one priest about special people--those with gifts in whatever form, he said that without the power of God, there will be no such powers.

So I have to ask for a sign that will come from Him and not from my hunch, not from the crystall ball and definitely not from the solitaire.

I asked for the most impossible thing that I could get hold of before the second verdict. When I was young, I used to pray the novena in Baclaran. My father's patron saint.

So I asked for a copy of the novena. I called my friend whose wife was in the Philippines to buy one for me. Unfortunately, his wife advanced her flight and had just arrived.

A close friend in Los Angeles whom I have not heard for a long time called and promised to get one, only to call again that he could not find any not even his own.

A friend in San Francisco sent his only copy. Unfortunately, it did not reach me. The Post Office returned it back to him for a stupid reason.

I pondered that the sign that I asked was not coming. I had to accept my fate. So much with the prayer healing, I told myself.

That day, my brother gave me company to get the results.

As I have written before, that was the longest wait, I ever experienced. The doctor came.
He asked me how I am? What would I answer? Good? Feeling good that I am dying?

I am not prone to crying. It's not me. But he could see that I was sad. He put his arms around me and said, the results showed that the "activities " shown in the previous tests are no longer there?

I asked , what do you mean, no longer there?

The cancers are no longer there.

Well, if in the previous tests, there were "10" the second set of tests showed that there were only "five." He was trying to explain what he cannot because he himself is puzzled.

"Could there be a mistake in the first sets of tests? " I asked.

"For one consulting physician, it may be possible, but the medical specialists who interpreted the reports come from different departments of the hospital. "

He asked me the question, "Aren't you happy that it was good news?"

"Yes, I am but I want to be sure." In my mind, but I did not get the sign I asked for.

"That's the reason why I am referring you to private medical practitioners on oncology, pathology, gastroenterology for "invasive medical procedures" to verify the second set of virtual examinations. It may hurt since there will be surgeries but it is the only way to check." He said.

Before coming home, I bought a small bouquet of flowers. I remember when I used to offer flowers in my altar.

Upon coming home, I looked at the mail. It came from one of the blogkadahan friends of mine, Rome. I opened it. It was a Christmas card. What crossed my mind was he must have thought that he should send a card before Christmas. Then I looked inside. There was the novena of the Perpetual Help.

I read what he wrote inside."Tell me the good news". He did not even know that the novena was the sign I was asking for.

The envelop did not have any postal mark where it came from, when was it sent. Did it fly thru the air?

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Here is one mail that came later also from this place.

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So I called him. He said that it just appeared in front of him.

To be continued...

cathcath's healing


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Faith Healing, does it work? part 3


After I wrote about my "battle", pledges of prayers started pouring in.
I started writing my memoirs. Surprisingly, I wrote several entries during my sick moments. May be I was in a hurry to finish it before I entirely lose my lucidity.

Reluctantly, I again submitted myself to the non-invasive medical procedures as ordered by my primary healthcaregiver.

Friends called. There were mixed reactions. Some people who know me well are convinced that I will win the fight. I liked to hear those assurances but with the diagnoses and all I just told them that I leave it to God.

A close friend of mine asked me what my friendly spirits were "telling" me. At that point, there was no "message" except that they too were praying. Ahhh so I thought, it's really that hopeless since even my mom would not give me any sign. My deceased friend whom I had a pact before he died of cancer that we will still be in touch, briefly appeared as I was going to the bathroom, one night. It was just an assurance. KAYA mo yan BOk, ikaw pa.

My dreams were all about seeing and talking with my dead relatives and friends. I thought it was a welcoming committee.

While waiting for the "final verdict" I prayed the rosary every day as I am aware that I am prayed over. There were mornings when I can feel the jolt, the energy that seeped into my body. My sister explained that they were signs that the pray overs are working. But what about if it was just the power of my brain working? My desire to live? But I doubted that also because with the pain, I wish I were dead. I just wanted it to be quick.

I had difficulty walking even inside the house. I could not stand longer than five minutes in the kitchen cooking without leaning to the counters. In getting up from bed, I have to roll over to the side, slide down the carpet, walk on fours until I could pull myself up. Where was the pain coming from? All over.

Yeah, I believe in supernatural but it doesn't mean I easily believe without doubting. When Dr. Emer said that he personally e-mailed Father Suarez for long distance healing, I said okay but in my mind, would it WORK ? That night, I sensed his presence in my room.

To be continued...

cathcath's healing


Friday, November 2, 2007

Faith Healing, does it work? part 2

My prescriptions for my diabetes and hypertension run out. I had to look for a new healthcare provider in my new place. I found one. But he would not give me prescriptions not unless I go to the whole process of examination, the blood test etc including repeat mammography. He also recommended for ultrasound, x-rays, etc.

Then more blood tests.

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I did not know that there are more than a hundred types of blood tests depending on what chemicals they're looking for to detect abnormality especially cancer. Years ago, I was puzzled when the husband of my friend was given only three months to live after detecting leukemia when all the while he was undergoing treatment for another illness. I just thought that blood tests for a specific illness would reveal other abnormalities. I was wrong.

There was a lump in my underarm. The pain in my abdomen was becoming more intense that I stooped when I walked. I got pain in my hip that radiates to my knee and leg. The pain in my left ear emanating from the brain was unbearable. I was coughing profusely.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Faith Healing, does it work? part 1

I used to be a religious person. Note the word used. But with all the crises that I went through for the past years, I was just like Jim Curry who berated Morgan Freeman in the movie Bruce Almighty. So when Resty broached to me the idea of prayer healing, I politely said yes. Dr. Emer e-mailed me that if all fails, let him know because he knows somebody who may be able to help me. I did not know that they were referring to the same person, Father Suarez. Lorena also referred me to Father Faller and my sister has her own prayer group.

I believe in miracles but it's just that I did not believe that I will have another chance especially if the diagnosis,is not just cancer but it is cancer in different organs. In short, it has metastasized. And all the doctor was looking for was the primary.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is there a Miracle?

Today is my mother's death anniversary. Yeah you bet, she visited me late morning. I have just called the hospital to cancel an appointment that overlapped when I could not find the TV remote. Exasperated, I logged in to the computer, but the computer was also acting strangely.

Okay, so I said,yeah I am going to go out and get a piece of cake. She didn't like the pancit or the "suman" that I usually cooked and served. That's how I remember her birth/death anniversary.

One last attempt to find the TV remote, although it was not probable, I looked for it under the seat cushions of the sofa bed. There it is. I said hi and off I went to buy a candle and a small cake.

Last Sunday, she had already visited me.

She knew that I will be seeing the oncologist, Tuesday.

Her message was, "You can choose, you are given a new lease of life (which I am going to write a separate story) with the reminder that I will not be immuned from getting hurt and getting sad because that is the way it is. There's no perfect life. "

I asked her what did she mean by I can choose? Can I choose to die or to live longer? Isn't that confusing?

She explained that I have been living on a borrowed life ever since I came back from being dead when I was just a few months old. Then the series of the near death experiences that I called myself a cat with nine lives almost brought me "home". The closest was when I saw my deceased father extending his hands so I can go with him where there's no pain and sorrow. That was when my heart "skipped a bit" when I was brought unconscious to the emergency room due to the high blood pressure. That was when I was undergoing personal crisis which no one noticed due to my outward happy disposition. Did I wish to die then?

More questions before she left, so if I choose to live longer, what would I do? Will there any mission in life?

My mother said, yes. You will receive it in self-destructing cd or whatever you may call it.

Hahaha, she's still funny or is it just my brain hoping that I will have good news from the oncologist.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Two Angels And One Devil

I checked in at the Oncology Department at 10:00. I was met by an oversealous oncology nurse. She said we were a few minutes behind schedule. It's not my fault. I was there fifteen minutes before the time.

She asked me if I have a companion. I said no one. But my brother is coming in the afternoon.
Then I looked around. Yeah, everyone in that waiting room had companions. To my right was a couple. The man was helping the wife filled out some forms.

To my left was a mother-daughter. The daughter was carrying the tote bag. In front of me was an elderly woman accompanied by a son, may be.

All seats were taken except one beside me. Some were practically standing up. No one approached me to ask if someone's taken the seat.

As I read the Business Week that I grabbed from the magazine rack, it also came to my mind. Why am I alone Lord? Alam naman ninyo, minsan it crosses my mind.

But it was my choice. I do not want to bother people if I can do it all by myself. Then I heard a voice. I thought it was the man seated next to the empty chair who was talking to me.

"But you're not alone. Seated beside you is the most qualified caregiver/companion." Your Angel.I looked at the seat. It was still empty. Is there anyone in that seat that I could not see? I got goosebumps. So I erased the thought balloon.

The oncology nurse fetched me and brought me to the prep room after I changed into a hospital gown. She put the IV. She explained it will be for the medication and sedative that they will later inject before the surgery. Hokey. The IV also would make feel full since I was fasting since the previous day. But with the liquid coming to my body, an equal amount should also come out. I rather hold the IV and go to the bathroom than using the bedpan. I got an embarrasing incident with bedpans. When I also had surgery back home, the nurse gave me a bedpan so I can pee. Then visitors came while the bedpan was under my ass, covered by the bedsheet. They stayed for almost an hour and the bedpan had already made an impression in my ass. *heh*

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Conversation with God

As I have said, I've been sleeping. I missed blogging last october 13. When I missed blogging, I mean three blog entries a day.

Because, ive' been sleeping, I dreamt a lot too.

In my dream, I asked not "why me God?" questions?

I asked God to spare me from pain.

God said, "Pain makes you forget the worldy cares. It brings you closer to me."

"But why closer? Did I waiver in my faith?" I asked again.

God responded." No, it is just like a a growing tree, your spirit needs to be pruned to be more fruitful."

cathcath's healing


Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Journey to the Surgery Room

It is three o clock in the morning. I had my longest sleep since I was prepped for yesterday's surgery. Had it been the routine colonoscopy,(just like mammography, it is diagnostic test for people who have reached a certain age with high risk for cancer) my gastroenterologist could have performed it in her clinic. But she told me the reason for the procedure. My CATscan (known also as virtual colonoscopy) showed that illegal "aliens" have invaded my colon and she would like to find out how long they have squatted there-- "evict" them if necessary. She warned me however that if they are stubborn and had developed already a "colon-y" she would not touch anything.

According to wikipedia:
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Colonoscopy is the endoscopic examination of the large colon and the distal part of the small bowel with a CCD camera or a fiber optic camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. It may provide a visual diagnosis (e.g. ulceration, polyps) and grants the opportunity for biopsy or removal of suspected lesions. Virtual colonoscopy, which uses 2D and 3D imagery reconstructed from computed tomography (CT) scans or from nuclear magnetic resonance (MR) scans, is also possible, as a totally non-invasive medical test, although it is not standard and still under investigation regarding its diagnostic abilities. Furthermore, virtual colonoscopy does not allow for therapeutic maneuvers such as polyp/tumor removal or biopsy nor visualization of lesions smaller than 5 millimeters.

A week before when she was briefing me, I glanced at the wall. There hung her diploma. Here, if you're not an MD, you don't have to decorate your cubicle or your office with your certificates. The diploma gives you an assurance that the doctor doesn't say quack.

I did not ask where she graduated from. This was pre-Desperate Housewives/racial slur incident. That is an insult. Even if she were a graduate from her native country, her specialization residency was done in the US. Every foreign graduate of
a medical course has to meet that standards requirement.

Dr. Emer made mention again the name of a healing priest, Father Fernando Suarez. He said he is his friend. Hr promised me that he will e-mail him for prayers. Several weeks ago, my friend in New Jersey also talked about him and the changes he brought to the life of her close friend. And last Wednesday, Resty forwarded to me the youtube of the healing priest.

Minutes before we left, I played the youtube again. Then I saw the sign in the vestment that he was wearing.

My brother accompanied me in the hospital. I was 15 minutes early. The medical receptionist asked me if I speak Spanish only. It made me think if it were my looks or they only know Hispanic people as aliens. I have not seen a Filipino staff in that hospital. Most Filipinos prefer to live in California where the climate suits them.

After the "Signing ritual" with the front desk receptionist, a medical assistant took my vital signs, quizzed me about the medications I was taking, noted the last time I had my liquid intake and directed us to the third floor. In the waiting room, I was able to read the issue about all wars in the world in the Time Magazine, the latest causes of Britney Spear's meltdown and I even picked up some tips about making one's room appear look bigger.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Faith is not belief without proof but trust without reservation

This was forwarded to me by Resty. Father Fernando Suarez is also the healing priest recommended to me by my friend/blogger/doctor, Dr. Emer. He's a personal friend of him.

Pray with me.

cathcath's healing



Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Mail that never came

I have a doctor's appointment today. Not my primary doctor but a specialist. So yesterday, I was busy filling in some forms which I hated but I should do myself. Rather than spend extra time in asking me what's my medical history and those of my relatives, my medications and some insurance matters,the doctor's office sent me the long form.

Then I have to call the Post Office. Twice already, I received a feedback that my letters were returned to sender marked Undeliverable. In these times, when I have been communicating with my lawyer, some agencies and friends thru snail mail, it is important that there should be no problem in these exchanges of communications. If it were only messages which could be related thru phones and e-mails, I would not panic but these are hard documents that needed to be received within a time frame.

When I call an office, I always asked for the person in charge of the operations. So I found out that there were two supervisors servicing two zip codes.

After hearing my complaint, the supervisor called the postman who's in charge of the mails in our area. I know he's still there because I called 5 minutes after their opening.

I asked him if there was a time when a temporary mailman delivered the mails for a specified period during the past weeks. He said none. He is the regular guy. I told him what I missed and I heard the stupidest reason why my letter was sent back to the sender. He said that the mailbox was full for that particular day so he did not put the rest of the mails inside.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Prayers from Friends

I have been receiving e-mails of support and prayer wishes from friends, fellow bloggers and readers.

One of them is Lorena Marzan who's from San Francisco but I just came to know her for a month now after she religiously leaves comments in my entries. Then we talked over the phone on her way to the SFGH to attend to her mom who has been there for six months now.

Today she forwarded to me a letter she wrote to a healing priest.

I was reading her blogs and has been posting comments on it too. I have not seen her personally, only thru telephone conversations. Please include her in your prayers as well as she is now undergoing battery of tests for Cancer.

Thank you Lorena and those who express their faith that I can survive this crisis.

I need to have the BIG FAITH and the WILL to LIVE.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Girl Who Wanted to be a nun

My friend who patiently brought me to my doctor's appointments in San Francisco called from the Philippines. He has been there since last year waiting for me to implement our dream project.

We were once involved in a foundation which takes care of rehabilitated drug dependents, young mothers and their kids. The soup kitchen was for all. The school is for the children of singple mothers. The CEO who inspired me was an Asian American.

My friend and I thought that we should bring the concept in the Philippines. Start small and make it big later.

He waited for my call as to when I am coming home. I can't. I have to stay here for medical reasons. He stopped communicating thinking that I've changed my mind.

My other friend texted him. If ever he was surprised, ( he was there with me in SF in all my doctor's appointments, driving me and giving me emotional support) it was the change in my acceptance of fate. He knows that I am a fighter.

He asked me to rally my "angels".

I told him, for this kind of help, I need the help of Someone at the TOP. It's like in the corporate jungle where the signature of the Chairman of the Board is needed for an important decision.

If He wanted to move me to another department, so be it. (Huwag lang doon sa walang airconditioned at may malaking fireplace.acheche) I was waiting for him to crack the joke that my elder brother used to tease me when he discovered my " I want to be a nun" affirmation that I wrote in every page of my notebook. He would tell me that the nunnery would be in trouble if ever I would be accepted as a novice. Then he would laugh out loud.

Sa kaniya naman, yong baka hindi ka pa tanggapin doon. Magugulo si San PIDROW.

You know when you're enrolled in a Catholic school, the retreats, the First Fridays masses and communions make you wish to follow the steps of the saints and the Church martyrs. Yeah, Virginia, ganoon ako noon pag malapit na ang Holy Week. Pagkatapos niyan, regular programming na naman.Balik na naman sa Guidance counsellor pag may kasalanan.

Noong minsan sa parish priest na kami dinala. Kami ha, hindi lang ako. The other in the "kami"
were non-Catholics enrolled in that school so they were exempted from making confessions on First Thursday in preparation for First Friday. The classes were suspended for half day to give us a chance to go to confessions.

I did not join my other classmates who lined up in the confessional box assigned to our section.
I joined my non-Catholic friends. We enjoyed "making sungkit of the star apple from the tree" in my friend's yard.

We overate and we were late when the classes were resumed. The monitor assigned to check whether we really went to confession or not, ratted me. Ang TRAIDOR. Hindi ko siya binigyan ng star apple which I put in a paper bag and left to the security guard. mwehehe.

We were brought to the priest. My non-Catholic friends were excused but not me. That's the first time, I said unfair. But the priest would make me pray the Our Father a hundred times.

The last balikbayan I made, I met the nuns in the convent which was the recipient of the donations made out to my mother's memory when she died.

Aside from giving me a warm welcome and accommodation fitted for a very important guest, they also gave me a special pass for the Cathedral of the Penafrancia. That was the fiesta of the Patron Saint of Naga. I almost told them that there was a crazy moment in my life that I dreamed to be a nun.

Latest news from them was the Mother Superior also succumbed to cancer and died at the Makati Medical. Well spent life.

The MRI Experience-Well done or Medium Rare?

This is how an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) looks like.
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I have this test today. Kinodakan nila ang aking brain kung lintek ng Big C na iyan ay pinakialaman na rin. Hindi ko alam kong nakangiti.

First, I asked the tech to cover my eyes. I am claustrophobic that the thought that I would be "scanned" inside for 30 minutes bombarded with noise and warm air that would make you feel you want to go makes me nauseous. Kung naging ala Maricel Soriano lang ako di sana bago nila ako ipinasok doon, sinabi ko na naman ang dialogue ko na ayoko nang masikip at saka lumuhod na huwag akong ipapasok doon. Maawa na sila. But that was only in my mind. And it was going to be read and photographed by the MRI.

Hinubaran ako ng lahat kong suot na metal. Tinanong pa nga ako kung may metal daw ako sa ulo. Ano ko si Terminator?

When I was taken out from that tube, I asked the tech. Am I well done, rare, medium rare or ...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Battle is On

After battery of tests, blood tests that left a cross-stitched pattern in my arm; dog errrm catscan; ultra sound and other high tech machines, big and small which left me temporarily dazed and disoriented, the doctor said that aside from D- diabetes, H- hypertension, he's adding the big C in my list.

He waited for me to react. Siguro maglambitin sa kaniya at umiyak ng NO, NO, NO.
But I remained calm. Sabi naman sainyo matagal kong maintindihan kaagad. Sabi ko sa kaniya ESPLEYN DOC.

So he's recommending another battey of tests. (Siguro baterya na ng truck).

I should be at the stage of denial but thinking about the blessings I have already received and the peace that I am in at this phase of my life,( I got no more emotional baggage...yong iiwan ko marami... i have done my duties and responsibilities even those of other people's) I just thought that if I don't win this battle, my mission in this planet Earth is done.

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They have always called me The Ca t but I do not know if I have used up my nine lives considering that I have had evaded near death experiences. Time will tell.

But as human, let me just blurt out.


But then I remember polo's email early this morning regarding this blogger who died of cancer last Sunday, Aug 19, 2007. He was going to be 19 years old.

The article said:

He had blogged a lifetime of thoughts and dreams, words that somehow pierced through cyberspace and moved tens of thousands of readers to respond.

cathcath's healing