CanShare: Cancer Support Group in the Philippines
Francie Go, a CanShare member and co-founder, was diagnosed of breast cancer. She had to endure not only her own battle, but her family’s battles as well. Her sister and mother were both diagnosed with cancer. “My elder sister, Mila, was diagnosed with adeno-cystic carcinoma of the larynx. Cancer won and my sister died on November 2000,” Francie said. “As if my family’s suffering is not enough, my mother also succumbed to the disease. Last 1976, my mother was diagnosed with a debilitating disease known as fibromyoma carcinoma, a dreadful cancer. My mother’s cancer grew over and over on the same spot on her thigh. For twenty years, she tried to fight her own battle with cancer, and as brave as she was, she died on October 1996.”
Lorna Roque, a breast cancer warrior and co-founder of CanShare, was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. “My children call me a supermom. After three days of chemotherapy, I would already be on my feet, ready to make ‘hatid-sundo’ Venjo, my only son. I would usually get chemo on a Sunday, but it was not an excuse to miss the Holy Mass. After hearing mass, we would go to the market for our weekly supplies. I usually cook our food even when I feel dizzy.” Her cancer has metastasized to her spine, lungs, and liver, but that doesn’t stop her from making the most out of life.
(If you haven’t read the first part of this post, read it HERE.)
All their stories were told out of strength, perseverance, and faith that defeats my own. I could not imagine ever having to battle cancer. I salute these brave cancer warriors.
They are all members of CanShare, a cancer warrior support group in the Philippines. I had the privilege of being invited to their photo exhibit and CD launch, where I got to chat with them (despite my being very late).
With Ms. Lorna Roque, co-founder of CanShare, a cancer support group in the Philippines
CanShare during their photo exhibit and CD launch
They say the New Year signifies a new beginning, a new life. For all these brave cancer warriors, they were not afraid to stare death in the eye. I have learned from their experiences that life is not simply about beginnings, but also about learning to deal with endings and acknowledging that all of us will soon bid farewell to this wonderful gift of life.
Here is my shout-out to all the members of CanShare. Ms. Lorna Roque, thank you for being one of the nicest people I know. Ms. Francie, thank you! Happy New Year to CanShare!