I kept it super low key with my son today and took him to Easter Mass at our local church. The building was filled with people with some left standing the whole time.
During the homily, a short Filipino woman in her 70s, walked towards our bench and sat next to me. She was a cute little old lady. Her energy was so strong, I couldn’t help but turn to look at her from time to time just to smile at her. She would smile at me back then we’d return our focus on the Priest. As we read the scriptures out loud from the big projector screen, her voice lit up the room. She prayed loud and she sang her heart out. She had the lyrics memorized while I was over in my holy space mumbling the verse Lol. Playing it off by tapping my son on the head and pulling on his arm just to get his attention. Attendees even turned around to look at her as if they were bothered. I personally had no issue with it. Her voice was beautiful. Then suddenly the vibe changed.
In the Catholic Church, some of us receive Communion. In 2007, I attended RCIA classes at Christ the King church on Thursday nights. Then in 2008, I completed the III and IV Sacrament. I received the Eucharist for the first time, which is a thin, round, tasteless wafer given by the Priest (Body of Christ)
It was time to receive the Eucharist during Mass. We stood up and waited in line. I normally tell my son to walk in front of me since he hasn’t been through Communion yet. But I tell him to walk up to the Priest with his arms crossed against his chest so he can be blessed by him. Then I follow behind and receive the bread. After receiving the bread we both walked back to the bench and got on our knees and prayed. While I was praying on my knees, I looked to my right at the lady and she was in tears. I was in shock. I couldn’t understand why this happy little old lady was singing joyously one moment and then crying the next. I overheard her praying hard and fast in Tagalog and she was in tears! And that’s when I realized that she was really hurting inside. I slowly understood why she prayed and sang so loudly – she wanted God to hear her.
A huge part of me wanted to stop praying and give a hug but instead, I shifted my focus and prayed for her healing. She was obviously hurting inside and all I wanted to do is pray to God that she will be okay. I’m not a super religious woman, but I believe in the power of prayer and I continue to pray for those who yearn to be healed – I am one of those people.
On the muni traveling on 17th
1 hour late to the hospital even though
I set my alarm at three
a.m, no work but I’m not on vacation
Sitting in the bus looking outside
Surrounded by gentrification
An old Filipino lady next to me asking if I knew her uncle
I said no relation
Almost missed my stop, can’t even remember how to use public transportation 🤦🏽♀️
No paper and pen cause of technology advances
Nowadays kids can’t tell the difference with what’s on a screen to how real life bypasses
Using this phone, constantly looking down, pushing up my glasses
Should’ve got lasik, but if the doctors mess up
No second chances
Like I told my baby daddy years ago
No second chances
Like I told my ex, who don’t even know what his future plans is
Like I’ll tell my next relationship, mess up
No second chances
Cause half of these men out here don’t even know what real romance is
My backpack is full, while they’re over here half assin,
Now I’m just ramblin
Just trying to get to the hospital before
my daughter’s bone marrow transplant and
She gets second chances
Scrolling through Facebook reading comments from strangers,
Posting up prayers more than the ones
Who claim to be my one dayers
Next thing you know I’ll see a subliminal
two minutes later
After speaking the truth, as usual
another undercover hater
2 buses and a crowded train ride
Going up the elevator, 2 hallways down
straight to the right,
Laying in her bed, with a heart bigger
than her height
Hey baby girl, I finally made it, now let’s wrap this shit up and win this fight.
I haven’t posted much about my previous travels, I will soon, I promise, but to catch you up on some things, my daughter is suffering from Germinoma, which is a form of Brain Cancer. The severity of the cancer has taken her mobility and most of cognitive function away. She is also suffering from dementia caused by the cancer. Because of this, my daughter is now in a wheelchair and needs assistance when getting from point A to B. Sometimes she’s coherent, but there are days where she mixes me up with her dad or grandma. Sometimes she thinks it’s still June when it’s December. It seems like she’s a totally different person now and I am still coming to terms that she’s not the same. She’s not the Deyzha I knew a year ago who would go running 2 miles with me at the Waterfront.
In August 2018, she underwent brain surgery then she was diagnosed with cancer the month after. We only had two options for treatment. I chose the 2nd option since more kids with Germinoma responded to this treatment as opposed to the first option. On the downside, this specific treatment required 3 cycles of chemotherapy, 9 days straight of 3 high dose chemo drugs, stem cell harvest and a bone marrow transplant.
This treatment also required me to become a nurse overnight. At home I had to flush her central line once a day, draw her blood, and give her injections in the evening. And I HATE NEEDLES. I literally had to suck it up in just a weeks worth of training. I was scared.
I literally had to push my work and social life to the side so I could put all of my focus on her. Honestly, I never had any time to grieve, up until now that it’s almost over and our family can focus on her recovery. But I gotta admit, I have an occasional breakdown where I become a big overdramatic crybaby. You can’t blame me though. I went through a LOT. Anyway, the MRI before her most recent MRI showed that the cancer was going away. So I’m hoping that result still stands.
This is definitely not a trip to New York but it has been a journey. Which is why I decided to share this huge piece of my life with you.
Music was her therapy, the lyrics were her recipe
as the disease took over her body and her family
she sang her heart out until she could beat the enemy
Who took her mobility and her ability to shoot a three
Her chances to go to a University and become a chef like she wanted to be
All disappeared after Oncology revealed the answer
“Your babygirl has cancer and we don’t know how long you’re going to have her”
Three cycles of chemo plus 9 more days of toxic drugs
A bone marrow transplant then remain in isolation for a few more months.
Separated by a glass window from her little brother
Holding back my tears, trying to be strong cause I’m her mother
Her baby sister having to step up and play the big sister role
While I remind myself every minute of the day, that God is in control.
She’s going to beat this, if I say it out loud, I will speak it into existence
Even when I can’t be at the hospital, I will speak on it from a distance.