Tuesday, July 20, 2010

KCAT CAN: The Wheels & Strength of Hope

The wheels of strength and hope
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza
July 20, 2010

While I was hanging out with my life-long friends, Kathreen uttered out of the blue “Ang layo na ng narating mo KCat!”

I replied, “Huh? Hindi naman ako nakakalakad, nandito lang ako sa bahay.”

Everyone laughed.

I continued: “Kung saan man ako nakarating, kasama ko kayo, kayo ang nagtulak sa wheelchair ko.”

This is very true. My family and friends have always been by my side, extending to me all the support I need. I may have a very strong fighting spirit and faith, but I could not have gone this far without them. Everyone was worried when they learned about my brain tumors. I was so touched with their love and affection, they gave me strength to face the reality, move forward and never be afraid.

My mom concentrated on researching about Neurofibromatosis Type 2. She got one of the best neurosurgeons in the country to take care of me.

In January 2005, the excision of my brain tumors was scheduled. My friends and family gave me moral support and I never got bored and lonely. The procedure was aborted. They just opened my skull and close it immediately due to some complications. When they brought me back to my room, everyone was happy to see me.

The next option was for me to undergo Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) a less invasive procedure to treat my tumors. It would cost us almost half a million pesos. We started to raise funds with the help of my childhood friends, cousins, high school and college friends. My mom prepared a solicitation letter and went seeking financial help from some government agencies while my dad appealed to his superiors and friends.

In June 2005, I was able to have the SRS. But the treated tumors started to swell and I would always be rushed to the hospital due to that severe pain. I had to undergo an emergency Ventriculoperitoneal
(VP) shunting to relieve the increased pressure inside my skull that was causing me pain.

In November 2005, I had inflicted hospital-acquired pneumonia.

A tube was inserted through my nose down to my stomach for my continuous feeding. I hated it. My relatives, friends and even their parents would always come visit me and give me words of encouragement and spiritual upliftment.

In February 2006, my mom and my friends started the “Bring back that Smile Kcat” fundraising campaign to sustain my medical needs.

I also needed to undergo regular rehabilitation.

There would be times that I would have mood swings and would give my visitors the cold shoulder, I didn’t want to socialize. But the people around me have such big hearts that they would patiently drop by and say even a simple hello.

In the summer of 2006, my childhood friends, my sister Talitha and cousin Michelle, thought of another campaign for me. They called it “Palakasin si Kcat ngayong Summer” wherein every afternoon, they would bring me out of the house and let me do the exercises that my therapists taught me. They were able to give me back my self-confidence.

My parents, Madge and Egay showed me their unconditional love. They never made me feel that I was a burden to them. My mom, who is also inflicted with a chronic disease (Systematic lupus), was so strong in taking care of me, I am getting my all my strength from her.

My loving sister Talitha, whom I jokingly call my yaya, is my best sister. I felt so comforted every time she visited me in the hospital, holding my hand so tight. She takes care of me now whenever my mom is out and accompanies me anywhere I go. Maro Luiz, our little boy, at a young age also knows how to take care of me. He would sit beside me, hold my hand and pray with me. At night, he would hug me tight or play hand wrestling with me, his way of helping me exercise my hand. These have made the three of us more closer.

Yes indeed, I have gone too far. My family and my friends pushed me to where I am now. Their presence and unconditional love was my wheel of strength and hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...