Breast Cancer runs in the Family
Breast cancer runs in the family, especially on my father's side. My cousin who was married to an Australian died in 1980s because of the disease. Another cousin of mine, a lesbian, also died of that 'cancer' in 2001. I began re-thinking of the possibilities that it might happen to the next generation in our clan.
I asked my mother if she had any recollection with her relatives infected with the disease. She said, negative. But she added that the tangible evidences came from my father's relatives, which I have mentioned earlier.
The 'women' close to me---hoping and praying that they will not suffer this dreaded diseaseClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Fight of my Two Cousins against Breast Cancer
I was about to graduate in elementary, March 1984, when the news from my cousin in Australia broke the happy atmosphere at her family back here in the Philippines. My father relayed the news to us. His cousin, the father of the victim, was devastated about the bad news.
My cousin said that her parents should not worry because the chemotherapy was the most advisable solution against the disease. She further said that her husband was helping her recover, not to mention their two sons.
I don't know, the prayers, the medication...maybe it helped a little bit to prolong her life. Yet he underwent a total mastectomy (the removal of two breasts) and was declared under remission. But the cancer recurred again, eating and weakening the functions of her body parts. The complications, her lungs surrendered and heart ailment followed.
Yes, she died, literally in agony, but happily because of the support from family that surrounded her and her faith --- with a firm belief that she'll soon join the kingdom of the Creator.
The same thing happened to my other cousin, a lesbian. She was a fighter yes. She even hid the fact that she's suffering from breast cancer by indulging in vices, like smoking cigarettes and drinking liquors. Her family had hidden the truth about it by not consulting the doctor's advise or the prognosis of the local oncologist in the nearby city. They believed she was a victim of witchcraft or the superstition that she was being punished by unseen force.
They resorted to faith healing and herbal medicines. Yet, it cannot relieved the pain that my cousin endured. My sister told me that she died like 'flesh and bone'. The disease consumed her body, literally.
My first cousin got the help of modern medication but the latter didn't even know what affected her due to a stubborn family. My mother said that her advise was only received with deaf ears.
No one survived. But at least, our eyes were opened to the fact that breast cancer can be hereditary.