7 years and counting: Enjoy life amid tough times

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 18,2021 - 08:30 AM
ENJOY LIFE EVERYDAY. This is how Mary Ann Bojos sees life now after suffering through breast cancer.

Flowers are soldiers like people, these stand still in the field, may it be sunny or rainy.


CEBU CITY, Philippines — Seven years have been a tough journey of survival for her but every single day gives her reason to enjoy life amid tough times. 

Mary Ann Bojos, 52, of Minglanilla town has been diagnosed with 3rd stage 3B or in layman’s term, breast cancer. Bojos was a hardworking entrepreneur, who passed by years of her life not enjoying it that much. She has been so focused on working almost all her life managing three salons and an electronic shop, she forgot to balance them all.

Bojos admits it was hard for her to accept that she was diagnosed with breast cancer last February  2014 but along the way, she has learned to accept it and to move on with life.

“Syempre kung ma diagnose kag breast cancer, lisod kaayo ang pagdawat pero along the way, wa kay choice. Dawaton gyud nimo. Kay ngano? Dili mo work out imong treatment. Dili gyod masuccessful. Sa pagdawat nako, unti unti pod sya nga nagmove on sad ko,” she said. 

(Of course, if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, it would be difficult to accept it, but along the way, you are left with no choice. You have to accept it. Why? Your treatment will not work out. It will not be successful. When bit by bit I accepted it, I also moved on.)

“Focus kaayo kos akoang pag negosyo, unya nalimtan nako ang akoang kaugalingon. Mao to nga nagsakit ko unya [I forgot] naa diay nindot nga kinabuhi. Life is so beautiful, kanang [at some point] nagpasalamat ko nga nag ka cancer ko kay nausab akoang pananawon sa kinabuhi. Enjoy lang kung unsay naa karon. Kung naay problema that’s part of life man gyud,” she added.

(I was so focused on my businesses, and I forgot about taking care of myself. That is why I got sick and then [I forgot] that life is really beautiful. Life is so beautiful, that [at some point] I was grateful that I had cancer because it changed the way I looked at life. Enjoy what you have today. If there is a problem, then that’s also a part of life.)

As she was on her way of living and being positive in life, she found a group of survivors and started engaging with paddling and later on became  “athletes” of Cebu Pink Paddlers Dragonboat Team for breast cancer survivors. They competed internationally. 

As she goes through tough times, Bojos learns to enjoy her life. For her, every single day is a day worth living and marking it with memorable moments. She learns to be outgoing, to socialize and converse with other people, and to enjoy her life either on her own or with other people surrounding her, especially her family. 

Bojos has three daughters with ages ranging from 21 to 26 years old. 

However, Bojos admits that the journey becomes more wonderful with a supporting body. 

Zee Pono

Thirty-five-year-old Zee Pono of Mandaue City, on the other hand, became a supporter to this organization for two years already. Taking with her her aunt’s story was what made her get involved with the breast cancer survivors. Her aunt died four years ago and it was painful for her to witness what her aunt has gone through. 

With this, she started to support the organization and she tried to paddle with them. The team becomes her family. Some might say these survivors lost a part or parts of them. But with the right supporting body, she said, at some point, she could fill what had been missing. 

“Makathink sad baya ta nga naa nay kuwang nako, especially nga natangtangan naka. Naa sad mi members diri nga single nga naabot sa point nga they even question themselves nga maminyo ba kaha ko. Can I be accepted by the opposite sex? Can someone love me wholeheartedly nga incomplete na ko?,” Pono said. 

(You can think that I lack something, especially if something has been removed from you. We also have members here that are single who have reached a point that they even questioned themselves if they can still get married. Can I be accepted by the opposite sex? Can someone love me wholeheartedly now that I am incomplete?)

In this life of survival, for Pono, one should find the meaning and courage to take each step. The chase might be forever, but one should at least find a meaning for her life along the way. 

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TAGS: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, breast cancer survivor, enjoy life, Mary Ann Bojos, October, Zee Pono

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