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Cancer survivor, her wish for 2024: ‘To live healthier, more healing’

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 28,2023 - 09:30 AM

Cancer survivor, her wish for 2024: ‘To live healthier, more healing’

Niña Madrona with her two children, Steffi and Pete. | Contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The New Year has always been a season for finding new and deeper meaning in life.

As the clock strikes midnight and the calendar turns its page, the arrival of the new year not only marks the passage of time but becomes another quest for healing and reconnection.

READ: Vicki Belo pito ka tuig na nga cancer-free: ‘Every day feels like a blessing’

Perspective of cancer survivor

This is the perspective of Niña Madrona, a 60-year-old mother of two, who battled cancer for a period of time and has recently been declared a “cancer survivor.”

“In the upcoming year (2024), ako gi-look (What I am looking) forward is to live a happier, healthier, and less stressful life with my family.”

Nina was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in 2017 and underwent surgery in 2018.

Throughout this period, she faced considerable challenges, especially in her family relationships.

“Ato na time, dali ra kaayo ko masuko, sensitive, emotional kaayo ko. Ganahan ko mubawi sa akong mga anak karon,” Niña said.

(At that time, I would easily get angry, I was sensitive, and I was really emotional. Now, I like to spend more time with my kids.)

READ: Cancer burden: Draining people’s lives, pockets

Conquering cancer, healing

According to Niña, conquering cancer has truly reshaped her life, especially in the way she navigates her daily activities at home.

She has learned to embrace a gentler rhythm, making a conscious effort to prioritize rest and dial down stress.

Understanding that stress can play a significant role in the progression of cancer, Niña has woven stress management into the fabric of her daily life, adding a compassionate touch to her journey toward well-being.

“Every new year, [I’m] praying to God nga continues [ang akong] healing. Mao ra sad na akong gipangandoy, akong gi-look forward [nga] ma totally heal [na ko],” Niña said.

(Every year [I’m] praying to God that [he] continues [my] healing. That is what I dream, I look forward [that] I will be totally healed.)

READ: Breast cancer: ‘No longer a death sentence’

Tests turn back negative

Just last month, a wave of relief and joy swept through the family as they received good news: Niña’s recent mammography test came back negative, marking a significant milestone in her health journey.

“Safe to say, maingon siguro (nga cancer-free na) kay negative man. Kaloy-an sa Ginoo,” she said.

(It’s safe to say, we can say [that I am already cancer free] because it is negative. The Lord has given me mercy.)

When they learned about the good news or even after the operation, she prioritized reconnecting with her children and socializing with her closest friends, something she was unable to do before due to health factors.

“Karon ako nagihinayhinay na ko (og reconnect) balik nila. Sa una sa balay ra man gyud ko. Sa akong mga anak, especially dagko na sila and they understand already what is my situation and my husband also,” Niña said.

(Now, I am slowly (reconnecting) again to them. Before, I was only in my home. My children, they are already grown up and they understand already what is my situation, and my husband also.)

READ: Challenging days ahead

Cancer survivor: Her advice

The battle against cancer has never been an easy one, which is why Niña has valuable advice for those undergoing a similar experience.

“Mukapit lang gyud sila. They have to help their own (selves). Dili sila maghunahuna (sa sakit). It is within us. Me? Ngano naing’ani ko, if nagluya-luya ko during my chemo, dili gyud ko mabuhi,” she said.

(You just hold on. They have to help their own (selves). They should not think [of the pain]. It is within us. Me? Why, I became like this, if I allowed myself to be week during my chemo, I don’t think I would have survived now.)

She added, “Faith in God. Of course, I’m praying to God about my children, family. I want to see my children (nga) mahuman og eskwela then after ana Lord, pwede na (that they can finish their schooling, then after that Lord, I will be okay with whatever happens).”

READ: Breast cancer patients turn ‘warriors’ and ‘victors’

Looking forward to more years

As we conclude this journey shared by Niña, her resilience and relentless spirit become beacons of inspiration.

Through the challenges of her health battle, Nina’s story is not just one of survival but a testament to the transformative power of self-reflection, family bonds, and faith.

“Looking forward healthier, mawala na ang cancer. Ika-five years na ni nako. Ang mga tawo og muabot naka og five years, cancer free na daw ka but actually I’m looking forward to more years,” she said.

(I’m looking forward healthier, the cancer will be gone. I am now five years. People who have reached five years, they are already cancer-free, but actually, I’m looking forward to more years.)

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TAGS: 2024, breast cancer, family, New Year, wish

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