I Have Such a Strong Mom

Outside Mama’s ICU room, I’m here typing this, humbly asking everyone who can read this to pray for her health.

Kinakaya niya, guys.

My mom has lung cancer, which eventually led to a stage IV brain metastasis. The lump was found around June during her annual physical examination.

“Handa ka na ba, Je-anne?” was a question often asked. I answered the same thing in the same way.

“Ayoko pa po. Hindi pa po ako handa. Gagaling si Mama. Strong ‘yan eh,” I replied crying.

When is one ever ready?

Mama’s 60th Birthday

My eyes are swollen, my head aching. I might be the weakest in the family because I’ve cried randomly—while working, taking a bath, resting, eating. During her 60th birthday celebration, I was overwhelmed by the number of people who loved her. Her friends from UST went, her relatives and high school friends even traveled all the way from Ilocos, and her coworkers from Poveda prayed and sang for her healing. One of her coworkers even overheard someone say, “Siguro, teacher ang nandiyan.”  Then I thought, my mom’s a good person to others. She never smoked, so why would she have lung cancer?

The answers never came.

Yago, Mama Josie, and “Little Josie”

Yesterday, I hugged and cried on her weak shoulder. Her words replayed on my mind: “Di bale. Matanda na ako.” 

But I shook my head and told her, “Ayoko, Ma. Dadalhin pa kita sa Bicol. Mamamasyal pa tayo sa Bohol. Gumaling ka. Kayanin mo. Kailangan mo gumaling.”

Then she asked, “Lalakas pa ba ako, anak?”

I nodded.

But she just replied with a weak smile.

How painful is that? Sobrang sakit.

After I took a bath yesterday, I cried to her again and told her how much I miss her while she was sleeping. I was surprised when she opened her eyes and replied, “Sa inyo lang umiikot ang mundo ko. Sa inyong tatlo.” Then she added, “Magiging okay ako, anak.”


She’s fighting hard. Today she was sent for endoscopy, but there had been a complication in her breathing, so a tube was installed. As of this moment, she is now in the ICU. I sobbed when my brother, who is a nurse, came crying to our room, saying Mama had to be confined in the ICU.

Nurse si kuya, kaya malamang, alam niya ang mga nangyayari at pwede pang mangyari. Hopeless and clueless, I sobbed, telling my close friends to pray for a miracle. Ngayon pa lang kasi ako bumabawi. I wanted us to visit so many places, but this happened. Calle Crisologo pa lang ang napupuntahan namin as a family. I wanted to go to Bicol and Bohol with her after watching an episode of Jessica Soho . . . tapos ganito.

In fact, my brother told me that my mother was crying when she was being transferred to the ICU. I cried as I imagined it. Natatakot siya. Hindi pa siya handa. Kung si Mama hindi pa handa, paano ako magiging handa?

This is emotional torture. I’m scared, so scared, and I can do nothing but tell our story and humbly ask for prayers, for a miracle. But as I say, I will endure it as long as she can endure the physical pain.

Please, please . . . I humbly ask everyone to include my mother in your prayers, that she may be given a longer life and longer time with us. It’s so hard to see her in tubes, but I have faith. Alam kong gagaling si Mama. 

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