God Rescued Me From Great Pain

By Luzviminda O. Cañete

The author lives with her husband, their 14-year-old son and their 10-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, in Midaslip, Zamobanga del Sur.

It was like a flash of lightning and the roar of thunder when my attending physician at Mercy Community Hospital, Iligan City, told me, after a series of blood tests, that I had Chronic Myelogetic Leukemia (CML). That was 12 February 2003, around 3pm, the time our Lord Jesus Christ shed his precious blood and died on the Holy Cross for us. I was shocked and speechless. Tears didn’t fall - my eyes were wide in shock and my mind numb. I kept saying to myself, ‘God, I cannot believe it ... even in my worst dreams I hadn’t expected this. Of all people why me? Why not the drug lords, the drug pushers? Why not the rapists, the kidnappers?’It’s not easy to face reality immediately. There were thousands of ‘whys’ in my mind, the diagnosis echoing in my ears until my sister-in-law held my arm and consoled me by saying, ‘Kaya mo iyan because God has a special plan for you.’

Going through the impossible

The physician instructed us not to go home to Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur, but to go immediately to a hematologist -- a blood specialist. My blood count was very abnormal; my blood white count was 178,000 as opposed to 5,000-10,000, the normal range for females. I silently prayed, ‘My Lord Jesus Christ, how can I bear this without you? Please help me live longer and give me all the strength I need.’ My physician added that I’d need a lot of money. My Lord, where on earth could we get the needed amount? I submitted myself to Him. I said ‘Heavenly Father, ikaw na ang bahala sa akin. I asked forgiveness for all my sins and mistakes. I asked Mama Mary’s motherly love and intercession to the Almighty in Jesus’ name. Upon reaching the house of my elder brother, I cried and cried without any inhibitions, even with the neighbors around. I thought of my three children, too young to lose their mother. I prayed fervently and I knew that Mama Mary wouldn’t allow this to happen. She would help me pray this cry from the heart through the Son of the Father.

Hope in God

I cried the whole night. I couldn’t sleep. I prayed to God fervently, surrendering my whole life to Him to guide me, to learn to accept the fact and have peace of mind together with my family on where to go and how to get money. I would fight this CML for my children’s sake. I knew God wouldn’t allow even one of His children to be lost. That’s why He sent his only begotten Son Jesus Christ to save His people. I prayed that the precious blood which Jesus Christ shed on the Holy Cross would cleanse my blood.

I prefer a miracle

On 15 February CML was confirmed at Cebu Doctor’s Hospital after a series of blood tests. My white blood count had reached 194,000. Only two things could cure me, a bone-marrow transplant costing around three million pesos or – a miracle. I preferred the second. I didn’t lose hope. Only God could completely cure me. And He could use anyone as his instrument. I must have a strong determination to live longer, but most especially faith in God. My hematologist prescribed maintenance medicine, which was quite expensive. For the first three months I visited my physician every two weeks. We also found that my spleen was enlarged. My blood count was still abnormal.

Prayer brigade

With God’s mercy, after half a year I gradually recovered my strength and my skin went from rough black to regular brown. I thanked God so much for this, and also for giving me supportive parents, siblings and their families, relatives and, of course, my better half and my beloved children. They extended not only financial and moral support but most importantly, prayed for my recovery. I submitted my whole life to God because without His blessings, no matter how much medicine I’d take, all would be in vain. I devoted my time to prayer and involvement in the Legion of Mary and the Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. Invoking the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I asked her to include me in her prayers to the Creator through the Sacred Heart of Jesus. My heart filled with joy in communicating with God through prayer, Confession and attending Holy Mass regularly.

Blessings poured down

During a routine monthly check-up in Cebu, our Almighty Father finally answered my prayer. I was blessed that my treating physician had a very kind heart especially for indigent patients like me. She enrolled me in a Non-Government Organization based overseas which helps CML patients all over the world who pass the required laboratory test. I was one of the lucky patients. This was a truly miraculous gift of life from the Almighty; I got a lifetime supply of medicines sponsored by the organization. I availed of the Patient’s Assistance Program on February 2004 through the NGO’s office in Manila. I get the free medicines at my physician’s clinic during regular check-ups.

God shows us his never ending love provided we pray with all our heart and all our faith in Him.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ who have suffered different kinds of illnesses, bear in mind always that even if it’s impossible for doctors to cure us, with God everything is possible. Praise Him every moment of your life, thanking him for all your blessings. And ask for forgiveness for your sins.

My thanksgiving

I pray that whatever God wants me to accomplish, I will always walk the path He has prepared for me and my family.

Through Misyon I want to let the whole world know that Jesus Christ is alive. See the miracle gift of life I enjoy now? I pray that the medicine He gave me will completely cure all CML patients. I also pray that I will live longer with my loved ones. In God’s mercy, as I write, my blood count is normal.

I thank my high school classmate, now a priest, who includes me always in his prayers and daily Mass. I thank the religious groups who prayed over me, my relatives and close friends who prayed for my complete recovery.

To my dear physician who untiringly serves her patients and most especially to the NGO which God has given us CML patients, more blessings, power and strength in the name of Jesus Christ.