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"My Mom Died Of Cancer!"

Daryl Torralba shares the pain of losing her mom to a terrible disease.
photo by Dakila Angeles · Model used for situational purposes only

It's been a few years since my mom passed away, but I still feel the pain of losing her, especially when I recall our memories together. Trying to recover from the loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with.

My story begins in June 2006 when my mom underwent surgery to remove masses of abnormal cells found in her ovaries. The surgery was successful. However, the doctor said we had to wait for the result of the biopsy in order to find out the nature of the cells recovered from her surgery.

My mom was worried about the outcome of her biopsy. We prayed that the masses of cells wouldn't be malignant, but our deepest wish wasn't granted. My mom was found to have gastric cancer.

From the day I discovered she was sick, tears would well up in my eyes whenever I was alone. I worried about her while trying to deal with the pressure of studying. I was taking my exams during my first semester in the University of the Philippines, and I just couldn't seem to focus because thoughts of my mom always crossed my mind. Then I would start to cry because it killed me to see her suffering.

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A lot of questions popped into my mind. Why my mom? Why now when she was still so young? I never blamed God for what happened. Instead, I held on to Him and put my faith in Him. I knew at this point that two things were possible—she could either live longer or leave me forever.

My mom was a strong woman. After going through many hardships in life such as poverty and marital problems, she proved to be a warrior full of strength and faith in the battleground of life. For her, cancer was just a disease. Whenever I cried in front of her, she would always tell me, "Gagaling din ako, anak." It hurt me to see her that way, but she was full of hope.  She never gave up.

Mom took all kinds of medication, from chemotherapy to faith healing. Sometimes, she would feel better, but it was never long-term. Her recovery was unpredictable. Without knowing it, she was already at the worst stage of cancer. After her last chemotherapy session in December 2006, she became irritable and weak. She looked worse than she ever had before and I could hardly suppress my tears upon seeing her that way. I knew she was dying.

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Just a few days before Christmas, she was rushed to the hospital. She told me, "Anak, bahala ka na sa mga kapatid mo." At that moment, I hugged her tightly and told her how much I loved her. I pleaded with her to hold on, but God had a plan and He took her to heaven on December 20, 2006.

Dealing with the pain of seeing a loved one suffering and losing them eventually aren't easy. Aside from worrying about the usual things such as my studies, I had even more responsibilities as the eldest among my siblings. I learned to help my dad with our business, to budget our money, and to do many other things a mother usually does at home. It was difficult to shift from being a normal teenager to a responsible "mother" to my younger brother and sister.

Through this experience, I realized that when you lose someone you love, you are changed in one of two ways: you either become bitter or better. I chose to be the latter. My mom taught me to be strong like her. Though recovering is a slow and difficult process, I look at the positive side. I give my full trust to God because I know that like my mom, he wants me to become a stronger and more mature person.

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To the Person Who Does Not Know Any 1D Song

By: CJ Reyno

Never in my wildest dream I imagined to meet someone who does not know a single One Direction song or who does not even know, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and err… Zayn Malik. How did you spend your teenagehood without listening to their songs? The disrespect to my #StyPayHorLikSon. My initial reaction, Vas Happenin’?

Since I was 12 years old, that was way back on 2012, One Direction songs have been my official life soundtrip, my go-to songs whenever I feel happy, sad, mad, excited, and etch. I can still remember how people went crazy just to attend their concert here in the Philippines. I must admit, I was one of those. LOL. The group was also dubbed as, “The Biggest Boyband in the World”. They were an era. You really left me in awe when you told me that you do not know a single One Direction song. Their songs are gold. But I was a little hopeful when a new messaged popped up on our conversation, “Hey I know one, Make You Beautiful”.

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You do not know how my world collapsed after reading your message. I would like to say that I appreciate the effort, thanks, but they do not have a song entitled, Make You Beautiful, because it is, What Makes You Beautiful. I tried to explain but you said that they are just the same. (Tip: Never fight with a Directioner when it comes to this because we will not let our guards down). No! They are not the same. How can you make this big mistake? LOL. What Makes You Beautiful is One Direction’s debut song. Almost everyone knows this, “you’re insecure, don’t know what for,” ring a bell? The music video of this surpassed 1 billion views on Youtube. On my 21 years of existence, you are the very first person who told me this “I-Thought-It-Was-A-Joke-But-You-Are-Serious” statement.

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As a persuasive fangirl, I thought to myself that I should make you appreciate their music, that you should know that it is What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. The group may be in hiatus but their music is and will always remain superior. You are hard-headed lad. We even when to the point where you challenged me to treat so I can make you watch their music video. Am I even surprised that I agreed to this? HAHA. I feel like an agent trying to persuade her customer to buy a property on our company. You do not know how happy I was when you sent me your video listening to What Makes You Beautiful. I felt like I successfully closed a deal with my client. Not to exaggerate but I really jumped because of happiness after watching your video. It was the first message I checked that morning. Thank you for your effort, so much appreciated. Funny how our conversation starts with your innocence on One Direction until it goes deeper and last longer. Up All Nigh conversations which turned to almost Midnight Memories. Ironic how a Directioner had developed an admiration on someone who dislikes her favorite boys? Just like One Direction’s song, Change My Mind, “Never felt like this before. Are we friends or are we more?” I guess, like Liam’s line on Love You Goodbye, “It's inevitable everything that's good comes to an end. It's impossible to know if after this we can still be friends.”

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I was happy that I made you listen to One Direction. At least I made you appreciate and made you aware that there is a song called, What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. I am happy that you already found your Girl Almighty. Wish me luck on finding my Summer Love. xoxo, Your Directioner friend

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