It’s gone. This thing on my neck that I’d been carrying with me for 27 years is no longer. It started in Baguio when I had just gotten married. I woke up and saw a lump on the left side of my throat that had appeared overnight!. Throughout the years, it had grown until my trachea had actually become crooked because of the pressure from this lump attached to my thyroid.
Today, I am .2 kilos lighter after the operation and thyroid-less. Dr. Cabalona, my surgeon and my endocrinologist Dr. Kasala decided to take out the whole thing since statistically, males who have thyroid lumps the size of what I had usually had cancer cells in them. Today, 5 days after the operation, I was told that mine was not cancerous. What a relief! But then I suspected deep down that it probably wasn’t cancer since I am quite in touch with my body and I felt healthy and cancer-free.
Right now, I am fine although my body is tired and exhausted. My vocal chords have been retained although it will take me a few weeks to be back in my usual singing form. Meanwhile, I like staring at the mirror and seeing a lean neck for a change and wearing shirts buttoned all the way to the collar. This way, I can hide my bandages until I heal totally.
I love the new Medical City. It is a spanking new hospital with very efficient and caring nurses and staff. The rooms are bright and pleasant and look a little like hotel rooms. One of my good memories about my stay there was waking up to my song ‘When I Met You’ in the recovery room right after my operation. I actually cried when I heard it, not just because I felt it was so thoughtful of them to do that but because I woke up hearing myself talk and realized that I did not lose my vocal chords, my single great fear about the operation. I cried when I realized that despite my mental preparations, I know I am not ready to stop singing.
During my stay at room 714, while the Philippines teetered on edge due to the countless demands by the various sectors for PGMA to resign, I felt passionless and above the fray. My concerns were modest—like how to navigate using the toilet while attached to a dextrose, and how to sleep on my back with as little movement as possible so I do not strain my stitched neck. You might say that I was totally not into the macro view of things but quite absorbed with my everyday practical needs. To while the time, I looked out the window, read my book, slept when I could and bonded with Lydia and Ala who took turns sleeping in the room. Ala brought her mac computer and let me listen to music she liked. Lydia helped me entertain visitors and made sure I was fed well and not straining myself.
I am at home now as I write this and just taking it easy resting my weak body, even if I know that by next week, I will be waiting on Lydia as she goes through a hysterectomy. As I was undergoing my thyroid operation, she was having her D&C. This is another thing we worry about although we are quite relieved to have been informed that the abnormal cells found inside her are not yet cancerous. She will be operated next week. I will be staying in the hospital with her until she is ready to go home.
I thank everyone who called, visited, texted and wrote to show their care and support when I was confined. If it is not too much to ask, please do the same, and pray for Lydia’s speedy and complete recovery as well.
My son Mio is having the time of his life in Oxford. Within the first two days, he had 5 sets of friends already. Among his friends is Zelda Williams, comedian Robin’s actress daughter who is ¼ Pinay!. Mio is easy to like. He has a ready smile, plays the guitar and easily shares his stuff with people. His American friends seem to have developed the taste for the instant Pancit Canton which he brought grudgingly after his mom suggested he bring them for midnight snacks. He now says he should have brought more so he could sell them! Ha ha! Moms just seem to know everything, I tell you!
We will be off on another tour before the end of the year. As usual, we are again at a loss for a tour name. After so many years, medyo mahirap na mag-isip! I would like to ask you dear reader for a title that is, a) within the spirit of what APO is all about b) friendly to and aimed at the Fil-Am market, c) gimmicky, smart, and suggests fun and excitement. Please avoid APO Spring Tour 2005, or anything with posila attached to it. I’ve submitted my list and I just know that the producers will ask for more. If we do use your title, I promise a CD signed by the three of us.