It was a hot and lazy afternoon right after my schedule as a BPO slave in one of those call centers in Alabang. I was too tired to speak. Too tired to eat. Too tired to sleep. But never too tired to flip over that stack of porn under the bed sheets. I was about to do what boys do when I heard footsteps outside my room and someone rushed inside.
It was mom.
She was crying.
She said something about the result of her biopsy.
She told me she had Stage 3 Breast Cancer.
We’re having trouble with our finances it seems but help, even the financial kind, kept pouring in. My parents never made us feel we’re living from pay check to pay check. However, I know I can’t just quit my job because I have to help with my younger brother’s school expenses.
Mom and dad were discussing their plans for mom’s immediate mastectomy and chemotherapy. They were listing down options for the hospitals and the cost implications. UP-PGH is on their list. Overhearing this, I pointed out that UP-PGH is the best option and it would help us if we won’t be spending too much for her medical bills.
She said, “Matitiis nyo bang nasa PGH ako? Hindi ba kayo naawa sa ‘kin?”
Mom wants to have her hair permed so she can keep it a bit longer while she’s on chemo. She had her locks kept long since I was in high school. I even bought the perming solution and the hair clips that day.
Minutes after the perming, I saw her on the verge of tears. “Akala ko, magdidikit-dikit ang buhok ko. Lalo pala natanggal.”
I called up a former professor and borrowed her wig she used when she was undergoing chemo. Mom used it for a number of months.
It’s been more than three years since she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer. Just two more years, she’ll be called a survivor.
I love my mom, very, very much. I might not be the best son she can ever have but God knows that in every dream I dream, my family is always there.