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I Hate Filipino Culture -Society/Politics

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

When the Lion shed its mane

As if pressing the fast forward button on the remote, one moment you’re in a doctor’s clinic for a check up, looking at other patients in the queue in more advanced stages of the disease and getting a glimpse the immediate future through them. The next moment, you’re there, in your own future, seeing what you saw then but this time from a more intimate perspective. The transition from the then to the now is so abrupt that the mind seems to have omitted the in-between stages. It almost feels like I had time traveled.

It's december 27th, just two days after christmas. I’ve been staring at this bed for a while now. It’s a standard hospital bed with a cream colored frame draped in white sheets. It’s an otherwise ordinary bed but it is of particular interest to me because there’s this question that’s been lingering in my head. Is this going to be the bed, the one that he will last lay down on? The “death bed as they call it.”

It was almost 4 years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was only given 6 months by his doctors. If you saw him a month ago, you’d think that he was openly mocking his death sentence. Apart from a fist–sized lump that was growing on his abdomen, he looked healthy. He was mobile, He went to the nearby mall regularly to buy his supplements. It almost seemed as if time was of abundance.

The decline of his health in the last few days was so sudden that I didn’t realize what was happening until it hit me in the face -It felt like being slapped out of a dream where cancer was nothing but an overgrown pimple that won't go away and waking up to reality, staring down cancer's unmasked face. Its grotesque features in plain view. His long period of good health has lulled us into a false state of security. It is like how you see it in the movies after all. I first realized that something was wrong when Christmas eve came and he wasn’t at the dinner table with us.  We always spent Christmas together having noche buena at the same table. We don't have a lot of traditions. This is one of the few and we never missed a single one. I didn't realize how bad it was until the day after Christmas. He was very weak. He wasn't eating, His face was gaunt, his muscles have wasted away. I'm not sure if he really lost that much weight in 2 days or i just didn't pay that much attention bef