Some call him Iñigo, others call him Mac. Anyone who met Mac or have been in any of his epic parties know that he is larger than life. Short in stature but big in personality, Mac loves to have fun and knows how to create amazing memories with friends.
He simply loves life. Je Ne Sais Quoi as they say.
But that same love of the good life took a painful turn when he noticed a small lesion on the right side of his tongue. Simply dismissing it as a mouth sore, he ignored it until he noticed it wasnt healing at all. Alarmed he consulted doctors only to be faced with a devastating news. Tongue Carcinoma. Stage 3.
He broke the news to me 2 days shy from my birthday last July 5, 2018.
And I thought these things only happen in sappy, melodrama movies. I couldnt fathom the thought that this happy-go-lucky-guy who I had the bittersweet chance of meeting 10 years ago, the same person that has been giving me headaches and laughs at the same time is seriously ill. I never thought I’d cry that much in my life. I told him “I will fight with you through all this, this is our battle, we can win this together.” And so our journey began. An operation that took 1/3 of his tongue, 35 sessions of painful radiation that left his neck and face literally burned and chemotherapy that made him vomit until he didn’t have the strength to vomit anymore. 2nd, 3rd operation? Don’t worry— we got that covered. As he said “and hope ko di basta basta nauubos, pero ang dila ko konting konti na lang”.
Anyone who knows someone battling cancer or caring for someone who has cancer knows exactly what I am talking about. It’s that lump in your throat that just won’t go away until you see them fully recovered.
That welling of tears that you try so hard to keep to yourself because you wanted to show them you are strong because at times, that fake strength is the only thing they hold on to.
Each day we survive is a miracle. We celebrate small victories and thank God for another morning. Until one day you got the news that the cancer has returned with a vengeance just a month after he was declared “cancer-free”.
It was like being hit by a truck. This time the cancer has grown deep into his base of tongue.
I always tell people close to me, I will never wish for anyone to be in my position seeing a person who is so full of joy and energy reduced to a withered, emaciated figure, too far from the Mac you all knew. I would never wish anyone to witness how he agonize in horrible pain when cancer cells attack his nerves. He said it feels like being stabbed over and over again. Every Single day.
Today, as I write this post—- he is confined at St. Lukes waiting to be operated on to completely remove his tongue and spare him of the pain that made me die a little each time. Hopefully, this operation albeit rendering him voiceless, tasteless and sinply being denied the joys of eating will keep him alive.
But this comes with a cost, as the operation (Salvage Surgery) is pegged to cost around 6 million pesos, it is a big leap of faith. Cancer will not only drain you morally, emotionally but also steip you off of every cent you have ever saved.
The only thing that cancer cannot beat is HOPE and FAITH that at the end of this long treacherous journey, he will be completely HEALED by the Grace of God.
And through this hope, we ask you, friends and family of Mac whom he has touched lives to maybe skip a pack of cigarette or an order of Starbucks and help us help Mac overcome the biggest fight of his life.
Thank you very much.