• The Run of My Life

      March 2010 marked a defining point in my life. It was the time that I found out I have thyroid cancer. I was teary-eyed reading my biopsy results. It was blurry and I had a hard time reading, a bit of myself was in denial or was in doubt if this is true and another part is in wonderment of how and why this has happened to me.

      The first thing I did was to text my sister who’s also a nurse. She was calm and asked me what stage it was. And that’s when it fully sunk in. My God, I have cancer. I told her that I still needed to talk to my doctor the following day for laboratory results.

      I went back to work that afternoon just like any ordinary day. I did not tell my boss or anybody else, even my husband about the results that I received the other day. May it be denial or defense mechanism or whatever, I wasn’t ready to tell anyone else yet.

      Things like this are not that easy to fathom, especially for someone like me who always faces life head on and with full control. It was hard because I didn’t like or I didn’t understand and accepted the fact that I have the big C. I even kid myself that the only stage I am afraid of is that of stage fright. I never thought I would face another stage. And a much scarier one at that.

      The following day, my former boss accompanied me to the interpretation of my biopsy results. She went with me because she couldn’t believe also that I have it. She thought that I was just joking and that maybe my interpretation was wrong.

      the author during one of her marathons

      The doctor explained to me everything and told me that my thyroid gland had to be removed. Otherwise, the condition will become worse and my body clock is set to two to three years. He further said that there is no medicine that can cure this and it had to be removed right away. I was then referred to a surgeon for me to fully understand the operation details.

      I went back to the office with my former boss and told my officemates of my illness. I was touched of the sympathy and concern they had for me. I told them not to cry because tears couldn’t cure cancer. If it could, then I would cry and cry rather than undergo the operation.

      I’d like you to understand that I am not hard-hearted. For those battling the Big C, I am sure that they would agree with me that it really helps to see happy faces surrounding us because that is where we gain strength. Crying and submitting to negative forces will not help me at all. Positive energy and a positive in life keeps me going and keeps me fighting for my life, not just for me but most especially for my husband and kids. I had to be strong for if I succumb to weakness, who else can be strong for me?

      I visited the surgeon with my sister the following day so that the operation can be scheduled as soon as possible. I decided for an operation right away without my husband’s and family’s knowledge, except for my sister.

      It took me a week to tell my husband that I would undergo an operation after I made sure everything was ready—my SSS, PhilHealth, health insurance documents, and cash advances from my company for medical purchases. My sister prepped me that I had to be emotionally and mentally prepared before the operation. With my faith in God, I was.

      April 5, 2010 was the day my husband dropped me off at the emergency room of the hospital because he had to leave for work and I had to be the one to do my own admission. I had a series of lab tests that day prior to the operation for clearance purposes.

      My husband and my sister arrived late in the afternoon. My operation was set at 9am the following day.

      April 6, 2010. I had a successful operation and was back in my room at 5:00 in the afternoon.

      I had a month of recovery prior to my radiation therapy which was scheduled last May 5, 2010. I was admitted again and was in FULL isolation for three whole days. This term, isolation, must have been the most painful part of my run. No visitors were alloed during that period and I had to do everything on my own—eating, sleeping, watching TV. My food and medicines were served and left everyday outside the door in my room. The nurses will just give me instructions through phone or through a glass window at my door that it was time for me to drink my meds or if my food was ready. Sometimes, they remind me to sit one to two meters away from them and to stay put in the corner of my room. I understand that this is precautionary for safety on both parties but it was so depressing, emotionally painful and heartbreaking, I felt I was all alone.

      And adding salt to injury, full isolation meant being away from my kids. It was so tough for me because at that time, they too became sick and it frustrated me that I wasn’t there for them and I couldn’t do anything except talk to them on the phone. I am sure that mothers would know how hard it was to be in my situation. I really missed them so much because it was my first time away from them. I couldn’t sleep at night because I keep on thinking about them but I had to wait until June 16, the end schedule of my therapy.

      It was then that I promised myself to be strong always and try hard not to cry because it will worsen the then-depressing situation. I chose to be strong because my kids needed me and I decided to be well and not succumb to depression because I couldn’t stand that I am away from them. I thanked God for giving me the wisdom and the acceptance to face the reality and harshness of this thing called the Big C.

      June 16, 2010—the long wait was over, I was finally home.

      My Marathons
      I started running as a means of diversion and exercise. I first ran at the 1st Cebu City Marathon. It was my first accomplishment and I was so proud of finishing 42kms. It was very tough and there was a time when I was about to give up because 42kms was too far for me to reach but I did it in 6hrs and 34mins. Not too bad for a first timer like me. I would never have made it without His guidance.

      That was the first of the many runs I joined. I joined the UltraMarathon last November 2010 and the farthest was last November 2011 for the Cebu Century Challenge where I had to run 140km from Bogo to Plaza Independencia.

      Everyday could be a very depressing moment if I will not fight for my life. I will be taking a thyroid hormone for the rest of my life to normalize my metabolism. Too much running could lead to cardiac arrest if I go beyond my limitation. So far, I have learned that I am strong enough to run and that I am given by God a very high limit. I have to cherish this blessing.

      Survival rate of my illness is 90%. So definitely this is not the end of my life yet.

      My decision to run marathons are associated with the determination to continue with my run for life, my run/battle against cancer. Marathons are tough but life battles are tougher. I want to make a statement that I can survive this for the sake of myself, my family and most especially my kids.

      My next run will be on March 10 this year for Cebu’s First All-Women 50k Ultramarathon. I urge and encourage all women who are in themselves, fighting and surviving their own battles—be it cancer or anything that life brings. Let every sweat speak for our hearts and our spirit, let every step inspire those who are fighting their own battles. Run for a reason, run for a cause, run for yourself and run for life. Because it is worth every step and every sweat.

      I will still keep on running as long as I can, be it on the road or in my life. I will never stop hoping and will always run to survive this battle.

      Life is too short, we don’t know what it would bring. You will never know when it’s time to go.

      All we can do is make the most of it, be happy and inspire others as much as we can.

      Story Shared by:

      Annabelle P. Dinoy
      Chief Accountant, Cebu Parklane International Hotel
      Ultra Runner
      Bai Parklane Runner
      Inspirational Wife, Mother and Friend
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      Comments 29 Comments
      1. onard04's Avatar
        onard04 -
        thats a inspiring story,just like lance armstrong
        your one of the greatest woman.
      1. thisbe.ara's Avatar
        thisbe.ara -
        You are an inspiration as always, in many ways than one. Thank you for touching my life and those of others.
      1. neurain's Avatar
        neurain -
        mam bilib ko sa imung fighthing spirit...keep it up!

        ur story reminds me of my late mother medyu nakahilak ko nagbasa nini kai gi anud nasad akong panumduman sa among kaagi sa akong inahan sa katong buhi pa cya actually na operahan cya niadto pero wala nya gibalik ang biopsy kai maybe nagtuo cya nga ok ra dna to kinahanglanon pa na operahan cya mga early 1990's I remember i was grade six that time....year 2007 napakong cya then naa nitubo sa iya ulo hubag(gamay ra mura to kadak-a sa kana ganing lusok sa mais) wala ra to nidangat ang pila ka bulan magsige na ug sakit iyang gipatan aw sa usa ka DR. diri sa amoa(d lang nako e mention ang name sa dr) niingon raman ok ra daw gitagaan ra cya ug pain reliever sge lang cya inum atong ge resita sa dr nya pila'y dagan sa istorya medyu nagtubo jud nakadicide me nga amo cya dad on sa Chonghua mao to nahiling jud cya didto namu nahibaw-an nga cancerous diay to iyang goiter Follicuar Thyroid Cancer stage 3 nato ato nga time nagdako jud ang hubag sa iyang ulo sa pagpanlabay na sa mga bulan then one time naa naka suggest ni mader nga sulay visit sa isa ka doctor dha sa Cebu Doc nga mo perform ug radioactive nagkadako to ang iyang dosage I can still remember ako tawn magbantay ni mader ma uli rako ug OPON aron maligo ig abot nako magsulat sulat ra jud me ato ug unsai iyang mga kinahanglan nako diha'y kausa nga lawm na ang gabie wala pako natulog iya gi abli ang pertahan just to see if im okey ni sitsit cya nako paglingi nako ni smile ako ge ingnan sleep na oi ana sad cya d daw cya katulog gusto na cya mogawas kai mingaw na daw cya namu the last time nga nagpa radioactive me pag year 2009 pero wala na kai nikalat na daw ang cancer sa iyang lawas medyu sakit pero amo gidawat ang iya sitwasyun kai wana man sad me mahimo she passed away April 20,2010 pero once naa ko makita or mabasa nga parehas sa iya situation can't help but remember my mama
      1. redner109's Avatar
        redner109 -
        inspiring story.... ninduta eyyy
      1. francisxim's Avatar
        francisxim -
        idol jud tika maam.. always an honor nga mka run kyug nimu..
      1. koykoy's Avatar
        koykoy -
        very inspiring...
      1. kurdapia.nikki's Avatar
        kurdapia.nikki -
        ohmy. ka inspiring jud ani :')
        i wonder if istoryan ni sha. sorry kay im not familiar with the author. hehehe
      1. rads's Avatar
        rads -
        idol.... very inspiring
      1. gym.adik's Avatar
        gym.adik -
        Truly worth reading... Very very inspiring.
      1. takas bahay's Avatar
        takas bahay -
        Very inspiring indeed!!!! God bless you ma'am and may you always have the strength to keep "THE GOOD FIGHT" and inspire others
      1. pa0pa0's Avatar
        pa0pa0 -
        God Bless mam, just keep fighting!!! May you have the strength and courage always!
      1. mikaela20's Avatar
        mikaela20 -
        thanks for sharing a wonderful and inspiring story... hope you'll succeed in any forms of battle that you're in now.. be it the finish line or the big C thingy.. God Bless!
      1. wsraxe's Avatar
        wsraxe -
        Amazing! I don't even know what to say. I have second thoughts in running the ultra tomorrow but after reading this, I will run for all the women out there. Keep fighting!
      1. zoey29's Avatar
        zoey29 -
        touching story, keep on fighting and God bless you
      1. teeemoy's Avatar
        teeemoy -
        Very inspirational story, Ma'am. A few of us from the ISTORYA.NET Photography Club (IPC) have started walking as a hobby ourselves. So far we average around 15km per walk. The reason we're sticking to walking is so that we can stop and take pictures along the way.

        After reading this, I'm compelled to up our mileage. We should do about 20 para pud manggamay ni among mga tiyan. Heheheh.

        Your battle with the big C is very moving. Although in my life, I have not yet faced a crisis as big is this. I hope when I do, I just wish I had your will and determination and the ability to garner a smile.

        Good luck to you Ma'am and more power.
      1. angiedivine's Avatar
        angiedivine -
        was teary eyed reading your story Ma'am. thanks for the inspiration. i salute you for your strong determination and courage to fight the struggles in life.
      1. ryeaka's Avatar
        ryeaka -
        i am deeply touched, inspired and motivated... thank you for sharing your story... i wish i could say more but i can't... you'll be in my prayers...
      1. cool_guy's Avatar
        cool_guy -
        very inspiring one. asawa man diay ni sa ako officemate c author, kron pko kbalo naa diay cya cancer before.
      1. gori_grimreaper's Avatar
        gori_grimreaper -
        Thank you for inspiring me to run again. More power to you and your family. God bless you.
      1. estorbot's Avatar
        estorbot -
        2001 i had hyperthyroidism symptoms i lost weight and my heart beat like crazy even at rest. sometimes i cant move, abi nako mamatay nako. i didnt even know unsa ako sakit. until i went to the doctor and refered me to an endocrinologist and found out i have a hyper active thyroid. i used the internet to research aside from taking my meds. now its been years na did not take my meds i think it went away. i play badminton to sweat it out and somehow it helped me from remission. my prayers helped a lot too.

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