Standing in a corner of the PGH Avon Breast Care Center, my attention was caught by a patient sitting just outside the chemo room. He (yes, there are male patients in the breast care center) was crouched over a transparent plastic bag, vomiting into it from time to time. His face was pale, his bare head covered by a red beanie. He rested his head by the door frame afterwards, waiting for his turn for a chemotherapy, obviously physically drained.
I can never imagine what they are going through, even if I try. The short conversations I have with them will never be enough for me to fully understand how they feel. All I know is that everytime I get to talk to them, I am reminded of why I need to keep myself healthy.
I always tell my friends that the only reason why I keep myself strong and healthy is my Nanay. I need to be in the best shape I can possibly be so I can take care of her. I don’t have a family of my own to think about except her. She is my sole responsibility. Then I see other people suffering around me. Am I responsible for them, too? How can I help them with my limited resources?
We often hear and read about sharing one’s talent. Hopefully, everytime I write about stories like these, I get to remind others as well that we need to take better care of ourselves so we can look after our loved ones…that we can’t burden them with our own weakness and frailty. That there are bigger, more painful stories out there than our own. If we’re in one ourself, we are not alone. Help is always available, just not in the form that we actually need or expect. But it’s help just the same. And for that, we should remain grateful and hopeful.
So, who do you live for, other than your self?