Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 12

Mindfullness

HAVING HOPE

Hope...

Beyond My Name

M

BY E SPE R A N Z A SIGI E

y mother used to say, " Everyone is the architect of his own
destiny " . However, in the middle of 2018, I expressed to her
my disagreement with that phrase, given that destiny is out of
our control. Due to my recently diagnosed cancer, my destiny
was not as planned anymore. After an earthquake, she replied,
the architects must throw out the rubble and erect new projects; It was not until
today that I finally understood that concept.
I studied international commerce and had the chance to work in Vancouver B.C., Seattle, and California. I worked for the Mexican Consulate and the
Lebanese Embassy in Mexico. My position was Chairman of Commercial and
Cultural Affairs. Later on, I moved to Queretaro, Mexico, where I currently
live with my parents, and started a job in an American transport company.
In the middle of January of 2018, my back hurt, I thought the air conditioner at work was the cause of my pain; however, later, I found something in my
chest that grew rapidly in a matter of days. I went to the oncologist, and I was
taken to surgery immediately.
I was always the healthiest in my family, I never drank, never smoked; I used
to go to the gym, and was a member of a rowing team. Despite this, on January
30th of 2018, my life changed. I was informed that my breast was surgically
removed in conjunction with twenty-one lymphatic nodes. I had triple-negative
3C cancer. This kind of news changes your life, but it also makes you stronger
and more human. You realize who really loves you and who doesn't, your faith
is challenged but at the end you end closer to God.
I was angry, and I started to ask " Why did this happen to me? " However, I
thought it could be more productive, meaningful, and wholesome if my question morphed into " For what did this happen to me? "
Sixteen cycles of chemotherapy started back in March of that year, I finalized
the radiotherapy on October 30th; two days later, I traveled to Orlando with
my cousin to celebrate my victory. I went to Disney and Universal parks. I was

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DECEMBER 2020

gifted with a pin that said: " I´m celebrating...
the end of my treatment. " In consequence,
most of the people were congratulating me
and giving me encouragement to move on. I
was feeling proud of my courage.
The next month I went back to work. Nonetheless, in January, the cancer came back to
the left lymphatic nodes. I underwent surgery
last February, and I received eight cycles of
chemotherapy, but in the second PET-scan,
the cancer was still there in the right side of
my axilla. Therefore, I had 20 cycles of radiotherapy in July of 2019.
One day I was outraged because despite
people telling you " You can do it! " or " You
are so brave and strong, " it Is not easy when
you are giving your best, but all the same,
the cancer returns in such a short time. I was
frustrated, and I used to say, " God took away
from me one year and a half of my life, " when
I thought and focused my attention on the
treatments that weren't working. However, I
shifted the sense of my phrase to " God gave
me one year and a half of life " because I could
have passed away that day. From that moment,
I started looking every day as a gift. In January
of 2021, I will achieve three years of living life
to the fullest since my diagnosis. Currently,
I see every day as a gift; in the morning, I'm
grateful for having one more day to live, and
in the night, I'm grateful for the opportunity
of having lived it to my best; the approach to
life changes.
In October of last year, I had my third
PET-scan and metastasis in the axillae, mammary glands, and mediastinum were found.
Although I try to preserve my good attitude,
during the next chemotherapy, I was really
sad; I was thinking about the reason of why
the metastasis was spreading so fast, I started
crying, but then I listened to a voice that said
" Hey, you are way older than me, why are you
crying? " I turned my head and listened to little
Regina - a 4 year-old girl with leukaemia - She
smiled and said to me " I'm gonna give you and
advice... for doing this easier, when they inject
your port just breath as if you were sniffing
flowers, and then blow as if you were blowing
candles in a cake " (She thought I was crying
because of the needle). Nevertheless, she said
" This will make everything easier. " Since that
day I follow the suggestion of my little friend
Regina, and truthfully life gets easier.
Because of my several metastases, last December I started immunotherapy (Tecentriq)
as recommended by several doctors. It was


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Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 1
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 3
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 4
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 5
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 6
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 7
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 8
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 9
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 10
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 11
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 12
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Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover3
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