It was already in Stage 2 when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer involving cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes. No one strong and healthy enough would accept a defenseless defeat like being diagnosed with cancer. With his young age, the doctor’s discovery shattered his dreams but one thing in him remained strong-his faith.
Mark Jones Velasquez or known as “TJ” in our town is one of the existing lymphoma survivor that continued the journey of life up to this moment. Living with his widowed mother, a teacher, and siblings, he spend most of his time with his friends making pages of memorable history, enjoying the best things in life with innocence and total freedom.
“When I had the courage to ask the doctor how long I will live if I would not undergo operation, his response stunned me…6 months only, one year at the most. When I heard those words…I felt the world standing still. Everything the doctor was saying was incomprehensible. I felt like a prisoner handed a death sentence. During those moments I felt numbness all over my body. What I could only feel at that time were tears running down my cheeks.”
A wave of change came in with the disease. When he was diagnosed with lymphoma, experts suggested for chemotherapy which in fact has no assurance. Chemotherapy could leave behind long-lasting tell-tale signs of damage. He remained strong but seemed to let go of hope many times. In moments of inevitable despair, his mother continued to support morally, spiritually and financially for the 6-session chemotherapy for six long months.
His empathetic childhood friends have shown him more compassion to remain calm. He never treated his weaknesses to overpower his greatest strength, faith. “I started to get jealous on people without such disease and sometimes blame Him for being so rude until I realized that I need to cling on Him instead of throwing the blame.” He once said.
With prayers and acceptance of what he got, he finally survived the test. After his chemo sessions, doctors advised him to go home and make a recovery for his immune system with positive chances on not to come back to the hospital anymore. He is healed completely.
The twist in his life re-organized himself for a new chance of living. The disease was just an examination telling us two certain things. First, in our world, science can define and explain all kinds of diseases with corresponding medications. Second, if such medications cannot heal at all, try taking the last powerful antibiotic-FAITH.