I had a tough week. My past weekend started normally. Had a day with the family on Saturday, then served at Grace Place on Sunday. Come evening, we went home with a bunch of Grace Place peeps to chat some more. And then, 11 pm, Sunday August 12, 2007, I felt a pain in my lower abdomen. I normally disregard pains in my tummy — I’m a friend of “hyper acidity”. But what concerned me is that I have never felt that kind of pain before. Long story short, I asked Joy, my wife, which I am blessed for being a nurse — very composed and knows exactly what to do, together with Rochelle, Ghelo and Glen (Grace Place peeps) to bring me to the nearest ER. The doctor suspected some kidney disorder, gave me a shot for the pain and I went home.
The next day, we went to Medical City. The urologist concluded that I have a stone somewhere in my urethra and had me CT scanned. I did all the tests and true enough, the doctor saw the stone the next day. I was scheduled for shockwave laser treatment, a non-surgical procedure to get rid of the stone. That would be Wednesday 8 am.
Kuya Prudy, my best friend in the entire universe, my brother Tzad and Joy were all there to accompany me. Joy was even allowed to go inside the operating room for a while and took these cool shots. ;-)
During those 5 minutes of being awake at the operating table (I fell asleep after the anesthesia was given), these thoughts were running through my mind.
* Life is short . Cliche, but try the operating room, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Mine is just a simple procedure and almost anyone survives it. But they let me fill out a waver that enumerates all the possible things that might happen, which includes, yes, death — for a simple procedure. Honestly, I’m not afraid to die. I am even joking around before the operation and did not feel any pressure. But that moment I realized that everything is really temporary. The Bible says, our life is like a mist — its existing, then it suddenly vanishes. Very true. One day I’m healthy then suddenly, I’m sick. Today with a stone on my urethra, what about tomorrow? Cancer? Well, tomorrow is not even promised.
* I need my quiet time back. I spent those 5 mins in the OR awake talking with God. Who else should I talk to, the anesthesiologist? :-) Seriously, these past few months when life is in turmoil, frustrations in my job, disappointments in relationships, when life doesn’t seem to matter anymore, God has to bring me to an operating table so I can talk with him. I still have my daily quiet time, but I couldn’t seem to connect with Him. I felt distracted, out of focused. God spoke to me in the most powerful way during that time.
* My parents love me very much, and I need to start showing them how much I love them. I love them, and they know it. But I just didn’t seem to show it in tangible ways. My Dad, after knowing about it called me up before the operation. And even how much I explain that this is not a dangerous procedure, he can’t stop crying. It breaks my heart. Big time. He sent my mom the same day to help out. My mom is still here right now, nagging me about the water I need to drink (which is 2 to 3 liters a day, plenty huh!). But in this past 3 days, they really showed how much they love me and care for me. And I feel that I’m not reciprocating it. I need to. I should.
Reflect on this: What will you do if you have 30 days left to live?