Freeman Cebu Sports

OK, Dukes up!

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

Alright, this is it. This is the big fight. If I were to liken this to something I am familiar with and not something strange and unheard of, I would say I would be in a room full of loud, rowdy, and foul-smelling men in a small jam-packed room. I would have just been told that I just had a crack at the world title held by the world's greatest undefeated monster.

After a series of hospital visits, confinements, and tests, the word cancer first broke into the open and became a speakable word in discussion. So I have it. In my throat. On my thyroid. It has no return ticket. It is not going to leave. For now it is there and I am here, each of us living behind an invisible wall we built to keep each other away.

I am back home where I intend to make a stand. The daughters have come for a visit or what could be a series of visits depending on what's God's plans are for me. The family have quickly circled the wagons as they always do in situations like this but maybe this time more unfamiliarly and eerily disconcerting because it involves Titi Jerry.

Titi Jerry, which is me, never gets sick except for a brief two-day confinement due to a kidney stone. I have never been hospitalized for anything more serious than that in my 70 years of my life. Instead it was Titi Jerry who usually sounded the trumpets and led the circling of the wagons. More importantly Titi Jerry, as oldest of his generation is the first to be confronted with a confirmed cancer case.

With the help of the family and a couple of very well-meaning friends back home in Cebu, including Governor Gwen and Sir Chester, as well as my sister-in-law and docs Marian and Jurgen and Cleo (my wife's dearest friends and classmates from school) I would not have been able to quickly facilitate my discharge from the hospital.

Quick and substantial financial assistance allowed me to set aside temporarily my most immediate problems. Now I have to make ready with all the preparations I need to fight this battle. From everyone I would need your prayers especially for the intercession of Señor Santo Niño. Each of us may have nurtured our own comfort zones with faith levels. You have yours I have mine. Mine is complete.

A short while before I eventually decided to seek medical attention I have completely surrendered myself to the Will of God. Besides there was no money for medical attention. Any money that might come is always seemed needed elsewhere. But the Santo Niño did not wish it to become a debate between faith and practical, medical scrutiny.

So one day I could not urinate as the bladder puffed I became anxious. I was forced to go to the hospital and subjected to a battery of tests. It was then and there that doctors suspected that I had something more than just a bladder blocked by an enlarged prostate. All men have prostate glands and almost all of them experienced enlargements. Most enlargements are also all benign.

The bladder issue was just the trigger. So if it was only all bladder it would have been a non-issue. But the bladder issue gave way to the elephant in the room. Now it is the big C that looms before me. The Santo Niño made it very clear that there would be no conflict between all medical advice and interventions I would be getting and the prayers I would be devoting to fight this disease.

My faith in the Santo Niño is very strong. It draws its strength from the foundation of pure innocence. One day as a little boy scout I was assigned to wipe the Holy Child for every prayerful devotees to kiss. Growing up, as my prayers started getting complicated, I always invoked the Santo Niño to intercede for that innocent child who completely surrendered to His service. The intercession always came. Sometimes a little 11th hourish but it never failed to come.

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