In 1992 I was diagnosed with a Pituitary Adenoma, a rare case of slow-growing tumors that arise from cells in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain, just behind the eyes. It is considered to be the master gland that regulates the body's hormones.
Though my doctors were worried that it might lead to blindness if the tumor impinges the pituitary gland (because it is located behind the eyes), I was calm. I was a little worried but I certainly did not blame God or ask “Why me?” I felt that Heavenly Father will take care of me.
At that time, hospitals here in the Philippines did not have the technology to operate on this kind of tumor. Some patients had undergone craniotomy approach of the surgery wherein the surgeon operates through an opening in the front of the skull, off to one side. The surgeon has to work carefully beneath and between the lobes of the brain to reach the tumor. I was told of a few patients that were diagnosed ahead of me who did not make it after that type of surgery. The prospects were dim, but I still had faith that Heavenly Father will take care of me.
'I survived the 10-hour long surgery, but the pain I suffered after the procedure was excruciating.'
Upon learning of a more advanced approach to pituitary surgery in Spain, my family decided to send me to Barcelona, where an aunt was working. My auntie and her employer helped me find a doctor who would operate on me. I felt that I was being guided by God to where I was supposed to go for my surgery. A priesthood blessing assured me that things will work out although I was going to a strange land for the first time.
I survived the 10-hour long surgery, but the pain I suffered after the procedure was excruciating. I had to breathe through my mouth for several days because they operated through the nose or nasal cavity. I was miserable after the anesthesia wore off, and to make things worse, I had to stay longer because of complications like diabetes insipidus and hypothyroidism.
To help us pay for my rising medical bills, my mother was offered a job that also allowed us to apply for a residency in Spain. The few years we spent in Spain gave me opportunities to serve the Church. I worked with the missionaries and was called as the Young Women President of the Barcelona 2nd Ward. God blessed me with the gift of the Spanish language so I could communicate and serve in the Church and I am so grateful with that opportunity. I felt God’s love in every moment of my journey. Indeed, this is my second life.
'I felt God’s love in every moment of my journey. Indeed, this is my second life'
“The knowledge of how Christ rose from the grave and overcame death will always be an inspiration in my life. Whatever difficulties and trials I have right now God will always be there to help me overcome all sufferings and miseries and that He will always give us a better life after our tribulations.”