CANCER

Dear Readers,

In light of being a positive individual, it is often difficult to remain positive when the threat of cancer killing the ones you love lingers too close to home. I have two family members who are currently fighting cancer.

This post is for them. Out of respect for those I love, I refuse to share who in my family are fighting cancer. Those closest to me, already know.

Our first family member was diagnosed with breast cancer about a few years back. She was able to defeat cancer for a short time by removing both her breasts. Roughly 5 months ago, the cancer has reappeared. Unfortunately, the cancer has spread through her back and are active once again. She’s currently going through chemotherapy and radiation.

Our second family member is a recent breast cancer victim. She discovered her breast cancer when she felt an unusual bump in her breast. After visiting the doctor about it and getting tested, we found out that the bump was due to cancer. Thankfully, she was able to catch it at the cancer’s early stages. Right now, she is following all the procedures to eliminate the cancer cells, which includes chemo, radiation, and rest.

I wanted to share this post in my admiration for these two women. 

They are so strong. Regardless of their current life battle, they somehow maintain a positive and uplifting state of mind that truly inspires me. For the countless times I’ve been spending with these two women, not once had I seen them cry. Although, they’re not in their best physical condition, these women refuse to show weakness. They carry out their daily routines such as driving, household chores, and regular exercise, like the cancer doesn’t even exist. Best of all, they both still have the brightest smile in the world. Their inner strength to continue on with life the best they can given their circumstances is remarkable. Both women carry this “push through and carry on” attitude that I idolize the most.

What I admire more than their strength, is their ability to remain hopeful.

There are plenty of times in life wherein it seems like hope is lost. Yet, despite all the struggles and bumps that life throws at these two women, they still manage to remain hopeful… hopeful that things will get better…. hopeful that this is only a temporary storm and that sunny days are coming soon… hopeful that everything that withers, turn into something beautiful.

Cancer affects not only the victims, but their families too. In my story, cancer is a burden to every single member of our family. At some point, the cancer shattered us more than it did to the victims. There is not a single person in this world who wants to see their loved ones suffer… unfortunately, we have to. I can’t even begin to tell you how many nights I’ve had of just laying in bed and crying endlessly, because the pain of seeing them hurt is too unbearable. The fear of losing someone dear to you is a losing battle that you must overcome regardless. Being stronger for the ones you love is the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far. I didn’t want to show weakness around my family members with cancer, simply because I knew they’re fighting with their inner selves too. I wanted them to focus on healing and being strong for themselves, and I knew that showing signs of weakness around these two women would break their hearts even more. Strong women uplifts other strong women – this is a lesson for all.

Despite the negative impact that cancer causes families and friends, it also has a strong pulling factor that brings forth togetherness.

THERE IS HOPE AND THERE IS LOVE.  

When a family or individual is being at threat of losing their lives, that’s when hope comes into fruition. At the darkest and most difficult times in our lives, it is often hope that keeps us afloat. Hope is the reason why we believe. Hope is the reason why we remain positive. Hope is the reason why we continue on living. Hope gives us a ray of light to look for, when everything around us has gone dark.

There is also love. During these trivial moments of cancer attacking our homes and lives, the love we have for each other has been tested and proven. Cancer will truly test your character and the amount of love you possess. For when times got really fucking rough, our love for each other was the only reason that pushed us forward. Our love enabled us to support one another, to encourage positivity, to uplift the other, and to believe in miracles. The love we have, was strengthened by cancer. Love brought distant families and distant relatives closer. Love called distant friends for immediate affection. Love gave us all the comfort to know that this fight against a common enemy will result in victory.

This is just another chapter in their lives. A chapter that is not the most favoured by all, yet an important one to live through. Cancer affects many families other than mine. Cancer is society’s biggest foe. Of all the amazing cancer survival stories out there, I’m sure the women in my life will have their own too. I believe they will be cured. I believe that the dark days are soon to be over. My family believes in it too.

Together, my family will stand stronger. Together, we’ll get through this chapter.

AN IMPORTANT REMINDER TO ALL:

Cancer is no joke. Which is why I was determined to get tested and screened for the status of my health. To all my readers, please go visit your family doctor for a physical check-up!!!

I recently got a physical test to examine my own health condition, and that physical included a PAP TEST. My first PAP TEST was quite a unique experience! To my younger female readers who still hasn’t had their PAP TEST done, please make sure you take this test once you turn 21 years old! After your first one, please continue on getting your physical checks yearly, and getting your PAP TEST once every 3 years.

What is the PAP TEST? 

Read the link here for more info: PAP TEST

In other words, a PAP TEST checks your cervix for any abnormalities… it’s a test that screens for cancer conditions and/or infections. The process is quite shocking to women who may not had sexual intercourse yet. For those who are sexually active, it shouldn’t be a painful test at all. What they do during the test, is they insert this tube like device inside your vagina and then the doctor swabs inside your vagina to collect samples of your cells. PAP TESTS are very uncomfortable, and I highly recommend doing this process with your trusted family doctor.

In all, I want everyone to know that the cancer battle within my family is very personal for me. This part of my story took some deep thinking and courage to share. To the millions of families like mine, who are currently in war against cancer, I want you all to know I’m with you on this fight. I will pray for yours, as I hope you pray for mine.

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio

I Grew Up a Fat Kid – My Body Image Struggles

March 8, 2018

Dear Readers,

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

As women, we all share the same common insecurities. For instance, most of us are never satisfied with our body; the shape of our bodies seem to be the greatest source of our insecurities. BUT IT SHOULD NEVER BE THAT WAY. In fact our bodies should be the source of our strength. Our bodies can give birth. Our bodies have its purpose. Our bodies are strong… and you should never be ashamed of it.

We all have our own unique body shapes and sizes. You can’t compare an apple to a pear – so why are you comparing your body to that of someone else?

You are inherently unique.

The perfect body doesn’t exist”. That’s a phrase you probably had heard plenty of times… but that phrase is so true. When it comes to body image, I find that women are more critical about how their bodies look than men are. There is this growing stigma of women trying to perfect themselves through any means – healthy or not. This struggle of achieving “the perfect body” has led to mental illness and unhealthy behaviours such as dangerous diets. Women had been characterized to be skinny, but skinny doesn’t mean healthy.

I promote healthy body perceptions. I want all women from all age groups to understand that their bodies are unique and beautiful. Having a healthy body perception means a healthy mental state. Women must empower each other towards being healthy, both physically and mentally. We should empower each other to be healthier – NOT to look “good” but more towards doing our bodies “good”.

I used to be a fat kid. How I improved my body image, started with my drive to live a healthier lifestyle.

I grew up fat. As a fat kid, I grew up being the main target for bullies in kindergarten. As I aged, the bullies from my past stayed within me. I went through junior high with an attitude, driven by my sole desire to fit in and be accepted. Then, when high school came around I finally had a chance to be different (I went to a dominant “white” school, wherein only 10% of the students in my grade were Asians). Although I stood out due to my race, my appearance was still not like the other girls in my grade. They were all Barbies. A living, breathing array of perfect girls – with pretty blonde hair, and beautiful blue eyes. Not to mention, these girls were fit and had “model-like” bodies. I had no chance of being that girl whom all the boys wanted. Thus, I became your typical high school snob. You know, that one cocky kid with an attitude but really has nothing else to back it up… yeah… that was me.

Now that I think about it… I was an awkward teenager. I wasn’t like the girls my age, due to the simple fact that I was a little bigger than them. Back then, my body shape really impacted how I saw myself. I didn’t have enough confidence… I felt isolated… I didn’t feel like I was the person I wanted to be.

I envied other girls who were skinnier than me. I wanted to have a body like them. Regardless of how hard I tried to fit in, I still stood out like a sore thumb. I was really, really, really different. (Or I thought I was….. out of place) So, I went on to high school accepting my difference. I embraced the fat kid in me, and continued to play my part in the minority.

I had lots of insecurities due to the fact that my body was different. I had lots of hatred towards how my body was shaped… I doubted myself too much… I didn’t like how my waist was too big… and I hated how my legs were too thick… worst of all, I hated my big belly. 

All these insecurities that I had gone through as a teenager, were mostly derived from my weight and body size.

This was me before:

ONE DAY I HAD ENOUGH OF IT

The way I fought my battle against “body image” is through improving my body the healthy way. I decided to change the things I disliked, when I knew that the change itself is achievable. That’s when I decided to hit they gym and eat healthier. My lifestyle today is shaped because of my body struggles. My personal “body image” has improved because I changed the way I viewed and lived my life. I’m more confident now, because I made a decision to become a better version of myself.

This is me now:

To change my “body image” and to remove my insecurities, I made a personal promise to myself that I will take better care of my body and live a healthy lifestyle. I started waking up earlier to go to the gym, I started eating more vegetables, and I slowly started to understand that my body is different in a beautiful way. As the days passed, my body was starting to look the way I wanted it to be. Most importantly, I was feeling better than I’ve ever had before.

However, there are still times wherein I find myself too critical of my new and improved body… despite all the progress I made, somehow I’m still insecure.

Even though I’ve gone a long way from who I was before, there are still times wherein I’m not happy about my body. For some reason, I’m still not satisfied of my body even though my body’s changes are noticeable – my followers often comment “goals” on my body pictures in Instagram, but that doesn’t really mean much for me since I’m overcoming my own personal mental struggles. There are times, wherein I still feel like there are so much more work I need to do, and more things I need to change – and no matter how much “likes”, “comments” and “support” I get from my audience, I still feel like it’s not enough.

THEN I REALIZED THIS:

I will never have the perfect body for OTHERS, but I can make my body perfect enough for ME.

The key to a healthy body image, is to love yourself more than anyone else does. In this world, it is close to impossible to please every single human being… so why waste all your energy on being perfect for others?!?!? You’re way better than you think you’re not – you just need to realize it for yourself.

It takes a lot of mental strength to love yourself, but it’s an inherent aptitude.

When you find yourself in an insecure position about your body OR when your confidence is lacking, I want you to reach deep within yourself and BELIEVE.

You are great! You are beautiful! Your body was made for you! It’s a work of art created just for you… it’s an abstract masterpiece designed just for you! Don’t try to change God’s design – embrace it!!!

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We all have different standards and views on beauty, and thus, the perfect “body image” doesn’t exist. Take my story for example. Some would consider my current body as “goals” and “perfect” – but I still don’t see it. I know that my body has its own imperfections, and I EMBRACE IT. Pictures can be deceiving, so don’t compare your body to what you see online, on TV and on the magazines. The curves of your waist, to the size of your booty is beautiful – and you should really, really, really love yourself MORE than anyone else does.

You can shape the way YOU want to be beautiful! If you want an IG model body, then work hard for it! If you can’t learn to embrace yourself, and love everything about your body – then who will?

At the end of the day, your body is yours to care for and love… so give it your all, because a work of art needs to be appreciated, not hidden.

I hope this message empowers you. It is International Women’s Day today, and I wanted to share a post that would uplift us all. We’re all beautiful and if we continue to lift each other up, the world would become 100 times stronger and unified than it is today. Don’t let the hate, negativity, and envy drag you down. Lift yourself up and believe in your own worth.

You are simply, amazing.

A personal message to my Readers:

Sorry for my slow blogposts, I’ve been super unmotivated lately… and super tired… plus, I’m about to graduate and I’m focusing so much time on finding a job and doing well in my classes. For now, I’ll try to post at least 3 times a month… but if I can’t keep up, I hope you understand I’m going through a transition in my life.

There are also other personal matters my family is going through at the moment, which I will share with you all once the timing is right.

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio

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Photo by @hzgunner on Instagram