After a gruelling night of badminton last night I didn't think I'd wake up in time for my lecture this morning at the Fe Del Mundo Medical Center. My doctors asked me to share the results of my dissertation with them. I thought it was a small lecture/sharing with the doctors of the hematology-oncology department who has graciously taken cared of me for the past 13 years. To my great surprise, it turned out to be a hospital wide conference. Doctors from other departments along with nurses and other staff came to watch me share my thoughts on the experiences of adolescents with chronic illness. I was scared at first because I wasn't prepared for such a big crowd but I guess sanay na lang ako sa mga "surprises" ng life that I managed. The best part was when Dr. Fe Del Mundo herself shook my hand and handed me a plaque of appreciation. It was an honor to shake the hand of the mother of Philippine Pediatrics. She's really old but she's still as sharp as ever. She listened to my entire lecture and even had some very nice thoughts about it.
I consider it a great honor to be invited to share my dissertation to the hospital. It was like finally coming to a full circle with the experience of living with chronic illness. After all how many patients can proudly say that they were treated as peers by their doctors and not as mere patients? I told the audience that I never imagined that I would live long enough to see today. And I just wanted to thank them for making today a reality.
When you get sick, you lose a part of yourself in the process. I lost my childhood to ITP. But it was also in ITP that I found myself again. My ITP now means something to me-- a chance to make a difference. And that makes every painful procedure that I had to go through through the years worth it.
As I said yesterday, the pain now is part of the happiness then and will be part of the happiness of tomorrow. That's the deal.
I am doing my best to keep my promise. But it is hard. I always keep my promises. Forever is a promise to keep. =)