I’ve shared my story to a Facebook page that helps raise awareness of Lupus. I’m reposting the essay here, but I edit it a bit to reach out to everyone (not only those who have Lupus) who are struggling to fulfill their dreams. This is my testimony of God’s goodness in my life.
I would like to share my story especially to those who have already lost hope in reaching their dreams because of rejections, discouragements, and illness.
Six years ago, I dreamed of becoming a planetary scientist. I know that such dream is unusual in the Philippines. Because I was young and idealistic then, I still entered graduate school in UP Diliman, hoping that I can receive support and encouragement from my professors. Unfortunately for the next 2 years, I only received rejections and discouragements. One of them even told me that I was born in the wrong country for this dream. Disheartened, I quitted graduate school and decided to work in the industry. Two years after, I received a scholarship to study in Europe and communicated with a professor who will help me pursue a research thesis related to planetary science. When I was about to reach this dream, I got sick. I never expected that I’ll acquire a chronic illness. No one in my family has or had Lupus.
I was diagnosed with SLE with Stage 4 Nephritis in September 2015 when I was about to start my thesis. It was a shock to me and to my family. That was also the first time I heard about Lupus. Despite this very sad situation, I am very grateful to God that He was able to bring my dad and my boyfriend to take care of me while I underwent blood transfusion and chemotherapy for 3 months in Europe. It’s very hard to get sick in a foreign country, but I’m thankful that God provided everything – from people to finances – to help me fight and survive. After my chemotherapy, I returned to the Philippines to recover, but still tried to do my thesis whenever I have the strength. I was advised to rest and recover for one year (which means I need to stop my studies for a year!), but by faith I said I don’t need to rest for a year. I won’t let an illness stop me for reaching my dream. And so after only 2 months of rest in the Philippines, I went back to Europe on my own to finish my thesis while I took care of my health. By March, I learned that my Lupus was already in remission and my kidney function has greatly improved. Early last month, I defended my dream research thesis and finally earned my MSc degree. I am now back in the Philippines for full recovery.
Life will definitely bombard you with problems and even illnesses to stop you from reaching your dreams. However, as long as you keep a positive outlook in life despite the adversity and you strongly believe in Him, nothing is impossible. I survived and recovered quickly because of the love and support of my loved ones, strong faith, and prayers. So to people who have chronic illness and to those who are discouraged and rejected, don’t ever lose that hope. Keep fighting and no matter what the circumstances are, believe that there is someone up there who will take care of everything for you.
To God be the glory!
To the stars!