Valentine’s Day 2010

February 14, 2010

—–Original Message—–
From: Tina
Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2010 2:05 AM
To: ximena
Subject: Not the usual Monday AM email – I know…

***PLEASE NOTE! My apologies in advance to those of you for whom this email comes as a surprise.

On Monday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Wednesday morning, I had a 4 cm phyllodes tumor removed. This Friday, the pathology report revealed the tumor to be malignant. As this particular cancer finds the usual horrific onslaught of chemo and/or radiation to be but a trifling annoyance, I have a meeting with my surgeon on Monday afternoon to discuss additional surgical recommendations.

What began here as a private response to my quite tenacious and unmistakably fierce aunt Ximena in California, grew as I reviewed my list of ‘Most Recent Recipients’ and thought “What the hell?” and began to cc: beyond immediate family. There were no intentional exclusions thus, if you have received this as a ‘forward’ from a friend or loved one, please know you just weren’t on my Outlook list at home.

Fortunately, I am surrounded by an amazing bunch of family and lifelong friends. Perhaps even more fortunately, THEY are surrounded by yet more family and friends poised to support them. And as if that weren’t enough, I am graced by the good fortune of my extended family at work, within which I include so many of you.

As for where my head is with the events of the week past, please read on…

~ Tina (Borja)

Ximena ~

I have no doubt the doctors believe they are right.

I also have no doubt that we all have a lot to learn.

I don’t doubt I had a tumor. I don’t doubt they removed it. It does not surprise me in the least that, not only was it a type of tumor found less than 1% of the time, but that this tumor, so VERY rarely found to be malignant, was in fact, malignant. (I guess being “special” (not in the short-yellow-school-bus-way – thank you very much!) DOES in fact have its drawbacks at times.)

I also figure that, considering how very unique my body has insisted on being thus far, it will continue to provide odd and unprecedented results – especially including the possibility of recovery.

It has been an interesting week to be sure. I continue to seek the “gift in the wound” – it is from those most challenging moments of my life that I have received the greatest lessons. What I find most interesting is that, while there are certainly lessons for me – which I am heeding quite mindfully I must add – they are not of the “wake-up-call” variety usually associated with something as dramatic as cancer. This leads me to believe the biggest of these “wake-up-calls” are not for me, but for others around me – that I am lucky enough to simply be the catalyst for others’ growth.

I tried to explain this to Kim tonight by describing a ripple in a lake. The ripple, most evidently, affects the lake. However the ripple also affects that which surrounds the lake – the shore. I believe to change the shoreline, those around me (and perhaps even those around them), a ripple had to be made.

So! To expedite my healing, I am asking everyone around me to be aware of the changes, the turmoil, taking place within them, particularly those changes they may either resist or, alternatively, blindly embrace, as a result of my “ripple.” Be aware of our individual need to control, or to suppress, our need to deny, to protect, the need to cajole, to pity, even the need to question God, or to justify, and for some of us, the need to be angry – be aware of these compulsions and ask, “How exactly does even feeling this need, no less acting on this need, serve the people who I love the most?”

And then I am asking everyone to be as brave as they can possibly be, braver than I even have to be right now, and stop. Not forever, not even for a whole day. But just stop for a moment and stand in wonder and awe of even one other path.

If nothing else, I’ll die (one day anyway) with miracles happening all around me!

(We’re a strange lot we Tagle women – I know.)

As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow,

~ tinita

From: ximena
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2010 6:55 PM
To: Tina
Subject: ***SPAM*** FW: This will make your day great

Some things look like they will have a horrible ending… but not always!

Tina: the internet, doctors, they are not the ultimate authority and are often WRONG! Strong women like you have had amazing recoveries and you will not be an exception.

Our family is famous for doing what everyone thought couldn’t be done, healthwise and otherwise – Mimi coming to America w/$150.- in her pocket, your Mother making a successful business out of thin air, your sister surviving what for anyone else would have been a deadly attack of mold…

Stay strong, because YES, WE ARE STANDING BY YOU!!!

I adore you.



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