May mali yata….di ba dapat ay, “ANG KANSER SA BIBIG AY SANHI NG PANINIGARILYO”?
May mali yata….di ba dapat ay, “ANG KANSER SA BIBIG AY SANHI NG PANINIGARILYO”?
TURMERIC RELIEVED ME
OF MY LONG-TIME FEAR OF CANCER
By Apolinario Villalobos
Due to my awareness of cancer that stalks our family due deaths caused by the said disease, except for one, I became apprehensive when I learned about the unusual level of cancer cells in my blood. I was also aware of the state of my prostate, but I just endured the dread for the rapid development of the big C. I made researches on herbals and alternative medications which made me try practically everything, even expensive capsules, supposedly powdered and extracts of foreign-sounding plants. When I had a problem in pissing comfortably at night, my fear worsened. That was until I learned about turmeric.
When I got hold of a thick reference book on alternative medication using herbal remedies, I pored over the pages that listed diseases and their herbal remedies. Diseases that involve inflammation, cancer, weak immune system, sensitive skin, diabetes, cholesterol, weak intestine and problem in passing of urine, included turmeric as among the remedies. The rest of the herbal remedies are foreign-grown and only finished products in capsule and tablets can be found in the local outlets. If inflammation is the initial manifestation of a disease that attacks prostrate and which can even lead to cancer, then, turmeric is the answer to my problem, I surmised. Turmeric is supposed to block the way of the “food” of the cancer cells to flow towards them resulting to their “starvation until they die. Inflammation and cysts, in most probability, are indication of growth of cancer cells in any organ of our body, although, as sometimes they may just be benign.
Initially, I painstakingly pounded turmeric roots before boiling them into a concoction but which I find messy. Fortunately, during one of my passing through a side street of Divisoria, I discovered a hole-on-the-wall sort of store that sold powdered turmeric imported from India. The price was reasonable enough so that, from then on, I switched to using the powder form – a teaspoon of which is stirred in a mug of coffee. Every morning I would prepare two mugs – one taken before breakfast, and the other mug ready for taking at noon or afternoon. I also stir in two pinches of cinnamon powder for prevention of diabetes. For water, I use tea from boiled leaves of guyabano and a few pieces of star anise. The star anise is to boost the property of turmeric in strengthening my immune system.
Ever since I went through the above-mentioned regimen, I began to comfortably pass “abundant” urine twice in the evening, compared to the trickles before, that practically made me uncomfortable till morning. In other words, my prostrate may no longer be inflamed or if ever, to a lesser degree, as clearly, my urethra is no longer badly compressed. I have also stopped taking “maintenance” drugs such as Atorvastatin and Losartan. But perhaps, my being a vegetarian could have also contributed to the improvement of my health. I always see to it that “saluyot” is part of my daily fare, as it is also a strong deterrent for diabetes. Observable improvements after more than five months of taking turmeric and other mentioned herbs are my no longer developing of allergy resulting to long bouts of colds and slight fever, and disappearance of the bean-sized growth in my colon.
The versatility of turmeric is such that it can add color to foods to make them more delectable. The expensive “java rice” served in high-end restaurants is yellowed by turmeric. Pounded fresh roots are used in Muslim dishes such as “langka in coconut milk”, fish curry, vegetable curry, chicken curry, and lentil soup. The popular delicacy, arroz Valenciana also derives its yellow color from powdered turmeric. In some Visayan dialects, turmeric which is also considered as preservative, is called “dulaw”, “kalawag”, and “kalwag”. It is a relative of the ordinary ginger and “langkawas” or Thai ginger.
In Manila, capsulated turmeric is very expensive just like the widely-advertised tea and powder from mangosteen. But fortunately, I learned that my former teacher in college, Mr. Morito Parcon who is based in Davao City sells this product, so that I have made a plan to drop by his place for my supply the next time I take the flight to Davao for my land trip home. The capsule can take the place of the powder form, and which can be comfortably carried around. One capsule per meal is enough. For the benefit of friends who are interested, they can get in touch with Mr. Parcon by checking his facebook, “Morito Parcon” and send him a message for more information. He can also be contacted through cellphone, 09233783012.
THE ISSUE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS IS SIMILAR TO CANCER
…TREATMENT AFFECTS EVEN THE GOOD CELLS
By Apolinario Villalobos
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO APPLY ALL KINDS OF MEANS AT THE SAME TIME TO TOTALLY ERADICATE THE PROBLEM ON DRUGS WITHOUT INADVERTENTLY AFFECTING THE INNOCENTS, JUST LIKE IN THE TREATMENT OF CANCER USING THE RADIATION OR CHEMO THERAPY IN WHICH EVEN NON-CANCEROUS CELLS ARE AFFECTED.
THE MENACE OF THE ILLEGAL DRUG IS SUCH THAT NOBODY CAN PINPOINT EXACTLY WHO IS THE LEAST AND MORE GUILTY, AS EVEN THE POOR SCAVENGER WHO HAS BEEN INITIALLY USED AS “DRUG RUNNER” FOR A PITTANCE, LATER ON GOT HOOKED TO BECOME “DRUG ADDICT”, AND EVEN DRIVEN TO COMMIT CRIME AFTER BEING ENTRAPPED IN THE MESH WOVEN BY THE DRUG LORD WHO IS THE MOST GUILTY.
WHEN POOR FELLOWS FROM SLUMS GET KILLED, DUTERTE DETRACTORS IMMEDIATELY BLAME HIM AND THE POLICE WHILE CRYING “EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING” TO HIGH HEAVENS, AS IF, THERE ARE NO VIGILANTES -THOSE WHO WANT TO AVENGE THEIR VICTIMIZED LOVED ONES, AS WELL AS, DRUG PERSONALITIES – THOSE WHO DO NOT WANT TO BE BETRAYED OR PINPOINTED BY DISLOYAL AND TWO-TIMING DRUG RUNNERS AND PUSHERS, AND WHO CAN EXACT HIDEOUS KILLINGS PORTRAYED IN NEWSPAPERS AND VISUAL MEDIA OUTLETS.
DUTERTE DETRACTORS SHAMELESSLY CRY FOR JUSTICE FOR THE KILLED DRUG PUSHERS AND DRUG LORDS WHO, FOR THEM ARE “VICTIMS” OF EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLING, WHILE NOT GIVING EVEN A FLEETING GLANCE AT THE VICTIMS OF THESE CRIMINALS.
Walang Pambili ng Gamot Pero Namumutiktik
sa mga Herbal Medicine ang Paligid ng Bahay
ni Apolinario Villalobos
May isa akong kaibigan na namatayan ng mga miyembro ng pamilya dahil sa iba’t ibang uri ng sakit, kasama na ang kanser. Mahirap lang daw kasi sila kaya hirap sa pagbili ng gamot at walang pambayad sa doktor. Nasa bandang Montalban (Rizal) sila at bulubundukin ang tinitirhan kaya presko. Ang hindi ko maintindihan ay kung bakit hindi man lang niya nalamang ang mga tanim sa paligid nila ay pwedeng pang-iwas sa mga sakit basta tuluy-tuloy lang ang pag-inom ng pinaglagaan at pagkain ng kanilang prutas. At, imposible ding hindi niya alam na ang ibang mga dahon at damong panggamot na tinitinda sa Quiapo ay galing sa Montalban.
Noong pasyalan ko siya ay panahon ng tagbunga ng mangga. Subalit dahil Indian mango ang uri, ay hindi nila pinapansin kaya ang mga nahinog sa puno ay nagkakalaglagan na lang. Ganoon din ang guyabano sa likod ng bahay nila na ang mga nalaglag na mga hinog na bunga ay nilalangaw lang. Sa tabi ng kanilang poso ay napakakapal rin ang tubo ng luyang dilaw at tanglad. Sa gilid ng maliit na kanal na dinadaluyan ng tubig galing sa poso ay makapal rin ang mga kumpol ng “lupo”, “takip-kuhol”, at ulasiman. Ang “makabuhay” namang pumupulupot sa puno ng langka ay kumapal na rin ang mga ugat na nakabitin. May alogbate sila pero ang turing nila ay pangdekorasyong halaman.
Ang mangga daw ay itinanim nang ipinanganak siya. Ang langka at guyabano ay basta na lang itinanim ng kanyang tatay. Ang tanglad daw ay itinanim para may magamit sila kung mag-litson ng manok, at ang luyang dilaw ay basta na lang din daw itinanim ng kanyang tiyahin. Ang “makabuhay” naman daw ay itinanim upang magamit na “panglatigo” sa kanila tuwing Biyernes Santo.
Namatay daw ang nanay nila dahil tinubuan ng bukol sa bahay-bata nito. Ang nakababata naman niyang kapatid na babae ay tinubuan din ng bukol sa suso hanggang sa ito ay pumutok at na-impeksiyon na ikinamatay niya. Ang tatay naman niya ay namatay dahil sa alta-presyon. Ngayon, ang bunso nila ay hirap sa pag-ihi at pagdumi kaya lumubo na ang tiyan. Ang kaibigan ko naman ay may diabetes.
Noong madalas akong mamasyal sa kanila na halos apat na beses sa loob ng isang buwan, napansin kong ang ulam nila, kung hindi sinampalukang manok ay ginisang sardinas sa itlog at miswa, di kaya ay pata ng baboy na inadobo. Ni minsan man lang sa aking pamamasyal ay wala akong nakitang gulay na niluto nila. Ilang beses na akong nagpayo sa kanila tungkol sa mga biyaya ng mga halaman na pwedeng pang-iwas sa mga sakit, na nasa paligid lang nila at panay naman ang kanilang pagsang-ayon…yon pala ay hanggang doon lang, hindi nila ginagawa. Noong huli ko siyang pasyalan ay naghihintay ang kaibigan ko sa perang ipapadala ng kanyang anak na domestic helper sa Hongkong, upang pambili ng gamot niya sa botika sa bayan.
Dalawang Kuwento ng Disiplina
Kung Paanong Napaglabanan ang Diabetes
Ni Apolinario Villalobos
Sa panahon ngayon, kahit karaniwan na ang pagkaroon ng mga sakit tulad ng kanser, diabetes, alta presyon, cholesterol, ulcer, etc., kahit papaano, nakakagulat pa ring malaman na tayo o mga kaibigan natin ay mayroon ng isa sa mga nabanggit, lalo na kung may namatay. Ang kadalasan na ginagawa ng mga tao para labanan ang mga sakit ay yong tinatawag na “reactive” na pamamaraan. Ibig sabihin, kung kaylan dumapo na ang sakit ay saka pa lamang kikilos ang taong tinamaan kaya halos araw-arawin niya ang pagpunta sa doctor, at kung maaari lang ay ubusin na sa isang lagukan ang mga prescribed na gamot. Maliban sa nahihirapang katawan, ay nabubutas din ang bulsa nila dahil sa mga gastusin. Ang nakakalungkot ay ang mga kasong napakahuli na ang reaksiyon kaya nawalan na ng pag-asang gumaling ang maysakit. Sino ang may kasalanan?…masakit mang aminin, kalimitan ay ang mga maysakit mismo dahil sa kapabayaan.
Subalit mayroon pa rin namang maituturing na masuwerte dahil kahit malala na ang sakit ay napaglabanan pa rin nila. Marami ang nagsasabi na ang pinakanakakatakot na sakit ay diabetes dahil dumadaloy ito sa dugo at lahat ng bahagi ng katawan ng tao ay tinutumbok nito. Hindi maaaring isabay ang paggamot sa diabetes sa iba pang sakit kung sabay silang umatake. Nakakatuwang malaman na may mga kuwento tungkol sa pakikipaglaban sa diabetes na ginagawa ng iba dahil sa layunin nilang mabuhay pa ng matagal, kaya lahat na lang ng paraan ay ginagawa nila.
Ang unang kuwento ay tungkol sa dati kong landlady sa Baclaran, si ate Lydia. Masasabing maganda ang landlady ko na noong kabataan niya ay lumalabas pa sa mga pelikula ni Fernando Poe Jr. Makalipas ang maraming taon, nagkita uli kami at mangiyak-ngiyak sa pagkuwento na muntik na siyang maputulan ng dalawang binti dahil sa diabetes. Nagnaknak na daw ang harapang bahagi ng kanyang dalawang binti at dahil sa nakasusulasok na amoy, isa-isang nag-alisan ang mga boarders niya. Halos maubos ang naipon niyang pera sa pagpapagamot, subalit wala ring nangyari. Dahil sa hiya, hindi na siya lumalabas ng bahay na palaging nakasara.
Isang araw daw ay dumating ang dati niyang labandera at nang makita ang kalagayan niya ay agad nagsabi na subukan daw niya ang saluyot. Mula noon, tuwing almusal, tanghalian at hapunan ay halos saluyot na lang ang kanyang kinain. Makalipas ang isang buwan, napansin niyang unti-unting natutuyo ang malalaking sugat. Pagkalipas pa ng limang buwan, gumaling ang mga sugat. Nang bumalik siya sa doktor, nalaman niyang bumaba na ang indicator ng diabetes niya, pero tuloy pa rin ang kain niya ng maraming saluyot. Noong magkita kami, halos ayaw kong maniwala sa kuwento niya dahil makinis naman ang kanyang mga binti.. Kinakantiyawan ako ng landlady ko noon dahil sa request kong palaging ulam na pinakbet, adobong kangkong, paksiw na saluyot at okra, at tortang talong. Nang magkaroon siya ng diabetes, naalala daw niya ako.
Ang ikalawang kuwento naman ay tungkol kay Ellen, naglalako ng mga dinaing na isda sa lugar namin. Noong nakaraang taon, halata ang pagkahulog ng katawan niya dahil sa sobrang kapayatan at pamumutla. Inamin niyang may diabetes siya. Kaylan lang ay nakita ko uli siya, subalit hindi na payat at maputla…bumata pa nga. Ayon sa kanya, halos mawalan na daw siya ng pag-asa dahil sa sakit niya, at nadagdagan pa ng pagtetebe o hirap sa pagdumi ng kung ilang araw. Wala naman daw siyang perang pangkonsulta palagi, at kahit anong gamot ang inumin niya ay wala rin daw epekto. May narinig siyang mga kuwento tungkol sa ashitaba at okra na nakakagaling daw ng diabetes.
Wala naman daw mawawala sa kanya kung susubukan niya. Makalipas lang daw ang ilang araw, bumalik sa normal ang kanyang pagdumi. At, makalipas naman ang mahigit isang buwan ay nagkakulay na rin siya, hindi na maputla. Kaya mula noon ay itinuloy lang niya ang araw-araw na pagkain ng ashitaba at okra. Sa umaga, apat na dahon ng ashitaba ang nginangata niya habang nagtatrabaho at pinipilit niyang siya ay pawisan, at ang okra naman ay palagi niyang inuulam. Makalipas ang ilang buwan pa, nadagdagan na rin ang kanyang timbang subalit pinipilit niyang huwag tumaba uli tulad nang dati. Nang magpakonsulta siya uli, nagulat ang doktor dahil sa kanyang pagbabago.
Sa dalawang kuwento, malinaw na kung hindi dahil sa disiplina ay hindi gumaling si ate Lydia at Ellen. Ang iba kasi, marinig lang ang “okra” at “saluyot” ay nandidiri na dahil madulas daw ang katas. Kung may disiplina ang isang tao, kahit mapait pa ang isang halamang gamot o gulay tulad ng ampalaya, dapat ay itanim lang niya sa kaisipan ang layuning gumaling…yon lang.
Maggie Asuncion: Serenely Surviving the
Threat of Cancer through Christian Faith
By Apolinario Villalobos
It takes much courage before a person who is threatened by cancer can accept his or her fate. Initially, disbelief sets in, followed by denial. And, this is despite the factual medical findings, yet. But what happened to Maggie Asuncion is different. With all her heart and mind, she accepted her fate but also went through a “compromise” offered by the modern medical technology. She underwent a mastectomy, a gamble on her part, in the year 2000, as during the time, stories about immediate failure of operation were prevalent. The operation was followed by 6 months of chemotherapy, and 5 years of oral medication.
Maggie grew up in a Christian home that molded her personality according to her family’s strong faith. With a strong Christian foundation, she developed a steely personality that enabled her to face any kind of challenge in life. The worry that dawned on her when she was told about the growth of cancerous cyst in her breast did not last long. She did not suffer even just a bit from stigma, even after her operation. She went on with her life as if nothing has been taken from her body.
The more than five years of observation period during which she underwent rigorous medication, was patiently endured while participating in community outreach projects together with her supportive husband, Gene. The projects involved feeding of street children, clean-up drives, and random acts of charity, with the last, they did on their own. The projects served as an effective therapy, as she has practically forgotten about herself while spending her time with the less fortunate.
Their advocacy has in time, become an integral part of their life that today, every time they go out of their home, they would see to it that they have with them goodies for street children whom they might encounter along the way. They humbly admit that these are small tokens, though heartily given – things that they can afford.
Today, Maggie is a picture of serenity and dynamism, despite her age which is beyond sixty. If not with religious groups that undertake feeding programs for street children or with environmentalist groups doing clean- ups of Manila Bay, she bakes cake and prepares salads for the family. A time is also inserted in their schedule for visits to a bed-ridden friend. Every time there is an opportunity, she also gives testimonies in assemblies, assuring victims of the big C, that there is life after its riddance by operation, but with a reminder that the patient must do his or her share by following a disciplined way of life…plus, of course, strong faith in Him.
Maggie and Gene are blessed with four daughters, Gemma Lee A. Namit (38), Gracious Melody A. Torrijos (37), Genette Mae A. Shuler (34), and Geneve Maude N. Asuncion (26). Their only twenty day-old grandson, Gavril Matteo, unfortunately died of congenital heart disease.
Maggie showed that it pays by just leaving everything to God by virtue of strong faith….that praying should not always be for asking worldly blessings.
Pagmamalasakit at Katapatan
…mga tatak ng tunay na kaibigan
(para kay Eddie Travilla)
ni Apolinario Villalobos
Kung sa pakantu-kantong usapan
Maraming masasabi tungkol sa isang kaibigan
Nandiyan ang siya ay anumang oras, mauutangan
At sa kahit na magdamagang inuma’y hindi nang-iiwan.
Subalit iba naman ang kaibigang ito
Dahil nagpakita siya ng pagiging matapat na tao
Nang malalang sakit, sa kanyang kaibiga’y dumapo
‘Di nagdalawang isip sa agaran, araw-araw na pagsaklolo.
Pananaghoy ng nakaratay ay matindi
Kaya ang umaalalay na kaibigan ay ‘di mapakali
Walang humpay na masahe, ginagawa araw at gabi
Hanggang kaylan kaya?… Diyos lamang ang makapagsasabi!
(Si Eddie Travilla ay kamag-aral namin noong high school sa
NDTCBoys – Batch 70, at ngayon ay umaalalay sa isa pa naming kaklase,
si Benny Asong na may sakit na kanser sa pancreas- stage 4. Sila ay
nasa Cebu. Kaming mga kaklase at kaibigan ay humihingi ng damay sa
pamamagitan ng dasal upang mabawasan man lang ang
sakit niyang nararamdaman, at magabayan siya sa kanyang
paglakbay pagdating ng panahong siya ay mamamaalam na…)
by Apolinario Villalobos
I am having a second thought on what title to use for this short essay. I know some readers would raise their eyebrows for the “remedies” that I find safer than “cures”. But I got no choice but to go ahead.
Deaths in our family are caused by cancer. It is for this reason that I practically research on this disease every time I have an opportunity, including talking to people who suffer from such, and taking their testimonies seriously. When a friend told me about the benefits of some condiments such as turmeric, cinnamon, anise, herbs like lemon grass, oils like virgin coconut oil, virgin olive oil, and lately, guyabano and garlic, I immediately tried them. My interest is triggered by my worry about lymph nodes in my underarms, lower lip and rectal area. In three weeks, the small cysts in my underarms are gone. The one in my lower lip is fast reducing in size, also the one in my rectal area.
Here is how I am doing it: Using a l.5 liter, I boil 10 pieces of guyabano leaves (fresh or dried), 1 teaspoon of turmeic, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 3 stalks of lemon grass, and five pieces of star anice. I use the concoction for my coffee in the morning which I sweeten with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. I use a big coffee mug because I also include 3 spoons of oatmeal, 2 spoons each of virgin coconut oil and virgin olive oil. After pouring the concoction into the coffee mug, I cover it and set aside for about 10 minutes before drinking. I stir the content of the mug before drinking to ensure that nothing is wasted. The remaining concoction is practically my “water” for the whole day. Before the day ends, I add 2 mugs of water to the kettle for slight boiling. On the second day, I add water to what are left in the kettle, but add the same amount of turmeric, cinnamon and anise for boiling. I change the content of the kettle every third day.
For the garlic, I put unpeeled 2 whole pieces in the kettle just when the concoction starts to boil. I remove them from the kettle after about 5 minutes and eat 1 whole piece with my meals (lunch and dinner). The garlic losses it smell and sharp taste in the process mentioned. I just peel the garlic, clove by clove while enjoying its buttery texture during the meal. Aside from the fresh garlic, I also take two 500mg. garlic capsules with my lunch and dinner.
Here are their uses: the garlic is anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-diabetis, in fact dubbed as Russian antibiotic; the anise clears the bronchial tube of phlegm; the turmeric is anti-cancer, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, lowers harmful cholesterol, anti-diabetis; the cinnamon is anti-diabetis; both lemon grass and guyabano are anti-cancer.
In my case, there is a noticeable immediate result because I am a vegetarian, though occasionally eats fish and eggs. For those who eat meat, I would suggest a moderation in this diet.
With each meal, I also drink a concoction of 1 spoon of apple cider vinegar and 2 spoons of honey diluted in one mug of water. Ever since I started this, my hyperacidity is gone.
SLOW DEATH: THE MASK OF SMOKING
by: Apolinario B. Villalobos
I could have never cared less about this most common vice that plagues the health conscious world today, had it not been for the death of my brother who at the age of a little past sixty decided to face the consequences of his being a chain smoker. He knew that he would die! He was consuming as many as five packs of cigarettes a day during the later years of his life and although he was diagnosed to be already suffering from emphysema, he persisted with the reason that as he would die anyway, so why not enjoy life to its fullest. This kind of reason can just come from a person whose brains are heavily clouded with smoke and lungs hardened by nicotine. What’s worst is that despite his resignation to face the consequences of his act, he was not financially prepared. And, this eventually affected other people financially. During his last days, hospital expenses were incurred as well as those for the funeral services – all borne by the relatives who pitched in.
During a birthday party of a friend, I was introduced to the latter’s former classmate. I could not believe that they were classmates however, due to very apparent physical differences. The friend was almost toothless and with only a very sparse growth of white hair on his balding head, aside from the heavily wrinkled face. While my birthday celebrating friend was just turning thirty eight, his friend looked like he was sixty. I became curious and tried to know the reason for such difference, so I initiated a conversation on health since I am a vegetarian. It was a good thing that he volunteered his regrets for having smoked heavily. Although he was just thirty nine, he admitted that he looked double his age. He was suffering from both emphysema and cancer of the throat which cannot be operated on, hence, he had to go through the tortuous radiation treatment resulting to the gradual dental fallout and hair lose. He knew his days were numbered. That was four years ago, and the next time I knew about him, I was told that he finally rested at the age of forty three.
While working with an airline company, the circle of my friends was not limited to company employees but also contracted ones who did the janitorial and security jobs. I got interested in particular to the supervisor of the janitorial group due to his diligence and readiness to do errand for the employees. He barely conversed with others, instead, he would just flash a smile. Then, I noticed his long absence that took more than a month. While I was entertaining the thought that he resigned, he showed up one day with sunken face. When I asked him what happened, in a very low almost inaudible and whispered voice that seemed to come from a jar, he told me he got operated on. This he said with difficulty while his forefinger was pressing his throat where I noticed some kind of a hole. It was a stoma, through which he inhaled and exhaled after his larynx was removed. To verbally communicate, he learned to do the “esophageal speech” by drawing air through the hole and breath out the words. He confessed that during break periods and while on errands he smoked heavily. Despite his being a contracted employee with no health benefits, the owner of the janitorial agency with which he was connected was kind enough to pay fifty percent of his hospital expenses while he shouldered the balance that cost him his eight years of savings and a loan from a kind neighbor. That was six years ago. When our paths crossed again, he has aged a lot and stooping despite his just being forty. Jobless, his wife supports him and their three children, ages twelve, nine and seven. He stays at home while his wife works for a carinderia on weekdays and does the laundry of neighbors on Saturdays and Sundays. He admitted to have spent his savings of thirty eight thousand pesos for his hospital bills and medications.
The foregoing are stories on the horrifying effects of smoking that most of us just refuse to recognize. Our hypocrite society is such that while it condemns the vice, nothing is done to stop it because of the revenue it generates. Just take the “warning: smoking is dangerous to your health” printed on cigarette packs as well as its mention after a cigarette ad has been flashed on TV screen. What is the use of such warning if production of the stuff is not stopped. What is not fair is that even those who do not smoke get affected as “passive smokers” because of the smoke from smokers in closed areas, public transportation and even while strolling in parks and pedestrian lanes. Lately, it has been found that even unborn babies become affected by smoking mothers who are conceiving them. Despite the law now that forbids smoking in public places, this is not strictly followed.
Even a single stick of cigarette is dangerous, even those low-nicotine low-tar brands that are flooding the market lately. Not even if one uses a tar guard. Take note, too, that since manufacturers have reduced the tar and nicotine in some brands, nothing is printed on the packs as to the ingredients used to enhance their flavor and fragrance to make up for the two reduced elements.
Chemicals that act as humectants are used for the workability of aged tobacco as well as in keeping cigarettes fresh. Some of these are glycerol and glycols. As early as 1979, the U.S. Surgeon Report stated that: “Glycols are suspected to influence the smoker’s risk of bladder cancer.” On the other hand, when burned, glycerol is transformed into a substance called acrolein “which suppresses the action of microscopic cilia that force irritants from the lungs.” With the cilia immobilized, the smoker becomes susceptible to chronic bronchitis and increased emphysema with the lungs open to attacks by toxins and carcinogens.
Those are the chemicals. And, how about the synthetic flavors and fragrances that are added to compensate for the reduced tar and nicotine? Could they be more hazardous? These are the questions that manufacturers should answer. Or why can’t they just print on the packs the “ingredients” that they use in manufacturing their products?
Meanwhile, with the hazard of smoking already a known fact that one need not be a degree holder to understand it, something must be done to even just minimize it, especially, for the sake of the non-smokers who eventually become “passive smokers” due to their inevitable exposure. We have anti-smoking laws, but are they properly imposed?
By Apolinario B Villalobos
First of all, do not blame God. Do not ask Him such silly question as “why me?” If you do not believe in God, do not get angry at the world and other people or, most especially, your parents for bringing you into this world. It is an accepted fact that as we are growing in the womb or our mother, different types of diseases are being transferred in our blood due to heredity. We inherit whatever sicknesses that both our parents have been carrying in their genes. That is why the process of taking blood sample from newborn infants are now being done to determine what kind of sickness they will develop at a certain stage of their lives. It is a big consolation to parents if through this system the disease of their children can be cured, though, may not be totally, by taking the necessary medicines at the earliest possible time. Some are checked or held at bay through proper nutrition or diet.
If it is only at the later stage of your life that you came to know of having this disease, hold on to your senses. Do not panic or get emotional by crying floods of tears. They will not help you. Common sense dictates that you must accept the fact that you have the disease. Make researches about the kind of cancer you have. Check the internet for information and guidance. If you happen to know of people who have the same disease, talk to them and get as many information as you can. The effects of cancer differ, depending on what part of our body is affected. Some linger for as long as one year or more, the worst could be the quick effect, most common of which is to the colon.
The problem with some people who have the disease is that they are not disciplined enough to avoid activities and foods that are not good for them, despite the advise of their physicians. By the time the disease gets worse and requires chemotherapy or operation, they regret. But it is too late.
If there is still time to make use of your remaining days in this world, do not let your health deteriorate, staring at blank walls at the same time while losing hope and self-respect. Do things that you failed or refused to do, especially, things that could make your family and other people happy. Of course, you should not forget God in your effort, knowing very well that you forgot Him as you wallowed in sinful luxurious way of life.
Nothing could be done when you know that you have the disease, except prolonging your life through medication, unfortunately, when it is already late. It could never be totally eradicated from your system but can be temporarily “immobilized” to prevent it from spreading. But this needs rigid disciplinary and preventive effort. We are not blind to what we see on tv, read in newspapers and magazines, or deaf to stories told by friends about how and why some people died of cancer. But how many heeded the warnings? Dying prematurely of cancer due to lack of discipline may not happen if extra effort is exerted at the earliest possible time. The question is: can you do it?