I just got back from an unexpected last minute trip to the Philippines which is where my family is from and where my mom currently lives. I found out on a Friday that her breast cancer had returned after 9 years. This time she decided to go through with a double mastectomy. Losing parts of your body that you've had your whole life is a pretty big deal and I wanted her to have all of the support she could get even if that meant making a huge dent in my savings and suddenly leaving my job for a few weeks. I bought my ticket that Saturday and hopped on a plane that Monday.
We spent the first half of the trip in Dumaguete City where my mom was having her surgery. My brother and I stayed at a hotel in walking distance and split our time between staying in the hospital and going to get food three times a day. I got to spend some time being a tourist but most my time was spent in the hospital with my mom. For the rest of the trip, we stayed at my mom's house in her hometown of Ayungon. Practically all her family lives there. Her next door neighbors are her sister, nieces, and cousins, and she lives right across the street from the police station where her nieces' husbands work. AND the mayor of the town is a second cousin. It's a really small town! The kind of town where everyone knows each other or is related in some way. I feel guilty for not being able to stay longer for her chemo treatments, but I'm so thankful to have such a big, caring family to help her through this difficult time.
I had a hard time choosing pictures to post but here are some of my favorites. You can see more photos on my Instagram.