by JC Maningat as originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles Politiko
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago announced on Wednesday that she has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
“Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce myself to you as the only senator who has been diagnosed with lung cancer as of last week,” Senator Santiago said.
“For the past two or more years, I have had difficulty. I’ve always been short of breath particularly when I deliver privilege speeches or even commencement speeches,” the 69-year-old senator added.
Tumor cells were found in the senator’s left lung following her biopsy last June 21 at the Makati Medical Center, but her doctors have not identified the cause, according to a GMA News report.
Santiago said her cancer calls are “very well behaved” because they are not spreading.
“It is not spreading. In my case, they are very well behaved. I believe in discipline all my life. Even my cancer cells are showing excellent discipline,” she said.
The feisty senator said she also has a rare condition wherein the cells in her left lung “develop a genetic mutation that makes them impermeable to cancer and which gives them the energy to fight off cancer.”
Santiago said she hopes to be cured in six weeks with the tablets she is taking. She said the tablets have the benefits of chemotherapy without side effects.
“After 6 months, by this tablet, they’re expecting that the mass or the tissue will simply degenerate, meaning to say it will just shrink by itself and it will no longer be there but if it does not do that, that means things have gotten worse. I have to go to Cedars-Sinai, which to me is a source of great grief, because it’s a very expensive hospital,” she said in a report.
During her press briefing about her health, Santiago even took swipe at her enemies.
“I don’t know what the reactions of my enemies are. Maybe they’ll be happy because I might die and then they could get rid of me. On the other hand, I might survive and I’ll get rid of them,” she said.
Early in June, Santiago announced that she is quitting her post as judge in the International Criminal Court (ICC), citing her chronic fatigue syndrome.
Prayers and messages of support immediately flooded social networking sites followed Santiago’s lung cancer disclosure, with #MiriamFight instantly claiming the top spot in trending topics worldwide.
Despite her condition, Santiago said she will announce her presidential bid as soon as she gets healed. “’Pag galing ko (When I get healed) next month…I’m going to announce my presidential candidacy,” she said.
Photo by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado. Some rights reserved.