I wanted to introduce my column with lots of sunshine, and thoughts of colorful candy and sunflowers. I’ve always been highly visual, and I believe that positive visualizations bring in positive feelings, too – like sitting in a café and drinking my favorite cup of coffee. It’s one of my favorite things to do, and one of the most honest experiences I can share with a friend or even stranger.
But, alas, as I write this, I am emerging from a bout of depression and anxiety – that duo that can kill if one doesn’t have the right support system to get him through.
So I have decided to introduce my column with this instead: honesty.
Honesty, authenticity, candor, sincerity – if there are things I find rare on social media since coming on board and being highly active in 2008, it’s these four qualities.
I myself have fallen prey to the pressure of curating my posts in my different social media accounts, to the point that I would only share about what’s best and happy and enviable about my life, instead of showing what I really was at that moment of posting – naked, bare, and all truth.
But I also see the other side of the coin.
I have (and had) friends who believed in focusing on the positive. Whenever I posted something that revealed my vulnerability and fragility, they called me out and said I was “being too emotional” and “dramatic.”
There were times when I believed them and went into self-deprecation. This led to a feeling of being trapped by the life I created in my social media accounts. If I needed to cry for help, I could not post. I am “Miss Good Vibes PH” so I should be all about that, good vibes.
But without the dark, how can we appreciate the light?
Which brings me back to what this column will be about: honesty, authenticity, what’s current, what people are talking about, what’s on your mind; pop culture, game changers, disruptors, influencers.
What inspires you? What troubles you? What makes you happy? What is your story?
Tell me and let me find out more about it for you. Let’s discuss.
Among the topics I have written about for LIFE at The Standard are millennials, fashion, wellbeing, food, and Filipino startups. But we’re open to anything under the sun. No holds-barred and bar none.
My mom, Anita Lansangan Magsanoc, was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer last June. Cancer is not in our family. Her diagnosis shocked us. What shocked us even more was when she tested positive for HER2, a protein that makes the cancer aggressive. This makes her case different from other Stage 1 breast cancer cases — it also makes her treatment more expensive.
Five months into my mom’s diagnosis and three treatments later (three down, 15 to go), one could say that we have gone through the first four stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression) and are now in acceptance. My mom has lost almost all her hair but loves her wig which amazingly looks like her real hair. The financial distress we faced in the beginning is still there, but we no longer panic.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month may be over but let’s stay vigilant about early breast cancer detection and treatment. I have a lot to share about our experience with approaching the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for help but I’ll share that in another piece. For now, I wish to thank everyone who gave us their financial and moral support – family, friends, and even strangers.
Among the brands that reached out to our family is Avon, the company that launched its Breast Cancer Crusade in 1992. Last October 10, the Avon Walk to Share the Fight Against Breast Cancer was held at the SM Mall of Asia with the Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer ambassadors Jennylyn Mercado, Rocco Nacino, and his mom Linda Nacino, herself a breast cancer survivor.
On the eve of my mom’s first chemo and Herceptin treatment, Linda Nacino spoke with her on the phone and shared her breast cancer survival story. This meant the world to us, since at that point our morale was low and we needed all the support we could get.
Now that I am in a family that deals with breast cancer, the threat of the disease has become more real, and we join the fight. According to Avon, one in 13 Filipino women is diagnosed with breast cancer, and that the Philippines has the highest incidence rate in Asia.
It happened to us. It could happen to you, too. Let’s join the fight.
Let me know what’s on your mind. Email email@example.com and let’s get that coffee, shall we? Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @kaimagsanoc