OPEN LETTER: In my darkest hour, volleyball was my shining light

Wednesday, 09 Aug 2017
Volleyverse - @volleyverse

I really don’t know how to start this letter…

What I do know is how happy and very excited I was when I heard about Volleyverse’s #LetYourVerseVHeard OPEN LETTER COMPETITION. I don’t have an Instagram account but I created one immediately as I really wanted to join this promo to share my passion and love for volleyball and show how it helped me during the darkest and lowest part of my life.

I am a volleyball fanatic – even during my busiest days I still make sure that I can watch volleyball games like UAAP, PSL, PVL. Maybe one factor is because I was once a volleyball player during my grade school and high school years but I switched to other sport during my college days.

I may not have been the best player back in the days, but I always tried to contribute to the team.

I used to play volleyball during a barangay league and recently – just last May – I got the award for Best Server.

No one knew though that during the entire league I was playing with a burden in my heart.

In February 2016 I began to have health problems, and in March of this year they returned.

Two months after a procedure – when I was about to go back to work – I was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst, and the size of the cyst was quite alarming. My OB asked me to undergo an ovarian cancer screening test. I would have to wait seven days for the results. Can you imagine how I felt that time? It was like an agony.

What if the result will be positive?

What if I have cancer?

Seven days can kill me if I will not do something.

I asked my OB if I could still do some exercises or if I could still play volleyball and she said yes.

So I went back to my province, Quezon, and continued playing.

I played normally as if I did not have anything wrong with me, nobody knew about my situation, my parents and kids, they were all clueless. I just told them that I asked another two weeks of vacation from my OB to finish the league.

After seven days I had the result.

It was negative but I needed to undergo surgery soon to remove my ovaries and uterus.

I needed to compose myself first, I was broken and hanging.

I went back to my province, still not telling anybody anything. I just played and played. I needed to be fit, I needed to be strong, I needed something to comfort me and that something was volleyball.

After the league where I got my Best Server award, I told my family about my situation and five days later I had my surgery done. There was a lot of complication – open wound, reactions to antibiotic, fungal infections, but thank God, I was physically prepared.

Now I am totally healed and will be back to work anytime soon.

What is keeping me busy? Watching volleyball.

To our national team, I know the upcoming competition will be a tough fight for you, but I believe in you guys.

Keep your spirit high and keep your faith alive.

Take this battle as if your lives depend on it, Nationals. 

My heart and prayers are with you.

 

Rochella