A One Way Voyage........

I live life not the way I want it. I live life the way I decided. Decisions never always reflect what you want. Whether it's a mistake or not, it is the way God wanted it to be. Not known for now, but there is a reason, for I have died once, yet lived again. Be it fraught with upsets, at the end of the road, for as long as I can say "I have not harmed a soul", then it withstood the waves and the journey was perfect.-Falcon116

Tuesday, July 28

A BRILLIANT MIND ON ITS GRANDEST QUEST

Dino Rex Paller Laurente, Nokee as we so fondly call him, and Ki-Kiw or Kiw to those closest to him. Who would've thought that at 38, he'd be fighting the greatest battle most of us could never even comprehend? For those who've known him in grade school and high school, he'll forever be remembered as one hell of an intelligent guy.

Yet today, he battles with colon cancer. Early last week I received a post on my facebook account regarding his condition. I was dumbfounded. He is not just a childhood friend and someone I look up to with envy for being so blessed with such intelligence, but he is my cousin as well.

My family used to live on the same street in CMU as their family and another relative (The Santiagos-whose matriarch is Nokees' Mums' sister) lived. I admit, they were the fondest memories I have, where innocence lingered, intellectual moldings embarked and where principles started to engage.

We've marked that street with so many bike tracks as well as 'Bulan-Bulan' (moon)circles, a game we had so much fun playing during full moon. It was on that street that I have come to my consciousness and my very first memories do include my cousins Bernie, Nokee and his two siblings, Lora and Dollee. I, myself shared a near-death experience with his sister Lora. Whatever that incident was, we are glad we came out of it living.

While all of us would be skateboarding up near the cemetery, Nokee usually kept to his readings. During mid-term breaks we'd all go mountain climbing (up Musuan Peak), Nokee still preferred reading. Over the yearly three-months summer breaks from school, we'd all (along with his sisters) go to our aunties' house in the city for holiday, fun and shopping...Nokee would still read. My memory of Nokee was that he's constantly reading either a book or a magazine (Readers Digest, Time, etc).

I also remember we used to climb up the guava tree or the santol tree in front of their house and Nokee and I would spend hours discussing just about any social issues while perched in one of the branches. I loved listening to him. He made topics interesting even when they seemed too dull at first glance. He is very informative.

I remember we dug up the back of their house to make a fish pond, but while digging, he said that he can make a swimming pool out of the pit he's dug. That's his kind of thinking. He sees the bigger picture, he thinks outside the box. He discerns the many possibilities out of one originally simple plan...But of course the excavation stayed as a pond.

In grade school, he graduated with honors. In high school, he's shown his talents in leadership, writing and public speaking. But you will never want to see him dance. He's like someone with a pair of feet not made for each other. No, that wasn't his forte, but his academic excellence gained him one of the top honors during graduation. He was also the EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE AWARDEE.
Nokee is also an excellent writer. His degree in Dev.Com is so befitting to his talents. His was an organised mind. He sees things and events and writes about them in a system more logical and comprehensible rather than a haphazard collection of events. Had he chosen to become a journalist or a professional writer, he, no doubt would have excelled in this field too. The world had so much to offer to him. Now, I feel sad that at such a young age, his future is hanging in a balance.
There is vaguely any memory of him getting into mischief, apart from when he annoys the crap off his sisters by teasing them and playing tricks on them. All these added on to his loving personality as a 'KUYA', not only to his siblings but to us his cousins too.

After high school he went to the University of the Philippines Los Banos where he got his degree in Development Communication. When he came back to CMU, I've already left for a university outside of Bukidnon and I've lost track of what he'd been up to. But what ever it was, I am sure he still did it for the country. If there is one thing I am sure about Nokee, it is that he is one true Makabayan (patriot).

Nokee is one of the most brilliant minds I've personally known. It is sad to know that he is going through such hurdles and is having difficulty accepting his condition right now. I wish and pray that he will strengthen his faith and pull through this difficulty.

His sister, Lora Mae, who is a nurse in Canada, informed me that he'd been through surgery and he will be undergoing chemo therapy as soon as he is strong enough for this procedure. Apparently the surgery incision has become infected, so I really really hope he's going to get better and stronger for the chemo.

For us who remain ignorant of this decease, here are some of the symptoms as per WIKIPEDIA, "There may be a change in bowel habit (new-onset constipation or diarrhea in the absence of another cause), and a feeling of incomplete defecation (tenesmus) and reduction in diameter of stool...including the passage of bright red blood in the stool...as may the increased presence of mucus..."

It is said that colon cancer is the cause of "655,000 deaths worldwide per year, it is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorectal_cancer)
My son and I have just been to the Doctor because he's having diarrhea. I asked our Doctor what causes colon cancer and she said, "...eating too much meat". That got me worried. My son hardly eats anything else but meat. I told Jashkah about Nokee and colon cancer and we both have agreed we will put more vegetables in our diet from hereon. So should you...

There is so much more I could say about Nokee, but not one of them would ease the pain that he and his family is going through right now. So for you couz, please be strong and have faith. As Eric Epie said, "Science and Faith go hand in hand". I say, have more of the later, for without it, nothing is possible and hope decimates.

My love and prayers are with you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing so much wisdom when we were young. You might not know, but you have embedded some principles in me.
Get well soon.
One of his classmates back in High School posted a Dylan Thomas quote on the Dino Rex Laurente FIGHT AGAINST COLON CANCER facebook wall which I like so much. "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light". I hope Nokee gets to read that post. So right and true.
Here is that poem.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death,
who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
photo of the colon specimen from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colon_cancer

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