A Health-Challenged Yet Blessed Life

I made an update just now in my CaringBridge health journal, particularly under ‘My Story’ and am sharing it here for the information of those who are not aware of my health-challenged life. Sure I have a lot of health issues yet I still consider my life blessed by God. My faith in Him has actually gone from strength to strength because of the many conditions I have to face on a daily basis. One will never know that I experience pains and aches just by looking at me. Just take a look at the following photo taken very recently:



Click here link for the story.

Hi, this is Freda from Kuwait. I thank CaringBridge for the opportunity to share my journey with Leiomyosarcoma or LMS (a very rare form of cancer) and other diseases I currently suffer from.

I created this journal in July 2006 to give inspiration to those who are newly-diagnosed and to those who are suffering from ongoing illnesses. I would want to give hope and insight as to how best one can deal with a cancer diagnosis and a continuing struggle with other diseases. Having been blessed with quite a number of rare diseases – a very rare combination, as my doctor once told me – I feel the need to share my journey so others may get informed and inspired.

Life indeed is good and despite the many body ailments I suffer from, I still am thankful to God. As I always say: “Thank God, it could have been worse . . .”

Here’s my history:

I was born a ‘blue-eyed’ baby. I inherited from my father a very rare disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). Hard-of-hearing as an after-effect of OI, I now wear, and am totally dependent on, bilateral hearing aids. At age 43, I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer, Leiomyosarcoma or LMS of the uterus. I underwent TAH (total abdominal hysterectomy) and BSO (bilateral salphingo-oopherectomy) in November 2000. I was diagnosed at about the same time with diabetes mellitus (DM). In 2001, a routine follow-up check revealed osteoporotic changes, lordosis and scoliosis in my lumbar vertebrae.

In June 2002, an MRI showed lesion in my brain. It turned out to be non-specific, a calcification of sorts caused by a childhood infection. In early 2005, my liver was discovered enlarged (hepatomegaly) and a year of follow up with blood works, ultrasound and CT scans (to rule out metastasis) I was finally diagnosed to be just having a ‘fatty’ liver. As late effects of diabetes, I now suffer from high serum cholesterol and triglycerides levels and high blood pressure (hypertension). And lately, a full-blown Osteoporosis has set in, affecting major bony areas in my body. I also suffer from Allergic Rhinitis and am taking anti-histamine tablet on a daily basis.

In 2011 four new conditions were discovered: Meniere’s Disease, Spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine, Tuberosity, a bony prominence in the gum which was surgically removed in December 2011 and Goiter.

In July 2012, after continuous vertigo and dizzy spells, I was finally diagnosed to be suffering from left Peripheral Vestibular Disorder and mild Benign Paroxysmal Positioning Vertigo (BPPV). Two months after I suffered from GI symptoms and CT scan and Endoscopy revealed Gastritis and Hernia. Gastritis was healed after two months of treatment but the recommended surgery for the Hernia has been postponed to give way for my holiday in my home country in order to visit my family. No date yet has been set for the surgery, which will also include removal of scar tissues in my abdomen from the Myomectomy and Hysterectomy I went through in October and November 2000, respectively.

I continue to be followed up and I see to it that I don’t miss any appointment. It is good and a blessing from God that Kuwait has an excellent health service and I get to enjoy everything it can offer for free. At the moment I go to seven health facilities on a regular basis and get to undergo various diagnostic examinations in order to detect progression of a particular disease.

About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of Suite101.com, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer." http://fredacontreras.com/

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