"When you face trials in life, in the near future, when you again face trials, you will know what to do."
These were the words expressed by PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) cager Rommel Adducul when he found out, with the help of his wife-doctor, that the lump growing in his neck was indeed cancer.
First noticed by Purefoods teammate James Yap, the lump turned out to be a stage-three cancer that caused Rommel a formidable distraction to his basketball career. Nasopharyngeal cancer—which is quite common to Asians—affects the nasal pharynx, located at the back of the nose and the upper side of the soft pharynx. This tumor, however, is curable.
"The good thing is that sabi ng mga doctor, e, curable siya," Rommel revealed to StarTalk. "Right now, I'm doing fine kasi nga nakikita ko ang improvement ko [sa chemo], nawawala na yung mass."
How did he exactly find out about the cancer?
"Nagkaroon ako ng lymph nodes during our championships," Rommel related. "Ine-expect namin cyst, and I took antibiotics for two weeks, pero wala pa rin. Kaya nag-alala na ang wife ko. Sabi niya, I have to do a biopsy kasi nga nodes ko, nagbi-bleed siya tuwing morning. Lumalaki na ang bukol kaya nga... Si James Yap unang nakapansin, e, and sabi nga niya na ipa-check ko nga. After the biopsy, nalaman nga."
How did his wife react to the news?
"Siya unang nag-worry talaga," Rommel said. "Noong una niyang sinabi, napaiyak nga, e."
After getting the news, Rommel started his chemotherapy sessions to fight out the cancer. The radiation he had to go through to fight the cancer was undoubtedly painstaking and equally tiring.
"The radiation, 35 sessions, five times a week. Yung chemo, six cycles siya. Pangatlo ko sa Thursday, tapos meron yung after two weeks, yung last cycle which is three sessions. Isang week ako sa hospital...it's really hard pero kailangan gawin."
As an athlete, Rommel's daily regimen includes practice to sharpen up his game. He has definitely no nightlife, doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, etc.
Sometimes, the Born-Again Christian asks God, "Why me?" but immediately realizes that, at least, when he will face future trials in life, he would know what to do.
"I think this is one of the biggest trials in my life. But after this, I think blessings will come," Rommel said.