Patty Balquiedra was first diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on her left breast on August 23, 2012. It was her husband who felt the lump on her left breast. She never realized that it was there. By November 2013, she had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She went through all the necessary treatments, and thought that she had prevailed where so many others had failed. But one year after her initial diagnosis, only nine months after her chemotherapy ended, the cancer was back. Patty did not lose hope, however, and continued to fight the good fight. But a few weeks before Christmas of 2014, Patty passed away.
For the many who did not know her, this would be more than an ample description of the fate of a cancer patient. But for the many who did know her, there is so much more to Patty than a mere recitation of her medical history.
A wife, mom of two, blogger, and mompreneur, Patty always carried herself like a ray of sunshine on a dreary day. She cried, of course, and got angry too, but she wasn't one to dwell on regrets. After all, there's just too much of life to live!
Patty and her family
Patty with her eldest daughter
Patty with her youngest daughter
Patty with friends
Michelle Lim, the blogger behind mymomfriday.com, says, “I will always remember Patty's optimism, wit, honesty, strength of character and faith, her energy, and even her kikay-ness. She's a fighter, a fierce and genuine friend, a fab mom.”
In her tribute to Patty, which she amply calls a celebration, blogger Jackie Go writes, “I will always remember you when I hear Bruno Mar’s Treasure and Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. I will always think of you every time I see a yellow bird, every time I do my eyebrows, every time I see a girl wearing super skimpy shorts, and every time I watch a La Salle UAAP game. For me, you are the epitome of a cool, hip but definitely not tander Tita of Manila. Heehee. Beyond this, you are proof that faith and love can let one live a purposeful life; that it doesn’t matter how long one lives but how one has touched other people.”
“Patty was the epitome of BRAVE,” says Janice Villanueva, founder of Mommy Mundo.
“This was true not only because she faced her battle with breast cancer head on, even sharing her experiences and emotions while helping others along the way, but also with the way she lived life, treated people, how she acted and spoke, how she parented her daughters. Full of courage, yet full of love. That's how I'll always remember her.”
Patty and friends
In an interview with Mass Kickers Foundation, a non-profit organization, which provides support and motivation to all newly-diagnosed patients, family, and friends affected by tumors or cancer, Patty shared her mantra of how to truly live life:
“Life is what we make of it — cancer or no cancer. Choose to beat it and not be beaten BY it. It’s going to be one hell of a roller coaster ride but each trip will make you stronger than the last!”
Thank you for showing us what it's all about, Patty. You will never be forgotten.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Regular Breast Self-Examination (BSE) is one way of significantly increasing the early detection of breast cancer. Learn how to do a BSE by clicking the link to this video tutorial.