Miriam Santiago: ‘I got lung cancer’
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago disclosed on Wednesday that she is suffering from lung cancer.
“Ladies and gentlemen, allow me introduce myself to you as the only senator who has been diagnosed with lung cancer,” Santiago said at a press conference she held at the Senate.
“I have come so you can see me personally before cancer ravages my body,” she said.
Santiago, 69, said she was diagnosed with stage four cancer of the left lung last week, but said it was not spreading.
The former trial court judge said her condition makes “it hard for me to breathe.”
“I don’t know what the reactions of my enemies are. Maybe they will be happy because on one hand I might die and then they could get rid of me. But on the other hand I might survive and then I will get rid of them,” the feisty senator said.
Asked how she reacted when she first learned about her condition, Santiago said: “I was very excited. I’m not kidding.”
“I said: Yes! I got cancer!” said the senator who has been known for her acerbic wit.
Santiago said she would receive treatment by taking “magic tablet” once a day.
“So I hope to be able to see you in six weeks, fully-cured of cancer,” she said.
Santiago, who has been regularly on sick leave from the Senate due to chronic fatigue syndrome, said her cancer was not immediately detected by her doctors “because apparently my lung was already getting filled with fluid, with water that’s why it’s already blurred…”
“They actually took nearly two cups of blood from my lungs,” she said.
Asked about the reaction of her husband Narciso, Santiago said: “Well, my husband said: Go to the United States, and I said, are you thinking you’re lucky. Ano ka sinswerte?”
And when she told the bad news to her 91-year-old mother, the senator said her mom simply said: “Well, everyone has to go sometime…”
“’I’m not afraid of cancer, there’s nothing I’m afraid of. Because what can I do? God never asked us for our opinion,” she said.
Early last month, Santiago stepped down as judge of the International Criminal Court, citing her precarious health condition.
Originally posted at 11:16 am | Tuesday, July 2, 2014
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