Redirection: How Elvin Cruz’s cancer battle renewed his faith
by Jovit Caballero and Nina Sangueza
“What would I do now?” and “How long am I going to live?” are just some of the many questions he kept asking himself on the night he found out about his diagnosis. He was confused, but he was hopeful. He had to accept it, but he also had to move forward.
Free-spirited thirtysomething professional Elvin Cruz, a manager at the Project Management Department, shared his inspiring story on how his battle with cancer prompted change and spiritual renewal in his life.
Elvin, who has been with NLEX Corporation for almost 10 years now, is known for his admirable work ethic — as well as his dedication and passion in the company’s extracurricular activities. He was the former Northlink editor-in-chief and a frequent host during company events.
At home, Elvin brings joy to the whole family as the youngest of three siblings. To his friends, he is a ball of positive energy because of his undeniable charm and wit.
An indefatigable workaholic, Elvin’s colleagues can attest that he is such a hard worker. Despite his busy schedule, he was very particular about taking care of his health through regular check-ups, going to the gym, and monitoring his food intake. To nurture his spirituality, Elvin attended masses, prayed, and reflected. He was in full control of his life.
As ideal as Elvin’s life seemed, it all changed on August 2, 2020. That was when he underwent a series of tests. The doctors found a large mass in his large intestine. That same day, he was already advised to undergo further laboratory tests, as well as a biopsy and CT scan.
On August 9, the biopsy report revealed that Elvin had adenocarcinoma — a type of cancer that starts in mucus-producing glands or secretory cells. On August 25, a day before his birthday, Elvin went through a six-hour surgery for the removal of affected part of his colon. The following month, after further medical tests and analysis, he was categorized as a Stage 4A Colon Cancer patient.
Elvin was devastated. Yet, he did not want to show it. For someone who took pride in being in control of his life, the diagnosis was very unsettling. This was never on his to-do list.
Still, Elvin did not allow himself to be completely derailed. Throughout his healing journey, he was very proactive about his treatments. He was the main person involved in scheduling medical appointments, sourcing medicines, and seeking funds. For the 12 chemotherapy sessions he went through from September 2020 until March 2021, Elvin spent most of his savings. He also got funds from personal insurances, as well as donations from relatives, workmates, and friends.
Elvin also coped with his situation by pursuing interests he had long been wanting to do — biking, baking, and painting. He used the time to rest and reset. His family’s support was also vital. His friends’ presence made him forget that he was sick and that things were just normal again.
More than the mentioned coping mechanisms, Elvin credits his healing to his renewed spirituality. He came to know God through Bible study sessions that he did remotely done with his former high school teacher who is based in the US. Elvin came to know God and his purpose for his life. Later, he was baptized as a Born-Again Christian. Elvin firmly believes that all of his experiences, good or bad, were not just incidental because they happened according to God’s will.
Elvin read the book Radical Healing, which explained how some of the people who had cancer survived not only through physical means but through various aspects that changed in their lives. With this, Elvin was inspired to write his own journal named Redirection regarding his 12 realizations on his experience. He also made videos which he called Twelve (12) Sessions of Healing and uploaded it on his Facebook page “All Our Lovin’ For Elvin” to encourage and inspire people who are going through the same hardships.
At present, Elvin still undergoes continuous medical monitoring and medications every two weeks. He is now able to go to work with revitalized passion. He is now more conscious about his food, health, and lifestyle in general. He has become more grateful for the simple things in life that he is able to do through the grace of God. He sees everything with greater appreciation. He is thankful to be alive every day. He has become more generous to others as he was filled with so much love and support from people around him during the lowest point in his life.
Before ending our conversation, Elvin shared the life lessons he learned through this experience. He encouraged everyone to have themselves screened for whatever disease they may have, especially those with family history regardless of absence of symptoms. He also advised everyone to seek God and have a personal relationship with Him. He urged everyone to be thankful for whatever blessings we are receiving because no one knows until when they will last.
Last but not the least, Elvin reminded us to not be consumed and pressured with worldly expectations and desires, seek what is eternal, and live every moment of your life to the fullest. So, whenever we receive unexpected news, we should stay focused with the positive aspect and just keep on pushing forward.
Elvin’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LovingElvin/
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