For L.A. Tenorio, being diagnosed with cancer proved to be not a death sentence.
The mercurial guard, who battled colon cancer for nine months, is making a comeback today when Barangay Ginebra San Miguel faces Terrafirma in the main game of a scheduled double-header in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
A groin injury stopped Tenorio from playing non-stop basketball for 17 years last March but a more terrifying concern prevented him from returning when doctors found out that he had colon cancer.
While undergoing treatment in Singapore, Tenorio learned a lot of life lessons that he said were instrumental in his recovery from the deadly disease.
“Biggest life lesson would be don’t take anything for granted. You’ll never know what will happen to you in the next day. We don’t have control in everything. I’ve been playing the past 17 straight years and then it stopped,” said Tenorio during his interview at Power and Play with Noli Eala.
“Let’s appreciate, let’s be contented. Let’s not look for what we don’t have. Whatever is given to us, let’s be appreciative. Spend time with your family. When good things are happening to us, we lost sight on other things. We get blinded. We’re only focused on one side.”
Tenorio feels his return is two-fold.
“I think I have a higher purpose in my return. What happened to me, the past 17 years that I played basketball, prepared me for what happened to me the past months,” said Tenorio, stressing that
“I’m making a comeback because I believe God has plans for my return.”
“Probably, God used basketball to allow me to inspire other people, especially those people experiencing cancer. It’s more than basketball. It’s more than that.”
Tenorio’s story has become an inspiration, not just to the basketball community, but to the people who are also battling the same illness.
“By doing this, by reading the messages, it’s more than basketball. Even people who were not playing basketball, they can relate to this. Basketball was more of an instrument,” Tenorio said.
According to Tenorio, he was even more amazed at how people who were not that privileged to rise to the challenge and continue to go on with life despite the ilness.
“Our situations are different in life. There were people who are not privileged. But I think more than that, it’s all about staying positive and having that mental strength. Personally, what I did was to be surrounded by people whom I believe can help me mentally, not just physical. It’s more on mental,” Tenorio said.
But Tenorio, 39, is not out of the woods yet.
“There are followup checkups, just like last week or two weeks ago, I went back to Singapore for tests and the doctor said every three months I need to go back there to undergo tests. That’s the target. I preferred it that way because I don’t want skip anything with regards to check up or treatment. I would rather have that kind of treatment. I am hoping and praying that things go out well because it’s still within a year (since the cancer was discovered).”
But with strong faith and his positive outlook, it won’t be surprising if Tenorio totally overcomes the Big C.