This amazing woman is my mom, GLADYS. She is the most selfless, hardworking, and loving person I know. She’s a well-loved mother, sister, friend, you name it – because she is the most genuine human being who puts her heart into anything she does. She’s everything to me...
2015 - COLON CANCER DIAGNOSIS
...so imagine when my mom, my dad and I were shaken to the core when we first found out about my mom’s cancer diagnosis. In 2015, she had a colonoscopy done as she was having symptoms of what we thought could be a gastrointestinal problem – terrible abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting for months. Could you imagine what it felt like hearing the word “Adenocarcinoma” on Valentine’s Day?
She was scheduled for surgery since – but when she started complaining of excruciating pain and a very bloated stomach, she had to undergo EMERGENCY surgery (hemicolectomy of the right side ascending colon). We later found out that this was due to an intestinal blockage caused by the tumor found in her colon. It was a 7-hour surgery where, according to her surgeon, 25% of her colon was removed.
The biopsy revealed that she had colon cancer, stage 2B. She was immediately referred to an oncologist, who advised that she undergo 6 cycles of chemotherapy every 3 weeks. The treatment was an outpatient procedure where she was put on Oxaliplatin and Capecitabine.
She suffered from the harsh effects of chemotherapy for a few years. She would lose all feeling in her hands and feet, which would cause her to fall down or drop the things she's holding if not careful. It took some effort to finish sentences because of brain fog. She couldn’t sleep at night because her fingers and toes were very painful; we had to stay up some nights applying a hot and cold compress on them to ease the pain. Everything she ate and drank had no flavor, she had insomnia, was often nauseous, fatigued and weak.
However, she pushed herself to keep going. She forced herself to eat, she showed up at work still sharp because she put all her energy and strength into it, to focus and deliver. My mom was fighting. She did her best, she prayed with us. She bounced back every time the side effects were getting to her. She was amazing.
My dad and I did our homework - since the family’s earnings were only enough to cover our basic needs; we didn’t know where to find the funds for the unexpected expenses (hospital bills, medication, chemotherapy). We reached out to a few people and were just lucky to receive financial help from family and friends, as well as a couple of agencies to cover for these.
After having her 6 cycles of chemotherapy in 2015, we were advised to have routine tests every year for 5 years. If her tests show improvement, she would then be on remission.
2020 - COLON CANCER WITH LUNG METASTASES DIAGNOSIS
My mom made it to 5 years, but her test results this year (2020) show tumors in several areas in her body, mainly in her lungs. The biopsy showed that these are metastases from her primary colon cancer. This means that although she had undergone surgery and chemotherapy 5 years ago, the cancer still spread to her lungs and possibly other areas.
Mom’s oncologist is treating her condition with urgency, and wanted her to start having chemotherapy this October 2020. She is advised to have the treatment every 2 weeks, for 12 cycles (October 2020 to around April 2021) – which will hopefully help slow down the growth of tumors and result to life extension.
Unlike her first chemotherapy treatment years ago, she has to be admitted to the hospital for every cycle, because one of the chemo meds needs to be infused for 46 hours straight. She would be confined for almost 4 days every time. There is less time for her body to recover from the side effects, too, which we’re worried about.
Aside from chemotherapy and the hospital bills, she has to have regular diagnostic tests to check her complete blood count and platelets, CEA markers, and more - all of these together cost a fortune. We are again faced with a lot of worry, not just for mom’s health, how she will react to the treatment this time, the treatment’s effectiveness – but also where we will find the funds to cover these medical bills.
Below is a list of the cost of the chemo medicines, hospitalization bills, and other fees for easier reference. For everyone’s information, I’ve also listed down the names of the medicines needed.
COST PER CHEMOTHERAPY SESSION (x12 cycles):
1. Irinotecan 100 mg (3 vials) at PHP 9,173 per vial = Php 27,519
2. 5-FU 500 mg (7 vials) at PHP 149 per vial = Php 1,043
3. Folinic acid 50 mg (10 vials) at PHP 800 = PHP 8,000
4. Akynzeo 300/0.25 at PHP 6,500 = Php 6,500
5. Hospital confinement; room and charges (3 days) = Php 40,000
***Each chemo cycle will cost us almost Php 85,000 (x12 cycles)
DIAGNOSTIC TESTS & CONSULTATIONS:
1. Weekly CBC and platelet monitoring = Php 700 on average
2. Biweekly medical consultations = Php 1,500
3. CT scans (upper chest and full abdomen scans are separate) every 3 months = Php 60,000 on average
My mom and dad are both immunocompromised seniors. I worry for their health and wellbeing on a daily basis, especially now that they’re both emotionally sensitive. I wish I could take care of them not just physically and emotionally, but also financially – however, my income isn’t enough to cover mom’s chemotherapy.
I would really like to be able to contribute to a portion of her medical bills, and this is why I am reaching out to all of you here.
Up until today, my mom’s had a busy and stress-filled lifestyle. If she beats cancer a second time, I will make sure that she spends every day happy, relaxed and healthy.
Having the resources (chemo medicines or financial aid) to ensure that my mom can complete all 12 cycles of her chemotherapy treatment would allow us the opportunity of extending her life.
If I could just sponsor the cost of half of the chemo sessions the doctor required and diagnostic tests I would be very, very grateful. I would appreciate any help you could spare to this fundraiser for my mom, who means THE WORLD to me.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. Much love to all of you, and stay blessed!
OTHER OPTIONS FOR DONATIONS:
Account name: Gillian Lucas
Account number: 0917 795 8816
2. UNIONBANK SAVINGS
Account name: Gillian L. Luca
Account number: 1098 1837 3866
SWIFT CODE: UBPHPHMM
3. BPI SAVINGS
Account number: 4199 0683 56
SWIFT CODE: BOPIPHMM
-Jill Lucas, Gladys’ daughter