Hi everyone! If you are receiving this link or campaign, it only means you are one of the trusted friends/acquaintances I choose to share my battle with right now. For those who may not know me, I am Earl Joy Baton, 28 years old, a mother of 3 beautiful children (Chloe age 8, Lyfe 3, and Leif 1 year and 6 months old). I'm from Toledo City, Cebu Philippines.
What started out as a common cough last year, turned out to be something more serious and life-threatening. This February, apart from the cough that won't go away, I'm having terrible chest pains and difficulty breathing. I finally, after putting it off for so long, went to see a doctor and requested for a chest xray. February 20, is when I first found out that there is a mediastinal mass near my lungs and chest area. It's size is already big at 14.9x9.7 cm.
The doctor requested for a CT scan to corroborate with the xray result. I went to see a pulmonary doctor, Dr. Leon James Young, for a CT scan request. The following week, Feb 25 my chest CT scan was made and the results were even more critical that the xray imaging shown.
The mass measuring 8 x 15.3 x 10.7 cm, is compressing most of my major blood vessels and arteries. My lymph nodes are enlarged. And my heart is with water. A biopsy has to be performed to determine what type of tumor is growing inside me. March 1, after seeking out an interventional radiologist, Dr Braullo Sto. Domingo, an ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy was performed to get a tissue sample of my tumor. Fast forward, I got the result a week after, and this is where I was diagnosed with HODGKIN's LYMPHOMA, NODULAR SCLEROSIS TYPE.
I was again referred to another specialist, an oncologist, Dr Noemi Uy. She was the one who explained to me my illness/condition, the severity of it, and the procedures and treatment I have to undergo. As what I understood, and I hope I understood her well, Hodgkin's Lymphoma is a type of malignant cancer of the lymph nodes. It's malignancy is based on the fact that since the tumor is located in my lymph nodes (the lymph nodes and vessels are responsible for transporting fluids around the body, basically it also filters harmful substances from the body and contains immune cells that fights against infections by attacking them) it is very easy for the cancer cells to spread to other parts of my body through the lymph vessels and possibly my blood vessels if the infection is already there. The tumor that is growing are also compressing my main pulmonary arteries and blood vessels, thus the coughing and difficulty breathing. It is making it hard for me to breath. The other complication is also that my heart is already penetrated with water. This is potentially dangerous as it can compressed my heart and stop its ability to pump blood. These and all other minor complications. Dr Uy said my case is very, very curable with chemotherapy but we're running against time with all the complications I have.
There are laboratory and chemistry exams I have to make, I already did them. She also requested for me to start taking medication and have immunization shots to strengthen my self in the battles to come (This I haven't started yet due to lack of funds). She requested for a whole abdomen scan and a bone marrow biopsy to see if the infection is already spreading in those area (again, not done this). A test is also needed to check if my heart is strong enough for chemo. And if all the procedures and tests I have to take should go well, then we're off for a chemotherapy for 12 sessions, and again all other laboratory exams needed and other procedures.
- Immunization shots - Flu - 1,400 php, Pneumonia - 2,500 php
- Whole abdomen scan (to check if the cancer cells have spread in the area) + CD30 (to confirm the lymphoma and its strand) = est. 25,000 php
- Bone marrow biopsy (bilateral L&R) (to check if the infection or cancer has spread in my bones = 13,000 x 2 = 26,000 est
- 2D Echo (to check if my heart is strong enough for chemo) = not asked about this yet, have to meet with a cardiologist
- Chemotherapy sessions (12 sessions to complete) = 20,000 per session **
Unfortunately, I've already maxed out my health insurance limit, which is just 75 thousand pesos. For my case, 75k is a very small amount. My disease is very expensive. I have paused all necessary procedures that I have to do for a moment to reflect. Do I want to live longer? Definitely. My kids are too young for me to leave them. I am still strong? Yes, I am. And I want to seek help while I am still strong and not a year too late when I'm too late to be saved.
I wonder, am I challenging fate right now? Perhaps. I looked back to what I've been doing with my life. Did I brought this upon myself? Definitely not, cancer doesn't choose who to cling to. I'm without vice. I can't say I'm a healthy-living type of person, but I was living well enough not to get sick. But this? Why me? Of course, it's because God knows I'm strong enough to battle this. Strong enough to keep moving and not let any disease hinder me. I was never known to give up. And I will continue to fight for my life. I will not stop until I'm cured of this disease and I will try harder to outlive my life expectancy. Lol.
Could I be at fault in any way? I would say, maybe I was really challenging fate. Because I would always tell myself, I don't want to die of old age. I don't want to reach the age of senility, where it will be hard for me to walk and do other things. I don't want to burden other people, I don't want to be bedridden and reach a point where I can't even go to the cr to poop. I'm okay to die earlier when I'm still able and not a liability to others. But hey fate! What wickedness you have, seriously I'm just 28! I still want to see my kids get their degree, I still want to see my kids raise their own family, and I still want to experience being called a grandma! So please, please I am begging you help me in my quest for life and let's all challenge fate! I want to live until I'm 60ish, or 70. Just as long as I get to experience senior citizen discounts. Please help me! Go fund me and my medication. Or if you know anyone, or any organization that can help me, I will gladly accept all forms of help. :)
Or you can directly transfer your donations to my BPI saving account #: 1029246366, Account name: Earl Joy Navarro Baton
I believe cancer is just cancer, I am a fighter and it will not bring me down! I'll continue fighting for my family and all the people who love and support me.