I'm writing this for a dear friend who, nine months ago, was diagnosed with a rare type of lung cancer - adenosquamous carcinoma of the right lung, stage IIIB. May has always lived a healthy lifestyle, never smoked, and so this disease came as a bit of a shock. What she and her doctor initially thought to be a tooth /mouth problem turned out to be caused by something more sinister -- a large vein (Superior Vena Cava) that transports blood from the heart to the head, neck and upper extremities, is blocked/compressed, and which had caused the swelling in her face, and a severe headache. It wasn't long before the doctors detected the lung cancer. Apparently, the cancer is an extremely aggressive lung tumor, and prognosis was poor. To make matters worse, her biopsy sample tested EGFR mutation negative, meaning, the cancer did not respond to the chemo drug used by the hospital.
Despite it all, she is extremely grateful for the love and support that family and friends have shown. With their love and God's grace, she completed a radiation therapy treatment in January, and underwent one cycle of chemotherapy. She could not complete the other two recommended chemotherapy cycles because of her body's adverse reaction to the drug. Medical expenses have so far amounted to over half a million pesos - she praises God for the blessing of family and friends - but her climb is steep as there's still a very long way to go. She has been through a lot - lost her mother at 15 (possibly from the same disease), broken marriage - and maybe she has not overcome them all, but this is one fight that she is determined to win.
May has exhausted her and her family's resources. The next treatment, including an immunotherapy, seems uncertain now. She could not now even finance a PET scan, offered by only two hospitals in the Philippines, to check whether the cancer has metastasized. Her oncologist said that there's no cure for her sickness and that her only possible chance is immunotherapy and a monthly injection of antibodies (which costs 90000 pesos a month).
But she does not lose hope. She prays that God will send angels to help her in this fight to stay alive. For her daughter's sake.