Just a few minutes and you can help me buy more time!
Cancer -- Merely uttering this word sends out a twitch of discomfort for us. It’s a terrible illness that one would not even dare imagine going through. However, in the case of our family, it’s not just a matter of concept, but an aching reality that we have to face head-on, as my mother has been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.
After much prodding, my mom finally agreed to pay a visit to an oncologist last March 15, 2019. However, we missed out the doctor, but we pleaded the secretary in-charge to jot my mom’s name on top of the list for a consultation following Monday. But instead of prepping up early for a consultation, my mom was aching in pain in her pelvic area. There was no room for back pedaling in being admitted to the hospital, as she urgently needed to address this pain and was also compelled to tell to the attending doctor of her breast condition, at the same time.
After a series of tests and results, it was found out that she had appendicitis. Undergoing appendectomy may be a common procedure, but it was an exception for my mom. As she had this going on with her left breast, we were notified beforehand that it was a risky operation. Despite her slim chance, she managed to overcome the procedure.
Yet, the challenges have been queueing in, as the breast mass has also been causing excretion of fluid to her left lung, which would, of course, be making it difficult for her to breathe. Initially, she underwent thoracentesis, a procedure where needle has to be inserted into a space between the chest wall and the lungs to take out the water. My mama was scared, I could tell, as she was gripping my fingers tight while the Internal Medicine Dr Mark Sarmiento was doing the procedure. Although this has helped her out, it was only temporary. After getting a liter from her system, a week later the water (by the way, it has increased to a liter and a half) has once again snuck into my mom’s left lung. Ultimately, to address the fluid, we were referred to another doctor, Surgeon Gerry Abadies, who installed an Indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) to drain the water from her left lung.
Soon afterwards, the oncologist Dr. Christy Abas of Cagayan de Oro Medical Center, informed our family that surgery at this point, since the breast mass is relatively large, is not the 1st option. She has to undergo chemotherapy at the soonest time, to stop the excretion of fluid going to her left lung, and to make the cancerous breast smaller until it is safe for mastectomy (removal of the breast). All these treatments and surgeries need to be done to make sure that it does not anymore spread to other parts of her body and while she is still also able to have the treatment. 2 days after our mom finally agreed to go with chemotherapy.
You will be amazed how my mom is trying her hardest to battle the disease, and I, for one, felt that in the simplest of her gestures. While I asked her to do a high five with me for a boost, she instead extended her index finger (like a playful little child will do), smiled, and in return, I did the same and comically said ‘align’. Responding back, my mom beamed one of her sincerest and sweetest smiles, as if to say, she’s taking a leap of faith.
As much as we are one with my family to be always there for my mom, we are also in need of anyone’s assistance to help her and my family out. After 2 instances that she was admitted to the hospital, seeking help from several doctors, and 2 chemotherapy cycles later, we are left with the reality that the need for financial support is very necessary as it is only my sister and I who are working now for the family.
At present, we are waiting for approval from the pulmonologist Dr. Abbie Lim that she will be cleared for the next chemotherapy session. Our mom is scheduled for an additional 4 chemotherapy sessions and mastectomy afterwards.
Again, with your thoughtfulness and generosity, you can help our mom fight her battle, and prayerfully, earn more time!
Daughters Joanne and Nerissa Olson
You may also choose one of the ff. Bank Accounts to send your donations:
BDO: 002310324406 (SAVINGS PHP)
BPI: 1199139327 (SAVINGS PHP)
Account name: Nerissa Olson