My father, Russel Atienza, 46 years old, was a simple sari-sari store owner in the province of Oriental Mindoro until he was diagnosed with Stage 3A Lung Cancer in January 2017 that eventually progressed to Stage 4 in March.
The symptoms were noticed almost 4 months (October 2016) before the diagnosis. It began with simple coughs in which local doctors diagnosed as pneumonia. They then suspected it to be a sign of tuberculosis which was ruled out later on.
On the 1st month of his persistent coughing, he already sought for doctors' advice. More than 3 doctors handled his case in the province until he was confined early December yet no other diagnosis was made.
Before the year ended, his youngest brother, our beloved Tito Polie, passed away suddenly from pneumonia. This was a heart-tearing event for the whole family that may have contributed to Tatay's worsening health. Tatay was hospitalized for pneumonia before Tito Polie was but right after Tatay's discharge from the hospital, the painful event happened.
The trauma of suddenly losing a family member made us immediately plan to bring Tatay to Manila for further tests. His first xray in Manila showed a suspected mass. The doctor requested for his recent xray films for comparison. Upon presentment of the old films, the doctor confirmed that the mass was already there. So she requested for a ct scan and later on, for a bronchoscopy to confirm if the mass is benign or malignant.
It was confirmed that he has squamous cell carcinoma, a type of lung cancer which is more common to smokers. Tatay however is not a smoker but a few years ago, he operated a videoke bar. We suspect that he may have acquired the cancer from the second-hand smoke at the bar. Another factor we are also looking at is that the lung cancer was hereditary in nature because his dad died with lung cancer.
His oncologist required a pet ct scan and when the results came out, it was found out that Tatay's cancer already progressed to Stage 4. Then he also had pneumonia and water started to fill in his right lung. We stayed more than a month in the hospital to drain the water through a tube injected to his lung.
While in the hospital, He was able to undergo two (2) cycles of chemoteraphy and it helped in stopping the water from building up in his lungs.
Now, thanks to God, he is home already. We sought help from PCSO and other NGOs for the hospital bills that reached approximately $3877. With the help of the aforementioned agencies and of our relatives, we were able to settle it.
But the challenges do not stop there because Tatay has to undergo more cycles of chemo and tests in between. The amount of medicines per cycle ranges from $714 to $816, not including the hospitalization and laboratory fees for the preparations before his chemo and for his possible stay in the hospital after each chemo for his partial recovery from the effects of the procedures.
I am appealing to your good hearts to help him fight cancer. I hope that you can share some of your blessings to him.
Thank you very much for taking time to read this. Our family greatly appreciates and will forever be in gratitude for any help that you may provide to our fight with cancer.