Help Us Grow Old Together

Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Apr 10, 2017

April 5 - Discharge from UERM



April 6,7,8 - Resume radiotherapy



He now has visible radiation burns on his face and neck. He has also started losing hair at the back of his head. He has several bald patches mostly near the nape area. As a result of his severe vomiting episodes last week, his throat is swollen and badly infected which makes it difficult for him to speak, eat, and take sips of water. He is now 100% PEG tube fed with formula (all his meds go in through the tube too). His weight is fluctuating but he is walking a lot which is still something to celebrate. His biopsy slides have been sent to another hospital for rereading (doctors want to make sure the cancer is indeed squamous cell). Next CBC is scheduled on wednesday April 12. God willing, we get good results by then. It's a very tiring battle, but it's one we plan to win. I gave him a haircut earlier, and I'm just so happy to have spent another day with him. Please pray for his healing. Stay safe and God bless us all.

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Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Apr 02, 2017

Had to rush him to the ER this afternoon due to excessive nosebleed and vomiting. Doctors mentioned tumor bleed before but this is the first time we actually experienced it. He has always had blood dripping from his nose since his biopsy Jan 23 this year but today the bleeding got a lot worse. We're talking about spoonfuls of blood gushing from his nose and lots of blood clots with it. He also hasn't been able to keep any food down since Friday night.

We waited 9 hours in the ER before being transferred to an isolation room in the charity ward. Doctors didn't want to expose him because of his condition. Platelet is pretty low at 100000 (normal range 150000-450000) making it more difficult for him to build a solid blood clot. He is currently being given Tranexamic acid to control the bleeding. For the vomiting he has been given 2 doses of Plasil but we have yet to see it work.

Cezar is exhausted and in pain. They are making him fast right now which makes things more difficult (imagine vomiting 5 times straight and not be able to even take a sip of water). He is finally sleeping and hopefully the meds will be able to take effect while he's asleep.

Please pray for Cezar's healing. It breaks my heart to see him like this. I didn't want to pick up my phone to post an update but we need as many prayer warriors as we can. Please, please include Cezar in your prayers. We pray for strength and the will to overcome this ordeal. Thank you.

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Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Mar 31, 2017

Some good news and some bad news.



Bad news - tumor isn't responding to treatment as well as we hoped it would. From 6.7x6.3x6.1 it is currently at 5x7x7. Rad and surg onco both said there is inflammation to be considered but I'd like to take these numbers as they are. I don't want to assume that it's smaller than what the tests say. Cezar is also back to using a wheelchair. Doctor said the fluid responsible for his balance (inside the ear) is drying up because of radiation. It's an inevitable side effect we have to deal with. He can walk but gets nauseous at the slightest movements. MRI confirmed he has sinusitis in his left sinuses which prevents him from breathing through the left nostril. He now breathes exclusively through the mouth. Blood count has gone crazy because of chemo and radiation. We'll have to repeat the tests next week to make sure that he is recovering from the chemo meds. He has lost a lot of weight so we've scheduled an appointment with his gastro on Monday. It's difficult for him to eat since he can only breathe through the mouth and the PEG tube can only take so much feeding.



Good news - MRI results seem to show no damage to his brain. The tumor protruding from his gums and right nostril has shrunk noticeably allowing more drainage of dead blood from both nostrils (more from the right). Withdrawal symptoms have gotten better despite the sudden reduction of pain meds (Pregabalin now taken one tab/day from 3tabs/day, Carbamazepine now taken one tab/day from 3tabs/day, Morphine slow release now taken 3tabs/day from 12tabs/day). He has also stopped taking plain rescue morphine tabs. Somehow, his mouth sores have stopped bothering him and it's been days since he last used his lidocaine mouthwash. He has always been bothered by the fact that scans showed a cyst on the left side of his nose inside his sinus but MRI confirmed today that the cyst is benign. We have an appointment with our IM onco on Tuesday and hopefully we'll get a referral to an ENT to have his left sinusitis sorted out.



With only 13 more days left of his radiotherapy treatment we can't help but feel disappointed that the tumor has not shrunk enough. But we are not losing hope. We pray day and night for healing and for strength to continue this fight with our spirits intact. I believe God has His reasons for giving us this test and I know that Cezar and I will triumph over this challenge together, hand in hand. Please pray for Cezar to survive this and have the chance to live his life to the fullest. I am not giving up on him and I believe him when he says that he will live for me.



Sorry for the long post. Please have a great weekend full of love and happiness. May God bless us all.

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Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Mar 25, 2017

We finally got an appointment with our pain specialist and he was able to prescribe a mouthwash that helps with the pain and allows Cezar to still eat by mouth. Bad news, lalala pa raw ang sores habang tumatagal so kailangan lakasan ang loob.

Hindi maganda ang CBC results nya. Rad onco had to inject meds for his white blood cells to go up and he also gave us immunostimulants to help Cezar cope with the chemo symptoms (compromised immune system). Because of the meds he has a fever. We were just advised to drink plenty of water and do sponge bath because the fever is a sign that his white blood cells are increasing. CBC results tomorrow will tell us whether he can continue with radiotherapy and chemo.

He has really bad withdrawal symptoms because our pain specialist reduced his pain meds significantly. Withdrawal pains are so bad all he wants to do is hug me and sleep :(

Last week was great for us. This week has presented a lot of challenges. We are all exhausted and our spirits are very low but we will continue to fight. I ask for prayers for healing and prayers so we can rally on and defeat this disease. I know God is watching over us and He is not blind to our pain. I refuse to be swayed and I refuse to turn my back on Him. He is our savior and I know that he will always look out for Cezar.

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Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Mar 21, 2017

Cezar has really bad mouth sores caused by radiotherapy. We've tried a lot of mouthwashes and lozenges but they just don't seem to work (we welcome any advice kung may alam kayong pangnumb sa bibig T__T). He had two episodes of nosebleeds from the left nostril this weekend. Our radiation onco says it's because the tumor is getting smaller and is no longer putting pressure on some of his veins (the veins have become weak and are easily damaged hence the bleeding). He checked the tumor that protrudes from Cezar's gums and he believes it has shrunk maybe 10-20% from its initial size (Praise God!). Repeat MRI is scheduled on March 30th (sakto monthsary namin lol) and hopefully operable na sya by then. His second chemo cycle is scheduled this weekend.

Eating is becoming more and more of a challenge as his mouth sores become more severe. But at least we have his PEG tube for when all attempts of oral pain control fail. We are still experimenting with various gels, lozenges, and mouthwashes and I am currently trying to get him an appointment with our pain specialist. Hopefully they'll be able to help us because we want him to avoid using his tube as much as possible (tube feeding is difficult because it takes so long to complete and his pain meds make it hard for him to stay awake for long periods of time).

Tulad parin ng dati, pahingi parin po ng prayers na kayanin nya 'to. Maraming maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tulong at sa lahat po ng dasal ninyo. Naniniwala parin kami na everything is possible with God. :)

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Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Mar 13, 2017

Despite having had to bring Cezar to the ER last Saturday (due to a discharge in his peg tube site and severe constipation), we still started his therapy this week with a big smile on our faces.



For starters, Cezar has gained 2 kilos since being discharged from the hospital last week. He also managed to make his way to and from the radiation onco clinic without a wheelchair!



He is still exhausted from therapy but he is eating a lot and spending more and more time on his feet.



Please continue to pray for his healing. He has started complaining of pain inside his mouth (his inner cheek has a lot of sores from radiotherapy) and a burning feeling on his skin but he is still the funny and witty man we all know and his disposition has not changed. Sabi nga nya, "cancer lang 'to kayang kaya". :)



Please include him in your prayers. Alam namin na nothing is impossible with God. Hindi sya gaano nagfe facebook, pero he wants you all to know na sobrang thankful sya and gagawin nya lahat in his power para gumaling sya. :)



Will update again after ng consult namin with his rad onco on Wednesday. Have a great week ahead everyone!

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Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Mar 10, 2017

Done with the first week of radiotherapy! So far, Cezar's taking things like the champ that he is. We go to the dentist tomorrow for a prophylaxis (for his dental clearance). After that we'll just stay at home to get some needed rest.

He ate by mouth today for the first time in almost two weeks (breakfast and lunch). He has lost some weight and is still nauseous and dizzy, but he's able to move his mouth more and more everyday.

He has stopped taking his rescue morphine pills (praise God) and although he is suffering from withdrawal symptoms, we are glad that his pain can now be controlled with fewer medications.

He spent more time in therapy today since the techs have started targeting the eye, forehead, and neck area (where the suspicious lymph nodes are). To say that Cezar feels exhausted is an understatement. But he is fighting and keeping a positive attitude.

Thank you everyone for always keeping us in your prayers. Please pray for us some more. God willing, Cezar's tumor will have shrunk enough (and ready for surgical removal) on our next scan/evaluation (day 20 or 25 of radiotherapy.)

Happy weekend everyone and may God bless us all!

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Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Mar 04, 2017

We've had 2 radiotherapy sessions and an emergency peg tube insertion done at St. Luke's. So far so good and we have now transferred to UERM for his first chemo cycle. Our med onco has decided to have us admitted at the charity ward under isolation to prevent Cezar from contracting communicable diseases as he is now technically immunocompromised. Being in the charity ward guarantees a much, much lower hospital bill which will help us stretch our budget more and make sure that Cezar's needs are taken care of. We should be discharged tomorrow afternoon so Cezar can rest. We then prepare for another week of radiotherapy. He was able to drink his formula today with little issue and since being discharged from St. Luke's, he has taken all food and meds through his mouth. I guess radiotherapy does help kill tumors. I will let you guys know how chemotherapy turns out. I hope whatever side effect he has would be tolerable if not preventable. Thank you for your prayers and please help us pray some more. God bless us all. :)

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Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Mar 02, 2017

We were just told that radiotherapy will start today. Cezar will be brought down to radio onco in a few for his first rt session. He will have the trial feeding on his peg tube at 6pm tonight. If all goes well, we may be discharged by Saturday. He has a slight fever and the nurses have given him some meds to lower his temperature. Please pray for us, our battle begins today! Praying that he takes this beating like the warrior that he is and surface from this challenge a victorious man of God. Thanks everyone for the well wishes and please pray that everything goes well. God bless you all!

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Update posted by Maria Shiela Camba On Mar 02, 2017

Hi everyone, Cezar has been transferred to St. Luke's QC yesterday for his radiotherapy planning and PEG tube insertion. He is currently in the operating room for EGD and PEG tube insertion.



Pain is now controlled with a morphine drip since oral intake is impossible. He wanted to eat so bad last night (he said he wanted to try to eat something soft) but had to fast for his procedure today. He hasn't had anything by mouth since Monday except for a sip or two of water which he eventually threw back up.



Radiotherapy is being fast tracked and they want to give him a dose today but we have yet to receive word on whether this will push through. Latest start date of his radiotherapy is Monday.



The mass is now 6.7x6.3x6.1 cm and causing him unbearable pain when not on heavy pain meds. We are hoping that once the PEG tube is functional, he will be able to continue his oral meds without issues. It hurts to see him begging to be drugged enough to fall asleep just so he can't feel the pain. But he is bravely fighting for his life and so I will fight this disease with him. I always remind him that there are a lot of people waiting for his recovery and he would always answer with a smile and a thumbs up.



Whole body scan showed no cancer anywhere else (praise God!). The lymph node closest to the tumor is being suspected for metastasis or cancer spread but our radiation onco has already mentioned giving low doses on this area as precaution.



His body is weak from having no food for the last 4 days and his mom and I decided to get him a solo private room so as not to compromise his health (xray confirmed that his left lung appears to be compromised due to his breathing difficulty). We are still waiting to be transferred to a much, much cheaper room as soon as there is a vacancy. We had to wait 7 hours yesterday just to get him a room. We just cannot delay the tube insertion and the radiotherapy fitting anymore and I guess we'll just have to try to cut costs somewhere else.



I'm asking for your prayers again. I would also like to ask you to please share our funding page for more people to see. I went to social service but the tumor is growing so fast that it's not possible to wait for the approval of our medical assistance applications (but we are still pushing forward in case we can reimburse).



We have gotten Cezar a PWD ID (right eye is not functional anymore) and this along with Philhealth has gotten us some good discounts but the bills are piling up and we just can't keep up. He needs 24/7 care now because his tumor and the closed up right eye is causing major balance issues and even sitting up is difficult for him. The only relief he gets now is from his morphine drip and even with morphine he is not fully functional. He has also gotten some withdrawal symptoms (chills and excessive sweating) from being unable to take his 3 other oral pain meds. Going to the bathroom is a large challenge and even sleeping is difficult for him.



It is so hard to make a move when his tumor is growing faster than we can ever adjust to. Unfortunately for us, urgency means things are not going to be cheap.But we are not losing hope. We will fight for his life for as long as we can. We will do everything in our power to make sure that he gets through this alive although scarred. I will update you all as soon as he gets back in his room and hopefully this will help him get through chemo and radiotherapy easier.

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My thoughts, prayers and heart is with you. x

Emma Knight

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I hope you get better soon! All the best.

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Wish you all the best

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Blessings and speedy healing

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My prayers and best wishes for Cezar's return to good health. God bless.

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