All I know is that my parents did everything they could to raise us - even if life is hard.
My dad works as a farmer and construction worker while my mom is a housewife (sometimes she does laundry and errands for other people). So, when I found out my dad has Stage 4B Gastric Carcinoma (Stomach Cancer), I couldn't believe it. 😞 I was wondering why a hardworking father had to go through this, but I know that God has a plan for him and for us - his family.
My mom and dad during my graduation in 2016.
It started last year (around July 2018) when he was complaining of his acid reflux and high blood pressure. When they went to see the doctor, they said that it's just a simple ulcer or gastritis. They gave him medicine which he took for a couple of months as he continued working on different jobs.
October 2018 - I went home to see them (for a short time) in the Philippines. When I asked him about his health, he said he feels better and there's nothing to worry about. I went back to my workplace with no worries at all.
January 2, 2019 - I didn't expect the first message I received from our eldest brother. They rushed my dad to the hospital because he was not feeling well. His skin had turned pale and yellowish and he couldn't even stand up. Worse, he had lost a lot of weight. 😥 That was on the first of January - New Year's Day at the hospital. I was so worried that I wanted to go home (but I don't have the budget and my working visa was about to expire). The only thing that I could do that time was to pray, pray, and pray.
In that same week, he underwent CT scan, ultrasound, and endoscopy. They found out that there's a mass (lump) in his stomach, and so they took a sample for biopsy. When the results came in, we felt relief because it was non-malignant. After a few days of treatment at the hospital, my family went home. But then again, before the date of his follow up check up, he felt very sick. He couldn't eat, even if he tried to, and he kept vomiting. It seemed like his stomach didn't want to accept any of the food that he's eating. (Note: he is on a liquid diet. We need to blend his food so that it can pass through his stomach.)
That's when we decided to move him to the city's hospital. The doctors did the tests again and found out that the mass had gotten even bigger and even worse - it was MALIGNANT. The only option was surgery. The doctors had a couple of options on what to do, but it would depend on my dad's condition when they would open his stomach. (We were praying for a simple surgery because we were quite worried about the bills). The surgery pushed through in February. For almost 9 hours, he stayed in the operation room, but we knew that God was in control. We were all worried at the same time, especially me, because I was miles away from them. I wanted to go home at that moment, but I can't because of work and I needed to wait for the end of the term. I was really praying for the best because I wanted to see my dad alive and healthy.
After the surgery, we were informed that they weren't able to remove the mass because the cancer cells had already affected his liver and pancreas. They then told us it was STAGE 4B. 😭 Also, we had to feed him through a tube connected directly to his small intestine, so they gave us another option - chemotherapy. The doctors said that chemotherapy might help in shrinking the mass and they could operate after that. Because we believed that he would be healed, we went for it.
May 14, 2019 - Our dad was admitted at the hospital for his 3rd chemo session. This time, it was quite a bit more complicated than his first two sessions. We needed a lot of blood because his blood platelet count had dropped. We went to ask for blood from the hospital's blood bank but sadly, they had ran out of blood type B+. We asked for blood donors and we were really blessed and grateful for those volunteers who shared their time and blood.
Recently, our dad has been vomiting blood so we needed a lot of blood for replacement. The dark liquid in the bottle comes directly from his stomach.
I can say that our dad is a fighter. His hope, faith, and desire to live are our driving forces to help him win this battle against cancer.
If there is one thing that we can learn from this trial and from my dad, it is trusting in the Lord that He will bring us through this - physically, emotionally, and financially. We know that He will touch other people's hearts.
We thank you for whatever amount you can donate to help our family.
For donations in the Philippines, you can send to BPI Account: 5696-9503-52 (Divina Picpican); in Thailand, you can send thru my PayPal Account or thru Krungsri Account: 727-1-06392-3.
May the Lord bless you tenfold!