₱60,760Donated So Far
Breast Cancer in the time of COVID-19
Hi, I'm Joannalyn De Jesus Urriquia, but most people around me know me as Nalyn.
I am starting this fund raising in the hopes of gathering financial support to start and continue my fight against one of the most dreaded diseases -- CANCER. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer Stage 4 last June 08, 2020 at the age of 29.
I'd like to extend my gratitude in advance to EVERYONE -- those who took time to visit this page, read my story and will wish me strength and recovery, and to those who will generously share and donate. ❤︎
So, here it goes..
21st September 1993, breast cancer took my Mom away from us when she was just in her late 20s. Imagine how painful and traumatic it was for my Dad who lost the love of her life too soon, and was left with a 2yo toddler who had no idea of what was happening. But my Dad has always been resilient. He never gave up and raised me into who am I today.
Almost 27 years later, it breaks my heart to see my Dad go through same exact agonizing pain. This time, it's not his wife, it's his child. And his child isn't just a daughter anymore. She's now a wife and a mother to a 4 year old beautiful girl, too.
At the age of 29, I was diagnosed with a HER2-positive, Stage 4 Breast Cancer.
I have always been vigilant about my breasts. I do self-examinations daily, and go to my OB-Gyne annually for screening. Basically because I have a strong family history for cancer. Aside from my Mom, my aunt (Dad's sister), and other few family members also suffered from the same disease.
Despite my cautiousness, around the latter part of March 2020, I chanced upon a 3cm lump on my right breast. And because it was unusual (and pretty big), I've immediately scheduled a consultation with a breast surgeon, and prepared for imaging tests. Unfortunately, COVID-19 happened, ECQ was implemented by April and before I even begin seeing my doctors, everyone was on lockdown. Hospitals didn't prioritize non-emergency cases, and that included outpatient services in almost everywhere. So, I had no choice but to wait.
Two months later, I was hospitalized because of another lump that was in my stomach. I underwent an emergency surgery on May 12th and from there a 17cm cyst was removed, along with my right ovary and fallopian tube. (This cyst was benign, btw!) During my hospital stay, I took advantage of the situation and told my OB-Gyne about the lump I have in my right breast, so she immediately referred me to a surgeon. That was when everything started to unfold.
I met my breast surgeon, Dr. JT Noriega of Asian Hospital and Medical Center on May 27th. I underwent the normal process -- mammogram, breast ultrasound, core needle biopsies. June 8th, I got the confirmation that I indeed have breast cancer. After several tests for metastatic workup, there was suspicious metastasis found in the lungs, so I was proclaimed Stage 4. In the span of almost 3 months, a lot had happened, and changed.
My initial treatment protocol goes like this:
1. Chemotherapy + targeted treatment (8 cycles of chemo + 18 injections of Trastuzumab)
2. Surgery/Double Mastectomy (only if my body responds well to the treatment and the lung metastasis goes away, otherwise, surgery isn't even considered anymore)
3. Radiation therapy
As mentioned earlier, I have a HER2-positive breast cancer, which is an aggressive type and also an expensive one to treat/manage. Although HER2-targeted therapies are now available, a single dose needed for an injection costs around Php 80,000-120,000. On the other hand, chemotherapy costs around Php 50,000 per cycle, according to my Medical Oncologist.
My treatment will go on for a very long time, if not lifetime, because I am already at the advanced stage.
I am humbly asking for help, to support my medications in the hopes of living a longer life and spending more time with my loved ones. Any amount of donation will go a long, long way. There's no big or small. ❤︎
Again, thank YOU! Yes, you, who has spared some time to know my story.
P.S. If you have donated, please send me a personal message so that I can thank you personally.
P.P.S You can also send your donations via BPI, Unionbank, GCash, Paymaya or Coins.ph. Please contact me via FB, IG or my mobile number +63915-238-4291 anytime for inquiries.
June 2022 Update: 2nd anniversary from diagnosis
2 whole years since we’ve confirmed my big C. A lot has changed in our lives since then, but I’m counting all the blessings instead of all the hardships because look how far we’ve come. (Proverbs 17:22)
Would also like to take this opportunity to re-thank all those who didn’t think twice to help when I’ve opened up my situation to everyone. I’ll forever remember your kindness and generosity.
I’ve been wanting to share with you my journey every step of the way, but the pandemic went on for a year and another, so I thought everyone already went through tough times, and I didn’t want to add burden.
Nevertheless, I’m happy to share that as of this writing, I’m alive and well and living as normal as possible. My disease kind of progressed (there was suspicious metastasis found last year), but I’m under continuous treatment and my recent scans showed positive results.
Praying for more strength and peace of mind
Psalms 28:7 — “Jehovah is my strength and my shield; In him my heart trusts.”
July 2022 Update: Brain Metastasis
I might have spoken too soon when I said I was getting better at fighting this enemy.
June was chaotic as I was hospitalized twice due to severe headaches.
First hospitalization, doctors thought I had a mini stroke because of a hairline lesion found in my brain. I was discharged, felt a bit better, but after about 3 weeks, the intense head pain came back so I had to be hospitalized again.
In a span of less than a month, the lesion grew into a small mass measuring 3cm.
Believe me, I didn’t want to do another fund-raiser. I don’t have the strength, the guts, the heart, the face, to ask others’ help again on this journey. I know everyone’s fighting their battles on their own.
But, I need to, because giving up at this point is like giving up my chance to see Cassie grow up a little bit more. (Excuse my drama)
I called this recent fund-raising project as The Last Stretch — perhaps because, this is, for me, the final move I’ll make at trying to somehow win this. At least, even if I might eventually lose, I know I did everything I can to fight and push through.
Thanking everyone who’ll help and support this project in advance.
Please know that your purchase is literally a life line for me.
July 2022 Update: Brain Metastasis #TheLastStretchUpdate posted by Joannalyn De Jesus Urriquia at 10:34 pm
I might have spoken too soon when I said I was getting better at fighting this enemy. June was chaotic as I was hospitalized twice due to severe headaches.First hospitalization, doctors thought I had a mini stroke because of a hairline lesion found in my brain. I was discharged, felt. . . . .
June 2022 Update: 2nd anniversary from diagnosisUpdate posted by Joannalyn De Jesus Urriquia at 10:18 pm
2 whole years since we’ve confirmed my big C. A lot has changed in our lives since then, but I’m counting all the blessings instead of all the hardships because look how far we’ve come. (Proverbs 17:22)Would also like to take this opportunity to re-thank all those who didn’t think
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