Dear friends and family,
This is our mom, Jena Padilla.
Anyone who knows her knows she's steadfast, persistent, ang goal-oriented. In her heydays, she shined the brightest. She was full of life, full of spirit, full of love. She worked incessantly to provide for her family. She was first to help a friend in need. An all-around gal. She was unstoppable.
Things were all well and good until the industry she worked tirelessly for--her main source of income--took a couple of hits from our tumultuous economy in the late 90s to early 2000s. This was also about the same time our dad (Bart, who has now passed) suffered a stroke and had difficulty getting back in shape to return to work. Their finances deep dived, fast. Unfortunately, their foresight failed them when they took out a housing loan just shortly before all these happened which brings us to where we are now, today.
Today, mom's savings have been wiped clean. Over the past several years, she was barely making ends meet. She has unfortunately incurred numerous debts trying to fight the inevitable. We have also been struggling trying to support her in any way we can.
Truly, it has been a rough and challenging 12 years or so, but the most challenging part of it all is only beginning.
As some of you may already know, mom has been in and out of the hospital since August 2019. She has been suffering from debilitating stomach pain, loss of appetite, and bouts of vomiting and nausea. She was first diagnosed with peptic ulcers and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in August and was getting treatment for both. However, she still experienced the same symptoms over the next couple of weeks. She barely ate. She barely moved. She barely spoke. There were days she would be in pain all day.
She grew weaker and weaker until we had to pull her up each time she needed to stand. Her albumin was at an all-time low because she wasn't eating, causing edema. She was often out of breath because her CKD made her anemic. It was many weeks of going back and forth; after we solved one issue another one popped up.
On December 17, we rushed her back to the ER (Parañaque Doctors Hospital) because she was wailing from pain. After several tests, the doctors said that she had cholecystitis and that her gallbladder needed to be taken out immediately. However, although the cholecystectomy was considered an emergency, they could not risk operating on mom given her state. Mom is considered to be severely malnourished. She has lost most of her muscle mass because she hasn't been eating and moving much for months. Per our doctor, any procedure that they planned to do on her would be very risky.
Mom was discharged on December 23 with the instruction of working hard to build her nutrition up back home. After a few days at the hospital, her surgeon decided that the surgery was now elective, and we had time to wait because she wasn't in pain anymore. Any time we can buy, we will, because it was imperative that mom was strong for the surgery. However, the surgeon said that in the event that she'll be in pain again, strong or not, they will have to operate.
The day after Christmas, mom's stomach bloated. It grew big overnight that she had difficulty sitting up. We rushed her back to the hospital and that's when her doctor arranged for us to transfer to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) where she will receive better care from doctors who specialize in her, per her doctor, "very complicated" case.
On January 2, 2020, mom's CT scan with contrast results confirmed a pancreatic mass that would more or less explain all her symptoms since August. The good news is, the mass is resectable. The not-so-good news is, it could be indicative of pancreatic cancer (CA); an aggressive type of CA, usually diagnosed at its advanced stage.
On January 6, another mass was found on her colon through a colonoscopy procedure. It is obstructing and most likely causing her bloatedness, stomach pain, and lower gastrointestinal tract bleeding (blood in stool). It is also suspected to be malignant (biopsies have already been taken), so we might be looking at double primary CA: pancreatic and colon.
Currently, although mom is usually in high spirits, her days are laden with stomach pain and nausea. Due to her bloated stomach, her prescribed diet is only general liquids, but even those she can't keep down. She has several bouts of vomiting each day. Her only source of nutrition right now is through Total Parentral Nutrition (TPN), which are fluids given intravenously to provide nutrients to the body.
On January 11, the doctors performed an Exploratory Laparotomy (ex-lap) surgery to further examine her abdomen. At the same time, they did a colostomy and a cholecystectomy to relieve her of stomach pain and bloatedness.
During the surgery, they saw that mom's gallbladder was massively distended and gangrenous and they drained 3.6 liters of fluid from her abdomen. They also found tumors everywhere: peritoneum, colon, liver, omentum, surface of the intestines, and mesentry. In other words, one of the possible CAs have been confirmed: mom has Adenocarcinoma of the Colon, Stage IV.
The next steps after surgery are to make mom stronger and restore mobility so she can go home. In 6-8 weeks, she can start chemotherapy.
If all goes well, mom will be undergoing surgery again to then resect the mass in her pancreas. A biopsy will be done to the mass to confirm if it's CA or not. According to her surgeon, we have a 10% chance it is not. The odds do not look good, but we are hoping for the best.
Hoping for the best means maintaining a team of bests, and the best doctors come with the best price. The surgeries alone will set us back about 1.3 Million Pesos and according to mom's surgeon, the surgeries may be the cheapest part of this journey. We still have recovery, rehab, and possible dialysis, chemotherapy, etc. to deal with, so we need to raise funds fast.
That being said, we are asking for you, our family and friends, to storm the heavens with prayers that God may bless mom and grant us the patience, guidance, unity, and acceptance we need during this trying time. While we believe that prayers do wonders, the reality is, our bills our piling up and we could barely keep up. We are also humbly knocking on your kind hearts to make a loving monetary offering to help us with our expenses. If you have ever crossed paths with mom or she has touched your life in any way through work, Sweet Mamita, or her entertaining Facebook posts, we are appealing to your generosity to contribute to her healing and recovery.
You may click on the donate button on this site and donate through PayPal or credit/debit card (please note that GoGetFunding deducts 4%).
You may also send your love offering through these accounts:
JONAS ABNER PADILLA
JONAS ABNER PADILLA
Like we said before, mom is steadfast, persistent, and goal-oriented. She's a fighter. And like any other challenge that comes her way, with your help, she will fight this.
With love and utmost gratitude,