We’re knocking on your hearts again for my sister, Joyce Quezada. It is unfortunate that I have to share the bad news that her brain tumor recurred this 2019, two years after being diagnosed with Grade III Anaplastic Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma – a high grade malignant brain tumor. You all have helped so much since our family started this fight. We’re hoping that you’ll support us once again, by helping us raise funds to cover her 12 cycles of oral and intravenous chemotherapy treatments, medicines, and lab tests.
She was diagnosed with a brain tumor last February 2017. We began to notice her change in demeanor sometime in late 2016. She was not being her usual self. You see, my sister is an outgoing and friendly person. If we’re going to describe her, it would be “spirited.” She lives by her name --- with all the joy to everyone. I believe she’s at her happiest when talking and bonding with her friends and family.
So imagine our dismay when she began to turn down invites from friends to hang out and when she began to shy away from conversations. She became anxious when she couldn’t organize and communicate her thoughts. Her headaches also became more noticeable and grew more frequent. We guessed that something was wrong, so we insisted that she go see a doctor immediately. After her consultation, she was then scheduled for an MRI on the last week of February. But it was weeks too late as she had her first seizure attack on February 5, 2017.
Scans revealed that she had a tumor on the left side of her brain, the size of a fist. She underwent two successful surgeries to fully resect the tumor. The biopsy then revealed that the tumor was a high-grade malignant brain tumor. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments were needed to help make sure that the tumor would not grow back. From the help of family, friends, and some assistance from the government, we were able to finish the needed treatments by June 2018.
Despite finishing all the treatments, her doctor said that we still have to monitor her brain by having check ups and MRIs every three months. Her September, December and March MRI scans were all clear. No tumors were seen and we were very thankful for every clear scans. Last Valentine’s Day, February 14, actually marked her 2nd year of being cancer-free. Unfortunately, her cancer-free streak halted last June 2019.
During her check up last May, her oncologist noticed some changes in my sister’s gait and brain function. It was because of this that she told us that Joyce needs to undergo an MRI as soon as possible. She had a hunch that the tumor might have recurred.
She had her MRI last June 22, 2019. Scans revealed two small tumors growing in the middle and back portion of her brain. We didn’t want it to be true. But looking back, I think my family and I were noticing the changes too, but we were just in denial. They were small changes that we chose to rationalize as simply the effects of what the brain surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy has done to her frail body.
Surgery and radiotherapy were no longer recommended by her neuro-oncologist due to the location of her tumors, thus the need for oral and intravenous chemotherapy treatments.
Her doctor advised her not to work for now, so Joyce is currently at home, resting, while we’re raising funds for her treatments. She’s doing fine, answering mind games, solving puzzles and keeping her mind busy. She’s also eating healthy to prepare her body for the chemotherapy treatments.
Yet, the truth of surviving this ordeal, is that it requires huge amounts of money for chemotherapy treatments, medicines, and lab tests. We hope to tell her that through this campaign, we won't only receive monetary donations, but most importantly, sincere prayers from warm hearts like yours. We hope to tell her that we reached the right people, who will help her on her new journey. We hope to tell her that she doesn't need to worry about Joaquin, her son, alone.
We hope to tell her once again that "Joyce, everyone is here for you, even people you don’t know."
One more fight for Joyce? Definitely!
How You Can Help
Donations in any amount would make a significant difference. All funds raised will immediately help to cover the costs of her chemotherapy, medicines, and lab tests.
We would also appreciate your efforts in spreading the word, about what we're trying to accomplish for Joyce.
And of course, your prayers, and any messages of support, will also be met with our gratitude. Cancer is as much a fight against despair, as it is a fight against disease. Your expressions of solidarity with Joyce would do a lot to lift her spirits, and keep her courage high.
Any way you choose to help, please know that we can never be grateful enough for your assistance. We will always remember your choice to walk this path with us.
Janelle P. Quezada
Christine Joyce P. Quezada