My name is Ellaine. As some of you may know, my mom- Isalei "Tiptop" Rodriguez has been battling with Stage 3 HER2-Positive breast cancer for the past year. HER2-positive cancers tend to grow and spread faster than other breast cancers, but are much more likely to respond to treatment with drugs that target the HER2 protein. She has undergone a lot of lab tests, Mastectomy, 6 sessions of chemotherapy, 6 sessions of targeted drug therapy (Trastuzumab) and 2 sessions of Zoledronic Acid Infusion.
I'm not good in Math and to be forward, I'm not sure how we survived the year with just our family income combined. We received generous help from good-natured friends and relatives, but we did have to tighten our belts and incurred loans to get through the year. Allow me to show the breakdown of expenses of my mom's medication so far:
Mastectomy = Over 100,000 PHP
Chemotherapy per session = 15,000 PHP
Targeted Drug Therapy per session= 36,000 PHP
Zoledronic Acid Infusion per session= 10,000 PHP
Apart from these, we are also struggling with the prices of her daily medicine and painkillers. One of them costs 200 PHP/day and this has to be taken daily for 5 years. She is a mother of 4 adult children with decent jobs that pay average to low income. Honestly, we were not living a grand life but we are fortunate enough to live comfortably. Unfortunately, this affliction changed everything for us.
(Nervous before the surgery, mama seeks comfort from her sisters)
(Papa supporting mama before the operation and in the recovery room)
My mom does not want to make this known to the public. Thus, only her Doctors, family, and very close friends know about her situation. We also never talk about it online, the reason why we're only creating this fundraiser now. She struggled with physical, emotional and mental pain throughout this. Yet, she wants the information contained because she doesn't like bothering others and dislikes extra attention. As her children who love her very much, we can't just sit around and do nothing. We have to put our foot down and finally ask for help publicly. So we humbly seek for your financial aid to help cover the ongoing and upcoming expenses.
(One of Mama’s first Chemo and Targeted Drug Sessions. Here, she still looks good and calm. After 2-3 sessions, we struggled with convincing her to go back. She couldn’t get over the trauma of going through the treatments and their side effects. Fortunately, she completed the initial 6 cycles.)
After the previous treatment cycles, Mama continues to experience fatigue, weakness, nausea, and loss of appetite and extreme back pains that we could not determine the cause of. After a recent CT Scan, we received the devastating news that lesions were found on her bones. This indicates that the cancer has become metastatic, also known as secondary breast cancer.
This was a big shock to us but while this is very challenging, we are very hopeful and determined to do anything we can to alleviate mama’s pain and give her the best care possible. There are a few treatment options for her case. Her Oncologist (Dr. Oyos) strongly suggests we continue with Zoledronic Acid Infusion paired with Targeted Drug Therapy every month for another year. This is very steep for us to finance, but this is also the option my siblings and I think is best for our mom based on our own personal research and we have to start as soon as possible. 12 sessions of both Zoledronic Acid Infusion and Targeted Drug Therapy alone would amount to over 500 thousand Philippine Peso/ Over 10,000 USD. There is no way we can afford this without external assistance.
It’s excruciating to witness the strongest and most collected person you know break down in front of you many times during bouts of depression and anxiety, and curling up due to physical pain... Our only consolation is, she still has the tiny will to actively help out at home and help other people (in little ways) as much as she can even with cancer and even with her right arm almost immobilized after last year’s surgery.
We want to continue this battle as a family. Hopefully, also with your support.
(Here she is now. Her hair continues to grow. Still all smiles when her grandson is around erasing traces of her fears and pain...temporarily.)
If you would like to assist with our plight financially, any donation through this platform or private accounts listed below will be greatly appreciated. All funds raised will go directly to our mother's medical expenses.
- Paypal Account
- [email protected]
- Banco De Oro (BDO) Account Name: Crystal Melanie A. Ferrer
- Account Number : 010490059783
- Swift Code: BNORPHMM
- Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Account Name: Monalei Rodriguez
- Account Number: 224923522
- Swift Code: BOPIPHMM
On behalf of my mom and the whole family, I would like to thank everyone who has helped and comforted us previously. We are grateful for your outpouring love, prayers and support for the past year and undoubtedly, in the next months to come.
To those who just learned about this, thank you for taking your time to read my mom's story. I hope you find it in your heart to help with any amount that you can. Nothing is ever too small, every cent can go a long way.