This is Margie Obregon. A very strong, humble and optimistic person I know. A mother of three simple children. She is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. She worked hard to provide us food and shelter. From being a maid, dressmaker, she even made peanut butter, ube halaya and adobong mani, deliver it to stores by herself just to make sure her family had something to eat. She puts her family first before herself and together with my father, they had raised us in a well mannered and simplest way they know.
By the way, I'm Rica Obregon and here's my ate Rem and kuya Kiko. We are the children of Margie and we're here to share you her story :)
This is us.
A big and happy picture of our family. This photo was taken on January 2020 at Oriental Mindoro. My parents were no longer living with us since I graduated from college and this year, we decided to pay them a visit and spend the vacation there. We were all happy and just enjoying the time that we've shared in that place. Problems and loneliness had no place at that time, what we got was genuine happiness. We made plans and looking forward for more memories together. Everything was fine and stable until my mom had a problem with her lower body.
She got an external hemorrhoids, it develops when veins became swollen and distended. It is usually caused by increased pressure due to pregnancy or straining during bowel movements. In her case, there's a lump around her anus which is very uncomfortable because the overlying skin becomes irritated and sometimes her bowel has blood which results to severe pain. Afraid to see any blood in her deposits, she used to drink plenty of water and limit eating meat.
She decided to take the medication here in Manila. She lost weight and became skinny. It was the very first time we saw her like that, looking unhealthy. Using her hmo, we went to TMC and have her condition be treated. Four bags of blood was transfused into her body because of low hemoglobin. We were expecting an operation but her surgeon refused to do it. He explained that my mom's wbc was too low and if an operation would be conducted, her body couldn't fight the infection. With this findings, a hematologist came and checked my mother's condition. He conducted a bone marrow biopsy and on February 22, she was diagnosed having an Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
The news shocked our family. We couldn't accept the fact that she had it. We had to see other doctors, asked for second opinions and advices regarding with it. AML is a type of cancer in which bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells, red blood cells or platelets. It can spread quickly in her blood and other parts of the body. If she don't get the treatment, this threaten her life.
We were too scared to know what would happen if things gets worse. Knowing that this treatment would costs us a lot, we immediately looked for hospitals that can conduct successful and at the same time low-cost chemotherapy. We chose RMC, got her consulted, waited for the availability of the bed and have her scheduled for the chemo on March.
Unfortunately, this pandemic of Covid 19 made it's hindrance to her treatment for leukemia. RMC and other hospitals were no longer accepting patients unless the person had symptoms of coronavirus. We looked for other hospitals but there was a fear that she might get the virus if we have her hospitalized at that time. Her hematologist advised us to take a good care of our Nanay while we wait for the availability of the chemo again. We relied on foods that is rich in protein and can increase her wbc.
About last week of April, she was having a hard time to breathe and had countless fevers. This made us back worrying that she might get the virus if we would bring her to hospital. We took the risk and brought her to TMC again. She was tested for covid, resulted negative, admitted and was diagnosed with Pneumonia. Both hema and pulmo doctors explained that her pneumonia was the complication of her leukemia.
We celebrated Mother's Day there and as a gift, the pneumonia was treated but she badly needed the chemotherapy right away to prevent other complications. Since we were already financially drained from the previous medications and confinement, we asked the doctors for help in order for her to get the chemotherapy treatment. The doctors referred us at NKTI, a hospital at Quezon City.
With a doubt that this hospital was way too far from home during this pandemic, we still took the chance and brought her here.
The first week of chemotherapy was never an easy thing. She had Central Venous Catheter or Central Line Insertion, wherein a catheter is placed into a large vein for easy access of meds to her body. The medication eliminates her good and bad cells. She vomited numerous times, her body weakens and dizziness never left.
The next days had been considered a delicate stage. Countless blood transfusions, took different types of antibiotics, undergone many labtests and continues correction of her potassium. There were times that her body reacted aggressively from all of this process. She was having a hard time to breathe and suddenly having a fever. Seeing her like that shattered my heart into pieces. But she's all out because she trust the process.
Little by little her hair falls. Instead of feeling down and helpless, this motivates her to keep on going and do what she had to do. The experiences she had, continues support and love from her family are her strength in this fight. Still the optimistic person I know, I kept on hearing her telling herself
'Marami na kong nalagpasan, ngayon pa ko susuko?'
'Nakaya ko nga noon eh, ngayon pa kaya?'
'Hinding hindi ako susuko, kaya ko toh.'
Despite of what's happening, she still knows to have fun, joke around and never forget to give thanks to our Almighty for guiding her with this challenge in her life.
Every mother will do anything for her child and family. Without a doubt, she'll offer herself and give her unconditional love. I want to do the same to Nanay and give back from all the goodness she had done. She deserved it and for all I know when I'm looking at her, I know that I'm looking at the purest love in the world.
Right at the moment, we're still in the process of the induction stage. There are still months and years that we have to take for this treatment. Still a long way to run and obstacles to surpass. Please join us as we take the road and reach the finish line for our Nanay.
Our family never stops on finding ways to sustain her medical expenses. We are all in a very challenging situation right now, but your help and prayers are truly appreciated.
If you want to extend some help, you may send to any of these accounts:
• BDO - 007790093859
• BPI - 3549060527
• Gcash - 09052227884
• Paymaya - 09558822209
• PayPal - https://www.paypal.me/ricariiics
Thank you for taking the time to read Nanay's journey, it really meant a lot to us.
Have a great day, take care and godbless! ♡