Good day everyone. My name is Gemma Dilidili, 44 from Cavite, Philippines and it took me some time to use this platform to seek some help regarding my medical condition. I guess it’s really not that easy to accept what I am going through and let everyone know it at the same time. To say that it’s devastating, a roller coaster of emotions and severely depressing are understatements. There are not enough words to describe the feeling. However, I cannot just sit in here and succumb to this. I have to get up and do something and I believe that through this platform I’d be able to share my story and reach out to more people and hopefully reach my goal in funding my medical needs.
I have just been recently diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer last January 2020 and at the same time, I am an HER2Neu positive. Yes, you heard it right, it’s “metastatic’ meaning it has spread to some parts of my thoracic vertebrae and small nodules have also been seen in my lungs. I do not know what and how to feel upon learning it. To make things complicated, I am also positive in HER2Neu (fuels up my cancer) which means I have to undergo 18 sessions of injecting “Herceptin” (a drug that specifically targets HER2Neu cancer cells) to slow/kill the cancer cells on top of the 8 sessions of chemotherapy and 8 sessions of Zoledronic acid (to address my bone metastasis). Previously, I have had right breast excision in 2000 for fibroadenoma. In 2017, a lump came back to my right breast which I’ve had partial mastectomy and excision in my left breast. That time it was benign, however, the lump won’t just go away and found its way on my left breast in 2019 and this time it’s malignant.
Currently, I am unable to find a regular job due to my condition. My husband is the only one working to make ends meet. Our bread and butter at this time is our tricycle which I am hoping not to lose (when the going gets tough) as we have a Grade 9 son to raise and support with his schooling. I have already undergone 1st Chemo and awaiting the 2nd. Thanks to Philhealth, my first 4 of 8 Chemo sessions are covered, however, the 8 Zoledronic sessions which range from Php 11,000 to Php 13,000 each and 18 Herceptin shots (Php 80,000+ each) are not and this is the reason I am knocking at your hearts. The last two drugs cost an arm and leg and I admit that we’d be needing help to address these. I am doing the best that I can to reach out to many people as I can. I have also applied for a Person With a Disability ID (PWD) which I have been approved of so this gives me helpful benefits like a 20% discount on medicines and priority in public transportation so I won’t have to stand in a bus to and fro Philippine General Hospital, to name a few.
I also have some people who have been instrumental in making battery of tests (before getting Chemotherapy) possible and I am very grateful to them. However, the fight is just starting and so I am here knocking at your hearts for help. I know that we all have our own circumstances in life, however, any amount that you can share would be truly monumental. I have already changed my lifestyle specifically in the diet which means I no longer eat processed foods, junk foods, drink sodas and take in foods with artificial flavor and seasonings and instead eat more veggies and fruits. I have also lessened my carbs intake. This I do because I am determined to fight this big “C” and hope to spend more time with my family particularly my dear son who is in his tender age of 14. You may also consider going a “plant-based” diet to do away with “carcinogens” for a healthier life. I believe my mission in life is not yet over and that I just simply refuse to succumb to cancer. I thought I can still finish some Mastery in Biology and doctorate and perhaps do research about Cancer and help others. Who knows! Ika nga, “Habang may buhay, may pag-asa.
With a strong faith in God, support of my family (special mention to my husband) and through you I believe I’d be able to conquer what I consider as the biggest trial in my life. Whatever amount you can extend, I wholeheartedly accept it and I’d forever be grateful. If you can also include me in your prayers I’d appreciate it. I may not be able to return the favor but you know how the saying goes, “Blessings will come back to you tenfolds!”.