Help me say goodbye to Leukemia, for my dearest Sophia

Update posted by Chantal Paz On Feb 10, 2019

How I badly wish that it was Leukemia we said our goodbyes to...

He fought so hard and now he rests. I will forever love you. We will always love you.


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Update posted by Chantal Paz On Jan 12, 2019

Hi. We just want to give everyone an update but before we do that, we’d like to thank all of you for donating and for sharing our page.We truly are touched by your kindness.

December 3, 2018 – The First and the Last

Or at least that’s what I thought. It does sound sort of a wishful thinking to say that we had hoped that the first round of chemotherapy would be it, nothing more to follow, that he will be well, the blasts will be gone and all. Tell you though, I honestly didn’t realize that there were different methods of this. We were kind of thinking some sort of a huge radiation tube that he will need to be inside of, given the type of the “Big C” he has and that would kill those cells killing him. I remember one of the conversations I had with him few weeks ago about how we all wanted to be mutants, like the X-Men, and then he said that technically he is already, as his blood had already evolved, only not in the way one is expecting, but who knows, maybe we just haven’t discovered it yet. My brother is like that, he is sarcastically funny. Even in the dreaded situation, he would try to make it light and make people laugh, even if it was on him. That is his spirit that I’ve grown around with and I was glad that he hasn’t lost it even when battling with such a difficult opponent.

December 18, 2018 – Aspiration and the Purple Rain

After the treatment, of course, everyone turned anxious waiting for the results. Exactly a week after the treatment (as it was a 7day treatment), his doctor, who has been very kind and thorough, delivered the outcome of the aspiration that was done the day before. They did a bone marrow aspiration the 17th of December, wherein a thin, hollow needle is inserted into the bone, and a syringe is used to suck out a small amount of liquid bone marrow. This is to know if his Leuke is responding to the treatment. A side story to that name is again, my brother’s odd sense of humor. If he and his wife were to have another child, they were to name it Leuke if it was a boy, and Mia if it was a girl. So that’s that term. Anyway, we were told that the blasts are still there and didn’t vacate my brother’s body given the purple traces they leave everywhere. And that he has to have a rescue dose of chemotherapy.

That’s when the downpour started.

It is necessary that when you set goals, you set a deadline for it. If you are confined in a hospital for quite a few weeks already and it’s December, it would just make perfect sense that you’d set your deadline to come home before the holidays, wouldn’t it?

Before the therapy started, they did set expectations on the normal side effects that he will experience – hair loss, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, appetite changes, so on and so forth. But what happened to him was the critical symptom – Fever. It is crucial for chemotherapy patients to inform their doctors immediately as this could an indicate an infection and given the condition that my brother has, he has almost zero immune system to fight off an infection. Infections need to be treated immediately to not cause any further complications. They started right away with antibiotics while they check for bacteria that might possibly be causing it. His central line was removed to isolate it being the cause of the infection, but the fever remains. Remember the aspiration that was done? The area around that tiny wound started to swell. It swelled so bad that it covered almost half of my brother’s lower back and he tells us that it was the most painful of all that he has undergone. It was very uncomfortable too.That was the infection that prevented him from starting the second round. He had to take strong antibiotics for weeks, and they aren’t cheap. You know being the only man in the family aside from my father, I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him to be the one in need of everyone’s help. Since I am the youngest and he’s the closest sibling I have – we are literally just a wall apart, he’d be the first one I’d ask help from especially financial matters. I have my BancoDeKuya, my ‘payable when able’ lending firm. That thought the everyone is working hard and finding means to finance his treatment and him being trapped in the idea of helplessness – unable to work, unable to spend time with his daughter, unable to take care of his wife, those things that he’s supposed to do, is enough to drown out his spirit. I saw that. More than the effects of the therapy, it looked to me as if life was sucked out of him. I felt that. Who could blame him though?

January 1 – Never Enough

I scolded him, just a little though. It wasn’t because I am being the boss now around him (which isn’t really happening since he still bullies me into getting him food/drinks that may not have been 100% doctor approved) It wasn’t because of that but because I needed to mask my own tears when his was shedding.

There was this instance that I had already left his room to be on my way home. I was already walking down the hallway when I stopped, turned around and went back inside only to embrace him and tell him that I love him. I didn’t even look at him in the eye because I knew that I would start crying if I did. You see, I am the most emotional among us, excluding our mother. I was actually the last to know of his condition because of it. I wanted to do something to just take the pain away from him. I went to see him in the morning of New Year’s Day, it was just the two of us at that time. That’s when I saw my big brother cry for the first time. I don’t even know the words to say. Imagine your kuya, the one who you look up to, the one who saves your ass, the one who gets frustrated at you cause you’re such a stubborn child, lies there crying and telling you that maybe it’s already enough. He says that he knows that his daughter will be taken good care of, her mom’s still there anyway. Christmas has passed, a new year is here, maybe the memories are already enough. He was broken. So was I. – But we couldn’t lose sight of hope.We cannot let our spirits be thrown into the darkness. I couldn’t do much to help out but I knew that at the moment, someone has to be strong for the both of us. I turned the tears into words instead, argued with him for a bit, tried explaining how he is causing his own frustrations. I don’t really know if he got me but I hope it made sense to him. I knew the meds played a factor as to why he is emotional now but those feelings are rooted inside and at some point, he has to let them out. It’s okay to feel weak and vulnerable, to worry and be frustrated at times. We give him that but what was not okay is to say it’s enough and give up. The thing about being in the opposition is that most of the time, you are outnumbered by strong willed people. You would then start listening and realizing what they say and you will yield to it. He did. He just needed that jumpstart on his will to fight on.

We should always embrace the fact that there are still a lot of good things happening despite the magnitude of the bad we are seeing. It may not be the things that we are expecting but every kind deed, every gesture of love, is still a firework illuminating the dark night sky.

January 8 – Renewal

Days continue on, medications here and there. A moment now and then. He is getting better; his fever has gone down. He is ready for his next set of therapy. The greatest news about it all is that he gets to go home. Hurray! He isn’t well nor treated yet but he was given the chance to be out of his 4-corner staycation and see a bit of the world again. The grant was only for three days, for him to rejuvenate on the life outside, for him to look at a different perspective, and for him to rekindle his spirit. We were all ecstatic about it because that implies that there was a major improvement on his condition somehow that’s why his doctor gave him a pass. He is going to be discharged just right after settling the bill. Our bill right now is running at 750k and that needs to be settled. Ironic that normally, you’d pay to get in, not to get out.

Everyone has been working hard together to find ways to help out. Each of the family members, friends, colleagues, the backers from this campaign, we really appreciate all the help you have given. Words wouldn’t really suffice the gratitude we feel.

We still need to raise funds for his temporary discharge and constant treatment. We continue to knock on everyone’s hearts to share, big or small. Every centavo counts and is very well accepted. Thank you for your kindness both in prayers and in sharing your blessings.

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Sorry to hear that he has passed away. I am not close to him but we still sympathize on his fight. Condolence...

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