..ang blog ni Yeyen.

A Long Goodbye

Exactly two years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 1C breast cancer.  A year after that, it seemed like the cancer spread to the liver making her a stage 4 (terminal) patient – by God’s grace, that finding was reversed because her liver biopsy results showed it was only nodular cirrhosis.  Her recent check up revealed a normal liver, normal lungs, a normal heart — but a suspicious radioactivity in her bones.  Our visit to her medical oncologist confirmed that the suspicious areas were lesions in the bone – meaning, the cancer has recurred in my mother’s bones.  Her doctor changed her hormone therapy medicine, prescribed medicine to strengthen the bone and prevent pain and ordered radiation therapy immediately.

After our eyes cleared from crying and our emotions kept at bay, one thing remains – we are not ready to lose our mother to cancer yet.  While it may be true that breast cancer generally metastasize to the lungs, liver and bones, the metastasis in the bones is actually the easiest to manage.  In fact, her medical oncologist told her the condition is not life threatening as it will just be treated as an ordinary bone disease.  Unfortunately, we have to make sure the cancer is contained in the bones only, otherwise… it’s gonna be a dreadful fight.

So our family had finalized our action plan for my mother’s recent condition.  She and my brother will be flying to Manila to seek second and third opinions on her case.  If the findings are consistent, she will undergo radiation therapy there as well.  Radiation therapy is only an outpatient procedure which merely lasts for around three minutes per session (it’s painless by the way).  It would have been more convenient to have her therapy in Cebu because we are already familiar with the hospital and the doctors but since she will be having five radiation sessions a week for four consecutive weeks, it would be very costly in terms of hotel expenses and others.  Having her radiation therapy in Manila is the best choice because my two sisters are there and she can just live in my sister’s condo.  Aside from that, my mother will be happy in the arms of my niece Nadine who will cheer her up.

The prognosis median for my mother’s condition is two years.  Some still live up to ten years after diagnosis though.  Even then, I am emotionally preparing myself for the worst.  While I also had two years to prepare for my father’s death, it is not the same.

My father had conditioned us while growing up that he will not be living a long life because of his type 1 diabetes which started when he was 27 years old.  He even told us, he will only live up to 50.  When he turned 50, he told us he bargained with God to take him at 55 instead.  He was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis, a complication of his diabetes, when he was 53.  He died eight months after he turned 55.   When we lost him, I did not mourn so much because he prepared me for it. The last two years I had with him were well spent.  I had said all I wanted to say and did what I wanted to do with him.

My mother is a different story.  She has always been healthy and I assumed she will live a long life like her parents who died in their 90s.  When cancer hit her two years ago, I had prepared for our goodbyes since then.  I’m always mindful of the fact that my time with her is running short every minute, that’s why I always spend my free time with her.  Our periodic trips to Cebu for her check ups were our bonding time where we rejoice when the results are good and cry together when they are not.  My siblings and I take turns accompanying her to her check ups and each of us had our individual quality time with her.  My mother’s disease has caused us to make more effort in being together and forming happy memories to last us the rest of our lives.

Nevertheless, I am still asking, demanding and bargaining with God not to take my mother soon.  I told him He’s got my father already and He cannot take my mother just yet.  She is my rock and I do not know how to live without her.

Comments on: "A Long Goodbye" (10)

  1. Having lost a member of our family I can say that I truly feel for you, Yen. Losing a loved one is the worst feeling in the world and it’s probably far worse than dying itself. I’ll pray for her.

    • yenskay said:

      thanks markv.
      hay, goodbyes are part of our lives, but it’s really hard noh?
      there’s a part II of this post but i’m so busy pa to write it. : )

  2. ay, i don’t like this post kasi sobra akong naiyak – pramis – even while watching jai ho on youtube and reading this simultaneouslu. kahit masaya ang jai ho naiyak tlga ako sa post na ito.

    i am moved. i think kasi no one is ever ready to see a loved one go. and i dont want to remember how our mum had left us when we were so young, exactly 27 years ago on june 5th.

    teka lang, let me wipe my tears kasi nasa public place ako.

    • yenskay said:

      hi jas, you lost your mom man sad diay to breast cancer no? kalagot aning cancer oy. bata pa ta, hangtud karon, wa pa japun treatment.
      mayka kay naa pa ka papa oy.
      kami, luoy na kaayo kay ma orphan na mi…napa bay orphan og of age na?
      yes, oy, pls help pray for her.

      • yes , yen, its the least that i can do – i’ll pray for your nanny.

        sana nga ano magkarron na ng mabisang lunas sa cancer.

        uy u have a new entry, let me read.sana di ako maiyak. kasi kahapon, tiningnan ako ng mga tao dito kasi nag cry ako.

  3. by the way, i’ll say a prayer for your mum, yen : )

    • there’s a breakthrough daw sa cancer sa states, i dont know asa nako nahibal-an, but i think sa CNn a week ago, instead of the typical radiation treatment daw, which doesn’t have a good track record daw over the years,they try to use the body’s natural defense mechanism ekek i don’t know. but they boost it so the body can fight cancer,instead of radiation to kill the cells unya makaluya pod sa lawas overall.

      • My dad told me last year I think that mum became really weak and almost close to death after her chemotherapy. She became okay for a year or two, had a relapse then joined our Creator.

        I just hope that the breakthrough treatment will become mainstream.

  4. Hi Yen! Same with Jat, nakahilak ko sa imo post. Di sab nako ma-imagine Yen if I were in your shoes. Pareho baya ta isa na lang ang parent. Bisan tigulang na ta, di pa sab ko gusto mahimong orphan uy.

    BTW, I also read somewhere that guyabano is good pod daw for curing cancer. You might want to read up on that. My prayer’s to your family…

  5. yenskay said:

    thanks guys!
    yep, markv, we saw it in cnn pod but it will be ready in two years pa daw.
    jat, lahi na man karon ang breast cancer kay di na tanan mag chemo, depende ug estrogen positive and her2 positive. sagdi na lang, imo na lang mga ate ang mamawi sa short life sa imo mama.
    jenny, correct ka dyan. lisud man jud mabuhi ug wa kay mama oy, kay our mamas literally gave us life. life would be empty without them.
    please help pray : )

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