why i wanted to blog about my fight

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

one of the reasons is just basically to write about what’s been going on about me during this ordeal (if i may call it that).  and maybe reach a broader audience and maybe reach out to some other cancer patients like me. you see when i first learned about my condition, one question that came to my mind was, “is there some kind of support group or a local blogger that discusses brain cancer in particular?” i haven’t really researched that much yet but anyway, here goes my story. –

it started on Christmas week of 2010, i was on a two week Christmas vacation starting on the 21st of December, just imagine my delight as i’ll be spending 2 uninterrupted Christmas weeks with my two sons Jolo (3yrs old) and Lucas (now 6mos. old). that same week i had a very bad cold, maybe because of the very erratic change in weather during the holiday season which i just shrugged off not wanting to spoil my vacation. i was even able to  run my regular 3km morning run for three days just to shake off the”bad cold.” since it was Christmas season, there’s so many food and sweets at home, name it! cakes, leche flan, tarts,frozen brazo de Mercedes steaks the works!!. that’s when I started to notice a slight change in my taste. whatever i ate tasted a bit short in spice or sweetness, i thought at first it was maybe of my bad cold so i just let it pass, my appetite didn’t change anyway. one of my goals during my vacation was to play Gran Turismo 5 on PS3 with Jolo, he likes it so much when we play two car racing, thtat’s one of my piece of heaven, being a “modern dad”i guess video games can sometime (with good supervision) lead to good bonding moment. imagine he asks me what car i wan to drive for our race  🙂 Jolo goes: “dad you want to drive a blue Subaru?” and i go “yes can i drive one?” and he goes “ok, i’ll drive the red ferrari.” (jolo likes ferraris so much(yes my three year old son can already distinguish different car makes,  he names all brands whenever we are on the road or in a parking area. “hey that’s a Ford daddy and that’s a yelllow hyundai (hyundae as Jolo pronounces it) anyway if i’m not mistaken on the 23rd of December 2010, i noticed that my left arm was a little slow when it comes to reaction time i also noticed that my fingers on my left hand was reacting slowly while playing video games but what i noticed most was that my left hand kept on dropping very light objects like my credit card, crumpled tissue paper, business cards. now that got me thinking. am i having a stroke or something?  i tried flexing my left arm and trying to throw punches but it just wasn’t the same as before, if i were to rate it, my left arm was at only 70% out of 100% I told my wife Nina about it and told me to get some complete rest first since I’ve been busying myself with the kids and all. so skipped on late night gaming and took lots of rest.

then came Christmas eve dinner. ever since I’ve learned how to pry open and devour prawns without using my fingers, just spoon and fork I’ve never touched cooked prawn and shrimp again with my bare hands  (yes i love prawns 🙂 ) since I already consider myself a pro by using my just my utensils to open one, i could do maybe three prawns in a minute that’s how good i was! but this time it was different two minutes have gone by and i’m still not done with my first one. damn! what’s wrong with my hand? I can’t even pinch the meat 😦 that’s when I told Nina that there’s something wrong with me.  I panicked a bit. Nina said let’s consult  ate melanie (my eldest sis-in-law) who is a cardiologist. so came january 1, 2011 we went to ate mel’s place for new year dinner At BF that we consulted ate Mel, she made me do some initial physical test, then being the cardiologist, she advised me to go see a neurologist asap.  so on January 3, 2011 ate Mel suggested that i go see Doctor Martesio Perez from Makati Medical Center. Doctor Perez was one of Ate Mel’s proffesor at UP-PGH Med School.  on the morning of January 3, 2011, i just checked in for work and left my stuff at the office and went straight to Doctor Perez’s clinic.  while waiting for my turn, i called up my ninang foya from silay just to let her now what happened and why i was at the hospital. since my mom passed away last2006  ninang foya was like my second mom(mas makulit lang kaw mommy haha!) ninang foya told me to relax and leave everything to the Lord.  initially I thought  doctor Perez would just do some examination, prescribe some meds, ask me to go home and monitor my condition. But no, he did more than that, he asked me to walk on my toes, heels, balance on my left and right leg with my eyes closed, tested my senses, hearing, seeing touch, vital nerve jerks etc., to my surprise he wrote on a doctors orders pad to admit me asap and do an MRI/MRA/ EEG/ CT SCAN and complete blood test, urinalysis, chest  x-ray, the works!! i was like: “MRI? the suffocating machine that we often see on Grey’s anatomy or House TV series, now i panicked more.when Doctor Perez gave the orders, he called up one of his colleagues at MMC to cover for him because he was to go  on leave for a number of days. Dr. Perez was talking to Dra. Marivic Guieb Preysler, on th phone Dr Perez said ” this can’t be stroke, he’s too young, he’s only 32. i’ll pass him on to you, i gave him orders already.  after my consultation, i walked back to the office to get my stuff, while on my way i called up my wife to about the orders then, i called up my dad.  i told my dad: “dad i’ll be confined today at MMC, i think there’s something wrong with me.” my 60yo dad immediately left for Makati from our place in Malolos, i said he didn’t need to rush, but he said he wanted to see me asap since i wouldn’t call if it’s not that important.  after collecting my stuff from work, i met up with my wife for lunch then went straight to maxicare to get an LOA form. went back to MMC for admission papers and got a room My MRI was done at 7pm but before that, MMC resident neurologists did some more tests on me, almost the same set of tests that DR. Perez gave me but this time i had memory tests, grip test and taste  test, resistance test to check my arm strength.   i liked MMC’s MRI machine, i thought i was gonna panic at first but the  staff at MMC were very warm it made me feel at ease and comfortable, they asked if it was my first time to do an MRI, they told me what to expect and how long it will take. when i was reeled in into the capsule like enclosure i was surprised that it had a small periscope like window where i can see the control room of the MRI room.  it made me relaxed to know that i wasn’t alone in the room. my first MRI session lasted for about one and a half hours, i was just praying the whole MRI session, praying it wasn’t something serious. at about9m of january 3,2011 Dr. Perez visited me to let me know of his initial reading, he told me i have brain tumor and he cant give more details since he doesn’t have the complete MRI read out yet.  the next day Dra.Guieb Preysler confirmed to us that i have two mass lesions on my brain, one is superficial while the other one is a bit deeper. Dra. Guieb also mentioned a slight  swelling on the right side of my brain, thus causing the weakness on my left arm and hand thus prompting her to start me on steroids to lessen the swelling. was supposed to go under the knife by Dr. Michael Sabalza(neuro -surgeon)  as per Dr. Perez but i was referred to D.r. Eric Flores(neuro -surgeon) by Dra Guieb for second opinion since Dra. Guieb did not want to open me up yet because of the mild swelling.  Dr. Flores seemed to be amenable with the decision, he was also hoping that my second lesion could only be lymphoma and that a series of steroid shots can shrink it (with crossed fingers i prayed if it shrinks by more than 25% it would be positively lymphoma, but after another round of MRI nothing changed.  so on january 7, 2011 Dr. flores scheduled me for craniotomy (extraction of superficial lesion and biopsy for the deeper lesion) i was taken to the operating room at 230pm, the operation lasted for about 3- 4 hours. i woke up while i was being propped at the ICU by 7pm, I was even thanking my doctors after the procedure. letting them know that i am fully conversant and fully awake.  after that i slept for aanother two hours and when i woke up my wife and my dad was already at my side.

 

 

 

ponkanny! 🙂
ponkan na ponkan 🙂

in less than 24 hours after ICU I was transferred to a regular room since i am already able to move, sit upright and my  bladder was functioning as it should . i had throngs of visitors the nex tday From afternoon till evening and i’m not complaining i was so happy to see them all specially my eldest son, jolo: “dad are you untog?” LOL!  thanks to my fraternal cousins atei, ada my ate sally brother elvin and his GF, my GO cousins, Mark( good luck on your Med board exam)  ferranti, mar and kiko, to ninang foya, kuya joey, ninong Larry( AKP!! long live!!)ninang A, Jill lejano, Pamela  Pastor, Giffaloo Ricarte thanks for the cupcakes!!  to the samontes and aysons arnold uy, bubbles uy, francis, grace ayson chito ayson tito jun, tita cherry, cousin christian, tito lito who lent us his lovely home for my first healing mass with father cacao. my officemates from BPI and CCK macy, ekit andal, jomar saldo, sarah allego, jenny treadwell, lionel leonen, trina hernandez, leng geronimo, wyeth policarpio, maila cordero, Noel and Tina sugay, atty. rochelle dayaon jim-jim cruz, ate mel,mama and ling! visited me at ICU window 4.  did i miss anyone? i’m sorry if i did just so many to recall. 🙂

after the operation it was now a waiting game for the results of the biopsy, my neuro -surgeon said that biopsy will be done for both the extracted superficial tumor and from the samples taken out of the deeper lesion to validate the root of it all I had to stay for 5 more days at the hospital from Jan 7, 2011 to January 12, 2011, tho my neuro surgeon said i can go home already and just come back for the results of the biopsy.  biopsy results are read and interpreted by Neuro-pathologist, apparently in Manila we only have two Neuro-pathologist so that is one of the cause of the delay of the results another is that MMC’s patho-printing machine bogged down or something. o well just my luck! 🙂 frustration creeping in but then there’s nothing i can do about it. Dr. Perez suggested we do a lumbar tap but it did not push thru he suggested that i go home and rest and just wait for the results of the biopsy.

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Comments
  1. Princess Llorera-Simeon says:

    Sir Jason I know you’re a strong man Kaya keep fighting! I’ll always keep you in prayer.. Always remember to trust and hope in the Lord he will never leave you, he is a loving and merciful God I believe as you call upon in Jesus name and believe in him everything will be alright! 🙂

  2. Princess Llorera-Simeon says:

    Basta pagaling ka ha! May lunch date pa tayo Nila mark dito sa sg ha! Pramis pupunta tlga ako! Kaya walang indyanan ha 🙂

    God will heal you soon and he will
    make you more healthy than ever, this I pray in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

  3. Hershey says:

    I was lost for words when I learned abt this J (cannot forget it because it was my bday–07Jan ü). I thought everything will be fine after ur operation..and i thought too, that my battle is the worst…but come to think of it, everything is nothing. HE is muuuuuuuuuuuuch muuuuuuuuuuuch bigger than any of these (and the tumors!;) ) . Just hold on.
    Be praying for your fast recovery dude!
    Sasayaw ka pa sa HS 2012, 2014, 2016….2032 reunion! =)

    PS: Naiyak ako but the feeling is awesome because you inspire us! You already touched a lot of people thru this blog. =)

  4. Jenny says:

    Hi Jason,
    You may want to explore answers at http://www.doctoroz.com. You can ask Dr. Oz specific questions abt your medical condition and hopefully, some specialists will answer you. Hang in there and get well soon.

  5. emzi says:

    Great that you are sharing your ‘drama special’ with the world. i fully salute you!

    Allow me to spread the blog so that it potentially reaches a few more souls

  6. Mitch says:

    Hi, you don’t know me but I came across your blog through your friend, Pam (she doesn’t know me either hehe I’m just one of her blog readers) Anyway, just wanted to say that you are in my prayers. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when I was 15 and I’m 32 going 33 this year. So yes, people do beat the big C 🙂 When I got sick, my family never told me that I was sick (although I figured that out of course), we never talked about it, never even uttered the word cancer. It was probably a good thing because at that time, the thought of not beating it never crossed my mind. I lived my life then as if there was nothing wrong. I really think that was one of the reasons why I got well. So just stay positive, don’t think about it too much, carry on as if there’s nothing wrong and I know you’ll get better real soon. God bless 🙂

  7. Carrie Manalo RCBC says:

    hi jason, grabe nagulat talaga ako. pero when I got to read your blogs (i did absorb every single word you wrote) i admired you! You.. Are..Such..A… BRAVE GUY! i know you will get well soon. God is good. He will never leave you. Just hang on. You are included in my prayers. Maraming nagmamahal sayo. Grabe ka ang galing mo! You’re the man!!!

  8. Merlita Hernandez says:

    Eric I’ m in big shock when I read all these.I didn’t really know. But with this blog you are truly inspiring many people for your big fight. Our prayers will be with you. You are a brave guy, Trust and faith in Him will make you win the battle.Godspeed!!! We won’t cease praying for your full recovery.

    • Hello, im sherel ng mabasa ko blog mo napaiyak ako, kasi ang ibang nangyari sayo ay ng yari den sa akin. my brain tumor din ako at ang aking doctor ay si Dr. Michael Sabalza ng MMC last March 16, 2012 ginawa ang operation ko, Naiyak ako sa kwento mo kasi sinabi din sakin ni Dr. Alemany ng MMC napakabata mo pa wag kang mag alala dadagdagan pa natin ang buhay mo , Tama ka napakabait ang mga nurses ng MMC lalo na si Dr, Michael Sabalza. At April 24 2nd check up ko at thank God pede na ako bumalik sa trabaho, Kaya April 26 nag start ako mag work, sa mga may Brain Tumor wag tayo matakot may mga Doctors na magagaling dito sa pilipinas lalo na sa MCC, at higit sa kahat maniwala lang tayo kay LORD.
      GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

  9. Sherel Faral says:

    Hello, im sherel ng mabasa ko blog mo napaiyak ako, kasi ang ibang nangyari sayo ay ng yari den sa akin. my brain tumor din ako at ang aking doctor ay si Dr. Michael Sabalza ng MMC last March 16, 2012 ginawa ang operation ko, Naiyak ako sa kwento mo kasi sinabi din sakin ni Dr. Alemany ng MMC napakabata mo pa wag kang mag alala dadagdagan pa natin ang buhay mo :), Tama ka napakabait ang mga nurses ng MMC lalo na si Dr, Michael Sabalza. At April 24 2nd check up ko at thank God pede na ako bumalik sa trabaho, Kaya April 26 nag start ako mag work, sa mga may Brain Tumor wag tayo matakot may mga Doctors na magagaling dito sa pilipinas lalo na sa MCC, at higit sa kahat maniwala lang tayo kay LORD.
    GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!

    • thank you sherel, yeah i would have to agree that mmc is a very good hospital, good doctors, nurses,crew. so how are you now, i hope you’re doing ok as well. have you undergone therapy already?

      • Hello, for now im doing well, follow up check up na lang ako every month, nakakatuwa talaga ang buhay sa ngayon lalo ako napalapit kay God, every now and then i always thanks talaga na im still alive 🙂

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