Our Battle with Cancer. Chapter 2.

It’s confirmed. Dad has Stage 3 Large Cell Lung Carcinoma (Lung cancer).

It’s still inconclusive if the cancer has metastasized to his bones and lymph nodes. A previous biopsy done on his lymph nodes done last week turned out negative for carcinoma, so we’re still a little bit hopeful that the Stage 3 is not yet leaning towards the bad Stage 3.

I’ve been spending a lot of time online, reading up on anything possibly related to dad’s condition. From emphysema, to lung cancer treatments, to large cell carcinoma (as opposed to small-cell carcinoma), to the definition of Stage 3 cancer, to alternative medications, to anything else that might actually help in some way.

Here are a few things I learned today:

1. There’s a wealth of medical information about cancer, in general. Anything you may need to know about the condition itself is all online.

2. There’s also a wealth of information about the different treatments for cancer. From the traditional chemotherapy and radiation, to alternative medication and herbal cures. But I’ve yet to see any sites that compare both. And I have seen no sites that compare the different alternative medication options. What makes it even scarier is that you sometimes would find yourself doubting whether or not what’s written is a legitimate product/ review; or just a product of a scam or quack doctor.

3. Since my brother and I are the ones who need to raise the money to fund dad’s treatment (whether out of our own extremely shallow pockets; from the pockets of loan sharks; or from ‘generous’ relatives who will finally pay their debt back), I googled “cost of chemotherapy treatment in the Philippines”. The search did not yield any substantial results. I wonder about this. I know that all things considered, we’re still in pretty much good shape compared to 90% of the country’s population…. but really, in the Philippines this would be the first question out of most people’s lips: how much will it cost to get treated for cancer? I need to know how much we need to raise. But I’ve yet to find any information online that answers this.

4. One of the hardest changes I’ve had to make in my life since this all began (aside from the quitting smoking thing) is acknowledging that I can’t ignore my family anymore. And if it means having to go beyond my usual EQ levels, it’s not really an option not to do it. This extends to being able to stomach talking to relatives I haven’t spoken with (for good reason) for almost a full decade now.

These are very trying times, and this is just the beginning. I worry a lot these days about many things. I guess that’s natural. How this all unfolds, only God can tell.

But I continue to pray for strength and courage enough to endure; and patience and love that this crisis won’t spell the end of a conflict-less relationship with my siblings.

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