Sunday, September 24, 2006

Nichi’s Home



Dr. Hermogenes Purugganan, Nichi’s Pediatric Hematologist, discharged Nichi from the hospital last Friday (Sept 22). Dr. Purugganan reminded us that Nichi is still in a critical state. His immune system is still low making him very prone to infection. Because of this we are advised to take extra care of our Nichi.

Nichi is under continuous medication—mostly antibiotics and one capsule to prevent seizure from occurring again. We are praying that nothing wrong will happen to him from here on.

The result of his lumbar tap will come out tomorrow, Monday. We hope that it will show no blast cells have entered his brain. He is scheduled for check up with his hematologist and neurologist on Wednesday.

As of now all the treatment for his leukemia is on hold. His chemotherapy will resume when he regains his strength.



The help we got from people (whom I’d rather call angels) who responded to our letter made it possible for us to pay our hospital bill incurred from Sept 9-Sept. 22. That and Nichi’s smile are two miracles we will forever be grateful for.

Just the same, Nichi still needs all the assistance and prayers he can get. Palaban nga talaga itong kapatid ko. I have never known anyone who loves living more than Nichi. With that my whole family and I are thanking you for helping him continue what he loves to do.

P.S. Kindly forward this message to people whom you forwarded my previous message so that my “thanks” may reach them. Thank you very much!

COMMENTS

i'm glad he's out of the hospital. sorry hindi na ako nakabisita ulit. so very busy. saka does he still need blood donors? i'm establishing contact with the red cross; may training kasi kami and hopefully medyo maka-chika ko yung instructors. i'm not promising anything pero i'll see what i can do.
we're still praying for nichi. hindi naman matatapos yun.
ikaw, you need your rest and strength. your family needs you. kaya stay strong, tye! hindi ka naman bibigyan ni God ng ganyang sitwasyon kung alam N'yang hindi mo kaya.
give my hugs to nichi. i'll be just a text and phone call away, okay? =)
Posted by: Badger Addict | September 26, 2006 04:23 AM

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

URGENT: My Brother STILL needs your help!

Joseph Nichole (we call him Nichi) is my 12-year-old brother who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in November 2001. He has been undergoing chemotherapy ever since. However, he has become more than sick for the past weeks. My family has exhausted all means to help him get well yet he still needs further help.

Because of this, I would like to solicit whatever amount you are willing to give to help maintain my brother’s very expensive medication. As much as my family and I would like to save Nichi’s life, our dwindling financial capability is threatening to put on hold Nichi’s required medical attention.

Just last January, Nichi’s attending Pediatric Hematologist, Dr. Hermogenes Purugganan, recommended that he go through radiotherapy at St. Luke’s Medical Center to eradicate the blast cells (abnormal white cells) that had penetrated his brain. For a while, the results of his regular Intrathecal (IT; the procedure in which cerebro-spinal fluid is taken from his spinal column to determine the presence of blast cells) was OK not until June this year.

In response to this, his doctor designed a more aggressive protocol to treat his Leukemia. It was supposed to run for 22 weeks. However, after Nichi’s 5th week of treatment, he acquired a certain type of weak bacteria which had adverse effects on his immuno-compromised body. The type of bacteria that struck him is not harmful to healthy individuals (immuno-competent individuals). Nevertheless Nichi ended up having fever which eventually led to pneumonia.

He was placed in the ICU for six days. A number of tubes were shoved down his throat: one was connected to the respirator that helped him breathe, another sucked phlegm from his lungs, and still another was used to let food substitutes enter his stomach. After having been moved out of the ICU, he stayed five more days in the hospital for the doctors to closely monitor his status.

Although discharged from the hospital, he still had to continue taking two types of antibiotics, Zyvox and Ciprofluxacin—both rare and expensive—to maintain his improving system.

Last September 8 (Friday), three days after he was discharged from the hospital, Nichi once again began to have fever. He was admitted to PCMC the following day and he still is in the same hospital today. His attending Infectious Disease doctor, Dra. Banez, has introduced another set of antibiotics which entered Nichi’s body through an Intravenous (IV) line to help him fight the infection, plus GCSF to induce white blood cell production.

Come September 12 (Tuesday) Nichi began to have diarrhea which lasted for almost 5 days. He hardly ate anything thus making his body weaker than it already is. A certain type of solution was transfused through Nichi’s IV line every time he defecated to replenish his body‘s lost fluids and to keep him from being dehydrated. Potassium was also incorporated in his IV line to help normalize his body’s dropping potassium level.

Last September 17 (Sunday), while playing a card game with my other brother during his feeling-a-bit-better moments, he suddenly lost consciousness and suffered seizures. It was a good thing that my Dad was able to catch him on time; otherwise his head would have hit the tile floor of the hospital. His Neurologist, Dra. Ortiz, immediately ordered a CT scan which showed atrophy—Nichi’s brain has somehow shrunk which might have caused the seizure.

Yesterday (Sept. 18), Dra. Ortiz ordered that Nichi’s EEG (electroencephalogram) be taken to further observe his brain. As of now we have no news yet about the result of the said test.

Dra. Ortiz also ordered an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) which is supposed to be done at Cardinal Santos Hospital. PCMC is not equipped with an MRI machine. We would have wanted Nichi to have that MRI so that whatever problem there is with his brain, it will be treated immediately. However, my family and I can no longer afford such procedure which, according to the doctor, may range between P12,000.00 - P17,000.00.

Today (September 19), Nichi underwent two units of red blood cell transfusion. By now, most of the veins on both his hands have collapsed making it almost impossible for the doctors to insert a new IV line. But Nichi is a very brave boy. He is willing to endure all the needle punctures for his medicine and blood tests just to get well.

We are not yet sure until when these treatments will go but we are hoping that they will help Nichi recover as soon as possible.

Because of these series of events, I have decided to muster enough courage to personally ask you to help save my brother with whatever amount you are willing to give.

If you are interested in helping, you can reach me through the following contact numbers:

Cellphone number: +639167911066
Landline (residence): (+632) 641-7090
(Office): 671-0555 loc. 108
Email address: battik14@yahoo.com
tyrene_delgado@yahoo.com

Thank you very much and may you be blessed for your kindness.

Sincerely,
Tyrene Delgado

P.S. I would greatly appreciate it if you can forward this letter to anyone whom you know may be able to help my brother. Thanks again.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Me want Me Palanca

Michael Francis Andrada officially has his own Palanca Award to boast and I am green with envy.

As I was browsing through today’s paper, deprived of a good night sleep, having to transfer from the couch to the cold tile floor and to the couch again of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center’s room 208, my English Prose Writing instructor seemed to have popped out of nowhere. His winning smile, no doubt, has slapped my face awake this morning. Apparently he has made a mark in the history of Philippine literature.

As much as I am proud and happy for Sir Mykel, I have lost all means to congratulate him, not even to venerate him. His cellphone number has ceased to exist and as it turns out, he has become a lost Friendster. I figure, he is one of those Friendster addicts who, for some magical reason, decided to turn their backs on the hype and keep what remains of their identity private and limited to people whom they actually see in person.

If any of these blabbers reaches him, please make sure that the congratulations part is clear.

So it is the time of year again for me to pine for that Palanca Award—the moment to feel inspired by the present year’s beaming winners. And the months that come after this, well, they are reserved for procrastination: the time to postpone writing my winning entry. After all, April is more than a hundred days away.

I am trapped in this loop. God help me!

Not too long ago, I had a very strong feeling that I am going to get myself a Palanca Award. I am not a clairvoyant or anything close but I somehow knew that I will win someday. I even texted some of my friends about my impending success.

The only problem is I have no piece to submit. Worst of all, I have not done anything to compose an entry. Thus the loop.

I really want my Palanca Award. Ever since I realized that I am hungry for a prestigious literary recognition, I’ve been keeping the issues of Sunday Inquirer Magazine bearing the Palanca winners. Those broadsheet magazines are lurking at unidentified areas of my room. May be if they pile up high enough, I’d get the urge to write. Only then will my self-formulated prophecy will be fulfilled.

COMMENTS
May cash prize ba ang Palanca? sana meron.
(teka mako convert ko ba ang prestige into food? Yes, kapag dumating na ang opportunities na kasama nito.)

may nabasa ako somewhere na dapat kang maging committed. kapag committed ka na gawin ang isang bagay ibat ibang opportunities ang lalabas/ susulpot na otherwise ay hindi mangyayari kapag hindi mo binigay ang iyong commitment sa isang bagay.
katamaran man or takot takot ang sanhi, kapag di mo sinubok lumabas sa comfort zone, walang mangyayari.
(wow, nagsalita ang mahilig tumambay sa comfort zone)
Posted by: Poli | September 10, 2006 10:12 AM

haaay palanca...
Oo nga. Ang sarap siguro nun no?
Well, I can only pray all is well. Strength to your little angel and the whole family.
Salamat sa update
Posted by: Jab | September 10, 2006 09:30 PM

Palanca... So near and yet so far.
Napansin mo ba ang madalas na paggamit ko ng tatlong tuldok na hate na hate ni U? Dapat matanggal muna ang nakagawian kong yan bago ako maghangad ng Palanca award.
Ikaw, madami kang pwedeng isulat. Wag maging tamad. Maging masipag. =)
Hugs for Nichi!
Posted by: Badger Addict | September 12, 2006 08:31 AM

Poli, nais kong i-share na ang comfort zone...it's beginning to be uncomfortable. I am hoping na kusa na lang akong isuka ng comfort zone.

Jab, salamat sa dasal for our Nichi.

Faith, I am guilty of ellipsis abuse. (Check out my 1st comment.) Tanong ko lang, saan makakabili ng anti-tamad drugs? I have a feeling that I'm gonna need THEM.
Posted by: Tyrene | October 8, 2006 07:30 AM

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Red Gift


Kung sa gobyerno ako nagtatrabaho, "red tape" ang tawag sa red box of cookies na hawak ko sa picture. E since mukha lang akong government employee, pwede itong tawaging, "gift". Hindi ko alam kung euphemism bang maituturing ang "gift" pero anu't ano pa man, first time kong makatanggap ng lagay--yung pampadulas na sa akin talaga naka-address.

Well, technically, hindi sya pampadulas dahil kung iisipin, nadulas na. Tapos na kasi ang transaksyon. So bale thank-you gift ito. Red thank-you gift.

Sana'y hindi senyales ng potential corruptness ang pagka-thankful ko sa red thank-you gift na natanggap ko kanina dahil grateful talaga ako.

Sa giver of the red thank-you gift, salamat. Kinilig ako.

Seriously, marami kang pinasaya!

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Nichi


Nichi,

Alam ko na malamang sa oo na hindi mo ito mababasa pero kung makita mo man ito sa future, ito na siguro ang mga gusto kong sabihin sa iyo.

Mahal na mahal kita! Malakas akong mang-asar pero lab kita, baby. Sabi ko nga sa iyo, ikaw ang baby ng bahay natin. Kung favorite ko man si Kuya Mic, chika lang yon! Mas affected kasi siya kapag inaasar ko siya kaya madalas ko siyang i-bug!

Alam ko, naaalala mo pa yung pinalo kita ng matindi noon. I’m so sorry. Since nangyari yon, pinromise ko na never na akong mamamalo ng sinumang bata ever. Nichi, sorry talaga doon. I hope mapatawad mo ako for that. Sorry.

Sorry din kasi nung nakaraang nagkasakit ka, hindi man lang kita nabantayan. Matigas kasi ang ulo ni Ate. Matagal nang pinagva-vitamins ni Mommy, ayaw pa! Ayan tuloy, nakipagsabayan pa ako sa sakit mo.

Nichi, sana huwag mo na kaming tatakutin ulit. Sige, di bale nang maingay ka. Kumanta ka lang! Dumaldal ka lang kahit di ko na marinig ang pinapanood ko. Okay na sa akin yon.

Kesa naman matulog ka na naman ng buong araw. Tapos gigising ka lang para umubo, o kaya’y umiyak dahil sa mga karamdaman mo. Kung may magagawa lang kami para di mo na pagdaanan lahat ng pinagdadaanan mo, matagal na naming ginawa iyon.

Siguro nga maraming pareho sa atin: yung pagka-OC, kadaldalan, ka-KSP-han lalo na sa attention ni Daddy, pagkamaramdamin, at lately nagkakahawig na rin tayo. Pero alam mo, mataray si Ate pero di hamak na mas matapang ka sa akin!

Marunong kang lumaban, Nichi, at dahil doon super bilib ako sa iyo! Ikaw lang yata ang taong kilala ko na tunay na nakikita ang baso na half full kesa half empty. Alam mo kung paano mahanap ang brighter side of life. Iyon ay isang gift, Nichi, and the makes you extra special!

Marahil ay mabuti na rin na wala ka nang naaalala sa mga nangyari sa iyo noong nakaraang Sabado sa treatment room at sa mga nauna mong araw sa ICU. Pero kung tatanungin mo ako kung ano’ng nangyari, ito ang sasabihin ko sa iyo:

Pinakita mo kung gaano ka katapang, Nichi. At dahil doon, binigyan mo ako ng lakas ng loob na tabihan ka at samahan ka sa isa sa mga mahihirap na oras sa iyong buhay. Alam ko na ang paghawak ko sa kamay mo at ang pag sabi ko sa iyo ng, “Relax” ay hindi sapat upang maibsan ang iyong hirap pero, gusto kong malaman mo na I became strong because you were stronger that I was. And your tears at that time, the tears that kept on flowing from your pink, bloated eyes, they reminded me how important life is. Ikaw na nahihirapan ay lumaban. Kasabay paghihirap mo ay naturuan mo ako ng maraming bagay. Habang buhay ko sila dadalhin, Nichi. Salamat.

Tuloy ang laban, Nichi! Huwag na huwag mong aalisin ang mga ngiti sa iyong gwapong mukha. At kung may dinaramdam ka, sabihin mo lang. Nandito ako. Pati si Mommy, Daddy, Ate Win, Kuya Jowin at Kuya Mic. Isama pa natin ang mga kamag-anak at mga kaibigang nagmamahal sa iyo.

Maraming may-love sa iyo. Good boy ka kasi. Lahat kami nag-pe-pray na makauwi ka na agad at nang makabalik na sa almost-normal ang buhay mo.

I love you, Nichi!

Sana alam mo iyon.