#DoNotFret #TitaLuzette A Filipino Cancer Story (session 4)

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To go thru chemo is not a pleasant ordeal. To go thru chemo with an unwavering smile is a miracle in itself. This has been the case for the most of Luzette Liwag’s 2016.
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To go thru chemo is not a pleasant ordeal. To go thru chemo with an unwavering smile is a miracle in itself. This has been the case for the most of Luzette Liwag’s 2016. Battles have been fought and won but the war continues.

Diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma early March this year, Luzette has been in and out of the hospital for 8 months. Blessed with a tightknit family and relatives, Luzette was well supported and encouraged throughout the process towards healing. A significant contribution to her continuous recovery was brought about having two full time nurses by her side at every moment. Suzette and Liza, poured out their entire energy, knowledge, service and love towards helping their mom. The daughters of Luzette speaks of God’s wonderful plan to have both daughters practice nursing for this very moment to return all the loving service and sacrifice their mother has done for them. In fact, Suzette or Zet as most call her even had to leave to practice nursing in Ireland to help support financially.

In spite of multiple chemo sessions, Luzette has not been experiencing the common side effects of chemotherapy such as whole body weakness, pain, nausea and vomiting, and loss of appetite—her doctors were actually surprised by this. As such a young age of 47, her heart, lungs, liver and kidneys are still working quite well, making it easier for her to fight the bad effects of chemotherapy to the body.

After 8 grueling cycles of Chemo, Luzette came out beaming with strength and joy. Apart from the physical appearance of the procedures, she sooner or later was capable of doing her daily activities independently. Her family jokingly mentioned that she might have lost most of hair but she never once lost her willingness to fight and her very healthy appetite.
An MRI on her lower back showed almost complete resolution of the mass. But the war continues on.

It was early October that new symptoms such as weakness on her leg and new growth on her spinal canal was discovered. What pressed more concern was her sudden confusion and her unemotional behavior—which is quite unusual for someone as warm and joyful as Luzette. Another MRI was taken which revealed another chapter. In spite of no headache or migraine, new mass growth in her brain was discovered which affects her emotions and confusion. Due to the gravity of the situation, Zet requested to take a leave of absence from her employment in Ireland to take care of her mum. Through consultation with the her Neurologist-Oncologist, Luzette was recommended to take a high dose Methotrexate and Rituximab which intends to target the cancer cells in her brain and spinal canal.

Luzette, her dedicated nurse daughters, loving family and friends have been doing more than their part to fight cancer. Apart from all this, expenses have been piling which gives opportunities for others to be a blessing.

The heartfelt appeal of Luzette and her loving family is for kind support for the next rounds of chemo through financial support and prayer.

The following is the list of expenses per chemotherapy session (every 2 weeks)

Chemo expenses:
Chemo Drug: Methotrexate 15g - Php 113,400
(PWD discounted price: 85,050)
Chemo Drug: Rituximab: 129,800 ( Roche discounted price: Php 76,000)
Methotrexate Assay test: Php 12,000
Hospital Bill and Doctors' Professional Fees: Php 40,000 - Php 50,000
PET CT Scan: Php 74,000
Monthly maintenance medications: Php 12,000
Medical Supplies: 7,000

We have been asking help from relatives, friends, and government agencies, such as PCSO, DOH, and government offices because of the continuous expenses for her treatments. I know that this will be a long shot because of the amount that is needed for each session, but as a daughter, I want to be able to do everything for my mother. She only has one life and this is the only chance we have to let her live longer. As nurses, my sister and I have taken care of thousands of patients that we do not even know. This time, we need to take care of the most important patient that we will be having in our lives. We will not stop just because we lack funds. We will try to find all the means that we can to be able to pay for her medical expenses. We are really hoping that you can help us give our mom a chance to have a longer and meaningful life, and eventually win this tough battle. She is a very kind, loving and selfless mother. We cannot just give up on her. We really do hope she receives the needed treatments to have continuous good progress and be Cancer free!

My mother has been very positive that God will heal her. She is a fighter. She never gives up. She keeps on praying everyday for God’s healing. She is a strong woman, holding on to her faith that God is with her and that this is just a trial which we will overcome.


Together, let us give her hope, and please do include her in your daily prayers

Isaac Cortez
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