My name is Anna Carmela Kho, I am 22 years old and a proud single mom to my 1 and a half son Liam Arthur.
Just about the beginning of this year, I was looking for a regular job, I did online job huntings and went to scheduled interviews and exam almost everyday. Then suddenly, I was required to submit to a Medical Exam, there I found out that I have severe anemia which really alarmed me and my mom. Two days after we found out the results of the medical exam, my mom and I went to the doctor to confirm and had tests done (complete blood count and urinalysis). We waited for about two hours and returned to the doctor’s clinic where in we received a bad news. The IM doctor said that my blood counts were really low and alarming that I needed to be admitted right away and have at least 2-3bags of blood transfusion. We were really shocked with what the doctor just said so I texted my friends as soon as possible to ask if someone can donate blood to me.
The next day I was admitted at VRPMC hospital and consulted for a hematologist, Dra. Norma Ona, was the one. She told me that I had to undergo a bone marrow aspiration to know the real cause of my low blood counts. I was really scared and was just thinking about my son whom we left home with just his nanny. The next day, the bone marrow aspiration was done, they had put mild anaesthesia but still it was really painful!! I almost cried the whole procedure and was again thinking about my son and praying to God to help me althroughout the procedure. It lasted about 30-45minutes and then I was back to normal again (with an IV). Dra. Ona said that my bone marrow was really dry that’s why she also had a hard time aspirating it and getting some blood and bone samples.
We waited the the next day for the results, I was really tired the whole day so I had the chance to take a long nap when Dra. Ona came to the room and explained the results to my mom who didn’t said anything to me. I was clueless until Dra. Ona told me that she needed to do another bone marrow biopsy because of lack of sample during the first try. Again, I prayed to God seeking for enough strength and courage. Then there it was, the second BMA was done. I had two bags of blood transfused to me that same day, then the next day we went home.
We were scheduled for follow-up check up on March 14, 2011, marked that day I received the very bad news. I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic/Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL - cancer of the blood). I cried in front of my son, my mom, brother, younger sister and my aunts. I was staring at my son as I received the bad news. Death was running on my mind.. the questions.. how long do I have? does it have a cure? what about my son? my family? what will happen to me?? My mom hold my hand so tight as she cried with me. All along I had no idea that all of them except for me already knew what I had. They kept it from me until that day to let the doctor tell everything to me.
Then there was hope.. Dra. Ona said that this type of sickness is fast-spreading althroughout my body especially through my blood. So she recommended that I should immediately subject myself to chemotherapy sessions to fight the cancer cells earlier and to have me healed as soon as possible. We told the doctor that we should first consult everything to my father who is working abroad. He already knew and doesn’t want me to have chemotherapy due to its side effects. We were all scared to make any decisions but we knew we had to. We first tried alternative treatment, which focuses on a new food regime, boosting the good cells of the body to have a better immune system. I tried it for about 1 and a half months but I felt no change. I still get tired easily especially when climbing the stairs at the house and when carrying my son (which really bothers me because I wanted to spend every moment with him). My heart always palpitates even when just lying down the bed and for weeks I am not gaining any weight. It then alarmed my mother and she immediately consulted it to my father. We agreed to go back to Dra. Ona and do the chemotherapy sessions.
Last week May 10, we went to Dra. Ona to had a follow-up check up and to talk about the chemo sessions, she asked me to have a complete blood count again and the results were really low! My hemoglobin dropped down from 11 to 6!! Dra. Ona was really alarmed that she ordered I’d be admitted again to have blood transfusions then afterwards she’ll start the first chemo treatment. I was confined for almost three days. I had my first session last Thursday and I really thank God for all the goodness he showed me. The session went very well, I had no side effects and was really hungry almost all the time. We prayed hard to God to help us with our financial crisis, this is just the beginning of my chemo treatments and there are more phases to come.
The succeeding phases of Dra. Ona’s protocol treatment was I had to be confined for four consecutive weeks for four days each. It is really painful for me and for my family especially when thinking of the financial side. We are not prepared for this. No one is..
But I am very fortunate.. I have friends.. friends who really cares for me and my family.. My High School friends are currently putting up a fund raising project wherein you can buy raffle tickets at Php 100.00 each and you can win instant prizes such as Trip to Cebu for 2; overnight stay at Taal Vista for 2; etc., the draw date is on June 30, 2011. The excess of the proceeds will suffice my succeeding chemo sessions and blood transfusions.
My battle against this sickness is just starting.. help me with this fight.. let’s make this happen!!
They call it the “Big C”, but it won’t beat me coz I have a greater “C” in Me.. :-)
Let’s live our lives to the fullest!! God Bless everyone!!