Her name is Lorena—a derivation of the Latin word “lora” or laurel tree, which symbolizes honor and victory. People with this name are believed to be idealistic and highly imaginative. They find expression in creative pursuits and are usually musically inclined. They tend to inspire others because of their genuine love for people.
Since our paths crossed last year, she has never ceased to amaze me with her positivity, unwavering faith, and infectious sense of humor.
This is her story, in her own words:
Cancer is an emotionally and financially crippling disease that makes everyone inflicted with it suffer. Being stricken twice by cancer made me miserable. On June 2013, I was diagnosed with endometrial adenocarcinoma, Grade 2. My ONCO-gyne advised me to undergo cobalt radiation and 4 cycles of low dose chemotherapy. I had total hysterectomy operation on October 18, 2013. Biopsy result showed I have endometrial cancer stage 4 b. I was then advised to have 6 cycle high dose chemotherapy, radiation and brachytherapy which lasted until Aug. 2014.
For one year and 10 months, I was declared “cancer survivor” and I religiously submitted to follow up check-ups. As a way of thanking God I, with the help of relatives and friends, organized a group “ Adopt A Cap” to help my fellow cancer patients. We provided caps for their bald heads which was a result of chemotherapy. The project continued to grow because more friends and relatives donated cash and chemo drugs for cancer patients who needed chemo drugs and cannot afford them.
Early September, 2015, I underwent regular CA125 test and the result indicated it was 43 points higher than the normal range of 0-35. I saw my ONCO and I was advised to get series of tests, such as Ultra sound and transvaginal. It was found out that there were 2 lumps with sizes 5cm and 2cm. Furthermore a CT Scan was advised. After 3 sessions of chemotherapy worth 55,000 per session, I underwent another CA 125 test. The result indicated it was 160 points higher than the last test in the month of September. From 2 lumps they became 3 lumps and the first two increased in sizes. There was tumor progression.
On JANUARY 2016 my gyne oncologist decided to have another set of CHEMOTHERAPY worth 155,000 pesos per session. This is a Combination of GEMCITABINE AND AVASTIN CHEMOTHERAPY DRUGS. I am on my 22nd round of CHEMOTHERAPY as to date. I still need 9 sessions (3cycles). Fighting cancer for the second time is hard. My relatives and friend thought of organizing a fundraising to finance the costs of this new set of CHEMOTHERAPY. We came up with “I CAN SURVIVE TSHIRT FOR A CAUSE”.
The “I CAN SURVIVE TSHIRT FOR A CAUSE” WILL COST P350 each available sizes are small, medium, large and XL. You can request for reservation by sending a message on this thread or sending a private message to me. Payments can be deposited to my savings account. Account details are as follows: Ma. Lorena David, BPI Account No.: 8179 0732 19
Anyone can also support the cause through donations and deposit using the bank details above. Hoping for all your support. Thank you very much and May God shower you all with more blessings.
My friend Lorena is a beautiful woman—hair or no hair.
Through trying times she has kept her faith and gets by with a lot of help from friends and supporters.
She deserves lots of brownie points, too, for her resourcefulness and determination in raising the funds needed for her treatment. It’s not unusual for her Facebook page to show photos of sundry goods—food items, t-shirts, perfumes, gadgets, among others— that she sells to help finance her chemotherapy needs. Her medical outgo, which reaches up to Ps108K a pop, is clearly not for the faint-hearted.
With Lorena, the expression “the big C” takes on a different meaning from what others associate it with. In her case, and in many others who are in the same challenging journey she is in, the big C more aptly stands for Compassion and Courage.