A Mother of a Leukemia Warrior

The love of a Mother is ever exhausted. It never changes- It never tires- It endures through all; In good repute, in bad repute, the world’s condemnation, a mother’s love still lives on”

Everybody says being a mother is a blessing and not everybody has given a chance to become a mom. In my personal experience, September 15, 2007 was the greatest blessing God has bestowed upon me. It was the date I became a mom, since he was my firstborn and the first grandson on both sides, my son got everybody’s love and attention. He was indulging in everybody, everyone wants to take care of him. Me as a first time mom, is overwhelmed by this experience. And I am thankful that our family was there to assist and guide me to my motherhood journey. 

As my son Dale grows older, exposing him to consumed healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables is one of the challenges. I never gave up on our breastfeeding journey until he was 3 to ensure that he will grow well, and make certain that he gets his monthly shot to his pediatrician. I enjoyed the tiring but worthy experience day by day.

One time as my younger sister played with him, she noticed a lymph node under his chin. As a worrying mom, I immediately scheduled a check up to his Pedia doctor and as she prescribed some medicines and advised us to monitor within a week. After that, we were advised to proceed to Fe Del Mundo Medical Center in Banawe QC for assessment to confirm something. The late doctor, Dr. Ernesto Yuson, informed me that my beloved son has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). 

What is leukemia? And it’s survival rate?

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “Acute” means that the leukemia can progress quickly, and if not treated, would probably be fatal within a few months. “Lymphocytic” means it develops from early (immature) forms of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.
About 98% of children with ALL go into remission within weeks after starting treatment. About 90% of those children can be cured. Patients are considered cured after 10 years in remission. –source google

I am stunned, I am confused… How lost I was at the beginning, how I felt I’d found a side of myself I never knew existed and how I’m now feeling lost again. Lost, found, lost. I was devastated thinking and blaming myself for what happened to my precious son. Hoping and praying that this nightmare must end. As advised by the doctor we need to start the chemotherapy sessions as soon as possible. I told them I have no choice but to follow these procedures even if it hurts deep inside me seeing my son in pain when performing bone marrow extraction and IT chemo. Imagine, I never let any mosquito penetrate to his skin but seeing the enormous size of needles gives me a heart attack.

Again our family was there and some private institution to comfort and assist us in this trial, I’ve never blamed and questioned God. I just trust and have faith with him, for I know, this will too shall pass. Now, Dale is currently 12 years old and under remission. As I look back, I never imagined that our family would conquer this challenge. It makes me a better person and a better mom. 

You know what I’ve learn from this experience?

  • First, as a parent you need to accept to be able to start the treatment. 
  • Do not show to your son that you are weak, for him to be brave in facing therapy
  • There will always help from other institution in starting chemo sessions
  • Stay positive as everything will be ok but be realistic too.
  • Stabilize your relationship with your spouse, you need each other’s support.
  • Swallow your pride and ask for help when needed. You need a huge amount of money to start treatment
  • Some people will support you but not in the entire time, you need techniques to sustain for a living.

Regardless of what kind of cancer, the experience will always be long and difficult. It will test your physical, mental, spiritual, and financial strength. And this will be part of your life forever. So keep moving and keep the faith.

These are his latest pictures, I am proud to say that my brave and warrior son has passed the biggest test of his life, and now an achiever in everything that he wanted to do. He was already declared as a cured patient, furthermore catching up to his lost youth.

Ivy Manuel

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