Cecil’s fight against cancer

Cecil’s fight against cancer fundraising

It was a week ago, at two in the morning, when my sister, Cecil, phoned me and said she got ovarian cancer.

August 11, 2021 she went for a checkup because her stomach pain wouldn’t go away. Weeks before that, she had fever, was coughing and had this terrible back pain which she said she already experienced years ago and she associated to previous back injury that has now flared back up again. And for the fever and coughing it developed after she had her two shots of COVID vaccine so we thought it was just the usual medication side effects. But it didn’t go away like it was supposed to. Then she had this terrible stomach pain. She went to the emergency department and on initial exam they found out that her heart was beating too fast at around 130bpm. The rest of her vital signs were still normal. Because of the abdominal pain, they did a CT scan of her abdomen and that’s when they saw the large lesion on her liver. This triggered a series of tests and further scans that lead to that 2am phone call. 

Stage 4 Metastatic Ovarian Cancer. Aren’t we suppose to start at 1 and then 2 and so on? That was my brain in denial. Why does she have to skip the numbers and go straight to 4. She has metastasis on her liver, lungs, lymphnodes and bones. She was miles away. Alone. Far from family and friends. 

On Friday, August 13, 2021, she was discharged from St. Pauls Hospital. She did not have any insurance in Canada so the expenses from the scans, blood tests, biopsy, hospital room for 3 days admission and other medical bills are exorbitant. We are trying to help her out by raising some money to off set the cost. She and her husband are paying everything out of their pocket. 

On the same day she was discharged, she flew back to the US to continue treatment at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington DC. It was a whirlwind of activities the moment she arrived. She went straight to the ER and once again went to a series of scans that just confirmed the difficult truth of her having Stage 4 Metastatic Cancer. And because of the aggressive nature of the cancer they have decided to start chemotherapy even without the pathology result. 

August 18, She had a bone scan. Result is not out yet and we are praying for a positive outcome. After scan they put a mediport so they could start chemotherapy. Prior to that, they drained the fluid in her abdomen that has accumulated so fast. A week ago, she was alright, a slight bump in the tummy but nothing like it is now. She seem to be 3 or 4 months pregnant with how much fluid has build up in the short amount of time. They drained it yesterday and was able to take out 1300mls of fluid. It made breathing easier for her. Daniel, her husband, says she had a rough night yesterday due to prechemo medications and the chemotherapy itself. However today I was able to see her briefly through video call and she was still looking very tired and drowsy but she was smiling and telling us she had a smoothie. 

I am grateful for our family and friends who unceasingly shower her with care and affection. They brought her favorite tinola (chicken stew), helped her shower and provide for anything else that she needs and assisted with anything she needs help with. She finally saw her little boys as well. They drove 2 days from Canada to DC in an adventure with mommy waiting at the end of it. Ifemi and David are 9 and 7. They knew their mommy is very sick and has been very helpful. They have been doing chores at home like cleaning the house, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, etc. They drew pictures and wrote stories for her to read. They are amazing. My sister’s only wish is for more time to stay with them and see them grow into beautiful adults. Grow old with her husband and take care of their own grandchildren someday. I pray fervently that her prayers be granted. 

I need your help in praying for her successful treatment. Cancer treatment specially at this stage is painful and tough. But my sister is a fighter. She has a very positive outlook and that’s what I truly admire about her. I want to thank everyone who has prayed and keeps on praying for her recovery. We believe in miracles and with God anything is possible. Cecil’s battle has just started and she will face many unknowns still as she go along her cancer treatment. At the moment she is still paying everything out of pocket and medical bills have been piling up. We are humbly knocking in your hearts to show a little love and support by donating any amount that will help pay these bills. We don’t have the exact amount yet but any help would mean the world to us. As of now we have a total of £680. Thank you for your kindness. #teamcecil

A beautiful Easter day

After so many cold gloomy days, I woke up to sunlight pouring inside my bedroom, bathing me in warm yellow light. It was so cozy I stayed cocooned beneath the duvet for a good couple of hours before I could make myself get out of bed. These past few days we were treated to a totally unpredictable weather (not that it was anything new)–but it snowed, in April! And weather forecast says snow on the weekend. We are probably looking at five days of summer this year. So waking up to a beautiful day with streaming sunshine and deep blue sky was a luxury. I felt really happy and my heart was imbued with gratefulness.

I leaped out the bed and run in the living room. As expected, sunlight was spilling in the room from the picture window and the flowers sitting on the table nearby seemed more vibrant. A perfect morning indeed and I basked in the sunshine while enjoying a bowl of granola. It was so invigorating. A while later, my sister and I decided to spend the day outside (like the rest of the masked populace) and drove to Coombe Hill which was about 15 minutes away from our flat. The small parking space and the whole length of street were packed with cars but surprisingly, the place was not too crowded. We meandered along small footpaths to avoid other people until we reached the peak of the hill. The light breeze blowing was chilly but as long as we were seated on a patch of sunlight it was bearable. The sky was so blue not a speck of cloud in sight. Occasionally, birds could be seen silently gliding in the air.

It was peaceful.

Coombe Hill

Happy holidays

This has been a crazy year for everyone. So much anxiety, fear, doubt…a lot of missing the people we love but can’t visit and less touching and hugging the ones we miss. But I guess this has made us more appreciative of the time we spend with the people who matter most to us. It also made us treasure those little things we usually take for granted because we didn’t realize how precious they were. 2020 is probably the worst year for some or most of us. Even so, I’m still grateful for it has its moments. May we all find happiness, love and treasures to keep. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.❤️

11,680 Sunsets

Serenity. It is the reason why I love sunsets so much. It has the power to envelope me in a world where stress, pain and worry do not exist. It is the pause button in my day. The few minutes it takes for the sun to dip in the red and orange splashed horizon is enough to calm my frazzled mind. It allows me to breathe for a moment and reorganize my priorities. It makes me think of tomorrow on a positive note. When you are faced with a magnificent moment it is hard not to be content and happy. Contentment and happiness…such fleeting emotions feeling them is such a high it is addicting. Sunsets evoke these feelings in me, no matter how short a moment, it is precious. I want another 11,680 sunsets. I want another magical moment to build my dream on…to set new goals. When I was young, I dreamt of this life that I have now as I was looking out our living room window at the fiery ball slowly rolling down the sky against the silhouette of the mountain. With a smile I daydreamed of watching sunsets in another place far away. A place I can make my dreams happen and be happy and content just like in that moment.

This was in Venice, another place I dreamt of going to many sunsets ago. While sitting on the wharf with cool breeze blowing from the sea and seagulls flying overhead, I couldn’t help but smile. The pieces in my life are finally coming together. I am grateful.

On my way home from work, I had to stop to admire this golden sunset🧡