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Case 24: Pancreatic Cancer: made still.

“doc..gusto ko yang program mo, pero wla po kaming pera. Kahit bigyan mo na lang po ako ng pwede ko makain para dito at pwede kong inuming gamot, para kahit paano, humaba pa buhay ko”. .or such words to that effect..nanay Teresa pleaded with yours truly for treatments of her Pancreatic of the deadliest cancers that afflicts man.

When we first met, back in 2018.

That was 2 years ago. Now what else would a doctor do when given such request? I obliged her, with a heavy heart, knowing she might not have much of a chance without proper treatments, considering her age and the locally advanced stage of her mid-abdominal tumor. I wrote her prescriptions, and asked her to follow an “anti-cancer diet”, albeit knowing she won’t be able to fully comply due to financial constraints. She then left the clinic saying, “mabubuhay pa ko doc. Magiging epektib reseta mo.” In a last ditch effort, I wrote her a referral letter for possible surgery. After 6 months, surprisingly, she followed up with a grin in her face. With no money for monitoring work ups, again she asked me for the same prescriptions of NUTRACEUTICALS. I obliged, again.

A year after, in February of this year, she sought consult. Still up and about with no trace of advancing cancer, she acceeded to a CT scan request, but told me she would save for it. Then COVID LOCKDOWN in March happened and she was lost to follow up. October 2020, she saw me at my new clinic, armed with her latest CT study. And whoa! It says: STABLE DISEASE. True enough, upon physical examiation and brief history taking, nanay Teresa is well. To what else do we allude this seemingly impossible, statistic-defying story? An old lady with advanced Pancreatic Cancer, still alive more than 2 years after diagnosis? Was it the nutraceuticals? Mere chance? Stroke of luck? Or POWER OF FAITH…Power of the mind?

With this, I tell you, CANCER IS NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE. Something else is at play. What is it? I guess nanay Teresa’s welfare is most important now. I did not force her anymore with my entire program. Why would I…if it ain’t broke, I won’t and don’t have to fix it!

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