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Erny Uy

by Fuda Volunteer
4/12/2013 2:47:31 AM

I have been a cancer survivor for more than five years, Thanks to Fuda Cancer Hospital.

I was first diagnosed of having nasopharyngeal cancer in mid October 2007 and at that time because of my very limited knowledge about cancer I was easily convinced by my Oncologist to undergo General Chemotherapy and Radiation.  I went thru 8 cycles of general chemo at the Metropolitan Hospital and 39 sessions of linear radiation at the San Juan De Dios Hospital. For those who are not familiar with nasopharyngeal cancer, the tumor is situated inside the nose, between the nasal cavities and pharynx.  By end October 2007 I started my therapy, general chemo and radiation. I never expected that it was the start of a traumatic and horrible experience which almost ended my life.

After 2 weeks of treatment I felt the invasive side effects of general chemo and radiation. I felt weak. Large pimples started growing on my face, lower neck and chest. My mouth and throat started to feel dry. Then I had mouth sores all over my lips and tongue. I could not drink even water as it was painful. The doctor had to stop the treatment temporarily until the mouth sores were cured. My face and neck started showing burnt signs and turned black. Every day I felt my sense of taste disappearing and after a month of therapy my sense of taste and smell were totally gone. I lost my appetite too. Every night I have horrible dreams which woke me up at 1 or 2 in the morning, after which I could no longer go back  to sleep. The sleepless nights were pulling my health down.

I saw a terrible transformation of myself. I became an irritable person and I would have emotional outbursts which I afterwards regretted. I was losing control of myself and I hated myself for becoming such. Due to the very invasive side effects of the therapy I lost 32 lbs after 6 weeks. I felt very weak and would prefer to be secluded inside the room.

Finally, I reached the point of surrender. During my solitary moments, I cried. I asked God to take me and relieve me from my physical pains and sufferings. I was ready to give up life. I cursed the experience and promised myself that if I survive I will never go thru the same therapy again.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I survived. After completing the 8 cycles of general chemo and 39 sessions of linear radiation, I had a CT scan and the result showed that the tumor is gone. I was made to understand that I have been cured and free of cancer.  It was supposed to be a great relief for me and my family but after 20 months I was again diagnosed and told that I have a recurrence. My Oncologist told me that I have to undergo general chemotherapy again. I did not make any decision.

It was at this time that I learned about Fuda Cancer Hospital from one of our neighbors in the village. I immediately communicated by email and was impressed by the quick response that I received from Dr. Rita Lu. After a series of email exchanges with Dr. Rita Lu I decided to go to Fuda. That was in March 2010.

At Fuda, I saw the big difference and advantage of their different approach to cancer treatment. I found out that the conventional therapy, done in our country, which are open surgery, general chemo and radiation, are no longer practiced at Fuda. Instead, they have 10 other non-invasive procedures in treating cancer patients.

The procedures that they did to me were much less invasive. I felt the care and concern of doctors for their patients. I felt that I was a patient, not a victim. I was confident that I will be a winner, not a loser.

My treatment plan included Localized Chemotherapy, Combined Immunotherapy for Cancer (CIC), Cryosurgery and Iodine Seed Implantation.

Localized Chemo or vascular interventional therapy, as they call it, is a non invasive procedure that takes about 30 minutes. The doctor inserted a catheter in my right groin to access the femoral artery and with the aid of the CT scan I could see, thru the TV monitor, the catheter moving up close to my left nose where a small dosage of chemo medicine was injected directly to the tumor. I was awake during the entire procedure and it was painless. Yes, it was PAINLESS.  I could sense the expertise of the doctor during the entire session… as if he was just playing with a video game. After being brought back to my room, I was given several intravenous medications for the protection of the other body organs from the side effects of localized chemo. The side effect was loss of appetite but after 2 days it was back to normal.

Then I had CIC or combined immunotherapy for cancer. They took a certain volume of blood from me, separated the WBC from the RBC, cultured it and converted it into anti-cancer cells. After 10 days they infused it back to me to boost up my immune system. I think the CIC is one of the best, as it addresses the root cause of cancer which is deficiency of the body’s immune system. There was practically no negative side effect. A few days after the first CIC injection, I felt a significant improvement physically.

A few days after my first localized chemo, the tumor dried up and I was able to sneeze it out. When I was being scanned at the operating room for my cryosurgery the doctors could not find any tumor so they did not proceed with the cryosurgery. That was how effective the localized chemo is. Nevertheless I completed the suggested 6 cycles of localized chemo to ensure remission of any remaining cancer cells.

My total stay at Fuda was 75 days. My wife and I travelled 4 times to Guangzhou.  Our experience at Fuda was more of a vacation than a medical treatment. We had a comfortable air conditioned room at the hospital and the staffs were very courteous and friendly.

Many Filipinos still entertain that cloud of doubt about China. They perceived China made items as inferior in quality. They think that China technology is still backward. Those perceptions are totally wrong. I encourage you to go to China and see for yourself how advance China has gone forward. Fuda Cancer Hospital is the best example. Hundreds of Filipinos have been treated at Fuda and they can attest that Fuda is one of the best hospital in the world, if not the best, for the treatment of cancer.

Finally, let me clarify that I am doing this testimonial on my own initiative. Fuda is not providing me any form of remuneration for the initiative. My intention is simply to share my experience with other cancer patients. I know how difficult it is, physically, mentally, emotionally and financially, to be afflicted with cancer because I have been there. By sharing my experiences at Fuda, hopefully other cancer patients will be informed that there is a much better option for cancer treatment, and that is to go to Fuda.