Update (February 20, 2015): I just wanted to let you know that doctors do the best they can with the experience and qualifications they have. They are not miracle-workers. It is God who ultimately heals. That said, it is best to seek medical advice to know your options and to get a picture of what’s happening. But don’t forget to do your own research. The best way to battle cancer, as far as I have seen, is to be informed.
I’ll start with the doctors. We wouldn’t have known what was happening without them.
A gastroenterologist performed the upper and lower endoscopy (colonoscopy) for my dad. The upper endoscopy was requested by my father’s Internal Medicine specialist because my dad kept complaining of GERD. I asked for the colonoscopy as a screening procedure because we had relatives who had had previous encounters with cancer.
If you’re in the Philippines and want to have colonoscopy screening done (and you also lack the funds to get it done in a private hospital), I would recommend the Outpatient Department at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City. Truthfully speaking, its not the sparkiest and shiniest but the doctors are smart. Despite all the limitations with equipment and lack of staff to assist, I believe they get the job done well for the non-paying or less moneyed public.
Colorectal surgeon. I knew no one. So I took to the web and searched. The Medical City happens to be my hospital of choice when it comes to risky stuff and that was where I found our surgeon. (Note that there was no problem with my dad’s upper endoscopy but the colonoscopy had revealed a tumor blocking his sigmoid colon). Dr Manuel Roxas was the surgeon we met. I’m not sure how old he is but I know my dad would have preferred a surgeon closer to his age with something as delicate as what was going to be done to him. It turned out the surgeon was the head of the Colorectal Clinic at the hospital and was current president of the ASEAN Society of Colorectal Surgeons. He also happens to be a nice and practical doctor. He did an excellent job taking out that tumor and removing the other nasties he found inside my dad’s gut.
Oncologist. Again, I knew no one. My daughter’s Sunday School teacher recommended a nutritional oncologist whom she knew had helped other people she knew recover (completely) from colon cancer also. Obviously, we had to see him. Dr Romulo de Villa is a Molecular and Nutritional Oncologist. He took the time to explain the hows and whats of cancers, and how to treat it. Very detailed, thorough and understandable. If you want to know about cancer, I recommend paying a visit to Dr De Villa. He is connected with the National Kidney and Transplant Institute and St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Over the next few weeks and months, I’ll be sharing more from our journey. Stay tuned. For now, I’ll call it a night.
Rest well everyone. Have peace in God.