Nanay is sick.
She had her goiter removed last August; a thyroid sample was taken for biopsy and it revealed a follicular papillary thyroid carcinoma or simply (complicatedly)—thyroid cancer.
I went home twenty-four days ago to attend Nanay’s Testimonial Program and Party—a tribute given to her by the Central M’lang District for her services and achievement as a public school teacher for 38 years. It was a remarkable event; it actually exceeded my expectations. Modesty aside, the eulogy that I gave was, I think, one of the highlights of the programme.
But three days after the testimonial party, the endocrinologist-surgeon advised Nanay to submit herself into a radioactive iodine therapy. She agreed, underwent a strict non-iodine/no salt diet for seven days...
...and three hours before my flight from Manila back to Sydney she was admitted to the hospital, was then isolated and dosed with a small, but (hopefully a) very powerful radioactive iodine capsule. Nobody was allowed to come and see her for four days because the ‘radioisotope of iodine’ that she had taken was very potent and hazardous to every individual! When Nanay was discharged from the hospital, she was separately transported back home, and has been isolated in her specially-made payag* for five days now. Luckily, my younger brother and our youngest sister were there to assist her, and to provide what she needs.
Nanay’s entire body was thoroughly scanned in the hospital yesterday. Whether it was done to detect the cancer cells or radioactive material left in her body is the thing that I don’t know. I have decided to stay innocent of all the complex things the medical doctors had, have been and will be doing to my mom because I have chosen to trust them, and most especially, I have ultimately trusted the divine power to heal my sick mother.
I had phoned and spoke to my mom a couple of hours ago. Nanay told me that she has been feeling drained and weary for the past few days. She has also lost her appetite, but forcing herself to devour some mangosteen and guyabano... believing that the therapeutic power of these fruits comes next to Heavenly Power.
Nanay is scheduled to see her doctor three weeks later. I am sure that the result of the radiation therapy and scanning will be discussed. I couldn’t put my thoughts into words, nor could I clearly explain my feelings...
If iodine-131 could only alleviate my prevailing anxieties, I am willing to undergo this radiation therapy to get treated.
*payag is a Hiligaynon term for a nipa hut.