Thirty-five years ago, my youngest and only brother was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at the age of 20.
On and off fever over a period of two weeks, initially diagnosed as flu-like viral infection, became a suspected Typhoid Fever until I noticed bluish patches on his arms and his fingernails turning grayish that early Monday morning as we were both about to go to school. He was a graduating student of Political Science at the State University… dreaming to become the first lawyer in our family.
“Your boy is very ill,” the lady hematologist told my mother who was just so confused to understand what she just heard. Friday noon of that week, amidst a raging typhoon that flooded the main streets leading to the hospital, my brother was brought to the Intensive Care Unit, the doctors saying if he survives the next twelve hours perhaps my only brother could still live for another 4-6 months. By 3 am on Saturday, July 26 my brother was dead. Not all the prayers my 90-year-old grandparents could muster… even our Dear “Ina’s” prayers in straight Latin could not save him.
The Emperor of all Maladies had stricken us and dealt our family the most difficult challenge imaginable. I never saw my grandfather and my father weep in unison…both cursing their own fates. “Fathers do not bury their sons…worst, Grandfathers never bury their grandsons!”… these were the only words my “Ama” kept on murmuring as he embraced my brother’s coffin. The pain has faded away but my vivid recall of those frantic days, hours and minutes before, during and after our own battle with cancer remains…
Today, Asian Hospital opens the very First Cancer Facility in the country that fully integrates the most appropriate care each patient requires to conquer cancer.
Asian Cancer Institute (ACI) has the finest Team of Filipino Medical Specialists across all types of cancer ever organized to deliver care in an integrative and collaborative platform of service that will delight each patient. Our Proof of Concept lies in the Quality of Clinical Outcomes we are committed to delivering.
ACI will lead the country in creating wider awareness about Cancer, providing the most comprehensive cancer screening a program that starts with the Breast, Lung, Cervix, and Colon rectum.
ACI is the site of the most advanced radiotherapy equipment ever installed in the country: the TomoTherapy HDA Series and the Saginova Brachytherapy – HDR. These are the safest, most accurate and advanced means of radiation therapy that guarantee the Best Outcomes for our patients. Higher doses over fewer sessions are possible in a safe and accurate platform thus providing immediate relief to each patient and give all of us a higher chance of succeeding in our Quest to Conquer C!
Our Nursing staff is a huge source of pride among all of us here in Asia; they are all well-trained and seasoned caregivers who value the work they do and the unique service they provide as a Reward in itself!
The entire facility was designed by the most accomplished Hospital Architect in the land, Arch. Prosperidad Luis, former Dean of the UP College of Architecture. Her fine work has gained international recognition and respect in Asia and the world. Her unique design of Asian Hospital’s Breast Center was presented and given special recognition at the 33rd International Union of Architects/Public Health Group Conference held in Toronto last Sep 2013. It was published in 2014 by TESIS Inter-University Research Centre, the University of Florence in the book “get better!-the pursuit of better health and better healthcare design at lower costs per capita”.
Asian Cancer Institute aims to be the country’s Leading Center for Cancer Research and Learning. We are being strongly considered to be the 1st Partner Hospital outside the United States of the University of Washington’s Fred Hutchinson Research Center and to become part of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance network.
“Illness is the night-side of life, more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”
– Susan Sontag
“Cancer begins and ends with people. In the midst of scientific abstraction, it is sometimes possible to forget this one basic fact… Doctors treat diseases, but they also treat people, and this precondition of their professional existence sometimes pulls them in two directions at once.”
– June Goodfield