So the good news is that Buddy is out of the ICU and has been moved to a private room with a 1:2 nurse:patient ratio in the Cardiology unit. He's still hooked up to the monitor as we still need to make sure his heart rate and blood pressure remain stable before we can be discharged.
However, his kidney functions have not come back after 3 days of dialysis and plasmapheresis...this means that he will have to be on dialysis for an undetermined period...possibly for life, or even after the cancer goes into remission. There is some residual kidney function and that is better than none, and the doctors say there are cases where they have been surprised and kidneys have returned to normal even after something this traumatic, and they go off dialysis.
So now aside from the rare form of cancer, we also have to look out for the kidneys and the heart as the treatment for one affects the other 2.
I went to Mass this morning and said to God, "Wow, when you test me, you don't hold anything back, huh? But I know you're with me, so I'm not letting go." And truly, despite what has happened, I know that God has not left our side. He continues to send his angels to help us along the way.
Had we not had a doctor's appointment last Monday morning, Buddy would not have been brought to the hospital at just the right time for him to still be alive. And the fact that his cousin Dr. Ruffy Festin is a cardiologist at Methodist Hospital is such a blessing... helping us with the doctors, nurses and even just getting a nice room.
We even had a Code Blue incident last Tuesday where Buddy blacked out for about 10 seconds towards the end of his dialysis, and the whole ICU staff had rushed to his room as his heart rate suddenly spiked over 200, only for it to drop back to the 60s when they all got there without them doing anything.
God was with us also to help bring our kids here. Both of us had unwittingly brought the only keys to the passports with us (I usually leave mine with my mom when I travel, but forgot to in the rush to leave for the US). But God sent us angels in Tita Telly and Tito Rico who found a way to get them (how they did it will have to remain a secret...). They even knew someone in Immigration to escort the kids through the airport to the gate when they left this morning.
Even Delta Airlines waived several of their fees after learning of our predicament -- I had just booked tickets for the kids last Saturday for them to come here in May -- from another of our angels, Mars, who is Buddy's loyal secretary. And made sure that all 4 of them (with my sister) were all seated together in one row, on all legs of the trip.
I think even my Dad (Ato Maningat), who celebrates his 25th death anniversary today (Apr 26 Manila time), had a hand in, as the longest leg (Narita-Portland) was 95% booked, but surprisingly had one row of 4 seats available especially for them.
And the fact that so many, many people are praying for us now....how can I even think that God, even for a second, has left us?
So yes, the road ahead is long and we don't know where it's going to go...but as Buddy and I agreed this morning ...we had a charmed life...and we still do because we still have each other....and we have all of you who are praying for us and cheering us on...
Here are pics before we left the ICU and of him eating his dinner in his new room.
PS. People keep asking how we can smile and look like this despite all the stress...the answer is, if we looked bad in them, then they're not going up on the blog:)