Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Long Road Ahead

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 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:)


  1. Ria and Buddy: Everyday I look, and hope, for a post from you. First, because I hope and pray Buddy is doing better and responding to treatments. Second, is because I always find your posts, whether good news or not so good news, filled with three things: (1) A strong Faith in God, (2) A love for each other that inspires all, and (3) Hope. You never fail to see the ways in which God is working in your lives. From your first post on this blog I was moved by your faith. One does not need to be a believer to know there is a great power directing your lives right now if they read this blog, but those you have in all your corners and surrounding you both, along with your children, are TRUE believers. I am moved by the miracles and the grace of God working in your lives. Thank you for continuing to share your journey so honestly with us. While I wish Buddy, you, your family, and friends didn't have to go through all of this, I want you to know I am grateful for the message you bring each time you post. Your faith, hope, and love is inspiring and has been a blessing during a time when I have recently told God that I really don't need to know how much stronger I can be. I'm o.k. with knowing this much is what I can handle. I pray for you, Buddy, and your children throughout the day. I have asked my family and friends to join the Prayer Warriors as well. You are an amazing woman of faith Ria, who wouldn't give everything they had to be by your side for years to come? Buddy was blessed by God the day you walked into his life. How blessed you both are for having found each other. I am so happy you and Buddy will be with your children again soon. Christine

  2. Thanks for the update and inspiring us with your faith. Take care of yourself too because of the long road ahead. We, your batchmates, are continuously praying for you and the whole family :))

  3. With a positive attitude, every thing seem to be looking good.. just continue looking up and all will be well. We will not let up storming the heavens until those C cells realise they made a massive mistake taking on Buddy. Praying with you and for you all....God bless...Hugs, Phylline

  4. We are all cheering for you here Buddy and Ria! Sab misses Nadya already and she just left today. Sab has been asking me for updates about Buddy and was so rekieved that he is out of the ICU. God will always be on your side :-) praying for you still. - POT

  5. Great update Ria and I'm really glad to hear of the move out of ICU. You both have tremendous strength and I commend you for that - lots of signs that a greater force is trying to help you out along the way! I hope Friday is a good day - it's supposed to be sunny and beautiful out so maybe even some fresh air??? Keep the faith and your strength Buddy and Ria! Megan Kern

  6. Praying for your family, Ria....

  7. Buddy and Ria - great to hear things are improving. I continue to keep you in my prayers and thoughts. Your positive attitude and posts are inspiring and I thank you for that.

    Mark Endres

  8. God is good all the time. Always trust in HIM. - Dino and Quile

  9. praying for Buddy's complete recovery..

  10. Please tell Buddy that he (and your entire family) are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Jim McGowan

    A long lost classmate from high school.

  11. Hi Ria, this is good news. Actually, Buddy looks better now and younger looking sa present pics....So nice also that your kids are there with you now. Both of you are lucky to have each other. Continue praying and I know He will never leave him, you and your kids. Be strong for the kids too.
    Praying for his fast recovery , for you also and the kids. Think Positive and smile always inspite of all of these, it lightens ones feelings and everything will be alright. It has already started right. You both take care,same with the kids.... // Rochelle G.

  12. Thanks for the update Ria. I'm really glad you have each other through this journey and that the kids will be able to be with you soon. Buddy has a strong and wonderful wife and I'm thankful for you. :) Stay strong and we'll continue to pray for the both of you.

  13. Your strength, tenacity and faith through all this are admirable. You're all in our prayers. Ria - call me any time...

    Rij Farolan

  14. Glad to hear the good news Ria. Will continue praying for Buddy, you and your entire family. Stay strong in faith and love. God is definitely on your side. All these incidents happening is not pure luck. It's God's way of telling you that He hears you. How inspiring to see your gratefulness in all the big and small blessings you have received in a challenging time like this. Thinking of you always.

  15. great news one after the other! those little blessings are a clear indication that our Almighty is with you on this journey. will continue to pray for you guys.


  16. I read somewhere that the power of will is such that it can break the world into pieces to make a stool to sit on.

    If there's anyone I've known with that kind of will power, it is you, my friend.

    See you soon.

    - Vivek

  17. Hi Armando, this is Wai Khin. I went through cancer treatment last Oct and being positive is 50% battle won. Even though our body will ache, our spirit will dwindle, our appetite will be lost, our mind will be tired, just keep going. Being extremely positive will generate lots of good cells that will replace the bad.

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

    I recovered and I believed so will you. My prayers will always be with you too.

    Best Wishes

  18. Hi Armando. This is Louie Pilapil, a former colleague at Global Sources. I'm praying for your speedy recovery. You have a wonderful family and great friends who will share this journey with you. Take care and do keep up updated. Stay strong! Know that I'm cheering you on!

  19. Hi Armando! I'm not the praying type nor the religious sort, but I do wish you well and better days to come. And I'm glad the great Guardian up in the sky is taking care of you and your family. :) Keep keepin' on. -Jacque

  20. Hi Armando!
    It's Jen Calubad, former colleague at Global Sources.
    I've never seen you without a smile on your face. Stay positive and strong.
    Wishing you a positive and speedy recovery.


  21. My thoughts are with you guys. Get better soon man.

    -Brent N