The Surgery


My wife & I after the 9 hours ordeal.



The journey to the operating room was like a sojourn to the unknown.



Inside the operating room, an octopus of tubes and wires to save my life.


It was my first major surgery.

The morning was intense. I had a high fever a night before and worried that the operation will be postpone again.

My body temperature stabilized and I was whisked to the surgery room with my nurse, my wife, and our Ninang Susan.

I changed to a different patient gown – a more comfortable one.

Then I saw on the ceiling light bulbs above the operating table – the same lights I only saw on movies.

They injected the anesthesia, the sight became blurry and then blackout. I never knew what happen next.

The surgery lasted for 9 hours.

It the middle of the operation Dr. Kattan called my wife and he said that they were not able to remove the tumor.

The medical report said it all:

“The patient was booked for surgery on Friday, March 6, 2015.  An epidural, central line and arterial line were obtained before an anesthesia.  An exploration laparotomy was done for possible Whipple procedure.  After dissection, the tumor was found to be invading the root of the mesentery, involving the superior mesenteric vein and the middle colic vein. The tumor in the second part of the duodenum was invading the main right renal artery and veins.  At this point, the decision was made to continue with only a Roux-en-Y double bypass, a gastrojejunostomy and hepaticojejunostomy.  The procedure went well without complications. The PTC drain was kept insitu.”

I was in the ICU when I woke up groggy, I saw the faces of my wife and father-in-law, a bit worried but hopeful.

I regained my consciousness. My ICU nurse was a beautiful Egyptian lady with the body of Lebron James.

I am not discriminatory but it was hell with that nurse. Imagine fresh from surgery, you couldn’t even move properly and you were told, you’d not be able to walk again. I was shocked but I took it as a challenge. The nurse took care of me as if I am a carpet rug of Aladdin.

After a year, I am still alive and grateful for all the people who prayed for me during the surgery. I would like to express my sincerest thanks to Dr. Kattan and to his medical team.

Maraming salamat po sa pagdarasal at pagmamahal!

Though the tumor was not removed. It reminded me of God’s embrace in my life. An assurance that He will never abandon me.

Yesterday (March 5, 2016) I gave an inspirational talk during the PLM-SCA 35th Anniversary at SCAP, Malate and I shared my battle with members, leaders and alumni of the organization.

The Bible teaches us that God created us in His image (see Genesis 1:27), that He knew us before we were born (see Jeremiah 1:5), and that He created us for the singular purpose of glorifying Him (see 1 Corinthians 10:31). Therefore, every day of our lives should be lived for the purpose for which God created us: that we might live for Him and for Him alone.

“Yet not as I will, but as you will” – Matthew 26:39

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