“Noon” lives in Doha with his wife and two children. His home country is the Philippines, and he came to Qatar to pursue better work opportunities.
Several months before his diagnosis, he was experiencing pain in his chest below the right rib, coming from the area of the liver. But he did not tell his wife about the pain. At first, he thought it was just a gas pain, but it was recurring every day. And one night, he began to feel a severe stabbing pain on his right lower rib with a high fever, so we called emergency, and he was rushed to Al Wakrah Hospital.
After he was treated, the doctor informed him that he had colon cancer with the liver. He did not know a lot about the illness; he was saddened by the news and discouraged. That night he and his wife cried because of his condition.
“I was shocked when finding out that I had cancer, my wife and I were distraught. She was with me at the time when I received my diagnosis.
When anyone hears the word ‘cancer,’ they think that it is a death sentence. I am very thankful that my wife stayed by me from the beginning to support me at each stage of the journey.
I also have a sister who has breast cancer and is currently undergoing chemo treatments in the Philippines. She is a source of support to me. Every day we communicate through messaging, and sometimes, we do video calls. We encourage one another to fight this battle.
I believe that it is vital to have emotional support from the family. It is good to have friends and comfort you – I have many old friends, and I talk to them through Zoom. Also, the patient needs financial support that I got from the Qatar Cancer Society, and I want to thank this charity for their financial help.
Last year in July, I was terminated from my job, and this added to my problems. I have worked for my company since 2005, and they kindly retained my sponsorship to continue my cancer treatment in Qatar.
I am so grateful to Qatar and the health system that takes care of all people who live in it; if I was diagnosed with this cancer in my home country, I don’t know what would happen to me… Some people in the Philippines can’t afford to go to the hospital, just waiting for their time.
During my cancer journey, my wife experience anxiety and depression because of the workloads she’s having, like doing the household chores, working from home, and at the same time taking care of me. My wife was very understanding and kept telling me that ‘you have done enough to your family’; I held a good job, created a strong family, provided for them, and gave them a better life.
I am looking forward to the future when I can help again. Personally,
sometimes I felt that I was worthless since I no longer work, and sometimes I want to give something to my wife or children, but I hope one day I will be healthy again and have an everyday life with my family.
My children are also good at comforting me – they don’t know the exact medical details, but we told them that I have cancer. Since my children are teenagers, they understand my situation.
My advice to parents for talking to your children about cancer is that it depends on the situation and the age of the children – if they are teenagers, they can probably understand.
My advice to those who are first diagnosed with cancer: learn to accept the situation as soon as possible and motivate yourself to get better to overcome the illness.
I believe that God could heal you anytime, no matter how bad your situation is. And each day you wake up, thank God that he still has a plan for your life. Think that one day you are going to be healed: for nothing is impossible with God.
Now I am learning and coping with fighting this battle. Just live one day at a time.