Spreading cancer causing Cory more pain

- Aurea Calica -

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Corazon Aquino’s cancer has spread from her colon to her liver, which has weakened her and caused her more pain, her son Sen. Benigno Aquino III admitted to reporters yesterday at the opening of the Senate session.

He also said his mother’s condition is so delicate that she cannot undergo chemotherapy.

“Initially it was in the colon, but now it has spread to her liver. The other details I’d rather (wait for the doctors to explain). We’re preparing a more comprehensive statement detailing everything from the beginning. We’re hoping to work on it by Wednesday… maybe we can bring it out after that,” Aquino said.

The 76-year-old former leader has been in hospital for a month now and is being fed intravenously.

Aquino said his mother was being administered medicine to manage her pain because “her weakened condition does not allow chemotherapy.”

“Around three weeks after the radiation, she was not eating properly. We have been in the hospital for four weeks now. So it’s close to two months that she is not eating well. The intravenous feeding gave her some 1,500 calories, but it’s lesser now because we have to replace it (to make it compatible with pain medications),” he said.

“We have reached the point where you’re not sure if the intervention will help or worsen her condition,” he told reporters.

The senator said the liver responded dramatically to the radiation therapy but “unfortunately it also spread in other areas and we can no longer do any intervention due to her weakened condition.”

“It’s like a checkmate,” he said.

Aquino said there were a lot of tubes attached to his mother’s body to help her condition, including oxygen to aid her in her sleep and a catheter because she could not go to the bathroom anymore.

“Up to last week she was still getting up to go to the bathroom, with assistance,” the senator said.

Aquino said he last talked to his mother late last week. “You just go there and tell her stories even without a response.”

The senator added the doctors advised them against bringing their mother home despite her requests because it might be difficult to go back to the hospital due to the traffic, particularly during emergencies.

He also said they would not like her to have anymore concerns because in “her unconscious state she still might be thinking of a lot of things that she had wanted to have advanced.”

Aquino said his mother would show if she was in pain but never did she complain.

“Not even once did I hear her question why. Once she said it hurt. Before, when she was being helped to get up to go to the bathroom with all her tubes, she’d grimace. You could see it in her face but she won’t say anything,” Aquino said.

The senator said when his mother first entered the hospital, she would still ask what was in the newspaper he was reading and whether he had eaten.

GMA mentions Cory in SONA

President Arroyo remained cognizant of the contributions of her critic former President Aquino, mentioning her twice in her last State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday.

Mrs. Arroyo started her SONA by asking all those in attendance to join her in a moment of prayer for the now ailing Aquino.

In the SONA yesterday, the President placed Mrs. Aquino alongside one of the country’s heroes, Andres Bonifacio, who fought for the country’s freedom from oppression.

“From Bonifacio at Balintawak to Cory Aquino at EDSA and up to today, we have struggled to bring power to the people, and this country to the eminence it deserves,” the President said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Edgardo Angara offered a prayer for Mrs. Aquino, adding that even in sickness, Mrs. Aquino “continues to shine as a powerful beacon of democracy.”

Prayers and Masses continue

Meanwhile, at Makati City Hall, some 200 employees joined yesterday in praying for Mrs. Aquino’s recovery.

A nine-day Mass started yesterday at the City Hall, which was festooned with yellow ribbons.

The Mass at City Hall will be held today to noon.

In Malolos City, hundreds of Bulakenyos, wearing yellow shirts, joined a Mass and prayer for Aquino. 

Aside from offering a special Mass and prayer, provincial officials also tied yellow balloons on the palm trees fronting the provincial capitol compound.

Meanwhile, the healing Masses for Mrs. Aquino resumed yesterday at the Manila City Hall Bulwagan Hall.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said the Masses would last until Friday and, like before, will be held at noon.

Lim also directed department of public services (DPS) chief Ret. Col. Carlos Baltazar to festoon all major thoroughfares in the city with yellow ribbons as a “morale booster” for Mrs. Aquino. - With Marvin Sy, Jose Rodel Clapano, Dino Balabo, Sandy Araneta

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