CEBU CITY, Philippines — “At this point, I can go through life as normally as I can, how my wife would want it to be.”
These were the words of Oscar Aguilar when it finally sank into him that his treatment for Cancer was finally over.
The retired businessman, who owns two pharmacies in the city, managed to put on a smile as he sat on his bed inside a private suite at Allegiant Regional Care Hospital (ARC) in Lapu-Lapu City while sharing light moments with CDN Digital.
Aguilar, 67, from Barangay Talamban, Cebu City was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in late 2018 while his wife Amelia underwent treatment for her ovarian cancer.
Recalling his battle made him feel confident to work hard and to stay alive, as he conquered the odds despite losing his wife along the way.
Accompanied by his son Justin, Aguilar said he did not take his illness seriously since he had to be strong for his wife.
His wife Amelia was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, while Aguilar found out he had cancer a year later.
“I had to be stronger for her, I had to be his support system even if times are hard,” he said.
Faith and love
With the loss of his mother, Justin questioned God’s purpose for him and his father.
“It made me question God; I’ve already made plans for myself and my own family,” said Justin.
According to him, the future looked promising for him and his family in Australia.
Justin was taking his masters in Business Administration, abroad.
Learning the news about his parents, Justin quickly flew back and decided to stay here for good.
“But at the end of the day, the love for parents is more important that’s why we flew back with my family and decided to stay here for good,” he added.
“Faith has also contributed a lot, even if I questioned God’s plans for me, when you start to accept the truth and not dwell on it, you will realize the important things in life and appreciate even the simplest of things,” added Aguilar.
When sought comments if the whole experience affected their family financially, Justin commends both of his parents for being frugal and said his parents’ savings contributed a big help.
Dr. Alex Alegrado, ARC Medical Director and Oncologist, who has been Aguilar’s support, provided the best medical care possible and said that he felt proud of his patients’ journey.
In fact, Alegrado also treated and witness how Aguilar’s wife fought for her life beside her husband.
“His wife would be on one bed, while he was right next to her, both undergoing treatment,” Alegrado said.
ARC Hospitals which will be celebrating its first anniversary tomorrow was chosen and the Aguilars chose it as their health care provider because of its reliable and experienced physicians including Dr. Alegrado himself.
Aguilar said that they could have opted for a more established hospital in the city but chose ARC simply because they have full confidence and trust in them.
“Dr. Alegrado is a very professional physician and I’m glad that he’s the one we’ve entrusted with my treatment,” said Aguilar.
According to Dr. Alegrado, the patient is currently under close surveillance and is regularly monitored.
Though he isn’t totally cancer-free, being able to complete his treatment is a winning moment for the family.
Nevertheless, both father and son remained positive that they made it this far.
“Losing my wife was the hardest for us, Justin, but we’ve learned to accept that it was her time and have to move on,” said Aguilar while giving out a sigh.
“One day, I’ll just visit her because we’ve been through so much together,” he said.
“Death really did not separate us, She just had to be there sooner than me; now with my development, I can go through life as normally as I can, how my wife would want it to be,” continued Aguilar.
Now, as Oscar and Justin face the future together with renewed faith and strength in God, their ordeal and their road to recovery is a testament that anyone with cancer can endure and overcome if they choose to accept, stay positive as they cooperate with their doctor./dbs