Zoey Taberna, daughter of veteran newsman Anthony Taberna, took to social media recently to share with followers that she is now cancer-free.
On Monday, Zoey posted on Facebook several photos detailing her battle against the dreaded disease.
She wrote, “As some of you know, I was diagnosed with leukemia on December 2019. Since then, I have been undergoing chemotherapy. Everything was going on smoothly, and complications were very minimal.
Her situation changed drastically December 2021.
She related, “During this time, I would not feel well often and several parts of my body were hurt. When they brought me to the hospital, they did tests and said that I had problems with my blood sugar because it was way higher than it was supposed to be.”
“Some doctors said it was caused by my steroid medications, and by over consumption of sugar. But as they looked into it more, after getting the results of my bone marrow aspiration, we found out that my acute lymphoblastic leukemia had morphed into acute myeloid leukemia. And this meant that all of the cancer cells that was supposed to be long gone, came back in a way more dangerous and fatal form.”
According to Zoey, the diagnosis was confusing for her.
“I had a hard time understanding why this was happening because from the start, my doctors said that this situation was very rare. I was supposed to repeat all my chemotherapy again in the Philippines, but of course, my parents wanted the better option, so that we could be sure that I will be fully healed,” she shared.
“My doctors recommended for us to go to Singapore because medical care is really good there. So my parents did their best to find a way for us to get there, even during the pandemic. Luckily, we were given permission to go. All of this happened in a span of just 3 weeks so I really still couldn’t process everything in my mind.”
Zoey didn’t want to go.
She explained, “I didn’t want to leave home, especially because my family and friends were there, and we had to be away for around 6 months. and when I heard that I was going to do intensive chemo again, I got so scared.”
She then enumerated the many side effects of going through the process including various aches and pains and hair loss.
But eager as she was to get well, she eventually agreed.
“When we got there, almost immediately, the chemo started. My doctor explained to us that I would be having 2 chemo cycles and a bone marrow transplant,” Zoey went on.
She underwent bone marrow transplant with her sister Helga as donor.
“My parents and my sister got tested. Luckily, my sister was the perfect match, so she became my donor.”
“Helga being my donor didn’t worry me much because the doctor said that it was just like a blood transfusion. But after a while, we found out that Helga would also have to go through multiple procedures.”
Zoey felt guilty about it all.
“I don’t like her feeling pain. Plus she didn’t even have a say about going away from home. I felt like I deprived her from being with the people she wants to be with and going to places she wants to go to because she was stuck with me.”
But she is more than grateful for her sacrifice.
She is also thankful having a strong support system in her family.
“Everything that I went through here definitely wasn’t easy, especially because of the side effects of my treatment.”
“I experienced things that, looking back now, even I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle. But with the support of my loved ones and God, I was able to get over.”
She added, “Literally every bad thing that happened to me was such a blur. I’m not gonna lie, there were so many times that I thought that it was the end for me. that my life would end at 13 years old.”
After the transplant the family stayed in Singapore for several months.
Zoey maintained, “After 167 long days, we went back home to the Philippines. and now I am totally cancer free! I would still have check ups and maintenance drug infusions from time to time, but that is nothing compared to what I’ve been through.”
She thanked God for helping her stay strong throughout the ordeal.
“I couldn’t have done all of this without the help, support and love of everyone special to me and most of all, God. I never forget to thank Him every day for healing me and for giving me a chance to live a longer life.”
She then thanked all those who prayed for her.
She ended, “I guess it’s safe to say that that’s the end of my cancer journey.”