My father Dante Q. de Guzman is currently 83 years young. Together, we have partnered in to a ministry in the Aeta Villages of N. Luzon, Philippines where we support the Aeta pastors to expand His (our Lord, Jesus) Kingdom to the remote areas. My father's foot prints have been all over the Mount Pinatubo region of Tarlac and Zambales and has been instrumental in establishing 10+ churches, to include pastoral support to 43 Aeta Pastors.
My father, Dante, and mother, Zenaida, visited me in Lakewood, CO in August 2017 and planned to stay with me through January 2018. This is a typical event as both parents visit me regularly, perhaps to ensure that I am doing well.
On Wednesday, 12/7/2017: Dante was feeling so weak and I noticed that he was trying to vomit. Since he had not been eating for days, nothing was coming out. I brought him to Saint Joseph Hospital and there he was evaluated for blood transfusion, as his platelets were very low at 22 (normal at 150).
Thursday, 12/7/2017: Red Blood and platelet transfusion was given to Dante, since he was so low on both of these. In addition, a scheduled bone marrow biopsy was to be performed at 1pm. Partial results were to be given sometime on Saturday and it may take until Monday or Tuesday for a full result of the bone marrow.
Friday, 12/8/2017: Though he was weak, his mind was strong. We chatted about the upcoming cruise that we had planned for their 60th anniversary from Long Beach to Mexico and a family reunion in Uncle Virgilio, Auntie Glo, cousin Ned, cousin Connie and rest of our family in the LA, CA region the following week. We discussed how we would have to cancel due to his medical condition. He gave me the permission to go ahead on the cruise, since it was going to be a short trip of only 4 days. My conscience said "no" and that I would rather be with him.
Saturday, 12/9/2017: Dante appeared to be tired in the morning with a blood pressure of only 83 / 44. It was obvious that they would do another blood transfusion and sure enough, after the procedure, he was up with energy. Our friends from Bear Valley Church Pastor Dan Smith, Ms Eunice, Dr Lani and her husband Marti, plus the Senior BVC Pastor visited him and prayed over him. Though, my father appears weak, in his low voice to me he whispered that he will be healed. Since I have had leukemia since 2010, he is encouraged that if I can make it, he will as well.
Sunday, 12/10/2017: Today was a tough day, the doctor advised me that a partial report shows that it is a type of cancer. The worse scenario would be treatments would be traumatic for his body, since his liver & kidney functions were less than favorable. Although, there is a type of cancer where it would be treated with an IV, but thinking out the worse scenario would be unfavorable. With the news given to my father and mother, my father sat up and stated "with the doctor's words, it made me strong and I will overcome."
Though, we don't have the full blown result as of yet, I am asking each of you to please come in agreement with my father and I for a miracle from our Lord, Jesus. That God heals him and be whole for a while.
Monday, 12/11/2017: My sister arrived last night and this morning we met with the oncologist. We heard a glimpse of hope that the bone marrow result is not definite for a type of cancer and perhaps, it may be Eppstein Barr (Mono). If it's the Eppstein Barr, this infection is typically difficult for my father as he does not have the immune system that is strong.
In the meantime, he has bleeding in the colon and the hospital is unable to perform a colonoscopy as his platelets are low. Daily, transfusion is given to him to either strengthen the platelet or red blood cells. Then, a even worse news from the hospital doctors. Apparently, there is an immediate infection resulting from the gall bladder / liver that is not able to process gall stones. They have given him just days and my father 's mind is still strong, while he listened to the next battle. It went from weeks (Sunday's prognosis to today's of just days remaining, he is very sick).
My niece from Cleveland (Taida's daughter arrived around lunch time. At 2:30pm, the family gathered with the Palatieve care to go over options. They stressed "DNR do not resuscitate" as a consideration, since he is very weak.
My father's wish it to find out what the results are from the bone marrow, i.e. was it a blood disorder or was it the Eppstein Barr viral infection that caused this. Though, the end result may be the same, he just wants to know. The care team agreed that they will make him comfortable and hope that his body can sustain until the outcome of the results are known.
Tuesday, 12/12/2017: Early morning, he has a high pain level and is uncomfortable. The nurse was able to help him be comfortable and he spoke to pastors and family. I witnessed the exchange of our Lord, Jesus, as he whispered "I love you" to each one. Now, he awaits for the arrival of my brother in law and nephew from Upstate NY. He states that once he talks to them, he can rest in peace. At this time, I noticed a lot of anxiety and thank God that He continues to give him medical staff who continues to make him comfortable.
The oncologist, unfortunately, advised me that it will take more days to get the results of the bone marrow. It is a comprehensive evaluation and not easy to analyze. Doctors, are just giving him hours with the goal of sustaining his health until my brother in law and nephew arrives.
7:15pm, Papa's heart rate almost reached 130 and was in a lot of pain & anxiety. He received pain meds & extra pain meds and is now sleeping.
Brother in-law arrived at 10pm from NY, the person he was waiting for to entrust my mother to. Shortly, he took his last breaths and unbelievable that it may seem, his heart continued to beat.
Wednesday, 2/13 at 1:46am, papa joined our Lord, Jesus with our family around him.
Psalms 116:15 PRECIOUS IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD WHEN ONE OF HIS SAINTS (SERVANTS) DIES.
The memorial service will be held in Lakewood, CO 80228 on Friday at 2pm at Bear Valley Church. Stay tuned for a memorial in the Philippines.
Danzena C. de Guzman
During the last season decade, papa and I have been very active in expanding His Kingdom.
Visit our website at: http://servantsofchristinternational.org/Deguzman-danzena/