Monday, May 23, 2011

April 25, 2011

Hello Friends,colleagues, and family,

Thanks to you all so very much for coming and supporting FCNA-MH. I know it was a success because you were all there, supporting the organization and the night.
Inspite of what others feared that no one really would show up due to wrong timing, we prevailed and I know that you agree that we all learned from Dr. Wolff and from Mila and Rose.We had a great time shopping too.
I could not have done it w/o you , Arlita, you were there continuing to carry on while I was gone for my family emergencies. Thanks a lot Arlita for negotiating w/ Hilton and Marcy for us which save us some money; thanks for the beautiful clock/plaque and gifts w/ the certificates as well for our speakers. The program was beautiful simple and organized. You sure did a good job as well being our Emcee! Can't thank you enough but suffice to say that you were a big part of our success! Thanks a lot for getting Marie to exhibit and for all the ads that you procured. Thanks for selling all the tickets you could esp. w/ your Lions friends.Thanks to Vic too for supporting you!
Chona, what can I say? I bugged you with the tickets, the ads, and other things that necessitated communications w/ Riza , Luz and Arlita. I know it was hard for you to handle all these especially since you work nights and had to tend to your Dad. I appreciate all your big efforts to help me and the organization. It is not left unnoticed! We need you!!!
The ads lay out was super!!! Maybe you can get another part time job laying out stuffs????
Riza and Toto, you did great w/ the slide presentation , preparing the ppt and actually showing it off last Saturday. I was really impressed how beautiful the slides were that Chona did and how wonderful the slides flowed.
Toto, you were a life saver that night cuz Robert said he was lost when the projector wouldn't work. You had a magic touch that made those 2 equipment talk to each other. Thanks to both of you for your great help! Could not have done it w/o you two!!!
Vangie, Arlene and Gayle, thanks a million for ordering the ballons; Vangie for picking those beautiful balloonswith Arlene. Those balloons brightened our venue . I know that was a travail hauling them in your cars making them pop to your dismay! It's ok, they were noticed and they lit up the place. Thanks too for trying hard to sell tickets and ads. I know it was difficult but you all did it! Arlene, thanks a lot for helping out w/ Registration also w/ Luz and setting up the FCNA-MH table for the shirts, caps, etc. Vangie, please tell Gwynne and Bing thanks too for being there.
Thanks Gayle for communicating w/ Fr. Ricky Salen and taking care of him and his food at the event. Thanks for all the tickets that you sold and for assisting Vangie and Arlene.
Luz, you were a gem just taking care of the seating and payments w/ all e-mails pouring in and w/ all the confusions. I really, really appreciate all your sacrifices for FCNA-MH. I know that you are so bz at work too and my constant calls for you may have annoyed you so I apologize. Thanks for manning the registration desk that night and for keeping tab of our guests, payments and afterwards accounting of our monies. I know we made it!
Nora, thanks a lot also for helping out w/ the beautiful invocation before our meal, for taking charge of the raffle and for helping out every way you could at the event. I know I can always depend on you to save the day!
Eufe, thanks a million for having Mila Patena there as one of our speakers. She did great w/ your encouragement! Thanks for your support in inviting your family and friends to the occasion.I know there were conflicts in your commitments but you still showed up to show your support. I can not thanks you enough.We missed Vic!
Ampy, many thanks for your never-ending support, w/ tickets, sales, and ads and everything else that you can do for FCNA-MH. You are always there w/ Fred so I thank the two of you for your love and support. Thanks too for closing the program. God bless you and hope you continue to be Cancer free! Fred was a gem to be there supporting you so please tell him thanks.
Gina and Danny, thanks so much for helping usher our guests last Saturday. Thanks a lot for being there to show your passion for this organization. Gina, thanks also for your generous donation. You guys did a great job!!!
Pam, Ron ,Hermie, Mel, Grace, Guy, Susan and Dennis, Joy and George, Beth and Steve, Cecile and Chris and other colleagues, families (Mng Cel, Al and Jon) and friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming and showing your love last Saturday. I hope you plan to come back next year for our 3rd annual survivors night.
Thess, Rose and Charles, thanks for coming. Rose you did so good w/ your testimonial. I thank you so very much also for bringing your family there.
Thanks for your ad, She and Aleza! We missed you!
Marie / Silver Lining, Joy/Joy's Boutique, Lorna and Aurora/Carico's International Household, Wilma/Emily's Fashion and Suzette/ Earthman's , thanks to you all for your booths and your support.
Deb/ Plaza Specialty, Rey/ Caring Professionals, and Merlita/Nursing Resource thanks a lot for your generous donations! Wish you all could have been there.
Thanks Mng. Rose, Cleo, Rosnela and the rest for your donations. You were missed!
Tony / The Vosswood and Garden Terrace, Jill and Bonnie/The Care Group, Pabs/IPR Healthcare Services, Virgie/ Cassell Home Health, Rhia/PSAOT, Jun and Tess Alquiza, Arlita/ACP Health Care Resources, Nellie Balingit, Sabrina and Cyrus, Houston Royal Oaks Lions Club, Amie Pacardo, Arlette Lamas, Gloria Jorque, Vangie Masalta and family, Emme Nisnisan-Mendoza families, Panganiban family, Leisa Lovy/Kindred Hospital, The Right Solutions and Gina Shankr and family, thanks for your ads as well.
Special thanks to Dr. Robert Wolff for accepting our invitation to be our keynote speaker. You really impartedwonderful information on Pancreatic Cancer to our audience. We appreciate you spending your precious time with us last Saturday 4/23/2011.
Thank you Diana, my sister, Dr. Beng Ho, Dr. Daisy Ho and Dr. Beran for coming to our event and for supporting us.
Sorry some of you could not make it but know that you were missed and that we are praying that next year you will join us in this celebration. Thanks again to you all for your generosity. God bless you all!
Last but not least, thanks , Honey for all you did to support me and encouraging me to carry on inspite of my very stressful situation and difficult predicament a couple of weeks before the event. I really would have been in the dumps if not for you. I love you!
PS, If I missed any one, please forgive me cuz my brain is all fried now!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Please come and support our fundraiser April 23, 2011

At the Southwest Hilton Hotel, our friends, supporters and volunteers will come together to celebrate the 2nd Annual Celebration of Life. We look forward to all who come to enjoy each other's company and enjoy some music and dancing. The food at this Hilton has always beenexcellent. We missed the fact that this Saturday is Holy Saturday and some of our devoutmembers won't be able to make the celebration, this is a lesson learned for next year when we will have a bigger and better event with more participation. God Bless all of us. Members, Cancer Survivors, loved ones and caregivers. We pray for the survivors and the Cancer research being done to extend and cure Cancer.

Again please come and enjoy and help us Celebrate. Don Vega

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FCNA-MH 1st Annual Cancer Symposium

The first Filipino Cancer Network of America-Metropolitan Houston (FCNA-MH) Annual Cancer Symposium was held on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at the Metro Bank Community Center on Bellaire Blvd., Houston Texas from 1:00-4:00 PM. It was an attempt to educate the Filipino community on the many ramifications of Cancer not only to the Cancer patient but also to the families, caregivers and the community.

Chona Sano, RN, BSN , her daughtewr and Dulce Bayot, RN, BSN were at hand for the registration of participants while Ampy displayed her many beautiful crocheted shawls, bonnets, ponchos and decorative towels at a table for fund-raising to benefit FCNA-MH. There were also T-shirts, tote bags, license plates, caps and visors for sale. Some of our very dedicated Facilitators were there to lend a helping hand to set up the venue and just there for support like Luz Reyes, RN, BSN, who is the FCNA-MH Treasurer and works at SLEH as 1st Assistant in Cardiovascular Surgery , Nora Peralta, RN, MSN , Rosnela Hardesty, RN, BSN , Gina Shankar, RN, BSN, Bernadette Pammit, RN, BSN and husbands like Fred de la Paz, Toto Mauricio and Robert Medrano were also there helping out.

Cherry Sloan-Medrano, Coordinator, welcomed everyone and thanked everyone for spending the evening with the group. Zenny Pancho, RN, a retired Nurse Educator from Texas Woman’s University and one of our FCNA-MH Lead Facilitators delivered a very spiritual reflection before the attendants. Arlita Pang,RN, one of our Lead FCNA-MH Facilitators was the ever vibrant Emcee. She briefly introduced the presenters for the evening symposium.

Six seasoned speakers were invited to present various topics. Dr. Alex Wong, a Medical Oncologist who has his private Oncology practice in Sugar Land and a graduate of UST College of Medicine was the first speaker. He spoke very thoroughly and eloquently on the most common sequelae or after-effects of Cancer and Cancer treatment such as pain, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, anxiety/depression, alopecia or hair loss, anorexia or loss of appetite, sexual implications and other psychosocial effects of Cancer and treatment. He was followed by Riza Mauricio, RN, CCRN, a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who works at MD Anderson, Pediatric ICU and Co-Coordinator of FCNA-MH, followed Dr. Wong w/ her descriptive discussion of many interesting case studies of her young patients at MD Anderson. She spoke how a nurse would deal and care for the children and young adults with Cancer. It is not an easy task according to Ms. Mauricio, sometimes heartbreaking but could be done and is very rewarding.

Sheilah Bofil, RN, MSN , who works also at MD Anderson in the Quality Dept. delivered a very organized way of caring for an adult cancer patient utilizing all the resources to effectuate quality and continuum of care. She provided the audience with information regarding community resources and web sites for various Cancer sites. After a short break, with plenty of snacks, the group re-convened with Ampy de la Paz, RN, MSN one of FCNA-MH Advisers and a long time Cancer Survivor spoke on touching personal experience and journey as a cancer survivor. She discussed how she coped with her diagnosis and how others may have a different reaction to their diagnoses. She also spoke on the personal and professional implications of her Cancer diagnosis, how it affected her and her family, her Nursing profession and how she coped.

Tony Fernandez, MSW, who is a Social Worker and Director of a couple facilities in the Houston area dealt with the psychosocial implications of a Cancer Diagnosis. He personally narrated his experience having a mother who was diagnosed with Cancer and his sister who was positive for the genes of the specific inherited Cancer. He spoke on the psychosocial effects of cancer to the individual with the diagnosis and with the families and caregivers.

Finally, Emilie Ramos, RN, BSN, who works at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and the wife of a Cancer Survivor willingly, recounted the difficult Cancer journey of her husband and her family in dealing with a Cancer diagnosis for almost three years now. Luckily, she stated that her husband is willing to fight the diagnosis with his very positive attitude, very willing to participate in Clinical trials at MD Anderson. She spoke on how her whole family was affected from the very beginning and how they are effectively coping to this day.

The participants were encouraged to ask questions in an open forum. Some families of Cancer patients and group members who are now deceased attended the symposium. It was not a huge crowd for this first symposium but we are hoping that the word will spread like wild fire that the FCNA-MH is here to help the community, the families and individuals cope with Cancer. We are here hand in hand to educate, to navigate, to advocate and assist in caring for our brothers and sisters affected with the dreaded Big C.
Together, we will care for each other! Most of our Facilitators are experienced nurses and a lot more with Oncology experience, working at MD Anderson and other hospitals. We hope that many more will participate and join this worthwhile organization for all our good.

Please go to our web site to get to know more of our organization:

Cherry Sloan-Medrano, RN, BSN, CCM, BC. OCN
FCNA-MH Coordinator

Celebration of Life 2010

The Filipino Cancer Network of America-Metropolitan Houston ( FCNA-MH)held its 2nd Annual Celebration of Life Health Fair and Picnic on Saturday, October 23,2010 at Kitty Hollow Park in Missouri City from 9:00AM- 4:00 PM. The event is a yearly tribute to all Cancer survivors, their families and caregivers. It was open to the public!

There were organizations that collaborated to make this health fair a success. The Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan Houston lead by the Community Outreach Chairperson, Vangie Masalta along with a group of Members and volunteers monitored blood pressures and Glucose (blood sugar) of all who were willing to sit down and visit their booth. They also have lots of brochures and literature on Hypertension, Diabetes and Heart Disease. MD Anderson Public Education had two booths, one for Anti-Smoking Campaign w/ Puscilla Ip, RN (from MD Anderson) as the volunteer tending the booth, and it was complete with their puppet displays and anti-smoking literature; another booth for Cancer Prevention was set up with al kinds of educational materials on general Cancer Prevention, Nutrition, schedule of recommended diagnostics, site specific information on various types of Cancer and information on MD Anderson. Garden Terrace and Vosswood Facility were represented by Tony Fernandez, MSW from Vosswood, who displayed various information materials of the two facilities. There were “give-aways” for all to take home from MDACC and from Garden Terrace and Vosswood.

It was a potluck lunch so most everyone brought their favorite dish (cooked or bought). There was plenty of food for all to partake that day. There were plenty of culinary delights to take home too after the event. It was also a fund-raising event where Ampy de la Paz, displayed her beautiful art of crocheting various shawls, bonnets, kitchen towels, etc. for sale and part of proceeds to benefit FCNA-MH. There were also red FCNA-MH t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, visors, caps and license plates for sale at the event. All the proceeds were for FCNA-MH coffer because there are no Membership fees to join the organizations and it survives through fund-raising and donations only.

The crowd started to gather around 10 am although the place was secured and set up by Vangie and Bing Masalta and Robert and Cherry Medrano at 9 AM. It was a very breezy day but the sky was blue and no clouds or rain to dampen the spirits of those who attended. It was a perfect set up for a picnic and health fair. Some members of the Ilocano Club and Lions Club also attended the health fair. The Ilocano Club was also having their annual picnic in a nearby cabaƱa. Once the Spiritual Adviser, Fr. Enrique Salen arrived around 11 am, the crowd was asked to gather around the Cancer Survivors while he prayed over them, anointed sacred oil on their foreheads and palms and prayed for those who were gone because of Cancer. Everyone lifted their hands in prayer over the survivors. It was a solemn ceremony and those presents there felt the spirituality of the event. This was followed by the most special and touching part of the day with Fr. Salen praying for all the Cancer survivors and the expired brethren due to Cancer while each one released either a red star shaped balloon for live survivor or white star shaped balloons for all those who died. Some of those present were so touched that you could see tears flowing down their cheeks as they gazed at the balloons fly off to the heavens. Fr. Salen then blessed the sumptuous meal when the balloons were nowhere in the blue sky. It was time to share all the food and drinks that the community brought.

It is a very memorable event that we hope to repeat every year to honor and celebrate all Cancer survivors and their families and caregivers. We hope to have more community participation in the next coming years. This organization is all about helping and sharing all those affected with Cancer so we hope the word will be out and spread among the Filipino community about this great organizations and its endeavors.

Cherry Sloan-Medrano

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Friend Elen Bautista-Malicse

Thank you Tita Cherry, PNAMH and FCNAMH family,
I am forever grateful to be a member of such wonderful organizations.
I was not feeling well for a while. I was trying to figure out why and that is one of the reasons why I decide to resign as a board member of PNAMH.because I am not functioning well, easily get tired, complain of back pain and hip pain and can not contribute to at least attend meetings.
It started in late 2008 but I didn't have a definitive diagnosis until my incidental MRI in June 1 this year.
So I took necessary steps like communicating with the friends I know like Tita Cherry who knows best about cancer.
I feel better now that MDAnderson is treating me.
My spirit is high and confident I am in good hands and the best people who are caring for me.
I started my chemo Sept. 2, Hopefully will regain my newself free of this disease in the year to come.
Please keep praying for me. I need all the prayers I can get.
On behalf of Guilly, my loving husband and our family, I thank you for all your support.
Sincerely in Christ,
Elen Bautista-Malicse

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cynthia Jocson

Thank you all friends and colleagues especially Rey and Alex Tapia,Deacon Charlie and Ding Buhay, Cecile and Chris Bauri and the Executive Board of PNAMH and FCNA-MH for offering your hearts and prayers to Cynthia and her family these past few months while she was battling with Cancer and until the end when she finally succumbed. Your constant support and presence really meant a lot to her. She appreciated all you did for her and I am sure that she is still in awe how we have all come together as her huge circle of friends supporting her and her family especially when they didn’t have a biological family here.

Every little act of caring and kindness you all did impressed Cynthia. She told me that she was so happy to be associated with you all and felt blessed even with her diagnosis. She said that she wished that she had a family here but then realized when she was sick that she did have a family here and could not have asked for a better one.

She was a true and dedicated nurse who made Nursing her life almost 24/7 working at various places and companies while she had the strength even after her diagnosis. She loved Nursing and she had the true spirit of Nightingale. Unfortunately, she loved her profession and her family so much that she neglected herself in many ways because what others needed was her priority.

She was a very prayerful child of God. She funneled this to her children and all can see how her four boys are so respectful, disciplined and God-centered serving in their Church and working in their community. Besides being intelligent, which they inherited from their Mom, these children have goals set not only by them but with their mother’s aid and inspiration. I know that Cynthia’s spirit will always guide them to succeed in their chosen careers for that was her dream.

So now that our friend and colleague has gone to a better place, let us all keep her in our thoughts and prayers. Let us remember our happy times with her and keep her in our hearts and prayers that one day we'll be together again where there will be more fun, laughter and love.


Friday, August 6, 2010

To my nurse colleagues:

We are so dedicated to our profession and caring for the sick especially when it involves our families and friends. Many times we forget that our own families and friends have their wishes and ideas on how their illenesses in general will be treated and if they are terminally ill, what measures they would want done for them to alleviate their symptoms and not prolong their agonies. We as nurses are focused on alleviating suffering and are concerned for the patients' families and many times our own personal experiences and values come into play as well. We mean well and our intentions are good but when intervening in patients' treatment modalities especially when they are terminally ill, we should make sure that we are not going against the patients' wishes and families' pre-determined treatment plan. We want to make sure that we are not contradicting the medical personel's goals and treatment regimen when discussing any treatment changes for the patients. If we are not the designated or named decision makers for patients' care, we must abstain from giving our opinions unless asked by the patients' families. If we give instructions or unsolicited opinions especially changes in treatment options to patients' families, there is a huge possibility that we will confuse them and more likely get the treatment team in a precarious situation whether they are actually euthanizing the patient versus providing comfort measures when the patients are actively dying due to incurable diseases as in the late stages of cancer and the protocols, trials and care deemed appropriate for those particular diseases and stages were already exhausted.

We must remember that when the patients already signed the Advanced Directives, Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney naming designated persons to speak for them and make decisions for their care, we must honor these and not go against their decisions. It is also ethically wrong and possibly have legal ramifications if we convince the families to go against what the patients actually verbalized for their end of life care while they were coherent.

So to protect ourselves from any legal and ethical entanglement as Nursing professionals, we must be very cautious and extra careful when providing advices to the patients' families regarding end of life care if we are not the persons designated to do so no matter what experiences we have and length of Nursing experience. These do not matter but the bottom line is, what matters is the respect we should afford our families and friends at the end of their lives. We mean well for sure but we must avoid hurting the very persons we care for by our careless disregard of patients' wishes.
Cherry Sloan-Medrano RN, BSN, CCM, BC, OCN