By Alex P. Vidal
The brain surgery kept under wraps from some relatives and friends at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City last October 30, made Vicente “Bugoy” Molejona realize that he needed to adopt a positive attitude to reverse the effects of small cell lung carcimona with solitary brain metastasis, first discovered in July 2012 and confirmed on September 18, 2012 after a series of biopsy.
“I have the worst kind of cancer,” sobbed Molejona, who did not know he had carcinoma, a cancer or malignancy that begins in the epithelial tissues, when he was first scheduled for operation at the Iloilo Doctors’ Hospital in July 2012 to remove a mast cell in the left asphyxia.
He sought for a second opinion at St. Luke’s and called off the Iloilo Doctors’ Hospital operation two days before schedule. After being diagnosed with small cell lung carcinoma, Molejona went home to his hometown in Miag-ao, 43 kilometers away from Iloilo City. He was back to Manila September 23 and underwent the first of a series of chemotherapy sessions that went on every month thereafter.
In February this year, the former provincial board member and one-time OIC governor of Iloilo, had his sixth chemotherapy which included daily radiation for 25 days.
Doctors said epithelial cells are the cells that line the entire surface of the body as well as the internal structures and cavities. Carcinomas may affect the breast, lung, prostate, and colon and are among the most common types of cancer in adults.
“Mind over matter,” enthused Molejona, 63, a retired regional director of the Population Commission (Popcom) in Western Visayas. “I realized that cancer is not an affliction, but a sweet blessing. I would prefer to die of cancer than allow a maniac driver to bump me and split by body.”
Molejona said he should not be afraid of his ailment now saying he is ready to face his fate. “I’m lucky I can prepare for months; I can ask forgiveness to the Lord, that’s why I isolate myself. Those who die in vehicular accidents have no more time to prepare,” he waxed poetic.
In July this year, Molejona started to feel a pain on his left eye while at the Miag-ao town hall where he was the municipal administrator under Mayor Macario Napulan. He noticed his right eye could not see. He would bump the glass door several times. Molejona also passed out while attending some municipal events.
Dr. Manuel Mariano, a neuro surgeon who performed the surgery together with cardiologist Dr. Carlos Dy, confirmed Molejona underwent Stereotactic Radiosurgery, a special radiation procedure using the Linear Acceleratory, an “operation of its kind and there is no OR record generated in this procedure.”
Mariano explained that “instead of the usual fractionated (daily) radiation treatments, this procedure requires that full radiation dose be delivered in one fraction.”
The brain surgery started at 12 noon until 4 pm.
Ma. Dulce, his wife, said doctors wanted Molejona to spend his isolation period in Manila but Molejona requested that he spend his isolation period in his residence in Miag-ao while undergoing treatment. “I love this room where I stayed for 12 years until I separated from my mother (the late Socorro Naldoza-Molejona) to study Classical Latin at Seminario De San Vicente Ferrer (now St. Saint Vincent Seminary in Jaro, Iloilo City) for eight years,” Molejona recalled, pointing to the “original” bed he bought from his first salary as pharmaceutical salesman before he earned a scholarship at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada in the early 80s.
He wears medical mask and maintains the following medicines daily: Dexilone forte 4mg, Ciprobay 500mg, Kepra 500/tab, Emend 80mg, Omeprazole 40 mg, Vascor 5mg, Aspirin 80mg, Crestor 20mg. He is expected to undergo another chemotherapy soon.
In the event he can’t nip the cancer in the bud, Molejona, who lost his voice and now speaks like Jesica Stratton’s cartoon characters, said he only have two wishes:
1. “Church authorities in Miag-ao should observe the first-come-first-serve basis on mass services for the dead. The poor should not be made to wait if he comes first even if a rich dead comes late. This had happened before and this should not happen during my funeral.”;
2. “I want to rest in the cheapest coffin so that my journey to heaven will be expedited. With a simple coffin, it is easy to pave the way for my trip to join my Creator. We will all die, anyway. I would be buried near my parents but under the ground, not in a tomb. No praises during the funeral. No epitaph and gravestone but only one word: ‘Bugoy’; no sentences or decorations.”
Tears rolling down his eyes, Molejona appealed that “even if I am already gone, they should remember my family; that I have a wife (Ma. Dulce) and three children (Miag-ao Councilor Jose Angelo, 23; Vincent Paul, 21; and Carla Isabel, 18).”
Molejona served as administrator of the Iloilo Sports Complex and chief bidder for Iloilo in the 1991 Palarong Pambansa as chair of the provincial board committee on infrastructure during the administration of Gov. Simplicio Grino and is the youngest in seven children. His other brothers and sisters are Ramon (deceased), Flora M. Naldoza, Josefina M. Simon, Gloria M. Muzones, Salvador (deceased), and Rosario Molejona.