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Hello Health Heroes' Geraldine Gayoso Carlos on Ending Endometrial Cancer

Medically reviewed by John Paul Abrina, MD · Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jul 27, 2022

Hello Health Heroes' Geraldine Gayoso Carlos on Ending Endometrial Cancer

This World Cancer Day, HelloDoctor celebrates the heroes who are battling this deadly disease. In this episode of HelloHealthHeroes, we interview Geraldine Carlos, makeup artist and trainer, who battled with endometrial cancer. Learn more about her inspiring story.

Kai Magsanoc (Hello Doctor): Hello, everyone. Welcome to a very special edition of #HelloHealthHeroes here on HelloDoctor Philippines. My name is Kai Magsanoc, country lead of HelloDoctor. And, in our series of speaking with amazing cancer survivors, today we have someone whose story is very inspiring, because when you meet her — she tells us her story, you’ll see how strong and light her spirit is, which as a cancer carer — my mom used to have cancer — I know that is not just difficult but quite a mountain to overcome, okay. 

So Geraldine Carlos has been a makeup artist for 13 years, and a trainer for a makeup brand for 9 years. She’s married for 13 years without kids yet, but we are praying for Geraldine and her husband. So Geraldine’s cancer was Endometrial Cancer. She’s going to tell us more about that, but baka po maka-relate iyong mga may PCOS. Kasi ang backstory ni Geraldine — she was diagnosed with PCOS when she was 18 years old, or P-C-O-S, sabi nga ng mga medical experts sa akin. And then, in June 2020, she started menstruating heavily, so we’ll jump of from there. I’ll let Geraldine tell the rest of the story. 

Hi, Geraldine. Magandang hapon.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Hi, magandang hapon. Magandang umaga po sa lahat ng viewers.

Kai Magsanoc: Thank you for, yeah, thank you for making time. I know it’s a difficult time for us, with COVID and all, but talagang super HelloHealthHeroes talaga iyong tawag namin sa inyo, no.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes, thank you, thank you. Thank you for that. 

Kai Magsanoc: Sige, Geraldine. Please go ahead and share with our viewers your story. So, June 2020, you had your P-C-O-S, the menses became heavy. Go ahead. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes. Hi everyone, to all the viewers. I actually explained it on my YouTube channel but apparently, mas maganda kasi, mas intellectual at the same time – may kausap ako, mas gusto ko ‘yun, diba? Sharing and sharing.

I was diagnosed nung 18 years old ako ng PCOS. So sa mga PCOS women out there, eto na ‘yung masasabi ko – talagang kailangan — ang mga babae talaga, when talaga nag-start na mag-overweight, or kumbaga, parang hindi talaga ‘yung BMI mo is kumbaga parang nag-fluctuate, nag-tumaba ka – please, please don’t do that. Maintain mo talaga ‘yung weight mo kasi diyan talaga tayo nagkakaroon ng problems sa hormonal.

So, unlike me, since I’m 18 years old palang na-diagnose ako with PCOS, so I [underwent] some workups — hormonal pills, contraceptive pills to make my menstruation regular, parang ganun. So I’ve been struggling in that. So talagang sobrang ang tagal. Then when I got married, so nagpa-workup naman kami — ‘yun, hindi ko nakwento na kumbaga parang sa sobrang workup, nag-ano rin ako e, nag — tawag dito? Kumbaga parang nag-medyo naging disiplinado rin ako.

I quit drinking, parang kumbaga nasa bahay lang ako. I do exercise. Fortunately, I got pregnant but, na-miscarriage din agad at 6 weeks due to siguro sa stress na rin and sa overwork on that time. So moving forward, we are still hoping on that time pa nun. But siguro dahil sa nangyayari samin, sa COVID at the same time, parang kumbaga busy at working, struggling to, ano, to have a life, diba?

Kumbaga parangnung pumutok ‘yung June 2020, ‘yun. Since [I have] a hormonal imbalance nga ako, ‘di ako masyadong nagkakaroon ng menstruation, that time medyo tamad ako magpa-workup sa doctor kasi nga parang, alam mo ‘yun? Napagod ka sa sobrang tagal mo nang nagpapa-workup sa OB. Kumbaga parang nakailang OB na ako, so sabi ko “Sige, we’ll do it in a natural way,” ganyan ganyan. Pero parang nagtaka ako kasi that time, parang may mali. Kasi hindi naman ako laging ganito. Minsan, every other month ako nagkakaroon ng menstruation but this time, super heavy flow ‘yung menstruation ko at buong buwan. FYI, ‘pag nag-memenstruation ako, 21 days. 21 days talaga siya — matagal. Oo. Kunyari —                             

Kai Magsanoc: ‘Di ka ba nanghihina nun? Diba? Oh my gosh.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: ‘Yun, medyo ano rin ako, ‘yung iron ko nun medyo mababa. Ganun talaga ako, as in ‘yung usual menstruation ko. Pero this time, umabot siya ng over 30 days. So parang sabi ko, parang hindi na siguro ano ‘to — kaya nga sabi ko nung June, “Sige, magpapatingin na tayo sa OB.” So nung nagpatingin na ako sa OB, ni-TVS niya ako, they found out that I have a thick lining on my endometrium. So kumbaga parang, kaya bakit nag-heheavy flow. Then — pero sabi niya, “Parang ang odd lang kasi sobrang tagal.” So sabi niya, “Since [you have] PCOS, oh sige magpa-workup na rin tayo.”

Pero parang medyo hesitant siya, so sabi niya, “Sige, we’re gonna have a procedure — the D&C.” So in Tagalog, or in Filipino, para mas maintindihan — raspa. Pina-D&C niya ako kasi nga, parang may polyp siyang nakita sakin.

“I see some polyps on you, gonna check it, we [will] do a biopsy, so let’s check if it’s gonna work, or kumbaga if it’s normal, or what is it all about,” parang kumbaga siya, na-ano rin siya dun. So I have a procedure on August, then the biopsy came, that it turned out I got a endometrial hyperplasia with atypia.

So in medical terms, there’s two atypia: with or without, okay. Without is more treatable eh, more curable. So, it will heal, but syempre pwedeng kusa siyang bumabalik or something if you are more on the hormonal imbalance or ganun pa rin ‘yung work mo, diba. But with the atypia, parang dun palang, sinabihan na ako ng doctor na, “if we will prevent it, mas maganda.” Still, that I’m struggling to have a child, kaya binigyan niya ako ng chances na to workup. Kasi I have two choices eh. If either na, tanggalin na kasi it’s not normal, kumbaga parang there’s a chance to become a cancer, parang ganun. Then, syempre dun tayo sa pinili — sa pinili ko na to have a treatment.

So kumbaga parang, dun na ako nagstart na manalangin sa Panginoon nang todo todo. Kumbaga I prayed all the — sabi ko “Sana hindi ito ‘yung last chance na magkaroon ako ng anak” kasi talagang we’re praying for it. Kumbaga parang, I do some allience — ano ‘yung restriction ng mga endometriosis, ano ‘yung mga foods na — to avoid.

I do yoga, kasi tamad ako sa cardio, so I do yoga. Then ‘yun. I lost weight, kasi kung ano ‘yung kailangan — alam mo ‘yun? ‘Yung ang babae — tayo talaga laging nasa huli ang pagsisisi, ‘no? So kumbaga dapat pala ano, you maintain your weight as a woman, tapos you do talaga healthy living, healthy lifestyle. So kumbaga at a young age, I’m only 37 eh, diba. Ta’s nag-gaganun agad, wala pang bata. So kumbaga parang, nasa huli ang pagsisisi, diba. Then after that, I have a six-month therapy, kumbaga on medication. They prescribe vitamins and progesterone, since I’m lacking of it. So sabi diba, kailangan estrogen and progesterone is kumbaga balanced.                                   

Kai Magsanoc: Right.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Para at least you can make a baby, diba? But since [I have a] hormonal imbalance, dun ako lack. So parang kumbaga ‘yun ‘yung minemaintain sa akin. Then after six months, that was December, dun ako second D&C — another raspa kasi kumbaga parang titignan ulit kung may development ba, kasi I lost weight talaga e. I lost almost 10 kilos. Talagang winorkout ko siya in six months na mag-maintain ng magandang weight. Then, syempre I spent some holidays [with] my families, and been positive on it na — possible dapat siya, na ma-cure sana siya, mawala na sana siya — ‘yung kapal ng lining ko but ‘yun nga. When I heard the news on January — I remember it’s January 6, first week the year. Nag-ano pa ako nun, after novena pumunta ako sa doctor. Then, naaalala ko pa ‘yung nangyari sa akin nun, kasi nung binasa na ng doctor — ah eto, eto nakakatawa. Nasa akin ‘yung result.        

Kai Magsanoc: Okay.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: While waiting on the doctor, I google it. Eto ‘yung — eto ‘yung talagang ‘di ko ma-explain sa sarili ko sa sobrang positive ng mindset ko. Binabasa ko siya na parang, ‘pag ano ba, ‘pag may cancer, malignant tawag dun?    

Kai Magsanoc: Yes. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Malignant, diba? Parang ganun. Ang isip ko, ‘yung malignant, benign. ‘Yung — ‘yung term na malignant, parang benign, parang ganun. So, ginoogle ko pa, parang ang positive positive ng utak ko, sabi ko, “Ay parang ano ako nito.” Pero nung nandun na ako sa doctor, nakakatawa. ‘Yung doctor, bigla siyang naluha sakin, siya ‘yung umiyak, hindi ako. Ta’s sinabi niya sakin, “Ah, you got cancer, Geraldine.”

Sabi niya parang  tawag dito, “Eto na ‘yung nangyari,” sabi niya. So kumbaga parang  naiyak talaga siya ta’s sabi niya, “‘Kala ko magkakaanak ka sakin,” parang, “ako mag-woworkup sayo,’yun pala hindi.” Pero ako that time, parang sobrang silent lang ako, parang sobrang shocked. Sobrang shocked lang din talaga ako.

Then after that, nagrefer na siya ng onco sakin, so ‘yung the word “onco,” parang medyo dun na ako na – huy, onco na ‘yan, onco na ‘yung next mo. Parang, shocks. Parang, medyo nagsisink-in sakin nang paunti-unti. Tapos nung nakausap ko na ‘yung doctor, ‘yun. After nito, una kong tinawagan ‘yung mother ko, which is nasa Japan siya, kasi she’s living there. Then dun ko na — nung sinabi ko na may, I have cancer, parehas na kaming naiyak dun sa hospital.

Since hindi ko pa kasama asawa ko kasi he’s working kasi graveyard shift, kaya kumbaga late ko na siya nasabi, nung nandun ako sa bahay. Then it turned out, ‘yun, lahat na ng immediate family ko, sinabihan ko na — ‘yung mother-in-law ko, father-in-law ko, then the father ko, kapatid ko, then ‘yun na. So dun na ako sa mga doctors sa onco, then they tell me na, the first opinion doctor na onco, they say na nag-workup naman ‘yung progesterone na pinainom sa akin kasi numipis naman ‘yung lining. But apparently, syempre hindi naman ma-distinguish sa D&C, sa biopsy — ay sa ano, sa ultrasound or something, may nagpoprogress na dun. So kumbaga parang dun nakita dun sa biopsy na may — na cancerous na siya. So kumbaga parang it turns out na sobrang nag-spread siya, pati ‘yung mga lymph nodes ko, dun na napunta.                                  

Kai Magsanoc: I see. Affected na. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Oo. Kumalat na siya. Yeah, affected na ‘yung mga lymph nodes. Buti nalang nandun pa siya, kasi if in case na mag-metastasize pa siya, it could be worse. Kaya kumbaga parang in six months siguro that time, dun na siya nag-metastasize.     

Kai Magsanoc: Yeah.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Parang ganun. Kaya ayun. ‘Yun ‘yung all about the story.  

Kai Magsanoc: Kunyari 2021, diagnosed with endometrial cancer. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes.

Kai Magsanoc: You had to tell your mom agad, then you had to wait to see your husband to tell it.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes.

Kai Magsanoc: But I’m interested in what went through your mind. ‘Yung, you as an individual, diba, as a woman, what went through your mind, Geraldine? 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Sobrang nadis — since nga unti-unti lang sakin siya nag-sink in until I cried a lot talaga, super saddened. Then, una kong — ito pala ‘yung laging tanong ‘no — mamamatay na ba ako? Parang, is this the end? Parang, dun ko… ganun pala ‘yun, if you have some kind of serious illness, you don’t have to think any talaga eh. Parang ang iisipin mo na lang, ‘yung mga mahal mo sa buhay.

So sino kayang maiiwan nito, parang ganun agad. Pero ang nakakatuwa sa sarili ko, I don’t blame God. Sa totoo, seriously. Most of my co-cancer patients, they always — they ano, they ask God. But me, no. Hindi ko talaga siya — I don’t question him on that, rather that na parang, “Siguro Lord ang dami ko nang na-accomplish sa life, baka ito ‘yung time.”

Then ang pangalawang sumagi sa akin, the positive na sumagi sakin, kasi ano eh, ‘yung negative lang sakin, parang maiiwan ‘yung husband ko since wala naman kaming child diba. So parang, dun lang ako — dun lang umikot sa family ko ‘yung na-sad lang ako. Pero ‘yung the next lang, kasi, “Can I combat my illness?” Kumbaga, “may way kaya ‘to? Kaya pa siguro, kasi 3 lang siya,” sabi ko. ‘Pag 4 kasi, syempre medyo iba na ‘yung usapan na ‘yun diba. But 3, may ano pa siya, may chance pa siya. So kumbaga parang as a person, medyo risk taker din ako eh.

Siguro the positive side of being a risk-taker is you do all the risks para lang gumaling ka to your loved ones, diba. So fortunately, when I was doing a consultation with the PGH, they already said to me na upon receiving the result of MRI, so legit nga na nasabi nga doon, nakita na nga doon na I have a stage 3 endometrial cancer, but hindi pa rin sila masyadong — kailangan talaga more on specific review, kaya they have to operate me, then do a — ano ulit, a biopsy ulit doon sa kinuha nila. So, the number one recommendation that they will, kumbaga the procedure, is to do a radical hysterectomy.

Nung that time, sinabi sakin, they planned kasi — the good thing about PGH kasi, they give talaga the plan. “So this is the plan that we will send to you. So first is do the operation, radical hysterectomy agad para at least kasi to avoid the future metastasis,” kasi pati nga ‘yung mga lymph nodes kasama na siya, diba. So talagang buong part nung sa ovary area, talagang removed talaga. “Then, do some chemotherapy, do some pelvic radiation, and brachytherapy.” So I have some series of — it’s not ano talaga — it’s a serious procedure.                                                          

Kai Magsanoc: Correct.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: And kumbaga parang super dun ako – dun ako kinabahan. Kasi, in my 36 years of my life, I’ve never got operated talaga, no serious-serious na ganyan. Kumbaga parang, ‘yung knife, medyo afraid pa ako sa ganyan, kaya kung – pero ang ginawa ko na lang since ‘yung, lalo na ‘yung husband ko, he’s been so very positive on me, parang dun ako humuhugot ng strength ko pati sa family ko. So ‘yun.   

Kai Magsanoc: Okay. So, daming ginawa after. Daming ginawa after.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Sobra. 

Kai Magsanoc: So this was January 2021, then you had another surgery, diba, another biopsy?

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: On February naman.

Kai Magsanoc: February 2021 naman.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Radical hysterectomy.

Kai Magsanoc: And the series… yeah, so you went for it na, ‘no?  

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes. Oo.

Kai Magsanoc: And then the series of ano, the series of — what do we call it?  

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: After recovery ng operation?

Kai Magsanoc: Oo. How long did it take? The treatment protocol, the cycle.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: I think, mga around 5-6 months of treatment. But a hell of a treatment.

Kai Magsanoc: I know, I mean —

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Hi, baby, who’s your — cute ng —

Kai Magsanoc: Si Salem. Si Salem po, mga kaibigan. Kilala na po siya ng lahat ng mga taga-HelloDoctor.  

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Hello. Kaya nga. Hello.

Kai Magsanoc: So talagang nung 2021, Geraldine, hitik na hitik ang excitement sa buhay, ‘no? Kasi ito ‘yung umariba si Delta ng COVID, and then the whole year was a cancer treatment for you.   

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Oo. Yes.

Kai Magsanoc: Before we forget, why don’t we recognize who the doctors were, who helped you, and ano ‘yung hospitals?  

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: It’s actually, it’s PGH. 

Kai Magsanoc: Okay.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Philippine General Hospital under the OB-GYN onco section. So ‘yung mga — kasi wala naman din kaming masyadong — kasi, if you have cancer talaga, all the worth the money that you have, talagang it will burn talaga. Talagang gastos talaga. But fortunately, nakapasok tayo sa charity, so they helped me a lot. So I have a lot of doctors talaga na nag-help sakin since sa charity — since sila ay mga nasa ano, kumbaga nasa fellow na sila. So hindi lang isang doctor. I forgot their names kasi sobrang dami nila. So kumbaga parang—  

Kai Magsanoc: It’s okay. Saludo. Saludo sa mga doctors ng Philippine General Hospital. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes. All the doctors na, syempre ‘pag pumunta ka dun, free ka — free for consulation, ang dami namin, almost 80 persons or 100 persons per day ang kine-cater ng doctor, ilan lang sila — mga pito o walo. So kumbaga parang, any of doctors kasi doon pwede ka mag-consult, kasi lahat naman naka-ano. 

Kai Magsanoc: Nice.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: So, na-message ko naman sila, and before na na-declare sakin na — nag-declare na cancer-free ako, kumbaga I thank them personally. I gave them some makeup, then I offered some service.     

Kai Magsanoc: Nice.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Kaya kumbaga parang sabi ko, to help nalang din sa kanila, kasi syempre I know it’s been hard din for them, kasi diba, to serve all the cancer patients.   

Kai Magsanoc: Yeah.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: So ‘yun.

Kai Magsanoc: Okay. Geraldine, ‘yung, dun muna tayo sa treatment, ‘no. Kasi alam mo ‘yun, may side effects ang cancer treatment e. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes.

Kai Magsanoc: So ano ‘yung mga pinagdaanan mong side effects and same question, paano mo tinawid, diba? What were you telling yourself? Kasi ako na-witness ko ‘yung mother ko during her chemo sessions, alam mo ‘yun. Siya kasi nilagyan ng port e, ‘no, kasi —    

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Oh.

Kai Magsanoc: Yeah. So, ikaw, paano mo ‘yun ginawa?

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Okay. So after being surgery, nag-rest muna ako for 1 month — February, March, April, ay 2 months almost. Then I got the first chemotherapy on May, I believe that’s my first chemotherapy. Before magpa-chemo, since alam ko na ‘yung magiging kahihinatnan ko kasi, they told me that high dose ‘yung chemo ko, ‘yung gamot ko — plaxitril and, I don’t know the name of it, I forgot it. Basta it’s a high dose chemotherapy. Then sabi ko, “Sige.”

The first chemo that I took, grabe talaga. Para akong ano, I don’t know, parang you’re so high, na sa sobra mong high, lahat ng katawan mo nag-surrender sa sobrang lupaypay. While doing the chemo, nakita ko talaga ‘yung sarili ko na para akong ano, para akong, parang high.

Sobrang pagod, tapos lahat nag-relax, tapos, hindi nga eh, kasi ‘yung sa akin parang kinukuryente paa ko, so tayo ako nang tayo tapos lupaypay, parang ganon. So after my first chemo, doon ako nag-decide na mag-cut ng hair. Sabi ko, parang ginawa kong shete ‘yung hair ko, sabi ko, kasi alam ko naman na mag-fafall off, pero I’m still, parang, looking forward for it. Sabi ko lang na, “Sige, dadaan lang ‘to.”

Sabi ko, “6 sessions lang ‘to.” So, I’ve undergone 6 sessions of chemotherapy — high dose chemotherapy every 21 days. So syempre diba, before ka naman i-chemo, you do a laboratory test, kasi kung pasado ka ba, diba. But unfortunately, may times talaga na while I’m doing chemo, mababa ‘yung white blood cells ko, which is, it’s not a good thing. Kaya kumbaga parang ‘yung after high dose chemo, meron kang iniinom na gamot, so ‘yung iniinom — a lot of steroids talaga binibigay sayo para hindi ka sumuka, diba. Para hindi ka magsuka, hindi ka manghina. ‘’Yung parang iniinject — may iniinject kasi e, so ‘yun, para at least to boost while blood cells.

Nung first chemo ko, okay pa ako nun pero nung second chemo ko, medyo bagsak ako sa white blood cells kaya ang ginawa sakin, inulit — parang dinouble dose ako nung parang injection para to boost white blood cells. Then the struggle ko after, or while nasa chemo, ‘yung diba if you’re treating by chemo, nangyayari sayo, ‘yung nails ko hindi siya dark, parang nagkaroon lang siya ng stripes, parang ganun, parang line.                                            

Kai Magsanoc: Yeah.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Kasi ‘yung iba like breast cancer kasi, nangingitim ‘yung sa kanila eh. But sa amin, hindi. Parang nag-liline lang siya. And ito ‘yung nakakatawa, ang laki ng tinaba ko. Ang laki ng tinaba — eto ‘yung mga chismis or chika sa mga cancer patients sa PGH e. ‘Pag tumaba ka na habang kini-chemo ka, ibig sabihin hiyang ka sa chemo. Pero ‘pag pumapayat ka, parang hindi ka hiyang sa chemo. So most of the patients sa PGH, tumataba sila, kasi nga ‘yung — the steroids kasi, super dami, super taas kasi. Para nga naman hindi ka sumuka, hindi ka mawalan ng gana, so ‘yun. So the onco tells us na, “There’s no restriction in foods, pagdating sa food, so you can eat na,” kasi mag-reretrict ka pa, may cancer ka na.

Pero syempre, I’m still in the traditional way din. Kumbaga, parang gusto ko pa rin makinig sa mga traditional na mga cancer patients. They have a diet, so kumbaga parang more on the leafy vegetables, diba. So ‘yung mga ganun but less ‘yung mga herbal supplements, kasi kumbaga, ‘di naman talaga sila recommended, diba? So parang kumbaga green leafy vegetables, fruits, so ‘yun. Tinake ko talaga ‘yan, ‘yung mga kailangan – ano ba ‘yun? Kamoteng kahoy, the labuyo, mga labanos –                      

Kai Magsanoc: Yes. Correct.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Mga ganun. Kailangan talaga.

Kai Magsanoc: ‘Yung mga gulay sa bahay-kubo, diba?

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: True. Kailangan mo talagang kainin ‘yun so I take that talaga, and it helps me to gain more on the white blood cells — ‘yung mga nuts, ‘yung mga ‘yun.  

Kai Magsanoc: Magandang tip ‘yan. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Oo.

Kai Magsanoc: ‘Yung gulay po ng bahay-kubo, i-take natin.  

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Oo. Gulay po talaga ang number one talaga, lalong-lalo na sa may mga cancer patients. So ‘yun. I’ve been hopeful. Fortunately, luckily din na due to, sa sobrang dami ng tao sa PGH, diba. So sobrang parang struggle ka lagi sa mga appointments, kasi appointment system sila ngayon e, hindi na sila nakapila. So appointment system, tapos mga nag-fufluctuate pa ‘yung ano ko, ‘yung white blood cells ko, kaya kumbaga ang hirap makapag-schedule ng appointment sa PGH.

Kaya luckily na lang din na, kumbaga, ‘yung treatment ko, hindi siya, hindi siya ano, na-dedelay lang siya ng days, pero kumbaga natapos ko siya nang maganda. Kasi ‘yung iba kasi nasa probinsya pa, pupunta pa, tapos kulang ang red blood cells, white blood cells. Kumbaga parang ang daming ano, so ‘yung time ko na ‘yan, sobrang napaka-ano ko — sipag ko. Talagang ‘yung motivation ko na to heal, talagang nakatatak sa utak ko, which is kasi, ‘yung number 1 na payo ng doctor kasi sakin, ‘yung condition ko na endometrial cancer is the most ordinary cancer na na-ooccur ng mga babae. Number one pa rin ang cervical — number one ang cervical, kaya it’s important to inject ‘yung parang—                   

Kai Magsanoc: HPV vaccine.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Oo. Yes. Importante talaga ‘yan. Kaya, pangalawa ‘yung endometrial. Cervical, breast at tsaka endometrial. ‘Yung tatlong ‘yan, it’s curable. Kumbaga parang nowadays kasi, the cancer is parang, natitreat na siya.  

Kai Magsanoc: Correct. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Kumbaga, kaya nung sinabi sa amin ng onco ‘yan, kumbaga parang dun ako napa-ano na sabi ko, “Kaya ko.” Kaya ko mabuhay nang matagal basta disiplinahin ko lang sarili ko and at the same time, I do the right thing lagi. So hindi pa huli ang lahat. Kaya ‘yung 6 sessions ko, tinapos ko siya, then after that, nag-pelvic radiation na ako. Pelvic radiation ‘yung malaking malaking machine, diba. Parang laser beam, kasi that — ‘yung procedure naman na ‘yun, ang dinidestroy niya, ‘yung area kung saan ka talaga may cancer. So, like me, sa may endometrium, sa may parang bahay-bata — dun ‘yung area kasi ng cancer ko.      

Kai Magsanoc: ‘Yung lining.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: ‘Yung lining. So dun talaga ‘yung radiation. 

Kai Magsanoc: Galing.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: So I’ve been in a treatment araw-araw pala ‘yun. Araw-araw akong umaattend, for 21 to 30 days. 30 days ‘yun.  

Kai Magsanoc: Wow.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Grabe.

Kai Magsanoc: Anong buwan ‘to, Geraldine?

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: August.

Kai Magsanoc: August na?

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Oo.Buong August na ‘yun. So kumbaga parang, nagsimula ako dun. So ang — while doing the radiation, nakakatuwa naman, mabait naman ‘yung radiation onco ko. So sa — ‘di ako sa PGH ha. Sa may along Pasay area. I forgot the hospital, sorry. Ganun pala, medyo nagiging ano. Kasi sorry guys, I got COVID din kasi, diba last week.       

Kai Magsanoc: Yes. Geraldine is still recovering.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Kaya kumbaga parang kaka-recover ko lang, kaya medyo may brain fog ako recently.  

Kai Magsanoc: Super I understand, don’t worry. Please don’t apologize for it, and sana makarecover ka nang tuloy-tuloy.  

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Okay. Alam mo sa sobrang ano ko — sa sobrang gusto kong gumaling agad, after 7 days of isolation, ika-8 days — kahapon, nagpa-booster ako.     

Kai Magsanoc: Laban talaga ha.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Laban. Kaya sabi ko sayo, napaka- masipag ako sa ganyan, kaya nagpabooster ako. Pero anyways, I thank God wala naman nang side effects from Astrazeneca. So anyways, the side effect of the radiation, dun ako medyo nag-struggle. Kasi unlike sa chemo, natotolerate ko ‘yung pagiging matamlay pero ‘yung skin mo sobrang dull, talagang you look sick talaga. Lalo na ‘yung no hair, no eyebrows, no pubic hair, no hair at all. Kahit sa ilong, wala talaga. So kumbaga parang, you look sick talaga. Para kang skull na hindi mo maintindihan na you look pale. ‘Yun ‘yung chemo.

But the radiation itself, ibang usapan siya kasi since endometrial area ‘yung akin, nasa puson, so it will affect my digestive system. So uncontrolled ang bowel, tapos ‘yung pag-uurinate, so ‘yun. Kaya kumbaga ‘yung food ko that time is not too soft, not too hard, so katamtaman lang siya. Not too veggies, not too fiber, kumbaga parang kasi if I take more on the fiber, syempre uncontrolled — magiging sobrang uncontrolled nung bowel ko. So kumbaga parang ano lang ako, kailangan saktong-sakto lang ‘yung pagpush ng bowel ko, kaya kumbaga dun ako medyo nahirapan pagdating sa radiation. ‘Yun lang naman. ‘Yun lang naman ‘yung struggle ko pagdating sa aking pelvic radiation. But the worst – but, ito ‘yung pinaka-last kong treatment, which is brachytherapy.                

Kai Magsanoc: Okay.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: If you will google it, you will see how the procedure goes. Kasi ano siya e, it’s kind of a radiation — brachytherapy radiation, but dun siya mismo nakasentro sa – like for pelvic radiation kasi it’s laser, diba, but this time, it’s a tool na ipapasok sa loob ng area mo — ng women area mo. Not just on your part of your ano, sa may cervix area. You do also a catheter, kasi kumbaga parang ano siya e, parang mild operation siya. Parang, ano bang tawag dun? OPD?       

Kai Magsanoc: Outpatient procedure pero medyo invasive, ‘no?

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Opo. Yes, opo. Then pati ‘yung sa may anal area lalagyan din nun, so I don’t know what the type is that. So kumbaga ‘yung tatlo, sa female area mo, nakapasok na without anesthesia. Without anesthesia.    

Kai Magsanoc: Oh my gosh, Geraldine. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yeah. For 3 sessions, for 3 sessions — that’s so hard. Super super hard procedures of that. Kaya kumbaga sabi ko, “my God, siguro ito na ‘yung pinakaworst, but at the same time pinakawala masyadong side effects.” Kasi since nandun na siya sa area, kumbaga dun na niya tinrigger.      

Kai Magsanoc: At tsaka talagang cinover niya lahat, diba? Walang – ‘di makakatakas ‘yung cancer talaga? 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Walang — wala, wala wala. At tsaka ano, in-sync ‘yung ano, ‘yung date. So kumbaga, wala akong mintis. That’s the number one if you got this kind of cancer — any kind of cancer treatment. If you have ongoing treatment, be sure na don’t — kumbaga ‘wag kang ma-late, kumbaga lahat talaga anuhin mo, gawin mo, kasi kumbaga, ‘yung time kasi ‘yung kino-combat mo e, para talaga totally matanggal.        

Kai Magsanoc: Okay.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: My procedure for brachytherapy is on September. So kumbaga parang, 3 sessions lang siya. The worst month dun, nung September — ah, last week of August, then first week of September. So sa first week of September, ‘yun. Parang kumbaga, I’ll do series of, anong tawag dito — ‘yung brachytherapy, pero parang 2 sessions na siya. Isang Wednesday then isang Friday. Pero isipin mo ‘yun ha, ’yung dalawang session na ‘yun parang kumbaga naka-ano ka, no anesthesia at all. Ramdam mo siya ng for about 2 hours.      

Kai Magsanoc: Oh my gosh.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Masakit. Masakit talaga siya kasi pupwersahin, pupwersahin ang pasok tapos kaya kumbaga nakaladlad ka dun, ganun. Then ito ‘yung nakakatuwa, kasi I’ve been praying for it, na sana by September 9, my birthday, sana siya na ‘yung last ko na treatment. Then, nakakatuwa. September 8 ‘yung last ko, so kumbaga parang sinabi sa akin nung sa ano, “September 8 ‘yung ano mo — ‘yung last treatment for last session ng brachytherapy.” So after nun, sabi ko, tuwang-tuwa ako kasi sabi ko sa ano, sa PGH na, “kasi po September 9 birthday ko. At least po ‘yung lahat po ng treatment ko na-surpass ko ng birthday ko.” Kaya ‘yung birthday ko nun, nung September 2021, sobrang inenjoy ko siya. Sobrang ano — nag-celebrate na kami ng family ko dito sa bahay, kasi that time may COVID pa. So kumbaga parang, ‘yun ‘yung pinakamasayang birthday ko sa lahat, kasi na-surpass ko ‘yung treatment — all the treatment, all the side effects. ‘Yung makita mo lang sarili mo na wala kang buhok, ano na siya, depressing, sa totoo lang. Sa totoo lang. ‘Yung wala ka nang buhok, ‘yung kinuha mo lang ‘yung hair mo ta’s sandamukal — ‘yung mga napapanood mo sa movie, toto pala ‘yun.                

Kai Magsanoc: Totoo siya.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Oo, napaiyak ako nun. Napaiyak din ako. Kumbaga, nilaban ko lang. Sabi ko, syempre kumbaga parang, “nandito ka na e, nag-start ka na mag-treatment, bakit mo pa, alam mo ‘yun? Bakit mo pa siya hindi tanggapin at the same time, i-combat ‘tong illness na ‘to?” So that’s my story. Then after that, I scheduled for a CT scan, then also, dun ‘yung makikita lahat ng development na nangyari sayo. So after consultation, they got appointment — I got appointment on the CT scan. So dun, tinginan lahat. Iniscan lahat kung may progress ba dun sa mga treatment ko from operation, to chemo, to radiations — for the two radiations. Then, I’ve got a phone call with my OB nung October, then she tells me na there’s no talagag cancer na, na nakita dun sa ano ko, sa CT scan ko, wala na.      

Kai Magsanoc: Yehey.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Kaya nga, parang, alam mo, parang pag na-aano ko ‘yun, nakakaiyak siya actually. Nakakaiyak siya kasi, mas naiiyak ako dun kaysa sa nagkaroon ako ng sakit, kasi alam mo na e, may sakit ka na e, diba. Kumbaga parang, you have – mindset mo is to treat it. But the, ‘yung reward — pinaka-rewarding sa lahat, ‘yung dineclare ka nila na kumbaga wala ka nang tumor, there’s no tumor, the CA 125 — ‘yun ‘yung tawag ng measurement ng cancer sa endometrial, or sa uterine cancer, ‘yun ‘yung measurement. So sobrang normal na lang. As in kasi paano ma-distinguish — kailangan naka – I don’t know, the 35 number, ‘yun ‘yung parang minimum ng babae. Kung naka-35 up ka, ibig sabihin mataas ‘yung cancer mo. But kung — eh ang result ko is 6  lang, so super normal. So nung sinabi nila sakin that I have to do some monitoring na lang every 3 months, then ika-6 month, I have to undergo ulit the CT scan, don’t stress too much, eat healthy pa rin. Kumbaga watch my weight, kasi kumbaga since I’m on a menopausal stage – menopausal na ako kasi I don’t have any ovaries na, diba, nag-hysterectomy na ako. So since menopausal ako, medyo syempre, bumababa pa rin ‘yung estrogen level ko, so I have to, kumbaga parang to do some vitamins, at the same time, alagaan pa rin ‘yung sarili ko. So ‘yun. So, October, I was declared as a free from cancer. So ‘yun. That’s my story.                            

Kai Magsanoc: So inspiring. Tsaka ang galing, kasi ‘yung September na ‘yun na birthday mo, it really was a celebration of life. Para kang pinanganak ulit, ‘no?   

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes, it’s my second life.

Kai Magsanoc: Yeah. Ang galing, Geraldine. Siguro to close, to end this interview on a high note, ‘no, para sa mga nanonood sa atin na baka may pinagdadaanan, similar to yours, to you, whether it is endometrial cancer also, any form of cancer, o baka may nanonood na may inaalagaan silang pasyente na may cancer. And I think, alam mo ‘yun, madalas na hindi napag-uusapan ‘yung wellness din ng carer, alam mo ‘yun? Or the family member. Kasi usually, nafifeel din nila ‘yung pain mo e, hindi nga lang sila ‘yung nag-uundergo, diba?        

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes.

Kai Magsanoc: So what is your message to them? Para hindi sila mawalan ng, alam mo ‘yun — mapanghinaan ng loob. Considering na ano diba, hindi madali. Given na ‘yun eh. So, what do you do, to at least keep your spirit strong? Like what you did. What is your advice?    

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Okay, first, sa HelloDoctor ‘to, diba? So kumbaga parang, it’s a good tool talaga to educate people about this kind of sickness, kasi kumbaga parang sa mga babae kasi, ano lang tayo, happy-go-lucky. We eat anything, we do everything, pero apparently parang ‘pag ganyan, ‘pag nandyan na ‘yung problema, parang manghihinaan ka ng loob, diba. So the good thing about it, I also have a YouTube channel. Nung na-start ko siyang gawin, there are so many inquiries, or so many questions from my viewers, kahit na na-scroll lang nila about it, then kumbaga parang I tell too the story, kumbaga parang naririnig ko rin ‘yung mga suggestions — ‘yung mga hinaing nila.

So it’s a good thing talaga na we have to do this, kasi kumbaga parang, na-eeducate din ‘yung mga women out there na may struggle dito. Kaya ayun. So, for the carers muna, kumbaga I’ve seen my family, I’ve seen my husband, diba. Kumbaga naano rin sila, kumbaga may stress ka na, stress din sila, diba. Kumbaga, do lang ‘yung positive — ‘yung magiging positive mindset din sa mga carers, na kumbaga, ‘wag mong bigyan ng negative ‘yung may sakit kasi kumbaga naaapektuhan din sila, diba. So kumbaga parang kayo — remember that — kumbaga immediate family kayo, kayo lang talaga magtutulungan. Not only by financial, but talagang pinaka-number one ‘yung support talaga.

And at the same time, kumbaga ikaw rin, ‘yung sa carers din, try to pray with your — kung sino man sa mga members mo na may sakit. Kailangan mag-pray kayo. Mag-pray kayo as a family, kasi nakakabuild talaga siya ng ano, ng boost ng motivation, para ‘yung may cancer, or sino man may illness sa family mo, talagang lalaban talaga siya. So ‘yun. Then for the other may cancer patient, if you have struggling like this one, don’t ever question God. Instead, fight for it kasi, number 1 pa rin sa nasabi ko sainyo, na cancer now has ano — it can [be cured]. Nag-cucure na ngayon ang cancer.

‘Wag manghinaan ng loob. Kung financial, nandun na tayo, so kumbaga sometimes we have struggle on the financial. But the good thing kasi, as what I’ve experiencing in the government, healthcare system today, most specially the cancer patients, medyo pina-prioritize ng government. Kaya kumbaga parang since I’m in the charity patient [ward], kumbaga parang ano ako e, dahil sa mga foundation, na-libre ako. Hindi ako nagbayad sa operations ko — lumapit — by PhilHealth Malasakit Center, that’s the ano, the foundation. Kumbaga parang natulungan kami. So kumbaga kahit maliliit na tao lang, kayang-kaya tulungan. So kumbaga, the government pa rin — kumbaga parang dun lang ako, for my 37 years of existence, parang dun ko lang na-feel ‘yung government presence. So kumbaga, the government helped me a lot to support it. And also, I have kasi — since I’m a makeup artist, I have a client din in the government, so he is a congressman. He also helped me to do my medications. So I thank Sir Mikee Romero for that. Sorry. Okay lang if I mention?                                 

Kai Magsanoc: Ah, I know Mikee. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yeah.

Kai Magsanoc: Yeah. I know him from People Asia. ‘Yun, kung saan kami magkasama dati ni Kristel.  

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Ah, oo. Really! So my customer — my client is Ms. Sheila Romero, her wife — ay his wife. Dahil kay Ms. Sheila, he helped me by, ‘yung 1-Pacman, so kumbaga, tinulungan niya ako. 

Kai Magsanoc: Galing.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: So one step ka na — kaya parang kumbaga, I — medyo na-ano ako e, parang kumbaga ‘yung presence ng government, na-feel ko nun that time that I was diagnosed. Kumbaga parang pamasahe lang, pagkain ang na-ano ko, pero the series of test, of something, they have been sponsoring with 1-Pacman, and also the government, the PGH itself, the social welfare. So kumbaga parang, for the cancer patients ito, start now, eat healthy na kaagad. Kasi kumbaga ikaw lang din naman ang tutulong sa sarili mo, diba. So don’t blame your past kung ano man pinagdaanan mo, ano ba nangyari sayo, bakit ka nagkakaganyan ngayon. Don’t blame it. Think now how to cure it, okay?

As long as you have a very supportive family na kaya kang alagaan like me, since my husband is in a graveyard shift, he cannot join me para mag-asikaso ng chemo ko, there’s my dad – tatlo lang kasi kami dito. ‘Yung tatay ko, he [had a] stroke. Kahit stroke siya, kahit hirap siyang maglakad, talagang siya ang nag-guguide sa akin. Kumbaga parang dun mo makikita na kumbaga if you are well-loved, kumbaga kung supportive ang family mo, kumbaga talagang lalaban ka e. Lalaban at lalaban ka. So ‘yun.    

Kai Magsanoc: Thank you, Geraldine. 

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Thank you very much.

Kai Magsanoc: Bale, alam niyo po, may kasabihan ‘no, saming mga nasa lifestyle media na, “Only very strong women, confident women, can pull off the red lipstick.” And I think, ‘yung red lipstick ni Geraldine is a testament to how strong, diba, ‘yung boldness of spirit nakakadala. And ako po, super inspired. Thank you, Geraldine. Super inspiring.  

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Thank you po.

Kai Magsanoc: By your spirit, ‘no, not just your story. And sana kayo rin po, ‘yung mga nakikinig. Kung alam ninyong may iba pang matutulungan ang story ni Geraldine Carlos, i-share niyo po itong interview namin. Geraldine has a YouTube channel. If you wanna reach out to her, you can do it through Hello Doctor, or do it through her YouTube channel. And, well, cancer is something that none of us want to hear, whether sa sarili natin, or para sa minamahal natin sa buhay. But the fact of life is, because we are humans, our bodies, ‘no, kaya nga we need to take good care of it is we are, you know, iba-ibang hirap ang exposed ‘yung bodies natin e. Minsan, genetically, diba. Minsan lifestyle-related ‘yung causes.    

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes.

Kai Magsanoc: Pero ‘yung pong paglaban, lahat tayo meron nun. Pantay-pantay tayo pagdating dun sa fighting chance, okay?   

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Yes.

Kai Magsanoc: Yeah. So thank you again, Geraldine, from the team and all our viewers.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Thank you very much.

Kai Magsanoc: Thank you. Once again, everyone, this has been Kai Magsanoc, country lead of HelloDoctor Philippines. Until our next #HelloHealthHeroes feature. Please stay safe and be well. Ba-bye.

Geraldine Gayoso Carlos: Ba-bye. Thank you.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

John Paul Abrina, MD

Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jul 27, 2022

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