A/N I am not familiar with Leukemia so i just googled some facts about it. Pardon the inaccuracies. Here goes….
The moment Dr. Lim arrived with Maya and Luke, he immediately brought them to see Dra. Celeste Madrigal and Dr. Ryan Molina.
They explained Luke’s condition to Maya.
They explained the findings of Luke’s blood tests to Maya.
They found abnormalities in his Complete Blood Count that they are suggesting Luke to undergo the Bone Marrow Biopsy.
Dr. Lim was beside Maya while his friends and collegues, Dr. Molina and Dra. Madrigal were explaining the advanced tests that Luke should undergo.
He took it upon himself to take care of all the needs of Luke and also Maya.
He has read Luke’s medical history and found out that he was a healthy kid and he was even active in sports at his age. His most serious sickness was measles and mumps but other than that he was a normal and healthy kid.
Luke’s father, Simon Corpuz died of a car accident a few months before Luke was born. Maya and Simon didn’t have the chance to get married which was what they were planning to do after Luke was born. Luke grew up with Maya and her bestfriend Emman.
Maya works as part of the staff in a financial company in Salcedo St. She couldn’t climb the career ladder for she hadn’t finished school. She wanted to finish her college degree but lack of finances hindered her from doing so. It was a blessing that the owner of Emman’s apartment was a friend of the head of the financial company and she recommended Maya, knowing her dedication in anything she does. With her job, Maya had to make Luke her top priority. She makes it a point to provide all of Luke’s needs despite her measly salary.
With all the treatment Luke should be undergoing, she knows that she could never afford it so as much as she was embarrassed to accept Dr. Lim’s help, she has no choice but to do so for Luke’s sake.
The bone marrow biopsy was one of the most painful tests Luke had. Despite Dr. Lim and Maya’s efforts to prepare him, Luke was screaming and crying during the procedure.
The results showed that Luke has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. He should be aggressively treated for him to survive.
Maya and Richard were seated on the sofa in Luke’s room. Luke just had another chemotherapy session and it was very emotional for a 7 year old to undergo all the treatments he was having. He was crying, in pain and so weak.
Maya has just finished crying as well. They were seated together. She has a cup of chocolate drink in her hand believing that it will at least calm her.
Richard’s arm was around her shoulders. She didnt notice it anymore because her mind was occupied by her only son and how he will survive all these.
“You may want to rest now. Kailangan mo nang magpahinga para bukas.”
“Hindi pa naman ako inaantok. Hintayin ko rin si Emman. Ikaw magpahinga ka na doc. Buong araw mo na kaming sinamahan.”
“I’ll just wait for Emman.”
They sat in silence. Then all of a sudden…
“Doc pwedeng magtanong?”
“What is it?”
“Bakit napakabait mo sa amin ni Luke?”
“Hindi na ba normal na may mabait na tao?”
“Hindi yun kaso ikaw, sobra na ang tulong mo samin. Sinundo mo kami sa bahay. Pinagamit mo sa amin etong private hospital suite mo. Hindi mo kami pinapabayad sa alam kong napakamahal na mga treatments kay Luke. Tapos lagi mo pa kaming sinasamahan.”
Her doe-shaped eyes were staring at his chinito ones waiting for answers.
“Ah, eh that’s the normal thing to do.”
“Hindi doc kasi hindi ko naman nakikita na ginagawa mo rin sa iba. Bakit nga?”
“Maya, the moment I saw you dun sa taxi, i already admired you. I mean you’re such a loving mom to your son. Then as I spent some time with you, Luke and even Emman, I realized that you are indeed a remarkable person. Never kang nagpakita na pagod ka or never ka nagpakita na you are weak in front of your son. You are also a very good friend to Emman kaya no doubt that he would also do eveything for you and Luke.”
“Naku doc, nahihiya naman ako sa mga pinagsasabi mo. Hindi naman yun big deal. Ganun talaga ang obligasyon ng nanay sa anak.”
“Obligation or not, I saw how beautiful you are as a person.”
“Yes. You are a very good person and that alone makes you so beautiful.”
“Ah. Ganun pala yun.”
Richard uncomfortably moved. He smiled af her.
“Pero of course, the moment I saw you and you stared at me, i immediately got attracted to you.”
Maya immediately moved away from where she was seated the moment she heard what Dr. Lim said.
“Hey, sorry nabigla ba kita? I just wanted to tell you the truth. I don’t expect you to do anything either. Si Luke ang primary concern natin and I hope with what I said, hindi mo ako iwasan or wag kang mailang sa akin.”
“Maya, wala namang magbabago. Please just allow me to do what makes me happy. Hindi naman ibig sabihin na i expect you to like me too. Oh well, sana nga magustuhan mo rin ako pero hindi naman kita mamadaliin or pipilitin. Allowing me to be with you and Luke is enough. Masaya na ako makita ko lang kayo.”
“Doc naman. Nakakahiya naman….”
“Basta Maya, wag mo akong iiwasan ha. And please dont call me doc. I prefer to be called Ricky.”
“Hindi na doc kasi nakakaasiwa yun.”
“O sige pag sa hospital tayo doc, pero pag sa labas, Ricky, deal?”
Maya smiled, momentarily forgetting the bigger problem she and Luke are facing.
Luke went through all the aggressive treatments. Dr. Lim requested Dr. Molina and Dra. Madrigal to do everything to save Luke.
It was a very personal request.
His friends were very much aware of Richard’s fondness, concern and very special treatment towards Maya de la Rosa and her son.
They vowed to do everything they can to save Luke.
After that night when he confessed what he felt to Maya, he made it a point not to discuss it again.
He doesn’t want Maya to be uncomfortable around him. He didn’t want to be a distraction to her. He acted as the very good friend and never failed in providing everything Luke needed.
Treatment after treatment, Luke’s condition worsened. He now needs a bone marrow transplant but unfortunately they couldn’t find a match.
Dr. Lim had been calling all his collegues in different hospitals here and abroad hoping that he could find a donor for Luke.
A positive response was made by a hospital in Singapore. Dr. Lim had to go there personally transport the bone marrow. He will fly Friday afternoon and had Liza book him a flight back to Manila Saturday noontime.
Before he left, Dr. Lim was happy and hopeful that this would be the answer to their prayers.
He dropped by Luke’s room.
“Maya we found a match in Singapore. I will go there this afternoon. Nakahanda na bukas sina Dr. Molina and Dra. Madrigal for the transplant. Magiging okay na si Luke.”
Maya, so happy with the news, hugged Richard very tight. She was in tears.
“Maraming salamat doc.”
He just smiled at her and wiped her tears with his thumb. He proceeded to Luke’s side.
“Kiddo, tito doc will get your magic medicine ok? Para gumaling ka na. Be strong ha. Para makaplay na tayo ng mga gusto mong toys.”
“Yes tito doc.”
“Sige promise me you will be strong and I promise ill give you your favorite toy pag birthday mo. You want many toys right?”
Luke gave a tiny giggle. “Yes po. I want many toys para makaplay kami ng classmates ko.”
“Oo dapat many toys. Pag many birthdays, many toys, right? Magcount ka ng maraming birthdays.”
Luke just smiled at him.
With the renewed hope, he proceeded to the airport that afternoon.
That night as she was preparing Luke for bed….
“Mama di ba sabi mo when first day of school ko na dapat di ako maging scared?”
“Oo naman anak. Kasi brave ka di ba?”
“No mama, i wasn’t scared kasi sabi mo kahit di kita makikita, you are here.”
Luke guided his mom’s hand over his heart.
“Of course anak. Kahit saan ka pumunta, even if big boy ka na or even if may girlfriend ka na, mama will always be here.”
“Ako din mama always akong nanjan sa heart mo at never akong aalis diyan kahit hindi mo ako makita.”
“Naku naman anak lagi kitang makikita kasi makulit si mama di ba? Always ka susundan ni mama kahit saan ka magpunta kahit sa very big school ka na. Kami ni ninong Emman will always be with you.”
“Hindi naman mama pwede yun kasi para na kayong si Snow ni Ninong Emman, follow ng follow sa akin.” Luke giggled and Maya found it the sweetest sound she’s been longing to hear for weeks now.
Snow is Luke’s Maltese dog which Emman gave him on his 6th birthday.
“Ah ganon pala! Para kaming si Snow ha!”
Maya tickled Luke and the boy was laughing as he was trying to escape his mama’s attacking fingers.
When his breathing slowed down he again asked his mom,
“Mama you will take care of Snow ha?”
“Naku anak, we will take care of Snow. Miss ka na nga nya kasi wala siyang playmate ngayon. Ayaw kasi ipadala ni Tito doc si Snow. Bawal daw sa hospital at papagalitan siya ng guard.”
Maya was trying to make Luke smile again seeing his serious face.
“Pero mama, i cant take care of him kasi nga sick ako.”
“Anak magpapagaling ka para you can take care of Snow and also mama too.”
She can’t help herself but be teary-eyed as she talks to Luke.
“Pero mama I am already tired. Painful na po yun body ko. I want to rest na.”
“Ah sleepy ka na anak, sige na rest ka na para strong ka na ulit tomorrow.”
As much as she wanted to be brave for her son, Maya is realistic and she knows very well that Luke’s tiny body could only take much pain. If she could only take it for him, she would gladly do it. She’s been praying hard to spare her son from too much suffering.
“Mama?” Luke’s sleepy voice jolted her from her thoughts.
“Ninong Emman promised me that you will be together kahit old na kayo.”
“Oo naman anak. Tayong tatlo ni Ninong Emman at pati na rin si Snow magkakasama kahit old na tayo. Of course mas happy if may family ka na para may babies kaming aalagaan ni Ninong Emman.”
She laughed at the thought of her and Emman with a cane sitting at their backyard while Luke, a handsome grownup man with his wife and kids running around.
“Mama I told Ninong Emman to take care of you.”
“Anak di naman ni Mama kailangan na alagaan. Strong si mama. Ikaw ang dapat alagaan ni mama now kasi sick ka pa. Dapat maging strong ka na para makapasok ka na sa school at makalaro mo na si Snow. Miss na miss ka na ng classmates mo.”
“Si papa sino ang nagaalaga sa kanya?”
“Anak, hindi ni papa mo kailangan ng mag-aalaga. Nandun na siya sa very happy place.”
“Mama gusto ko na po doon. Sasamahan ko na si papa.”
The moment Luke said this, Maya could no longer help herself so she held Luke tight while tears were streaming down her cheeks.
“Anak, don’t say that. Magiging sad si mama.”
“Pero mama hindi ka magiging sad kasi may kasama ka dito. Nandyan si Ninong Emman at si tito doc. Si papa alone dun atsaka gusto ko rin makilala si papa.”
“Anak naman eh…”
Luke’s tiny fingers tried to wipe Maya’s tears.
“Don’t cry na mama. Nandito naman ako lagi kahit hindi mo ako makita.”
Luke again placed his tiny hand over his mother’s heart.
Maya hugged Luke until the boy fell asleep.
When she heard Luke’s snore, Maya proceeded to the bathroom and let out the sobs she was controlling while in front of Luke.
Dr. Lim was at the Changi airport waiting for his flight the next day. He was seated reading a newspaper when he heard his phone.
Dr. Ryan Molina was calling him.
“Okay Ryan. Please take care of her.”
The moment he ended the call, Richard covered his face with his hands, head bowed down, he silently cried at a corner in Changi airport.
A/N please wag nyo akong isako. The love affair of Dr. Lim and Maya will get better. Needed yun story ni Luke for the bigger picture. He is in a better place now.