Archive for July 2nd, 2009

Our Trip To The Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center

This is it!  I’m going to see an oncologist, Dr. Samuel  Ang at the CGHMC.  He was the one who operated on my brother when he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer six years ago.  (He is doing fine, has completely recovered after undergoing chemotherapy, thank God).

We left the house around 8am, a bus commute from Ortigas Ext. to Greenhills.  Thursday is a color-coding day for our car.  It was a smooth trip going to the hospital except for a slight traffic near the entrance of Manila North Cemetery. I actually saw two  funeral cars almost side by side entering one of the largest, if not the largest cemetery in Metro Manila.  The taxi driver commented that nowadays, it’s costly to bury the dead.  I agree, I think you need to pay a monthly tax/rent (usually done in public cemeteries) so you would be assured that your dead loved ones  would still be there on your next All Soul’s Day visit. Sigh!  You’re never assured of anything even in death.

Waiting is not one of my greatest virtues.  I must admit, sometimes, I find it hard to accept that I arrive on the dot if not earlier at the appointed place and time only to learn that the person I am waiting for comes late.  But I am digressing here again, okay, okay!  We arrived at the hospital at around 9:40am, not bad, considering that we live in Cainta and the hospital is in the heart of Metro Manila.

It was quite easy to locate Dr. Ang’s clinic, it’s at the ground floor of the new building at CGHMC.  His clinic hours begin at 12pm but there were already other patients who arrived ahead of us.  I am quite intrigued, alongside the doctors’ names are Chinese characters, maybe, they are the Chinese  equivalent of their Christian names.  Some of them were quite familiar to me, they were former Science students in UST.  Back when I was still working as a student librarian, I met lots of them at the library.  And I’m glad, really glad to learn that Dr. Samuel Ang is also a Thomasian like me.

Here I am, doing a draft of my blog while waiting.  Perhaps, you’ll agree that it is a more productive  pursuit than thinking of what the doctor will say when he sees the biopsy done on my colonoscopy.  There is a nice food shop at the hospital complex.  Chowking, Jollibee and Nathan’s.  Nathan’s have pork barbeque and grilled chicken.  I don’t want to eat such heavy meals this early so I opted to order breakfast at Jollibee – your typical half-cup of fried rice, meaty hotdog and poached egg with a tepid cup of brewed coffee.  Though I occasionally drink the brew, I like it hot so hubby requested for a new hot cup.

Oh yes, there’s the familiar cart of Fruitas (Fresh from Babot’s Farm kuno, it’s just a tag line, mind you).  I tried the Four Seasons, a combination of apple, carrots, mango and pineapple.  They call it Spring.  At P59 per 12oz. paper cup, it is reasonable enough.  There is a small grocery store called C-Mart, selling everything from bottled drinks, chichiria to baby and adult diapers.  There’s a cake shop too, how enterprising.

Meeting Dr. Samuel Ang

I finally met Dr. Samuel Ang, a general surgeon, a surgical oncologist and a Diplomate, American Board of Surgery.  I was impressed, he graduated Magna Cum Laude at the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.  He immediately gave a laboratory request for my brother when I mentioned that the latter was a former patient of his.  He personally called up my gastroenterologist and wrote a letter to my OB-Gynecologist thanking her for referring me to him.  He promised to give a discount on his professional fee because he understands the hardships patients go through when undergoing major surgeries like this.

And the verdict?  He will have to do a re-sectioning of my sigmoid colon, cut the 18 cm. portion affected by the sigmoid mass.  I need clearance from a cardiologist so he referred me to one, Dr. Alvin dela Cruz, another super-bait doctor at the hospital.  I need to complete the laboratory requirements before my scheduled surgery. and I thank God that I found a compassionate friend and doctor in my OB-Gynecologist, Dr. Ditas Decena (UST Hospital). Dr. Decena and I go back twenty years – that’s long enough for a patient-doctor relationship, don’t you think?  I am also thankful that she referred me to Dr. Samuel Ang. I know, with them around, I am in good hands.


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