Finally, after being in the hospital for 3 weeks the infectious disease, hematology/oncology, medical, and surgical team decided to do a biopsy. A week later, doctors gave us a definite diagnosis of non-cancerous tattoo ink in his lymph node and assured us that this was the reason for the swelling. We were relieved. With sheer relief, Seti took the steroid medicine in hopes that the lymph nodes return back to normal. They began to slowly decrease in size, but two weeks later his lymph nodes started popping up all over his body to include a few huge lymph nodes around his neck affecting his hearing and breathing. Seti is a strong man and can put up with anything allowing time to work its course but this time he could barely breath and hear, this caused us to return to the ER. Doctors decided to take another biopsy of his lymph node in his neck. Simultaneously, they put a tube in both ears to assist with his hearing. A few terrifying days later test results came back with new that we dreaded to hear months prior…
On October 6, 2017, we were informed that Seti is diagnosed with an aggressive Stage 4 Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Oncologist told us that the Cancer has spread throughout his body and that this was the cause for all his lymph nodes to flare up. The very next week we began our chemotherapy. The first day of his cycle he was given a PICC line through one arm, just to get jammed up by an inflamed lymph node so they re-inserted his PICC line through the other arm (ughhh). Once PICC line was in and they started his treatment he was doing ok, until a couple hours into his 6 hour medicine he had a really rare reaction that raised concerns, so we were told to stay overnight. Next day, he was doing better so we were discharged with his 24hr chemo bag. His treatment plan consists of 7 cycles of Chemotherapy called R-EPOCH. Each cycle consists of 5 days of 24hr chemo that is in a take-home bag. Seti rests for 2 weeks then he begins cycle again. After his 1st cycle, we thought he was safe from losing his hair. Boy were we wrong, he lost his hair right before his 2nd cycle started. So we shaved his head.
My name is Siniva Filo and I have been in the US Army for 14 years. Seti, is my strong, compassionate, and God-fearing husband who sacrificed his Rugby career to raise our 3 beautiful children (Lopeti (8), Ana (5), and Tofa (2)) and support me in my career. Last year, we decided to send our children to Tonga to learn our heritage and culture for a few months. Since Seti has been sick and later diagnosed with cancer we have been saving to pay for their immediate return. Unfortunately, our funding fell short and we were only able to pay for his mother to accompany our baby and help us.
I have been struggling with posting this page because I always allow my pride to win. This time, I’m putting my pride to the side and asking God to give me peace as I ask for assistance for my family. I keep telling myself, "Let go and Let God!" It took me 3 weeks to finally post this because we always deal with everything on our own. We are in our 2nd cycle of chemotherapy and the unexpected costs for multiple trips to hospital, dinner take-outs (during long cheomtherapy days), and for ensure (when Seti has no appetite). These unexpected costs did not allow us to prepare for them.
After many of our friends and family reached out to assist us I was determined to post this page and humbly ask for any assistance. Whether it’s simply reaching out to Seti with positive vibes, saying a prayer, or helping us offset unexpected costs since his sickness; we appreciate it ALL from the depths of our hearts.
Thank you again and God bless to all those who have already reached out to us with words of encouragement and prayers, we are grateful for people like you to help make our fight stronger.
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