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Kris Aquino Gets Covid With Sons, While Set To Undergo 'Chemotherapy For Autoimmune Cases'
PHOTO BY Instagram/krisaquino
  • Kris Aquino revealed testing positive and getting treated for COVID-19, along with her sons Joshua Aquino and Bimby Yap, while they are all in the United States for her treatment of multiple autoimmune syndrome.

    The actress-TV host made the revelation, as well as an update of her medical treatment, in an Instagram post that's supposed to be her last unless "pag may good news ako."

    She explained, "This isn’t a permanent goodbye, ibalato nyo na lang hanggang malagpasan namin itong matinding pagsubok. Thank you for all your prayers. I am forever #grateful."

    COVID-19 experience

    Kris's post is a video that shows her open letter to her late brother, former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. In the letter, she apologizes for greeting Noynoy on his "1st birthday in heaven" five days after the actual date, June 24.

    She then narrates that Joshua tested positive for COVID-19 on June 20, while she was on "corticosteroid challege" for her autoimmune diseases. It was causing her "unbelieavable body pain" and for her blood pressure to go "haywire."

    She recalls telling the nurse, who's with them at the place they're staying in the U.S., to have Joshua tested "because he was so unlike himself." Meaning, "he was just lying down on the sofa, no energy to play or watch YouTube on his phone." Joshua turned out to be positive for the virus.

    Kris says she and Bimby tried to avoid catching the coronovirus by moving out of their place, though "it was heartbreaking to leave" Joshua, and check into a hotel. But by June 23, she had a fever, got herself tested, and turned out to be positive for COVID-19. Bimby followed suit, with the the same result.

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    Multiple autoimmune syndrome

    In her previous post, Kris said she's been diagnosed to be suffereing from three medical conditions: autoimmune thyroiditis, chronic spontaneous urticaria, and vasculitis. The type of vasculitis she has is the rare one, formerly known as Churg Strauss Syndrome and now called EGPA.

    In her latest post, she says systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus "has remained a question mark." But she's "near the borderline," having "3 out of 5 prerequisites that would absolutely confirm" it. As she puts it, "3 out of 5 could just be a warning that it's there, but for right now, it's still asleep."

    Kris is averse to many types of medication. She elaborates in her latest post, "I knew I was allergic to morphine. I was able to tolerate propofol and fentanyl for my procedures in Singapore, as well as in St. Luke's Global [in Taguig City]. But when it was purely fentanyl, sobrang GRABE the effect: hives from my face to the ankles."

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    She adds, "That happened to me 2 hours after the corticosteroid challege because for most autoimmune issues, steroids are the first line of defense."

    There's a new medication available in the U.S., and that's why Kris flew there. It's called Mepolizumab, which, she says, has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Singapore or in the Philippines. Additionally, she's been told "it had less side effects" than the other medicine, Xolair. 

    Kris also says her doctors tried to put her on another medication, cromolyn, "which was supposed to help me slowly reintroduce solid food into my body." She then explains that for some people who are ill, like her, "mast cells are the reason we find it hard to tolerate food."

    She then shares the information she's gathered from Mayo Clinic on systemic mastocyosis: "Signs and symptoms depend on the part of the body affected by excessive mast cells. Too mast cells can build up in the skin, liver, spleen, bone marrow or intestines."

    The signs and symptoms may include:

    • Flushing, itchingor hives
    • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
    • Anemia or bleeding disorders
    • Bone and muscle pain
    • Enlarged liver, spleen or lymph nodes
    • Depression, mood changes or problems concentrating

    Currently, Kris is waiting for two weeks after she's "totally Covid free" for her to do three to four shots of Xolair to be given every other week for her chronic spontaneous urticaria. Then she will need to rest for two to three weeks to hopefully have a stronger immunity.

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    When that time comes, she says, she'll need to try Rituxan. She describes it as an immunosuppresant, which in "straightforward language," is "chemotherapy but also used for some complicated autoimmune cases, like mine."

    In closing, Kris says, "Ngayon alam nyo na through my open letter to Noy what Kuya Josh, Bimb and I must face in the next year & a half...Please know that I remain THANKFUL for all the concern & prayers you have sent our way.

    "But during very difficult times, I just want to keep the suffering to myself with only family & trusted friends kept informed on a 'need to know basis' because everyone else is also going through their own personal trials. Ang hirap ng buhay para sa marami, nakakahiyang maging pabigat pa 'ko...

    "I know me, impossible na hindi ako umamin pag hirap na hirap na. So for now FOCUS tayo on ourselves...We all have problems, we all have worries, and we all have hardships. God bless us all. Until our REUNION...#lovelovelove."

    Read here about on anothe autoimmune disease that affects mostly children.

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