Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Actress Heart Evangelista. Composite Image
MANILA – Actress Heart Evangelista is optimistic that Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago will overcome her lung cancer.
In an interview with entertainment site Pep, Evangelista said she was able to talk to Santiago right after the feisty senator announced in a press conference last week that she is ill.
“Nalaman ko lang mga three days ago, tumawag ako sa kanya, nag-usap kami siguro mga one hour. Okay naman siya, parang wala naman siyang sakit. Normal siya talaga,” she said.
While they were talking over the phone, Evangelista said Santiago showed no signs that she will not fight this ordeal.
“Feeling ko, she’ll be fine kasi the way she said it, or ewan ko… the way she said it na, 'Don’t worry about me, no! I’ll take the medicine, I’ll be fine. Don’t worry,' sabi niya. Hindi pa naman daw kumalat pa. Hindi pa naman daw siya nag-a-Apostle’s Creed, sabi niya,” she said.
But according to Evangelista, Santiago displayed symptoms of her illness during their recent trip to New York.
“Matagal na talaga siyang may sakit, iba’t ibang sakit. In fact, nung nasa New York kami, lahat kami dun super trench coat, super fur coat. Siya naka-sleeveless, naiinitan daw siya. Ganung kakaiba ang sakit niya, hindi niya ma-feel ang cold weather. Sa gamot niya,” she said.
Despite this, Evangelista said Santiago assured her she would see this battle through.
While Santiago’s lung cancer has reached stage 4, it is not metastatic – which means that it is not spreading.
The senator had said the cells in her left lung have developed a “genetic mutation” that made them impermeable to cancer and “gives them energy to fight off the cancer nearby.”
Although her doctors do not know what caused the cancer since she does not smoke nor drink, Santiago said she will undergo chemotherapy – but in the form of a tablet, which she has to take every day.