I feel like an excited father eagerly awaiting the birth of a first offspring as I anticipate the launch tomorrow of my book — Surviving Chronic Kidney Disease: The Billy Esposo Kidney Diaries. Published by Anvil Publishing, the book launch is set for 5:30 p.m. at Powerbooks, second floor, Greenbelt 4, Makati City.
I feel truly blessed that three highly esteemed people — STAR’s Joanne Rae Ramirez, Inquirer’s Conrad de Quiros and one of our country’s top nephrologists, Dr. Claver P. Ramos — have endorsed my book. Allow me to share with you their endorsements.
Joanne Rae Ramirez: “Billy Esposo has always had to fight to live — to live in freedom and democracy, to live with principle, and simply — to live. When told he needed a new kidney to survive, Billy was courageous and relentless anew in his battle. But just as he has had to fight for many things, Billy, too, has been and is the recipient of big miracles. His Kidney Diaries is the diary of man’s conquest of fear and adversity and God’s benevolence.”
Conrad de Quiros: “Billy Esposo has been writing a column for the Philippine STAR for some time now, trying to show this country how it might get out of its desperate straits. But I don’t know that he has given it better advice than the example of his life. He himself has forged his way out of truly desperate straits, fighting a life-and-death battle against a dreaded affliction. He hasn’t just won, he has won brilliantly.
He says in his introduction that this book is meant for fellow travelers, or “classmates,” as he calls victims of renal failure, who count 10,000 new additions in this country yearly. His copious notes on the subject over a decade and a half, based on his own experience of the ordeal, offer a load of comfort, quite apart from a load of information, for them.
But this book should easily find a much bigger audience than that. This is not just a blueprint for how to survive, this is a guidebook on how to live. This story is not just about going to hell and back, it is about learning to find heaven while at it. It doesn’t just tell about how the author endured the greatest torments of life, which included the deprivation of gustatory delights quite apart from the constant presence of death, it tells about how he discovered the fullness of life, including an appreciation for the life-affirming power of love from family and friends, popes and physicians, lovers and other strangers. Written with much warmth and wit, heft and humor, this book is not just for the sick of body, it is for the well in spirit. It is sometimes funny, often courageous, and always inspiring.
Read it. It won’t just revive your kidneys, it will revive your heart.”
Dr. Claver P. Ramos: “Billy Esposo has one of the most complicated chronic kidney disease problems that I’ve encountered and it’s a boon to those who will suffer from the disease that he made a diary of his experiences of the last 12 years since he started to undergo hemodialysis treatments up to his kidney transplant in January 9, 2002. His specific medical case can provide other chronic kidney disease patients with a very useful guide on how to cope with their problem.
Of course, I must state that this statement does not imply that choosing Billy’s doctor, who failed to convince Billy not to mention his name, is the solution — there are many very capable transplant specialists in the Philippines. This book is also recommended for these specialists as they could all use Billy’s insights into how our patients are experiencing their health problems.”
After having read an advance copy, W. Scott Thompson, New York Times and New Straits Times columnist, commented: “Billy, I read your book in one sitting. Couldn’t put it down. Riveting. Hope it goes viral. Much of what you say applies to other conditions which one just might not want to face and deal with.”
Many of my friends were surprised that my very first book had delved on a subject matter — a terminal medical problem such as chronic kidney disease — that I hardly have a mastery of except to suffer from it. They had expected me to write on my experiences in the 1986 Cory Aquino Media Bureau during the Snap Presidential Campaign, or my insights into the untold and little known true history of our country, or explosive political inside stories, or the dynamics of geopolitics that are prodding the Chinese invasion.
Indeed, I may have a few things to share regarding those subjects. But perhaps it’s the will of God, who has been overly generous to me during all my medical crises, that I share the experiences of a chronic kidney disease patient so that I can help the over 100 million people in the world who suffer from this dreaded disease. Having been the beneficiary of a first hand sharing of the personal experience of a dear friend, it’s hoped that this book could ease the physical and psychological burdens of other fellow travellers and help them cope with their problem.
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