A package from Esther-Susan Niguidula Perez (Cha Cha)

I received a UPS package from an ex-girlfriend today. In it was several pictures of us, some items that I had accidentally left with her, and a new Walt Whitman poetry book. I tried getting in touch with her directly but the return address and phone number on the package were incorrect (it was her cousin Maryann’s address and phone number. The phone number works but they’ve never heard of Maryann or Cha) and her email address doesn’t work. I’m guessing that she reads my journal so I’ll respond here:

Thank you for returning the manuscript and walkie-talkie. Of the other items, what I cannot sell on eBay, I am discarding.

This passion you have for me is completely negated (and then some) by your continued deception of your cancer status.


The super-duper short version:

I dated a girl who told me she had terminal brain cancer. For 2 years I remained the skeptic while she went to great lengths to convince me of her illness. She was never really sick. I left her because of the lies.

The short version:

We were introduced to one another by the door-woman in the high-rise building we were both living in. Our first date was in October, 2000. At that date, she told me that she had terminal inoperable brain cancer and had 3 months to live. I decided to continue with the relationship in spite of the obvious emotional hurdles. It turned out that we got along fantastically well. For the next two years we carried on a terrific relationship. But I was bothered all along that I had been with her to see many doctors for various ailments and had never seen a doctor talk about her cancer. I asked Cha about this directly on several occasions and I always got unconvincing answers as to why this was the case. Finally in October 2002, I told her that if I didn’t receive a face-to-face confirmation of her medical condition from a reputable doctor, or an admission that she didn’t really have cancer, I would leave her. She offered up more excuses but no confirmation, so I left her. It was difficult… but the weirdness factor more than made up for the unhappiness.

I say that this is the short version because I have story after story of how I was strung along for 2 years. Each time I was given evidence that was -almost- convincing except for it’s forgability or unconfirmability. Things include:

  • A terminal diagnosis on Letterhead from a friend doctor of hers. The doctor (initials M.T.) has moved to Hawaii and has angrily refused to even talk to me on the phone about anything.
  • Cha told me that her medical records were confidential… private… locked up… unavailable… I’m not allowed to see the ones at hospital A because it was part of an underground experiment, I can’t see them at hospital B because a personal friend at the hospital took care of her off the books, hospital C has a very strict policy of not letting ANYONE see records. Hospital D…
  • I went with her to get a CAT scan. She told me that she had scheduled this because her doctor (one of her doctors that apparently didn’t know that she had terminal brain cancer) prescribed it. She received a CAT scan and they didn’t find anything wrong. She told me later, “Of course they didn’t detect anything, they did a normal scan. If they had done a “contrast” scan, they would have found it.” Wha?
  • A green pill that might have been an un-approved, experimental chemotherapy from Italy… or just a yucky smelling vitamin.
  • Watching her get hooked on hydrocodone for headache pain was very real and scary but didn’t prove anything.
  • Frequent blindness episodes. I found her several times standing in the middle of a sidewalk in Manhattan. Yes, I occasionally tried “testing” her during episodes. Only once did I vaguely sense any hole in this story: she put her foot into a slipper without fumbling during an episode. Luck? Lie? Who knows!
  • Several visits to the Columbia University Hospital ER where I would “step outside”, sitting just within earshot of their conversations. There was never any talk of brain cancer… except….
  • A poorly photocopied medical report from Columbia University Hospital where brain cancer was mentioned but the doctor’s name was obscured.
  • Visits to a couple NY Chinese medicine practitioners… acupuncture and herbalists.
  • A string of plausible reasons for why appropriate documentation of her condition didn’t exist. IE: When I went away for a week once, she said she spent several days at Memorial Sloan Kettering as a patient. I checked and she wasn’t listed as a patient… … she says that she was on the VIP floor… where people like the Pope and Rudy Giuliani stay. She had called me from an unlisted land-line somewhere in Manhattan.
  • She went to some clinic in Indiana for some crazy experimental treatment… Maybe. The treatment supposedly poked a needle through her eye socket and into her brain, so there was no scarring from the procedure. I realize that it sounds goofy but she spent hours explaining in detail how the procedure worked. Of course, I was never allowed / able / had the opportunity / to speak with any of the doctors at this underground facility.
  • Many more stories that would, all told, make a pretty good book.

I haven’t come forward with this before because I didn’t want to reopen my own old emotional wounds, didn’t want to rehash this weirdness, and didn’t want to ruin her medical reputation and the reputation of the doctor that forged her diagnosis. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that she is a head and neck cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. This is getting ridiculous. She sent me a frigging care package after more than 2 years! It’s creepy!

I have saved every scrap of paper and will post “The long version” if Cha doesn’t stop.

Doctor Esther-Susan Niguidula Perez from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Stop.

Update 3-10-08: She’s not dead yet.

This blog post received the following comment on March 5th, 2008.

From: justas
Email: 7101@excite.com (presumably fake)
IP: (ISP is based in Manila, Philippines)
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he- or she as the case may be.

The wording is very much her style. She’s laid down similar mixed/broken metaphors like this before. Apparently, Cha moved back to the Philippines. Hopefully she will stay there as I have no place in my heart for her.


  1. Greta Tan says:

    I wonder how you were able to handle her weirdness and crazy stuff . She must be mentally sick . That for REALLLL….I’m glad you’re back to your senses. Lucky you.

  2. Edmund says:

    She is in Maryland. Claims to be vice-president of Sherring Plough. Now she is with Astro-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals. Too many moves–perhaps, a contractual job, as a medical researcher….but she was

    overheard by people from the Philippines saying she graduated from University of Pennsylvania.

    Also introduced as an oncologist in the Philippines!

    Still bundled in her own pack of lies…


  3. Diane says:

    Cha Cha is in Maryland at Meddimmune as a dirctor of oncology. She’s was at Schering but moved to be close to her husband Francis.

  4. lee says:

    Diane and Edmund, thank you for the updates.

  5. Ann says:

    Dr. Susan “Cha Cha” Perez recently worked at Schering Plough in the oncology dept.

    Recently lived in Nutely, NJ working for Roche after working for MSK but prior to SP.

    From the Philippines, where her father supposedly owns a college. About 5ft with straight black long hair.

    Married to Francis and lives in Maryland where she works for Meddimmune, an Astrazenaca company. She is in the oncology department.

    I’m shocked that she would play these kinds of games. Perhaps what started as a small lie grew into one that she couldn’t back out of. You’re better off without her.

  6. lee says:

    It’s true that her father owns a college. I was there and met her father who is a gracious and highly respected man. I won’t link to the college right here.

  7. jeremy says:

    If you want to know what is happening, just google [name of the school redacted]….that is a family corporation…Five families and other stockholders own the school.

    (Lee removed the name of the school from Jeremy’s comment. I have no real interest in involving the rest of her family and the school. I don’t need search engines to find the name of the school in this post)

  8. Elsa says:

    Heavy stuff. I know she did graduate summa cum laude from the Univ of PA Forensic Med/Sc. A friend is an alum and met her a few times.
    It’s a new year, hope your anger fades.

  9. Raj says:

    Is there such program in University of Penn??? Because if none, then this false claim of achievement is serious considering they even own a school and she sits as Board Member of an educational institution.

  10. lee says:

    Raj, I don’t know but probably. Why don’t you go look. UPenn has a web site.

  11. Raj says:

    I did check, nothing close to Forensic/Sc. UPenn’s MD-Phd Program is not in Forensic. If Elsa, can give me details, I’ll appreciate it very much. Students and staff must know the truth. I have information that she was even invited (by relatives) to speak in the school’s graduation and was introduced as a graduate of UPenn.

  12. lee says:

    Raj, I don’t know and I don’t care. Ask Elsa. Ask Cha Cha. Ask U Penn.

  13. Paswit says:

    nope, she was not invited to speak…it was her father that made her speak (on her insistence?) Funny because before she did, she had to rehearse (hahaha!!!) with hand gestures and all, with her father as the only spectator!! Like a grade school pupil who’s getting into an oratorical contest (bwahahaha!)

    The father lives in a dream…fully believes in all her delusions…

    and there are hints she will soon be installed as the college president, dear God! Save the students from this obsession and terror!

  14. juan dela cruz says:

    Is these really true ???? I knew that she is a graduate from Manila Philippines but not here in US. .

  15. Duffy says:

    You have made your point and it is time to remove this post. I’m sure she has received your message and responded w the cryptic message. You are slighting everyone with the Niguidula surname. It is an unusual name and your blog pops up in page four of a google search. It has been almost 10 years since the relationship ended. Get over it.

  16. lee says:

    Duffy, I’m only slighting Cha Cha. I ended the relationship in 2002, she sent me an unannounced package in 2004, and then a note in 2008. She’s due for another reappearance soon so I feel it’s better to make sure she knows she is not welcome in my life. Sorry, Duffy.

  17. Bexy says:

    I am a relative of Cha cha. it is a shame to tarnish the reputation of the school our grandfather built with these kind of allegations. I request Cha cha to publish all her credentials in this website once and for all from her doctor’s license from the Philippines, to her Doctor’s credentials in the US, forensics degree from University of Penssylvania, etc. It is important that this is cleared and transparent to all especially that her father is seriously considering her to be the next President of University of [redacted by Lee] –not solely owned by her father but a corporation.
    Integrity is integral to a respected educator.

  18. lee says:

    Bexy, you might do well to talk with Cha Cha about this matter. She is the one who left a crazy size hole in our relationship. She is the only one who can close it. Though I am well past this issue, I don’t know where she stands on the issue. I reiterate that I don’t really care.

    I have no intention of tarnishing the reputation of the school. In fact, I redacted your mention of the school so to protect it from google searches.

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