Sunday, October 05, 2008

Getting ready for the radiotherapy


Raya days are almost over, well, sort of. Schools reopened today. My husband drove my children to school and me to the hospital after that. I went to the dentist for the final check up before the radiotherapy. Then, she gave me the dental clearance and I am all ready to be "nuked"...just learned the word from the oral cancer community at the oral cancer foundation.

Actually, there are a lot of information that I gather from the oral cancer forums. Since I'll go for the radiation, I have posted several questions on it in the forum. I've been informed that the IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) is a type of radiation which only bombards the cancer tumours, unlike the conventional radiotherapy where the radiation would bombard the normal cells as well. I am not sure whether the Mt Miriam where I'll get the radiation is equipped with it or not. I tried to ask some people, docs included, but they don't seem to know what I'm talking about. Oh, well....

I was told by my docs that that I'll have to make sure that my mouth is clean all the time or I'll develop fungus and mouth ulcers. On top of that, my mouth will also be very dry because my salivary gland will collapse. I will also lose the sense of taste..Well, haven't I already? However, they can't tell me what I can use to alleviate the problem. Its like you will face the problem and there is nothing you can do about it.

I got to know from some friends I made in the mouth cancer forums that there are some products available in the US and UK to deal with the problems. I'm hoping that Mt Miriam has access to it. I am kind of nervous to go through the treatment but can't wait to get it over with.

I still don't know how many zaps I'll be getting. I'll find that out on Oct 7 when I see the radiation oncologist. They'll mark the target area on my face and get a mask fitted. The mask, I was told is to hold my head still during the treatment.

So, we'll see what happens next.

Bye, for now.

"Life is too short, but intend to grow old gracefully...."


UE said...

Hi..good luck and be strong

I was taking photos over raya and kinda recalled dropping your camera over at Six Flags roller coaster ride..oops sorry

But you had the cool look and had fun anyway..

Sharifah Rashidah bt. Syed Ahmad said...


Thanks for the motivating words.

Those were nice photos.

Well, why wouldn't I have fun? It was just the camera that you dropped. Not me...he he

It sure was fun....

Nancy said...

My husband finished treatment for oral cancer at the University of Chicago nearly a year ago. He had radiation and chemotherapy, no surgery.

The radiologist neglected to tell him to get fluoride trays and give himself daily fluoride treatments for ten minutes each night. This is cheap and VERY IMPORTANT. Because we didn't know about it, my poor husband is now facing dental reconstruction on every tooth. Ordinarily the teeth would be pulled, but the roots are protecting the jaw from decay, so he is facing $30,000 worth of dental care to try to save the jaw.

That aside, he is doing pretty well. He is 67, so recovery is slower, but he can drive, visit his friends, and enjoy life.

You will survive and get to the other side of this; and this is how we learn compassion--through pain and loss.

Stay strong and positive!


Chee said...

Salam Raya,
Maaf zahir & batin kot ada yang terkata, terdengar, ternampak, terasa, terkena etc.

I met Ina (Zarina) just now and she's been asking me to take her to your house. Asyik dok plan tak menjadi. How's your nuke plan? Will you be boarded in Mt Miriam or balik tido' di rumah? Yang tanya banyak ni is becoz we're planning to visit you either this Friday or Saturday, no matter where you are.
I'll be calling/sms-ing you before we go.
Take care and enjoy life.

Sharifah Rashidah bt. Syed Ahmad said...

Salam Chee,

Most probably I'll be home on Saturday. Tomorrow, I'll start chemo in the morning and by 1.00 I'll be chauffered(ha ha) to Mount Miriam for the radiation which is to be at 3.00. That will only take about 30 minutes. I should be there until 4.00 pm

Salam to Ina.


Mak Teh said...

Salam sharifah! Ini kali pertama saya membaca blog anda. Saya amat kagum dengan sikap anda yang ceria dan positif. Semoga Allah SWT meringankan penderitaan anda dan di saya doakan kesejahteraan anda.

Has said...

Dear Sharifah,

At time like this water melon is so sooothing, and protective as well. One day, I noticed that the ant survived when I nuked my food in the microwave. One tough insect.

I hope your good self is as tough as the ant while your cancerous cells wilt and die on being nuked.

Raden Galoh said...

Salam Sharifah...

hang in there sis. Allah tahu you strong... I agree with Has, watermelon is good at times like this...

Have good thoughts to ward off the negative things in our mind... Stay positive ya, I know you will..

God bless you sis.

tk said...


Got to know of your predicament reading thru your blog.

Just wanted to drop in a line to wish you all the best. I can feel you are a strong lady with good temperament and you will come out of this well.

Sharifah Rashidah bt. Syed Ahmad said...

Salam RG and Has,

You are both right about the watermelon. Had 2 glasses of melon juice yesterday.


Thanks again.


Sharifah Rashidah bt. Syed Ahmad said...

Hello Nancy,
My radiologist also failed to tell me the same thing about the fluoride toothpaste. What a shame!

I got to know about it from my reading over the net. I could not find a good one here so, I ordered from ebay. Just received it 2 days ago. Thank god.

Thanks for sharing the info..