Thursday, August 28, 2008

Can't Wait

Assalamualaikum and Hello to all:

There are actually two teams of doctors who are taking care of me. The first, is the ENT group and the other is the plastic surgeons. According to the ENT doctors, I should be allowed to go home already if I prefer because my recovery has progressed so well. The coughing has stopped and there is no more problem with phlegm. The physiotherapist has been coming everyday.

Today, she came and saw me drinking milk from a cup. She said, "I don't know what else to tell you. Apparently she thought of teaching me swallowing technique! And I have been getting up at 6.00 am every morning and do all kinds of exercises that she had shown. Then, she smiled and left.

Then, came the ENT doctors, including Dr. Zul when I was having a mug of milk in my hand. He asked whether I've been using the feeding tube or not. I said, I've been told by the plastic surgeons to use the tube for feeding stuff other than milk and water. So, he said that I could try to take blended porridge orally. It has to be blended because I am not allowed to chew yet because they are afraid that I might break whatever is left of the jaw bone. My jawbone is still not strong enough. He said that this will have to go on for another two or three months. Boy, oh boy! If I can manage to take the liquified porridge, they can take out the feeding tube. Fortunately, came lunch time, I managed to down a bowl of blended porridge. So, looks like the feeding tube can go this afternoon.

Yesterday, a long lost cousin came visiting. She has been married to her brother in law for ten years; that is after the passing of her sister after suffering from cancer of the jaw. Her sister had 6 children. So, she is now taking care of the six children and her own child. Her late sister had a swelling under her right ear. At first, they thought it was just something to do with her thyroid. So, they just applied some ointment and seeked treatments from various clinics. When the bump did not go away after a few months, they decided to take her to the hospital. She stayed in the hospital for 8 days and nothing was given except some panadols. Finally, on the 8th day, they decided to do a biopsy and a ct scan, and the result came back positive. Then, the doctors planned for a surgery on the next day. However, on the next day, she passed away. That is how horrible this disease is.

So, you see. You really have to be on the look out for anything funny about your body.

Oh..oh. The nurse is here. Got to go.

Bye, for now.


"Life is too short"

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Hello everyone:

Here I am again at ward 7a, bed 17. Feeling really great. The doctor just came by and said that everything is going well. I have started sipping water. Today, I am going to start drinking milk. Hopefully, I will be able to take food orally in 2 or 3 days. He also talked about the radiotheraphy treatment which he wants me to start as soon as possible. He is not taking any chances this time. After this, looks like I will be transferred to Hospital Kepala Batas for the radiation treatment. Well, whatever it takes, I'll go for it.

After the operation on Aug 13, I was pushed straight to the ICU. I came around on the next morning, I think it was around 10.30am. I heard my husband's voice reciting the Surah Yasin. Then, I knew I was going to be alright. A nurse came and talked to me. She said that she knew me when I had my first operation. She said that I will survive again because I am really a strong person.

That afternoon itself, the nurse came back saying that they would transfer me to Level 6 for observation. They prepared for me the self-administered morphine whereby I need to press a button whenever I feel any pain. When that button is pressed, the morphine would be transfused into my system. I only got to press the button 3 times. After that, it seemed that the machine malfunctioned. Fortunately, I did not feel any pain after that.

After 6 days, I requested to be transferred to the first class ward. The doctors readily agreed. I moved right away to level 7 and was put in a room along with 2 other elderly patients. One is a chinese lady suffering from a terminal liver cancer and the other is an Indian lady who had her knee cap replaced. The Chinese lady could barely move and she was groaning in pain most of the time. Her loving husband and relatives were by her side all the time. My heartfelt sympathy went out for her. On the next day, I was asked to move to a 2-bedded room which is more comfortable. This morning, I heard a commotion. Then, I found out that the Chinese lady had passed away in her sleep. My condolence to her family. Life is indeed too short.

I am now bored stiff staying in the hospital. I sure am glad that I have my laptop and some books with me. Friends and relatives who have been visiting almost every other day also help me go through my stay here. Yesterday, I had a visit from a cousin whom I had not met for years. Upon hearing about my condition, she quickly came to the hospital and filled me in about her siblings whom I used to know very well. That was really nice of her.

Ok folks. Will keep you updated, later.
Bye, for now.

"Life is too short"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Second Operation-August 13th

Dearest sisters and brothers:

I haven’t updated this blog because of two reasons: firstly, problems with my internet connection and secondly, my second operation which I had on August 13th. It was a 9 hour operation.

In the first operation, I had a total glossectomy ( removal of the whole tongue) which affecting my speaking and eating ability. This time, it’s a partial mandibulectomy (removal of part of the lower jaw) which doesn’t deteriorate my speaking and eating ability further. Thank god.

I was admitted on Sunday Aug 10th. When I first walked into the ward, the nurses were like, "hey, you are back". And I said, "ya, I missed you all so much". They laughed at my remark. So, on that day, they did an ecg and blood test. On the next day, my consultant came to inform that everything looks ok and they would proceed with the operation on the 13th.

Friends and families started visiting when they heard the news. Smses came in non-stop until the big day. They really cheered me up and kept on reminding me to focus my mind on being cancer free and a survivor. I was a bit disappointed though for not being able to get on line to send news to friends from other parts of the globe (those people from the mouth cancer foundation) who have been very supportive in this battle) and update this blog.

I was pushed into the operation theatre at about 11.30 am. My family members were all here. Then, a nurse came to give me a pill. She said that this is to calm me down. My brother Rofli, asked the nurse for the pill too. Everyone laughed. True enough the pill really worked. As soon as I got into the ot, I was knocked out, already in the dreamland.

My husband said that I came out of the ot at about 9.00 pm and the doctor informed him that everything went well. On the next day, I was transferred to level 6 for close observation, just as I expected. I still felt ok. Came the third day, I started feeling horrible because of the phlegm, coughing and continuous drooling. They have to constantly suck the phlegm out. Its feels terrible. They have taken out some of the tubes. I feel much better now, eventhough I'm still coughing and drooling because now I have my laptop with me and can get on-line.

The doctors just came and said that I am doing well and should recover soon. Well, let's see what they have to say tomorrow.

Until then, bye!

"Life is too short"

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Friendship Never Dies

Hello everyone,

In January 1980 I, with a big group of Malaysian students flew to the US to pursue our tertiary education. We were stationed in Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois for one semester where we had to undergo an intensive English course. This is to enable us to follow lectures in english and to assimilate and adapt to the lifestyle in the US. After finishing the English course, we were sent to various universities depending on the disciplines that we undertook. I was sent to Eastern Illinois University along with nine others. They were Chee, Chenah, Jamaliah, Tip, Hizzad, Mongkok, Jakju, Harun and Dawam. After two semesters came another batch of Malaysian students; Kitty, Ram, Zarina, Kak Ti, Tamam, Kassim, Hatta and Wak Im. Oh, we had a lot of fun and a fair share of problems as well. Since there were so few of us, we were like a close knit family.

Today, Chee, Hizzad and Harun came to visit me. I was caught by surprise. I was really touched. Had never occurred to me that they would take the trouble to fly all the way from KL and back just to visit me. They took me out for lunch and we talked about a lot of things, our family, career, our student days and so on. But nobody touched about me having cancer. We just had fun. I am glad that I managed to make them understand me eventhough I know that I must have sounded weird. I appreciate their visit very much.

Hizzad, I have started reading the book. It is very inspiring. It helps me look at things from a different angle and perspective.

Thank you very much, friends.


"Life is too short"