Saturday, November 29, 2008

Completed All Treatments

Hi folks! Assalamualaikum,

First of all, I apologise for not updating this blog for quite sometime. Some friends have texting me wondering how I have been doing. Well, I am fine and thank you very much for being so concern.

I have just completed my chemo and radiotheraphy on the 21sts Nov. It has been about a week now post treatment. On that friday (my last treatment day), as usual I went to the Mt Miriam Hospital in the morning to be nuked. After the session ended, I was instructed to see the oncologist, Dr Rakesh Raman. Then it got me a little worried. What if he add more zaps? I really felt like I could not go on with the treatments anymore. Both of my cheeks and my neck area have turned dark. Its even darker than the normal sunburn. The mouth sores are getting worse and painful. And the phlegm...urgh!! I can hardly finish my milk without using tons of tissue because whenever I drink the phlegm will sort of interrupt a smooth flow of milk into my throat and this causes me to really cough and spill the milk all over myself.

Actually, on the day before (thursday) there was this lady who was happily telling everybody that it was going to be her last radiation. However, after being checked up by the oncologist, she was told to go for 5 more zaps of radiotheraphy. She was so disappointed. I was kind of worried that he might decide to give me more nukes. However, my worries had been unfounded. When he checked me, he said that I am doing just fine there would be no more zap. I have completed 30 sessions altogether. He checked my neck area and inside the mouth and he said I am ok now. I was so relieved.

Then, after coming back to the hospital, I continued with the last chemo. My husband came early on that day. After another 7 hours of chemo, everything was over. I straightaway asked to be discharged. I could not bear to stay there even for another minute. So, I came straight home right after that.

For a few days after the treatments, I felt quite weak and slept most of the time. However, I forced myself to take the morning brisk walk around the field in front of my house. I was told that the best time to exercise is between 6 to 7 am because that is the time where the oxygen content of the air is the most and pollution free. Its very important to supply as much oxygen as possible to the body especially cancer patients because cancer cells cannot survive in oxygenated environment. So, I managed to brisk walk 4 rounds every morning for in the past few days. Now, I feel a lot fresher and stronger. Thank god. Alhamdulillah.

Btw, my appetite is still lousy. I am still surviving on ensure milk, fruit juices and honey. I think I have forgotten how to eat. Got to relearn when the time comes for me to eat again...ha ha

Bye, for now. Life is great.


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

Monday, November 10, 2008

Counting my blessings

Assalamualaikum everyone,

This morning, I went for my 21st radiation at mt miriam hospital. On the way, I could not help looking back what I had gone through since my first rad and chemo. I realised how fortunate I have been because I can still swallow my milk rather well even though I do suffer some mouth sores and the thick phlegm in the mouth which threatens to choke me once in a while. I have also completed 5 cycles of chemo and I have 2 more to go.

There are actually a lot of things that I should count my blessings for. When I looked around me in the Mt Miriam ambulance I feel like what I am facing now is just peanuts because there many other who suffer a lot more. Some can't even climb into the ambulance on their own. They have to be assisted all the time. Many have lost their appetite totally and are only getting by with water for weeks and they have become very weak. There is a 36 year old lady who has a stage IV cervical cancer which is inoperable and it has metastasised to her kidney. She is on palliative treatment which means it cannot be cured and the treatments are just to prolong her life.

Another thing that I am grateful for is that Allah has given me the strength to go through the treatments and I am almost at the end of the tunnel now. I have another 9 zaps to go. I think I can handle that. Alhamdulillah.

The most important of all is that Allah has chosen me to face this ordeal and not any of my children. I don't know if I will have the courage if one of my children is struck with cancer.

And because of cancer, I have made a lot caring friends which I would not have otherwise.

And for all those things, syukur alhamdulillah....


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

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Penang General Hospital

Assalamualaikum and hello everyone,

Got back home on Friday night after my forth chemo. Intended to post something but I felt too tired and went straight to bed. Yesterday, I felt very weak and slept all day. Alhamdulillah, today I feel a lot better and able do compose another post.

After my first operation in April, I stayed in Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Star for 24 days. Then, for my second operation in August, I was warded for 34 days. My stay in the hospital was ok. I can't really find anything to fret about. So, when I was informed that I had to stay in the Penang GH through out my radiation and chemo therapies, I was sort of looking forward to it thinking the condition would be more or less the same.

On the first day, I was placed in the oncology ward, along with 20 other patients of both sexes and various conditions. Some were critical and dying. During the night, you could hear voices groaning and moaning in pain. It freaked me out. Most of the patients are undergoing chemo therapy. There was no air cond, just the fans and it got really warm during the day. There are three common shower rooms and three toilets to be shared among the male and female patients. To make it worse, patients with skin diseases are also placed in the same ward. Eventhough they have a shower room and a toilet separated from the rest, there was no way to be sure that they don't use the other shower rooms and toilets. Thats what bothered me the most. I mean when you are under radiation and chemo therapies, your immune system is at the weakest and you can get infected rather easily.

On the second day, I requested to be transferred to the first class ward but was turned down because they said that since I'll be doing chemo, I have to stay at the oncology ward for easy monitoring. I was really not happy about it because as I saw it, staying in the ward is not going to make anyone better. On the 4th day, I was informed that I could go to the first class ward with a condition that I have to come back to the oncology ward for the chemo. Of course I did not argue about the fact that my request to be transferred in the first place was flatly turned down. It was a pleasant surprise. I was so relieved and quickly packed my things and went to the first class ward.

I was placed in a 2 bedded room with an elderly lady who was looked after by her grand daughter. As soon as I settled in the ward, a nurse came and gave a briefing on the dos and the don'ts. One of the groundrules is that I could bring someone to accompany but it has to be a she because it is a female ward. Then, I started noticing that the girl who stayed with my roomate had her boyfriend there all the time. I could not help wondering why nothing was done about it. I brought that up to the nurses but was informed that they could not do anything about it. The boy just refused to budge and even slept there with the girl. If it was in Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, that boy would have been chased out in no time. If the nurses can't implement the rules, what are the rules for and who are responsible to ensure that the rules are enforced??

Anyway, that lady completed her treatment and she left last friday, phew! Or else I would have to request for another room, wouldn't I? the way, I am already halfway through my treatment and my hair is still intact and my mouth is not as sore as before. However, I am still fighting with the phlegm in my mouth. Many people say that from now on, the level of suffering from the side effects will either stay the same or go downhill. In other words, I should feel better after this. Now, that is something to look forward to...

Will write again, soon...

Bye, for now.


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