Saturday, July 25, 2009

'Tis the season?

I don't know about you all but I feel these past few weeks there is nothing else that I hear, but cancer.... Cancer, cancer, cancer ...Arghhh!

It's either A's sister is down with cancer, B's brother in law will have surgery in two weeks time to remove cancer, C will start his chemo next week, D just died bla bla bla. It seems this kinda news about cancer is endless. Everyday there'll be more news about it that makes me suffocate almost up to my nose with such news. I simply want to puke, well all that and plus my not so good condition body of course.

This past few weeks my body seems to rebel against me. It's giving me undescribable aches and pains. Sometimes pain killers and masagging works, but when they don't that's when the tears start to fall.

Nontheless when I went to see the neurosurgeons on the 7th of July they were happy to see me doing ok and one of them even said that I seem to have gained some weight. Haha.. little did he knew that I've played a trick on him like I always do to look more weighty. You see that day I went in wearing XL shirt and pants. That's why I looked so fluffed up. My actual size is just M.

It was there in the surgey clinic that I noticed several familiar faces. The were familiar to me because they were cancer patients whom I've seen when I wnt for radiotherapy treatment. They're in the surgey clinic meaning that they've also had surgery just like me and that could only mean one thing, that their cancer have also gotten worse also just like me. One or two were on wheel chair while others walk slowly. I guess they're fatigue or their body are so weak because of the illness. That's what I'm feeling right now.

Then there was my appoinment with the oncologist. If before I saw many cancer patients up and beat, but this time I saw many of them are lethargic. Many were on wheelchairs.

Because of my not so good condition I had to cancel my appoinments with the opthalmologist and radiologist respectively. With the opthalmologist, I requested a new apooinment date and was given the nearest possible date - Dec 2009 ! But luckily when I cancelled my simulation date for the brain scan on the 7th July I was given a new date two days later 9th July.

The simulation eventho' it went well, was pretty agonizing for me. You see I had to lie on my back and that is something that I cannot do of late. To sleep I have to lie on my sides with pillows raised thus to have the simulation in that position is very painful for me. I was groaning thro'out the simulation and the radiographer noticed that. They're very kind to make the simulation as fast as they could to lessen my pains.

With that my 5 sessions of whole brain radiation started on tha 20th July. I managed to make the first two but did come for my third trip. Why? Again I was not feeling well and my body aches all over. For the first two trips, the side effect sets in very fast. The moment I was in the car to go home, I vomited.

Reading blogs doesn't help either. Here and there I noticed that several cancer survivors are battling with the spreading of the desease to other parts of their body. Some will undergo surgery while others will be sent for chemo. Sighh...

So with all the bove being said, I can't help myself from thinking, "Is this the season for cancer cells to be jolly?" Hemm...

p/s: I'm publishing this entry without it being edited first by E-Ya. I hope I did Ok. Most importantly I hope you all can read it despite some mistakes here and there - bubye r2d2

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hanging On ...

My salam to all.

It's been 3 weeks since my surgery and alhamdullillah, I'm still blessed by God the alMighty with time to spend with my loved ones. No doubt after the surgery I was feeling very tired. Tired of the highest order. No kidding. I could hardly keep my eyes open. I'd dozed off most of the day. I was just like a new born baby, waking up a few minutes then find myself dozing off again. This went on for more than a week, before I decided to try and do something about it. But with my legs still wobly, what can I do? I cannot go out for morning walk like I used to do before. Exercise with other elders at the playground is still a no no and swimming? Huh? I gotta be joking...I reckoned I'd fall asleep the moment my head touch water... Ohh how I miss all the activities that I used to do before ... Uwaaa....! Nonetheless despite all that, the doctors said that my recovery was good, considering that the operation was a major one for me.

On the day of surgery E-ya told the surgeon that I have a history of waking up fast from the effects of aneasthethia so much so that the surgeon said that he will also administer me with extra sleeping pills so that I will not wake up quick enough to feel the pain from the cut on my head. But what happened instead? The surgery was over at around 2 am and I woke up early the next morning even with the extra sleeping pills.By noon I was already entertaining visitors in the ward. In fact I recalled receiving a lot of visitors that day and I was very excited seeing familiar faces of relatives and friends. But I think my visitors were more shock to see me. I had my head shaved at the back and the place where the incision was made was covered with plaster. When the plaster was removed, they can see all 40 big staples arranged in a U shape on the right hand side of my head, next to the ear. Me all skin and bones and now with U shape metal staples up on the head. It must have really been a sight.

I was only a day in the ICU before being transferred to the ordinary ward.In this normal ward I spent 5 days before I was discharged. I was a bit surprised as I thought I'd been in the hospital at least 10 days or more. But I think after the doctors saw me on two occassions already busy talking on the hand phone, me again wheeling myself on the wheel chair down the hallway or to other patient's bed and one morning found me hungrily devouring roti canai, well that must have been the day that they decided to say, "Get this lady outta here! Pronto!" Hahaha...

But before I was discharged I was given another CT scan and an appointment with the opthalmologist to check my eye. As I've mentioned before, after the surgey I'm having trouble with my eye sight. No it's not that I cannot focus or see things, it's just that I find my vision scope has narrowed a bit. I have trouble to see objects at the sides. I can see fine if the objects are in front but not at the sides. The first day I was at home, E-Ya was already shouting, "Acik! look out for the ...! But then too late...I already banged my head against the door as I couln't see it. Luckily nothing serious happened because of that. Even as I was typing this entry, I keep pressing the capslock key as I couldn't see it and I thoughtI was pressing the A or S key. Imagine all the mistakes I've made. Luckily dear E-Ya is around to do editing for me. Bless the girl. E-Ya told me when I was in the ICU , when I couldn't talk because there were tubes down my throat, I wrote notes to her but I mixed up the alphabets until she herslf does not know what I was trying to say. I mixed up the 's' 'b' 'd' 'a' and many others. Sometimes it's like as if I'm dyslexic. Other times I just mis spelt the words. But that was then. Now I don't have that problem anymore. Alhamdullillah. Another problem is that I have difficulty with adjusting distance of objects from me. Sometimes I think the object is there and try to grab it but then it's actually a little further or nearer from me . That's why earlier I said I'm experiencing optical illusions. I hope with time my vision canbe restored back to normal. Insya Allah. Because of this problem with my eye sight one funny thing happened when I was in the ICU. when I woke up the first question I asked my sister who waited on me was, "Sis are my eyes now squinted?" When she replied, "No", Boy that was a big relief!

And then the day came when I had to remove the staples on my head. I had them removed on Monday, a week after surgery. At first I was so damn afraid just thinking about it. Actually while in the hospital I did not get the oppurtunity to see the condition of my head. When I asked E-Ya or my sisters how did my head look like, they all just say, "Oh its fine, nothing to worry...". Yeah right... But when I got home and got posession of my handphone, the first thing I did was took photo of my head and I gotta tell you I myself was appalled and afraid to see that it looked like that. I'd never imagine that it would even be like that... I have the photos for my own personal momentos, but for you all I think its enough if I say that it looked like what Mawi always says, "World!". It's too gory to show it here and for those who have photo sensitive syndrome or photo sensitive epilepsy, I don't want to be the person responsible for your fainting, or seizures. Hahaha... Serious folks. My own brother doesn't even dare to look at it longer than just a few seconds. My sister was afraid to clean the wound eventho its healingwell. And who is the person most undisturbed by all these? Who else but E-Ya. At first I had my cousin Rozaida, who is the doctor to clean it for me. E-Ya watched and after that the responsibility was hers.

That was also the reason why I was afraid when the day came to remove the staples. I told E-Ya if the pain of removing the staples is excruciating, don't be surprised if I yell and grab the nurses by the neck. I reminded her to just be ready to restrain me from doing that. But alhamdullilah, even without anaethesia I did not feel pain when the nurse removed the staples. E-Ya was present when the staples was removed and she described to me how the nurses did it. She said the nurses used an apparatus to grab the staples and then yanked it out from the head. Ouch! But as I said no pain. Even if there was, it was just like ant bites only. The next day I was already shampooing my hair. Now the wound is completely dry and there is no pain at all. I do not also have any headaches. I really, really thank God the alMighty for making all these easy and painless for me.

Then last Monday, I went to see the oncologist. A new one again this time, but at least she knew my medical history. She said that I will be sent for brain radiotherapy and the simulation will be on 7th of July at 3.30 pm. She said The radiotherapy is to ensure there will be no recurrence, that it gets all the small tumors (if any) that cannot be captured by CT scan. Just thinking about it scares me, but I guess these doctors knows what'sbest for me, so I obliged. The only thing asked was what will the side effects be. She mentioned things like nausea, headaches and memory loss. Hem... Not too bad I guess... Whoa..., wait a second... MEMORY LOSS?? Will I not be able to recall events that had happened in my life or will I not remember my family, friends or even my own self? What about all my ex boyfriends? Jeng, jeng, jeng.... Oh well, adios guys ...

However looking thru the internet I found out that this memory loss is only temporary. and other side effects will also also include fatigue and hair loss. The doctor also said that I'll be zapped only 5 times and that there will be medications prescribed to me to control the side effects, so Insya Allah I'll be alright. But just in case, do pray for me too ya... Pray that I'll be able to tolerate all this and that my body will be able to withstand the procedure. As I am already fatigue right now and I don't know how much more fatigue I'll be.

That 7th of July will also be my appointment date with the Neuro surgeons. But it will be in the morning. So I guess I'll be pretty busy next week. Previously I had appointments with only two units - gynae onco and onco. But after the surgery I have two more attachments with the opthalmologist and neuro surgeon. I guess now HUKM is like my second family already.

OK I guess I'd better stop here before I fall asleep in front of this PC. I'll drop by again next time if I have the time and energy. Bubye!