Friday, 13 September 2013

Road to recovery

Exactly seven months since my last posting!  Some may think that I'm gone already because of the long silence eh :-)  Alhamdulillah, I'm well and fine.

The CT Scan done on Feb 8, 2013 showed "a huge lobulated heterogenous fungating mass...measuring 8.4 x 10.3 x 12.1 cm".  Boy that was really big! Sternum was also affected with "lobulated soft tissue mass...measuring 3.8 x 7.4 x 8.9 cm.  Lung was also affected, of which the largest lobe measuring 8 mm.  And what does that mean?  I was at stage 4 already.   The Onco has warned me that at this stage chances of fully cured is very slim and they could only offer palliative care - relieving and preventing the suffering of patient.  She also queried on my feeling at that time and guess what I said - "well, kalau ajal dah sampai, sakit ni adalah sebagai penyebabnya saja... ".  When I told my friend about this, she asked whether I cried when receiving the news.  Nope, I did not cry coz' I really believe that for every sickness that God gave us, there is also a cure for it, we will have to find which one is suitable.

I started my chemo on March 4, 2013, 6 cycles of Docetaxel.  Infusion was done on day care, I went in the morning, have it infused and go back afterwards.  The after-effect is surprisingly quite mild compared to the one I experienced in the UK.  But few days after my first infusion, I had a fever which required me to go to the hospital to check on my blood.  Definitely the platelet was low but I did not get  to be admitted after I promised that I will do so if I felt really bad.  Hair started to fall, but no problem with me coz' I have experienced being bald before.  This time round, it did not make me totally bald;  the baby hair remained strong.  I did not experience nausea and vomiting, but my tastebud was a bit different.  Nonetheless, I ate what I can so that I won't feel very weak.

The mild effect compared to the one held in the UK was I guess because of the supplements that I take during my recovery time.  I had my Sarimah Sari agegard a sachet a day,  vita lea multivitamins & Nutriferon and some other Shaklee products like vitamin C and so on.  The 6 cycles went smooth; second dose on Mar 25, third dose on April 15, forth dose on May 8, fifth dose on May 29, and the last dose on June 19, 2013.  Few days before those dates, I had to go to the hospital for blood check up, if my platelet was ok, I'm ok to receive the next dose and they also prescribed me the anti-histamine pills whereby I had to swallow 16 pills 3 times a day!  Boy that was tough.

I had another CT Scan on July 2, 2013 to see the effectiveness of the chemo.  Alhamdulillah, the huge mass has shrunk to 5 cm, the other affected area has also shrunk.  I would have expected it as I don't feel any pain on my chest anymore.  During my bad times, the chest area hurt really bad that I couldn't get a peaceful sleep.  Turning side to side was really painful.  Laughing out loud was painful too; when someone cracked a joke, I had to leave so as not to feel the pain.  And what a sad feeling was, when I read the Qur'an, I cannot even finish up one complete line.  Walking upstairs to my bedroom was a challenge to - I easily felt tired and out of breath.

But now, all the pain have gone, back pain is also gone too.  It's typical of a breast cancer patient to experience back pain, the reason being, the nerve at the breast is the same with the nerve at the back.  At one time I even went to see the malay tukang urut to see if there is anything wrong with my bone.  The diagnosis was - urat tersepit bawah tulang belikat :-)  With no back pain, I can perform my daily prayer at ease.  I was infact able to perform 20 rakaat of tarawih prayer at the mosque during Ramadhan.

Credit for the recovery also goes to the B17 injection that I took prior to the chemo.  I had it in January before the chemo started and day by day I saw the improvement.  If before, going in and out of the car is a painful experience, day after day, the pain went away.

I'm actually due for surgery but I have been delaying it hoping that it will continue to shrink.  I don't mind lumpectomy; mastectomy is really scary eh!  I'm aware of the after-effect of the mastectomy.  During my chemo I came across a lady who's whole hand/arm was bloated due to water retention.  During my recent visit at the hospital, I bumped into her and she has gone thinner than before but the bloated arm was still visible.  On another experience, a lady showed me her scar and she said the cancer grew back on the same spot.  Wah, that's scary!

All in all, as long as I have a quality life that I'm having now, being able to take care of family, drive my kid to school, pray at ease, go anywhere I like, is already a blessing.  Opps, I infact perform my walking exercise at the park everyday now to control my blood pressure.  So far so good,  around 1,500 steps a day (800 - 1000 meter) at ease, is good enough for a cancer patient eh :-)

In conclusion, cancer is a chronic metabolic disease, we just have to take care of what we eat.  If so happen that you have one, no worries, a lot of people got cured by taking care of what they eat.  Do the DAON - detox, alkalize, oxigenate, and nutrient, InshaaAllah we will be fine.  Life is a gamble, sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.  If we take care of what we eat, we will be healthy and will win over the cancer.  If we don't, we will lose.  And not forgetting, DOA too...moga Allah SWT memberikan kesihatan yang baik dan umur yang panjang lagi berkat untuk kita semua, Amiinnn...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Stepping into 2013 with wrong foot!

It's February already, time really flies and  it has been 3 months already since my last posting.  Reading thru' my last posting, my wish came through - I managed to go for my graduation.  The ozone treatment worked and I was well to enough to breeze through the cold winter days in the UK.  Of course with the comfort of my sisters who joined me for the ceremony.

After the ceremony

When I came back from the UK, my daughter was admitted to the hospital for her neck surgery.  Alhamdulillah, all went well and she is now recovering with her halo fixed on to her head.  I accompanied her at the hospital for the first few days, and my husband took over for the next few days after the surgery because I was not well enough to take care of her especially when she needs to be carried to the toilet when she needed to pee.  She was admitted for around a week, and during the days that my husband was taking care of her at the hospital, I still had to drive there everyday.

My girl after the surgery
Well and fine now

The stress has taken its toll and on 3rd January, 2013, I myself was admitted to the hospital because my tumor bled heavily.  It has been bleeding since few months back but it was controllable.  That morning, the tumor must have hit a big vein and I could not control it anymore - surrender!  My husband sent me to the emergency at HKL whereby few stitches were needed to stop the bleeding.  My Hb was quite low and I was admitted.  I didn't really mind coz' it could be a shortcut way to see the oncologist for proper treatment.  I was actually trying to set an appointment earlier, but the earliest for new case would be end of February.

Self-shot for my girls who missed me while I was at the hospital

While in the hospital, they managed to do a biopsy again since I did not bring along any pathology report to prove that I have brca.  Boy the procedure was really painful, and the spot had to be stitched again once done.  Two nights at the hospital, I was well to be discharged.  They were going to set for a CT scan appointment to know the staging.  I had the CT scan done on February 8, 2013 and am quite anxious to know where the cancer might have spread to.

Like it or not, I have to go for a chemo to shrink the tumor before I can go for a surgery.  Having experienced chemo before, I thought I should take something so that the cancer didn't look bad that I have to go through a heavy dose.  B17 came into picture and starting January 8, 2013, I started to take the B17 injection, got it from my friend whose father had liver cancer and was at critical stage already when he had the B17 pack.  He only managed to take few bottles before he passed on.  I bought the rest - 54 ampoules of 3 grams each.  I had 2 ampoules everyday, injected into my vein.  Trust me, I did not do inject it by myself :-) I made my way to the clinic every night for it.

I will see my doctor on 19th February, 2013, and my Onco on 22nd February, 2013.  Hope for the best and I would not have to go for a heavy chemo...