Sunday, 28 December 2008

Pass me the domperidone...

Assalamualaikum wbt.

It's 6 days post chemo and alhamdulillah I'm feeling much much better. A doctor did warn me before that side effects of chemo can usually kick in again 6-10 days post chemo. So I wont speak too soon, but let's just hope that with the prayers of all my beloved families and friends, and with the will of Allah, I will remain strong.

Talking about health, someone else is in need of my domperidone tablets. Unfortunately, Jep is currently down with what we medical-geeks call as Acute Gastroenteritis. Food poisoning that is. Which is why he's taking my domperidone tablets.

Diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, you name it. He's got all the text-book symptoms. Kesian Jep.

At the moment, Mom has got two patients to look after. Kesian pulak mama.

Let's pray Jep gets well soon.

The Sunnah when visiting the sick :

Don't despair; it is a cleansing from sins if Allah wills. O Allah, grant him cure and peace. [Al Hakim and al Bukhari]

Friday, 26 December 2008

Me and Domperidone...

Assalamualaikum wbt

The last 2 days were testing. I was confined to bed literally all day long. Felt really (REALLY) sick, and if it's not for Allah's will and the domperidone (anti-sickness tablet) that the doctor gave me to take regularly, I would have probably vomited buckets of fluids by now.

Mama and Jep were there to help me all along. Mama just knew the best food for me even when my appetite's completely gone. Jep managed to make a pasta for us this morning, of which I'm impressed with. Ingatkan masak nasi pun dia tak reti.

Alhamdulillah, at least I managed to bring myself up again today. And I guess that's how the chemo will affect me. It makes you feel rubbish for the first 3-4 days, and hopefully you'll pick up from there on. At least Allah has given me the strength to get back to revising, and more importantly, the ability to hopefully walk up the hill to perform my Friday prayers today. SubhanAllah!

That's how merciful Allah is. And why are we not thankful enough to Him for all His blessings?!

P/s: Thanks everyone for your constant du'as and prayers. May Allah shower His Mercy on each and everyone of you.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Post Chemo

Assalamualaikum wbt

Alhamdulillah, I have just had my first chemotherapy and Allah has given me the ability to post an entry into the blog.

I'll make it short, as I need to utilize the times when my body is still feeling relatively well post-chemotherapy for revision purposes.

930 am - Arrived in 02 Day Case Unit, Hallamshire Hospital
945 am - Had a few bloods taken for baseline investigation before the chemotherapy treatment can be started. Iv cannula inserted into a vein on the forearm.
1000am - Consultant Haematologist came and had a chat, as well as to get a consent for the chemotherapy.
1030 am - Baseline investigations were all normal and thus hospital starts to prepare the ABVD medications.

1030am - 230pm : Nothing much going on as we sat and waited for the medications to be prepared by the hospital staff.

230 pm - Chemotherapy treatment commences:

First drug - Vinblastine(5 mins)
2nd drug - Bleomycin (2 minutes)
3rd drug - Adriamycin (2 minutes)
4th drug - Dacarbazine (1 hour)

Alhamdulillah, the chemotherapy finished approximately at 415pm, and as I was feeling generally well, we were allowed to return home. Even though I have made arrangements for a friend to pick us up with a car, I felt quite ok that I decided to walk home instead. Mum and Jep were fine with it and we all walked back home.

At the moment, I do feel a bit nauseated (loya), but the anti-sickness medication that they administered prior to starting the chemotherapy seems to be doing its job so far. Apart from feeling slightly tired, I do feel that I am coping relatively well post-chemo, better than my own expectations.

I guess this is down to all the prayers and du'as that my family and friends have consistently been making all this while. Thank you very much everyone, and I pray that Allah reward each and everyone of you for your help and concern.

Doa itu senjata bagi orang Muslim. It really is.

Sunday, 21 December 2008


Appointment Date : 22nd December 2008
Location : 02 Day Case Unit, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield.
Purpose : Chemotherapy treatment

La hawlawala quuwata’illah billahil ‘aliyy al-’azim

Dan Kami turunkan dari Al Quran suatu yang menjadi penawar dan rahmat bagi orang-orang yang beriman dan Al Quran itu tidaklah menambah kepada orang-orang yang zalim selain kerugian. (al-Isra: 82)

Countdown to chemotherapy: 1hr 30 min

Friday, 19 December 2008

Symptoms and signs

Assalamualaikum wbt.

A lot of people have been asking about my general health. Alhamdulillah, I feel pretty much the same as how I was before all these happened.

But obviously, there are a few symptoms associated with the condition that I am experiencing at the moment. 2 of the most obvious ones are:

1) General tiredness
- Feeling tired most of the time even though I have not exerted myself.
- What is more obvious is that I need more sleep than usual. Which sometimes can be not helpful, especially during Fajr time. Making it doubly hard to make it on time for the Fajr congregational prayer at the Masjid. O may Allah give me the strength and perseverance!

2) Cough
- I thought I can shrug it off by the end of the week. But I couldn't.
- My consultant told me it's due to the mass effect of Mr 'X' on my airways. Thus causing irritation, leading to the cough reflex.

That's about it really. Alhamdulillah, no other significant symptoms namely weight loss, fever or excessive sweating at night. The so-called 'B symptoms'.

I keep on reminding myself about the simple but yet profound saying of the Prophet. About making use of your health before you fall ill. How relevant is that to me now.

Alhamdulillah, I can still perform my obligations to Allah today with ease, but how will I manage when my treatment starts soon? Doing my prayers, reciting the Qur'an, walking to the masjid will all be more difficult I presume. Which is why Islam teaches us to not let the time when we are healthy go to waste. Because, when we fall ill, we so dearly seek for Allah's help, but all we can do is lie on the bed and pray.

Ya Allah...

Thursday, 18 December 2008

The 'testing' several weeks I've had...

10-14 November 08
i. Was doing my Infectious Disease placement, when I spoke to my colleagues about the neck lump. Hmm, non-tender, tethered to the skin. It's been there for almost 3 weeks now. Better get it checked (being medical students do make you think of all those possibilities...)
ii. Arranged for a GP appointment, got one for the 21st November.
iii. No signs of neck lump resolving by itself.

21st November 08
i. Addressed all my concerns to GP, who agreed and immediately arrange for blood tests and chest x-ray. Referred to Consultant Haematologist (pakar darah).
ii. Chest x-ray finding (for those interested to know): Perihilar shadowing. Hmm.

26th November 08, 130pm.
i. Appointment with Consultant Haematologist. History and examination findings made him slightly concern, thus leading to immediate investigations.
ii. Had more bloods taken, in fact the most taken from me ever.

27th November 08, 230pm.
i. Had my first CT scan ever. Had to drank a litre of contrast, which, suffice to say, was unpleasant. CT scan took 30 minutes, analysing my head and neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis.
ii. At least I knew my kidney's working well though, given the increased frequency of visiting the loo afterwards to excrete the contrast.

28th November 08, 10am.
i. Ultrasound-guided fine needle biopsy of the neck lump. Sounds scary, but being a medical student really helps to comfort you a bit. Especially when you know the exact manner in which the procedure is being done.
ii. The biopsy is the diagnostic investigation, so this is definitely an important one.
iii. 3 biopsies taken. Alhamdulillah, wasn't too painful, the lignocaine (ubat bius) that the Doctor injected did its work, with Allah's will.
iv. Sore neck all day long.

04th December 08
i. Got a call from the Hospital. Being told to come and see the Consultant Haematologist for biopsy result.
ii. Knew straight away that the biopsy result is not normal (again, being a medical student, you know bad news are not conveyed via the phone).

05th December 08, 0930am.
i. Time to break the bad news. Diagnosis given. SubhanAllah.
ii. CT scan conducted previously gave it a stage 3; which basically means involving the neck, and both sides of the diaphragm (ie chest and abdomen). Quite aggresive.
iii. Chemo to be started soon, for 6 months. Regimen : ABVD (go and read it up guys).

10th December 08, 115pm.
i. Arranged for a PET-CT scan. Almost similar to a CT scan, except that I didn't have to drink that unpleasant contrast. Rather, they injected a radioactive sugary compound an hour before the scan commences.
ii. Being told not to go home by the public transportation, as I remain radioactive 8 hours post-scan, thus posing risk to small children and pregnant ladies. Wow.

12th December 08, 0930 am.
i. Probably my biggest test so far, bone marrow biopsy. This test is essential, to ensure that Mr 'X' has not messed around with the bone marrow yet.
ii. The experience of observing a bone marrow biopsy myself a few years back didn't help. It looked traumatic to the patient back then. Now I need to go through it myself.
iii. Even with the lignocaine, this is definitely a not so enjoyable experience. Ya Allah, may this pain cleanses my sin!
iv. To be fair, the doctor who performed it was very experienced and didn't spend long to get the biopsies from the marrow. Alhamdulillah.
v. As I was about to leave the hospital, a nurse held me and kindly requested that I have a blood test taken before I leave. Aiyo.

A very eventful few weeks it's been. The wonders of medicine. SubhanAllah, never had I imagined going through all the investigations I've learned inside out via the medical textbook myself!

p/s: Thanks encik wikipedia. Owe you a lot for this entry.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

1. Istikhara.

"O Allah, shall I do it, or shall I leave it, and risk myself a challenging future ahead?"

It's time to decide. I need to make the phone call.

Me : I am having second thoughts on the procedure. I have given it a long thought, and I feel that I will give it a miss. I'm sorry.

X : That is perfectly reasonable. You have all our support. We shall just cancel the appointment then.

Hmm. That was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make for myself. Testing times lie ahead. For sure.

All I need is to convince myself that Allah has His plans for me. Hasbuk. That is all I need to know, and adhere to.

2. Text message :


Your bone marrow has come back as clear. Regards, Dr M****y.


3. Rezeki dari pintu yang tak disangka-sangka...

My beloved 'adik-adik' from 76 Victoria Street (5 mins walk from my house) came to visit. Brought along 'sup kambing', which by the looks of it, is sure to whet anyone's appettite. Syukran ya syabab!

4. Ya Allah, hebatnya nusrahMu!

Received a call from Ust Erfino, the MSD Education Attachee. Such humility by a person high in the ranks of the UK-Eire Malaysian Students Department. Ustaz, thanks for your help with the accomodation in London. That was so helpful, if only you know how thankful I am! Looking forward to see you again in Sheffield soon.

SubhanAllah, what a day.

Betul jugak kata orang, keputusan kita hari ini boleh mencorakkan kehidupan kita esok, lusa dan selama-lamanya.

But when you have made a decision, turn to Allah. Have tawakkal to Allah. O Allah, how beautiful is Your religion.

17 December 2008

After the constant pleas, I for once had to succumb to the request. To write my own blog.

Only because I now have something REALLY significant to justify it with. And only for that REASON have I decided to share a small portion of my simple life to the people I feel are important to me.

Because I profoundly appreciate the concern that these people have shown to me for what has transpired recently. And for that, this blog is especially for all of you.

5th of December 2008. The day when it all began...the long journey to comprehending Allah's unique plans for His servants...