I remembered a decision I made back in December 2008, when I was advised by the JPA officials (my sponsor) that I should take the last 6 months of my studies off to focus on my treatment. It took me a lot of thinking but in the end, I decided that I wasn't going to delay my studies but to give it a go. Thinking about it now retrospectively, I believed that I've made the right decision, and I can only thank Allah for that.
Two weeks ago, I took the decision to start work as a Foundation Year 1 Doctor in Royal Preston Hospital knowing that it'll only be for a short while. A decision my Consultant fully respected, and one which rather surprised him as he thought I would've opted to enjoy on an extended break from work.
Alhamdulillah, the two weeks have gone by quickly, but I have relished every single moment of it. As people often tell you, life as a doctor will never be the same as when you were a medical student. You can no longer walk away whenever trapped in a difficult situation, and there are certainly a lot more critical decision-makings involved.
I remembered vividly on my 3rd day as a doctor when I was called upon by the nurse to see a patient with a known lung cancer who was acutely short of breath, looking very distressed and was profusely sweating. There wasn't any other senior doctors around and I knew I need to act immediately whilst waiting for more help to arrive. Macam cerita kat TV lah, every second counts kan. I went through my ABC assessment (A-Airways, B-Breathing, C-Circulation) and 5 minutes later, alhamdulillah the patient settled down. As I was about to leave the patient, the nurse said a simple, yet profound statement,
"Thank you very much Doctor."
Such a straightforward statement that makes this job all worthwhile. It really does.
I guess my short journey as a doctor would have to be put to side for now as I draw near to my first course of ESHAP chemotherapy. I need to have the sutures on my Hickman line taken out tomorrow, and start doing some packing for my admission to hospital this Sunday night.
The chemotherapy will be given from Monday morning for 5 consecutive days until Friday, and I was told by my Consultant that I can be discharged for the weekend if deemed fit enough.
This will certainly be one very interesting Ramadhan for me. Firstly, that this will be my first ever Ramadhan during the summer, thus the long day. Secondly, because of the chemotherapy and therefore the prospect of fasting whilst undergoing treatment. But before I worry anyone, let me reassure that I will not put my health at risk if I don't feel able to fast, insya Allah. In a way, I look forward to 'converting' the ward I'll be in later next week into a place of worship.
A place where I will perform my obligatory and terawih prayers.
A place where I'll be reciting the Qur'an and offer my supplications.
And hopefully show to the people around me what Ramadhan is all about for Muslims. Seems interesting, huh? Insya Allah!
Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "By the One in Whose hand my self is, the smell of the breath of a man fasting is better with Allah than the scent of musk.' He leaves his desires and his food and drink for My sake. Fasting is for Me and I reward it. Every good action is rewarded by ten times its kind, up to seven hundred times, except fasting, which is for Me, and I reward it.' " [Translation of Imam Malik's Muwatta, Book 18, Number 18.22.58]
Ramadhan Kareem everyone. Kullu aam waantum bikhair.