"So this is our famous Dr Mas Masarudin. Ever since you were interviewed by ITV last month, a lot of the hospital staff have been talking about you. Nice to meet you finally."
Those were the welcoming greet of the stem cell transplant nurse the moment I entered into the stem cell transplant room in Royal Hallamshire Hospital last Monday. Yup, my face did appear on national television last month when a group of representatives from ITV Calendar for the South Yorkshire region came to ward P3, where I was treated. They were interviewing me to find out how young patients with cancer cope in a ward where majority of the patients are elderly people.
The stem cell harvest machine, connected to the veins in the arm or the Hickman line.
The fluid bag with the brick-like color is the stem cells filtered out from the bloods.
I just love sharing views and opinions, especially when I know they are of benefit to other people. Even when I am in the hospital, the consultants would usually suggest my name to the medical students for them to take history from. I guess that is my way of helping people, and I always find joy and pleasure out of it.
And last weekend, I had the opportunity to share my experience living with Hodgkin's Lymphoma to the new group of students from Malaysia to embrace the United Kingdom for their studies. Even though I'm quite used to talking in front of people, the topics I've talked about in the past were never anything to do about myself. This was the first time ever that I've opened up about my disease in a public speech to mostly unfamiliar faces.
I did so not because I wanted them to sympathize with my predicament, rather I wanted to show to them that as mere mortals, we can't run away from being tested in life. But trials and tribulations are not meant to break us, as Allah has promised that He will never impose upon us a burden for we can't bear.
Just when we think that there can't be anyone more unlucky than us, just think about those people who have lost their parents before they can even see their faces.
Just when we think that God has given us the biggest test one can ever bear, just think about those innocent children living with cancer whose life revolves only around the hospital.
Just when we think that no one is going through a life as difficult as what we are facing, just think about the people in Gaza or Africa.
So do not despair and whine when we are tested, for it will bring us nowhere.
Face it. Stand up to it.
That was the message I hope I've managed to get across to these youthful students, full with exuberance. But come to think of it again now, that was actually a message I hope will remain ingrained in myself especially for the next few months, as the high dose chemotherapy looms closer.
Allah does not burden any human being with a responsibility heavier than he can bear. Everyone will enjoy the fruit of the good that one has earned and shall suffer for the evil that one has committed.(O Believers, pray like this to Allah: ) "Our Lord, take us not to task if we forget and lapse into error inadvertently. Lord! lay not on us the kind of burdens that You had lain on the people before us. Lord, lay not on us the kind of burden that we have not the strength to bear. Be kind to us, forgive us and show mercy to us. You are our Protector : help us against the disbelievers." [2:286]
p/s: Talking about stem cell harvest, I remembered adik Siti Nurain who a few years ago had her stem cells harvested just like me. But not for herself, but this young girl did it for her brother. The processes involved during and prior to the harvest are tedious and can be draining, as I've experienced myself, so it touches my heart to read this article and witness the sacrifice she made for her brother.