Friday, 23 October 2009

It's finally coming...

Assalamualaikum wbt

A date for my high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant has finally been decided. It will be on next Thursday, the 29th October 2009. Speaking to my consultant this morning about the treatment, I am already feeling a bit nervous.

BEAM chemotherapy is the regiment I'll be having this time around, before they end up with transfusing my stem cells back into my body. BEAM consists of:

* Carmustine (BiCNU®)
* Etoposide
* Cytarabine (Arabinoside)
* Melphalan

In short, the treatment will be given over a period of 8 days, which includes the stem cell transplant on the final day. The daunting bit will be how I respond to the treatment and stem cell transplant straight after, and for that reason I'll probably be kept in hospital for another 2-3 weeks. Altogether, it is expected that I'll be in hospital for at least a month this time around.

I've mentioned how the 2 ESHAP chemotherapy I've had in the past were stronger than the initial ABVD chemotherapy, and I ended up with worse side effects and longer recovery period than normal. But having learned the likely side effects of this BEAM chemotherapy, I seriously need to prepare myself both physically and mentally for what is to come.

Nausea, vomiting and extreme tiredness are probably side effects I'm quite used to, and hopefully ones that I can cope with even with the BEAM chemotherapy.

Obviously I'm always slightly apprehensive with the possibility of infection, being anaemic and risk of bleeding with this high dose chemotherapy. But what I am not really looking forward to is the other likely side effect I've never had in the past, in particular the mouth ulcer (mucositis).

As warned by my Consultant, often the mucositis gets really bad that patients need to be given morphine to ease the pain and can hardly swallow food and therefore had to be given nutrients via a nasogastric tube.

NG tube is inserted via the nasal cavity, goes all the way down into the stomach.

I must admit I already feel this is one task too daunting to bear, but I am not going to turn back now having made this far. I need to persevere.

I have Allah. I believe in Allah's plannings. I must.

At least I get an initial impression of what lies ahead of me from this video, showing Emma Hargreaves, a teenager with cancer who shared her experience of going through the BEAM chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. I'm not sure how she is at the moment, but she certainly has one strong character given her young age, and I wish her all the best in life.

Her video is one of the many videos that can be watched via the website, a creative initiative by the Teenage Cancer Trust to share experiences of teenagers living with cancer. Spend some time watching a few of the videos, and you'll be amazed how strong and positive these young people are towards their condition. I have nothing but my utmost respect to each and every one of them.

6 days to go. O Allah, you are sufficient for me and a Great disposer of affairs are You. Make my path easy if that is Your Will.

Plenty of dua's please...


joegrimjow said...


Roy said...

good luck mas...insyaAllah, Allah sentiasa bersamamu...dan doa keluarga dan rakan2 sentiasa mengiringimu...

PakTam said...

abang mesti brave dan cepat sihat.ainul doa untuk abang,ok i love u.

from ainul.

abe le said...


Semoga Allah mempermudahkan segalanya...

John said...

salam mas, akhirnya sampai ke sni

Anonymous said...


Doa mama dan semua tidak pernah berkurangan. Allah akan permudahkan dan suatu hari nanti pengalaman ini akan menjadi hikmah yang tidak ternilai dalam kehidupan harian Dr. Mas Afzal Masarudin....mama.

Anonymous said...

Assalammualaikum wth.

Afzal, you are always in my prayers. Been praying for the best for my nephew.


Anonymous said...

Be strong.Like u always do

Mohd Shahnom Ismail said...

Salam wbt,
Doa kami sentiasa bersama

Setiap manusia ada ujiannya, inilah ujian untuk bos.
Teguhlah menghadapinya

InsyaAllah bos akan lulus dengan cemerlang, dianugerahi mardhatillah, kelak ditempatkan di jannatul firdaus


Anonymous said...

salam Dr Masafzal Masarudin,

you may not remember me, but i remembered u quite well as we shared the same class during our primary school years in SK TG ARU, sabah, that is, if i'm not mistaken you for another person with the same name. i remembered u as a hardworking, brilliant n funny friend, n we have shared some good moments together. i'm just dropping by to let u know that my prayers will always be with u, n wishing u all the best in ur treatment n ur future ahead..wassalam

best wishes from sabah; yasmin