Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Reliance of a servant

Assalamualaikum wbt

I went to the hospital yesterday feeling fresh and rejuvenated, having had a brilliant weekend away from Sheffield. Meeting up with close friends and inspiring people. Gaining the strength that I certainly needed to equip myself for another big battle yesterday, my 5th round encounter.

It only seemed like yesterday when I started my first dose, and in two weeks time I should be halfway through the treatment. Having said that, it has definitely not been plain sailing from day one. As if feeling lethargic and nausea are not enough, I’ve noticed myself developing this psychological perception of sickness with even the slightest thought about the ABVD. A feeling of immense hatred to drugs that by the will of Allah, are meant to cure you. A feeling I believe is shared by anyone going through similar experiences.

I’ve really enjoyed my surgical placement last week, and it’s a great shame that I now have to miss the whole week of placement again. Over the past month, I’ve missed half of my placement and that will inevitably be the trend all the way till May when I finish my hospital placements and sit for my very final OSCE. It obviously is hard being disadvantaged at such a crucial time, but it is a challenge I have to live up with.

Talking about challenges and adversities, I certainly pray for the best for Saliza, the Malaysian sister in Sheffield I mentioned in my previous entry. The opportunity to pay her a visit last week taught me more about life. Just when you think that no one else has been afflicted with a test worse than yourself, just think again. When I saw her, she was certainly very weak and a bit confused. Although my condition is no way as complicated and testing as hers, I took the opportunity to share my own experience of lymphoma and chemotherapy, with the hope that Allah will give her that extra strength she deserves. I was told that Saliza vomited bloods a few days back and is now currently monitored in the Intensive Care Unit. Innalillahi wainna ilahirajiuun.

There is no better way to approach an adversity but to put our firm reliance on Allah. Tawakkal. Such a simple concept, so often heard and being told about, but not many can appreciate without a firm belief on it.

You must rely on God, for He suffices, enriches, and concerns Himself with those who do so.Imam ‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Alawi Al-Haddad, The Book fo Assistance. [many thanks to a kind sister who gave me this book immediately after finding out about my diagnosis]

And the one who relies on God, God will suffice him. [Al-Thaalaq:3]

p/s: Abg Azhar and M have resumed their voluntary help of preparing my meals for this week. Jazakumullahu khayran katheera. Also to Eli and her housemates for the lovely cookings they sent today. Semoga Allah berikan keberkatan kepada masa yang anda semua telah korbankan.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Afflictions in life

Assalamualaikum wbt

It had been another testing one week battling myself out from the side effects of the drugs. I have a feeling my body's resistance against the cytotoxic drugs is gradually crumbling with every dose. I can bear with the lethargy, but less able with the nausea. Insya Allah we can only hope and pray that this week promises a much brighter outlook before I then prepare myself for another big battle come next Monday.

With Jep no longer around to prepare me foods during the time I'm down and out, Abg Azhar and M have kindly taken over the responsibility. Alhamdulillah, two very good brothers of mine, Pisang and Shahnom have also dropped by occasionally, offering their sumptuous cookings (they really were!). May they both pass their recently concluded exams with flying colours, insya Allah.

By the way, I was quite shocked to find out that another Malaysian in Sheffield who is currently warded in Hallamshire, has been diagnosed with a lymphoma-like disease (I was told that it is ?vascular lymphoma). I'm not entirely sure as to the exact nature of the person's condition, and I have not had the opportunity myself to pay a visit due to my own battle with the chemo's side effects. She has had her first chemotherapy two days ago. I was made to know that her condition is far more complex than yours truly, with reportedly significant liver damage and possible bone marrow involvement.

I had the opportunity to speak to her parents when I visited Abg Safuan's house yesterday evening, the place where they are currently staying at the moment (they have just arrived from Malaysia last Saturday). They understandably are still finding it hard to grasp what exactly is going on with their daughter, and I pray that Allah will instill in their heart the sakeenah and strength to face such a big adversity facing their way. I certainly feel obliged to try and play my role as best as possible, knowing that I, coincidentally, am in the same boat as their daughter, though relatively less complicated than hers. To all those reading this entry, please do not forget to wish her in your dua's, and may Allah reward her a speedy recovery.

Afflictions are one of the beautiful ways from Allah to test His creatures. And to help purify themselves from the continuous sins they commit day in, day out.

Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Affliction will continue to trouble the believers, men and women, in their bodies, their families, and their property until they meet Allah Almighty purified of every wrong action."

Believe firmly in what Allah has promised via the Qur'an and through His beloved Prophet, and you'll get that inner strength that will help you through the difficult patches of life.

"...and who is more true in fulfilling his promise than Allah?" [At-Taubah:111]


Monday, 2 February 2009

4 down, 8 to go...

Assalamualaikum wbt

Recognizing the looming likelihood of getting another KO with the 4th dose quite soon, I might as well post a quick entry regarding my latest chemo.

Alhamdulillah, in general, the whole day went well and I could not have asked for more. The nurse got the cannulae in with her first attempt(this time I offered my left arm as I think it's time to give my right arm a deserved break after the previous three doses =). They also managed to get the drugs from Weston Park hospital relatively early this time around, and the whole thing finished by 345pm. Excellent job guys!

I certainly missed my nasi goreng telur for lunch, but at least Yusuf Ghumra was kind enough to drop by from his placement in the Urology Department to give me some hot foods and a Walkers crisp. Rezeki yang tak disangka-sangka. That further reinforces my belief of the endless love that Allah showers to His servants. How Gracious and Merciful is He. SubhanAllah.

Other than receiving visitors later in the afternoon (Shahnom and Furqan came over from the masjid), I've thankfully brought my laptop along to keep myself occupied throughout the day. Or else it would have been a horrendously long, long day.

Oh yup, Jep, you know you really should have stayed for my 4th dose. Ever wondered why?

These pictures were taken on my way home from the hospital today. Jep, tough luck mate. =)

Salam sayang to everyone back home. 4 down, 8 to go insya Allah.

Allahumma 'afini fi badani [O Allah! Strengthen my body]
Allahumma 'afini fi sam'i [O Allah! Strengthen my hearing]
Allahumma 'afini fi basori [O Allah! Strengthen my sight]

p/s: Maktam, I love Ainul's pictures with the Palestinian scarf! Get her a placard and organize a peaceful demonstration at her school! =)

Sunday, 1 February 2009

4th dose

Assalamualaikum wbt

I've been going to Royal Hallamshire Hospital since last week as a medical student. Tomorrow, I'll be coming in as a patient, receiving my 4th dose.

I've been putting in cannulaes into patients' arm throughout last week, but tomorrow I'll have one myself. And I hope it wont be another 5 attempts before the nurse manages to put the cannulae in, insya Allah!

I noticed that the effects of the drugs kicked in rather quicker with the last dose compared to the previous ones. I guess that is something I need to anticipate as my body starts to gradually give in to the effects of the drugs. At least, a kind friend of mine has offered to supply me with Pati Ayam Brand next week, so let's hope it'll do the trick!

Jep's not gonna be around to update everyone on the treatment and how I'll cope, so don't hesitate to send me a text message if anyone feels the need to. Insya Allah I'll always have my phone by my side throughout the recovery period.

930 am, O2 Day Case Unit. Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

"Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear..." [Al Baqarah:286]