Monday, 30 March 2009

One long, long day...

Assalamualaikum wbt

Alhamdulillah, I've just had my 8th round battle with Mr Chemo today. As usual (and expected), it was a KO (and obviously, against me).

It was a bit hectic early in the morning, as I had to go to Royal Hallamshire Hospital a bit earlier than usual to firstly attend the induction for my last round of placement before the finals this May. Had a 15 minutes induction, went to the prayer room to offer my morning prayers, had a quick breakfast in the hospital's dining room before heading straight to that familiar place again, the O2 Day Case Unit. As my colleagues head to the ward soon after the induction to start their day as medical students, I started my day the other way round, as a hospital patient.

It will be my last 5 weeks of placement as a medical student, but unfortunately I will miss three weeks of it because of my treatment. And there is quite a lot of tasks and assessments that need to be sorted out within the two weeks that I have. O Allah, there is nothing easy except what You make easy and You make the difficult easy if it be Your will!

Today was my longest day ever, as I only left the ward at 510pm. There was a bit of a delay with starting my chemotherapy today as I came in with a bit of a flu and thus the nurses had to check with the doctor whether I am medically fit to have the treatment. They even at one point considered isolating me into a special room for obvious reasons of not wanting to spread my virus to other patients who are immune-compromised as well. In the end, they decided that my flu wasn't too bad and I didn't have a temperature anyway so things just went on as usual.

Alhamdulillah, I got Tony (one of the male nurses in the ward)to do my cannula today and he has never failed to get it in with his first attempt! As usual, my nausea got worse when I was called in to have the chemotherapy. It was really bad, horrendous in fact. The chewing gums didn't help this time around. It was so obvious that I was struggling that the nurse tried playing her part by asking me if there was anything she can do to help. I really, REALLY need to figure out plan B for my 9th round in two weeks time. What can I do?!

For the past month, I've been troubled a lot with saliva pooling in my mouth that I had to spit them out literally every two minutes. Which is quite unpleasant, as I hardly get any good sleep at all during the nights having to get up all the time to spit saliva out. So I discussed this with my consultant today to see what can be done. Being a medical student, I took the initiative to suggest my consultant to prescribe me some Hyoscine hydrobromide, which he duly agreed. I'll probably use them only when I really need to as these drugs can cause dry mouth and some other undesired side effects, which are rare but can be unpleasant should you get them.

In my next entry, I'll tell everyone about some interesting conversations I had with a few patients in the ward today. About death. Nantilah yer, bila dah much better. Sabor je la.

It's gonna be another long week ahead, but with the prayers and support of families and friends, I know I'll get through this. Insya Allah.


Saturday, 21 March 2009

4 more, and I am to finish strong!

Assalamualaikum wbt

I guess by now the whole world has heard the news about Jade Goody and her battle against cervical cancer. Her spirit to make sure she does not die without giving it a good fight.

As the ward I have my treatment in is shared between haematological and rheumatological patients, I noticed that rarely have I been in a situation where there are more than two patients having chemotherapy within the ward at the same time. Which means that most of the time when I'm in the ward, I'll be the only one in for a chemotherapy.

But my last treatment a week ago was different. There were coincidentally 3 of us having chemotherapy on the same day. Myself, and two other ladies, both of whom I think are around their 30s. And both of them are also quite some way down the line with regards to their treatment, judging from their appearance, and the conversation between the two of them.

I wasn't in the mood to strike a chat as I was battling against my sickness all day long. But I learned quite a lot just listening to them sharing personal experiences of their respective conditions. I even nodded and grinned now and again, especially when they talk about their personal account of the side effects of chemotherapy that I myself experience.

But what I want to highlight is the unbelievably inspiring attitude these two ladies adopt against their cancer. I don't intend to elaborate over what has been discussed, but rather suffice for me to say that this one particular remark caught me by surprise.

"Even if I am to die from this cancer, I am gonna make sure that I finish strong."


May Allah give her the hidayah insya Allah. She certainly has an attitude every Muslim should try to emulate and practice in life. To make sure that even when all odds seem to be stacked against you, you will ensure that you fight till the end. Doa and prayers are a must, but it has to come with an effort, and the right attitude. Now that, is what Islam call as a true definition of TAWAKKAL.

And the guy in this video, reminds me again of the remark by that lady.

Who knows, I might see her again during one of my future sessions insya Allah.

Innamal A'maalu Bil Khawatim.
"Actions will be judged at their end." [Sahih ibn Hibban]

My test feels so daunting now, but I want to make sure I finish strong. Insya Allah.


p/s: Having said all those inspiring things above, I still want to say this -> Susahnyer hidupku dengan nausea ni huhu...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Tired of this?

Day 3 post-chemo.

1. Nausea is my theme for the day. Getting out of bed every 2 minutes to spit out saliva.

2. Mr Hair can't hold any longer. You've put up a spirited battle to be honest, considering this is the 7th one. Some would have raised the white flag after the 2nd or 3rd one. Will say goodbye to it this weekend insya Allah.

3. Sleeping habit way out of order. Slept for most part of the day, only to be fully awake in the early hours of the morning. I take it as Allah's way of telling me that I still need to work more on my night worship to prove my full reliance on Him.

I can easily admit that I hate going through this rubbish cycle over and over again.

But I wont.

Need to remind myself that I can do this. That Allah does not lay a test greater than I can bear. That Allah is giving me the opportunity to purify my soul from my sins.

To remind myself that I am hopefully giving hope to someone else out there with a similar test, that being positive and strong will make a whole lot of difference in life.

Seek help with the Solat and fortitude. No doubt, Solat is a hard task but not for those obedient servants, who realize that ultimately they shall meet their Lord and shall return to Him. [Al-Baqarah:45]

Sorry, will try and update more on things later insya Allah.



Monday, 9 March 2009

Muhasabah Cinta

Assalamualaikum wbt

I always believe in reciting the Qur'an or listening to its recitation especially at night as an unbelievable source of inspiration in times of down. And it still is, and will always be.

And it has proven to be more pivotal since last December, when I was given the opportunity to prove my purest reliance on Allah's plannings to His servants.

Some songs, too, have become great adjuncts to picking myself up at times when I sometimes feel almost succumbing to defeat. The lyrics of this particular song certainly has.

Wahai Pemilik nyawaku
Betapa lemah diriku ini
Berat ujian dariMu
Kupasrahkan semua padaMu

Tuhan, Baru ku sedar
Indah nikmat sehat itu
Tak pandai aku bersyukur
Kini kuharapkan cintaMu

Kata-kata cinta terucap indah
Mengalun berzikir di kidung doaku
Sakit yang kurasa biar jadi penawar dosaku
Butir-butir cinta air mataku
Teringat semua yang Kau beri untukku
Ampuni khilaf dan salah selama ini
Ya ilahi....
Muhasabah cintaku...

Tuhan... Kuatkan aku
Lindungiku dari putus asa
Jika ku harus mati
Pertemukan aku denganMu

Munsyid: EdCoustic

As Jep rightly mentioned in his blog, I am now in my 'healthy' week alhamdulillah. Last week was indeed challenging, as I was yet again bed-ridden for the initial 4-5 days, only getting out of bed when I really need to. Dr Morley has prescribed me Ondansetron, a much stronger anti-sickness medication compared to Domperidone to try counter the sickness I experience post-chemo. It didn't really help in all honesty, and I still had to spit out saliva literally every half a minute to try and ease the nausea.

When I first started the chemotherapy 3 months ago, my biggest challenge was facing up against the side effects of the treatment. Now, although nausea and lethargy are still challenges I need to face every fortnight, they are no longer any greater than the psychological aspects of the treatment that I have to live up with.

No kidding, but it feels so horrendous to even have the slightest of thought about chemotherapy, or everything else associated to it. It just makes me feel so sick, and dread thinking about the next dose. To put things into perspective, even looking at this picture brings up the sickness.

So, what do you think?

I might need to think about how I should approach my next chemo. Probably have my chemo at a different room, close my eyes when the drugs are to be infused, etc. Or else I would probably throw up the moment the nurse greet me to put the cannulae in.

Having said the things above, I believe that Allah, through the prayers and dua's of my family and friends, will provide that strength when I need it most. Insya Allah.

Sakit yang kurasa biar jadi penawar dosaku.

What a sinful soul I am.

P/s: Will be missing Abg Azhar sorely, who has left for Malaysia yesterday. He has definitely been a great housemate, walking up and down the stairs from the kitchen to my room on the top floor to provide me with my necessary meals during times when I couldn't be bothered to get out of bed. It's easy to forget that he is more than 10 years older than me, and is a Professor Madya. May Allah reward him.

Monday, 2 March 2009


Assalamualaikum wbt.

You still seem intent on keeping your hairs I see?

(grinning)Well, as long as I possibly can doctor!

Well, I must say Mas, for a patient on chemotherapy, you're a top notch mate!

SubhanAllah. Alhamdulillah. Allahuakbar. It was my 6th dose today, and I got to meet Dr Morley in the morning whilst waiting for the ABVD drugs to arrive. He had just been back from a paternal break, having been blessed with a new baby girl last month. He was apparently impressed with how I'm responding with treatment thus far. So am I, in all honesty. How am I indebted to everyone who has never forgotten to remember yours truly in their dua's.

Today was not really the smoothest of days for the nurse. The female nurse who had five attempts on doing my cannulae about a month ago was the one in-charge today. And poor her, she tried her best but again failed to get the cannulae in after two attempts, and thought it was wise to request her fellow colleague to have a go. And they eventually did with the third attempt.

I mentioned in the past entry about the nausea I experienced even by only thinking about the ABVD drug. Gosh, today was a challenge holding myself from throwing up in front of all the other patients. I develop this horrible nausea in anticipation of the drugs being infused into my body. Reminds me of the Pavlov's experiment.

As I am now halfway through my treatment, I am due to have a CT scan sometime next week to get a better picture of my body's response to treatment. Another CT scan will also be repeated at the end of my 12th dose sometime in end of May, before they then decide with the next management.

Another testing week looming. May Allah make all matters easy, insya Allah.


p/s: Pisang dan Roy had kindly resumed responsibility with preparing foods for Monday. And as usual, knowing them for almost 3 years now, I don't only get to enjoy their foods but also their endless jokes and teasing. Memang partners in crime betul. Alhamdulillah, a few helpful Malaysians have also offered to prepare foods throughout the week, and may Allah reward them. Menunaikan hak yang terpundak ke atas diri setiap Muslim.

p/s2: I hope Jep is settling down fast in Down Under. It certainly wasn't easy when I first arrived in UK even with all the other friends along with me, so I must imagine how difficult it must be for him having to travel to Aussie all by himself. But he is definitely a man made of steel, and I'm sure he'll cope. Tapi dgr cerita meleleh juger air mata jantannyer kat epot, kantoi! =)