Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Worst battle ever

Assalamualaikum wbt

Monday was my 10th round. It was a very hard battle, a trauma I would say. Something I've never experienced in this marathon so far.

I remembered Dr Morley telling me before that a lot of patients on a long course treatment of chemotherapy do find it extremely difficult to cope when it comes to their last 3-4 doses. He's not lying.

Yesterday was by far my worst treatment ever. I was among the first to arrive in the morning, and literally the last to leave. It was my longest day ever, as my chemotherapy only finished at 530pm.

I was feeling sick the first moment I set foot onto the ward, and it just got worse from there on. When Sandra the nurse injected the first drug in (doxorubicin), I vomited. For the first time ever, I had to hold a bowl next to me for the initial 15 minutes. I knew doxorubicin would be the worst of the 4 drugs, as it gives me this horrible taste in my mouth. The next worse one is the dacarbazine, which gives a stinging sensation down my arm.

Doxorubicin : My worst enemy

By the end of treatment, I felt so drained out that the only thing I can think of is going to bed. To make things worse, I was retching so much all the way home. Luckily I managed to hold myself from vomiting again.

Ya Allah, what a battle this was. My worse KO so far. How bad can the remaining two rounds go? Only Allah knows!

2 more hard battles to go. At least I know Allah will provide me with an extra strength for my last dose, insya Allah.


Friday, 24 April 2009

Important times ahead..


10th dose : 27th April 2009 (Monday)
Finals (OSCE) : 12th May 2009 (Tuesday)
Finals (MEQ) : 14th May 2009 (Thursday)
11th dose : 15th May 2009 (Friday)

*OSCE = Objective Structured Clinical Examination
**MEQ = Modified Essay Question

I remembered vividly how I made use of every 'healthy' minute I had to prepare for the previous big exam back in January. As the exams back then were just written assessments, my preparation wasn't hugely affected as all I needed to do was to ensure that I read as much as possible, and do plenty of practice papers. But for this coming OSCE, I'm starting to really feel the disadvantage of missing so much of my clinical placements.

Those accustomed to OSCE would agree that the key to passing the exam is plenty of practice in history taking and examinations. But for your final OSCE, it's not just merely being slick with your history taking and examination skills, it's also the ability to identify what's wrong with the patients. And that, is mostly obtained from the experiences you gather by seeing as many patients as possible.


Overall, I've missed 6 weeks of placement as a result of my treatment. And there is only 12 weeks of clinical placement between the end of January till my finals. I must say that that is a lot of clinical opportunities I've missed there but I keep on telling myself that I'm not gonna raise the white flag now, having come thus far.

Today, I've just finished my last clinical placement as a medical student. Officially, we have another 5 days of placement next week but I'll miss them due to my treatment this coming Monday. This week was rather hectic for me, as there were so many forms and assessments that had to be sorted out, all of which can only be done when I'm in my healthy week. But alhamdulillah, Allah has made the path easy with His will. Although I must admit it wasn't easy, I've finally managed to sort out everything that needs to be handed in to the medical school prior to my finals.

What lays ahead remains to be seen. I wish I can put some revision in even when I'll be knocked out next week, but I know it's gonna be difficult. The last 2 chemo I had have shown that my body took more time than usual to recover, usually the whole week rather than just 4-5 days. By the time I recover from the next one, I will have less than a week before the finals! SubhanAllah.

Some might wonder why am I suddenly whining so much in this entry, some might even say this is not the Mas they use to know. I just wanted to highlight the sheer difficulties I have to go through as a result of the illness I suffer from. Not for all of you out there to sympathize with, but rather as a reminder about the blessings of good health that Allah has endowed to each and every one of you.

Masa sihat sebelum sakit. Banyaknya benda saya tak dapat buat bila dah sakit ni. So many things I've missed out because of my illness.

Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "There are two blessings in which many people incur loss. (They are) health and free time (for doing good)". [Al-Bukhari]

Have we really used the blessings of good health enough to prepare our accounts for the Hereafter? Or have the time being spent in the disobedience of Allah? Thus face the severe consequence on the Day of Judgement!

Ya Allah, kini baru kurasa betapa aku tak menghargai nikmat sihatmu!

Allahhumma inni astaodeeuka ma qara’tu wama hafaz-tu. Faradduhu ‘allaya inda hagati elayhi. Innaka ‘ala ma-tasha’-u qadeer wa anta hasbeeya wa na’mal wakeel.

[Oh Allah! I entrust You with what I have read and I have studied. (Oh Allah!) Bring it back to me when I am in need of it. (Oh Allah!) You do whatever You wish, and You are my Availer and Protector and the best of aid.]


p/s: Happy birthday dear Kak Fifah, many happy returns. May we all strive to become better Muslims insya Allah!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Silver Lining

CT Scan Result

CT Taken On the 8th April 2009 at 1245pm

No lymphadenopathy or lesion found anywhere in the neck, axilla (armpit), chest or abdomen.

Previously when the diagnosis of Hodgkins was made in December 2008, CT Scan back then showed lymphadenopathy in the neck, axilla, mediastinum(chest), and spleen.


Specialist Nurse : I am really impressed with your response to treatment. The radiologist couldn't find any abnormality at all on your CT.

Me : Nothing at all?!

Specialist Nurse : Nope mas, nothing.

Me : Do you not get such a response that often for patients with Hodgkins?

Specialist Nurse : We know that patients with Hodgkins respond well to chemotherapy, but at this stage we usually can still see some lymphadenopathy or even detect scar lesions (due to the treatment) in the CT scan.

Me : Alhamdulillah, that really is a good news. So, does that warrant a reduction in the number of treatments for me? Just 10 rather than 12 doses maybe? (grinning)

Specialist Nurse : (Laughing) I'm sorry Mas, it doesn't. You still need to finish the whole cycle. Good try there. At least you should celebrate for this great news.

Mas : Well, thanks Helen. That definitely makes my day.


SubhanAllah. Alhamdulillah. Allahuakbar. O Allah, how indebted I am to your endless Mercy.

Antash shaafie. Laa shifaa-a illaa shifaa-uk. Shifaa-al laa yughaa diru saqamaa.

You are the only One who cures. There is no cure but Yours. Grant such (complete) cure that leaves no trace of illness. (Bukhaari and Muslim)