Mom took a day off work, accompanying me to the hospital. She didn't have to do much, well, she couldn't even be next to me during the scan for obvious reasons, but her presence was enough to bring a calming influence in me. Things were obviously different when I was under treatment back in the UK. I obviously couldn't expect my friends to be around all the time whenever I'm in the hospital, and therefore there were many occasions when I had to face things all by myself.
That's what families are for. Through the thick and thin, you can bet your money on them putting their hands around your shoulder, always being there for you.
“When you look at your life the greatest happiness are family happinesses”
Nevertheless, there is something good about the healthcare system in the UK that I'm already starting to miss sorely here in Malaysia. Back in England, the National Heath Service (NHS) bears the full cost of my treatment. Be it the chemotherapies, the numerous PET and CT scans I had, and the countless days I spent in the hospital. Everything comes FREE of CHARGE. It's difficult to imagine how would I cope financially had the NHS not bear the full cost of my treatment, which in total must have been at least thousands of pound sterlings, if not more.
However, things are different here. Although the government still subsidizes a portion of the cost of treatment, most of it will have to be borne by the patients themselves. It's not too bad if one works as a government servant as they can then waive off the cost of treatment using their respective Guarantee Letter (GL). As for myself, I can't use my mom's GL due to my age. As far as I understood it, one is allowed to use his/her GL to cover the treatment cost of his/her parents or his/her children who are under the age of 21 (if I'm not mistaken).
Doctors working in public hospitals in Malaysia also have their respective GLs. Thus, the staff in the hospital was rather surprised when I told her that I wanted to pay for the PET scan.
"Doktor tak ada GL ke? Mahal juga nak bayar scan ni." [Don't you have a GL, doctor? This scan is quite expensive.]
"Saya tak kerja lagi cik. Jadi saya takde GL." [I haven't started work yet, thus I don;t have my own GL.]
I am still currently jobless for two reasons. Health reason is obviously one of it, although I believe that if given some leniency in my working hours and workload, I could still possibly serve the people. The second reason, however, is slightly beyond my control. The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), have informed me that they will only grant me the license to practice once I show my updated medical reports and can prove that I am fit to work.
A lot of people have been asking whether I have started work. I wish I could say yes, but the circumstances are slightly difficult. It's not like I'm dying to start work, as obviously my health is the main priority at the moment. But I guess that's what happens when people kept on asking the same question again and again; "Mas dah start kerja ke?" [Have you started work, Mas?]
Now and again, on Facebook, I read posts by my fellow colleagues who shared their experiences at work, seeing patients, performing procedures, being told off by their seniors, etc. Or news about my juniors who have passed their finals, and have started talking about which hospital they would want to work in. Part of me is happy for all the good news of my dearest friends (or sympathizes for the bad days of the doctors I know personally), but the other half also wishes I could experience them myself.
Sweet memories of my graduation. July 2009, Sheffield.
But I know I need to get rid of such feelings, as it only makes me a very ungrateful servant of Allah. Have I forgotten, that by not working just yet, Allah has given more time for my body to get the rest it deserves? And that I get to spend more time with my family after being away for 6 years? And that it is possible that should I start work, the stress of my job will only exacerbate my condition?
All I can do now, is to keep praying to Allah, that He grants me cure from the disease if that is what He has planned for me. And difficult it might be, I just have to push myself to keep reading my medical textbooks, so as to prevent my knowledge from rusting. I am not going to give the time and space for myself to sit purposeless, wondering when will the time come when I will get to don the white coat again.
The results of my PET scan should be up in a week's time. Let's hope and pray that better things are to come. I'm quite eager to know the current state of my disease since the last time I underwent a PET scan, about 6 months ago. Wondering if the alternative treatments and my diet changes have provided positive responses or not.
O Allah, to You alone I seek help, and I leave all matters to none other but You!