Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Difficulty level: Hardest

Alright I’ll skip the entire time I was in hospital in KL (February) for a later date as the time I can be sitting upright is limited. So I’ll just be updating the things that are happening now.

As of right now I am in Singapore, Mount Elizabeth Hospital for treatment, currently going under 5 days salvage chemotherapy (and of course at least 3 weeks of recovery), and hopefully a transplant later.

Okay, thanksgiving first:

It was a bummer that they weren’t any donor match in Singapore as that would be very much easier to be managed, but still I really thank God that they manage to find a full match bone marrow donor from Taiwan, but, that’s not the end of the line as the donor can have the authority to reject donating because of… well, any reason he or she wants actually. Now I understand why they don’t tell you the name of the donor immediately, as one who has a grudge against the donor for not donating can track the person down and you know, take the marrow forcefully, haha. That, and they have to make sure the donor does not have any kind of disease that could spread to me, (HIV, hepatitis, etc.) so much prayer needed.

Another thing to thank God for would be that I finally manage to get through the 5 days of salvage chemotherapy! Though I must say with much difficulty (especially at night, where I keep having déjà vu’s. Apparently the same thing keeps happening: My head feels like exploding; I look at the clock (which seems a blur to me without my specs); the nurses are putting in more antibiotics or taking blood -- and with that I sleep better during daytime than at night). The other hard part was that one of the chemo drug last for 20 hours and have to be administered on each of the 5 days, and back then I was thinking that 24 hours for one day was bad. But the grace of Christ was evident in the sense that the side effects didn’t come all at once:

  1. From the first day I was having a bad headache from either the chemotherapy or lamba puncture. Whenever I sit up I’ll get a headache.
  2. Just as that was starting to get better the fever started acting up.
  3. On the 5th day of the salvage chemotherapy I developed rashes that hurt if I put pressure on it.
  4. And as of today (which is the 6th day) I had diarrhoea. But by today my headache wasn’t all that bad anymore, which is why I can write down something on the journal.

Oh, and I really really thank God that they have a great way to prevent nausea and vomiting. Hourly Zofran! (and another 2 anti-nausea/vomiting drugs). But even with what seems like an overkill I still felt nauseous and had some dry vomiting, though compared to last time this is very much better.

As you can see God was really gracious as the rashes and diarrhoea were caused by the chemotherapy, and that ended just today. Imagine what it would be if it started at the 1st or 2nd day. Ughh, the worst part would be the fact that I am really immobile: I think you will need to be a super human to push 4 infusions pump to go to the toilet over here as their ramp in the toilet seems a little, badly plan I must say (imagine those self made bumps on the road in Malaysia). The nurses were all saying: “No, no, all patient also can push in,” Yeah right, I tried pushing with one hand and it wouldn’t even move, what more with my dizziness and diarrhoea, I think I would have crap in my pants before I can even successfully open the toilet door.

That, and the thing is this hospital does things at the finest details. I have to measure every single cup of water I drank and everything that comes out of me (except when I pass motion of course, not sure how you count that) and record it down. Without mom staying here with me I am a goner, would need to keep pressing the call bell for the nurse for help. Besides, this doctor of mine plays well, defensive medication, if there is such a term, as he gives medication for every single infection that may come my way (I never heard of having a portable X-ray machine here back in KL, just to make sure I don’t get pneumonia I think). I guess the advantages would be that fewer infections would happen meaning less sufferings to bear, but having to put all those antibiotics, doing all those procedures and eating pills seems like a drag though. Then again, we must do the best on our part as we humanly can, while the things that can’t be control we leave it to God. You got to take care and love your own body, as your body is the temple of God.

Oh, and yeah, I took off my chemo-pod… only to be put in with another line at my left chest (Weirdly, taking out the chemo-pod doesn’t hurt as much as when I put it in). Well, in all honesty I still prefer the chemo-pod compared to what I have now, as this line needs a higher maintenance as it’s always exposed unlike the chemo-pod which was under the skin. But well, infection wise this is better as you can just remove it without going to the operating theatre. At first the doctor thought I had this line instead of the chemo-pod, so on the first day of meeting he said: “Alright, let’s take out the line now and put in a new one tomorrow.” I was like: “Wow, Singapore’s medical technology has advanced so far that they can take out chemo-pods that easily?! Amazing!” Well, later he found out it was a chemo-pod and with that, I gained another day before having to be admitted to the hospital. (Hoo-ray for me)

But besides all the complains, this hospital is top notch I must say: their bathroom can be said to be better than the one I have at home; they have a plasma TV (well, a small one though); and their infusion pumps don’t make sounds when they are working unlike back home. The way they take blood also seems different: it’s like they just put in a needle with a line, then they start drawing blood after blood in 6 tubes under around 30 seconds, wow! And being here you feel like you are not in Singapore at all: apparently most of the nurses here come from overseas, and the patients too. Not that I can say anything, as I am a foreigner here too. (When they ask for your ID during payment, they will ask for either your passport or identification card, I don’t think you hear “passport” from the hospitals here in Malaysia).

It is really tough this time though. I have just started the chemotherapy and I am already suffering with all these side effects. And that’s with the reduction of another chemotherapy because my heart, according to the doctor, was too weak to take it. The worst has yet to come, which is when my white cell count drops.

But well, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. And if it wasn’t for the supernatural peace that transcends from Christ upon me, I think I would have give up long ago. And besides, our God is an all loving, almighty, and holy God. He definitely knows our limit, and would not let us suffer in vain. All I can do now is to trust in Him, knowing that He knows best.

Well, I guess I’ll just have to:

Run, run, run the race

Keep, keep, keep the pace

Run the race, keep the pace

Keep your eyes on Jesus.


christopher lim said...

We are running with you
your fellow brothers and sisters
in Him who shall be called advocate, lamb of god, the resurrection and the life, shepherd and bishop of souls, judge, lord of lords, man of sorrows, head of the church, master, faithful and true witness, rock, high priest, the door, living water, bread of life, rose of sharon, alpha & omega, true vine, messiah, teacher, holy one, mediator, the beloved, branch, carpenter, good shepherd, light of the world, image of the invisible god, the word, chief cornerstone, savior, servant, author and finisher of our faith, the almighty, everlasting father, shiloh, lion of the tribe of judah, I am, king of kings, prince of peace, bridegroom, only begotten son, wonderful counselor, immanuel, son of man, dayspring, the amen, king of the jews, prophet, redeemer, anchor, bright morning star, the way, the truth and the life, Jesus Christ.

Happy Easter my dear friend.
You are never alone.
WE are never alone.

Ju Liang said...

Thanks a lot for the timely reminder, Happy Easter to you too!

Let's fight the good fight of the faith till we meet Jesus Christ once again.