Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 3...


Things aren’t going easily as first of all, sleeping seems to be a little of a problem with the constant heating up of the body from either the radiotherapy/chemotherapy side effects or the control drug that I am taking every day (at least there isn’t the anxiety that comes along with it with the change of the drug that I took --- that feeling can make you go crazy, you can’t even make a single decision at all).

Eating is also becoming a problem as in addition to my not so good appetite, my mouth lining seems to be degrading too and apparently it’s only going to get worst.

And I don’t know what’s causing it, but my head seems to get dizzy real easily. And my stomach feels nauseous at the worst possible moment --- when I want to eat.

I guess all I can say now is that my body is really really tired. It doesn’t come as a surprise as the radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment that was given is strong enough to kill my own marrow.

Then again, it is… in a way easier than I have imagined. I remember clearly what I have read and it says after the transplant it makes some people bedridden for like a week or two and need to be fed through drips. Well, at least now I still can eat with my own mouth and wake up and stay awake without feeling any fatigue for at least an hour plus. And I also read that one would be prone to infection for at least like 3 months, but the doctor said that around 10-14 days the donor’s white cell will start to be produced in my body and that eliminates it. Though of course, with that comes along with it the graft versus host disease, but let’s leave that for later.

So, in a way I thank God that it isn’t as horrific as I have imagined. Staying in the same room for 3 months and being haunted by almost any infection will make anyone insane I guess.

Counting from the day of my transplant this will be day 3, with day 0 being the day of my transplant. The condition of my mouth degrading and all will only worsen till day 6 and after that it will start to get better with the donor’s marrow kicking into high gear; but with the donor’s marrow active that causes the graft versus host disease to start too. Really need to pray to God on this as only now He can do the things we can’t control at all, which is to allow my body to sustain and not degrade, especially my mouth lining till pass day 6. And after that I will need to pray that God will keep me from any harm, especially from the graft versus host disease, that it will be just a mild one to be in favour with the treatment.

Nothing left to do but to hope in the Lord, who knows our every need and is faithful.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I thought I was the only one who was going to say this, but apparently even the doctor had this thought in mind as once he entered the room he said:

“Happy Birthday!”

Well, my second birthday that is, as I had my bone marrow transplant done yesterday, starting at 9 at night. Woo-hoo! More presents for me!

I guess the only thing that looks a little more special during the transplant would be the icebox that they put the marrow in (which is the normal blue icebox we take to the beach)… for the bone marrow itself doesn’t look any different than a normal blood pack cell. Oh, and I kind of felt like a VIP that day as most of the nurses and doctors were there to erm… “Celebrate” this day ha-ha! Too bad I was having that drug that made me drowsy, only allowing me to catch parts and parcels of what all of them were saying before I knocked out, dampening the “celebration”.

I really thank God that all went well:

~From the point where the donor gets ready to donate, where he must be healthy and all till the day of the transplant (and being there to donate and not run away).

~The bone marrow from Taiwan was able to be delivered just before news of China being hit by an earthquake was reported in CNN, which apparently also affected the neighbouring countries.

~I did not develop any serious reactions during the bone marrow transfusion.

There was one frustration though, which was that I couldn’t have any shut-eye because many observations had to be done during the marrow transfusion, where every 5 minutes the nurses will need to check the blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level. And when all that was done, I was having those hot flushes whenever I try to sleep, making me toss and turn non-stop till I requested for some sleeping pills.

The ironic thing was, in the morning today I had a slight headache because of apparently “too much sleep”, but I was feeling sleepy… but I couldn’t sleep because it worsens the headache… so at the end I had to drag myself out of bed and take some breakfast despite the little voice telling me to just lie down again.

And voila, what do you know… a little discipline in my system and I was feeling very much better. Nevertheless, I am always reminding myself to be content always and give thanks in all circumstances, especially since God really has given me so much grace throughout the whole process.

I would also like to take this time to thank everyone, and I really mean thank you with all my heart, especially to my church members and my cousin’s church members that were praying for me during the night of the transplant. It’s through your prayers that everything went well. I am confident that God will hear our prayers because He is a living God, an almighty God, a living God, and most importantly a God who loves us so dearly. And I know He won’t let our prayers be in vain, for He is compassionate.

*Chuckle* Somehow now I feel indebted to a lot of churches for praying so dearly for me while on the other hand I have this couldn’t care less attitude when it comes to praying for someone that we don’t really recognize. What more with Pastor Swee Kee’s church members donating blood to me in Singapore, and I haven’t even met any of them in person yet! Ah, the feeling of being in debt…

And I guess I got to thank the donor too, for giving me another chance of life. The doctor said that he had to undergo at least 100 punctures to withdraw the amount of bone marrow I needed (1.5 litres) *ouchies* and he still wished me a speedy recovery too. The feeling of guilt comes to me yet again as I haven’t even donated so much as a pint of blood.

Then again, this ultimately reminds me of the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We didn’t do anything at all to gain salvation, yet Jesus died on the cross for our sakes, so that we might have eternal life, free from sin and shame. And that really deserves all our thanks and gratitude, as we can never be able to pay back this blood debt with our own hands.

Please do continue to pray for me, that the grace of God and His peace will continue to transcend upon me. First of all that the donor’s marrow will engraft on mine and my body won’t somehow reject it. That His mighty hand will be able to prevent any high risk graft versus host disease to happen, but at the same time, allow a mild graft versus host attack to improve the chances of recovery from leukaemia (as it indicates that the donors white cell will attack the leukaemia cells too)(in layman terms, like an aunt said: “it’s like a happy marriage, you have to be close to one another, but once in awhile there’s quarrels that bound to happen, just don’t let it get to severe that it causes a divorce). To allow me to sail through easily this whole time of recovery till my blood counts go back to normal, free from infections and any complications. And most importantly, to be finally free from this disease at the end of it all.

P.S: A huge salute to women out there who could bear with the menopause side effects: 2-3 days of me having hot flushes and anxiety through the side effect of an anti graft versus host disease medication almost make me go crazy.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Oh listen to the radio...

Heya! First of all, I would like to say a big thank you for those who wished me a birthday greeting last month, really appreciate it.

And secondly, would like to inform those who are reading my blog that I am currently undergoing a radiotherapy and chemotherapy session this week, with the first radiotherapy session started today --- which I must thank God for as so far it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Well, another 2 days of radiotherapy, another 2 for chemotherapy, a rest on Sunday, and the transplant procedure will start on Monday.

By the way, just to clear things up, I don’t need to undergo any kind of surgery for a bone marrow transplant, it’s intravenous, by drips that is, though on the other hand the donor would be considered “less” fortunate as he needs to undergo one to harvest the marrow. Guess I really need to thank him some time in the future, and thank God that I don’t need to go through another painful experienced too, ha-ha!

Oh, after things has settle down I guess I will write in more detailed what has happened, starting from the last post and all. But don’t keep your hopes up too much, ha-ha, even till now I still haven’t completely written the journal on the month of October, November, December… last year.

Continue to pray for me, especially for the transplant to go well. And if all goes well, this would be the last hurdle I’ll need to overcome.