Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blessing in the midst of suffering...

In my previous post I forgot to mentioned that I was managed to be discharged from the hospital sometime ago, which was why the readmission. Really thank God for the privilege to be able to be outside the hospital environment, seeing and feeling something different for a change. 

As of today I also really thank God that everything seems more stable and calm. I also thank God that there aren’t any heavy IV drips that needs to be put in today, which gives me some time and comfort to figure out what is causing all the side effects that are happening to me. Truth to be told I am still having the side effects I mentioned in the previous post, but by the grace of God I am managing to cope with it this time. 

Also another thing to really thank and praise God for is that my blood count went up a little by itself today without any transfusion of any kind, will still need to continue to pray hard that it will continue to go up by itself steadily and not drop, and I know our God is faithful to hear our prayer. 

Another thing I need to mentioned is that though this whole ordeal was tough, and I know not how long it will last, but I thank God that it did lead me back to a certain realization about the power of God once again and the purpose He has for my life, praying to God that I won’t lose this focus again and again. 

Okay, that’s all for now, please continue to pray for me that the GVHD would be under control and the blood counts would go up so that I could be discharged, and most importantly I would do God’s will that He has for me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

In the need of prayer...

I got readmitted to the hospital because the counts weren't going as well as expected. 

Please pray really hard for me, that all my blood counts would be back up to normal, and that by the Lord's healing grace the GVHD would be under control.  

This is because this few days I am really suffering a lot of discomfort here, anymore longer and I don't think my body would be able to take it. I mean, this time it really is hard to bear I must admit, with all the weird pains, numbness, tingling feeling, anxiety that I cannot explain, it's making me really down and all I can say is I cannot bear it anymore longer. 

Still, I'll trust in the Lord, that He knows best, and He'll carry me through. For He's a loving Father.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Good day...

Woke up yesterday and today without any significant pains from the knees, and I must say:

“Thank God for this wonderful blessing!”

It really is a relief and a great joy to be able to sleep in comfort, being able to twist and turn around in your sleep and knowing that you will feel A-okay when you wake up in the morning instead of feeling like an old man with joint pains.

Thank God too, that after so many weeks, for once today I had solid stools. Not too sure that this would be just a one off event, but… at least it means that my gut is still capable of doing some normal functions. I thought it would never get back to normal.

My glucose level also seemed to plunge way low this time around till the point I was “forced” to eat sweet things today. Ah, the instability of my body! Not a bad thing though, and I actually thank God for that as I was able to indulge in some chocolates right before the sun was up, and that would mean less insulin injections to come too.

Platelet count on the other hand is still low, at a count of 21 in fact this morning. The doctor (and of course, me myself) is hoping that this will be the rock bottom and it will start to bounce back up from this point on. The doctor is being very optimistic as the white cell counts are starting to drop to an average level of 6-7 compared to a way high level of 14 and above that it usually was the past few weeks, meaning it is looking to be stabilizing. Then again, depending on the Lord almighty to let everything come into perfect harmony, for our Lord is a Lord of peace.

And yesterday I had a slight migraine that haunted me at night, how I fear those pains. Feeling like another one is coming out right now as I am typing too, praying to God that it doesn’t become more severe as time passes. Well, eating Panadol will always do the trick, but I try not to eat any more drugs that I am already taking, seems like I am intoxicating my body way too much already.

Ooo, and I finally managed to watch Spider-man 3 on HBO today. Spidey movies rocks out of all the other Marvel superheroes movies I must say. Okay, this seems super outdated, but during the release of the movie, and all the good movies I must say, I was in the hospital for treatment… now to catch up with Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and all the other 3s that was out… last year was it? (Somehow I always catch up with these movies a year or 2 later, haha!)

All in all, I give thanks for all the blessings that God has given me for the day, for our God knows our every need.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

In a world of pain...

Having both your knees hurting really badly is unbearable…

… And the worst thing of all it was something that I could have avoided all along.

Well, you see, the doctor said that I need to do some light exercises in order to avoid muscle degradation due to the steroids I was receiving. The degradation was not a problem at the start, I could still walk normally and all, of course it was harder to do squads since some of my muscles had already degrade. To encourage me to exercise, the medical staff even borrowed a mini bicycle like thingy so that I would be able to do some cycling movement now and then in the comfort of my room.

But due to sheer madness (I think), I decided to go the extra mild and did more squads than usual and did some horse-stance jumping around the room, if light exercises are good, a heavy one should be better right??! Boy was I wrong, and this is one bad habit of mine that I could never learn when it comes to doing exercises --- I always overexert and thus hurt myself in the process for some weird reason.

With that now I suffer the fruits of my labour, it just hurts “oh so bad!” till the point that I wake up at night from the pain. Thank God that at least most of the time I suffer the most pain in the wee hours of the morning (when the acid builds up I think), and after a workout lesson from the physiotherapist, I manage to learn up some exercises that would be able to ease the pain off before noon comes. Though I am still trying to figure out why is it that sometimes only one knee hurts, other times both… position wise when I sleep at night perhaps?

That wasn’t all, due to my high glucose level and perhaps all the drugs and immunosuppressant that I am taking, my skin became rather thin and weak. And because of my knee pain, mom decided to put the tiger balm bandages on both knees and I must say it was a total relief for the pain on the knee cap, but somehow the medicines from the bandages manage to eat through my skin and formed a blister at my right knee. The scary thing though is that due to my high glucose level I think, the blister is taking quite some time to heal now. Ah, that’s what happens when you have a weak body… then again, thank God that it wasn’t both knees that got the blisters.

And pain wasn’t all the shocked that I received…

In fact on the same day I posted my previous post my platelet count dropped to a low count of 38, which got the doctor worried and immediately did a bone marrow tap procedure right that morning after he came to check up on me, though this time it was a much simpler procedure (something about not having to remove any small bone this time around; mom also took a video recording of it), in order to once again check if it’s due to the graft problem or leukaemia cells. And I thank the almighty God for His grace, as in the evening the doctor said once again it wasn’t caused by any leukaemia blast cells, and later on the flow test result showed that it was quite clear too.

But the platelet count kept dropping and by today as I am typing this post my count is at 25, another 5 less and I would definitely need a platelet transfusion. I must admit that it is making me all worried and a little frustrated… worried due to the platelet count being good and all at the start, rising at a pace faster than expected, now even with different kind of immunosuppressant put into the mix it just doesn’t want to go up; and frustrated due to being in the hospital for a little too long I guess, not being able to be discharged due to the platelet count.

Nevertheless, I am still trusting and hoping in the Lord that He knows best, for He’s the perfect Father. Never is He late, on the contrary, He does everything right on time. And as God’s word says in Isaiah 40:31~

“But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”


Alas, I am once again back to charting my input and output again, what a chore it is haha! The reason: my weight seems to be dropping constantly as each day pass, so they need to know what I am eating and drinking each day again and what I am passing out, as where I used to be 55 kg when I was healthy, it managed to drop to 46 kg over the pass few days, though thank God that as of today it went back up to 47 kg plus. The main reason for the drop of weight would be due to muscle wastage from the steroids, then in addition with my gut that couldn’t absorb nutrients so efficiently because of the damage from the radiotherapy/chemotherapy and perhaps due to the high glucose level, as the doctor says, when one have too much glucose in the system, it’s “hunger in the midst of plenty”. Besides all that, after a few bites of food I somehow get tired really easily and my stomach gets all bloated up, which prevents me from eating with ease the meal prepared before me. And when I mean tired, I get so fatigue that I just lie on bed and unable to move till the body somehow gets enough rest after half an hour or so. The trick to eating without feeling so tired is to actually eat in small portions over a period of time, but problem is that would make my meal cold, and that’s a problem seeing the meals that I take are mostly meat (can’t keep long cold). And since I try not to eat any carbohydrate meals, that cuts down a lot of my food selection that I can take over the day especially on snacks like cakes and biscuits.

Seeing that I am actually losing weight, and not gaining, it is logical that I eat more… right? Somehow mysteriously though the food that came each day from the hospital kitchen staff became smaller and smaller in portion. At first I rationalized that it could be due to the petrol price hike and like all other business in the world they reduce the size of the food too to keep up with the cost. Then later on the kitchen staff actually called up my room and said that I was changed to a diabetic diet… whoa kay… I know my sugar level is high, but it’s due to the drugs that I am receiving and not because I am a sweet tooth. But well, they are part of the hospital, and apparently they said it was advised by my doctor that’s why it was changed, so no arguing with them there.

Well, mom and I was confused, so when the doctor asked about my eating habits (which he always does everyday to ensure that everything is going well), we asked him about the reason why the food is getting smaller and why did it became a diabetic diet. The doctor himself was puzzled, first of all he said that I wasn’t considered to be diabetic as the high glucose level is due to drugs and I am not obese but underweight right now, I need more food, not less. The nursing staffs in the ward were also confused and puzzled too as they say they did not order the menu to be changed in anyway. In fact, everyone was looking at each other confused; no one knows how the order got changed at all haha! (Or perhaps no one wants to admit their wrong… who knows?)

I really thank God for yesterday though, as I manage to enjoy a wonderful dinner prepared before me with not much tiredness than I usually have. Need to thank my aunt for the food that she brought over, it sure was tasty.

Once again praying and depending on God that the platelet count would be able to rise up quickly, hoping that the blood test that will be done in the evening today will show a favourable result through God’s healing grace. And not to forget, my aching knees in the morning too, ouch~

~Thank God though, as I finished writing this, the pain from my knees are gone =)