Sunday, October 31, 2004
My eyes are now swollen from crying over the loss all morning. My left hand is also now swollen from water retention. It's more difficult for me to move now, but i hope it's only for the next few days before i get to go home.
Well, I guess what's done is done. Doc reassured me that the line can be reinserted later, although I'm not sure how soon. My biggest fear is that when I go for my next chemo, I don't have my Hickman's line with me. I will be like a Jedi Knight without his light saber. They say if the chemo medicine touches your skin tissue, it can leave some unsightly burns/scars. Let's hope that doesn't happen though. Or better yet, hopefully i will not need a next chemo.
I'm still depressed. No more walking around with the Rm4500 worth of convenience. I still can't see the bright side of having my new best friend detached from me after only 2 months. Maybe tonight i'll come up with something positive about all this.
Now i wish my eyes would stop swelling. The nurses here must think I'm such a big baby for crying over a lost line.
Friday, October 29, 2004
OK, let's not talk about my fever anymore. Writing about it won't make them stop, anyway. While having these episodes, my activities were limited to either sleeping or thinking. The one thought that kept coming to mind was if i could re-live a period of my life, which would it be? Not that I wish to live them differently, but because they may be the happiest years of my life so far. So here are the verdicts:
- Pre-school years: not much memory
- Primary school yrs: maybe
- Form 1 - 3 in boarding school: Not in a million yrs!! Those were the worst years of my life ever. Can't stand those patronizing seniors...
- Form 4 - 5 in boarding school: maybe. If i get paid rm5 million..
- Pre-college year: yes! Free trips to disneyland,san diego zoo,etc.
- College years: Absolutely yes!
- Working years: hmm..too recent. Will consider it in 5 years time.
Back to college years. It occupies my thoughts quite a lot lately. When I'm having the fever attacks and try to think happy thoughts, my college years always pop to mind. Perhaps it's the cold Pittsburgh weather. I'm reminded of the days we built snowmen behind Baker Hall, me trudging snow to get to class, shopping and eating gelati down Walnut Street, finding knick knacks on Squirell Hill, eating baked ziti with loads of cheese at the University Center and oh so many more. I badly want to list everything here but there are just too many. There I am feeling feverish in bed, and suddenly i get a flash memory of me and friends having Chinese after a game of street hockey. Or me and friends shooting silly videos because we ran out of things to do during winter time.
Ah, sweet memories. Maybe when I'm better I'll take a trip down memory lane to Pittsburgh.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Well, is it weird to think that I'm cheating the "game" when they have to transfuse blood and platelets into me? The thought came across when they gave me a bag of platelets yesterday. It's like typing /ihavealltheplateletsintheworld at the command prompt and it will solve the problem.
Err..ok, I really think it's time for bed now. I'm starting to sound like a geek. Bye! (Now i'm thinking whether Warcraft III works on this notebook...hmm that would be nice)
Anyway, I had some thoughts about things I like about being in the hospital, and things I will look forward to when I'm better. Here's a list:
Things I like about being in the hospital
- getting to watch DVDs
- getting to read stuff I otherwise would rarely read when I was well (e.g. papers, qur'an, etc)
- the agar2 sirap they serve every dinner time (otherwise only available at pasar ramadhan)
- getting people to fuss over you (although can be a bit emotional at times)
- using Yahoo! Msgr without worrying that you have work to do in the office
Things I look forward to
- having buka puasa with my friends, after buying kuih at pasar ramadhan
- growing my hair (I'm thinking Anita)
- go watch movies
- going back to work (I must say this, in case my boss reads this)
- having lunch with colleagues at Santini's KLCC on Fridays
- those are just a few, but i basically want my normal life back, plus some changes towards a more healthy and spiritual lifestyle.
Since this morning, I had no fever, thank God. Strange, the fever subsided once I heard the doctors say "let's wait another day, if the fever persists, we'll have to remove the Hickman's line." Hmmm, I guess it's a case of mind over matter after all - On top of the variety of antibiotics I'm perscribed with, e.g. Ampho B, Sulperazone, Vanco & Tienam. If the Hickman's line is removed, I'll have to have those lines on my hands, which I cannot stand. Life will be much more difficult, in terms of moving and sleeping recklessly at night, and of course, using the computer. (NOOOO.............!!!!!!!!)
It's now 10.10 PM, so far no fever. Let's hope this continues....
I'm after watching Monk, DVDs courtesy of team GGK (thanks guys!!). So now i'm off to bed..ciao!
p/s to team GGK: I've only used the scarf, this room is so cold, plus when I get the chills, it feels like Alaska in here. snow cap not yet...maybe soon, hehe! I'll send u a picture nanti. I also think I might borrow some snow caps from Zahid.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Emotion-wise: When the doctor told me that I'm not in remission, I was not too shocked. I read somewhere on the Internet that sugar feeds precancerous cells. During my first course of chemo, I did consume a lot of chocolates, took sugar with my juice, etc. I admit that I felt a bit down, but hey, hopefully this next round will make it better, eh? I saw a hint of disappointment in the doctor's face, but didn't ask why. Surely doc didn't expect me to go into remission after the first cycle? Doc was the one who told me that patients usually take 2-3 cycles before the go into remission. Oh well..I will tell myself everyday that this round I will go into remission. I will, i will AND I WILL!!!
Tomorrow I'm moving to a single room, which means i get to watch my dvds without wearing headphones. Yay!! I'm a bit spooked though, a nurse told me that the patient who was in the single room just died...*gulp* Maybe I'll get mommy to stay with me for a few nights...hmm
Adios per il momento. Ciao tutti!
Monday, October 11, 2004
Anyway, looking at the 2nd class ward today, I realized how lucky I was to have gotten into the 1st class ward previously. I felt like bursting into tears when I saw the condition of the ward. On one hand, I thought, "God! there's no way I'm sleeping here tonight...eww! I have to share toilets with 30 other people!!" On the other hand, if the patients in this ward can fight their battles...i definitely can fight mine, Insya-Allah.
Hope I get into a first class ward on Wednesday. I promise I won't complain about the air-conditioning being too cold anymore!!!
Cat Update (Haven't done this in a long time): Owen, my handsome orange cat has got a new collar. After the old one snapped when he got too fat and no one checked. His new collar is flourescent pink!! I think he may have cried a bit the first day, he kept tugging at the pink collar. The color wasn't my idea, but I do hope it would bring some feminine qualities for Owen. Owen is too independent, he likes to play on his own. Maybe one day he'll start rolling at my feet like Mr. Frodo, Alf and Cookie do. Hmmm..
Sunday, October 10, 2004
I felt unwell for about a month before that. It was gradual, but towards the end, it got worse. I had intermittent fever, loss of appetite, short of breath, easy bruising, etc. Friends told me I looked very pale, but I thought it was just normal stress. One day I went to the doctor to get some cough medicine, the doctor realized I looked very pale, and asked me to do a blood test. The blood test results showed that there were blasts in my blood, and suspected me to have acute leukemia. That day was 3rd of September, 2004.
Anyway, I was admitted to the hospital the same day due to my low hemoglobin count (3.6). I had 4 pints of blood transfused in me. I remembered being really tired, I wasn't able to talk properly. I got my first ever ride on a wheelchair that day, and it was quite a fun experience. Although given the choice, I would rather be well than unwell.
A few days later, I went for a bone marrow aspiration. My God it was a painful experience!! I felt like I fell on ice for three days! I felt cheated...when I asked the doctors, they all said that it would be a short procedure, just like tooth extraction. Anyway the results came out positive (nothing positive about that from where I stand!), and the doctor said I should start chemotherapy right away. However, the doctor suggested that I go to another hospital to get a catheter called a Hickman's Line put on my chest. The line would be used for chemotherapy, to transfuse and withdraw blood. It would be more comfortable for me since the nurses won't have to constantly poke my hands with needles.
My first course of chemotherapy went well. I was given 3 days of daunorubicin and 7 days of cytorabine (Ara-C). Only the first day I vomited. After that, the doctor prescribed me with Kytril to control the nausea and vomiting. Other than that, I ate well, no diarrhea, no mouth sores. The only thing that bothered me was the steroids. It made me look puffy! During this time I also took Lingzhi pills (thanks to my aunt) and Brands Essence of Chicken for my blood.
The first week after chemo passed by in a whizz. I watched movies, read books, etc. Basically the most boring week in the hospital, since I felt well, but was not advised to have many visitors. My blood counts started to fluctuate during this week.
The second week was quite difficult. I had fever three days in a row...and felt quite bad. The doctor decided to prescribe me with some anti-fungal medicine. Apparently patients who stay in the hospital for too long tend to catch hospital fungus (euww!!). My white blood count fell to its lowest - 0.9! However, it gradually went back up after that, and the doctor discharged me at WBC of 1.4. (Healthy range for white blood cells is 4.0 - 11.0) I was excited, but also quite worried since I have cats at home, and God knows what other bacterias and viruses I could catch at home. Anyway, I risked it since I couldn't wait to get in touch with the outside world (a.k.a the TV!).
I also started shedding hair during this second week! It was horrifying to see my long hair all over the floor! I decided to wash my hair one day, and it just got tangled together, making it worse! I got my brother to come later that evening to cut my hair shorter, and I felt much better! ADVICE to people who will go for chemo - just cut your hair short before you start treatment. It would be easier on you. I also read that if you take 1600 IUs of Vitamin E everyday for a week before starting chemo, u could minimize hair loss (way too late for me!!) I'm thinking of writing a letter to Erra Fazira to see if she could donate me one of her many wigs. Whaddaya think? I thought of writing to Siti Nurhaliza as well, but her wigs are usually long ones, so it probably won't suit me. heheh.
The week went by very fast, and I have to get myself re-admitted tomorrow. Me and my siblings will do the HLA Typing tomorrow, to determine if one of them is a suitable bone marrow donor for me. Then either tomorrow or Tuesday, I will have to do another bone marrow aspiration, to see my progress from the first course of chemotherapy. I hope the results will be favourable...(pleaasseee God!!!)
If nothing else, this experience has brought me closer to my parents, whom I love very much, and I know are very worried about me. My friends and colleagues, who check on me from time to time, and feed me with gossip, they keep me going. And the lovely Z, who gives me his endless support, and endless supply of DVDs.
But, this is just the beginning of the battle. I know I have a long way to go (hopefully not too long!) before I can live a normal life again. I pray to God to make me better, or at least make this battle not too difficult for me.
Will update, as and when. Ciao tutti!
Friday, October 08, 2004
May be I'll start blogging about my journey in fighting this disease. Could probably share some views with others going through the same problem. Hmm...
Ciao for now.
Saturday, October 02, 2004
Anyway, after being in here for two weeks, I developed my own routine. E.g. wake up (earlier than if i were to wake up to go to work, and that's only because the darned sweeper has to come in at 7AM to sweep the room), wash my face and brush teeth, eat, then read a book or meddle with my PDA until the doctor comes. After the doc leaves, I will finally get to start my day. I shower, make myself pretty (for what, i don't know), take my supplements, then catch up on outside world gossip via Yahoo Msgr. Then I have lunch. After my mum leaves, I pick a dvd and watch it. It takes a good 2 hours, which brings me to about 4Pm. Then I nap, or read. My parents comes back at about 6PM, and we eat dinner. After that I read the newspapers. After my parents leave at about 9PM, I watch another dvd, which takes me to 11PM, after which I go to sleep. This is what I do everyday, unless I catch a fever, where all I'll do is lie in bed, willing myself to feel better.
I'm now on day 21 after the start of my treatment. I hope to get home sometime next week. Can't wait!!
Bye for now.