#sharestrength – Chemotherapy #2

My first chemotherapy felt like forever. My second chemotherapy felt like a blink of an eye. Seriously, I don’t know where time flew. I didn’t realize I have been away from work for almost a week until late this morning.

I have to say that the second cycle felt less intimidating because I already had a gauge of how my body would respond to the drugs. What I have forgotten however, was that I now have increased dosage of drug in my body. What this means is that side effects will be worse because of cumulative effect.
Continue reading #sharestrength – Chemotherapy #2

#sharestrength – Chemo Port Surgery & Chemotherapy #1

So it happened. 7 weeks after my colectomy surgery to remove 26 cm of my colon, I went for another surgery to commence my chemotherapy. This, however, was a minor surgery. So minor I was fully awake throughout the whole 1-hour procedure.

Awake? Yes, I was awake.

For my colectomy surgery, I was unconscious at the waiting ward. I did not see the operating theater. I did not see my surgeon’s face before the surgery.

For this minor surgery to implant a chemo port in my chest, I climbed onto the surgical table myself and even chatted with the surgeon during the surgery. It was surreal. It was scary just because. Continue reading #sharestrength – Chemo Port Surgery & Chemotherapy #1

#sharestrength – Back to Work Post-Surgery

It has been a while since I updated my blog, hasn’t it? That’s because I got back to work (finally) after 6 weeks of Medical Leave. The 6 weeks flew by quite fast though. Didn’t notice that I was away for so long until I filled up my MC form.

car selfie
Driving on the first day back to work.

Anyway, getting back to work makes my days pass even faster. I wake up at 5am for qi gong at 5.30am. I’d be home at 7am and need to leave for work ASAP. I’d try to leave work at 5.30pm so that I can be home for dinner at 6.30pm but I never made it in time. I’d normally be home at about 8pm and my bedtime is supposed to be at 9pm.

So yeah. No time for anything. My day feels so short. Continue reading #sharestrength – Back to Work Post-Surgery

#sharestrength – Thoughts on Chemotherapy (Pre-Treatment)

“Chemotherapy” is a scary word. It’s probably the most dreaded treatment of cancer because of its infamous side effects and damages done to the body. Fyi, chemo kills fast growing cells regardless if they are healthy or unhealthy cells; cancer, hair follicle, lining of gut, bone marrow, etc.

Before chemo was prescribed to me, I’ve heard many chemo success stories so when I first saw my surgery report stating that I need chemo, I thought, “If everyone else did it, why can’t I?”

The hopefulness and strength didn’t last long though. Once news about me being prescribed with chemo went out, somehow stories of people avoiding chemo or of people being devastated by chemo started surfacing and alternative treatment started taking center stage. Fear engulfed me every time I thought about undergoing chemotherapy and this was evident through my mood swing. Continue reading #sharestrength – Thoughts on Chemotherapy (Pre-Treatment)

#sharestrength – My Colorectal Surgery Report

For my colorectal surgery (colectomy procedure to be accurate), I was warded in the hospital for 9 days, excluding the pre-surgery admission to prepare my bowel. When I was discharged 9 days later, my surgery lab report was still not ready apparently. Dr Samuel Tay, my surgeon, asked me to go home and enjoy Chinese New Year first.

As much as I didn’t want to be too anxious about my colorectal surgery report that’d tell me more about my malignant colon tumor and if I need any adjuvant treatment, I believe subconsciously, I was anxious. I didn’t have much deep sleep and woke up early (as early as 4am sometimes) for the 1.5 week leading to my appointment with Dr Samuel Tay to review my report. Continue reading #sharestrength – My Colorectal Surgery Report

#sharestrength – My Colorectal Surgery Part 3

This is a continuation from My Colorectal Surgery Part 2.

6th Day Post-Surgery

Nightmare. Lowest point of my hospital stay. At 2am, my epidural alarm went off. I pressed on the call button to alert the nurses as usual. But instead of turning off the alarm and leaving, the nurse said, “Epidural sudah habis ya. Esok baru kita buka epidural site.” I stared at her and gave her a cheeky smile as if saying, “Oh-oh…” Fyi, epidural was my 24/7 painkiller since my surgery. I could not sleep that night. I kept calling the nurses every hour to help make me comfortable. I was so afraid and felt so insecure. Continue reading #sharestrength – My Colorectal Surgery Part 3

#sharestrength – My Colorectal Surgery Part 2

This is a continuation from My Colorectal Surgery Part 1.

1st Day Post-Surgery

The next thing I remembered after being knocked out for the colorectal surgery was waking up shivering like a fish out of water. It was cold. So cold. I vaguely remember my surgeon standing next to me and telling me everything is OK now while holding my hand. Continue reading #sharestrength – My Colorectal Surgery Part 2

#sharestrength – My Colorectal Surgery Part 1

Finally it’s time to talk about the colorectal surgery that I underwent on 26 Jan 2016. The purpose of the surgery was to remove the colon tumor alongside the surrounding healthy tissues and lymph nodes of my colon (large intestine). The surgeon had to cut my abdomen open in order to do that because the tumor was too big to be removed via lapascopy (keyhole surgery). It was a major surgery. I was hospitalized for 9 days post surgery and am on a month-long medical leave. Continue reading #sharestrength – My Colorectal Surgery Part 1

#sharestrength – Pre-Surgery Preparations

I had about a week to prepare for my colon surgery to remove the malignant tumor that has blocked at least 80% of my bowel. I was diagnosed on Wednesday and was scheduled for surgery the next Tuesday. Excluding the weekend and the public holiday on Monday, I had only 2.5 working days to settle the pre-surgery preparations for my colon surgery.

What are the pre-surgery preparations? Enough to keep me busy all working days. I scheduled my surgery and completed my pre-admission alongside the insurance application on Wednesday afternoon itself after being diagnosed. Everything was arranged by Sime Darby Medical Center so I just followed the instructions. Continue reading #sharestrength – Pre-Surgery Preparations

#sharestrength – Breaking The News to Close Friends and Family

Immediately after I have received my diagnosis, I had this urge to share it with so many people close to me. I wanted confidants while I figure out how to break the news to my mom. I wanted encouragement and support to help me process this puzzling news. At the same time, I didn’t want to worry too many people as well because I know it won’t be an easy news to take. Continue reading #sharestrength – Breaking The News to Close Friends and Family