Thursday, June 30, 2022

My Battle With Colorectal Cancer

I have just started the 4th cycle of chemotherapy treatment. Last Tuesday I had to sit at the Oncology Suite for 4 long hours to receive the very painful injection. The strong radiation penetrated my veins until hard like steel wires, just like thousands of needles and pins poking my left hand until my chest. My tears just flowed out as it was the one and only most painful chemotherapy injection for my condition. All other chemo jabs are painless. I had done 4 cycles of this painful injections and need to complete 6 cycles!

This is how it looks like when I got the 4 hours long painful injection that numbed my left hand for almost a week. I do not wish for anyone to go through this.

The hospital gave me so many tablets to bring home. Look at that 98 tablets of oral chemotherapy tablets that I need to eat daily. The side effects are plenty which the constipation is worst of all. 

The reasons my cancer almost shocked everyone to death was due to my friends looked at me as a very healthy freak who frequented the gym and boxing rings. I explained that life is uncertain but death is certain for all. So cancer or whatever sickness may happen to anyone without prejudice. Well, look at my BP reading at the hospital. My heart is still happy!

My battle is ongoing but I need to share my good news too. The tumour markers have gone down so much and I pray that it will continue to drop next 2 week's blood tests.

This photo is borrowed to show you exactly how the radiotherapy was conducted daily for 5 long weeks besides the daily stomach injections to heal the blood clots. The room reminded me of the cockpit in Captain Spock's Star Trek spaceship!

This borrowed photo shows where exactly the radiotherapy's laser was aimed at my colon areas daily for 5 weeks. The hospital was racing to save me with all available and strongest treatments. Everyone asked why my head's hair did not fall off?? My hair still look bushy but its texture had changed actually if you touch them. The daily Chemotherapy tablets reach all corners of my body and blood stream. I replied my friends that all my pubic hairs have fallen off instead like Autumn leaves! 

I have been away from the blogsphere for over 2 months now. I was not resting much but running around the city to meet everyone after posting several heart wrenching stories in my Facebook about my treatment at the hospital. I am not a drama queen but rather, shared all my journey with transparency on the 5 weeks daily radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment to create awareness. I didn't expect my sharing to cause so much sensation amongst friends & relatives from Penang right up to Australia, USA, Canada, Japan, Thailand, South Korea and the United Kingdom. My closest friends & cousins really cried so much with great sadness and had sleepless nights after hearing that I was diagnosed with Stage 3 & 4 colorectal cancer. I always advocate on cancer awareness and share with everyone of them over the years, not knowing that I would become a patient myself today. I must admit that my case was one of the most complicated and serious one due to the blood clot that swelled my left leg, which I posted the photo earlier. Both the cardiologist and oncologist were alarmed & extremely worried for me as I was running out of time when the cancer relapsed in March. They were worried that blood clot would affect my heart which could be fatal within minutes as my leg kept swelling while lying on the hospital bed. The blood was not flowing properly in my whole body. The scans discovered that many cancerous lymph nodes across my whole colons had swelled until they pressed my artery. Usually, cancer could sometimes be treated within many weeks or months but serious blood clots are not. I am sure you have heard news of some victims who died due to blood clots, during their sleep or while playing sports or watching television. The cardiologist was baffled to see my condition which was his first case of a patient with an elephant leg caused by blood clot which was triggered by cancerous lymph nodes pressing the artery! I felt like a Gila Babi and still smiled to the nurses who all panicked when I was missing from my hospital bed. I had often limped my way to the hospital's ground floor with my Malay room mate who wanted to have his 2 hourly cigarettes! The cardiologist had earlier given stern warnings that I should not walk except to toilets. Haha!

I am grateful to receive so much attention, concern and prayers from everyone I know across the world. My frankness caught the attention of one friend who is a Malaysian architect working for a famous Italian architectural design firm in Central London. This Saturday he wants to interview me via Zoom and upload the podcast into the internet of my whole life's colourful story. He had probably read my blog postings and Facebook news which must have convinced him that I am a bit weird and very funny for my transparency. He wants me to share my experience seeing the most prominent buildings during my lifetime and eventually create awareness about my ongoing battle with cancer. I believe all the renowned architects and architectural students across the United Kingdom and Italy would soon be looking at this Twilight Man speaking like a China man. Wah! I am so stressed and sweating now. So far, everyone had complimented me for waking them up to be really realistic about their health check ups as usually cancer victims would be very depressed and withdrawn from public view or friends but NOT ME! I still came out to sell my Nirvana's bereavement products and cracked jokes with everyone over many lunches and dinners. I even followed my wife to Singapore because she had to check the auspicious Feng Shui for 2 friends who wanted to buy a new condo and a big factory building. If you ask me about her Feng Shui's accuracy, I would rate it as 10/10! Best of all, she does not even charge any fees because all her long list of customers are our closest friends.

I have so much to share with you guys about this cancer topic and what I discovered after telling the world about my sickness. I was tickled and very amused to see so many friends turning into 'Quack Doctors' overnight! I received hundreds of text messages on exercises, supplements, fruits and TCM to treat & beat my cancer. The most bewildered texts came from friends of different churches to encourage me to join their healing miracles for cure. Honestly, I did click and watch their YouTubes out of curiosity since everyone meant well. No matter how irritated or annoyed I encountered with some tactless morons, I still responded very politely with sincerest thanks. I was showered with so much expensive get well gifts and even cash monies that could all total to over thousand ringgits. I felt so warm and loved by all their true colours. Several friends came all the way to KL to visit me too, with their whole families in tow. I was really touched as they thought I was dying on bed but I still drove my car out to entertain them at restaurants. They were speechless! I may be weaker as time goes but my spirits are still high. 

I am confident that with my positive mind and willpower, I would be able to recover from this deadly cancer. The damage caused by the harsh chemotherapy is inevitable and would last for many years or permanently, subject to individual patients. These could include damage to my respiratory, circulatory, sensory, excretory and others. When my sensory nerves are damaged, I would always have the feeling of 'pins and needles' or 'electric shocks' with coldness, prickling or burning in my hands and feet for a long time. I have met my cousin's Japanese wife who lives in Singapore. She had colon cancer 7 years ago and fully recovered but the side effects live on as the damages caused by chemotherapy was too strong on her body. Now I am getting ready for all this as my treatment is far stronger than hers! 

Thank you for reading my long story. More to come.

The Day My World Ended

At sunrise of 3rd August, my wife came to fetch me in her brand new car. She sped all the way through the morning traffic to Shah Alam. It w...