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.


29 comments:

  1. Be strong in the Lord. Take care.

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  2. thanks for sharing. It is scary to hear about the chemotheraphy and its side effect. I wish i do not have to endure such in my life...but well, life is fragile & uncertain...Take care and get well soon!

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    1. Enjoy your life happily and healthily while you still can.

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  3. Bravo to u! Hope your recovery continues. Was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing your symptoms that led to the diagnosis, so people can be aware and be checked out early. Thx!

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind words and encouragement. I will share all the symptoms in my next post. Please stay healthy always 💖

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  4. I was just thinking about you the other day and how you were getting along and wondering if I should reach out to you (and then suddenly this post popped up). I didn't want to disturb you knowing that you're probably busy with your treatment on your road to recovery.

    I'm so so sorry to hear of your painful chemo treatment but glad to see that you're in high spirits (from the first two photos, I can see that you're still up to your funny antics). Thank you for sharing your stories (we can learn from them)...didn't know that chemo treatment/injections can be so painful. Stay strong, you can get through this...only 2 more cycles to go. P/S: Those oral chemo tablets must cost a bomb!

    With your positive mindset and high spiritedness, I know you'll persevere and come out of this stronger. Sometimes the worst things happen to the best people. You'll be in my prayers. Get well soon...and please stay off food you're not supposed to eat (no matter how delicious and tempting they look on our blogs...lol)! :D

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    1. We have telepathy for sure as I was thinking of you too. So I kinda forced myself to update my blog because I lost my eating taste buds sometimes and mojo to write too. I told myself that I need to shift my thoughts back to my old self.

      I think the average box of chemotherapy tablets cost about RM1500 but mine being the super strongest is probably over RM2500 per box.

      I will continue to keep my spirits high and happy, come what may. Thank you very much for your prayers.

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  5. Hello TM! I am happy to see a new post from you but sorry to learn of your diagnosis and the pain you have to endure during your chemotherapy sessions. You seem in good spirits with your zany humor intact. That is good! Your own positive outlook and the support of your loved ones will see you through this very difficult time. Please rest more and make sure you eat well to keep up with your nutrition. And get well soon!

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    1. Heh! Heh! I will always be a clown in my blog posts and bring smiles to all my friends from everywhere!

      The pain is tolerable and I am very used to hospital visits now like my 2nd home. This week is my break before I continue the 5th cycle's treatment.

      Enjoy your makan and be happy with your lahling & 2 cats always. Time and tide waits for no man.

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  6. A very personal post on your battle with cancer, and your strength and optimism in face of adversity shines through! Gambate!

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    1. Gambate! Thanks for being a friend for so many years now. I send my hugs 💖 & regards to you and Derek.

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  7. I am extremely happy to see this post earlier today. I sincerely miss your online presence. Keeping you in my prayers.

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    1. I miss your posts too as you always reminded me of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. All my crazy memories there! Lolol

      Stay Healthy and Happy always with all your organic vegetables and fruits from your garden. You have inspired me to start gardening again.

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  8. All I can say is that you are a very strong person. Many would have been depressed but you choose to fight and share your experience to cause awareness to people and also to encourage those who are battling with cancer. I wish strength and health throughout the treatment and full recovery for you.

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    1. I thank my wife who was also a more experienced Hospice volunteer. Now she is giving me the palliative care.

      I will continue my daily life and not think of all nonsense so that I could create awareness of my journey.

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  9. Hi TM, I wish you have the best and fastest recovery ever that it will be a great living testimony for all to read and see!

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    1. Yay! You bet. I am looking forward to be the living testimony for all to read. I am looking forward to travel again soon like you!

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  10. I was so worried that I had not seen you online in a while, but am glad to see your new posting. You are a very strong person and extremely brave as well. Sending you all the good jujus in the world for continued healing and peace in your heart and comfort of the mind.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and always reading my posts from so far away.

      I try my best to remain strong always and it's ups & downs as life is like a rollercoaster sometimes.

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  11. My dearest friend, I'm at a loss for words. Your pain is visible, and your battling spirit is unstoppable. I've known you for a long time, and your optimistic attitude will brighten anyone's day, and you are a compassionate individual when it comes to friends and anyone in need. The worst I could envision was that you are fully aware of cancer and have assisted those who have been diagnosed with it, and now you have experienced it yourself. I could never imagine experiencing such terrible therapy, and the image you shared reminded me of something out of a science fiction film! I hope you win this battle, and remember that harm isn't a setback for a warrior. You are to assist many other warriers like yourself, and you have the bravery to communicate with others what will improve their motivations and prevent as much as possible.Take care

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    1. Thank you very much Jeevan. You have been an inspiration to me as you struggle with your own needs and health issues. Life is just a journey for all of us with happiness all around.

      The Dalai Lama once said that Life is not certain, but Death is certain. So I try my best to live a meaningful life and create awareness through writings.

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  12. Hi TM, thanks for sharing your latest update and I could not agree more on all the comments before mine about you and your post... Keep well
    Regards, Norick

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    1. Thank you very much Norick. I will continue to have faith on my recovery's journey.

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  13. Hi TM, so sorry to know about your illness but at the same time glad that you're keeping the high spirits and this definitely good for your treatment - good mood good health! I hope you can have a smooth chemotherapy treatment and get well soon. Jia you!

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  14. i totally understand what you're going through as my late dad was diagnosed with cancer, and i was taking care of him for almost a year in the hospital, it may not be easy, but i hope you will fight it bravely, my prayers and thoughts for you <3

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  15. Wish you speedy recovery

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  16. Hello! Nice to hear from you, but I’m so surprised to know about your battle with the cancer. Wish you overcome it sooner. Before you know, you’ll be enjoying your loved tours, I believe.. Please come to Japan and enjoy the benefit while yen is cheap. Thank you for your condolences to the late Abe. Opinion would be divided about his domestic politics, but I had respected his attitude toward peace keeping in the world stage. With best wishes to your recovery.

    Yoko

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  17. Hey, how are you doing? I read that the tumor has shrunk. Live that moment instead of dwelling in the past or thinking what might happen in the future. I know, easy for me to say I don't have cancer. But hey, live in the present! :)

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