Chemo-Radio Merry-Go-Round

The sixth chemo in November 2014 was just an ordinary one with nothing extraordinary. After the completion of the entire chemo regime, I was scheduled for another MRI to observe the progress. The good news was that my right cerebellum was clear of tumor, and that my cancer is likely in remission. But the not so good news was that my previous lesion in the parietal lobe that I discovered before this incident remained unchanged, no signs of worsening, but it was just stubbornly there as if for decorative purpose. The MRI result was good, but wasn’t perfectly normal. My doctor had been dealing with cases like mine for decades, to not take any chances, he linked me up with an oncologist/radiotherapist for the further planning of radiotherapy sessions.

Our hearts sank once again. After six sessions, 18 weeks of chemotherapy merry-go-round, we thought the treatment was over, just pending for the final stage of stem cell transplant, but the word “radiotherapy never came across our mind.

During my entire chemotherapy admissions, I have collected these much sugar and creamer packets as “souvenirs” and on top of that during my one month stay for the stem cell transplant, I have filled a glass bucket overloaded with milos! If i were to sell one packet for RM1 for charity, guess how much i will earn?

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Sugar + Creamer

Sugar + Creamer

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One-month milo supply

One-month milo supply

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In the midst of drying out period before the radiotherapy kicks off, out of the cancer scope, I was enduring wisdom tooth aches on both bottom right and left side. My doctor advised to remove the aching wisdom tooth to prevent infection during the stem cell transplant process because my immune system will be lowered to probably nil, but my dentist refused to do so because I just had my chemotherapies done and will be proceeding to radiotherapies treatment next, which will affect the recovery and healing of the gum.

Both their concerns were strong and valid. The doctor and the dentist discussed among each other on my phone for quite a while, ending up with the doctor’s victory. He managed to persuade the dentist for the wisdom tooth extraction.

Three weeks after the sixth chemo when my blood count stabilized, I removed both left and right bottom sides of the wisdom teeth and was completely unable to chew or bite any solid food, just to swallow clear porridge for a week.

I initially thought that the doctors would at least wait a week for my wisdom tooth to recover before radiotherapies but it did not happen that way. My haematologist insisted that the radiotherapies kick off as soon as possible with no delay. From what I recall, I was even called up for appointment with the radiotherapist on a Saturday for “planning” stage, third day after my wisdom tooth extraction. In radiotherapy terms, “planning” means to do a quick CT scan, and custom mould the shape of the radiotherapy mask to the shape of your face. Each radiotherapy patients will have their own custom-made mask to be used throughout the treatment. You are not allowed to gain or lose tremendous weight as the mask will no longer fit you nicely. This is to secure the head from moving during the zapping of radiotherapy beams throughout the process to ensure precise accuracy.

CT Scan

CT Scan

Custom-moulded Radiotherapy Mask

Custom-moulded Radiotherapy Mask

“Planning on a Saturday, and the radiotherapy began on a Wednesday, just a quick four days later before the recovery of my wisdom teeth wounds. This was how intensive my treatments were like.

The radiotherapy appointments would clock in at less than ten minutes but the hectic four weeks of endless hospital visits every day from Monday to Friday, five days in a stretch were truly exhausting. I lost my appetite due to both the radio and my wisdom tooth wounds and my baby hairs which started to grow were all gone due to the effect of radiotherapy, making me all bald once again. The debilitation, endless hospital visits may sound intolerable, yet to us, they were just the part and parcel of our day to day live. I completed my 20 sessions of radio right before Christmas Eve on the 23rd of December.

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prior to the placing of the radiotherapy mask

prior to the placing of the radiotherapy mask

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Tomotherapy

Tomotherapy

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I managed to slot in a Christmas tea party in the middle of my radiotherapies at “Raw and Rustic” concept store. The unique display of their woody furnitures, the cosy environment and the finger-licking-good food were indeed exceptional!! Other than private parties and gathering, they also have big clients, like Astro, shooting Chinese New Year commercial and wedding shots. You may visit “Raw and Rustic Concept Store facebook page for further information.

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laksa

laksa

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tomato basil

tomato basil

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Bacon Bomb - Bacon +Cheese

Bacon Bomb – Bacon +Cheese

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finger food

finger food

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X' Mas Gathering at "Raw & Rustic Concept Store"

X’ Mas Gathering at “Raw & Rustic Concept Store”

 

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