Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Tale of Four Patients

What's happening to me the last few days? Nothing much. Those dang legs still a nuisance although the pain has subsided somewhat. My left knee joint seems to be the main problem now. Anyway, will see what the orthopedic surgeon says when I meet him next. My mother has also been sick the last few days. So it's been quite busy for me too.

I feel quite sad this month. On Tuesday night, I received a call from an ex-colleague. My ex-colleague told me that her father has been diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer. Had undergone treatment and I think the prognosis is always good for Stage 2 cancer patients. But she told me her father is depressed. I know when the doctor tell you that you have cancer, the first thing that comes to mind is that I am going to die. Anyway, I encouraged her to have a chat with her father. Then on Thursday night, another ex-colleague called me and told me his father has been diagnosed Stage 4 lung cancer. The whole family is  disappointed and did not know what to do. He thought of me and called me to have a chat. His father is now very weak. There are two nodules in the lungs the bigger one measuring about 4.5cm. They also have not discussed treatment options with the oncologist. Then I suggested to him to consider Cyberknife. Cyberknife is a non-invasive, precisely-targeted form of radiotherapy which provides an alternative to the conventional surgical treatment of cancer. In view of his father's condition, I said it's worth a try to discuss with Cyberknife's oncologist. I told him to be strong. There will always be help and all he needs to do is just ask.

Earlier this month, I also met one and spoke to another women, both with Stage 2 breast cancer. The first women was Ms C, aged 43. She look quite stressed when I met her and I asked where what's on her mind? She said she worry about her one year old son. I told her she should not worry about her son because there will be her husband, uncles and aunties to love and take care of him. What is more important is that she should now take care of herself. She is under family pressure to take the conventional therapy. Like many cancer patients, death is always on her mind. She wanted to have an assurance if conventional treatment is going to help. I told her I know of quite a few Stage 2 breast cancer women who are now on remission. The second women, Ms E aged 48 was a classmate of my ex-neighbor.  Unlike Ms C, Ms E was full of enthusiasm and life over the phone. She called me because she just wanted to know some of the diets to take. Actually, she has already changed her diet and I just clarified a few points to her. She had the lump taken out and now undergoing radiotherapy. After that, she is going to Europe on holiday. Hey, that's the spirit to adopt when you have cancer. We agreed to meet when she is back from Europe. I want introduce coffee enema to her. Two women, both Stage 2 but behaving in opposite ways.

Cancer, the word that creates fear and confusion to the patient and caregivers alike. What happens to us as cancer patients and as caregivers depends on the choice we make.

1 comment:

  1. Only those who dealt with cancer knows what is going on thru the mind of those newly diagnosed. I didn't allow others to step in & tell me what to do, once my mind is made up, its me, the surgeons and faith in GOD.

    Wish you well, despite your own illness you still lend a ear to those who needed help.