Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quarterly check-up: You'd never know

I was back at SDMC today; it was time for my quarterly check-up with Dr Kamal. Walking passed the Cancer Centre, I remembered the cancer treatments, and the first time I had walked into the centre. Let me share with you what happened. Back then, I only looked down the long hallway and could only imagine the torture that awaits me. This was a world I NEVER expected to enter. All I felt was fear for what lay ahead and the thought that God had punished the wrong person lingered in my mind.

Little did I know that what lay ahead was not as bad as I thought. In fact, the experience brought the unexpected reward of self-discovery. But I didn’t know it then. All I knew was that I had been operated for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma and now was to undergo 33 sessions of radiation and 6 cycles of chemo. My mood showed in my appearance back then – no make-up, no interest in the clothes I had put on that morning, no smile on my face, nothing… nada!

One fine day, during the fourth week of radiotherapy (while being accompanied by my sister, Sara), a stunning, confident looking woman had walked into the building as I was waiting in the waiting area for my treatment. High-heels, suit, matching handbags, make-up; perfect.

“I’m here for my check-up,” I overheard her talking to the receptionist, Cynthia.

I turned to Sara. “You’d never know. Siapa sangka she had cancer,” I whispered. She had cancer and she looked beautiful. She had undergone radiation and now she was walking, talking, smiling and joking with Cynthia. She was a SURVIVOR! I was grateful to see her face and to hear her cheerful voice. It gave me a sense of hope and made me think that if she can do it, so can I! Then it was my turn to go inside for my treatment. I vowed to myself that I’m going to do for someone else what the beautiful lady has done for me.

That was back in December 2010. Today, seven months after the incident, like I mentioned earlier I was back for my quarterly check-up; accompanied by my beloved fiancé, Azmir.

So we reached SDMC at 8.30am and I was the second person to do the MRI (which took me almost 1 hour). After I’d received the results, I went to see Dr Kamal straight away and the result was positive! There was NO recurrent tumour or enhancement of the lymphadenopathy. Dr Kamal was pretty happy with the results, and I was happy too! Now there’s just one main challenge for me – to go through fasting month, the month of Ramadan! So Dr Kamal had gave me another ONE month MC to try to fast like normal (since this is going to be my first time in life fasting after having cancer). Also, he gave me Glandosane – synthetic saliva. It’s a saliva substitute for patients with dryness of the oral mucosa and throat and since I no longer have my right submandibular gland and sublingual gland to produce sufficient saliva for me, I really hope Glandosane will work its wonder.

So I went to see the receptionist at the Cancer Centre counter to collect my MRI scans and to get my MC.

“How are you doing, Aida?” the receptionist asked. “You look great,” she said.

I had dressed decently today – H&M pink pants, Forever 21 cardigan, tank top and scarf, and Nine West pumps. I had ironed my scarf, carefully applied my make-up and sprayed my favourite perfume. I was determined to look my best today – I like to call it a “post-cancer” attitude.

A lady wearing a bandanna was sitting with her husband to my right. Her face was pale and lifeless, and she looks afraid. I knew she must had been through or still going through cancer treatment. You could tell. She looked at me for a long time, observing me from head to toe and somehow I knew what she was thinking. I gave her a reassuring glance and smiled at her. Her face brightened and she returned it.

That was when I knew, I HAD DONE MY PART...

PS: Met Nick at the Imaging Department while waiting for my MRI Scan result. He was there for his X-ray. I never knew that my blog had inspired him to write his own blog and seek advise from the same oncologist in SDMC (he was later referred to Dr Foo, also an oncologist at SDMC). You'd never know...

PSS: Alhamdulillah, I am so grateful to God for giving me a chance to be healthy again and for all the blessings. My never ending prayer to Him has finally been answered. To my family and friends, Thank you for always encouraging me and never giving up on me. I love you all! Check out my MRI result below! :)


azmir said...

alhamdullilah!!! everything goes well.. the battle doesnt end here.. is going to a long journey for us!! it's okay cause i'll be there to go through with you.. love you baby!!
p/s: cant wait 160911!!!

Irene said...

You've won the battle sweets, take care x

Audy said...

aida...i almost cried reading this...you are truly a great person sincerely from my jiwa =)...though dah lama tak in contact... can't wait for ur wedding...

Anonymous said...

thank God, i've read this.... im pretty scared, i also have a lump on my neck...

i'll schedule a checkup tomorrow. :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aziza said...

I stumbled on your blog and your journey is very inspiring. Alhamdulliah I am so glad that Allah answered your prayers and that you have won your battle with cancer. I pray that you will have a long, happy, and healthy life. Ameen! :)

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