CANCER SURVIVOR: CONTINUE TO STAY STRONG & OPTIMISTIC

I’m 28 years old and I was a staff nurse who worked in one of the private hospital in Singapore. On Jan 2015, I had repeated headache and I went to many doctor’s consultation hoping that they will get the right diagnosis but unfortunately, they only diagnosed me with migraine/tension headache and prescribed me with some analgesics. After taking the medication, my headache doesn’t go away. Instead, it became worst, my eyeballs started to feel painful and I had even experienced nausea and vomiting at my workplace.

On 5th of February 2015, a neurosurgeon allowed me to performed MRI on my brain and to my horror, the report showed that I have a brain tumour.

A biopsy craniotomy was done. And oncologist came in this time. I was diagnosed as anaplastic ependymoma III, it’s a malignant and unresectable tumour (An unresectable tumour is defined as one that cannot be removed completely through surgery.), therefore oncologist decided to treat me with 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Thankfully, my brain tumour was responding well with the chemo drug which it had shrunk compared to the previous size as showed in the MRI scan result.

I was then transferred back to my own place in KL to continue my medical treatment. Oncologist in KL resume my balance of 3 cycles of chemo while waiting for my radiotherapy to be ready.

On 2nd of November 2015, I started my radiotherapy, total of 33 times. I took longer time to completed my radiotherapy compared to others. The oncologist of the radiation team told me that they not only need to performed radiation on my brain area but also on my whole spine area too. This is to prevent any spreading of the tumour cells. And they explained to me that my bone marrow and organs nearby spinal area will be affected. Both of my ovaries surely will be affected because ovaries are very sensitive even in low dose of radiation. Partially of my hair might not growth back because the radiation is on the head area.After I heard all the explanation from them,I didn’t cry. Since I was diagnosed as brain tumour till now I never cry. I told myself “I must be stronger to face all these challenges.”

On 6th of January 2016, finally I completed all my radiotherapy session. I had a hard time especially during my radiotherapy session, I had alopecia (hair loss),constipation, difficulty in swallowing food and water due to soreness of esophagus……but despite all the “sufferring”, I told myself no matter how good or how bad thing is,it will be gone in no time, it’s only temporary, it won’t last forever.

After I have completed my radiotherapy treatment, I was admitted again to the hospital due to pancytopenia. 2 bags of blood transfusion were given to me. Doctor ordered daily full blood count to be monitored on me. My veins are very small, sometimes the doctors and nurses needed to poke few times in a day just to get a successful insert. But I was fine. Eventhough I was left with no choice but to remove the PICC line on my left arm due to infection on June 2015 in Singapore, the poking of needles into new veins didn’t cause me fear towards the cylindrical object but, I was afraid of swallowing the medication instead, it’s hard to believe and funny right?

Now, I’ve completed all the treatments and guess what?? All my hair are growing well and even my menstruation are coming in regular “visits”.

I wanted to specially thanks my mum on my recovery. She was the one who accompanied me throughout the whole battle and journey with cancer. She drove up and down to the hospital for my appointment days without any complaints. She cooked for me and make sure I have good nutritions diet. She brought home-cooked foods for me everyday during my hospitalization. I love u mum, of course not forgetting my brother and other family members too. Thanks to my supportive friends and colleagues. I feel blessed and gratitude to know them. A true and sincere friend will be there for you during your hard times.

For other cancer survivors out there who is currently fighting the battle, please continue to stay strong and optimistic. Prevention is better than cure, please maintain healthy lifestyle and well balanced diet. Keep yourself healthy and positive.

If I can do it, why not u?

Love
Ling
Cancer Survivor
Anaplastic ependymoma III (malignant brain tumour grade 3)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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