Freefall (the diary of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma fighter) -1

26 Jun

Just as the leaves of Autumn -I’m changing constantly;
who I am at this moment…is who I am meant to be.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for almost 2 months, yet i hadn’t have the courage to. So right now, i’m trying best to reminisce the days when my life has changed for forever.

On 25 April 2013, just about 10 days after my tonsils were removed through surgery, I was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma, type diffuse large B-cells. What the heck is that? “Oh well, it’s a type of blood cancer,” the doctor said calmly. I didn’t practically listen to anything he said but chemo theraphy ASAP, a.k.a R-CHOP. (I’ll explain about this creature later on).

How did I handle it? Um, i guess I handled it pretty well by not crying or screaming in front of the doctors and my parents. I hardly swallowed the fact that I, a 24 years old girl with zillion future plans in her head, has cancer. I’m not the type of person who’d like people see me weak, so after the visit and chemo has been planned, I sneaked out to the restroom, and there you go, just a couple of tears that I quickly shed it off. At that time, I couldn’t think, I really wanted to laughed it out loud since this joke was extremely funny. God must has been joking me.

My family and everyone was freaked out. Situation got so tensed. I already had a vacation planned months before this prognosis came out, so when all this happened, What I really wanted was to get some space for me to clear my head. I finally got to get this vacation after a terrible madness arguing with my parents , they finally let me go (though they are still upset until now). The doctor told me that from this day on, I wouldn’t be able to go swimming, or being in public places for too long, or eat any meat and sugary food, or even worse I wouldn’t be able to do my current job as a business development–since my immune system is getting weak each passing day. It’s been so bad eversince everone has been trying to control me, while I hate to be controlled over.

That night, I cried really hard that my eyes hurt so much. Blaming God why He’s being so unfair to me, being so mad that I won’t be able to go for vacations I had planned for this year, and yes I can’t accept the fact that I wouldn’t be able to taste and cook my awesome foods anymore, since I’m not allowed to eat meat and any sugar and any processed/canned ingredients. It’s just totally unfair. What did I do wrong? I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I have taken routine vitamins and healthy home-cooked foods. Why all this happening to me when I am at the right age to get my triumph.

The news spread so fast. As soon as  the world know that now I have cancer living in me, relatives, long lost friends who never contacted me for almost a decade, hig-school friends, started to message me/phone me and eagerly wanted to visit me. I should be thankful rite? In fact, I don’t! Just because I have cancer, it doesn’t mean I’m gonna die within a week or so. I was quite annoyed that they started to care for me just because of this terrible disease I have now. What if I never gotten this monster, they wouldn’t have to contact me at all, would they? But hey, I do appreciate the sympathy. Just treat me as a normal person, okay? I still can go to work, I still can drive, etc, I am still the supergirl you guys always think of I am.

Eversince I got into this, I’ve been wondering if I will ever have a husband, my own children and have a little happy family, Since It’s pretty much understandable that no one wants to have a sick person to be his wife and the mother of his children, who could die at anytime. Will I get enough time to visit the places I’ve always wanted to visit? Will I be able to have my own cafe?

Then there are times when I think about death. How much time do I have left? Is it going to be hurt? Is it scary? Is it really gonna be the end of my life?

It’s been 2 months, and I am doing a herbal treatment advised by Dr. Chris Teo from Penang (you can visit his web : http://www.cacare.org). Based on my research, asking several patients, the side effects of chemo are really destructive, and lots of case show the cancer relapsed after the first few years of remissions, so I decided not to do chemo and chose eastern treatment instead. I thought if both sides have no guarantee that I could be free from cancer after the treatment, I’ll go with the less destructive one. The type of cancer I have now, can’t be easily predicted, it’s somewhat aggresive and wr’ll ndver know when will it move up to the next stage. I don’t know if this is going to work out but we’ll see, I’ll keep you posted.🙂

If there’s a bright side with this cancer, it is to cherish EVERY SINGLE MOMENT IN LIFE, as I always said. We will never know when will our life turns upside down, whether it is good or bad. So, enjoy your every stupid, happy, sad, crazy moment in your life, so when you look back into your life, you know you have completely lived it.

One thing I tell my family and friends is : if I really have to die, I don’t want to leave this life with regret. I want to die knowing that I have done my best and enjoy the process of being my current sellf.

Cheers,

Ness

About non-hodgkins lymphoma (source :  national cancer institute UK)

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. The immune system fights infections and other diseases. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma begins when a lymphocyte (usually a B cell) becomes abnormal. The abnormal cell divides to make copies of itself. The new cells divide again and again, making more and more abnormal cells. The abnormal cells don’t die when they should. They don’t protect the body from infections or other diseases. The buildup of extra cells often forms a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.

Doctors seldom know why one person develops non-Hodgkin lymphoma and another does not. But research shows that certain risk factorsincrease the chance that a person will develop this disease. In general, the risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphoma include the following:
•Weakened immune system:The risk of developing lymphoma may be increased by having a weakened immune system (such as from an inheritedcondition or certain drugs used after an organ transplant).
•Certain infections: Having certain types of infections increases the risk of developing lymphoma (HIV!,Hepatitis C, Epstein-Bar virus, etc). However, lymphoma is not contagious. You cannot catch lymphoma from another person.

When lymphoma is found, the pathologist reports the type. There are many types of lymphoma. The most common types are diffuse large B-cell lymphomaand follicular lymphoma. Lymphomas may be grouped by how quickly they are likely to grow:
•Indolent (also called low-grade) lymphomasgrow slowly. They tend to cause few symptoms.
•Aggressive(also called intermediate-grade and high-grade)lymphomasgrow and spread more quickly. They tend to cause severe symptoms. Over time, many indolent lymphomas become aggressive lymphomas.

**the rest of details can be found easily on the internet about the symptoms, stages, treatment etc.

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