2nd Month on Glivec

IMG_3959.JPG Hope you like this picture. It is a beautiful lake back in my home town, Taiping, Perak, in West Malaysia. Each time I look at it, it brings me calmness and never fails to put a smile to my face.

I am supposed to update Dad’s journal on monthly basis but due to unusually tight work schedule and some family issues, I kept putting it off. Right this minute, I’m typing on my iPad mini, on the way downtown for lunch, with a few family members; continue typing as I sit here on a marble bench, at the mall, while waiting for others to join us.

That particular visit, towards end of August, was to see his Oncologist and to go for a CT Scan before the Doctor can determine whether Dad should continue with Glivec. The preparation prior to the CT Scan was the same as before. Having done it once before, we knew what to expect and do, with decreased anxiety. After the scan we met with the Oncologist. This round, the time taken for scan, results and finally doctor’s consultation was shorter too! It was indeed a great relief that we didn’t have to stay there for almost the whole day, unlike before. There were just so many people who were unwell…

The scan reports showed us that the lesions on the liver had reduced in size and number. The size of the tumour in his stomach had also reduced, measuring from 5cm to 4.2cm. Others remain unchanged. Side effects wise, last month, we noticed slight water retention around his left ankle and would be more so on both legs, when he sits for long hours. The second month, we noticed slight water retention around his eyes as well, resulting in mildly swollen lids, heavier on lower lids. As long as the swell does not become worse, the Doctor won’t be alarmed by it. I have read the experiences of fellow GISTers around the world, swollen lower legs and eyelids are some common side effects. Since what dad has been experiencing is somewhat mild, we shall just monitor them. All in all, the results are good. The good news brought us great relief, including our Doctor. Therefore, the Doctor was pleased to advise that we should continue with Glivec. Thank God! Thank you, Dr Mellor!

At the pharmacy, the medication collection was much smoother than the fist time since the hospital has our records already. Many thanks to Max Foundation for their continuous effort and dedication in giving hope to Cancer patients around the world. My family and I feel most grateful.

As for his diabetes, Dad’s “report card” has consistently produced good results, even his Endocrinologist was happy with his achievement. I am so proud of him! I know he will make the effort to be well. The insulin works very well and his Doctor has decided to reduce the dosage for him, and he is now only required to do self-test once in three days! His Doctor was very happy with his self-control. He was reminded to take supper before going to be so to maintain more stable blood sugar level while he sleeps. Thank you, Dr SP Chan!

The next visit to his Oncologist and Endocrinologist shall be in two months time. The next CT Scan to monitor the tumour shall be in four months time. We are good with that.

My heartfelt thanks to all my friends, near and far, Facebook friends (especially MMPKs), for their warm wishes and prayers. The power of prayer and optimism spread so wide and strong, that we can feel the warmth and calmness enveloping us. I can’t thank you all enough. We feel so blessed. And, thank God for giving us strength and patience to face these challenges.

For me, as usual, I shall take a day at a time and be grateful for little and great improvements that come my way. If there is none, I’d still count my blessings for the people around me, in my life, who have never stopped caring, loving, and being happy for me. Deep down, I know that life will only get better and better.

Cheers,
Alice N.

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