Thursday, 23 June 2011

2nd Level Chemo...the saga continues

The reason why I decided to blog about my dad's condition is hopefully it can be a informative source for anyone who has colon cancer. Hopefully, it would ease them to face this condition that saps the live out of a human. Continuing about my dad's fight cancer saga....

After his 4th chemo in Selayang Hospital, as mentioned in my previous entry, my dad was referred to HKL (Hospital Kuala Lumpur, formerly known as General Hospital) for 2nd level chemo. My dad was not in favour of going to HKL, due to the bad experiences from my late sister's case.

For the first experience with the Oncology Department in HKL was an eye opener for him. Though a bit cramped with people, the attending specialist was pleasant, soft spoken and full of empathy. Upon checking my dad, she was surprised to see the condition of my dad's hands. She was more surprised to find out that there was no medication prescribed for it.

She then recommended that a 'Chemo Port' be inserted to ease the infusion of the chemo. You have to purchase the device from the pharmacy though as its not provided for by the hospital.
Within days, the minor operation was conducted. The operation takes less than an hour, but you have to wait for your turn. My dad was admitted at 10am, the operation only done at 4.30pm. after the operation, Mr Tan, the surgeon told my dad that he can be discharged. Due to the incompetent ward MO who was unsure how to discharge a patient, we had to wait until 10.30pm when the specialists conduct their ward rounds. Instead of having my dad discharged, that MO chose to follow the specialists around the wards and only discharged my dad after that. Even the specialists were confused as to why my dad was still there.

After discharged, we had to go to pick up the medicine from the pharmacy ourselves. When I finally sent my dad back home, it was close to midnight. That MO has to wisen up to prioritise for 'warga emas' who has just completed surgery as compared to 'in-house' patients.

During our next visit, we got some good news. There is an option of having the chemo infusion at home, thus no more hospital stay. My dad jumped at it the moment the specialist has just completed her sentence. Seeing my dad's eagerness, I agreed to it. For this option, we have to purchase the disposable infusion pump (single use) ourselves as it's not supplied by the hospital.

The pump has no batteries or moving parts and operates by pressure. It infuses very slowly through his Chemo Port. So now the routine is on Friday to take blood sample. The following Monday from 9am - 4pm, he takes his infusion at HKL. Then they prepare his pump and attach it to the Chemo Port. After that he can go home and on Wednesday at 12pm, I send him to HKL to detach the pump. The cycle is every 2 weeks.
So far he has gone for 1 cycle of the 2nd level Chemo. Alhamdulillah, there are no severe side effects.
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