Thursday, October 29, 2009

Now.. the Lung!

So, I thought everything was going to be fine..

And it has been a very very long time since I update myself and share this with others. Not that I've been keeping up to myself, but too many things going on and.. well, let's face the ugly truth. And I don't even know where to start.. Man, do I need to start writing again!

My lungs has just got worse that now I'm in bed and haven't been on work for almost 4 months. Financially broke, emotionally not happy, and I really depend on lots of people right now which I don't like at all knowing that I've always been independent from A to Z.

It all started at school when I suddenly had my very first vertigo. I thought I had brain wreck there and I was rushed in to the hospital from school. I did make my mom and the rest of the world panic, so we checked first with brain scan. Luckily: brain was okay. So, we checked for other things as well. Colon, clear. Ovary, clear. Lungs, NOT CLEAR!
The spots on my lungs were a lot!
So, what then? 
Of course: Singapore.
And of course another trip for chemotherapy, which I hate, but I have no choice.
My poor lungs was covered with the spots that I need more oxygen. No wonder I've been catching up with my breath lately. 

So far, I've been getting 5 chemos already. Was it good? NOOOOOOOOOOOO.... I could only do 3 chemos in Singapore. I cannot afford to go there anymore. Not financially, but physically. I need to carry portable oxygen everywhere I go and I cannot have that in the plane. Actually the plane has it. I just don't like it. Hehehehehe... but apart from that, I couldn't seat straight anymore. After 3 chemos, we decided to continue the rest of the chemos here in Jakarta because of my condition using the same drug. Funny thing, my oncologist said that I should feel the difference after with just 2 chemos. Yes, I did feel the difference: not getting any better that is. I've becoming weaker and starting not to be able to do activities. WIERD! Even worse, I become more dependent on the usage of oxygen tank! What the hell is going on to me?

Now, I just did the 5th chemo here in Jakarta and we changed the whole drug. It means that the drug I used was not well received by my body, right? Does that make any sense?? My oncologist here said that we should see difference after 2 chemos, which I believe in so much. Let's change the drug and we'll see the difference. Uuuuuuh, look at me fighting! hehehehehhee... 
I took the chemo last week and ... even worse! Or maybe the result is a bit slower and I should just be patient. After all it's just been a week. But I'm weak. 
Cut things short, I came to a decision that all this crap doesn't work anymore so I want to stop the chemo. I don't know whether it's a good decision or not, or maybe even a crazy one. 

I can't even say anything anymore. 

All I've been doing is just praying for miracles.  
At this time around, never let yourself apart from God. 
God loves us so much that any simple things even complicated one is very magical. And I happen to believe that. I know that He won't let me or anybody down. 
So now, I give up.. well, not really, actually.. I never give up.. I just ask His hand and His way to show me the right way to heal. When I pray to Him and ask Him to show me the way, a part of me feels very light. I feel that some weigh was just lift up and I was happy.
Not that I'm trying to be a new preacher here.. hahahahahahaha... but believe me, I feel very calm compare than before. Not that I don't pray, but this time it is just different. I feel relief. 

Okay, enough of that.. I don't know what to write anymore.. hehehehehehe... 

Be positive
I stay positive
My family and friends are all around me
Believe in God - He does magic and everything with Him is POSSIBLE!!
Be happy - as people say.. :D

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just Checking..

After a month of feeling scared with my finger crossed whenever people ask "So, how do you feel?".. After those prayers of need of comfort, bless, and heal.. After the feeling numbness in mind while waiting for another CT Scan.. I finally received my Emmy Award. The hell..??


It's been a month since my last chemotherapy. I wasn't worry so much during the vacuum weeks until the CT Scan time. All the way from Jakarta to Singapore, I had a feeling that my cancer doesn't go anywhere (or should I say I'm at a Stagnant Stage? where the hell that term comes from..). I went to Singapore a day before my CT Scan. This time I had to beg and drag my sister to come along with me since the trauma of going to Singapore with my mom. Enough is enough! I'm not trying to bad-mouth my own mother, but the last 4 chemos I went with my mom was nothing but a painful trip. Don't ask me why, but I think it has something to do with the closeness between mother and daughter.. and we're VERY NOT CLOSE at all. It's like a Tom & Jerry show - and she should've been lucky that I didn't poison her at all. So, there I was.. beg and drag my sister to accompany me CT Scan and see the doc.

The result of my CT Scan was just like what I thought. It doesn't go anywhere and it stays the same. No improvement, but it doesn't get any worse as well.
Was it a good news?
I think so.. The doctor said it was suppose to be a good news and that I should be happy with the result. I could only sigh when I looked at my CT picture. As usual, my mind went blank and my sister was the one who do the asking and talking - and I could tell the doctor was much happier explaining to my sister than my mother.

Other thing that my onco told me to do was to keep a well-balanced diet. There's no food restriction for me. Eat whatever I want in good portion. The interesting part is that when my sister asked about eating meat. According to my onco: there's no proof that meat causes cancer. Me and my sister were like: ReaLLy??? And my sister told the doc about the article she found about this couple .. the wife had cancer and died because she didn't keep a well-balanced diet (read: she ate meat!), and her husband also had cancer but still alive because he change religion to a vegetarian. And here's an answer that made me and my sister stunned: that person died because of the lack of nutrition. Then he explained in details...

Our body needs the most nutrition we can get. Meaning, not too much of one thing, but enough of everything. There's no proof that meat causes cancer, so you can have some of that, too, once in a while. There's a reason why a cancer patient should eat with well-balanced diet. Imagine this (since I don't know how to put this in nice phrase): Cancer hates veggies and fruits, right? (Well, this is according to what people believe to fight cancer). If we control ourselves by eating veggies and fruits only and becoming a true vegan, the small and annoying cancer cells are more likely to get use to it and more likely to be healthy (because we're feeding them with only veggies). And when the cancer cells eat more of that veggies and fruits, our body will have a deficit of nutrients (note that our body needs various kinds of nutrients so that we can stay strong). Now, if the cancer cells eat our food, then we don't have the food to stay strong. More over, if we're not strong to fight this bloody cancer, we can die.. eventually. And that would be dumb if people die because of lack of nutrients.

My onco also said that a lot of times we hear, "Hey, that person also had chemo, and she died anyway. So, chemo is not that good, right?"
That depends:
What did she/he eats after the chemo?
Just fruits and veggies?

Well, good luck dying with lack of nutrients.

Unfortunately, chemo is the necessary bitch to fight cancer! That's the way my friend, Felicia, put it. And I have to agree to that term.
YES. Chemo is the necessary motha'fucka' bitch to fight cancer.
It sucks, but it works. But if when you're done with chemo and still lack of nutrients, then that settles everything: die.

And the "eating" point that my sister and I understood from the 15 minutes conversation with the onco:
Eat whatever you want and have fun, stay healthy.
Eat everything in moderation and have a balanced portion of everything.

But in my point of view, YEEEEEEHAAAAAAA...! Party on!! This is the time where we should watch and see by consuming the right food.
And what I do to myself is ...
I still drink that Starbucks Caramel Frappucino..
once every 4 months, and only if someone buys it for me.
I still eat spicy Indonesian food.. Unfortunately, spicy food does prevent cancer, believe it or not.
I still sip nice cold soda.. Never finish the whole thing. A sip or two would do just fine.
and.. ALWAYS include the greens and the colorful fruits in any meal.

As for me, I still choose to be a moderate vegan. I splurge myself with whatever I like on a month of my family birthday. Say, this month we have 3 celebrations: my birthday, Christmas, and my brother's birthday. That means I have to choose 1 day that I can eat whatever I want (and that's suppose to be my birthday, tho..).
It's much more exciting for me this way and I still live a good life..

ps: Thanks mbak DDQ and mas Ray for the company to the hospital. Love you both and you guys rock.!! God Bless You.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dug.. Dug.. Dug..

Another CT Scan to be done on Friday.. means.. another "heart-gym" for me.
What the hell is that doctor is going to tell me this time?
"Hey.. no more cancer there.. but, wait.. what the hell have been inhaling for the past 1 month!"

Tell you the truth, I'm not that excited to go. But that doesn't mean that I'm giving up in this crazy battle of cancer. If you imagine a soldier, that poor soldier with a bullet-proof jacket is standing with no excitement, holding to a pole, and ready to be shot. I know that if I'm not going, my Oliver is just going to ship my butt off to the plane.

Even today, I haven't told my so-called assistant that I'm going to be at school half-day on Thursday and off on Friday. This assistant story is actually quiet funny. He (yes, my assistant is a male) is actually quiet .. well, how do I put this in a nice word..

Well, here's to start..
He's been in my library since August. Actually, he was relocated from Elementary to Junior High for a reason they (the directors) never told me about. So, I thought, Okey.. cool.. at least he can help me get half of my job done. He's, I have to say, very obedient. Whatever I tell him to do, he'd do it and he'd ask me questions whenever he's unsure of doing things around in the library. And I never treat him like an assistant. Instead, I treat him like a friend. I'm just trying to be nice here, otherwise I'm known to be such an notorious evil human being. And it shows that he really enjoys working with me. I gave him some responsibilities, and sometimes it works just fine.
So, when I went to Singapore about a month a go for my last chemo, I asked him to be in charge of the library while I'm gone. I wrote everything that he needed to pay attention to and whatever needed to be done. I also gave him my Singapore number for emergency. When I was back in the office, everything was fine and, of course, lots of reports from him. He also told me not to leave him alone in the office too long. I don't get what he meant, but I'd say fine.
Now that he's been working with me for 3 months, I noticed that he really can't shut his mouth. He talks ALL THE TIME. There's just always things he asks me and now I know that he's anxious ALL THE TIME. I'm beginning to ask myself: what the fuck is going on with this guy?? For Christ sake, leave me alone! The more questions you ask me, the longer time I need to get this motherfucker work done!
And there are times where I can easily get pissed off of that small things, such as "can I shut down the computer?" Hell, yeah!! It's 4.30 PM and the Library is closed at 4 PM, students left already, and it's in the manual that We Close at 4 PM.
Oh My God!
Now that I know he's like that, this time I'm not telling him that I'll be leaving for Singapore on Thursday. Hahahahaha... And worse, he doesn't even know that I'm not working this Friday. HAHAHAHAHAHA....

Call me a bitch, my ears need a break from his goddamn questions..

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Saturday, October 25, 2008



That ridiculous Xeloda is gone. I felt so happy when swallowed the last pills this morning.
I have been waiting for this moment for months. Gosh..
Waiting for those pills to finish is like waiting for .. I dunno.. you tell me.

While I was on Xeloda, I have this hideous side effect. I already have sleeping problem even without the Xeloda. It is just a minor side effect, tho, but it was such a pain in the ass. Now that I was reviewing my medication intake and wrote them down while I was enjoying the Friends sitcom (with annoying background of my mom asking me questions that I don't even care), I realized that what I've been going thru for the past 8 months was the less common side effects of Xeloda.
These are what I experienced:
1. Insomnia (yeah.. even worse.. with the sleeping problem I have..)
2. Cough (HAH! double worse with the actual cough)
3. Swelling of the feet
4. Low white blood cell count (which then I had to take the Neupogen injection and nobody could do it right, except my friend Melissa and my cousin's friend, Didit)
5. Taste changes

Luckily, my appetite was still good. When everybody asked me about my appetite, they were just surprise to see me eat just anything - the whole tree if I have to. I myself am quiet surprise to see moi-meme that I have a good appetite. Except that I was just sick of eating steamed veggies. They're just so yuck..

Besides that I had good appetite, I still had my energy. Yes, baby, this crazy Stephanie just have 13 lives (4 more than a cat)!
I still have my busy schedule:
1. working full time at school's library
2. teaching piano after school and on weekends (luckily, my weekend student is a very talented and smart one. So, no harm and happy to do it)
3. working on my own association (which goes nowhere.. hahahaha..)
4. busy with another association
With all of the activities above that I do on daily basis, I still manage to be with my family - especially with my niece and nephew - and friends. Man.. I do have a busy schedule! 24 hours ain't enough for a girl like me.

But tonite.. I couldn't be any happier than to see my Xeloda is finito.
Even though I'm sick of eating veggies and fruits - please, never like them ever since I was small anyway, I am so looking forward to enter a new phase of my life. Especially the food! Yumm... All I have in mind for the past 2 weeks is this yummy salad, fresh juice.. Well, it's not that I didn't eat them at all, but I wonder why am I like this?

Hell with everything!
I'm getting my salad from The Coffee Bean tomorrow afternoon!!

To a new phase of life ...

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Over with Chemo and.. now what..?

So, about a month ago I went for my 7th chemo and CT Scan.
Surprisingly, nothing much happened with my lungs since the last chemo.. It just stays the same..
No improvement, but it's not getting worse as well..
Maybe my body just sick of chemo and it just rejects all kinds of chemical thing.. or not?
MUST BE.. Even I'm getting sick of eating healthy food. Really.
Lately I've been eating whatever food I feel like eating. From pancakes to fried rice, and ice cream to bubble drinks.
This last damn chemo.. I really had to struggle to get out of bed and make myself visible in the chemo room. Damn it was so hard. I just didn't want to do it at all. But I kept thinking: shit, if this isn't for you (Oliver), I won't do it. I would just escape from the hospital and take the very next flight to Jakarta.
Luckily, I managed to sit throughout the whole chemo session and fell asleep - and Ivan was next to me throughout the chemo. With Ivan, YES, we broke up. But it doesn't mean that we can't be friends, right? He's been my Chemo Buddy for Christ sake!
And until this minute, I still manage not so skip pills. The last 2 chemos, I didn't even care taking the pills or not. Sometimes I even did it on purpose.

And now...

Well, November 14th I will have another CT Scan. God forbid.. PLEASEEEEEEE... no more weird spreading.
As my onco said: we just wait and watch.. Dude, you scared the shit out of me.

That's exactly what I'm gonna do now.. WATCH and SEE..
Meanwhile, I'm starting to become a vegan freak again as soon as the Xeloda's finished.

I can't wait!!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

2 More To Go

So not happy with chemo.
I just arrived from Singapore last week and I'm not looking forward to do chemo anymore.

I'm experiencing bitterness on my tongue after this chemo. It just feels uncomfy. More tired and easily annoyed.. it's just different.

What I noticed as well.. Well.. it started from when Ivan, maybe, just jokingly asked for my egg so he and his wify can have a baby. Things went wrong with her egg, that's why. I was so pissed and mad, and, as usual, I never really show it to anyone - including him. I was boiling, tho, for 5 minutes, but that was it. So he thought I was really mad at him - which I did, for 5 minutes. He texted me several days after and I responded as usual but it just seemed different even though I was not mad at him anymore. To cut story short, regardless what happened between us, he was still there for me during chemo - and he got me a really nice DKNY blouse! What saddend me was that we didn't talk much at that day. I usually want him to be near me until the last boarding call in Changi. This time, I couldn't say anything much but to let him go and got in different cab. My mood was not good at all.

What more is, since I'm no mood for taking any chemo, today I completely forgot to take my chemo pills! Good work, Steph..

Count down.. 2 more chemo to go. The doc said that we should see again in 3 weeks time. So, on .. if I'm not mistake.. the 11th of Sept I'll have a CT Scan and have to drink that tasteless pee-water (according to Ivan) and see the doctor. If the CT Scan shows same result as the last CT Scan, then we'll take a break. If the result shows that the spots are fewer, then we'll go on with the chemo 2 more times. Damn it!

Last, on next chemo.. my sister better come with me instead of my mom.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Where the hell have you been?

Yes, I know it’s been awhile since I write. No news doesn’t mean a not good news, tho. In fact, I’ve been trying to enjoy my life … with my baldness.

I took a month break from chemo. Well, it’s not really a break. After 4 chemotherapies, I decided not to continue anymore. There are actually 8 chemos in all, but I just couldn’t take the side effect of it anymore. Every time after chemo, I always have this unbelievable nausea – even though it’s only just for couple days. So, after the 3rd chemo, I decided the 4th would be the last one.

I even tried to escape from the clinic when I was about to get the 4th one, but Ivan followed me around. So, how could I? Fat chance! I took it anyway, with heavy heart in me. I kept telling Ivan during chemo that that chemo would be the last one and no more after that one. Even the oncologist just had to let me go after the 4th chemo. After 3 weeks (or was that 4?), I came back to the hospital and did some check up, and my mind was set to the decision that I was not going to take chemo anymore. Maybe, in my oncologist’s term that would be giving your body a holiday. I thought, hell with it! I ain’t takin’ it anymore. So, I got out of the hospital happily with my mom and Ivan.

Of course, when I arrived home at Jakarta, I felt so good sleeping without the nausea, diarrhea, and muscle pain. But then, everyone at home was asking me why didn’t I take the chemo. I could only smile and tell them: if only you have cancer and in my position, you bitch. I knew it wasn’t a right decision. Everybody slowly kept telling me to continue with the chemo – even Oliver told me to just finish it. Crap double crap!

So, here I am now.. took the 5th chemo last week, Nausea was hell. It was the first time in my chemo life that I vomited 5 times in a day. But I’m okey now. I’ve gained some weight (please, you don’t wanna know how much I weigh now), back to work as usual, and have been busy with lots of things.

Now, let me concentrate on my new association for professional young adults in their 20s to 30s with cancer: Living with Cancer Society.


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