Thursday, November 29, 2012


Introducing(drum rolls pls...)my guest writer, Miss Fadzila AKA Kak Chik!! 
Lets hear from her, shall we...

As both of you,Abang and Adik may recall, a few entries ago your Mama had promised an entry regarding a certain someone’s prosthesis..And,in order not to mungkir her janji,ur Mama asked (or shall we say forced) me write about it myself "Better to hear from tuan punya badan” she says..(tho,I think she’s saving herself from having to think of something to write this month) 
So here I am..

Before we get to the prosthesis,I think it is only fair that I start from the beginning.. Jom rewind to 16 years ago when it all started…

My first memory of knee pains was when I was in form 5. I had a bad fall while doing long jump  and started to suffer from occasional swollen knees.The doctors at GH concluded that it was a torn ligament and physiotherapy was prescribed. However the pain and swollen knees continued to persist even as I started college in KL . Looking back now I realise that the misdiagnoses was indeed a blessing in disguise arranged by Allah SWT. You'll see why soon...keep on reading ;)

You see both my parents (Tok Su and Tok Ngah to u both) were attached with USM back then which also has one of the finest teaching hospitals in the country (HUSM). Tok Ngah had casually mentioned about my swollen knee to his colleague in HUSM who suggested to bring me to  HUSM for further investigation.Little did I know that that would be the start of my journey…

I was referred to Dr Zulmi Wan (now Professor),Orthopeadic Surgeon.To be honest first impressions weren’t that encouraging.Dr Zulmi was the most “sempoi” doctor I’ve seen (well,apart from your Abah,hehe), none of the serious no nonsense persona you’d expect from a doctor/surgeon.He came into the room with a big smile and a nearly all white full faced beard, and I was like“Seriously?!!”..hihi.
Anyway,I was wrong coz he turned out to be the best doctor anyone could ask for..Alhamdulillah.

After going thru my symptoms n medical history he suggested that I undergo a biopsy to get a clearer picture on what was actually going on coz you see by then I was unable to bend my knee properly. The biopsy showed that there was erosion on my bones which pointed to either a tumor or bone tibi (this due to a classmate having had tibi).So,Dr Zulmi prescribed tibi medication which seemed to initially have a positive effect on the swelling. However, after a few weeks the pain and swelling returned. A second biopsy was done and confirmed that it was a tumor.

It was a whirlwind of tests after that, everything happened so fast.

I can’t remember the exact day I found out but I remember the room being filled with Tok Su,Tok Ngah,your Abah (my cousin),family friends,doctors and nurses ..all waiting. Dr Zulmi entered the room,we made small chat and I asked him about my condition .He took a deep breath,looked at me sadly and slowly said “You will lose your knee..”and went on to explain what it was, how he planned to treat it etc,etc. but I only had “you will lose your knee playing over and over again in my head. As I tried to digest what he was telling me,I tried to be calm..but I couldn’t…I reached out to Tok Su and I just broke down. It was just too much to digest…I had my “moment” but then I thought to myself that crying till my eyes bled would still not change anything so I might as well face it. Thinking back now, I thank Allah for inspiring that thought in me, for making me redha with it. They suspected the tumor to be synovial sarcoma and it effected my left knee. Because of this ,Dr Zulmi planned to carry out “Limb salvage surgery” where the affected part of the limb is removed (in my case,the knee) and replaced with a metal prosthesis.It turned out that that kind of surgery was still new in Malaysia at the time and Dr Zulmi was one of the pioneers in the country. (Prior to this, amputation was the only option).See..a blessing in disguise indeed...

The treatment plan involved having 2 surgeries and followed by chemotherapy.The first to remove the affected parts and reconstruct my knee for the prosthesis whilst the 2nd was to insert the prosthesis.You might be wondering why it wasnt done all at once, well at that time the prosthesis had be to ordered from Australia and delivery took weeks. Considering the close proximity of the cancer to my blood stream, Dr Zulmi didn’t want to take any chance of waiting any longer. So the date was set on 15th April 1998 and Alhamdulillah the operation went well. It lasted for 24 hours. They removed my knee cap,18cm of my femur, 2cm of my tibia and 50% of my quadriceps. A muscle flap was taken from my back whilst a vein was taken from my right leg to replace the muscle and vein removed. Tok Su and Tok Ngah said I was unrecognizable when I came out of the OT..hehe. Wish they had taken a picture, Im really curious to know how I looked like.I spent a few days in the ICU and the high dependency ward,but Alhamdulillah I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort.I think I was highly drugged!!

I remained in the hospital for about 100 days and underwent further 4 surgeries (to insert the prosthesis and manage infection to the surgical wound).My final diagnosis was bone lymphoma based on a biopsy done on the mass that was removed. Allah had sent so many people to make my stay as easy and smooth as possible.I always had people visiting and looking after me even when Tok Su had to return to work.I can’t thank all of them enough and can only dua that Allah reward them for their deeds.I had your Mama and Abah,our relatives,Tok Su and Tok Ngahs friends who always dropped by to see how I was doing.Your Abah diligently made sure my supply of distilled water was constant and bring me roti cotek or roti sardine for breakfast while your mama would bring Abang to visit which really made my day!

What happened next some people may call it unfortunate but I would like to think of it as my “rezeki”.A few months after I was discharged my leg began to develop signs of infection.I was put on a course of antibiotics but to no avail.Dr Zulmi suggested that the only way to properly treat the infection was to have another 2 stage operation.The first to remove the prosthesis and leave in a spacer packed with antibiotics to treat the infection internally and  a second operation to reinsert the prosthesis. Me being already “traumatized” from the previous stay, refused outright!!   As my infection appeared to be localized and had not compromised my prosthesis or my overall wellbeing,both Dr Zulmi and I agreed that the corrective operation could wait.I went on to further my studies in Dublin ,started working aannndd before you knew it 14 years had passed....

Which brings me to where I am now.

The infection had progressively caused me pain over the years,but began to worsen the past 2-3 years to the point of being at times unbearable. Painkillers started to become my best friend and I started planning my life, my every move around managing the pain. So I finally agreed to have the operation. The date was set on 11/7/12 and Alhamdulillah it went smoothly with an outcome better than expected. My prosthesis was removed without any major complication whilst the infection was found to be indeed localized and was easier to remove than previously thought.Alhamdulillah, my progress has been good so far and I am now waiting to have the 2nd operation.

The past 14 years have definitely changed me for the better and I thank Allah for that.This gift from HIM has brought me closer to HIM, to be more conscious of HIM and also improved my relations with people around me, my family .I’m thankful for the strength HE has given me and for all the people that HE has sent my way whether to treat me,care for me,help me or even to remind me of HIM..I admit that I had my moments when I felt down and frustrated but Allah always sent me reminders and raised my spirits again. I realized that even when Allah tests us, HE arranges it in a manner where it suits us whether it be the timing ,place or type..and HE will send people to help you get thru it. So never despair if you are tested Adik and Abang, for Allah has something better in store for us.We may not be able to see it immediately,but just have faith and remember that Allah loves us so very much!

So Adik n Abang, now you know why Kak Chik is almost a permanent guest in our household. And she is always welcome to stay... 
( well, when K.chik is around you enjoy free meals at those fastfood outlets n Mama got to exploit Kak Chik's OKU card kan..can park near the entrance maaa... so, what not to welcome la kaannn hehehe)

Huh! Thankyou saved me!
Love you much!!!


Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

*speechless* though I kind of suspect from the 2nd paragraph, but when "Abang Long" aka Prof Zulmi came into picture it sort of confirm my suspicion.

Prof Zulmi is the kind of Surgeon I only want to meet outside his clinic and op theater, but if one has similar problem as Kak Chik, then he is the best, as well as Prof Faisham.

Thank u for sharing.

Elham said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Illa aka Kakchik is now broken-hearted over the fact that the good prof has 'migrated'. She is very fond of him and vice versa...and yes, Prof Faisham sees her now.

Looking back, it was taking care of her post operation that actually triggered my healthy eating habit and awareness and empathy for cancer survivors...So, I really must thank her too..used to make glass after glass of green apple juice for her..She's quite disciplined in taking care of her diet, avoiding red meat until now.