Now that mum’s Stage 4 Colon Cancer is in remission with her PET-CT scan showing resolved metabolic activity and her CEA markers consistently in normal range, there are days even I tend to forget the details of this blessed journey we have been on this year. It has really been a very epic year from being told my mum had stage 4 cancer in February when all she had was irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, to being told in March she only had 6 months to live if she didn’t do chemotherapy, to her being in remission by Jun and now even healthier than before, without having to take her high blood pressure medication she was taking for 20 years before this. ALL in the same year!
Hence, I decided I will be slowly write on our journey to capture God’s blessings every step of the way, to remind us to be thankful for everyday and also to let all of you out there who might be going through similar struggles to know that you are not alone, and you too can overcome cancer.
I will start from July 2013, when my mum started having some irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms during my wedding period. But we all just dismissed it as IBS because it is unlike our family to be very paranoid, plus mum seemed to feel better whenever she took probiotic pills and stopped taking yellow noodles full of gluten. In retrospect, my first few learnings are:
- Always doing regular health screenings AND colonoscopy. Colon cancers are slow growing and typically take 10 years to develop into cancer. A colonoscopy would be able to detect any abnormality early.
- Always listen to your body. My mum’s body was giving her signs like aches and pains that things were not right but we just dismissed it as a small issue thinking it is a normal part of ageing. Take the warning signs from our body seriously.
- Do not dismiss what your family members tell you when they tell you they are uncomfortable. Not to be paranoid either, but looking back, my mum told me a lot about her irregular stool movements and feel strangely breathless doing workout videos but I was too busy with work and life so I just told her it was probably IBS and lack of exercise. Otherwise, we might caught her cancer earlier.
On February 18, 2014, after I got back from Nepal trekking, I was working from home and by then, my mum was already constipated for 3 days. But when I heard really strange rumbling noises from my mum’s abdominal area was when I figured something was really wrong. So I informed my manager and rushed her into A&E at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The A&E doctors asked her some questions and did a lot of pressing on her abdominal area and couldn’t feel anything. They think it might just be constipation so they sent her home after Fleet laxatives.
By Feb 20, mum has been constipated for 5 days. Dad saw mum with purple lips as she was bloated and the food was probably fermenting on the inside, so dad rushed mum to the GP and rushed her into A&E again. This time, they warded her and did an Abdominal CT scan. I remember leaving my office that day praying that the scan would be normal, but I also recall the poignant feeling walking out of my office that day, saying bye to Mr A.L. at his desk, and just having an unexplainable feeling that things were not going to be the same.
On Feb 21, it was confirmed by the TTSH doctors that my mum had a 4cm tumour in the sigmoid colon causing the blockage and constipating. And from the CT scan, it looks like cancer from their experience. I was stunned and heartbroken but the doctors reassured us that it looks like the cancer is contained within the colon so she would be fine after the surgery. My mind was a swirl, but I needed to stay calm because the first priority is to deploy a temporary stent so that the blockage is temporarily relieved and she can pass motion. That would let her intestinal wall rests from the bloating so the walls are returned to their thicker state which will allow them to go for colon surgery to remove the tumour in the next few weeks.
(To be continued)
How I next found out that her colon cancer was Stage 4 and not contained in her colon was another story of God looking out for us. I will continue this story soon.. In the meantime, stay healthy!
Mum’s Stage 4 Colon Cancer Recovery Journey Series:
The complementary treatments my mum underwent to put her cancer into remission:
- Raw Diet, Vegan Diet and Juice Fast
- Electro Lymphatic Therapy (ELT)
- Colon Hydrotherapy (Colonics)
- Nefful Negative Ion Clothings from Japan
- Saline Flush, Coffee Enema, Wheatgrass Implant, Probiotic Implant
- Vitamin C High Dose IV
- Vitamin B17
- Ozone Therapy
- Insulin Potentiated Therapy (IPT)
- Exercise with Oxygen Therapy (EWOT)
- Breathing and Pilates Classes
The doctor (who lives what he preaches on 100% raw, vegan diet) who treated my mum, and health educator who transformed the way I look at a “healthy” lifestyle:
Feature Image Source: http://ilaasthana.in/