Posted in cancer, Chemotherapy

My Math Teacher

Never hated my Math teacher,

Though I cursed the subject,

She had a beautiful handwriting,

Her steps were so clear and legible.

Had no real personal life for herself,

As some heartless left her all alone,

Have never seen such a sad soul,

Who put her heart in teaching.

Decades passed but my heart broke,

When I saw her name in obituary,

Didn’t cry but with a heavy heart,

Enquired why she left so early,

Felt so bad she refused chemo,

As she may felt to end the pain!

Kavitha Patchamalai

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Posted in cancer, Chemotherapy

The Wall

The faded wall spoke stories,
Of Math, cartoon scribblings,
And a computer picture,
Must have been a small kid!

Painful time in the cancer ward,
Hurt me as how the tiny one,
Suffered in the grip of the disease,
As even adults would grow weak.

Didn’t have the guts to enquire,
About her and her existence,
But the stories on the wall flash,
On my inner mind and haunt me!

Kavitha Patchamalai

Posted in cancer, chemotheraphy & immunotheraphy, reality

Before and After Chemo with Immunotherapy

Six months back, the patient X had a heart attack and was taken to a private hospital with the hb count as low as 5.4 g/dL. He was given 2 units of blood in ER. After all the tests proved persistent low hb, he was tested for Multiple Myeloma. The bone marrow biopsy and blood tests came positive and Dr. Varadarajan insisted on treating him immediately.

This Doctor is the most humane and transparent Doctor who goes with the facts and blood results and makes no fuss about the disease. His expertise comes with experience. In his late sixties, he is the most wanted Doctor who treats blood related disorders. The following image shows the m-spike that indicates the deadly disease.

The family and the patient’s cooperation was much needed. During the first chemo, the patient acquired severe Pneumonia and was treated with heavy antibiotics. It was a hard time for the patient who lost hope due to severe body pain and distress including anxiety and depression. After the second chemotherapy, the test results showed promising results as his body was responding to the chemo and immunotherapy, the hb rose to a considerable count.

While undergoing chemotherapy, the WBC count goes too low in turn makes the patient vulnerable to any infection that becomes uncontrollable and severe. The patient X, after 3rd chemo got dehydrated due to dysentery as his immunity was compromised.

Chemotherapy is not dangerous but the side effects are indeed fatal if not treated immediately. Based on the schedule, the patient completed six cycles of chemotherapy along with the immunotherapy. His hb is 13.6 g/dL. The following image shows the monoclonal peak missing.

The attendees or the family that takes care of the patient must be very vigilant and careful in providing food that is hot and fresh. The patient will experience mood swings and drive others crazy. The family must be in a position to tolerate the unexpected. It’s a very costly disease. One should be ready to burn their purse as each cycle would minimum cost a lakh. No money, no life. The modern medicines are amazing and I don’t think all could afford the treatment as money is not only the requirement but care taking and love is most needed.

  • please bear with my non medical language as I am not a doctor.

Kavitha Patchamalai

Posted in blogging, cancer

All whisper the word, “cancer” !

People pity and whisper the word cancer as it is truly deadly and scary. A common man cannot afford to get treated at a private hospital as the medicines are costly along with the room rent, investigation and other charges. On the other hand, the government hospitals slow the process.

You have to find a private doctor, a genuine soul who treats the patient with concern. One such doctor will give you strength to fight back but not the one who scares the patient to death.

Posted in cancer, Chemotherapy, Daily Prompt, Plasma cell Myeloma, The Daily Post

Pneumonia Immediately After Chemotherapy

Pneumonia immediately after chemotherapy, is too severe for a cancer patient. With the highly compromised immune system, the bacteria or virus takes control and infects the patient with severe symptoms of the disease. Till the blood tests confirm the type of bacteria or virus, the patient is treated with pain killers and heavy antibiotics.

Pneumonia  Chest X-Ray
Pnuemonia, Chest infection
img-20180603-wa00032546117671025872002.jpg
X-Ray shows slow recovery after treating with antibiotics

Severity of Fever and Cough

The patient will run high temperature as 103 °F with unbearable body pain. The cough will be too severe that you can find traces of blood in the sputum. Unless treated immediately, it will be fatal. The mental condition becomes worse as the patient starts hallucinating and moaning in pain. Even the strongest will start crying over the unbearable pain and discomfort.

Recovery

Most of the nurses enquire whether the patient has urinated if the fever does not subside. Once the patient flushes out the bacteria through urine, the fever breaks. That is the most miserable moment for the patient who lays helpless on the bed having mixed emotions about the disease and death.

Slow and Steady

The doctor will immediately stop the chemotherapy and put the patient on antibiotics and immunotherapy. The team will monitor the patient for any adverse effects through repeated blood tests and chest x-ray. It may take atleast ten days to recover and be ready for the next chemo dose.

Food and Cleanliness

You must be very careful with the food you cook for the patient. Any food that is boiled or steamed for atleast twenty minutes is advisable to avoid infection. Even fruits should be soaked and washed in hot water.

Love and Care

Not only the immune system is weak but also the self is broken and miserable. You must ensure that the patient is treated with love and utmost care since they feel insecured and behave like a child.

Posted in bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, cancer, Daily Prompt, The Daily Post

Will Chemotheraphy Kill Cancer Cells or You !

Even very low dose of Chemotherapy is so toxic that it starts killing the fast-growing cancer cells as well as the good cells, thereby reducing the immunity to fight against infection. Once the White Blood Corpuscle (WBC) count goes down, out of the blue, the patient gets infected with Pneumonia and runs high temperature as 103°F. This fever with sever cough may become fatal unless treated with heavy antibiotics. The symptoms include:

  • Throat pain
  • Chest pain due to sever cough
  • High Fever
  • Body Pain
  • Blood in sputum

The patient becomes so helpless and starts hallucinating. It becomes a nightmare for the family members till the fever breaks as soon as the patient flushes out the virus through urine.

You may wonder how the patient got infected inspite of taking safety measures such as:

  • Bathing regularly
  • Sanitizing hands frequently
  • Eating food that is boiled for minimum 20 minutes
  • Using mouth wash
  • Staying away from infected people
  • Avoiding injuries

A common man might not be aware that viruses exist within the body in dormant condition. Those viruses reactive due to low immunity and starts infecting the weak body.

Even though the fever breaks down, the patient will have to take a chest X-ray and sputum test to confirm the type of virus to be treated. Mostly Pneumonia affects the compromised immunity.

If the cancer patient is infected, the patient will be too vulnerable to undergo Chemotherapy till there is a complete recovery. So there will be a delay in the chemo cycle.

via Daily Prompt: Infect

Posted in cancer, Daily Prompt, The Daily Post

Low Hemoglobin Count and Heart Failure

When you show symptoms of coronary heart disease, followed by electrocardiogram (ECG) test, you will be suggested for a coronary angiogram.

Once the blood results confirm low Hemoglobin (Hb), the Doctors try to find the underlying condition. It becomes impossible to treat coronary heart disease as it may lead to blood loss risking the patient’s life. Most of us think it is the fatty deposits or blocks in the coronary arteries that cause a heart attack. Nope!

We are ignorant of the fact that persistent reduction in Hb in blood also may lead to heart failure.

The key factors for a reduction in Hb may be any one of the factors but not limited to the list: