2015 and it’s still far from over

Although there’s so much for me to be “Thankful”, I still so far off from being able to say, “Life is back to normal”. Until now, I am still living with an ileostomy, Stoma base/bag and I still having daily discharges of pus from the anal fistula. Other than these discomforts, the fact that I am still surviving and able to eat, sleep, walk and travels are all comforting for me.

Come April 19 of this year, it would be 5 years to the day when Dr. Tay shared with me the news that I had Rectal Cancer. So much had happened during this period. I had 3 major operations, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy ¬†treatments to eliminate and destroy the cancer in me. I finally sold away my flat in Bishan and my wife and I got our new home in Buangkok. But what is sad about the past 5 years was the sudden demise of my 2nd brother, Huei San. He was diagnose with Stage 4 Stomach cancer in March 2014 and by June the same year, he had left us. His death was so quick and sudden that until today I still hadn’t gotten over it. He was only 66 years of age. It was just too early for him to go.

For the past year, other than the fact I still carrying an ileostomy with a Stoma base/bag, overall my health had been very good. I had totally regained my appetite and had regained all the weight I had lost during those days when I was losing so much of my body weight. From a low of 39.9kg, I am now back to 70kg.

But I am still not completion out of the fire. I still having this annoying Anal Fistula in my anal region that till today is just refusing to heal. Even though Dr. Tay created an ileostomy at the end of my small intestine and therefore closing my colon to prevent infection affecting the fistula, there is still no sign of healing. Day in and day out I am still discharging lots of pus from my anal opening.

Even though Dr. Tay inserted a Rubberband Seton in my anal region to aid in the draining of the pus, there are no end of pus in my body. So far, all the blood test conducted, the result had been good. But what still worries me is the fact that I still have lots of barium lingering in my colon that makes it impossible for me to have any CT scan conducted. Another concern is the fact that during my last Colonoscopy, Dr. Tay was not able to check my colon as the anal opening was block and he could not insert his scope into my colon to check the colon lining. According to Dr. Tay, the blockage was due to skin growth in the anal region.

Due to high out-patient charges incured each time during my medical appointment with Dr. Tay, he had advised me to visit a Polyclinic and request for a specialist referral letter from the doctor there to see a specialist in a government hospital regarding my medical condition. With the letter, I could then re-register at a lower class and hopefully at a cheaper rate.

Since my last appointment with Dr. Tay in December 2014, he had closed my medical reports with him. But I had yet to see the doctor at the Polyclinic for a referral letter.

Dr. Tay mentioned previously that I would need to have to go through 2 more surgeries. The first one is a major operation where he need to cut me open again from the front to clear the anal fistula, unblock the anal opening and to remove my rectum and built a new holding area using the rest of my colon. But if my colon is not long enough, he was proposing removing my colon entirely and connecting my small intestine to my anal region. (I am not looking forward to the latter option). This is one of the reason why until now I am holding back and hoping that the anal fistula will self-heal.

The second operation which will be after the first operation had healed is to do a stoma-reversal so I need not have to ever wear a stoma base/bag again. But I am also a bit fearful as it means my colon will once again be active.

I hope all or if not most of my problems can be resolve in 2015.

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