Monday, 4 March 2013

First day at Ampang Hospital

We arrived early in the morning. Taking the MEX highway from Putrajaya was a good choice. It was smooth traffic all the way until we reached the Kampung Pandan roundabout.

The hospital looks newer than Selayang Hospital, and not as large an area. Navigating was easy, but crowded as expected. We arrived before 8am. After registration, taking of blood, and waiting for results, we were called in to see Dr Chang at 10+am.

He explained the nature of AML to us, as well as the treatment and side effects. Min Ser will have to do 3-4 cycles of chemo. Each cycle will consist of one week of treatment and 2 weeks in hospital. If all goes well, he will be able to go home for a week. The cycle will then start again. The highest risk of infection is during the 2nd and 3rd week during the first cycle. He will have no immunity left. Even his mucous lining will break down, and that's when mouth and throat ulcers will occur, along with lost of appetite and vomiting.

Moving forward, if he responds well to chemo and is in remission (no more cancer cells). A bone marrow transplant may most likely need to be undertaken. Best case scenario would be a complete sibling match. There is a 25% chance of a complete match and 50% chance of a half match. Min Ser has one younger sister. A chance of a match from an unrelated donor is also an option with registries from Taiwan and China. From these registries, there is a 1 out of 2 chance of finding a match.

Understanding what's involved is important as it helps us make informed decisions. We have heard much about what to expect, but I'm sure nothing will prepare us for the reality of it. That being said, we came in to the hospital today decided on seeking treatment. When Dr Chang asked Min Ser if he wants to be warded today. The answer was yes.

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