Cancer support group

matrix05

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My only consolation was this. That he did not ever had to be in stage 4 / Chemo pain. I was too hopeful and optimistic in getting him cured and therefore the other outcome happened which I was not prepared for it. :(

You suspect the pte dr may be motivated by money to operate, instead of chemo?
 

PippingCafe

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Seeing my dad go through chemo and subsequently me having diagnosed with cancer, i specifically told my oncologist that I would not go through it. Immunotherapy treatment was available to me and far less toxic and painful.

But that's my personal decision. Rather spend my remaining days feeling as humanly possible than go through the torture.
Jiayou bro

Care to share how chemo was painful?
 

Meemoosaa

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TS - One of the things you can do about it is to start planning for a proper health insurance plan. Preferably a private one or as they say ISP (Integrated shield plan). You probably can't change most things, especially hereditary illness. It takes a long time for anyone to change their lifestyle too and it won't happen overnight. But the one immediate thing you can do is to make plans for your health insurance.

Private care may not necessarily be the best care for every ailment but what it can offer you is speed and cutting to the front of the queue for peace of mind so that you can return to normality and continue with your livelihood. Our public healthcare is pretty awesome in its own way but there is a queue of course. As resources and manpower are limited in public healthcare, that means they cannot throw you the whole kitchen of available facilities. Everything needs to be done step by step according to queue and urgency = long stretch of time waiting for your turn. It's fine if your ailment is not life and death or if you are a retiree and can hang around to wait. It's an entirely different situation if you are the breadwinner or have to earn your keep to stay alive.

My experience with private healthcare means they can offer you everything possible available to you as long as you can foot the bill and for regular people that can only mean private insurance coverage. Private healthcare operates as individual practices. Most of the surgeons/doctors are their own boss, have their own practice and clinics and they have no higher up management to report so they can offer speedy and direct treatment plans in any way they see best fit for you without going through the bureaucracy of a public hospital group. The hospital only provides them the facilities but does not interfere with the way they prescribe treatment. For e.g. a PET scan can easily cost up to $5K or more.. this is hardly ever offered at a public hospital until it's deemed very urgent but it can be offered at any point if you are in private as long as you can foot the bill. You can debate the definition of urgent until the cows come home... . as what's urgent for you isn't necessarily what's urgent for the public healthcare.

That's the main difference between private and public healthcare. There are certain procedures that I use the public healthcare system for and then there are the urgent ones that I use the private ones.

Disclaimer: I'm not an insurance agent
 
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NextDoorAuntie

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Liver cancer.

Some regrets always come to my mind. Did I kill him by bringing him to private.
My condolences. Hope you don’t blame yourself. I feel that when one’s time is up, nothing can stop one from leaving.

My dad had been living a healthy life all along. Ate lots of fruits and veggies, exercises 3 times a week, no smoking or drinking. When he was in his 50s, suddenly experienced weight loss and seemed to be a little “blur”. Cannot rem things. Went for checkup found tumour in brain. Successful surgery to remove but thereafter, realised it was actually cancer from the lungs spread to rest of body leading to brain tumour. Late stage already. We also try desperately to cure. But ultimately can’t do anything about it. He left us within a year after initial diagnosis.

I think it’s one’s destiny as to the things that happen to oneself. Life and death is sometimes beyond our control.
 

edmwftw

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Well, once a JiuBu Bu speaks in Chinese, ish also cancerous.
 

JangoUnchained

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Tq fr sharing... If operate and remove the cells would it be able to avoid chemo? Haf a family member and a fren recently diagnosed with colon cancer. One stage 2a one stage 3...
in my case, chemotherapy and radiotherapy resulted in 100% complete recovery for me. it means they could not detect any more cancer after my treatments. I still proceeded with surgery as a 'precaution'. so I wouldn't have skipped chemo. After I did surgery I even did 2 more rounds of chemo to further kill off any more cancer if it was lingering in my bloodstream.
the alternative for me was to do surgery (before chemo) but since the tumour was big... the risk was that the surgery if not done 'cleanly' would mean it would have a useless surgery. I talked to 2 other successful recoveries (both were stage 3 colorectal cancer) and they went through the same route as me.
 

JangoUnchained

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TS - One of the things you can do about it is to start planning for a proper health insurance plan. Preferably a private one or as they say ISP (Integrated shield plan). You probably can't change most things, especially hereditary illness. It takes a long time for anyone to change their lifestyle too and it won't happen overnight. But the one immediate thing you can do is to make plans for your health insurance.

Private care may not necessarily be the best care for every ailment but what it can offer you is speed and cutting to the front of the queue for peace of mind so that you can return to normality and continue with your livelihood. Our public healthcare is pretty awesome in its own way but there is a queue of course. As resources and manpower are limited in public healthcare, that means they cannot throw you the whole kitchen of available facilities. Everything needs to be done step by step according to queue and urgency = long stretch of time waiting for your turn. It's fine if your ailment is not life and death or if you are a retiree and can hang around to wait. It's an entirely different situation if you are the breadwinner or have to earn your keep to stay alive.

My experience with private healthcare means they can offer you everything possible available to you as long as you can foot the bill and for regular people that can only mean private insurance coverage. Private healthcare operates as individual practices. Most of the surgeons/doctors are their own boss, have their own practice and clinics and they have no higher up management to report so they can offer speedy and direct treatment plans in any way they see best fit for you without going through the bureaucracy of a public hospital group. The hospital only provides them the facilities but does not interfere with the way they prescribe treatment. For e.g. a PET scan can easily cost up to $5K or more.. this is hardly ever offered at a public hospital until it's deemed very urgent but it can be offered at any point if you are in private as long as you can foot the bill. You can debate the definition of urgent until the cows come home... . as what's urgent for you isn't necessarily what's urgent for the public healthcare.

That's the main difference between private and public healthcare. There are certain procedures that I use the public healthcare system for and then there are the urgent ones that I use the private ones.

Disclaimer: I'm not an insurance agent
100% agree with this. insurance saved me.
 

jen1512

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in my case, chemotherapy and radiotherapy resulted in 100% complete recovery for me. it means they could not detect any more cancer after my treatments. I still proceeded with surgery as a 'precaution'. so I wouldn't have skipped chemo. After I did surgery I even did 2 more rounds of chemo to further kill off any more cancer if it was lingering in my bloodstream.
the alternative for me was to do surgery (before chemo) but since the tumour was big... the risk was that the surgery if not done 'cleanly' would mean it would have a useless surgery. I talked to 2 other successful recoveries (both were stage 3 colorectal cancer) and they went through the same route as me.
Strangely my fam was nt offered chemo or radio... It was just op. Waiting for a slot for op...
 

smellyfish

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in my case, chemotherapy and radiotherapy resulted in 100% complete recovery for me. it means they could not detect any more cancer after my treatments. I still proceeded with surgery as a 'precaution'. so I wouldn't have skipped chemo. After I did surgery I even did 2 more rounds of chemo to further kill off any more cancer if it was lingering in my bloodstream.
the alternative for me was to do surgery (before chemo) but since the tumour was big... the risk was that the surgery if not done 'cleanly' would mean it would have a useless surgery. I talked to 2 other successful recoveries (both were stage 3 colorectal cancer) and they went through the same route as me.

Always seek a second or third opinion for life threatening diseases.

When a close relative had bile duct cancer a few years ago, the doctor at one public hospital suggested chemotherapy to ease the pain. He was already in his 80s.

So we asked an oncologist friend of ours to recommend an oncologist for us for another opinion. The second oncologist spoke to my relative for three hours to find out what were his last wishes and reviewed his medical history again. In the end, he suggested palliative care.

Long story short, the cancer did not kill my relative, a stroke did. We believe he would not survive the chemotherapy.
in my case, chemotherapy and radiotherapy resulted in 100% complete recovery for me. it means they could not detect any more cancer after my treatments. I still proceeded with surgery as a 'precaution'. so I wouldn't have skipped chemo. After I did surgery I even did 2 more rounds of chemo to further kill off any more cancer if it was lingering in my bloodstream.
the alternative for me was to do surgery (before chemo) but since the tumour was big... the risk was that the surgery if not done 'cleanly' would mean it would have a useless surgery. I talked to 2 other successful recoveries (both were stage 3 colorectal cancer) and they went through the same route as me.
The surgery is to remove a part of your colon? What else did they remove? Any long term effect you have to put up with? For my dad’s case the surgery option is to remove pancreas, spleen, part of stomach, intestine, gallbladder dunno what else . I suspect will be left with many long term effects.
 

JangoUnchained

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The surgery is to remove a part of your colon? What else did they remove? Any long term effect you have to put up with? For my dad’s case the surgery option is to remove pancreas, spleen, part of stomach, intestine, gallbladder dunno what else . I suspect will be left with many long term effects.
the surgery was to remove almost my entire rectum. to be specific my tumour was at my rectum (colorectal surgery means it could be anywhere from colon to anus).
after removing my rectum I had to wear a stoma bag for many months before they did another surgery to remove my stoma bag and did a reversal surgery.
yes I had to suffer a lot especially right after my 2 surgeries and even now I am adapting. but I consider all worth it as I am now free of cancer for 1+ year.
 

RadEoNic

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Liver cancer.

Some regrets always come to my mind. Did I kill him by bringing him to private.
u did what u can at that point of time

my father’s cancer was detected when I went home to find him sitting in a pool of his own blood.

he insisted that it was just his piles and just wanted to wash it off and go back to his iPad but I insisted in bring him to A&E immediately.

if I did not do that, he would probably have died of cancer as it would not be able to be detected any other way

life is difficult as it is. Just do what we can at the point when we encounter it and try not to blame yourself
 

JangoUnchained

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Jiayou bro

Care to share how chemo was painful?
I have a different opinion on this. if you are young... (say below 50), chemo should be bearable. I still manage to go to work and look after my kids while doing my months of chemo (there are some super bad days you just want to sleep and sleep).
I have no negative health issues due to chemo. I see it as as the lesser of evils (chemo effects vs my cancer cells increasing).
 

xojexx1

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I was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal (nose) cancer (Stage 3) in February 2020. I am in my mid-40s; I am a husband and a father (to a three-year-old toddler).

It was my wife who asked me to see a doctor when she observed an unnatural lump (protruding) on the left side of my face (just below my ear) back in early December 2019. On my first consultation, the doctor at the polyclinic gave me antibiotics -- enough for three weeks -- as she thought it might have been an infection; it didn't subside. My following consultation was much shorter because the doctor (different from the first) hastily wrote a letter, referring me to TTSH (ear, nose and throat department) for a biopsy.

On my first visit to TTSH, the specialist first did a scope through both my nostrils and down to the top of my throat. He took some photos, collected some tissues and didn't really say much to me. The nurse told me that the results would be out within a few days and would call me before my next appointment. Becoming a little worried, I called the ENT department. The woman on the phone told me that they would try to bring forward my appointment if there were cancellations and insisted that it would be better for the doctor to explain to me in person during my consultation. This was just before Chinese New Year 2020. In the end, they managed to squeeze a time for me on the third day of CNY.

So CNY came and while I celebrated, I could never dismiss the concern about the results at the back of my head.

I vividly remember how my world just came to a screeching halt when the doctor broke the news to me. The nurse was on standby, the box of tissue paper was within her reach. I didn't quite understand or liked the way the doctor was explaining to me about the diagnosis and answering the many questions I had. His attitude was cold or even robotic / mechanical. As I slowly allowed the news to sink in, it just felt like I wouldn't have much time left in the world now to say my goodbyes to my then two-year-old son, wife and my parents.

My wife bawled when I told her the news (actually she kinda suspected it was bad news when I texted her that I was on my way home without sharing what the results were). Her mother passed away before we got to know each other because of a rare blood cancer and now, her husband is diganosed with nasopharyngeal (nose) cancer. My son, not knowing what was going on but could read the emotions and expressions of the two adults in his life, cried too.

My treatment -- a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy (cisplatin) -- lasted eight weeks.

From the radiation therapy (five times a week), the skin around my neck and torso would peel from being burnt. On the inside, the radiation would not just kill the cancerous cells but take my saliva glands and taste buds with them (saltiness first, then sour and the last one to "leave" was sweet) . My sense of taste did return slowly (in the opposite order) within six months post-treatment. My oncologist did manage my expectations by explaining that I would have to live with a dry mouth (from the lack of saliva) for the rest of my life. And later in my life, I have to be put on some drugs because my thyroid was damaged and it would slowly stop secreting a certain hormone (forgot what the actual name is).

Because everything lost its taste, I couldn't quite eat (used to have a big appetite before treatment). Everything had no taste. I could see a bowl of bak chor mee in front of me but nothing in it -- the noodles, fishball, pork lard, vinegar or even sauces -- had taste. My weight dropped from 78kg to 62kg (by the end of my eight weeks). I survived mainly on those packets of nutritional milk. The hair at the base of my neck were mostly gone too.

For the chemotherapy (once a week), the drug (cisplatin) targets self-replicating cells. This not only includes the cancerous cells, but my immune system (white blood cells) and sperm. After every chemo session, I would feel nauseated and perpetually tired.

Again, tanks to my wife, I bought my medical insurance (AVIVA) when we first got together. This saved me because the cost of treatment (and subsequent tests and follow-ups) was about S$40,000. It gave me access to treatment at a private hospital.

It's been a year after the end of my treatment. I've been clear so far (in remission) based on the once-every-two-months checks by either my ENT specialist or my radiation specialist. My first annual full-body check (MRI and PET scan) is coming this July.

Sorry for this wall-of-text. Just wanted to share my experience and ordeal (which I wouldn't wish even on my worst enemy). Feel free to AMA too.
 

dilphinus

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I was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal (nose) cancer (Stage 3) in February 2020. I am in my mid-40s; I am a husband and a father (to a three-year-old toddler).

It was my wife who asked me to see a doctor when she observed an unnatural lump (protruding) on the left side of my face (just below my ear) back in early December 2019. On my first consultation, the doctor at the polyclinic gave me antibiotics -- enough for three weeks -- as she thought it might have been an infection; it didn't subside. My following consultation was much shorter because the doctor (different from the first) hastily wrote a letter, referring me to TTSH (ear, nose and throat department) for a biopsy.

On my first visit to TTSH, the specialist first did a scope through both my nostrils and down to the top of my throat. He took some photos, collected some tissues and didn't really say much to me. The nurse told me that the results would be out within a few days and would call me before my next appointment. Becoming a little worried, I called the ENT department. The woman on the phone told me that they would try to bring forward my appointment if there were cancellations and insisted that it would be better for the doctor to explain to me in person during my consultation. This was just before Chinese New Year 2020. In the end, they managed to squeeze a time for me on the third day of CNY.

So CNY came and while I celebrated, I could never dismiss the concern about the results at the back of my head.

I vividly remember how my world just came to a screeching halt when the doctor broke the news to me. The nurse was on standby, the box of tissue paper was within her reach. I didn't quite understand or liked the way the doctor was explaining to me about the diagnosis and answering the many questions I had. His attitude was cold or even robotic / mechanical. As I slowly allowed the news to sink in, it just felt like I wouldn't have much time left in the world now to say my goodbyes to my then two-year-old son, wife and my parents.

My wife bawled when I told her the news (actually she kinda suspected it was bad news when I texted her that I was on my way home without sharing what the results were). Her mother passed away before we got to know each other because of a rare blood cancer and now, her husband is diganosed with nasopharyngeal (nose) cancer. My son, not knowing what was going on but could read the emotions and expressions of the two adults in his life, cried too.

My treatment -- a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy (cisplatin) -- lasted eight weeks.

From the radiation therapy (five times a week), the skin around my neck and torso would peel from being burnt. On the inside, the radiation would not just kill the cancerous cells but take my saliva glands and taste buds with them (saltiness first, then sour and the last one to "leave" was sweet) . My sense of taste did return slowly (in the opposite order) within six months post-treatment. My oncologist did manage my expectations by explaining that I would have to live with a dry mouth (from the lack of saliva) for the rest of my life. And later in my life, I have to be put on some drugs because my thyroid was damaged and it would slowly stop secreting a certain hormone (forgot what the actual name is).

Because everything lost its taste, I couldn't quite eat (used to have a big appetite before treatment). Everything had no taste. I could see a bowl of bak chor mee in front of me but nothing in it -- the noodles, fishball, pork lard, vinegar or even sauces -- had taste. My weight dropped from 78kg to 62kg (by the end of my eight weeks). I survived mainly on those packets of nutritional milk. The hair at the base of my neck were mostly gone too.

For the chemotherapy (once a week), the drug (cisplatin) targets self-replicating cells. This not only includes the cancerous cells, but my immune system (white blood cells) and sperm. After every chemo session, I would feel nauseated and perpetually tired.

Again, tanks to my wife, I bought my medical insurance (AVIVA) when we first got together. This saved me because the cost of treatment (and subsequent tests and follow-ups) was about S$40,000. It gave me access to treatment at a private hospital.

It's been a year after the end of my treatment. I've been clear so far (in remission) based on the once-every-two-months checks by either my ENT specialist or my radiation specialist. My first annual full-body check (MRI and PET scan) is coming this July.

Sorry for this wall-of-text. Just wanted to share my experience and ordeal (which I wouldn't wish even on my worst enemy). Feel free to AMA too.
Don't forget your regular dental check-ups tol. My friend survived nose cancer and had 'no feelings' in her mouth. So when her teeth started to decay or had issues, she wasn't aware. It was pretty bad when she finally went to a dentist.
 

LaMeRzUnItEd

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Jiayou bro

Care to share how chemo was painful?
Sorry i have to clarify i didnt personally go through chemo but my dad did. It was the experimental drugs about 17 years ago and he didn't take it too well. Constantly vomitting, weak, nauseating all the time. It was not something i wish to put up with even though oncologist say that chemo treatment has advanced these days

My immunotherapy treatment was essentially painless and non invasive. 30 mins of IV, sitting there watching videos, and maybe sleeping abit. After that i was still well enough to drive home and continue working. The only side effects i had from immunotherapy were joint pains (elbows n knees).
 

FinchGuy

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I was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal (nose) cancer (Stage 3) in February 2020. I am in my mid-40s; I am a husband and a father (to a three-year-old toddler).

It was my wife who asked me to see a doctor when she observed an unnatural lump (protruding) on the left side of my face (just below my ear) back in early December 2019. On my first consultation, the doctor at the polyclinic gave me antibiotics -- enough for three weeks -- as she thought it might have been an infection; it didn't subside. My following consultation was much shorter because the doctor (different from the first) hastily wrote a letter, referring me to TTSH (ear, nose and throat department) for a biopsy.

On my first visit to TTSH, the specialist first did a scope through both my nostrils and down to the top of my throat. He took some photos, collected some tissues and didn't really say much to me. The nurse told me that the results would be out within a few days and would call me before my next appointment. Becoming a little worried, I called the ENT department. The woman on the phone told me that they would try to bring forward my appointment if there were cancellations and insisted that it would be better for the doctor to explain to me in person during my consultation. This was just before Chinese New Year 2020. In the end, they managed to squeeze a time for me on the third day of CNY.

So CNY came and while I celebrated, I could never dismiss the concern about the results at the back of my head.

I vividly remember how my world just came to a screeching halt when the doctor broke the news to me. The nurse was on standby, the box of tissue paper was within her reach. I didn't quite understand or liked the way the doctor was explaining to me about the diagnosis and answering the many questions I had. His attitude was cold or even robotic / mechanical. As I slowly allowed the news to sink in, it just felt like I wouldn't have much time left in the world now to say my goodbyes to my then two-year-old son, wife and my parents.

My wife bawled when I told her the news (actually she kinda suspected it was bad news when I texted her that I was on my way home without sharing what the results were). Her mother passed away before we got to know each other because of a rare blood cancer and now, her husband is diganosed with nasopharyngeal (nose) cancer. My son, not knowing what was going on but could read the emotions and expressions of the two adults in his life, cried too.

My treatment -- a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy (cisplatin) -- lasted eight weeks.

From the radiation therapy (five times a week), the skin around my neck and torso would peel from being burnt. On the inside, the radiation would not just kill the cancerous cells but take my saliva glands and taste buds with them (saltiness first, then sour and the last one to "leave" was sweet) . My sense of taste did return slowly (in the opposite order) within six months post-treatment. My oncologist did manage my expectations by explaining that I would have to live with a dry mouth (from the lack of saliva) for the rest of my life. And later in my life, I have to be put on some drugs because my thyroid was damaged and it would slowly stop secreting a certain hormone (forgot what the actual name is).

Because everything lost its taste, I couldn't quite eat (used to have a big appetite before treatment). Everything had no taste. I could see a bowl of bak chor mee in front of me but nothing in it -- the noodles, fishball, pork lard, vinegar or even sauces -- had taste. My weight dropped from 78kg to 62kg (by the end of my eight weeks). I survived mainly on those packets of nutritional milk. The hair at the base of my neck were mostly gone too.

For the chemotherapy (once a week), the drug (cisplatin) targets self-replicating cells. This not only includes the cancerous cells, but my immune system (white blood cells) and sperm. After every chemo session, I would feel nauseated and perpetually tired.

Again, tanks to my wife, I bought my medical insurance (AVIVA) when we first got together. This saved me because the cost of treatment (and subsequent tests and follow-ups) was about S$40,000. It gave me access to treatment at a private hospital.

It's been a year after the end of my treatment. I've been clear so far (in remission) based on the once-every-two-months checks by either my ENT specialist or my radiation specialist. My first annual full-body check (MRI and PET scan) is coming this July.

Sorry for this wall-of-text. Just wanted to share my experience and ordeal (which I wouldn't wish even on my worst enemy). Feel free to AMA too.
You may want to join this support group: https://www.healthxchange.sg/forums/support-groups/nose-cancer/Pages/nose-cancer-support.aspx
 

BernardWYF

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Cancer is really a deadly and painful illness. A torture and costly thing that will make the entire family suffer.

Hope science and medicine has a cure for it as its effect to the patient and their loved ones are worse worse than COVID19 virus
 
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