The story of surviving lung cancer
Maimon had lung nodules. “It began when I had a cough that prolonged for three months,” Maimon says. She also lost a lot of weight as her appetite dropped tremendously. Her friends and family were worried about her health condition.
“My face and my feet was swollen. After being persuaded by my daughter and my son-in-law, I finally caved and went to see a doctor at the Hospital Canselor Tengku Muhriz UKM (HCTM). To our surprise, they found a pair or nodules via x-ray,” she recalls.
“It was worrying for all of us,” she says. After a biopsy, it was found that she was at stage 1 lung cancer. After a CT scan and a bronchoscopy, the doctor found out that her cancer has not gone beyond anywhere else and she was arranged for a surgery.
Headstrong, Maimon was ready to face the upcoming ordeal to get better with the support of her family members.
“I had faith in God, and I have faith that I could get better if I take my medicine. When they inserted a tube to drain my lungs, I didn’t feel anything at all.” The doctors then removed the affected part surgically.
Her surgery went by swimmingly and she has been recovering. “I listened to the doctor’s advice and went through the recovery process smoothly,” she says. After the surgery, Maimon came back for her follow ups diligently and now feels better than ever before.
Support from family and friends
Fortunately, Maimon doesn’t need to undergo the chemotherapy treatment. Nevertheless, she claims that her friends and family supported her throughout the journey.
“My daughter brought me all the way from Melaka to accompany me with my treatment and surgery. My family and friends gave me words of encouragement and their support gave me the strength I had to undergo the surgery,” she claims.
She is also thankful to be taken care by dedicated doctors. “I believed in the doctors. I had faith in them, knowing what they do and the decisions they made for me in their care. I felt like I was in safe hands and I was really glad that I came here for my treatment,” she says.
Needless to say, Maimon found comfort in facing her lung cancer through her families and friends. — The Health
Her coughing saved her lifeShortness of breath, prolonged cough and fluid in the chest are the symptoms of lung cancer
After Shahizah Himdan an x-ray indicated that she suffers from pleural effusion, the doctors had to drain her lungs with a tube. She stayed in the HCTM ward for three weeks. The doctors then confirmed the worst. She was at stage four lung cancer.
Besides her cancer, Shahizah also has chronic kidney disease (CKD). “I was doing my dialysis when I was taken to the HCTM for my shortness of breath. The x-ray shows that my lungs were filled with water and they had to drain them with tubes,” she says. “I had a cough that felt very dry and I was rushed in an ambulance to KCTM twice from shortness of breath.”
Shahizah was detained in a ward for three weeks for further inspection. During that time, she was examined for other symptoms to identify her sickness. “The doctor said they were going to put a camera between my lungs and take the tissues out,” she tells The Health. “It was a big tube so I was really scared,” she says, chuckling.
The doctors performed a procedure called pleurodesis. The procedure uses medicine to adhere the lung to the chest wall. It seals up the space between the outer linings to prevent liquid from leaking back into the lungs. “They did the procedure twice. I didn’t feel anything the first time but the second time was really painful,” she says.
According to her doctor, Shahizah’s cancer can be suppressed by medicines. No surgery or chemo therapy was required. “It was truly a humbling moment for me. I am really grateful to have supportive family members and friends. They were my support system during my hard time and I thank Allah that they were with me,” she says.
Lung cancer is not only for smokers
While smoking is the main cause, there are other factors that may increase the risk of lung cancer. Shahizah did not consider herself a risk of lung cancer. “None of my family members are smoking and I was never exposed to second-hand smoking. I never thought that I would get lung cancer,” she says.
“My advice to other cancer patients would be to be strong. We can get through this and pray to god so He may ease our battle. For those who has family members suffering from cancer, pray for them. Be their support system. If you have a prolonged cough, insist on an x-ray – even if you are not at risk. You will never know,” she says to The Health. — The Health