Wednesday, May 05, 2010

May 6 - looking back

This is my last day in Fuda.  I've been here 25 days.  When I arrived, I honestly did not know what to expect.  I was going to a place I've never been where they primarily speak a language I don't understand.  Then I was submitting myself to a treatment protcol I vaguely grasped.  Yes, there was a lot of faith involved.  Now, I believe that faith was well placed.
Overall, I liked their service.  Everyone really tries to make you comfortable especially the doctors and nurses.  They treat you like family.  If you're looking for something other than chemo and radiation, I highly recommend Fuda Hospital
I'm also grateful for the other patients I've met.  More stories of hope and survival. 
Marla - breast cancer - now undergoing local chemotherapy.  Trying different things with a big smile on her face.
Mecca - breast cancer - underwent mamectomy.  Now undergoing local chemo.   Such faith and determination on her face when she talks of surviving for her kids.
Tess - lung cancer - cryosurgery (plus other modalities) - brought here by her daughter, Rowie, who wants only the best for her mom.  Tess is restless to get back out there and live her life to the fullest.
Lolit - ovarian cancer - Despite 2 difficult years of systemic chemo, she still fights on.  She has her husband with her who supports her in every way.
Mabeth - tongue cancer - chemotherapy.  4th out of 6 cycles.  So grateful to have found Fuda for she would have otherwise lost her tongue long ago.
I pray and wish complete healing for all of them and all the patients.
Am I cured?  I don't know.  I have to wait for the PET scan result.  It's scheduled for May 29 in VA.  I'm sending results back to Fuda and the next step will be decided depending on the results of the scan.
What I do believe is that my spirit is strong and well.  It's just taking a while to physically manifest.  It will, eventually.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

May 3 - home stretch

I want to go home.  I really miss my family.  I'm bored out of my mind.  Well, I really did not come here on holiday.  I consider this trip already an awesome success.  But I'm homesick...  I just talked to my daughter over Skype.  That's why.  I was telling her that I was looking forward to the real vacation after my discharge.  I'll be visiting family for about a week or so before going home.  It also will break up the trip so that I don't travel halfway around the world in one go.  I don't think I have the stamina yet.
Well, of course, she wants me to go home straight away.  I told her I couldn't move my flights anymore.  Seems like a lame excuse even for me.
But I'm so ready to bust out of here!  I'm even tired of the food.  It's the same menu.  It's good but  I've been here about 3 weeks already.   Food outside is super salty.  It's difficult for me to go out since I always have meds.  Tomorrow is my last day of treatment then, I'll just wait for my flight (2 more days).  Then the adventure begins...
I met the patient 2 rooms down on the balcony.  She has ovarian cancer and has been on aggresive chemo for 2 years.  We have the same symptoms of neuropathy (numbness of extremeties), difficulty walking and control of hands (fine motor skills).  She's the only other patient I've ever met with these same problems.  Not that I'm happy she has them, it's just nice to have someone you can relate to.  Her symptoms are more pronounced though.  That could also be age-related.  She's older.  We traded ICU war stories. 

May 2 - rattled

May 1 is the Labor Day holiday here in China so May 1 - 3 is a 3-day holiday weekend.  The hospital only has the necessary staff.  Office and admin positions are on holiday.   Nurses are here to give my infusions.  I got to see my doctor today. She ordered less meds for me today but told me that some are still necessary since my breathing is not quite clear yet.  I still hear some pleghm-y noises so I did not argue. 
Before you come to Fuda, ask for their scheduled holidays.  You don't want to arrive here on a holiday since I don't think they do procedures on holidays.  They'll take care of patients already in their care by giving scheduled medication, but I don't think they do intakes or treatment plans.  I may be wrong, but it won't hurt for you to ask how their holidays could affect your schedule.
This is our 3rd week here in the hospital.  For most of my stay, they've been repairing the road in front of the hospital - which is right below us.  We're on the 7th floor.  We can hear the traffic pass by - which is why we close the window, to keep out the traffic noise.  But we can't keep out the noise of a big jackhammer.  Not the handheld type - the big industrial type that looks like the child of a bulldozer and a crane.  Imagine the rattling noise from about 8am to 7pm.  I had to endure that while I was in the ICU (4th floor) as well.  Thank goodness not when I had to spend the night there.  So, yes, there were days of repite from the noise.  Unfortunately, today is not such a day.  We're shocked because it is a Sunday of a 3-day weekend.  I really feel for the residents.  Mom says they are out on the street.  But I'm ready to tear my hair out.  It's 7:15pm and they have not let up!!!
Before I made my decision to come here, some former patients had recommended we stay at the New Building - where we are now.  The facilities are supposed to be newer and nicer.  I haven't really seen the old building but I must say this building is comfortable... except for the noise.  If you are thinking about coming here sometime soon, ask if the road repair is done in front of the new building.  If not, I actually recommend you stay at the old building first unless you don't mind the constant loud rattling noise of a jackhammer day in and day out.  These people are relentless.  Even on a holiday.
They just stopped.  I'm hoping it's for the day.  It's dark out now since it's 7:20pm.  The relief ...  Thank goodness!!!