Monday, September 9, 2013

Radiology Day One

(Us waiting at the treatment department)

We had just returned from our first Radiology session today at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), which took all of ten minutes (or less) for the procedure to complete, after a mini meeting and clarification with a staff earlier about said procedure, and about an hour's wait due the breakdown of the machine - for which we (both dad and i) stuffed our faces with coffee, tea, half-boiled eggs, toast and french toast AKA "second breakfast".

And while I do not have the medical term for the procedure to share here (yet), it is essentially where lasers are shot into my dad's brain, to kill cancer cells - which were found last weekend, when we checked him into A&E and subsequently warded.

This is in addition to his Prostate Cancer, which we had discovered over a year ago.

One thing which scares me/us, was the sheer "speed" in which his current brain cancer cells are being treated.

- Warded on Saturday evening.
- Next day Sunday morning CT-scan. Diagnosis suspected immediately communicated to us.
- Following Monday confirmation, and meeting and treatment scheduled for the following Monday set.
- Monday afternoon, I accompanied my dad to meet Radiology doctor to talk about procedure and sign consent forms.
- Went for Radiology pre-check out and briefing on Thursday. Including making/molding the head-brace.
- Following Monday (today), spent slightly over 10 minutes having the procedure done.

Now, THAT is a quick turnaround time! Fastest we've ever encountered here at SGH or any other medical situation we have been thru. Which of course certainly freaked me out, and we had enquired whether this was a "life-threatening" situation that demanded immediate attention, or was it a "early-treated would be better", to which the answer was the latter.

Side effects range from vomiting, hair-loss and eventual loss of memory, and when I mentioned "dementia", the answer was thoroughly noncommittal, so we are mentally trying to prepare for the worse outcome and not be too generous with the result.

Or as I mentioned to dad today, as we were on our way home after the treatment, we'll worry about the memory impairment when the time comes, now we just enjoy our life as much as we can.

Day One down, nine more days of consecutive sessions to go. weekdays, not including weekends.

Come to think of it, if dad had not fallen on saturday morning, and we did not send him to A&E, we might have discovered this much later, like when we did his Prostate Cancer, which was already Stage 4 when diagnosed.

The image shown above is of the head brace, where it was heated and loosened, and melded over dad's head and hardened when cooled. Dad mentioned he was fitted with it, and it was a tight fit (it was hard for him to even take a swallow), meant to keep his head steady while the lasers do their work.

Dad had mentioned he was made to sit up in a raised seat for the procedure, and that h's head was fixed into the headrest, although he could not know what keep him there (and all I could think of was Arnie in "Total Recall").

As an added reminder for subsequent medical officers, a "Fall Precaution" sticker was added in his appointment card, for reference.

So folks in the same situation should consider the patient's physical capacity, and if he/she had need to take any medical supplements for the procedure specific. Dad was to take "steroid pills" to prevent water retention in the brain.

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