March 18, 2016 93
Before we start off, for those who are unaware, Palliative Care is medical care given to patients whose diseases no longer respond to curable treatments. The patient has a disease which is life-limiting and life-threatening. The aim of hospice-palliative care is to alleviate the sufferings of these patients and to enhance the quality of life in the remaining days of their life. Hospice work involves providing for relief from pain and other distressing symptoms, as well as the giving of professional advice and support to families of cancer patients to help them care better for these patients.
Unlike the previous installments, we have decided to publish his story in the form of Q&A to help Jared tell his story in a better way.
1. Would you mind introducing yourself?
My name is Jared Ong Xi Keng, I turn 26 this year and my mom was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago.
2. When and how did you found about the illness? How did you feel at that time?
My mom found out about the diagnosis when she took a spirulina pill and hadn’t been feeling well ever since. She constantly coughed and had headaches. At first she thought it was the side effect of the pills but it turned out to be lung cancer. It was very saddening and shocking at that point of time but we tried to remain positive and have faith.
3. How has life changed ever since the illness was diagnosed?
After discovering the illness, life was not the same ever again especially for my dad who is the pillar of strength for my mom for the entire period of time during her battle with cancer. He had to constantly fetch her in & out of the National Cancer Institute situated in Putrajaya. I feel like my father is more tired than my mother from all these fetching. My sisters-in-law stayed up late night to take care of mom as well because the hospital did not allow men to stay overnight in the hospital since it is part of the law. I felt like this law has to be revised again because there might be cases where some families do not have daughters, sisters or any woman in the household who would be able to take care of the ill patients.
I think the most challenging situation I have faced was the time my mother started undergoing chemotherapy and her health started deteriorating. After a few rounds of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the results came but it did not do any good. From then on, her confidence level started to fluctuate till the point where she once fell and fainted. To makes things worse, things were never got better. She slept for long hours, hardly talked or smiled anymore and even feeding her was a difficult feat.
4. How did you eventually find out about Palliative Care?
We were recommended about Palliative Care by the hospital where my mother was getting treated as my mother wished to go home and rest.
5. How has Palliative Care benefitted you ever since you received their help?
You are able to rent some of the available facilities and even hire caregivers. We really appreciated the caregiver’s help as my father is the only one at home most of the time to tend to my mother’s needs and it’s good to have another helping hand around to ease the burden with tasks like cleaning my mother, changing her clothes and diapers as well as to feed her.
6. Any additional advice or life lessons you have learnt that you would like to share?
My advice is just talk to them as much as you can. Let them know that you still need them in your life and give as much support as you can. Give them more reasons to continue the fight and add a lot a lot of positivity into the cancer patients’ life. I believe medication and treatments only play a part in combating cancer whereas support and motivation from loved ones and the patient him/herself plays the other major part in winning the battle against cancer.
How YOU can be part of the movement
The Malaysian Hospice Council will also be organizing the Malaysian Hospice Council Congress 2016 from 22nd – 24th April 2016. The Congress offers you a chance to hear and interact with leading researchers and practitioners among the palliative care community. Attendees also will be able to update their knowledge, share experiences and ask questions. To find out more on the event, you may click HERE : http://bit.ly/HospiceCongress
Additionally, as Hospice’s efforts do not charge patients; the budget of the movement is supported by monetary funding from the public. In relation to this, GetDoc and Hospice Klang have set up a Pledge Funding event and a Crowd Funding event in order to raise funds to ease the monetary burden faced by the Hospice body.
Support the pledge: http://bit.ly/HospicePledge
by Nicky Lee
Your typical neighbourhood ah pek who roams on the internet to satisfy his curiosity. Bold. Loud. Talkative. View all articles by Nicky Lee.