Friday, January 16, 2009

Pearls & Gem : Cancer !

Back to my mother in law who was diagnosed to have advance adenocarcinoma of the lung with metastasis [..'spread'] to the heart and heart sac [..pericardium ].Well ,she was on state of the art medication Tarceva which costs a bomb monthly .Ideal candidate for Tarceva :women ,adenocarcinoma in histopathology,non smoker .

Alhamdullillah ,six months now ,and the chest X ray done yesterday showed complete resolution of the cancer effect on the heart which was double in size earlier on due to accumulation of malignant fluid between the heart and its sac .The 'golf ball' size tumour in the lung has shrunked to just residual scarring .Masahallah !The wonder of modern medicine .

"If the seven seas are ink and all the trees in the world forest, pens ,even that could not touch the immensity of My knowledge " ,so goes one of the ayat in Lord's Divine Speech to mankind .Roughly so ,quoted off the cuff , I have forgotten the Letter and the Ayat index .Mortal men in their quest for knowledge ,like the scientist and researchers who stumbled on things like Tarceva ,are just scratching the periphery and surface of Divine knowledge .

Likewise ,I am an interventional cardiologist ,a glorified plumber .A man with just a hammer .

Najib Razak ,our next PM [ oh my God ! how is it like to be under Najib and madame Rusma for the next 20 years !Please help us ]is a professional politician who probably has not just a hammer but also a chain saw ,a bulldozer and a pickup truck .

...and worst still, he has a wife who can drive pick up!

An accountant is a guy who count [..and in our Malaysian setting induced to occasionally, miscount and creative accounting ] and a KL taxi driver ,drives .The more 'tools' you are endowed with ,the more you can do for society ,and the more damage as well if not done well !

The single most important element that all four of us share in common is our accountability to Him and definitely one of these days we are going to meet Him and have to explain what we do with our 'Time ,Wealth and our Youth '.Najib ,the accountant ,the taxi driver and yours truly ,all of us know this but all of us are in our state of varying degree of 'kufrness' to Him .Allahualam !

Back to my mother in law ,she has been given at the most another six months of reprieve to think ,ponder and do whatever appropriate about that important meeting .She ,I guess ,is in a better position than most of us who generally will be caught with our 'pants down' at the wrong time in the wrong place .

There is grace and mercy even in so called adversity ,if we just care to look beyond the realm of 'ordinariness' !

As I reminded my 28 year old son this morning over breakfast in front of his grandma ,as the Malay saying goes ,"even the young coconuts also oftentimes fall earlier than the supposedly old ones" .


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Nik,
What's the monthly cost of Tarceva, may I know?
Beside Ca Lung, can it be use to treat Colon Ca or any other malignancies?


Pearls & Gem said...

Tarceva cost around almost 10k a month .Like it's sister drug , Iressa ,only work a sub fraction of people with cancer lung :best in women ,non smoker and adenocarcinoma type of histopathology .This new modality is called targeted therapy .Another drug I have forgotten its name work for cancer of the kidney ,more expansive ,20k !!

I think for colon and others it is still the standard chemotheraphy .

It is all not too gloomy for cancer patients if we look from another perspective ie the ability to 'plan' ahead ,6 months ,9 months or 1 or 2 years .One has taubat ,kafarah ,atonement ,acceptance .While if you get a fatal road accident tomorrow ,'you' get the straight 'ma rabbuka' treatment with mostly your pants down !

Of course you may say I am trying to make light of a grave situation .But then our situatuion have always being 'grave' except we all take life lightly .