Friday, February 15, 2008

Asking for Help

I went in for another blood count today -- still too low for chemo. The doctor said I need to take a few weeks off to give my body a chance to fight the chest infection first. Then I went to see a "cough and chest" specialist. He said I should go back on antibiotics, and if there's no improvement after a week, we'll do a lung biopsy to see if the infection is actually cancer. So I just need to rest for a week or so.

The insides of my mouth and throat are covered in ulcers now, in addition to the red, raw swelling. This is a side-effect of the chemo, which I escaped before, but now that my immune system is down so much, I'm getting all these side-effects. I feel like someone's punched me in the upper lip, and I can't eat or drink without dribbling. It hurts when I talk, eat, or swallow. Hence, limited phone calls.

I guess I haven't been taking this chemo-induced low immune system seriously enough. I thought it was no big deal if I got a little cold or an infection, so I didn't stay away from crowds or avoid kissing and hugging people, especially little kids. So now I'm paying for it. This chest infection is putting my chemo on hold, and that's giving the cancer cells time to run amok. Far more serious than just catching a cold, after all.

So now that I'm pretty much home-bound for a week or so, I think I'll do something I've been avoiding. I think I'll ask for help.

Many of you have offered all sorts of help. Some of you have said you feel helpless because you want to do something for me but you don't know what. I didn't want to ask for help because I didn't want to put anyone out. You're all busy and I wouldn't want you to upset your routine or especially your children's routine so you can drive me to my chemo. So instead of asking any of you for specific things, I thought I'd list a number of jobs I need done and anyone who's able to do these things for me can volunteer. That way, nobody feels obligated and I don't feel like I'm putting anybody on the spot.

This might be a bit presumptuous, but if I were in your shoes, I'd want to do something too. So here are the jobs I need done:

- DBS Bank. I need you to pick up a few cheques from my house and put them in the bank's Quick Check Deposit slot at the bank.
- Post office. I need you to buy some U.S./Australia stamps.
- Fresh wheatgrass. Someone, I can't remember who, has told me she knows where to get fresh wheatgrass for juicing, cheap. I haven't been able to find it at any of the organic shops for several weeks now.
- Soup (no meat, dairy, egg, sugar), preferably pureed or with small, soft chunks. I can't eat solid food at the moment, so I'll need to subsist on soup until these mouth and throat ulcers go away.
- Organic supermarket. I need organic, hormone and antibiotic-free eggs and organic tamari sauce. Brown Rice Paradise in Tanglin Mall is having a 15% off everything sale this Saturday, before they close down for renovations. I'll also need some fruit and veggies, but don't know exactly what yet.
- Someone to drive my mother-in-law around next week to do some shopping for Josie's princess birthday party. She can drive, but she's not used to driving on the left side of the road and she doesn't know her way around town. So if any of you are going to IKEA, Spotlight, or Art Friends anyway, maybe you could take Carol with you?



Ward and Deb said...

You Darling Girl, good for you for asking!!
I'm only sorry I'm not there because I'd take that whole list and do it for you every single day if need be and I'm so upset because I make the best vegetable soups.
If there's no takers just let me know and I'll book the flight and you know I mean that.
Loving you soooooooooooooo much

Ivan & Clare said...

I wish there was something I could do from here...please let me know if there is. We will be over soon to see you and I hope there is a list waiting for me!

Love Clare

wendy tsai said...

hi shin, just ordered wheatgrass for u. will pick up tomorrow morning @ the organic shop i told u about earlier. will get some veg and things 4 u while i am there. anythng else? making healthy dhall for the team party tomorrow night. will make a nonspicy dhall for you. just olive oil+tumeric+ plenty dhall and a bit of sea salt. soft and high portein, good 4 u lah! will drop everything on our way to pasir ris. arond 6pm? take good care of yourself. wendyXXX

Ward-ji said...

Well here I am in Mumbai, and if you want dust, dhal or dhottis just say the word and I'll FedEx them to ya! And of course, any pharmaceuticals you want - just say and I can pick 'em up at the corner store...

Deb's only a ticket away so, as she said, just ask.

Make a big list for the 1st March, coz I'll be spinning through Sing-lah then, and more than happy to do whatever...

Anonymous said...

Shin, When I had hideous mouth ulcers from Adriamycin, I found any foods that were iced helped. You could try sucking ice cubes, or eating an organic sorbet, or even make some organic fruit juice frozen lollies. Also, you could try using the cream, Bonjela (can get from most chemists), as that will numb the pain for an hour or so. Mel xx

Ward and Deb said...

I know I've been going on for a long time about papaya and how it helps fight cancer, well now it would be perfect.
The fruit is a natural antibiotic, in many countries it's used on open wounds.
If you mash up the fruit and put it in the fridge it's going to be a perfect food for you to eat to directly target the sores in you mouth and the coolness would help sooth the pain.
Please try Shin.
Anyone in Singapore please get papayas, preferably organic, delivered to Shins house. It would help immensely at this point, then we can get some food into her, then we can build the immune system back up, then we can have chemo and get this treatment rolling again.

Remember, papayas delivered to Shin's house.

Marge said...

So glad you're asking for help - you've obviously got a million people eager to step in. I wish I could be one of them. But I'm rooting you on from California.
I love you, Shin!

Anonymous said...

alicia's mom just loaded us up with seaweed for meu-gook... you know what i mean. we'll make a big batch and bring it over. love dennis and alicia

Anonymous said...

I dont mind taking your m-i-law out shopping .You can email me or call me 96387699

lianain said...

Hi Shin, I'm back in Singapore and can help with your banking and run other errands, if you need. Just send me an sms - 93822959.