Personal Struggles

A New Chapter in My Life (#2)

It’s been two months now, since I shared my medical condition on my blog. I want to thank all of you for your concern and well-wishes. I received many e-mails, SMSes, phone calls and comments after the post, and I’m deeply touched.

For the past two months, I’m still operating a 7-day pill reminder to take my medicine every morning. Ladies, this is worse than contraceptive pills. I can’t miss a single dosage, so I’ve to keep my pills in my handbag every day.

My daily dose comprises cyclophosphamide (75mg) – a chemotherapy drug used in treating various types of cancer and some autoimmune disorders, and prednisolone (7.5mg) – a corticosteroid drug also used in treating autoimmune disorders.

During the start of my treatment, I was on high dosage of prednisolone (60mg daily) and as a result, I suffered some very nasty side effects. I have an increased appetite that leads to an undesirable weight gain. Every time I step on my scale, I see that my weight has gone up. I’ve piled up 5kg in just two months, and please don’t tell me that 5kg is peanuts. Sigh.

Another nasty effect of prednisolone is that it will redistribute body fats to face and neck, causing a ‘moon face’. Why can’t it redistribute the fats to boobs instead? Double sigh.

You might have already seen my moon face from those Disneyland pictures. They are so obvious that I almost wanted to send them all for Photoshop before I post them on my blog. But too bad, I don’t have that software.

The Hubby says, “Don’t worry, dear. We love you for who you are, even though you look like you’re always keeping two marshmallows inside of your cheeks.” I’m both happy and angry when I heard that.

Well, that sort of explained how I look like now. A Chipmunk face, that’s what I call it.

Now, my prednisolone has been tapered off to 7.5mg daily and the side effects should gradually be reduced too (that’s what my doctor said!). Apart from weight gain and a Chipmunk face, I’m just glad that I’m not suffering from other side effects like hormonal changes, digestive problems, hair loss, acne, diabetes and mood swings.

Occasionally, I do feel a little depressed when I look at myself on the mirror. I tell myself to be patient and have faith that I’ll return to my old self soon. Luckily, I’m not a model or actress and I don’t need a slim V-shape face to earn a living. Or I’ll be hiding at home all day.

The good news is – I received my insurance claim from my company’s medical insurance totalling up to SG$15,796 this week. And that pretty much covered 98% of all my medical expenses since the day I was operated at Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

$4K will be reimbursed into my Medisave account, and balance $11K is paid out to me by cheque. Prior to my operation, I’ve never pay any attention to medical insurance. Now, I realized just how important it is. Else the $15K will have to come out from my own pocket.

My next medical check-up is due two weeks later. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, hopefully all is well and I can stop my medication before Christmas.

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Rach October 5, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Hang in there. Keep the chin up even if it’s a double chin.

Emily October 6, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Hi Rachel,
Thanks. I’m still hanging on, despite the chubby face and double chin. Hopefully they do go away before Christmas! 🙂

Jean October 5, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Positive thinking is half the battle won!

Emily October 6, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Dear Jean,
Thanks for dropping by. Yes, you’re right. Positive thinking is a very powerful tool, and it keeps me going every day! 🙂

Rachel October 6, 2012 at 11:45 PM

it will. jiayou!

Irene October 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Been so busy with 2 kids that I have neglected my blog reading, take care Emily:)
Misses the trip to Punggol Park during Mid-Autumn, looks like a lot of fun ????

Emily October 9, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Hi Irene,
Thanks for your concern. The Punggol Park mid-autumn celebration was great, it was our first-time, will definitely go again next year. 🙂


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