Tuesday 30 November 2010


We were told in 2005 that Iain's prostate cancer was still a "pussycat" - not yet a "tiger" - because the PSA  (Prostate Specific Antigen)  count was only an 8, and the tumour was small.

Two weeks ago, a blood test revealed a whopping PSA of 47.8.  This of course pushed the  crisis button for a series of diagnostic tests at Tung Shin.

The ultra-sound scan was followed by a biopsy and then a bone scan at the Malaysian Cancer Society's  Nuclear Medicine Centre.  We've been on this scary road twice before but repetition and familiarity does not make the spouse's journey any less painful or easy.

The biopsy could not locate any tumours despite the high PSA. That left the Consultant quite nonplussed. The bone scan indicated no spread of the cancer to other parts of the body - no evidence of metastasis - only a severe degenerative osteo-arthritis of the hip joint,  normal wear and tear for someone of that age.

We're not completely out of the woods because of the high PSA.  Regular monitoring and check-ups would be our routine for the future.

But this is the best news we could ever get for what has been an annus horribilis. A terrible weight has been lifted from our shoulders.  We can stop  living a life in low gear - now it's possible to move on to third or fourth gear, albeit slowly.

We can now look ahead to growing old (-er)  together for longer.

We can look at each new morning with greater hope and joy.

We can look forward to making optimum use of this extended time for each other and for others.


However this posting is meant as a paean for Tung Shin Hospital, both the Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Centres.
After  the 2005 diagnosis the spouse made a decision to opt for Alternative Treatment - for Herbal Medicine.  From 2008 he put himself in the hands of the TCM oncologist, Professor Zhao Tian Yong.  We believe that Professor Zhao's  treatment made all the difference.

We had gone through the NHS in Leicester, Specialist Centres at two well-known University Hospitals in Kuala Lumpur but we had no faith or rather, lost faith in them.   We owe Tung Shin especially the TCM Centre  our deepest gratitude. There are no frills, no vases of flowers, no fancy decor and furnishing in this Hospital - just simple, efficient and caring service.

Without exception, all of Tung Shin's personnel - from the ladies at the Reception, the Nurses, the Technicians and up to the Consultants at both the Western Medicine and TCM Centres - were meticulous, competent, courteous and helpful, very, very professional men and women.  We cannot praise them enough.

I can confidently say that the 1 Malaysia  ethos is alive and kicking at Tung Shin.  I somehow think that this has been in Tung Shin even before the branding was set in motion.

It's so heartening to observe this committed community of Malaysians - Chinese, Indians and Malays  - almost in equal proportion - working conscientiously as one family to provide medical care for those in need of their professional skills.

As an elderly Malay who has makan banyak garam  in Singapore, Brunei, UK and Malaysia I think I have the right to make this observation.  I've often been told about how the work ethics of  Malays leave a lot to be desired.  And I have seen and experienced some of the negative aspects of their habits. 

But the Malays working at Tung Shin Hospital, both men and women showed such dedication and diligence that they can wipe the floor of any of the more qualified and senior Malays in the other Hospitals I have been to.  Why?  I leave that to the younger and well qualified  socio-political punters  to analyze.

And so, thank you Tung Shin for your skills. Thank you dear friends and relatives for your moral support and prayers. Thank you Allah for the gift of hope.

Prostate cancer is getting more and more common.  But  if it can be detected early enough there is room for optimism.


Anonymous said...

Syukur alhamdulillah.


Kama At-Tarawis said...

Alhamdulillah... "HUGS"

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Kak Maznoor,
My latest entry on Moringa- a miracle tree can probably help reduce some expenditure on vitamins and what not.. According to the annals of the ayurveda, India’s old tradition of medicines, the leaves of the Moringa Tree could treat at least 300 diseases...
Care to find out.. Salam to both of you.. take care..

ph said...


The people at Peetronanas should learn from Tung Shin on how to run their show.

Kak Teh said...

My dearest Kak AsH and Abang Iain, can we look forward to see you baack here? Sorry I have not been blogging or bloghopping, but you are both in our thoughts and prayers.

Raden Rohaya Lopez said...

Syukur Alhamdullah indeed! Next time I'm in KL will go and ask them for advice on my thyroid...
Kiss kiss to The Dynamic Duo!

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you SC

anak si-hamid said...

Dear Putri Kama,

Thank you for the sweet thoughts and best wishes.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you and salam to Wan Sharif,

I am sure the Moringa tree has a lot to offer in the area of herbal medicine.
Shall look it uo some time.

anak si-hamid said...

Thank you ph,

"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

anak si-hamid said...

Dear lovely Adik Teh,

Don't fret. We are still in good nick. Good friends don't need constant reminders.

Insyallah we will be back in early 2011 - to give Iain enough time to get a good dose of his medication from Tung Shin.

Make sure Hulaimi keeps the snow on the ground for when we get back.

Salam to both of you and the family and the cats.

anak si-hamid said...

Hello Roy,

Thank you and do come back to KL (when we're there), not just for the great food (yeah?) and a visit to Tung Shin too.