nuffnang ads

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday 14 February 2010 - Treatment Day 46

My temperature went up to 40.1 degrees at 3am today. Mum says I never used to be so ill, my temperature never hit 38 before I got leukaemia. I was really healthy before this, and even if I caught a cold, I would always get better after a day or two. I'd never spent a day in hospital before.

Some of you have asked how I got leukaemia, or what causes it. Actually, nobody knows what causes it yet, although there are several theories which you can read about if you google them. But they remain theories and are yet unproven. And it is also unproven that it is hereditary. Dr Lin says he doesn't know what causes it, and he says he wouldn't have to be a paediatric haematologist and oncologist if he knew.

Anyway, Dr Lin came in early today, wearing a red shirt, instead of his usual blue and white striped shirt, because it is the Chinese New Year. Mum and I wished him a happy chinese year. We watched a lot of fireworks through our hospital window last night, as we have a good view this time. It was a great show.

Dr Lin said I had a fungal infection, and that he would start me on Ampho B today. He said I should be better by tomorrow. Mum asked him how I got the infection. She was really puzzled because she works so hard to maintain extremely high standards of hygiene in the house and sanitises everything I am about to touch. But he said it is in the air.
Mum later found out that when patients with cancer receive chemotherapy (drugs used to kill cancer cells), normal cells in the bone marrow are often temporarily damaged or destroyed. Since the bone marrow produces cells that fight infection (white blood cells, or leukocytes), chemo makes us more susceptible to infection. These infections are usually due to bacteria or fungi.

The nurses said that baby Stephanie, an Indonesian patient of Dr Lin's is also in hospital for a fungal infection. She was admitted before me. I often see her in chemo daycare, and I saw her a week ago, before I developed a fever.

Grandma and grandad came by to babysit while mum and dad went out for lunch. They had lobster. They brought back a piece for me. Earlier, dad had bought me some of my favourite toast from CoffeeBean. I played masak-masak and my Princess Secrets boardgame with grandad. I also watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, mum had bought the dvd for me yesterday.
Because I am taking Ampho B, I have to take another medicine called KCL. Ampho B can cause potassium levels to drop, so I have to take KCL to counter that. It tasted horrible so I was really unhappy about having to take it. But it is important and helps your body work, including the beating of your heart.


  1. sorry to hear u're still in the hospital, zara. hopefully u'll have that great party with your classmates very soon. sometimes life isn't fair, but i think that when u're older, u'll actually turn out to be a much stronger person than everyone else, because u had to experience this hardship.

  2. thank you uncle sean, i hope so too. can't wait to go home! that's one way of looking at it, i suppose. mum says you're always very wise.