I'm running out of ideas for titles for my posts. I don't think there's much of an update for today, but I'm sure a little is enough for caring friends and relatives afar.
Yesterday, we waited and waited for the surgeon to come in the morning. I kept asking the nurse when the 'busy' man would spare a moment to meet us but she couldn't give us an answer. So, much much later, he came and gave us a brief explanation of the decided treatment. Mr D will be going through chemotherapy, mainly to destroy the cancer cells in his stomach area. He will also have radiotheraphy on his back - where it has spread to his bones.
For more details, I have to talk to the oncologist: this morning. There are a million questions I want to ask, and have listed some of them down (can't fit a million in my notebook). Hopefully, my questions will be answered and then, I will feel more at ease with the situation.
One of the questions that has haunted us is: what is the cause? I think it is fair to say that the same question must have struck most minds as well. Is it our food? Our water? Was he exposed to any form of radiation? What was the nature of his job? What sort of lifestyle did he have?
To me, it is not easy answering this question because in our modern lives today, nothing is so original and natural anymore. The food industry has bloomed, making processed food readily available anywhere. However, in saying this, I must say that I have always been conscious of what my family consumes. I am NOT 100% a control freak (perhaps 75%), but I try my best to do the best. In general, we use glass bottles or high quality containers (Tupperware) to store our water, instead of mineral bottles. When using the microwave, I try my best to heat up things in glass/porcelain containers, as opposed to plasticware. I avoid canned food, with the exception of the occasional sardines or tuna. I minimise processed food: burgers, sausages, chicken nuggets, packet coconut powder, seasonings, etc. Nonetheless, I can't live without soya sauce, ketchup and chilly sauce. Otherwise, I make my own sauces from the main ingredients for gravy, toppings (spaghetti bolognese) and the works, instead of sourcing from Ragu or ready made mixes. It does not mean that I never do any of these things I've mentioned. It's just like recycling. We put aside our bottles, cans, paper and boxes for recycling but at times, I just drop that smeared can or the torn cereal box in the trash.
Before anyone thinks that I am such a goddess in the kitchen, I am not. I cook simple meals and attempt a few more difficult ones occasionally, often using natural ingredients when I have the time.
However, it is quite true that I can sometimes be such a control freak. The children can confirm this.
"Mama, can we have burger today?"
"No, you just had it yesterday / the day before"
Therefore, the bottom line is, regardless of how your eating habits are, anything can happen to anyone anywhere. Of course it would not be enough to say that the eating habits at home would be sufficient to determine a healthy lifestyle. What about what is consumed outside the home? At work, or even when eating out? Yes, Mr D and I think that his eating lifestyle prior to coming over to the UK might have contributed to the factor.
From the end of 2005-2006, Mr D worked in Africa. There, they had a cook to prepare their meals. On average, they would have barbequed lamb three times a week! So that may have been a factor, but everything else is takdir Illahi. My dad reminded me of the sixth pillar of Iman: belief in the divine will (qada and qadar) and this is something that has kept me going.
We have also tried to trace the initial moment he started to get any of the symptoms. Nothing at all. The first was probably back in April this year, when he had problems swallowing his food. We ignored it because we thought it was a simple case of gas.
Well, I need to go prepare some fruit juice for my beloved before I go to the hospital. Hope that I come back with more to report from the oncologist.