How to make a patient of cancer treatment return to work and play golf?
Mr N.T.N., 56 years old from Ho Chi Minh City, has surprised many people with the fact that he used to be treated for second stage pharynx cancer whilst still holding down his job and family life. Not only that, but Mr N.T.N. also did not miss his diplomatic sessions when participating in golf sessions with partners and colleagues.
THE JOURNEY TO FIND THE BEST TREATMENT
As the Deputy General Director of a large corporation, Mr N.T.N.’s life summed up in one word would be “busy”, from his working schedule, meeting partners to relaxing time, he is planning to adjust. Discipline characteristic of a veteran always helped him master everything in life, until this event affected his life in 2014. Mr N.T.N. incidentally found strange lumps on his neck so decided to visit a hospital to have them checked. The screening results showed that he was suffering from pharynx cancer in the second phase. Faced with this bad news, despite being so successful in his working life, Mr N.T.N. only thought of his family; “who will take care of my family if I can’t beat this disease?” Consequently, he found it difficult to grapple with this news for two consecutive days. Thanks to his wife’s encouragement, he gradually calmed down to find out more information about cancer as well as the treatment procedures. The more he learnt, the more he felt that the cancer was not so scary, especially when the technology and techniques of cancer treatment in modern times are evidently so successful in treating the disease. With the mentality of finding the best medical treatment he could, after consulting with all the major domestic hospitals and some abroad, Mr N.T.N. hoped; “For me, even if the chance of living is 1%, I have to try. But doctors in foreign countries have told me that up to 95% of patients are cured, so I’m not worried”.
Feeling confident, Mr N.T.N. returned to Vietnam to seek medical treatment to save time as well as not to burden his family by being hospitalized abroad. He realized that Vietnam had no shortage of world-class hospitals and that many places have modern technology and techniques for cancer treatment just like ones abroad. However, what Mr N.T.N. was most worried about was choosing a doctor and the most reliable institution. In addition, he wished to be proactive in choosing a treatment regimen so as not to affect his work and private life – a requirement that very few hospitals can meet.
TREATMENT OF CANCER DISEASE WHILST STILL FREE TO WORK AND RELAX
Following the introduction of leading doctors, Mr N.T.N. finally decided to go to FV Hospital’s Hy Vong Cancer Care Centre. Here, after having his condition checked, Mr N.T.N. was directly consulted by Dr Vo Kim Dien – a senior doctor of the cancer centre. All the details of the treatment procedure were planned and explained meticulously by Dr Kim Dien, including possible side effects. In particular, the doctor ensured that the centre’s procedure was flexible with N.T.N.’s busy schedule.
When all knots were untied, Mr N.T.N. completely assured, began his treatment. For 7 consecutive weeks, he regularly received chemotherapy every Monday of the week and radiotherapy on the remaining days. Mr N.T.N. shared: “The doctor said that when I am treated, I will be more tired, my tongue will lose its taste but still I will have to eat enough nutrients. I need to increase 8 to 10kg to compensate for the weight loss”. All possible side effects were forecasted by the doctor, so he had the best preparation. With accurate radiotherapy, a layer of shield was inserted to cover healthy tissue which helps protect the salivary glands and minimizes pain but results in a difficulty in swallowing and having a dry mouth. ‘’I underwent cancer treatment until the 5th week and still went to meetings and played golf with customers as usual. The doctor advised me to try to eat and drink enough to support the treatment process, so even though it was sometimes difficult to use ground food, I persisted in eating, not giving up any meals. At the end of the treatment, I only lost 4kg”, Mr N.T.N. proudly shared.
5 years after the treatment procedure at the centre, in July 2019, Mr N.T.N.’s health condition was still well monitored by the doctors and there were no signs of cancer cell appearances. He was successfully able to beat second stage cancer by the will to overcome the difficult disease and the determination in choosing a treatment establishment that was suitable for him. The most interesting part of this is that although his treatment process lasted more than 2 months, it did not affect his work and personal life. Neither his colleagues nor even his son knew he fought cancer. When asked about his secret in beating the disease, Mr N.T.N. said: “Instead of suffering in despair, cancer patients need to keep their spirit up to find the most effective treatment plans that are available and follow them!”.