48-year-old Risma Idawaty Saragih looks very young and energetic. That day when we went to interview her, she was well dressed and with exquisite makeup. She said she liked to dress herself beautifully so that she would not look like a patient. In fact, if not familiar with her, nobody would believe she was a cancer patient.
Risma Idawaty Saragih found her disease in 2000 when she went to a hospital in Singapore for a physical examination. Because she did not feel any uncomfortable symptoms or pain, she thought there was no need for treatment and actually she did so. However, in 2010, she had another attack and felt abdominal pain. There was also something wrong with her defecation. Risma Idawaty Saragih realized that those symptoms were sending warning to her and she needed to go to see a doctor as soon as possible. Therefore, she went to the hospital in Singapore again and received endometrial cancer radical prostatectomy. She was told having stage 2 endometrial cancer and that was her first surgery in Singapore hospital.
“I received three surgeries in Singapore totally. The second one happened in October 2012, when I did the enterolysis due to abdominal pain. During the surgery my doctor found some tumors in my left abdominal cavity, but they did not clear them off. After that I had six sessions of chemo, but the tumor only shrunk a little. Then in February 2012 I had enterostomy due to intestinal adhesion. Only after this surgery can I have normal defecation.” said Risma Idawaty Saragih.
Risma Idawaty Saragih and Her Attending Doctor Yao
Unfortunately, in April 2014, when she went to the hospital in Singapore for a check, MRI indicated that there was recurrence of ovarian cancer, and cancer has already spread to the liver. Then the hospital advised her to have chemo again, but this time Risma Idawaty Saragih rejected it. “Chemotherapy has very strong side effects. Every time when I got back home after chemo, the next three days I would feel pain in my whole body 24 hours. There seemed something stuck into my feet, which really hurts me. And I also suffered hair loss as well as insomnia. Although chemo did not affect my appetite, I still lost some weight.” While recalling her chemo, Risma Idawaty Saragih pulled her hair, “Because of chemo, my doctor asked me to cut short my hair.”
Cancer continued to torture Risma Idawaty Saragih as there was no treatment. When it came to August, cancer pain was more than she could bear and she had no choice but to eat some painkillers. Saw this, Risma Idawaty Saragih’s husband said to her: “You must be treated.” Even though it was already midnight, he kept searching hospitals on the internet. Fortunately, he found Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou has new treatments for cancer. Knowing that there was no need for chemo, Risma Idawaty Saragih showed a lot of interest to the hospital. Her husband contacted the branch office in Djakarta immediately and soon they got a reply.
After communication with oncologists in the branch office, Risma Idawaty Saragih learnt that Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou is specialized in using minimally invasive therapies such as interventional therapy and natural therapy to treat cancer, which are of little side effects. She decided to go to Guangzhou because she could not bear the side effects of chemo any more.
In MCHG, Risma Idawaty Saragih had four times of interventional therapies, one chemo and one natural therapy. After those treatments she did not felt any side effects. “I did not lose my hair, neither vomit. I had very good appetite, and I also gained about 3 kg.”
As for the curative effect, Risma Idawaty Saragih said she was very satisfied. “Although I was diagnosed of recurrence of ovarian cancer as well as metastases to lungs and liver when I admitted to the hospital, my curative effect is very good. Now there are no tumors in my liver any more, only some are left in the lungs.” she continued, “Cancer pain has also disappeared.” Besides, her defecation has also become normal and she did not suffer insomnia any longer.
CT Image Before the Treatment (on August 31,2014)
CT Image After the Treatment (on October 19,2014)
Although cancer has brought a lot of pain to her life, as a Christian, Risma Idawaty Saragih believes god will guide her and support her. Her family also cares about her very much, who keeps on giving her hope and encouragement. She says, “Every morning I would tell myself, that I will be cured, and I must have faith in myself.” Risma Idawaty Saragih knows that negative attitude is very bad for her treatment; happiness is the best medicine for cancer. Therefore, she has to keep a good attitude and receive treatment positively. She believes she will recovery soon.
*Surgery, in addition to the appropriate chemotherapy and radiotherapy, are effective in treating early cancer, but certain patients in late stage of cancer may not be tolerate surgery well as they can be relatively weak. A combination of carefully planned minimally invasive therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy can effectively reduce the side effects and discomfort of treatment and may help patient get better efficacy.