Saturday, May 22, 2010

Suddenly we're off!

We're off to Singapore on Monday, May 24, 2010 having been notified on Friday evening, May 21 that Lin has an appointment with Professor John Wong at the National University Hospital  (NUH) Cancer Center on Monday evening.

Mind you, it has been an eventful month or so, starting with Lin's colonoscopy on April 21 followed by a consultation with a surgeon the very next day. And checking into the Baptist Hospital in Kowloon on April 24 - followed by laparoscopic surgery on April 27.

Since his discharge from the hospital on May 4, he's been recuperating and we've been checking out a few oncologists; and discussing chemotherapy options.

The thought of Lin undergoing chemotherapy any where else was not in our minds. We were perfectly comfortable here in Hong Kong and thought we might just as well stay here for any treatment (adjuvant chemotherapy to be precise - I am learning medical terms these days).

But as we looked around it slowly dawned on us that perhaps we should look at what is available in Singapore. 

My first thought was that we did not know where to start, but an email from a friend reminded me that Singapore has a National Cancer Centre (NCC) located within the grounds of Singapore General Hospital. Another friend waxed on about Singapore's "world class medical".

Curious, I got on the Internet and found quite a lot about the treatment of cancer (and other medical conditions) in Singapore. I also emailed friends and wasted no time trying to find an oncologist.

The most difficult part was plucking up enough courage and then asking an old (not in age, but someone I have known for years) and dear friend to help put us in touch with the man whose name kept cropping up in emails and on the Internet.

With my heart in my mouth, I forced myself to call my friend and finally blurted out that I need help and told her why. She promised to try but wasn't sure if Professor John Wong was taking any new patients. One thing was sure, he  had a lot on his plate with the cancer center at NUH, the school of medicine and other commitments.

I always thought things happened quickly and efficiently in Hong Kong, but in this case our quest took off like the space shuttle from Cape Canaveral! I didn't even have time to fret and worry whether my friend could contact the professor, nor whether he would entertain the thought of a new patient with a rather common place cancer.

But before the day was out, my friend messaged to say that the professor had responded and would I let her have our contact details. In no time at all Professor Wong and I had exchanged emails and he had kindly agreed to look at Lin's case. He told me what information he needed and put me in touch with his staff.

And in less than three days we were asked if we could meet with the professor on Monday evening, May 24 - after his return from an overseas trip.

I am still pinching myself as we hurry to get ourselves ready to return to Singapore for an unknown duration.

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