Brain Cancer Survivor: Mohd. Zaki Zakaria
Mohd. Zaki Zakaria / Male / 44 years old / Cancer of the Pineal Gland / Kedah, Malaysia
I lived in a suburb of Sungai Petani, Kedah. I have always been a quiet, reserved and pessimistic guy, without my own ideas or thoughts. I am lucky to have married a good wife who has given us 2 lovely daughters. When I was just relishing my good fortune, misfortune struck.
The Curse of Headaches
I used to work in Bukit Mertajam Telekom, but switched to Sapura Holdings because of work stress. I had been working in Sapura for 10 years then. In 2002 I started to have frequent headache and felt heavy in the head. I thought maybe it was a good idea to change job, something with a lighter work load, so I got a job at a school in 2003.
I was a general clerk at the school, where the pay was low but with lighter workload. It was a 9-to-5-job, so I could spend more time with my family.
However, the headache had worsened, torturing me for about a year. At first 1 or 2 pain killers would do the job, but later no amount of pain killers would work anymore. Even the prescriptions from the clinics did not help. Strong sunlight would make the pain worse, so I just shut myself away in a room in order to avoid the sunlight. Sometimes the headache would persist for 24 hours, and at times I would have dizzy spells, vomiting, a pallid complexion etc. In May 2003 the headache was so bad and frequent that my vision became blur, and my left eyelid drooped to the extent that I could not even open my eye. Being afraid, I went to see a doctor at GHKL. The doctor gave me a scan and told me that there was a 3-4cm tumor in my pineal gland. It was growing and pressing on my nerves, causing headache and all the other symptoms. If left unchecked, it would press on the left optic nerve later and affect my left eye vision, and might even lead to total loss of vision in one eye.
Looking Aggressively for Alternative Treatment Methods
The doctor advised me to get the tumor removed lest my right eye would be affected too, but he said the success rate would only be 50%. Without any options, I had to be hospitalized and wait for my operation schedule. My solicitous wife showed her moral support and accompanied me the whole time while I was in hospital. A strong and aggressive lady, she always encouraged me and tried to dismiss my pessimism. She had seen a similar case where the patient turned weak and dumbstruck after the surgery and eventually passed away. She was worried that I might end up that way too. Even though I was already hospitalized, she would still seek other doctors’ professional opinions, hoping to find some other treatment methods. She wanted me to undergo surgery only as a last resort.
Where There Is a Will, There is a Way
But luck was on my side. One day, while flipping through a magazine in the hospital, I came across a herbal medicine called TXL, a good adjunct in cancer therapy. It was stated that a lot of patients had taken it to mitigate the suffering, control the cancer and prolong life.
Though there were a lot of anti-cancer preparations and health food supplements in the market, somehow I took TXL instantly. I showed the write-up to my wife, who had a relative that was a doctor, and consulted the latter’s opinion. He encouraged me to take it.
The positive encouragement from this doctor relative sent us to buy TXL. I was already quite listless at that time. The light in my eyes were almost gone. During the last few days of taking TXL, I would experience unbearable headache within a few hours of taking it, probably due to its multifarious benefits of promoting blood circulation, dissolving bruises and unblocking meridian channels. I got worried, but my wife was very sure that the problem would be resolved after a few days if I persisted. Motivated, I took her advice and continued taking TXL punctually.
About 2 weeks later, I discovered that my left eye had improved. When I told my wife about it, she exclaimed, “ You can open your left eye now!” We were so happy. A month later, when we went back to the hospital for medical check-up, the doctor was surprised to find the tumour smaller by 1cm! The doctor said I could open my eye because the tumour had shrunk, no more pressing on the optic nerve. Terribly impressed with TXL, we started to plan my diet meticulously.
A year later, In March 2004, the scan report declared that the tumour was gone. In July the same year, the MRI report confirmed that the tumour had disappeared completely.
So I went back to my normal life fairly quickly. I still worked as a clerk at the same school. My wife continued to take good care of me. I would dedicate my speedy recovery to the love and care of my solicitous wife. I thought my family could live happily henceforth.
Another Ordeal-Losing My Beloved Wife
However, in mid 2008, my wife began experience abdominal pain. When I took her for medical examination at the hospital at the end of 2008, the doctor confirmed that she had stomach cancer. I suggested that she should take TXL but she refused flatly, reason being we were not well off, and simply could not afford to have 2 people taking TXL at the same time. She said she was a government servant and could get discounted surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy in general hospitals. She insisted on me taking TXL to prevent a relapse and opted for hospital treatment for herself.
She was the kindest and strongest but also the most stubborn woman I have ever seen. I was sorry for being unable to convince her. My heart bled when I saw her tormented by the pain, the chemotherapy and the radiotherapy. She became progressively feeble, and passed away in May 2009. The pain in me was beyond description.
Facing Life with Courage
I can never forget the ordeal. 7 years ago, my wife had pulled me out of my cancer with unwavering faith, yet I could not cheat death for her. I am so sorry about it that I keep reminding myself to cherish my own life. It has become the driving force in me. The old pessimistic me is gone. I have learnt to stare at atrocities in the face, to pluck up courage and optimism in bad times, just as my beloved wife had been.
I am running my own small business now. It is a small shop, but good enough for me and my 2 daughters. My wife had traded her life for all these-my ability to think, my life, everything. I will value them for the rest of my life.