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Entries in MaxFamily (4)

The Joy of Sharing

I had the chance to participate in patient support group activities again last weekend, even though the initial plan was to have it in a park at TTDI, early Sunday morning rain soon put a dampener on things. But in true Malaysian spirit, we went for the obvious choice! We head for Mamak! Luckily there was one about 5 minutes drive from the original venue.

Nothing beats a nice the tarik and roti canal on a cold Sunday morning, and doing it in such company was even greater. Despite my schedule, Sunday morning before my ward round was just perfect timing.

We congregated just before 8, with my session kicking off by 8.30. It was mainly about Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) and the new patients who turned up took the opportunity to find out a bit more about their disease as well as listening to the stories and experience of their fellow sufferers. Great session and I hope that those who turned up on that Sunday morning benefited. And I would definitely do it again if invited.

A one hour session although the participant was not yet done. I bid my goodbye and left for the hospital. I was able to start my rounds by 10 am. Great time keeping!

Skudai MaxFamily CML Camp

Dr Haris, Dr Bee and Ms Tan from the Pharmacy Department UMMC were invited to participate in the Max Family CML Support Group Camp in Skudai, near Johore Baharu on the 27th and 28th of November recently. UMMC also sponsored 4 nurses from the Ward 6TD and Day Care Unit along for the program. The venue was Good Hope Hotel, and it was attended by 80 patients and caregivers from throughout Malaysia, mostly taking a bus from Kuala Lumpur.

Encik Baba demonstrating some points to the crowdThe session was held over a couple of days with the participants spending the evening at the hotel. The first day were filled by motivational program, facilitated by the very able, Encik Baba from Malacca. His motor was very much empowering the patients and giving them control over the management of their disease as well as motivating them not to give up.

The second day was filled with a more academic and scientific talks. It started of by Ms Tan giving an overview of the importance of compliance and possible interactions of Glivec with other medications, as well as trying to explain the side-effects and how to best deal with them. This was followed by Dr Xavier from Hospital Ampang, who gave an extensive overview of disease monitoring and why even thought the treatment with Glivec seemed to be working wonders, a plan B is important and when plan B should be considered. The session ended with a small discussion groups, taking it until lunch, before the main group travel back to KL.

Skudai CML MaxFamily Camp - Ms Tan Pei Lin

Ms Tan started off with some general points on drug metabolism, the process of how drugs consumed can be converted and utilised in the body, as well how they were degraded and taken away, out of the system. Different drugs will have a different biological clock, the timing in which when the level reaches the peak in the body after consumption and how long it takes to leave the system after being taken. This govern the route as well as the frequency and timing of when the drug best taken. Specifically for Glivec, it favours a once-a-day pattern and best taken with full stomach, after a meal. This will maximise absortion, as well as reducing the side-effects.

There were also a few possible interactions to note, specifically the danger of mixing the drug with supplements as well as other natural food such as grapefruits.By taking the drug in  full stomach, the risk of gastritis is also reduced.  The patients should never altered the dose of the drug without consulting a doctor. Should the patient is troubled by many side-effects, it is best to keep a diary and discuss the circumstances where the side-effects were most unbearable during the next hospital visit.

She also emphasised the 5 B’s in taking medications - ubat betul, dos betul, masa betul, cara betul and penyimpanan betul. She however appreciated that managing side-effects of this important medication can be a challenge.  There is no substitute to commitment and perseverance.