WORDS LIM TECK CHOON
Khariza Abdul Khalid has a blessed life. At 47, she is the Executive Director of Gamuda Land and a mother of 3 precious children.
However, it was not always rosy for Khariza, for in 2012, the discovery of an unusual bulging on her left stomach led to a diagnosis of stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
|Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system—a network comprising our lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, lymphoid organs, lymphoid tissues, and lymph fluid. When one develops this cancer, their white blood cells grow in an abnormal manner, forming tumours throughout the body.|
A SHOCK, THEN COMES DETERMINATION
“I was scared, worried, nervous,” recalls Khariza, “but I was informed that I would have to go through chemotherapy.”
Fortunately, her husband and parents were very supportive, acting as the rock for her to stay strong and supported throughout her cancer treatment journey.
Her parents even stepped in to care for her children during the period.
A LONG JOURNEY
“I had to go for 6 cycles of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant,” Khariza shares with us.
Each cycle took place in a month, and she would, depending on her health condition, have 2 weeks of rest or staying in the ward for 3 to 4 days.
During this period, she took a year leave from work.
“I’m grateful for the support from not only my family, but also my employer and colleagues,” she tells us.
Additionally, she is also grateful for the compassionate care, understanding, and support she received from the doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff during her treatment journey.
“Don’t worry too much,” Khariza advises others that are embarking on their cancer treatment journey. “It is not an easy road, but you will get through this!”
A HOPEFUL FUTURE
By the end of the 6th cycle, Khariza received the news that she had been hoping to hear: her cancer cells had been eliminated.
She would undergo immediate bone marrow transplant, to replace bone marrow damaged during chemotherapy and to regenerate her immune system.
These days, Khariza is feeling more like her old self.
“I am blessed,” she says. “I am feeling heathier and more energetic too, as I have added exercises and workouts into my daily routine.
Not taking life for granted anymore, she also devotes more time to bond with her family and friends.