“Franco Tan going strong!
15 years old
would like to share a short story about a young patient who sat for his PMR
examination in the BMT Unit HUKM, Cheras in October 2006. His name is Franco
Tan and he is a 15-year-old from Sabah. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's
Lymphoma and is currently scheduled to undergo chemotherapy and an Autologous
I was very moved to see what Franco had to go through. It is certainly one of
life's bitter tests. Imagine having to sit for an exam and enduring the
pressure of revising, this would certainly stress any normal child. The
difference for Franco is that he has to undergo intense treatment to battle the
cancer ravaging his body at the same time. He actually underwent chemotherapy
on the same day he sat for his PMR examination. This is certainly an ordeal,
but for this young man, there is no fear of exams. He does not want to be left
behind, in spite of having to battle cancer.
The emotional and moral support from his family members, doctors and nurses
boosted his self-esteem and inspired him. Despite being away from school, his
isolation in the BMT room gave him the privacy to carry out his revisions. On
the morning of the first day of the PMR examinations, he looked cheerful. After
completing his first paper, that is Bahasa Melayu Paper 1, he continued with
his chemotherapy session. An anti-emetic was given to him to prevent nausea and
The effect of chemotherapy caused him to be tired the following day. He also
felt nauseated and hot because of the high dosage during his treatment the day
before. It was certainly a relief when he finished his exams and treatment.
a nurse who cared for Franco during the chemotherapy, I was moved and felt sad
to watch him lying on his bed during my night shifts. The side effects of his
chemotherapy made him feel so uncomfortable. He has a strong will to live and
is now home in Sabah, where he will continue his treatment at the Queen
Elizabeth Hospital. However, he shall be back for further treatments.
written by Staff Nurse BMT MAKNA - HUKM, Natrah Nabil, 2007