We all think that to some extent, we are always in control of our actions.
So when things go wrong, most times we feel that there’s no one but ourselves to blame.
But for one man lies an unlikely and deadly culprit when his personality started to change during the course of the pandemic in Singapore.
Attributed Anger Issues to Pandemic and Stress
According to CNA, Mr Sadayan Ahmed Maideen Jabbar’s character started to change during the pandemic.
The 48-year-old figured that the phenomenon was due to the inevitable changes that were brought about by the pandemic and his kids.
Mr Maideen grew increasingly angry at his family which translated to verbal abuse at them. The straw that broke the camel’s back for Maideen’s wife was when the abuse turned physical.
This led to the end of his 15-year long marriage with his wife and the divorce was filed in mid-2020.
However, it was only a year after the divorce that Mr Maideen sensed something else was wrong.
Tumour Discovered after Divorce
During this period, he would experience frequent “white-outs” which were later identified as epileptic seizures.
The seizures would cause him to have 20-seconds long blank staring spells of which he would not be able to recall anything from. After having these seizures, Mr Maideen would remain composed but was left with a metallic taste in his mouth.
It was after experiencing eight such seizures in one day that Mr Maideen sought help from National University Hospital (NUH).
This was where he found out that he had glioblastoma—an aggressive and incurable brain cancer that leaves patients with a life expectancy of 18 to 24 months.
This was the same disease that claimed the life of Beau, the son of US President Joe Biden.
Location of Tumour was Cause Behind Abusive Behaviour
Measuring at 2.5cm, the tumour was not considered large.
But it was found in the area of the brain known as the amygdala. The amygdala is the emotional part of the brain that regulates one’s rage, fight or flight response.
Therefore, the doctors concluded it was probably the cause behind Mr Maideen’s negative change of behaviour as the tumour location inhibited his ability to override negative emotions.
Such brain tumours are known to be rare in Singapore with breast, lung, and colon cancer being far more common.
Second Chance at Life and Marriage after Diagnosis
After getting his diagnosis, Mr Maideen underwent surgery a day before his birthday last year in July.
The operation which was four hours long went well. This was followed by another surgery three weeks later for the doctors to remove more of the tumour from Mr Maideen.
As Mr Maideen made his recovery, he realised that he was no longer the angry person he was like before and felt guilt over what he had done.
It was later that Mr Maideen reconnected with his ex-wife after telling her about his diagnosis. His ex-wife would drive him to and fro from his treatment sessions after his surgery.
Eventually, after spending many months being back to his usual self, Mr Maideen’s ex-wife was no longer an ex—nine months after, the couple decided to remarry in a cosy ceremony with ten guests.
Battle Against Disease Still Ongoing
Even though Mr Maideen counts himself lucky to get a second chance, his fight against cancer is still not over.
For patients with glioblastoma, it’s not possible to get the disease completely out even with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy according to Dr Yeo Tseng Tsai, head of NUH’s neurosurgery department.
That’s the reason why patients are given a life expectancy of 24 months.
But there are outliers who survive for a few years and Dr Yeo hopes that Mr Maideen is an outlier.
Still, Mr Maideen reflected the disease has changed his outlook on life for the better.
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Featured Image: NUH
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