Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007...

Merry Christmas guys!!!

And yeah, still writing… still writing…

I am hoping I could at least complete “the” post before I leave Australia, and that would mean before the New Year arrives. Get ready for a long post then --- that’s if I finally manage to write it and not drag till the end of January.

Ah, hoping I was back in Malaysia so I could attend our church Christmas service; to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere together as members of one body and not to forget ---most importantly --- to take this time to thank God for sending us His son, thus bringing us salvation. With our flight back to Melbourne on Christmas day in addition with me and my brothers’ bad habit of waking up after 12, plus another hilarious reason which I would reveal later when I finish writing December’s post… I guess I wouldn’t be able to attend one here. Arghh…

Looking forward to Boxing Day for shopping sales!

Once again, Merry Christmas and God bless!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

2nd Anniversary...

Oh my…

Just writing to let everyone who reads my journal knows that I am still in the process of writing the November post (which has now dragged on to December --- sorry for that), and not to worry. Ah, and there I was thinking that I would at least make it a once a month affair at the least.

Well, besides the information just given, the reason I “need” to write this post is due to the reason that this is my…

2nd Anniversary!!!...

…of getting admitted to the hospital and going for chemotherapy treatment~ (belated anyway)

I must admit that I kind of actually forgotten about the date where I got admitted till I reread my previous post… was thinking that it was today, and realized that it was on the 21st instead. Wake up Ju Liang!!! Now I am so embarrassed.

Hmm… well, just want to thank God that all has been going well with me, that through His grace I am able to enjoy much of my time after treatment, including this holiday that I am having in Australia while writing this. And doubly true with the fact that the pills isn’t all that hard to take right now, and I am getting used to them through His grace (the weekly pills still packs a punch, but it has been much much better compared to last time where I can’t really do anything after eating them).

Still I must admit that in all the enjoyment (and busyness…), there are times where I kind of “forgot” about how gracious God has been to me and take it all for granted, even though it has just been less than half a year. When I am enjoying and not suffering I tend to take God’s love for me throughout the process for granted, and only during the stillness of the night do I think back about this and know how blessed I have been. Yeah, I know that I have written about this previously, but I can’t stop feeling guilty somehow… The other thing that bugs me is the fact that I am not using my testimony to spread the good news of Christ more than I should and I am feeling rather guilty about this too. Especially since once I was there complaining that there isn’t much interesting things happening in my life that I can share of.

To become like Christ is an on-going process, which is why I need to remind myself to keep striving forward towards the goal in Christ and not fall back, constantly reminding myself that whether in good times of bad, I need to fight the good fight, not losing sight of the goal. Especially since I have experience how great God has been in my life.


Nothing to regret right now but to focus on the future! And hope that I continue to grow more in Christ, and not just by writing in words but actually doing it.

Thank God for the great time holidaying here in Aussie! Rest assured I will write about it… after the November post that is.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

And it's October...

Kay, I will be splitting to parts so that it’ll be easier for me to write and not jumble up all the thoughts that were gathered in my mind.

And it sure took me a long time to find some leisure time to type away.

10th of September to…

Just when I finished writing the previous post and was starting to mourn for myself as I needed to go to the hospital the next day for my “possible” lamba puncture procedure plus pill eating again (with the latter being the main reason for mourning), I received the superbly good news from my mother the moment I woke up that the doctor requested me to be admitted only next week. Why? I am guessing it’s because he calculated the days from my records where I actually needed to be readmitted for the lamba puncture, as previously me and my mom just did a rough estimate. I really thank God for these ‘surprises’ as this isn’t really the first time things like these happens, where God fulfills the wishes of my heart even though I never asked of it. God’s grace, eh? As it’s not like I deserved anything to have my wishes fulfilled. The normally super groggy me when I just woke up suddenly became super charged up, the sky wasn’t gloomy anymore, the food tasted twice as better, the… well to get to the point, I guess when your mind set changes to a happy mood, everything seems… good, haha. Though, there was one thing I didn’t really enjoy about this extended break (or any other break for that matter) which was the feeling of regret that I am not using this precious time wisely. And to top this guilt up, time passes really quickly, and I mean real quick, the next thing I know after I wake up is that I am back to bed again and it’ll be another day when the sun rises. Guess that means I am really enjoying my time off pills then, time always goes to warp speed when you’re enjoying, sigh…

18th of September to…

As stated, I got admitted to the hospital for my lamba puncture and my bone marrow check up. At first I didn’t really thought of it as a big deal, just another visit to the hospital was all I thought, but when I realized that there was going to be a bone marrow check up… gulp. Not because it really hurts or anything, in fact, I thank God that till now I haven’t felt that much of a pain from the bone marrow tap, but, I was afraid that the results wouldn’t be good from the check up. The thought of a relapse really haunts me and it’s not something I can shake off easily; at one end I believe through faith that God can heal me completely, though at the other end I also believe that God’s way is the best way, how can you question God?

As usual, the lamba puncture procedure was delayed because: “the drug wasn’t prepared earlier” which I am starting to doubt as this reason was used one too many times. I mean, if that always happens something could be done to counter this problem, right? I thank God though, that both procedures went smoothly: I wasn’t half awake this time during the bone marrow tap, and there weren’t any complications for either of them. I also really thank our Lord Jesus Christ that both of the results turn out good, which was a huge relief to me as my mind could be put to rest as of now. Well, I actually only receive word for the lamba puncture and didn’t hear anything for the bone marrow, but no news is good news right? If something did happen I guess I would still be in the hospital. Or perhaps ignorance is bliss? Hmm…

Both of the doctors, the hematologist and the neurologist, are Christians, and they share a testimony or two went they have the time. The neurologist who does my lamba puncture though, has a higher frequency to do so, to put it that way. This time around he shared with me a healing testimony that just happened recently in his church. He told me about how his relative (I think, if it’s not that it’s one of his church members, sorry for the fuzzy memory) had stomach cancer and was said to be incurable and had at least a few months to live. Well, one day in the hospital bed this man felt that someone’s hand was going in his stomach and the next day the doctor’s were surprised that the cancer was gone! He also told me that this man also had a vision one day where he saw his father with a rabbi sitting in a house, and his father who was already deceased asked if he wanted to join them. The man declined, and with that I guess he didn’t pass away instead, haha. Sometimes I get pretty envious when I hear of these testimonies, it didn’t really matter much to me last time, but now when I had gone through a severe illness it makes me think: “why didn’t God just gave me a miracle healing like those other people? It’ll make things so much easier for me.” I guess I myself know the answer to that, which is because God wants to refine our faith through trials, for if things were too easy, we tend to takes things for granted and thus become stagnant in our faith. There was another thing that popped up in my mind too, why do we normally hear of these kinds of things from charismatic churches and seldom from the others?

Because of the delay from the lamba puncture I was --once again-- needed to stay for at least a night in the hospital. Most of the time I don’t worry much after a lamba puncture, as a mild headache was all I got and I would be better the moment the sun rises. So after resting for 5 hours and a half lying on the bed, it was already midnight and I decided to have a light dinner. Everything seems okay at first, I was getting a slight headache as usual and I was happily eating while watching the TV. But… after a few minutes I realized that the dizziness wasn’t settling down, on the other hand, it was getting worst. I guess tilting my head and watching Disney channel made my headache worst and right after I finished my dinner I couldn’t move anymore and just had to lie on bed to sleep. With all the food chunks still around me and me not even brushing my teeth, I couldn’t care less anymore as the discomfort was too much, and rest was all I craved for. Then again, I was always dirty to begin with, ha-ha! Apparently the dizziness was cause by the difference in pressure of the cerebral fluid due to the lamba puncture procedure.

The next day the dizziness was still there but thank God that it got slightly better. Thus, without hesitating I decided to go home and rest, who wants to stay in the hospital anyway? Mom also managed to “negotiate” with the doctor to reduce the amount of pills that I needed to eat before we went back home, this was due to the fact that I was getting infections too easily and the pills also gave me too much discomfort, so it was reduced from 12 pills weekly to 10. Well, to be honest as of now the discomfort part still feels the same, though because the pills are less it seems kind of easier to take it down, I hope it gets better as time goes by.

The day after that though, everything seems just fine with my dizziness gone the moment I woke up and I thought that was the end of it. But, weirdly the next day the dizziness returned and persist for another 3 to 4 days, making me miss the mid-autumn festival outreach program held in church on Saturday that week (which I heard there were some really interesting lantern display there). Uggh… the bad thing about this dizziness is that you get kind of bored not doing anything, since you aren’t particularly sleepy, but you are forced to lie down, and when you sleep you get dreams instead as the mind is still very much active. Reading books, or as for me, comic books while on bed, wasn’t much of a help either as my hands ache after awhile and I prefer to just doze off instead.

Then again, I thank God that it wasn’t too bad, as the dizziness can always be cured off by just lying on bed, compared to say *chill* nausea. The mornings then was a hard time as I didn’t wanted to wake up in fear of getting the dizziness, and that fear was amplified by the fact that my head felt like it was going to explode even when I am still in bed. Weirdly though it actually becomes better the moment I wake up. Then again, I cannot be sure of that as in the past that wasn’t the case, so it’s sort of like a gamble, on one hand if I wake up I can be feeling ten times worst than when I was on bed or the other way round, but I thank God that most of the time for this case it was the latter. The dizziness slowly became better as the days pass and soon I was back to normal once again. Well, the dizziness did have one good thing, it helped me buy 2 days of being pill-free, but it wasn’t that good of a deal seeing what had happened. With that week over, I officially restarted my pill eating days again. Arghh!

1st of October to…

I went out for a light lunch with a secondary schoolmate of mine as I promised her that I would meet up with her when she came back from Europe. With all the hic-ups and me myself forgetting about it during the short periods when I was okay, today was already the last day before she goes off to Bangkok for voluntary work. Thus, now I understand why she wanted to strangle me. Anyway, I was quite surprise that I was able to talk to someone face to face for 3 to 4 hours as I was quite worried at first. Most of the time I have trouble thinking of topics to talk about, and what more talking to a girl. But surprisingly there was an endless flow of topics to talk about and before I know it, it was already evening.

Then again, it’s not like I never actually talk to this friend of mine so much before as back in the days when I was still using the ICQ chatting program, myself, her and a form 1 classmate of mine used to talk till the sun goes up (well… it was about to reach day break). Though during our PMR years we stop doing those crazy stunts and since then I find it hard to start up a topic with anyone through those instant messaging programs. Of course, being behind a monitor and talking face to face was another matter altogether, as being behind a monitor gives you an endless time to think, while if the person is right in front of you, waiting too long creates an awkward silence and all you want to do next is hope the person says that he/she has to go so you don’t need to face the embarrassment of using that line instead to escape. I am kind of glad that I actually manage to be partially cured of the talk-to-girls phobia thingy after years of training, otherwise today would be a disaster. Then again, if the person is a good friend of mine it usually surpasses the phobia.

Well, we talked about many things: cultural difference in Europe, her volunteer work in Bangkok, how I have spent my time in the hospital, etc. But there was one topic that reminded me of something: when she talked about a Christian friend of hers. She mentioned that she was impressed by the faith in Christianity that friend of hers possessed; though there were major peer pressure in her campus (most people prefer to be free from any religion), that friend still manages to live up to be more like Christ and not being afraid of persecution from her peers. I mention this because I truly believe that Christians ought to be able to spread the fragrance of Christ wherever we go. Not by flashing a big cross around our necks or raise our hands when they ask who are Christians in the group, but through our actions that are like Christ. This is one thing that I am quite embarrassed about as there was one time when I was having a conversation with a friend during high school where I mentioned something about Christianity, and she was like: “EH?! You’re a Christian ah?” When I said yeah, she told me the reason she was surprise was because I was very like the rest of the crowd and thus assuming I am a buddhist. Ouch~ and there I was being satisfied with how I was.

The other thing is that I am really afraid of is standing up for my faith, which makes me all the more impress with this person. Back then when I was in primary school I remembered my headmaster told all of us students during moral class that Jesus was just like any ordinary man, and so is every important person in every religion. Okay, that really is harsh, and sometimes when I think about it, I should have stand up and told her wrong. There were many instances like that too, when friends of mine were saying that the bible is a myth or a story book and all I answer was just a smile or saying: “no-lah,” and then shrug them off, hoping they change the topic. And what was all of that worth for? Yes, it was all just to be accepted by your peers. And that is why I really pray that God would make me be able to say “yes” to Him when it comes to choosing between living comfortably or choosing Christ and suffer, or worst comes to worst dying, as once that answer is made there’s no turning back anymore. Most of the time we prefer to deny Christ for the small matters because of convenience sake, but I wonder when the real thing comes would we be able to do it, since we get so comfortable denying.

Well, back to the topic on the conversation with my friend. If you are reading this I hope for all the best for your time there, and that you may gain a wealth of experience by volunteering. I also hope that you get to know the joy of Christ someday too.

6th of October till…

A friend of mine asked me for a favor to help him with something. It wasn’t anything hard; in fact, it’s something I do enjoy very much. Problem is, during then I realized how selfish our human minds are, that most of the time we tend to help others only if by helping them it actually helps us back in return, or at least, gives us some advantage. If by investing our time helping a friend does not gives us a single gain at all, we tend to not lend a hand, for what does it benefit us? I had this thought was I was getting frustrated trying to figure out the problem as I am not that musically talented, and it made me think why in the world am I getting so frustrated for and wasting my time on this thing, it’s not like my burden right? I guess I need to ask God for His forgiveness and humble myself, knowing that God Himself gave Christ so freely even though we don’t even deserve it. And if we Christians have this kind of thinking, what makes us any different than the rest?

With that, I thank God for the timely reminder, and I all the more thank God for giving me some extra musical knowledge through all that. Now I understand how in the world those musicians know what chords are they in a scale, and there I was simply banging the strings hoping something sound right. It kinds of make me realized how I wasted 7 to 8 years learning piano and not even knowing anything about this. Sigh…

11th of October till…

My guitar lessons has finally resume after 2 weeks because the centre was shifted to another shop lot for a better environment. Not that it’s anything significant, but the way I got there was, well, significant to me.

Well, 2 post back I was writing about how I tend to do seemingly impossible things when under forced circumstance (the dentist post), and this was one of them.

You see, I was expecting mom to fetch me to the music centre but after calling out a few times I realized that she wasn’t home. Check out the front and the driver wasn’t there either. I could just ponteng and let one lesson pass but thinking of how 20 ringgit just disappeared away like that makes me think otherwise.

It was then I realized:

  1. My mom’s car was outside.
  2. I can drive, though not really good (and I really meant it).
  3. I do have my driver’s license with me.

Well, being in a forced situation, I braved myself and drove to the centre. Hooray for me! Of course I was a little nervous, but it’s not like I am driving more than a kilometer right?

Still, now that I think about it, it was kind of dangerous for there were times when I should have looked more carefully but I didn’t, and only when I passed the junction did I realized: “Woah! I should have looked to the right there before turning!”

Not that I don’t enjoy driving, but I hate the hassle of finding a parking spot and actually do the parking (double the trouble if you need to park really far away), not to forget that I actually “ need” to concentrate when I am at the wheel compared to just sitting at the back and listening to the radio. With that much waste of energy, I prefer to just be a passenger.

Though, when I came home and wanted to give a piece of my mind to mom only did I realized that she was at home all along and was cleaning the fish pond outside, which was why she didn’t hear me at all. Arghhh!! Wasted effort for the lose.

Hmm… but this isn’t my first unsupervised driving though. There was once when I just got my license where suddenly I had this urge to… *drum rolls*… buy Playstation 2 games. So I asked my younger brother to accompany me (kind of con him that he could choose a game, though at the end I bought the games I liked only) and off we go to Endah Parade without telling anyone. It was really silly as I actually spend the first 5 minutes trying to get the car out of my driveway. Don’t even know what made me do it, my parents were at home too, and driving out to buy games doesn’t seem that noble of an idea. (I still remember the games I bought then: Full Metal Alchemist, one of them was an action an RPG while the other was a beat em up with the same title)

14th of October

And time for some random rants on a Sunday morning…

Being alone at home really gives me a lot of time to think of many questions, some of them really random, some of them downright no sense, and of course, some of them are really serious. It can get quite frustrating at times for if I don’t figure out those questions it’ll just stay in my head and pester me till I get it done. And no, using: “there is no answer to that question” doesn’t really help at all. The worst thing would be that if I don’t put the question to rest I can’t seem to be able to do anything at all, and I would be stuck there stun trying to reach to a conclusion. Of course, with all this I manage to find a way to trick my brain into giving false answers to put my mind at ease.

Some questions/thoughts are:

  1. Why is it when you pedal at reverse the bicycle wheels doesn’t move?
  2. Why is it when you stop pedaling but the bicycle wheels still move?
  3. How does the Nintendo Wii sensor works?
  4. Why does a warrior in Warcraft deals less DPS in raids compared to a rogue even though they chop our heads off in a battleground?
  5. Why is music only DO-RE-MI-FA-SO-LA-TI-DO?
  6. Why do some shirt collars look better than other shirt collars when they are both shirt collars?
  7. Tons of questions concerning God.

Well, most of the factual questions/thoughts can always be answered through checking the internet though being me, I was too lazy to go check so I force myself to be smart and figure it out by myself (which always ends up wrong when I do check it up). Though on the other hand those theological questions makes my mind blow up, as I need a pastor to help me on that, and most of the time I am afraid to ask them because I don’t know how to form the questions properly in words, and it becomes really weird instead.

It really makes me miss the times when I was still a little kid and not have any doubts in my mind about Christ. There weren’t any thoughts or doubts about free-will, how did the bible came to be, predestination, etc. and all I did then was truly believe that Jesus loves me and was always there for me in times of trouble. No doubts, no questions, no what ifs, but just simple faith. Perhaps that’s why God says: I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. (Mark 10:15)


Hmm… all the time being at home also does makes me really lazy. So much so that I forget that I should be thinking of studying once again and not expecting another year of “rest”. But boy, I sure hope that I don’t need to study or work at all, as I just can’t seem to stand the pressure from assignments, datelines and presentations. I also seem to have the problem of choosing what to study now, as I am thinking of doing something that I actually enjoy doing, and not something that pays well but doing the actual work is a real drag. Arghh… need to be discipline once again to get ready to enroll for university (pre-entrance exams comes to mind).


Oh yeah, my flu that has lasted for like 2 months is officially cured! Hallelujah! That was soo long that it made me quite worried. I better make sure that I don’t get too close to people with any infections… but that may be harder than I thought. Most of the time, I feel like I’ll offend that person if I suddenly sit away from him/her, it makes me look like as if I am some snob who’s too revered to be with anyone else, but if I don’t do that I am the one who’s going to suffer. Sigh, the dilemma.


Alright, so there goes the 1 month post, done in 2 sittings, with 75 percent done on the posted date. I better start preparing for church now especially since I am playing the bass for Sunday service today. And if I go early I may be able to see how Sunday School is after a 1 and a half year absence.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Of suffering and quietness...


Wanted to update my journal about what has happened since last~ last Wednesday but knowing me, I know I’ll most probably write another long essay just to try and jot every single detail down which wears me out in the end. Thus, I keep procrastinating to avoid myself having to do all the writing. “Well, there’s always a tomorrow,” I said to comfort myself, not knowing that the more I delay, I’ll have even more things to jot down. Guess that’s the reason why I could never start a diary even when I so desired it during high school, as I am just too lazy. Though thinking about it I sure hope I did, as with a diary you are able to reflect about your past and see how much you’ve grown so easily as you have written it down in ink, and it sure is fun to see how “weird” you were last time.

I really need to learn how to write English articles short and sweet, a habit which I don’t have since entering secondary school. Note, I put “English articles” because if it’s any other language, especially Mandarin, it won’t be much of a problem as writing basic facts was already hard enough, and if I try to elaborate it I guess it’ll be a major disaster. So I really keep things short in order not to get deduction of marks from writing errors in mandarin (but it didn’t really matter in the end as I always did get a big fat zero for the many unavoidable “spelling” errors, giving me a huge disadvantage in marks whenever I write Chinese essays, as I always mix up the different words that has the same pronunciation).

Or… perhaps in other words I should just go straight to the point… in which I have already broke this rule with all the ramblings on top. But I guess it really isn’t much of a journal if I don’t write about how I think or feel, it’ll be more like summiting a military report if I just write down important details.

Alright, enough about that, on to what happened last week.

Well, to be exact last~ last~ last~ week Zhi Yong “suddenly” messaged me and asked me how was I doing. Usually I would just answer with the “Oh, I am fine” line but during then as I have mentioned 2 post earlier I was starting to get paranoid so I asked him about lymph nodes and stuff, how to detect if something’s wrong, etc. After that he also asked me how was I doing spiritually, in which I told him that it “didn’t” seem to go well, with the reason that sometimes when I am not going through suffering, I tend to forget about God and His greatness, only putting Him in during say, devotion time? Zhi Yong did comfort me with erm… some words that have to do with remembering our final goal in Christ… I guess. Ha-ha, can’t really remember the whole thing, but at least I was able to put it to rest then.

Imagine the irony then on Monday (27th of August) when I went for an unexpected check up at the clinic. I was told that I required to be admitted to the hospital… what?!! Imagine the horror! And there I was talking about how I need to “suffer” to be reminded about God’s greatness and love.

As I have said, it was an unexpected check up as the main reason I wanted to see the doctor was the evil intention to see if I could avoid taking the chemotherapy pills, since I was suffering with the gum plus thumb infection the week before and I wanted to see if I could cut some slack and relax this week with the reason that I was still having the flu after almost a month. Thus, if it is possible to stop eating the pills in order to allow my immune system to recover back to normal and let the white cells do their job of getting rid of the flu. It is a legitimate reason after all… but I didn’t expect that my white cell has dropped real low; it was at the count of 0.9. The plan backfired, and the doctor wanted to admit me to the hospital in order to inject Neupogen to boost up my white cell count quickly to keep me out of danger.

I thought I was being smart by trying to negotiate with the doctor, telling him that the slow and steady way was still as good, that I would be alright as long as I stop eating the pills (I was still really stubborn in eating the pills), though it’ll just take a liitttllleeee longer. Well, the terrible count was also partly due to the infections that I got, and since it was 80 percent cured why worry? The doctor once again used that funny expression in his face that always makes me think that if I don’t listen to him I was going to threaten my very own life, and seeing that I had no chance to argue with him, I just gave in, no point delaying the inevitable anyway.

Sometimes I guess I need to keep my mouth shut, as somehow those weird requests actually comes true. Before I was diagnosed with leukemia I was kidding myself and said that:

“Hmm… perhaps I should try being bald once in awhile”

(Because of dandruff problem and my hair being like a bird nest most of the time)

“Man… I sure wish I had a year long break

(I didn’t wanted to enter university so fast as I wanted to enjoy sometime before all the hectic schedules begins again)

Well I was bald for 5 times, and I had a 2 years break, woo-hoo!

So this time I was like jokingly saying to myself: “I guess it’ll be for the best if I got admitted to the hospital, at least I’ll get closer to God.” And on Monday (the day for the check up) I was having this tingling senses the moment I woke up telling me that I was sure to be admitted, and jokingly told my mom to prepare my stuff to bring to the hospital (which she thought was silly)… and viola! I was sitting on the hospital bed watching the same old TV channels I used to for the whole past year.

I’ll be totally honest with you; this time being in the hospital wasn’t too bad or torturing even. At the beginning I expected to stay at least for a week to allow everything to recover (being disappointed each morning with no improvement in my blood count comes to mind), but I remembered that this time I wasn’t under the side effects of any heavy chemotherapy. Sure enough after putting the Neupogen, my white cell count went up to 2 the next day, 3 the following and got discharged. The Neupogen, though I really dread it (even the nurses tease me about it as they know I am afraid of that injection), I guess I kind of got used to it this time, as it didn’t bug my mind non-stop for the whole day and made me worried. Though the fact that you can’t estimate how pain it is each time it’s administered ups the “Wow!” factor.

But if I am not really suffering, doesn’t that defeat the purpose that I wanted? To draw closer to God? That, I can’t say it’s true.

Surprisingly, though I didn’t had any severe pain or discomfort in which I need to cry out to God for help and thus being closer to him, I still managed to be closer to God, through the quietness in the hospital. Well, of course I don’t mean quiet as in quiet till you can hear a pin drop quiet, the hospital is quite noisy at certain times, but I guess what I mean is there aren’t so many distractions around you and most of the time you put your mind on God. The television set in my room had a sound defect (it was so soft even at max volume); I didn’t wanted to bring my laptop as I don’t want to pay 20 Ringgit just to go online for 2 hours; and my Playstation 2 wasn’t any help either as I needed a walkthrough to advance in the only game that was brought there. So most of the time I was on bed semi sleeping, and semi thinking about why God does this and that, which of course we human can never fully understand God’s plan. Fasting from doing things in our regular busy schedule (okay, I am not proud in saying how I am busy, as I don’t study nor work, so go figure) once in a while can let us keep things in perspective, as sometimes in our busyness we tend to forget about God’s goodness and grace, and His will for us.

When we are suffering it draws us closer to God and really put our all on Him because we realized how weak we humans are and know that by our strength alone it’s impossible, thus humbling ourselves, acknowledging that we need God’s help. The letter Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 clearly explains it: But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

But… I also realized that sometimes even when we are suffering, satan still has tricks up his sleeves to keep us out of track. Keeping us physically and mentally busy to think about God; telling us that the problem is just a small one and we don’t really need to put God in the picture…

I can say this because when I was writing the journal, I realized something that didn’t quite fit the picture (well, most of the time it’s this way as I drag myself from writing for so long that I jumbled up the timeline, but this is different) . The day I mentioned when I was chatting with Zhi Yong was also the day when my gum and thumb infection started to hurt quite badly. If you have read the previous post you should have realized how I suffered that week but weirdly… I didn’t remember what I said to Zhi Yong; the whole thing about suffering to remember about God, till I thought I may need to be readmitted to the hospital. It makes me think: “How in the world did I forget about that?” I didn’t even mention it in my previous post, and for that few days till I wanted to see the doctor I didn’t even have a slightest clue of what I’ve said. This also reminded me that if we are ever not careful and do not have a strong relationship in Christ, the devil is going to pounce on you and make you sin against God. The devil doesn’t need to do some full scale attack like making you go kill hundreds of innocent people to make you sin, but he has many ways that seems “insignificant” to fulfill his evil desires and slowly make you go astray.

Thus, I thank God for the second chance in the hospital to give me a wake up call. I also really thank God that this time around the stay in the hospital really was a pleasant one: after all the time over there I finally manage to hang-out at the ground floor at night and eat dinner at a proper place instead of on the bed. Well, most of the time I either can’t come out of my hospital room because of my low white cell count and need to be isolated, or I am just too weak and can’t be bother to go down at all. This time I was neither of it, so I manage to go with mom to the newly opened Dome cafĂ© and ate dinner, which I must say is really delicious and later “lepak-ing” at the ground floor observing how things go at night, which I wanted to try at least once since being in the hospital.

I was scheduled to see the doctor the next week after being admitted then for another check up and boy time sure flies when you are enjoying it to the full. Since I wasn’t taking the chemotherapy pills for awhile I felt the burden lifted up from me, no more slightly nauseous feeling or slight dizziness or anything bad of the sort, and it sure was good. But why must those few short days go by so quickly!!?

Remembered how I say that sometimes I should just keep my mouth shut? Now I am reconsidering it as on the day of my check up, I was saying to my mom: I sure hope the doctor says: “Your white cell count is too low, let’s postpone another week for the pills.” Well, imagine my smile when the doctor told me the exact same thing, ha-ha! The doctor was like saying to my mom: “Ehh… I know he’s very happy…” as it’s suppose to be a “bad” news. Yeah, so I had an extension holiday from the pills. (Oh, by the way, this was what I wanted to write mainly about last~ last~ Wednesday as mentioned in the first main paragraph, about how I got admitted and later the joy of not eating the pills, though through the process many things came to mind as written above.)

Because of my laziness in typing writing, I have delayed the post so long that tomorrow is the day where I’ll need to go for another check up to see if I could eat the pills again. Phew, after all those negotiations, the doctor finally agrees to lower the dosage of the chemotherapy pills because it seems too heavy for me, though I am still worrying about how I am going to adapt to the pills again after enjoying so much freedom from it. I suppose I am scheduled for another Lamba puncture around this month, too, since it has already been 3 months since the last chemotherapy treatment.

I really thank God for this experience, though of course it isn’t as grand as the other things I’ve gone through, it did remind me of certain important things. It’s wonderful to see how God uses seemingly random situations in our eyes to make something that will help us grow more towards Him. I also thank God that my infections were cured really quickly (the last time I felt really pain on my gum was actually the day I saw the dentist), that I was able to enjoy the stay in the hospital and come out just in time for my college mate’s gathering. I guess I also need to thank God that as I am writing this post, my flu seems to be very much better (after a month), though somehow in me there’s this lingering feeling telling me that if the flu gets cured I am 100 percent going to need to eat the pills when I pay the doctor a visit, which of course, I dread.

And yeah, before I forgot, during the time when my gum infection started, which was around the 20th of August, Monday, the hair on my head finally started growing again. Though I have been accustomed to this bald look, I still thank God that the hair is growing again. I myself was quite fascinated that in just one day my head was filled with black dots instead of the usual white shiny parchment. Mom herself confirmed this when she came back from her Vietnam trip and was surprised herself. Younger brother said that probably because the cells in the body were busy making hair cells, that there weren’t any defense when the bacteria came and attack my gum and thumb… I hope my body doesn’t do that again.

Alright, so once again I wrote another looonnnggg essay, which I hope I could learn how to cut short and also not leave it day after day till I need to write this much of an amount and crack my brain hard just to remember the time line of the things that happened. Hmm… maybe I should just try the report method.

Report of what happened since the August 25th post.

21st of August: Chatted with Zhi Yong about suffering to remind you about God.

22nd of August: Visit dentist for gum infection; didn’t remembered what I chat yesterday.

26th of August: Thinks and says to self that I may need to get admitted to the hospital. Suddenly remembered about what I chatted.

27th of August: Went for check up; white cell count very low; admitted to the hospital. Sad.

29th of August: Discharged. Happy.

31st of August: College mate’s gathering.

4th of September: 2nd check up; white cell count considered low; don’t need to eat pills. Happy.

10th of September: Finally finish writing report. Realized all that has happened.


Now ain’t that short and sweet?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Motivated by pain...

Even though I am 20 years of age I still don’t have the guts to go visit the doctor or dentist by myself. Maybe that’s because I am not sure about the procedure and all to meet them, and would probably make a fool of myself in the process. That… and the fact that I need to talk to someone whom I don’t know seems… really scary.

On Wednesday though, I finally broke a personal record by going to the dentist alone. I guess pain and suffering has a way to drive you to do the impossible, the totally unimaginable.

I had a gum infection at the bottom left wisdom tooth. It started on Sunday morning and initially I thought it wasn’t a big deal as I could still chew at that area though with minor pain. There doesn’t seem to have any open wounds or the like which made me think that it could perhaps be those minor pains I have in my gums every once in awhile when my white cell count is at the low side, as the gums tend to swell and hurt.

It didn’t get any better and by Monday I could see a wound at the side of my teeth, which made me go: Uh-oh, it’s another gum infection. Yeah, “another” as during college I once had a gum infection too near April (I think I did mentioned it in the blog somewhere), which was a double bummer as first of all I couldn’t enjoy food on my birthday and during then I had an English “interview” like oral. My teacher wondered and commented on why I was mumbling all the way through it when she was giving out the result. She was surprised when I said that I had a gum infection and asked me why I didn’t told her so then, which was exactly what I was thinking in my mind.

Back to last Monday, I still insisted on not going to the doctor as I could bear the pain. Tuesday it became worst but I was still as stubborn as ever. Perhaps the other factor that made me not want to go to the dentist was because my mom was out on vacation (meaning no one to “teman” me), and I didn’t wanted to bother dad to take me to the dentist since he’s working, and most probably he’ll just ask me to “be a man” and go see the dentist alone, and being me I was too afraid to go alone.

On Wednesday though, it was so painful that I woke up half way in my sleep and that’s when I thought, alright, enough is enough. It’s time to be a man! Thank God that my dad didn’t off his phone when I called him and was able to ask him to give me some money and borrow the driver to take me to the dentist. Thus, started my quest to search for a dentist.

It was easy to find a dental clinic, but trying to meet the dentist is a different matter altogether. The first place I went to was closed on Wednesday (Oh, great!). The second one was open, but they said they were filled to the brim with appointments, suggesting me to come tomorrow and gave me their business card that look like it drop into the longkang and got picked up again. The third one, which I skipped pass it initially to go straight for the second because it looks so ancient (it looks the same since I can ever remember staying in Sri Petaling), was also filled with appointments but was free at 4 in the evening. There was only one more left and if it closed or filled with appointments I would need to search further or just bear with the pain for another day. Thank God that this one was open AND willing to accept poor old me.

Thinking about it, I just can’t understand those receptionists at the dental clinic at all. If I come and visit you without an appointment it must mean an emergency where I am in pain right? And there they were asking me to come the next day or several hours later. Okay, maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt that “some” really health conscious people come unexpectedly to check their teeth so they won’t mind making an appointment if the doctor’s schedule is full, thus making them not sure if it’s an emergency or not. But… when I came into the clinic, the second one only had one man, the third one was empty… couldn’t you just spare 10-15 minutes to check up on me? I bet the waiting time when one patient comes out till the next one goes in takes around that much time anyway. Then again, if their schedule is so hectic that would mean the dentist is really good, and that would me the one that I went to… hmm… let’s forget about that.

Oh, and for the first time in my life, when filling up a form I need to tick that I am a ‘cancer’ patient. It feels… weird in way, like you feel special, but at the same time very vulnerable. Just a minute after filling the form I was able to meet the dentist, and to my horror she said because I had leukemia and was just off treatment 2 months ago, she couldn’t do anything for the gum infection like what she would do for the other patients as I may bleed uncontrollably. Arghh… so you mean you wouldn’t do anything? Well, at the end all she could do was clean the wound with cotton, and prescribe me with some painkillers and antibiotics, not to forget a bottle of mouthwash especially for my gums.

Back home, I had another dilemma. I couldn’t decide whether to eat the pill or call my doctor to know if it’s okay to eat the pills that was prescribed. The antibiotics were fine, but the painkillers may interfere with the chemotherapy pills that I am taking. Even after checking the internet I still couldn’t find a solid answer, I couldn’t call my doctor as I don’t have his phone number, and calling mum wasn’t much help either as then she oh-so-conveniently went out of the mobile phone range in her area.

After thinking 30 minutes between being safe or relieving from the pain, I chose the latter. Thank God that as of now I didn’t collapse or anything, though I am sure if I visit my doctor again, I am going to get a scolding if it really is dangerous.

That wasn’t all, when I saw the amount of painkillers there were in the packet, I started to get a little worried. It only had 10 pills, and I need to eat 2 “whenever I feel the pain”. Last time when I had the infection and went to Wilson’s clinic I needed to take painkillers every 8 hours or so, being optimistic and say the infection last another 2 days? The pills couldn’t even last me to the last day! Or perhaps… these pills are different and could last me for at least a day. Thank God though, that after eating the painkillers once, I didn’t suffer that much pain anymore and didn’t need to eat another one.

Well… as of today, there’s still pain lingering at the infection site, I am still having flu, and another skin infection at my right thumb. I guess the combination of all 3 got me really worried as it may mean I need to stop the chemotherapy pills because my body was going on overdrive and could collapse anytime, which I couldn’t decide then. Then again, after reassuring myself that I have went through all of those before, there isn’t much that I need to worry about. Besides, why worry so much if all I need to do is pay the doctor a visit and more importantly, leave it to God?

Phew, really hope that all these infections would be cured, at least that would give me a piece of mind. Though, this is one experience to remember, at least I finally went to a dentist, alone… and boy, now I know why people wouldn’t want to be sick when they are working adults, medical fees are the bomb.

The business cards from the dental clinic. The middle one is suppose to be the one from the longkang, but due to my bad camera, it looks fine here.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Having your immunity suppressed really is… terrible.

This is the first time in 20 years that I got flu… while I am still having flu.

Well, you know when your flu is about to get well when it starts turning sticky green instead of the white watery liquid that constantly flows out, right? Apparently since my immunity was suppressed, a complete recovery that should take around a few days when that sticky green stuff appears took more than a week. I guess during this long recovery time I somehow got another flu from someone (since everyone seems to be having cough and flu this few days) and my flu turned into the white watery liquid again… which means my body had to start from square one to recover… bah~ Not only that, I guess the infection spread and left me coughing a little.

Thus, I have been suffering flu for 3 weeks and I guess it will continue for a few more days. When to the hospital doctor 2 days ago because I couldn’t afford to let my body’s immunity system do all the recover by itself (when you rub your nose so much that the skin seems to wear off and it starts bleeding, you know your body needs help)… didn’t wanted to eat any medication at first as I was afraid it may interfere with the chemotherapy pills, and who would expect a simple flu could last this long.

The flu not only attacked me physically but mentally too. I was starting to get really paranoid, thinking that I may have a relapse and all seeing that my body was getting tired easily again and thinking that my lymph nodes were getting swollen, which when now I think about it… duh, of course you get tired more easily when you are sick.

That was why before I went to the doctor’s clinic, I was praying really hard that it wasn’t a relapse. Some of you may think… wah, got so big of a problem or not worh? But to me I learnt that every thing shouldn’t be taken lightly, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you at first, as many things aren’t what they seem. I remembered back then, before I was admitted to the hospital for leukemia and I was still going for dance practices for the coming Asian Baptist Youth Convention then, I remembered telling my dance instructor, Ai Nah, that I may need to go for surgery as a worst case scenario to remove the swollen lymph node, but if it’s nothing serious it would just be a virus and eating pills would suffice. I happily told the entire dance team not to worry as I would only get admitted after the youth event was over if it’s a surgery. When we ended the practice and was about to leave, Ai Nah said that we should pray for the swollen lymph node. I just shrugged them off telling them: “Aiyoh, nothing lah, just swollen only mah, what’s the big deal.” At the end we did pray, but back then in my mind I was still thinking why they would pray for something so insignificant. And there you have it, the worst case scenario wasn’t a surgery but I had leukemia. Sometimes I wonder if during then I did seriously pray about it would it be any different… would it become just a viral infection instead? Nevertheless, I guess God knows best, for He doeth all things well.

Thank God though, that after the blood check in the hospital’s clinic, all my counts were normal (normal for an immunity suppressed individual that is, it’s almost like half of everything you guys have, but still safe enough to sustain me). Praise the Lord! I let out a sigh in relief, like those who just saw their exam results and found out that they manage to pass subject. The doctor prescribed me to take some antibiotic pills and assured me that it’s okay to take the flu medicines.

When we were about to leave the clinic, the nurse who was working there wanted to go to Times Square to meet up with some old friends of hers, since it already was time for the clinic to close. Well, being such friends with mom and I after a year plus, we decided to give her a ride, and being the person who would make use of every opportunity, I decided to lepak around Times Square, too.

After all these years, this was the first time I entered Times Square. My first impression of it: “Eh… why everyone say this place full of sea food smell (LaLa)? Quite class wert.”

Just then elder brother called from Aussie and even before I could start telling him how wrong his perception of the place was, I started smelling the scent of seafood after ascending a floor or two. “Wah! Like Endah Parade only!?” I said to my brother. Well, if you just stay in middle and don’t stray to the sides of Times Square, you would say that it’s full of class (they even have a theme park! So why not!), but when you start straying to the sides… aiyoh… really… like pasar already. The majority of people I could see there are either secondary school students that just finish classes (or ponteng) and tourist, I guess it isn’t that good of a shopping destination compared to Midvalley and other places which I guess the local shoppers know it, I could be wrong though, but the thought of having to travel so high up just to see different shops and the pasar borong feel makes me think otherwise. So after having lunch in some Hong Kong fast food restaurant, I had to rush back for guitar lessons.

I guess the paranoid issue won’t be gone so easily, and would the thought of relapse might pop up every now and then to scare me… till like maybe 5 years plus which normally is the time period where a cancer is considered cure. Then again, in the world, there are no guarantees. The only guarantee in the world is in Christ. I wouldn’t say that having this thought of a relapse haunting me is a bad thing, on the contrary, it always reminds me that my life is in God’s hands, that I am not as in control as I thought I was. Thus, humbling myself down, knowing full well that God is in control. Besides… it makes me treasure every day even more… just being able to live another day normally never seem so good and special.

Alright, time to eat my flu medicines. Don’t know why, but whenever I eat it, it makes me sleepy but at the same time my brain is so active as if I am rushing for a train or something. The contradiction is… terrible.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wee! A Wii!

I have no idea what made me buy a Nintendo Wii.

It started out with my brother asking the price for a Wii (after I bugged him) when we went there to check if the new PSP was out. The man said it was RM 970, which surprised me because most of the next-gen consoles are above the 1000 Ringgit mark. When mom finished her shopping and we were about to go back, I saw another game shop and ask my mom (don’t need to bug) to check the price for a Wii there, and found out it was RM 950. Whoa! Even cheaper than before.

After that day, whenever my mom goes shopping for groceries at our friendly neighborhood shopping centre Endah Parade, I would ask my mom to inquire about the Wii from the first shop we went as mentioned, since most of the time we buy our Playstation stuff there and get really good deals, telling my mom to see how much price cut she could get from there and what deals are there in the package.

I was kind of surprised actually that my mom didn’t object me from buying it, as most of the time if I were to buy something that isn’t clothes or educational thingy’s she would object and ask me to get it as a birthday/Christmas present some other time. Last Wednesday though, when she wanted to change my younger brother’s school uniform from Carrefour, she just asked me: “Eh, so you want to buy the Wii or not?”

“No, don’t want.”

As if I would say that! Instead, I was more like: “Thank God! It’s a miracle!”

Since I already did my research and all about the product I finally decided to follow mom and go buy the Wii. I am sure that the shop owner must be really frustrated as mom just kept asking so many times and did not buy anything at all. The price of the Japanese version of the Wii which the man was willing to sell cost RM 900 from RM 950 after many price cuts, but after some research I wanted the US version as the menus would be in English, while the Japanese version would be in Japanese and I don’t understand a single word of it. Though in the long run it would be better to have the US version, it cost a whopping RM 1370 (manage to get a RM 30 discount though), goodness… and just because the language is in English and they give one free original game…

And that’s not all, apparently since the voltage system of the Americans are different than us Malaysians, I need to get an adapter, which cost RM 80; and not to forget another Wii controller and Nunchuk, which cost RM 280 a set… arghH! All together it became RM 1700 plus RM 30 for the credit card charge… ouch!

Went home, immediately open the Wii box and started playing the free original game which was “Wii sport”. The first thing I realized was how true when they say: “It’s a whole new gaming experience that attracts the whole family”, as my mom was actually enjoying a game of virtual tennis and not complaining about which buttons she should press, etc. The Wii controller that has a motion sensor really lures people who aren’t hardcore gamers to play the Wii as playing for example, sport games, is so much easier when you could just follow the exact movements to hit the tennis/golf ball while holding the controller, no more complicated button pressing or joystick moving anymore that hinders the older generation. It was also relatively easy and smooth to point at things on the screen with the motion sensor controller. And there I was at first, worrying about the difficulties I might face just to point and press a button, of course though, you can’t compare it to the pixel perfect accuracy of the computer mouse.

I was kind of dumb struck as this is my first time playing a next-gen console. Having no wires connected to the controller from the console, able to hook up to the internet to receive news and weather reports from its inbuilt wi-fi system, heck, even loading the games seems pretty cool (there’s a channel and all to load games). I still remember that even though the Playstation 2 announced that it has the capability to go online with a network card, nobody really bothered over here as it’s a big hassle and it seems really unstable at that time with not many game companies developing this feature. And now in front of me this console has an inbuilt wi-fi that isn’t much of a prototype but very usable (you can send messages to another person with a Wii, too). How time flies, eh?

So, after playing it what do I think about this gaming console?

Well, one thing about this machine is its ability to play party games (4 or more player games), which I guess Nintendo is good at doing. Most of the games on the list for Wii seem to be party games; even the Sonic game I bought has a Party Mode built in it. As if have said, the fact that you don’t need to press buttons to activate a complicated move, do a combo or super attack or just run around helps those who aren’t so good in gaming to have a fair advantage over those hardcore gamers and thus puts the fun factor in.

The Wii is also especially interesting when it comes to sport and action games, as you could use the Wii remote to be any sport equipment or any weapon, giving you a different and more realistic way to play those games. And it really “is” sports as it makes you sweat with the workout (believe me, it’s enough to make my joints ache).

Unfortunately, as an RPG fan, the downside of the Wii would be its lack of well… RPG games. I guess it’s nothing to be amaze of as if you play RPG, the only thing you need would be just to mash buttons and it gets the things done. Then again, I might be wrong and somehow RPG developers may start venturing into the Wii console to create a whole new way of playing RPG games. The other thing would be that many Wii users are overrating the old console games (SNES, Gamecube, etc). They are really fun to play, yes I admit that, but shouldn’t those games be left to their old consoles and just be a plus that the Wii is able to play it instead? Oh, and not to forget, the Wii isn’t much fun when you just want to lay back and enjoy a game without moving any muscle except your fingers as most of the time, you need to position yourself and at the very least use your whole arm for most of the games.

Hmm… thinking about it, I guess the other reason I bought the Wii besides the lower price was because I was more certain that the Wii is completely different than the X-Box 360 or the Playstation 3. Let’s just say I saw the Wii as neutral when it comes to the console wars which created sides in the gamer’s community (Playstation, X-Box, the Wii, and those crazy people that buy all 3, all predicting/claiming which console would be one to reign supreme, though I am pretty sure which one will through my observation). Though if possible I would love to get a PS 3 as I am sure most of the Japanese developers prefer that console and I don’t really enjoy the games out in X-Box as of now. Then again I maybe wrong, perhaps there’ll be something that’ll attract me there? Who knows?

All in all, thank God for my parents that I was able to buy the Wii, shouldn’t be complaining about other console or stuff now, ha-ha!

Alright, a few pictures of my Wii, forgive me for the poor quality pictures as the best camera I have at home is the 1st 3G phone out for Sony-Ericson.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I realized that I have been interacting with adults more often than people around my age during the course of my treatment.

I guess it’s not a surprise at all as first of all most of the time I am either at home recuperating or in the hospital for treatment, and secondly a majority of the people my age are busy studying or out strolling among shopping malls I guess. Plus the fact that I am not sure of my own treatment schedule because of the unpredictable side effects and all means that I can’t plan when people can visit me or not either.

Either that… or perhaps I am just getting older that’s why I’ll naturally mix with the adults… since I am not a teenager anymore. But I guess I’ll just stick to the thought that the amount of conversation I had during treatment was less than 1 year of college worth, thus making this whole observation a failure.

Then again, it’s not like it’s a bad thing mixing with adults. On the contrary, it really is interesting talking to adults as if they are like your age… if you get what I mean. No, it’s not like the: “YO! YO! What’s UP my HOmie??!!” kind of way but more to the topics that they talk to you. Instead of being all serious and totally the no nonsense kind, they actually converses about erm… regular stuff. It really amazes me when they talk about their teenage years and how they thought about stuff then, their dreams and all which makes you go… WOAH??!! You mean they once thought like us too!!! How come they are all so serious and “adult” like now? But when you think about it, everyone was a teenager once too, and one day we are going to be like them.

One example of me mixing with adults more often would be joining my uncle’s band. Well, it’s a band form by a group of, well… uncles, from the same cell group for the purpose of performing during Father’s Day in church this year, to show that the uncles could still do it (the uncles are average 40+ years old I guess). They realized that it was so fun jamming together that they still jam for fun every now and then on Sunday at my place.

I was pretty sure something like this would happen as my uncle used to be a band boy, and when I started to play bass and his son played the drum, I guess the band boy spirit kicked in and he wanted to jam one day… problem is he couldn’t find any members of his age to form a group. Till this year I guess… where he managed to find some guitarists and a drummer, thus a band was form. I decided to join as the bassist as there was a spot, and it would be a good opportunity to tune up my bass skills instead of letting it rust like that, especially since my uncle isn’t the kind that have the “tidak apa” attitude when it comes to playing music, so no slacking.

Maybe I am just not open enough, but I always find it very fascinating and amazing when adults play rock & roll. Perhaps that’s because I have the thought that adults hate rock music and the like and would immediately complaint, asking their children to off the music and not forgetting to comment on how we could enjoy “noises” like these. But… thinking about it, it was during the time when these adults were teens that some great rock music came about (Deep Purple comes to mind), so sometimes I wonder why they complaint so much on those rock music.

The skills that some of these uncles’ have in the band are really jaw dropping. In our modern age we can normally get guitar scores from the internet or have music teachers training us to play the music we heard on the radio but these uncles play by ear, as during their era internet didn’t exist and going for music training isn’t exactly cheap either. That is why the way they hold their chords is pretty different compared to what most people do, and there are some chords which they themselves don’t even know as it is their own creation (it sounded right, so they stick to it). Really neat stuff, and even more so when they do guitar solos.

Of course, when I jam with them they don’t go all out rock, instead we play songs during their era (which we teens call oldies sometimes) like “I started a joke”, “Have you ever seen the rain”, “Let it be”, yeah, those kind of songs, mostly from BeeGees and the Beatles, and not to forget Christian songs that the uncles enjoy during Sunday worship or cell meetings.

As they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover, and honestly if I haven’t jam with them I wouldn’t believe that any of them could sing or play an instrument. It sure is amazing to know that in church there are actually many of the uncles who do actually have great talent in music to serve God.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Eating drugs... i mean pills...

Alright, I’ll be totally honest with you. The reason I didn’t update my journal for some time was simply because I am just too lazy to sit down and write I wanted to allow sufficient time for everyone to be able to read the previous post, knowing that it is too long. If you have split up the post into sections and read one section a week, I guess this post would have been written just in time then. =)

First of all I would need to thank God that amazingly I am at least getting used to the pills I am eating weekly and daily. When I started to eat the pills 2 weeks back, the feeling of nausea, a little dizziness and tiredness makes me wonder how am I going to survive eating those pills for 1 and a half years. I could only stay awake for around 2 to 3 hours and would feel really drowsy after that. Worst of all, those side effects made me not want to do anything except maybe watching TV, as playing computer games or reading books just takes up too much energy. At least last time there was some hope even though I am suffering those side effects --- the pill eating only last 1 to 3 weeks at most --- but as of now its 1 and a half years… which is impossible for me to just put up a fight and think that those side effects weren’t there. It was so bad that I really wanted to make the decision of not eating the pills at all and jeopardize the whole protocol, but the thought of getting a relapse AND having to go through chemotherapy treatment again isn’t such a pleasant thought.

I decided to do some searching on the internet on how to counter those side effects as any little help would be a benefit. It was a little disappointing to realize that this nausea side effect was considered “uncommon” to most of the people taking the pills… ah… why must I get it? It was an interesting find as only now I knew that there were actually some food and drinks that I wasn’t suppose to take for it clashes with the pills, for instances, alcohol, milk, and Vitamin C (Mom said that the doctor did told her Vitamin C should be avoided, but weirdly I didn’t hear that). At the end of the search though, the only thing that could help ease off the nausea was something that I already knew, which was simple enough, taking anti-nausea pills (duh?!). Apparently in America these anti-nausea pills could be bought over the counter which is easy enough, but over here I need to get a prescription from the doctor to get it… and not only so, one pills cost around 30 ringgit. Since one pill can last for 12 hours, meaning 2 pills a day, times 1 and a half years… it would end up at a grand total of around RM 30k. If my health was in tip top condition I would rather use the cash to buy a second hand car. Because of that overwhelming figure, I decided to only use the anti-nausea pills during Mondays when I need to take my weekly pills which really strain the body and just bear with it for the rest of the days.

Bearing with it for the rest of the days wasn’t as easy as it sounds… which is why I really thank God that the nausea feeling isn’t so strong anymore during the second week of pill eating and I am able to do my daily activities normally once again. I still feel the chill down my spine whenever I just think of the pills and perhaps get a little drowsy for 10-15 minutes after taking down my daily pills, but that’s bearable at least. Now I only have Mondays to worry about, but that’s just fine for me I guess… when you have went through so much, you’ll learn to appreciate lots of things that don’t seem so significant at a glance.

Honestly speaking, I was quite disappointed as the end of my chemo-treatment wasn’t going as what I have hoped for. I thought I could be doing vigorous exercises again, strolling around shopping malls, attend YTU and stuff I did before I got admitted to the hospital, but apparently it wasn’t so. This pill eating has even made me think that perhaps going through chemo-treatment was better as at least I didn’t need to suffer discomfort for so long. Yes, chemo-treatment does deal a heavier side-effect, but at least I know that it’s going to stop after 2-3 weeks and I can rest after that, without being bothered by it anymore. That was what I thought the first time I had it in mind, which of course, if I do seriously think about which is better; eating pills would definitely be much easier to go through compared to chemo-treatment. Makes me realized how short sighted human beings are at times, not being able to see the big picture. That’s why without Christ in us, we will all be really lost in the world, as none of us can really know what is the big plan that has been installed for us, and we used up all our energy focusing on the wrong directions instead.

On a side note, elder brother coming back for winter break was a welcomed relief. He always brings back goodies whenever he comes home, but when I think of where the money comes from I guess I should appreciate my dad even more ha-ha. With him back my younger brother’s computer is finally fixed, I could go anywhere without pestering my mom or dad, and I finally have a usable lag-free Playstation 2 to play. Oh, and 3 cheers for my brother for passing his exams this time around, you’ll understand what it means when you ask him.

Oh, and for those who are wondering what in the world pills am I talking about, the pills that I am taking are called Mercaptopurine and Methotrexate. Well, I decided to tell you guys because the book is oh-so-conveniently beside me I am feeling nice today. Don’t ask me to figure out which one is the weekly and daily one as I am in no way going to go check it out at my pill box or check the internet for it as I get this chill whenever I just look or think about it.

Hmmm… and I guess 3 cheers too for the Malaysian soccer team too. At the rate they are going, the tourism department would be very please to know that more foreign football supporters would be staying longer in our country (thus, increasing their spending over here) as Malaysia is doing a good job in giving up a spot to allow another country beside themselves to get a spot through the group stages. Selflessly sacrificing their own hopes and dreams to get the medal for the sake of the country… how admirable don’t you say?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It's not over yet...


Prepare for a really long read; reading it in parts is advisable; not for the easily distracted or those who just hate reading.

Phew… what a week…

I was initially planning what to write 2 weeks and a half ago and was deciding to use the title called “Hair Issues” for that post, since I wanted to thank God that even though hairs from other parts of my body such as my moustache were dropping, the hair on my head didn’t drop off from the last chemotherapy. I also wanted to proudly announce that I had my first “real” hair cut, since chemotherapy, at my aunt’s place to trim my hair that was growing out of place (well before that it was only shaving due to the fact that my hair was dropping off) . I was worrying about that as I have totally no idea what this one can do since I haven’t had it before. Heh, I even thought about the advantages of having my moustache drop off so easily with this weird advertisement in my mind:

Some guy: OH NO! My date is arriving in 1 minute and I forgotten to shave!!!

Narrator: Ever had this problem? Fear not as with chemo-hair-remover, you can instantly take away your moustache by just wiping it off your face (guy in advertisement swipe the moustache off and his date arrives just in time, with a big smile he walks off) Yes! Just by wiping it off!! What’s more, you will never need to worry about hurting yourself while shaving again! Please note, side effects include hair loss from all parts of the body.

And since my hair didn’t fell off, I was thinking of explaining about my thoughts on shaving my hair just once more in that post… till I get old and it drops off I guess… for the sake of remembering what I went through, though then I was hesitant to do so.

Hmm… what else, oh… and to write about how little red dots were appearing everywhere on my body. If it was rashes I wouldn’t be in such a panic, but the “dots” weren’t on the skin, it was under it. And that could only mean internal bleeding. The fact that when I scratched my left arm one night and bright red patches appeared in the morning the next day, plus all the other red dots that were starting to show up got me worried. Though I tried to stay positive and say it wasn’t internal bleeding as it wasn’t like last time: the skin became dark brown in color when I scratched it.

Well, as you can see that article wasn’t written as I became lazy from all the thinking I have done and decided to push it to the next day, well I do have most of the days free anyway since I am not schooling or doing any work as of now. Ah, but I didn’t know what was about to come…

The next day was Monday, and it was time for my check up with the doctor. I was dreading to go there as it would mean the start of my pill eating days till one and half years later, feeling nauseous whenever I take the 12 pills every week. I know there’s no way I can delay it if my blood count were all normal, especially since the check-up was suppose to be earlier on Friday, but it got delayed because the doctor had to go for his church camp then. So, I went in the clinic, doctor was talking about his experience in the church camp and he wrote a prescription on the pills that I needed to take. When he asked me if there was anything particular happening to me, I told him of the red dots, but he wasn’t too worried as long as the counts were alright… phew. So, all that was left was to wait for the blood test result as it still hasn’t arrived then. Though most people hope that their blood count stays on average, I was praying that it wasn’t so--- I wanted it to be high enough to sustain me from infections and internal bleeding, at the same time low enough so that I couldn’t take the pills as it will drop my blood count lower and that can be dangerous.

Not too soon the moment of truth arrive when the doctor opened the door and said:

“Your white cell and blood platelet is too low to start the pills…”

I was about to jump and say “OOOoooohhhhhh Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh!!!”

“You need to be admitted to the hospital as the platelet count is 18 and white blood cell is at 1 point something…”

Arghh… tried to escape by telling the doctor if I could stay at home and get admitted only if it gets any worst…

“You HAVE to get admitted, I don’t want anything to happen to you especially since this is the last treatment you have…”


Well, the first thought in my mind was that I felt kind of betrayed by the doctor in a way. Since this chemo-drug was never administered to me before, I asked the doctor if it would be heavy so that I could prepare myself before the treatment. The doctor said that it was light, and wouldn’t be much of a problem.

It was easy to believe at first as it wasn’t much of a problem for the two weeks I had, before getting readmitted this time around. In fact, during the time the drug was administered it wasn’t too bad. And after that when I got home from the hospital, I felt perfectly fine for the whole week, not feeling any side effects that would hinder the things that I do daily.

Though after thinking while walking to the designated room in the hospital, I decided that what the doctor said about this last treatment being light was not completely wrong if compared to what I went through last time, it’s just a low platelet count and my white cell was enough to sustain me and not get me isolated, nor do I need be afraid of any major infections or anything like that.

Alas, things got bad to worst…

I don’t know if it’s because I got depress since I need to stay in the hospital, especially knowing the fact that this could take a whole week or more waiting anxiously for the platelet count to go up, but during that week when I stayed at the hospital, my hair started to fall off from my head. I was disappointed in a way as after one and half years since the start of my treatment, my hair finally was long enough to be able to use gel, clay, or any other hair products. Then I remembered about the thought of having my hair bald just one last time… ah… don’t need to be hesitant about it anymore.

On the first day I was admitted I had one packet of blood platelet transfused into me. Well, mom was a little curious as to why the doctor gave me one packet instead of the usual four which he did since the first time I got admitted in Pantai Hospital. We concluded that the doctor wanted to save our money as one packet was enough to keep me out of danger (one packet increases my count on an average of 15) and if the platelets increase in a few days then it wouldn’t be a problem, and I was also counting on that as I wanted to get home as soon as possible… I thought I never need to see the rooms again so soon.

But I guess things don’t always go the way as you have planned, especially things that are out of your control and in God’s hands. Each day when I was awaken up by the doctor’s greeting I can only hear the dreading news of both my blood platelet and white blood cell count dropping from the doctor. I thank God that the white cell count wasn’t dropping rapidly till almost zero (around 0.1 something) like what the blue chemo does to me. It drops, but then the count sustains for a day or two, then drops again, and then sustains again. Blood platelet I can always transfuse and stay out of danger immediately when that’s done, but the white cells are a completely different matter.

From a white cell count of 1 plus to 0.7, 0.6 and 0.5 at the end, it won’t be a surprise that I was issued by the doctor to be isolated as I could easily get infected with that kind of count (I was immediately to be isolated when my white cell count drops under 1). And that’s when the fear crept in as I didn’t want to get sick or have any kind of infections. I have had all the common infections by someone who has low white blood count except pneumonia (based on my book on leukemia that is) and somehow then I had the feeling that it was going to get me. That… and I never wanted to face the pain of an anal infection for the chances of getting it was pretty high since I didn’t do my big business in like 4 days, and I thought I was going to get a tear because of that. Thank God that that didn’t happened to me at the end. What joy I have just by doing my big business in the toilet when my white cell count was low.

And I don’t know why, but whenever my white cell count drops to a level where I need to be isolated and easily get infected, there’s bound to be some completely clueless dude or dudedess who will enter my room. It seems the chances of this happening are pretty low when I am alright, but once it drops… During this time when I was isolated came a man who has no common sense at all. I would forgive the person if he enters the room, sees that the person on the bed isn’t who he’s intending to visit, and leaves saying sorry for the mistake. Nooo… this dude came in, saw that I wasn’t the person and instead of leaving, his eyes starts looking frantically around the room trying to search for an invisible compartment inside my room, or perhaps his invisible friend, I am not sure, but the way I see it his look was serious enough like that of people trying to watch comets flying pass earth every once in 50 to 70 years. I won’t give him the benefit of the doubt that he may be taking that time to figure out if I am the friend he was suppose to visit because we look alike, for if supposedly he “is” my friend… won’t I like say ‘hello’ when you come visit me and invite you? I won’t stare at a friend like a complete stranger and ask him or her to go away, right? And to makes things worst when my mom gestured him that he was in the wrong room and asked him to leave, he was going “harh, harh?” like my mom was asking him a question. Only when I said: “Salah room” did he get back to his senses and only leave. *slaps at forehead*

I did not expect that I will need to take back my words on my previous post about how I will never need to last 5 days WITHOUT taking a bath so soon. My aunt came over to shave my head in the hospital on Friday and having hair sticking all over you after that is really frustrating, and I had to give in to take a bath. I’ll admit that sometimes I am just too lazy to take a bath, but in the hospital, the main (or perhaps second after laziness) reason I avoid taking baths is because of the chemo-pod with the needle in it. To avoid it’s dressing getting wet and all I need to use a plastic bag to cover the chemo-pod, use Micropores (the white bandage commonly used) to stick the plastic in place, and when I bath I can’t move around so freely to avoid the chemo-pod from getting wet. Lots of work, totally not worth it to me it seems. Me and mom thought we could avoid that this time around when the nurse gave us some water-proof like stickers that could avoid all the plastic bag/Micropore work, but it turn out to be foolishness instead as the sticker was too sticky and I had to change my entire dressing on my chemo-pod because it pulled out the dressing while sticking on it *grumble grumble*. Though normally after actually taking a bath, I will start thinking why in the world did I forgo this super refresh feeling just because of… laziness. I shaved my head as I didn’t like the sight of my hair dropping every time I wash my face, dry my hair, or wake up after sleeping. It seems freaky to see your hair getting less and less every day. That, and for hygienic reasons too: you don’t want to see your hair dropping on your food every time you eat.

Hmm… I guess some of you may be wondering half way, why don’t you update your blog in the hospital instead of waiting till you get home? Is it because you are “lazy”? Ho-ho, I do have a legitimate reason for this. I brought my laptop to the hospital after staying there for one or two days as I know it’s going to be a long week and I cannot survive by watching the same movie/cartoon/documentary more than twice. Mom was using it first the day she brought it to play spider solitaire as then I wasn’t in a mood to surf the internet or write anything. But the next day when I wanted to use it (which I think was the day after I shaved my hair and took a bath)… eeeehhhhh??? How come my screen black one? Tried everything I knew that could restore the screen but to no avail. It was only when I realized a slight movement in the super dim desktop background that I knew what happened --- my laptop’s screen back-light has blown. ARghhhh!!! And the effort I took to reformat it!!! Just when I thought I was bound to watching reruns of the same movie/cartoon/documentary for the rest of the week, I thank God that I still had the faulty but playable Playstation 2 at home and had an RPG game that I did not finish (which I eventually did while staying in the hospital this time around), otherwise I would have bored myself to death by memorizing lines from the same movie/cartoon/documentary that I have watched over and over again.

There was a glimmer of hope on Friday evening when the blood test result found out that my blood platelet has gone up by 1. Well, 1 may not be a significant number, but if it is increasing, even just by 1, the chances are by tomorrow or the day after I might go home if it is still increasing as the doctor can rest assured that my blood platelet will restore to normal and don’t need to stay in the hospital any longer. But that wasn’t the case. The next day my count dropped further down to a count of 15 and the doctor said that I would need to have another platelet transfusion, 4 packets this time. Since the decision to have the transfusion was only decided during the evening (had the blood test around then), the packets of platelet only arrived around midnight. I would complain as most of the time I would be having a short nap of around 2 hours at that time, but this time around during the transfusion I was able to watch Fantastic 4 at Star Movies for the first time. At least I won’t be left out in the dark when I watch the sequel. One thing I don’t like about platelet transfusion, especially 4 packets, is that most probably I would have allergies popping out by then. The good thing that it’s only itchy when you scratch it… but who can resist when you see a bump coming out from your skin?? And soon after that, my head feels like exploding inside out and my body feels really hot. Thank God that after a few hours, ever thing goes back to normal.

The other thing that I don’t really enjoy about having low white cell count is that I would need to take antibiotics at intervals in order to prevent infections. It wasn’t too bad at first; the antibiotic that I initially took a day or two when I got isolated was the injection kind. So after injecting it through the chemo-pod it was done… simple, fast and easy. Though I must say that whenever that antibiotic is injected, I could actually feel in my mouth some sort of UHU gum taste and for the first few days of administering it I could feel the pain in some area of my gums which I think was infected by bacteria by then, as later the pain didn’t occur anymore. Though it does disturb my sleep (the antibiotic comes when I am sleeping, around 11pm, 5pm and 11am), the fact that the antibiotic could be given to me real quick reduces the frustration factor. But after Friday (I think…) the white cell drop to around 0.5 by then and I was put on another antibiotic, this time the drip kind. What I really don’t like about the drip kind is that first of all, it takes a longer time; secondly, I can’t really sleep as I need to make sure when the drip is done and call the nurse to remove it, otherwise there might be a back flow and my blood starts flowing back into the tube; thirdly, unlike the injection kind, I can’t really trust the nurses on this and had to wake up to make sure there isn’t any air bubbles in the tubing that could kill me. The second and third could be countered by a dripping machine of some sort (which stops the flow when the drips finishes or has air bubbles in it); unfortunately I could only use it for a day as someone else more urgent needed to use it. The feeling of being bound to the drip and not being able to twist and turn in bed so easily isn’t that pleasant too, though I think this is just mind over matter. And… the worst of all when having a low white cell count, next to suffering the pain of getting an infection, is that I would need to suffer pain from getting a Neupogen injection to the stomach. The next day when I was given the antibiotic drips, the doctor also decided to give me the Neupogen to raise the white cell count up. He did asked me if I wanted it a few days ago as it can dramatically spur the white cells to increase rapidly, but I did not want to as an injection to the stomach really hurts and there may be a blue-black considering that my platelet count is so low. I also place my bets that my white cell count wouldn’t drop any lower than 0.7 but that apparently didn’t happen. Well, there’s two parts that I dread of having this injection: the waiting part and the actual injection itself. The last few times I had it, this injection was given around 5 in the evening, and every time after lunch I will start to have this fear of waiting and thinking when the injection would be coming and that haunted me till the nurse comes with it. Totally waste my afternoons thinking about it then. Thank God that as of now, this wasn’t the case because it’s given in the morning. So… when the nurse wakes me up around 11 in the morning and I am still groggy and all, she just say it’s time for my Neupogen injection and get it done, don’t even have the thought of waiting for it haunting me at all. The pain from the actual injection wasn’t avoidable though, sometimes it hurts really bad, sometimes nothing at all, but I guess that’s because the sleepiness I had then acted like a natural anesthetic. I had 5 (or was it 6) of the Neupogen injection. The last one was on the day before I got home, could be avoided if the doctor came earlier in the morning but when he came then the damage was already done. Though I must say, all these annoyances is still better than getting infected, as getting infected could cause me my life instead.

Oh, and talking about drips and all, another reason why I dread drips, especially at night, is because of some of the night nurses that does a not so decent job. I thank God that for the most half of the time, the night nurses that took care of me were the more elite ones who were more careful and caring, and with that I was able to rest in peace at night knowing that nothing bad would happen. But the first half of the nights there was this really scary nurse that I was always afraid of, since the beginning I was first admitted I guess. Well, remember when I said that I wanted things to be done fast so I could sleep? Yeah, I want things to be done quickly, but in a proper and moderate and safe manner, but this nurse… fooyoh, she really feels the need… the need for speed. When she injects the antibiotic I could see her using like all her strength to try and push it in as fast as possible (that antibiotic is really thick); when she draws my blood out, I can tell you it’s so fast, that I could actually feel the decrease in pressure in my heart… no kidding, I had to tell her to slow down as I am feeling something in my heart, which she goes: “Oh sorry…”; she uses the same tubing over and over again without taking a new set for the drips; and when I was getting transfused with the four packets of platelet, she wanted it to be quicker then it already was… so she kind of squeeze the packet like how you do on a toothpaste. Well, most nurses do the squeeze like toothpaste thingy only when it’s about to finish to make sure that no platelet is wasted, but when it’s still half full?? And since she was on duty for the first time I needed the drips, I didn’t dare to sleep soundly since then as with her she wouldn’t even care about when the drip is done or not and expect me who is sleeping to take care of it and tell her when it finishes… makes me wonder how those old folks are going to survive without anyone else taking care of them. Imagine the horror by the time when they wake up and all the blood has back flowed into the tube. Well, for the elite nurses they do everything opposite of what I have described, easy as that.

Talking about this scary nurse, on Sunday night, one of the elite nurses said that I needed to change my chemo-pod needle as it has already been a week. So she told me that she had written a message to the morning shift nurses but asked me to remind them just in case. Morning came, my mom helped remind the nurses, they said “yeah”, but nothing happened. Which could only meant that it was passed over to the afternoon shift, but then it really isn’t a problem as I wanted to take a bath in the afternoon before the needle is reinserted. Afternoon came, mom reminded again and a nurse finally came to pull out my chemo-pod needle and I was able to take a bath freely without the needle blocking the way. But while taking it out the nurse says that it will only be reinserted at night… I was thinking: why at night? She said all the nurses are busy at the moment and therefore it would be best to give the job to the night nurses. *Plays horror music at background* It’s not that I am annoyed they are delaying it for so long since the morning, but I was afraid that that night the nurse in charge was THAT scary nurse. I remembered the first time when my chemo-pod needle was inserted by her… instead of using a square waterproof sticker and paste it professionally; she just took some Micropore and paste it above my chemo-pod needle. That time I was like: what in the world?? You call this a dressing? Thank God at that time then I only needed to stay for one day, so it wasn’t a problem, but as of now I am not staying for one day, and if it’s her… I am soooo in trouble. Thank God once again that for that night, it wasn’t her. So, at the end: the night nurses asked the morning, morning asked afternoon, afternoon pass it back to night… what a cycle.

After a lot of waiting, good news finally came on Tuesday when the doctor told me my white cell count has gone up by one plus though my platelet was still dropping. It is a relief; at least I didn’t need to be afraid of getting infections anymore, and it meant that it’s a matter of time before I could be released. That morning my throat felt sore but I didn’t wanted to tell the doctor at first for I fear that if I did tell him, he would ask me to stay longer in the hospital for the throat to cure before going back home. What’s the big deal of a sore throat anyway? It will cure in a matter of time right? Though after thinking for awhile and realized the consequences if the sore throat is in fact something serious, I just went ahead and tell him. The doctor said that I was having the sore throat now is due to the fact that the white cell is up again and had nothing to worry about. Hmm… how could I forget about that, it’s just like the other infections I have. Makes me think how ironic it is, that even though we as humans don’t want to suffer pain in anyway… feeling pain actually means that your body is working properly as intended.

“Hallelujah!!!” was shouted on Wednesday as my blood platelet has finally increased! The doctor smiled and told me that if all goes well and not have a fever I would be able to go home tomorrow. Woah… that sounded like music to my ears. Unfortunately, on that day when I did my temperature check up every 6 hours, my temperature was always slightly above 36.9 Celsius (37, 37.1, and 37.3, around there). I would like to point the fault to the thermometer, but that wasn’t the case as most of the time the errors occur below 36.9 Celsius (had 36.1 once… isn’t that hypothermia? And the nurses just say: “Temperature normal, tak de fever”) but if it is above 36.9 Celsius, it usually does mean I do have a fever. So then I was praying to God that the doctor wouldn’t mind these slight “mis-readings” and allowed me to go home the next day, if the platelet goes up that is. I was also soooo tempted to hide the temperature report or maybe changed it so that the doctor would never know about it.

So on the next day, I was SUPER delighted and thank God when the doctor said: “You could go home…” Woo-hoo! The weird thing is, when he told me what my count was it really isn’t to say the least good. My white cell count has shot up to 6.7 something because of the Neupogen injection and if I am right, that count isn’t normal for a human being. Not only that, my blood platelet, has in fact dropped that day, not to forget about the slight fever that I think I had. So, I just had to ask the doctor why am I allowed to go home even though my blood platelet count was dropping and he told me that it was because the blood platelet was on an average level, or whatever that means, and was stable enough to go home. Well, if he said: “oh yeah horh, you better stay longer…” I would have strangled myself for making me stay longer in the hospital by opening my big mouth. After packing my stuff and getting my antibiotic pills, I gave out a huge sigh of relief: I was finally able to go home.

Though this isn’t really significant I’ll just write it down for remembrance sake. On the morning before I was able to go home, I finally manage to sit down and watch how the sky changes from black, to dark blue, to light blue in 30 minutes time starting from 6.30 in the morning. I am always amazed at how the color of the sky changes so quickly in a matter of time and wanted to watch how the sky color gradually changes at least once, as most of the time when I see it, it’s black, then I go off to do something and later when I see it, it’s already light blue. The most amazing thing is that, for the past few days in the hospital I wanted to do that, but distractions such as, nice movie to watch, the sky was already dark blue when I look out the window, I was playing games --- kept me from succeeding in doing it. So I was telling myself that staying in the hospital for another day more has one benefit, I could try and at least watch the sky gradually changing. Weirdly on the day I succeeded doing it, was the day I could go home. God’s plan seems so perfect when I think about it…

God teaches us to be patient by putting us in situation where we need to be patient. For the 11 days there I kept asking God why doesn’t He just do a miracle and allow me to go home instead of letting me suffer like that. Then I remembered about how there are some people who prayed so earnestly for their love ones to come to know Christ for 10 years plus; how people prayed that their love ones could change for the better for years… that’s when I realized that if it’s only just 11 days and I cannot take it, what about those who waited for years? As they say, God’s answer to our prayer is “yes, no or wait”. Perhaps God wanted me to trust in Him and see if I still stand firm in Him if He didn’t let things go as I wanted. Makes me realized that most of the time I kind of forget that my life is in God’s hands and not my on, that most of the time I treat God like a genie in a magic lamp and ask for things to be done my way, instead of following His way as He is my Lord; to learn of His will and purpose for me on earth, instead of the other way around.

Guess I’ll need to update what I have overcome (updated in bold):

-1 year 5 months plus (started on December 22nd, 2005 till June 14th 2007)
-12 chemotherapy treatment (not including the others, if included it’ll 18 treatments)
-50 plus blood drawn from the arm (not including those from chemo-pod)
-10 Lamba puncture procedure (and counting… still need to go for it)
-5 times hair dropped
-3 painful mouth ulcers (one caused from bacteria, while the other 2 was because the cell lining couldn’t recover fast enough)
- 2 anal infection
- 1 case of herpes zoster (or the heavier version of chicken pox if you’re wondering)
- Packs of blood and platelet transfusions (+5 more packets of platelet from what I had)
- And being nausea for all the treatments except the first one and the one where I didn’t need to take any chemotherapy.
- 20 plus Neupogen injection to the stomach

Hope, this time it really is mission accomplished though, ha-ha! Thank God once again, that there weren’t any serious infections this time around, that everything went smoothly as planned, and that I didn’t need to suffer as badly as having to go through a chemo-treatment.

If you have read this far, I’ll give you a little treat through these photos. This is the first time I ever actually taken a photo of myself since being diagnosed with leukemia. Well, the other photos were mostly wedding events, but that’s not like I can ask to be excused right?

[Hmm... I guess it's time for a trim...]

Me: Boss, kasi trim sikit.

Barber: Noooo problem boss.

Me: *Dum Dee Dum*

Me: WHAT??? Boss APA NI?

Boss: Trim sikit lah boss, taklah macam Zidane?

Me: ...

(If you noticed, I was so shocked that my shirt changed colour)


After getting back on Thursday, I really thank God that I could make it on time to help in performing for the Father’s Day church event on Sunday. Well, my uncle’s cell group decided to play some Christian songs to perform on Father’s Day, to show that they still have what it takes to be band boys… err… I mean to show that father’s like them still can serve God by performing songs.

It really is fun, especially the fact that I once again felt this nervous feeling in performing like the days I used to play bass for my friend’s band. Though this time around, I haven’t been playing for so long that my fingers had blisters by the end of the practice, and had to use bandages on the fingers to play on that day itself.

I was really worried too, about the fact that my lips were deteriorating to the point that I could taste blood on it. As if it goes on, it would mean that I need to suffer a lot when eating as my entire mouth lining would be destroy by then, not to forget that I need to face my lips that are filled with dried blood every morning. Thank God though, that as of now it didn’t reach to that point. Praying to God that it becomes better instead of worst, as I would really like some rest before the pill eating starts this Thursday… though if the lips and mouth lining reached to that level I could avoid eating the pills to allow it to cure, but that isn’t all that good either. Then again, if it really does become that bad, I would not hesitate to yell at the doctor for telling me that this treatment is light, when it actually gives me the terrible side effect of all the red, blue and yellow chemo-drugs combine.


Alright, guess I’ll be going back to bed now… finally manage to update my journal once again. Phew… tough trying to record everything down…