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?