Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Looking back, this year has been quite a roller coaster year. I'm not referring to the financial markets. Within our household, there's been enough ups and downs, tears and joy. Glad that things are kinda calmed down now.
Have been blogging for a year now. It has given me an avenue to let off steam and relieve the stress that's weighing me down. It has also acted as a connector with my friends to keep them updated of what's going on in my life when I couldn't catch up in person. It has kind of become my 'only' link with the 'outside world'. haha.... I believe i'll still continue to blog till I've run out of words, or till the day comes when I've given up talking about my feelings.
Spent the last 3 days in Klang for cousin's wedding. Had the luxury of time to roam a little bit in KL and tried some nice and cheap food there. Other than that, it was more of catching up with our cousins, whom we hardly meet but are close like siblings.
Thursday, 18 December 2008
He's not extremely excited about the new school that he's been posted to. But I guess that's one of the best of whatever choices we had. Let's hope that he'll grow to like the school when he starts there.
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Look around the house, so many things to sort out, so many issues to settle, but so little energy. Got to wait till my strength is back again.
Think age has got something to do with it too. Can feel my body losing the ability to sustain late nights, common cold/cough and not as strong as before. Got to really do something about it. Seriously.
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Friday, 5 December 2008
We also had a one-day tour around the island and visited the local wet market, fishing village, pepper plantation and fish sauce factory. It was an experience for the kids as they've never been on such guided tour.
We had a Mekong River Delta tour arranged upon our return to HCMC. It took a 3hr drive fm HCMC airport to the Mekong river delta. Luckily I gave the kids motion sickness medicine in advance. Our tour guide was throwing up like crazy on the way!!
The sight of the Mekong river delta was nothing to boast about. River was murky and there's nothing interesting to see except for lots of fishing and cargo boats/vessels. But it is interesting to know that the river has provided so much resources to the people of 4(or was it 5?) countries before 'retiring' into the ocean. We had a very authentic Vietnamese lunch by the river bank which included the famous 'elephant's ear fish'! We also visited a small fruit plantation, handmade coconut candy factory, and a local village. The kids had their very first horse-cart and sampan boat ride here too. Overall, it was an interesting experience for them.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
"6 star Mumbai hotels kanna attacked by terrorists. I am staying far away from the hotels under attack. Not to worry."
Aiyo, how not to worry?? Sms-ed him to return asap. After that, was tossing and turning on the bed till morning.
Watched CCTV4's news with Dad in the morning. The situation in Mumbai is really bad and the hotel that was hit was Taj Mahal, a top class hotel and many business/banking pple stays there. The news reporter interviewed a caucasian who managed to leave the hotel after the attack and found out that the terrorists were targetting US passport holders. And that most held hostage were fm US. sigh...so sad.
Finally heard fm hubby that he's been confirmed on an early flight back. What he told me next sent a chill down my spine. He was at the Taj Mahal Hotel just 24hrs before the attack!! I cant imagine what will it be if the terrorists had attacked a day earlier!? I'm scared....
Anyway, hubby is now on flight back already. Looking forward to fetch him at the airport.
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Now that we've made our choices, we're not gonna hub over his result anymore. It is over and we're looking forward to the school he'll be posted to and how he's gonna face his whole new secondary school life.
Friday, 21 November 2008
It started off with the little graduands donning the graduation robe and the mortar board and heading up stage to receive their certificates and photo taking. I was so excited looking high and low for my little skinny boy, only to find his centre is the last group to come out. This boy was so serious looking and walked with his face straight ahead without even noticing that we're all frantically waving at him! haha... no wonder the teachers always praise him for being serious and obedient in school!
Then came the concert and frankly, with the effects of the medication, I was yawning and coughing half the time. And again, his group was the last to perform. But he really looked so cute! (ya, all mummies find their own kids cute what, cannot meh?) In the green froggy costume, he was like a machine, his hands going up and down, left to right. He really looked froggy with his glasses!! haha...
After the concert, picked their 小姑姑 up fm YCK MRT and we went Melben for dinner. Yucks!! all the dishes were so salty and the soup was not piping hot when served. And for a simple dinner without any seafood for 3 adults and 3 kids, it was totally overpriced at $110+! Never gonna go back there again.
While I was walking thru the carpark with Drew, he told me this. He said, "Mummy, u know, this morning when you lectured me and Matt-Matt, I had a sudden urge of shouting back at you! But then I didn't."!!!!! I was shocked and asked him why? why did he feel that way and what did I say that he got so angry about? He couldn't (or maybe didn't want to?) give me an answer, and just simply said, "nevermind, it's over. I'll never shout at my mummy. I love my mummy!" I think I'll have to watch his emotional growth even more closely. He's beginning to show signs of closing in. How?
sigh...another thing to learn as parent to pre-teen going to teen.
Well, we had gotten his result yesterday. His face sank when he saw it. I felt his anguish and frustration. Nevertheless, I hugged him and comforted him that at least he had pulled his Chinese grades up. I went out of the hall while he continued to mingle with his friends. I secretly teared but didn't want him to notice my disappointment. Sms-ed hubby and kids' godpa to inform them. All were shocked to hear of his result. Hubby was upset and didn't understand how it could hv gone wrong.
We went on the day as normal as it is. Received quite a few smses asking about his result. Had a nap after my medication. Then we spent some time opening up and sorting out all the toys, game cards and electronic games that I've brought back fm Beijing. Hubby called him while we were doing that and gave him a harsh lecture. Poor boy went back to his room and cried for some time. My heart cried with him...
I tried not to address the issue, but couldn't hold it in anymore this morning. So had a good lecture for both him and Matt. It is not about my disappointment, but their seriousness in whatever they do. The shock we got fm his result has proven that he had been taking things too lightly. Too nonchalant for too long that he has to finally pay a price for it. I've also been too patient and soft towards them. 慈母多败儿, it's time for me to toughen up and not take it too easy with them anymore. Will have to be strict and stern with them from now on, till they can prove to me that they've become an independent learners. It's gonna be a tough year ahead, with one new in secondary school, one new in primary school and one heading into the ever dreadful preparation towards PSLE. When will boys mature???
Parenthood is a tough journey that has no end. Everyday I'm learning something new and every corner turns up with new surprises. Will I hv the energy to sustain? sigh...
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Will be going to school with Drew around 1130am for his PSLE result. Am keeping my fingers crossed and getting so excited! Really hope he'd done well and can go to a school of his choice.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Gonna be on a midnight flight. Hopefully there wont be too much noisy tourists or cranky babies onboard. Also my throat seems a little ticklish. Pray that I've not gotten the cold bugs fm the kids, or it's gonna ruin my trip again like last year!! Wish me luck!
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Tuesday - Went NCC for Dad's usualy chemo session. But his platelets were low and he had to skip that session. And that was in the morning around 9+. Then we went over to Singhealth Polyclinic across fm NCC. Dad has his regular hypertension and diabetes checkup. He went for his glucose blood test, while I queued for his registration. That alone used up 30-40mins. Then comes the dragging part, waiting for his turn outside the doc's room. For heaven's sake, why can't polyclinic doctors/nurses/staff be better in terms of time management??? We spent a total of more than 4hrs queueing to see the doctor and then the nurse counsellor!! Ridiculous isn't it? By the time we went home, it was already 4+ in the afternoon. That's the end of my day...
Wednesday - Nic has his follow-up check-up at the KKH. Not sure if we were lucky or was it bcos it's still a school day. We managed to see the doc in less than 20mins and everything was over in under 1hr, including collection of medication. Impressive!! See the extreme difference between the 2 clinics?? Time for Singhealth polyclinic to learn from KKH.
Thursday - Matt's off from school for the day. So I decided to bring him to the PR polyclinic for a referral to KKH for a medical issue. It's a Thursday, which usually will not be extremely crowded for polyclinics. But still, registration alone was 25mins' wait, then waiting to see the doctor was another 1.5-2hrs. Even waiting for them to fix the appt with KKH took us another 25mins. I managed to finish 1/4 of my book while going thru all these waiting and waiting! Singhealth, please take note and look into yr clinics' efficiency. sigh...
Friday - Mum had her follow-up appt at CGH. The nurses at the registration counter is very 'cute'. They'll tell you upfront, "be prepared to wait for an hour"!? I looked around the waiting area, there wasn't many patients, so why need 1 hr? Anyway, we waited lor, what else to do? Then we met this 'young' doctor, who's probably around early or mid 30s. He was not good in Hokkien, so spoke briefly with Mum. Then he turned to me and switched to English to explain what they had done for her previously. I was quite annoyed with him bcos he kept using the word 'cancer' in the process of explaining that they did some biopsy on the cells retrieved fm Mum's stomach previously, and found no abnormal cells. Ya, I understand he had to reassure us that she does not hv cancer. But did he had to repeat it so many times?? He probably used the word like 6-7 times! I glanced at Mum and could see that she's beginning to show confusion on her face! When he ended, I told him, my Mum is a very negative person, could you please tell her in Mandarin that she does not hv cancer? His use of that word is kinda freaking her out!! So in the end, we spent about 3hrs there as well.
So that was how my week went. It's really tiring going around all these 'waiting game'! I wonder when my body will give way under these stresses. I WANT MY LIFE!!!
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Friday, 17 October 2008
beautiful right? That's what I like about this side of the island. Away fm the urban rush and sometimes it can feel so serene, as if you're in the countryside or even relaxing at a resort. Think it'll take a lot of convincing before I'll even consider moving out of this area.
Sent the car to VICOM Changi for inspection. It's only 3yo and I dun understand why it needs an inspection if it has been serviced regularly by the agent. Anyway, when garment says so, we got to follow. First, it's the charges. Call me stingy la, but a 15-min inspection costs $58! not forgetting the 7% GST. Felt like the dengue mosquito sucking my blood.
Anyway, the car went thru 2 'machines' checking the wheels and then the headlights. The rest were done by the mechanics using their 'eyes'. And one of the mechanic came up to me and said,
"Excuse me? Is this yr car?"
"You see, yr back windows and windscreen has the tinted film. It's not the approved one."
"No, it cant be. We hv chosen the one which only blocks the ultra violet rays but not the view into the car, so it cant be wrong."
"No no, it's not the approved type. Yours is the reflective type and under the sun, you can see yr own image but not inside. So we hv to fail yr inspection."
"What? It is not reflective! You can definitely see inside."
"It is la, ma'am. We cannot let it pass."
I'm still not convinced by their explanation. There was another car which has windows looking darker than mine and it cleared the inspection. I really don't understand how the mechanics judge the 'reflectiveness' or 'clarity' of the film with their eyes. sigh...
After I left the inspection centre, I noticed that they've failed my headlights too!? What's wrong with it? It's original with the car, so how could it be wrong?? And I wasn't even given an explanation what was wrong or what changes need to be done to it!! Sick!
Everyday on the roads, I see so many cars with weird modifications, 'mirror-like' windows/windscreen, 'super power' headlights, with drivers speeding down expressways at 120kmh. But they never get booked by TP leh. Then poor law abiding driver with an all-original car cannot pass the inspection?! Ridiculous!
My fire's burning hot today!! >(
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
As far as I understand fm what I've read, the chemo drug targets all fast-growing cells in our body, which includes our skin cells, blood cells and hair cells. That is why patients going thru chemo experience hairloss, skin irritation and drop in their blood cell counts. So I guess this must be the reason why doc cancelled Dad's chemo ytd to prevent the drug fm reducing the wbc further. But how to help the body increase the no of wbc to its optimum level?
Anyway, Dad's been quite 'healthy' otherwise. His appetite is soooooooooo good that he's eating 4-5 meals a day. He's been eating so much till he start asking me, "Is this normal? Why do I keep getting hungry so easily?" haha... Told him that I'm happier seeing him eat than when he cant eat. He cant eat, I cant sleep! Now he's gone out to town with Mum, on their own! First time that they've gone out on their own without me (or any of my siblings) accompanying, since his hospitalisation in May. I'm confident he knows his body well, and he knows he can go about independently. Dad, jia you!
Now we'll just wait for next Tue for his CT scan. Then the doc will review it with us on 21 Oct. Hopefully this CT scan will show further improvement and he can be off chemo or be switched to a reduced frequency. Pray.
Friday, 3 October 2008
It's been a stressful year for him, I know. I've been reminding myself repeatedly to be patient and calm with him. But seeing how nonchalant he is sometimes, makes my blood pressure shoot up! I'm glad he's been quite cooperative in the last 2-3 weeks. I'm hoping that he'll remain focussed and finish off the rest of the papers smoothly.
Son, I've confidence in you and I know you'll make it if you put yr heart to it. And I'm waiting to see that you really put yr heart to what you're doing. Prove it to yourself, that you can if you want to. We're behind you all the way. We love you!
I'm wondering, are all old folks like that? or is it my mum? her temper seems to be getting worse these days. And the most upsetting thing is, she's taking it out on Dad. Her poor hearing does not help either. Sometimes Dad tries to tell her something, she'll 'mis-hear' it and start arguing with him. Then when she's unhappy with anything that we (the children) do, she 'dare' not tell us off, but grumble to my Dad instead. Just feel so unfair for Dad. There he is, cant bear to see her worry and decided not to let her know the truth about his illness, then has to take all these nonsense fm her. sigh...it's so unfair.
anyway, there's just no way to change my Mum. She's been so stubborn since the day I understand things. I've grown up wondering why she's not like other mothers. I've tried explaining and talking sense to her, with her always 'agreeing' to my explanations. But in the end, she still stick to her own viewpoint. I'm beginning to give up explaining things to her, or showing her more objective views. I thot I'm stubborn, but she's many times more than me. sigh...
but then again, if it's someone outside of the family that tells her something, she'll believe it 101%!? funny hor? but that's just my Mum lor.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
...being stressed is the best excuse to SHOP! hee...cant go out much, so how? Online shopping's the answer!! spent nearly $100 already on online shopping. Gonna stop clicking the pages or the bills gonna shoot up!!!
6 more days to my freedom...............
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
sigh...my hands are cold, my feet are cold, my heart is palpitating....arrrgggghhhhhhhhhh.........
luckily I'll hv a year's break before I face this same ordeal again in 2010. I need to 滋润进补 and nourish myself before the next battle. Hopefully the second time round will be easier. sigh...
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Saturday, 2 August 2008
was browsing some online fashion stores looking for suitable dress for niece's wedding in Dec. Suddenly a thot just creeped up fm nowhere. Will Dad be able to live up till her wedding??? Fear just engulfed me....
I know it's very negative of me to think this way. But I dunno. As much as I try to be positive and 'pray' that miracle will happen, I can't help but hv this fear that he'll not be with us for very long. Never hv I ever felt that my parents meant so much to me till this thing happened. I realise I am so afraid of losing them. I hate myself for not spending enough time with them. I hate myself for being so defiant when I was younger. I hate myself for being so helpless......
Just called Dad and spoke to him. 3rd sis drove them out for lunch at Changi V this afternoon. And he just had home cooked dinner. He sounded very cheerful. Made me recall what he said to me 2 days ago. He said, if he doesn't get cured, at least he knows he has tried but Heaven thinks his time is up. He'll just need to leave his final words on a couple of things, then his last wish is for a quick and easy end. He said he has no regrets and he is very happy to know that he has raised righteous and filial children and even grandchildren. He is at peace with life now and he will be ready when the time is up, although he is not giving up as yet.
As his daughter, it pains me to hear him say such things. But it's also relieving to know that he has come to terms with the whole thing. I'm not so sure about myself tho. As it is, I dun think I've come to terms with the whole issue and I'm not sure if I'll be calm enough to let him go when the time is here. I'm so scared.............
Nic had slight fever on Wed night thru Thu morning. We thot it's just the common cold since he had some sniffing too. Ina found quite a number of red spots on his legs and cheek and we thot he was attacked by mosquitoes.
Then on Thu night, we found more red spots on his groin and neck. On close inspection, I was certain it's chicken pox though the blister hasn't appeared yet. Brought him to GP first thing on Fri morning. It was confirmed with the first blister showing on his forehead just hiding behind his hairline!
Luckily, the older boys had their taste of chicken pox already when they were much younger. I had mine some 15yrs ago. Mum also supposedly had her chicken pox and even the shingles. But Dad is not sure if he had it before. Checked with the GP and the NCCS hotline, and they all suggested separating Dad fm Nic as Dad's immunity is low and any form of infection may cause more serious problems. So out of desperation, had to send Dad (and Mum of course) to eldest sis' house. They've lived there prior to moving in with me, so that's where they felt most comfortable going back to. They'll hv to stay there till Nic's chicken pox all dried up (probably in a weeks' time) and certified non-contagious. Then I'll fetch them back again. Sorry.
Back to the little one. Never have I known that he's such a vain pot! He's so concious about the pox surfacing on his face! I've warned him to abstain fm scratching as breaking the blisters may mean leaving a possible permanent scar on his skin. This little devil took it so seriously, that he's getting upset over every new spot we found on him! haha...dunno to laugh or cry. This is a boy we're talking about and he's so concious over his looks. But that's quite like Drew when he was young (or even now).
Anyway, thus far, his outbreak is still quite alright. We counted 44 spots as of last night. Dunno if it's the anti-viral medicine (cost me $45 a bottle!!) that the GP prescribed, or his is just not a very full blown chicken pox. Or maybe it's the chicken pox vaccination he had in 2003 that's suppressing it to a smaller scale outbreak? But..but...isn't the vaccination suppose to prevent him fm getting it at all?? So much for trusting all these vaccinations!? They dun work all the time either. sigh...
Now I have headache. I'll be striped to this little monster for 24/7 for a WHOLE WEEK!!! or even more if his pox takes longer to dry up. What am I to do with a little devil who goes around saying he's bored every half hour?? OH MY GOD!!
Friday, 1 August 2008
His appetite seems so good the last whole week, maybe bcos it's the rest wk of his chemo cycle. He's been asking for different things. He wanted to eat the Telok Kurau hokkien fried prawn noodle but twice we went there, they were closed. So we had the famous Beach Rd prawn/pork rib beehoon soup. Then he asked for pork kidney and I cooked it twice in a week for him. On Monday he actually asked for pig's heart! So I bought one and double-boiled with American ginseng for him. The way he craved for food is a bit like a preggie mommy's craving leh. haha... but it's great to see him craving for food. It's definitely better than seeing him no appetite and chewing bread with milk only. Hope his appetite will continue to be good.
Monday, 28 July 2008
now hub is making them read to him in the study. they'll only sit up straight when their father starts talking very seriously. He's still the one they fear even tho he never cane or discipline them, and always playing a fool with them. Guess they've found my weakness and knows how to play around it to get their way out of any disciplinary action fm me. But when hub gets serious, they know it's no time for fun.
the number of grey hair on my head is increasing fast. so fast I cant even cover it with hairdye fast enough! faint!
Sunday, 20 July 2008
this is a reminder to myself.
ok, I'm sorry if I've snapped yesterday. To whoever, for whatever reason. Stress? maybe. Medication? possible. Tired? highly likely. I think I found the reason for the stupid eczema on my face. and fyi, I hate my hair!!
Nothing seems to be going well. I need time to come to a standstill. I need more time for all that I need to do. I'm running out of time. I WANT TO RUN AWAY!!! I'm a lousy daughter, lousy wife, lousy mother, lousy woman......I'm feeling so lousy. sigh.....
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Dad's pain lasted about 2 days and it subsided by Sunday afternoon. The hot pack helped in soothing his pain. But he was still lethargic and not much appetite. Bro bought Henghua noodles and stew tofu for him and he ate about 3/4 soup bowl of a mixture of the two. In the evening, he only wanted sweet potato soup. When Mum came back around 9plus, she insisted that he ate something else before he slept. So I made him the multigrain cereal that sis bought and gave him a slice of bread to go with it.
Dad said the whole Saturday night, Mum was fussing over him. Everytime he woke up to go toilet, she'll get up and walk behind him!! Guess she's really worried that he might fall down. Poor her, cant even rest properly.
Sunday, 13 July 2008
His appetite is also getting bad. I tried talking him into eating small meals or at least drink milk to keep up his nutrition. Can see that he's forcing himself to down the food that we give him. Checked and he confirmed that his throat and mouth are fine, no sores or anything. Just that he doesn't feel hungry or urge to eat at all.
Then it's his skin. Getting very dry and itchy. As I've told him not to scratch, he jus 'strokes' his hands and legs when the itch comes. This also caused his skin to have a rash. The inner side of his arms, thighs and body are all big patches of redness. Looking at it already send my skin itching, wonder how Dad could withstand it. Bought Cetaphil cleansing lotion for his shower and applied Jergens super heal moisturising lotion for him. His skin seems less flaky and he said the itch is lesser. But wondering if he's just saying it so that I wont be so worried. Also checked with Cat last night and confirmed that it shd not be allergic reaction to any medicine.
Thankfully this time round, Dad has no fever. Though he felt a bit 'warm' in the afternoons, but temperature checks record no fever. One consolation. Jus hv to continue monitoring him.
I think the word WORRIED is definitely 'written' all over my face. Dad seems to be reassuring me again and again that he's not worried and he's positive about the whole treatment. He kept telling me not to be worried. Do I really look very worried? Maybe...
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Then this afternoon spoke to 2nd sis and she said Mum told her the same thing! Mum said that her fren's late husband had the same problem and was diagnose as cancer. She even said that the treatment was similar. hmm....now I'm wondering if Mum has actually guessed that we're lying to her, or maybe she thot that the doctors didn't tell us the truth??
sigh....wonder how she'll react when she knows the truth? headache.....
Friday, 4 July 2008
Thursday, 3 July 2008
2. a device for projecting a beam of light.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Tuesday, 1 Jul - Appt with Dr Tan E H at NCCS. He reviewed Dad's CT scan results and compared with the previous one done in April. Fortunately, there was no sign of any increase in the cancer cells in the lungs. However, some fluid retention was seen in his right lung. Though there is no cause for concern now, but will hv to be careful as it means more prone to lung infection. Dad was very excited to hear that there's no changes to the cancer cells. He kept asking me to confirm what he heard was right. Doc confirmed he can proceed to hv his first round of chemotherapy, then back to see him again at the end of the month. Pray all will go smoothly for Dad.
Monday, 30 June 2008
Now the rest of the 'community' has been extricated fm the cage and sent to their 'holiday home' aka their old cage! hee... Let's see if Brownie will hv more babies in the second half of the evening.
Now, how to take care of bb hamsters?? as if I'm not busy enough...sigh....
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Last night Drew was showering and a lizard fell into the shower and was 'injured' by the hot water. He got Matt to help remove the lizard. It was not moving but gasping for air. So I told Matt to leave it somewhere outside the gate to recuperate on its own. Later Matt came to me with teary eyes and asked if he could keep the injured lizard in a jar till it recovers, before letting it go. I tried explaining to him that it's quite unheard of to keep lizard!? He got so upset with me and refused to talk to me. He claimed that the ants will attack the injured lizard if left on its own. And true enough, when we checked on the lizard later, it was lying dead on the grass patch with ants crawling all over it. This made him more upset and was sniffing away with teary eyes!
I sms hub and told him, "yr chubby angry with me over an injured lizard! Jus bcos I told him to throw it out of the gate!?"
Hub replied: "Haha..next time you step on an ant he will crush you with his bear hug!"
That's how much he loves animals, of all kinds!
Saturday, 21 June 2008
Thursday, 19 June 2008
14 Jun - Had a simple Father's Day celebration with my siblings and nieces and nephews. Though not everyone was here, but it was a good get-together. Took this snapshot with Dad, eldest sis and 4th sis. Felt so loved when Dad place his hand around my shoulder. As I've said, he's such a traditional Chinese man, he hardly shows his affection towards us. I guess the discovery of his illness has brought all of us even closer together, and he also realised that we all love him very very much. Dad, we want to celebrate many many more Father's Day with you. Be strong and we'll fight the battle with you.
17 Jun - Overheard Dad calling his niece-in-law in China. He told her about his illness briefly as Mum was around. Then later he went upstairs and called his cousin and told him too. He kept telling them not to worry, everything will be fine after treatment. Even told them that he'll go back and visit them next year after he recovers and regain more strength. Felt very happy that he's so positive, but at the same time feel so worried that he might be disappointed when his condition deteriorates. sigh...I feel so helpless.
18 Jun - Had breakfast with Dad on our usual weekly marketing trip. Dad's favourite is soft-boil eggs, toasted bread and coffee. While eating, I was reminding him that he should refrain fm eating soft-boil eggs once he starts chemo since doctor has specifically said all his food has to be properly and thoroughly cooked. Then I told him not to worry as I've heard of a friend's mother being diagnosed of stage 4 lung cancer and still managed to live more than 3 years with chemo. I'm sure he'll be able to pull thru this ordeal. He said very positively in Chinese, "I am not worried, why do you all get so worried for me? Living up to my age, having all my children and grandchildren so close to me, I'm very contented already. If I am cured, it is a bonus. If not then it's just destined that I've lived enough." Hearing his words I've to fight back my tears. Dad, you're so strong! We've really under-estimated your ability to handle all these. I feel even more guilty for keeping it from you initially. I'm sorry...
19 Jun - Ha! Something that put a bright smile on Dad's and Mum's face. Dad strike 4D!! Tho not very much, but he's happy! Drove him to claim the prize money just now and he was joking and laughing with Mum the whole journey. Glad that he's laughing.
However, while walking up the stairs, he told me that he's beginning to feel breathless. And he checked his weight this morning, it's only 50.5kg!! He's been losing weight since his discharge even though his appetite has been really good. Can see some silent frustration on his face. I really feel so so so helpless. What can I do to help him? Gonna buy more Vit B Complex and Iron tablets for him this afternoon. He's already started on his Lingzhi and I dunno what else can I make for him to build up his strength. He needs to be stronger before he starts his chemo. what can I do what can I do what else can I do???
Friday, 13 June 2008
Went to Nat'l Cancer Centre with Dad on Wed. As arranged, the oncologist told Dad his condition. What saddened me was that he also told Dad the stage and that the treatment is just to control the cancer cells and prolong his life only. Dad was extremely calm and quiet when told of all these. But Sis and I were quite upset and confused at the same time. The doc also explained the procedure of the chemotherapy to us. Dad simply said ok to the treatment, no questions asked. Now everything's been arranged. Dad will do another CT scan on 30 Jun, see the oncologist again on 1 Jul and start his chemotherapy on 2 Jul. They will be using just one medicine on a 28-day cycle for him. Which means he'll have one injection on day 1 (2 Jul), another at day 8 (9 Jul) and a third on day 15 (16 Jul). After that he'll rest for 2 weeks and back to see the oncologist again on day 28 (29 Jul). If all is well, he'll start another cycle as above. At the end of 2 cycles, they'll do another CT scan to check on the progress and determine whether to carry on with the same drug or to change.
When we stepped out of the oncologist's room, the first thing Dad said was: "Don't tell your mum. She'll get all upset and worried unnecessarily." We tried to comfort Dad but instead he told us not to worry, he's fine. He said: "I'm ok, don't worry. Doctors always exaggerate the condition just so that we will be compelled to return for the treatments. I'll be fine la." I was not sure if Dad was really so calm and positive about it, or he's just putting up a front for us. But I know for sure, Dad is not someone who'll cry his sorrows out. He's really a traditional Chinese man who'll never shed a tear in front of anyone.
Anyway, the last 2 days he's still as per normal. Eating normally, sleeping normally. He's very careful not to discuss anything about his condition when Mum is around. That shows how much he loves and cares about her. I tried convincing him to do a trip to his hometown Putian in Fujian, China, but he refused. He said no point going now since he's not feeling well and cant move around for long periods, he'll go next year when he's recovered. Then I tried coaxing him about the China trip again yesterday and he told me this: "我知道你想什么.我没担心,你们也不需要担心.等明年我身体好些我们再回去(中国).如果真的有什么,也是没法子的事,不要太在意..."!!?? sigh...this sets me thinking whether he understood exactly what the oncologist told him? or he's really very positive and gonna fight and win a good battle? I pray, I wish, I hope it's the latter.
Anyway, Dad, I'm so proud of you. We've definitely under-estimated your strength. I will try my best to remain strong and support you in whatever way you may need. And most importantly, I want you to know that I LOVE YOU, ever so deeply.....
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
The medical social worker spoke to me this morning and she had helped me email the oncologist whom we'll be seeing tomorrow. She explained our situation to him and asked for his assistance to break the news to Dad in the softest way possible. However, he turned down our request to keep from Dad the stage of the illness as it's against his professional ethics. He will hv to tell if Dad ask about it. Can understand his difficulties. He has to respect his patients and be 100% honest with them.
This afternoon was going through some photo albums with Mum. It's those photos taken early last year when Dad, bro, SIL, BIL and cousin went to Xiamen, China. For a moment I was in shock! Dad looked so different in the pictures! He was much fleshier and his cheeks were more chubby. I turned to look at Dad, sitting on his arm chair in singlet and his boxer. 我的心好酸.... he looked so frail, his skin so wrinkled and his cheeks all sunken. I feel so guilty. Why didn't I realise earlier that he's losing weight? Why didn't I realise earlier that he's becoming so frail? Why didn't I pay more attention on him? Why? why? why? why????
I am so afraid of losing him. I am so afraid of losing him. I am so afraid of losing him.............
Monday, 9 June 2008
Now I hear 3 kids, 10, 10 and 12, playing TOYS in their bedroom!! yup, my older boys with their cousin. My boys used to fight a lot with this cousin, Ru, simply bcos she's a girl! Now I think they're ok to involve her in their games already. dun ask me how they managed to sort things out?! it's kids' stuff.
anyway, talk to Dad last wk with 4th sis. Told him doc said he has tumour in his lungs and lymph nodes and there are 'bad' cells, and may need to hv chemo treatment. Very careful not to use the C word. His reaction came as a surprise (or shd I say a confusion) to us. He was so calm and just said "ok lor, then we go see the specialist lor." He didn't question anything like we had expected. Neither did he exclaim or anything. He only grumbled that the docs didn't say anything while he was in hospital, then now suddenly come back and say that there's bad cells and all. Yet they still cant tell him why he just cant stop coughing. Sis and I actually didn't know what else to say bcos this was not the reaction we've expected, or preparing ourselves for. So we just left it as that.
Seeing him cough really pains me. The cough comes and goes, but whenever it comes, it'll be so bad that he's like choking! His face turns all red and he seems so out-of-breath. He's been telling me this 2 days that his right chest hurts whenever he coughs. I'm wondering if it's bcos of his cough, or has his cancer cells started to spread more rapidly?? I'm scared....
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
We're taking the advice of the medical social worker which 4th sis and I met about 2 wks ago. We'll tell him it's tumour with some bad cells that doctor suggested using chemotherapy to treat it. It's a delicate task as we'll hv to observe his reaction and decide how much to divulge. Whether or not he'll guess the truth out of what we're gonna tell him. Tough job. Gonna be tougher than being a psychiatrist or counsellor. My mind will hv to go very fast, faster than Dad to guess what he'll ask and how to answer him. Thankfully 4th sis will be with me and we can 'cover' for each other when either one falls short of words or gets too emotional to talk.
Dad's cough has been getting worse. Even the cough mixture is not of much help now. Whenever the cough starts, he'll cough till his face goes all red and nearing gagging. Seeing him that way really cuts deep into my heart. Even in the middle of the night, I'll startle up fm my sleep when I hear his cough. I hate cough myself, and I know how uncomfortable it is. He just told me yesterday that the cough is getting worse and now when the cough gets too hard, he'll feel the pain in his abdomen muscles as he coughs. Dad, I wish I can relief all these for you with a magic wand. But I cant. I feel so useless.
Went to get additional supply of the cough mixture fm the GP yesterday. He was the one who first raised the suspicion over Dad's swollen lymph nodes in early April. Told him about Dad's diagnosis and consulted him on the need for second opinion. He told me the specialist, Dr Tan E H whom Dad will be seeing next wk was his classmate in medical school and has more than 15yrs of experience in oncology. He feels that Dr Tan is someone whom we can hv confidence in treating Dad. However, if we insist on having second opinion or alternative TCM treatment, we can still request for an additional set of all the CT scan films fm SGH. This way, Dad will not hv to endure going thru another round of all the radiative investigations. Will keep his suggestion in mind in case we need to seek alternative treatment.
anyway, keeping my fingers and toes crossed now. hope that everything will go smoothly when we talk to Dad this afternoon. Hope he'll take it well and stay positive and strong to face it. Dad, we'll all be behind you. Stay strong!
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
I want to cry my heart out with the rain. but can I?