Friday, 18 December 2009
I feel so guilty. We have not visited her for like coming 2yrs? They live in JB. It's not that far, but there just seems to be so many things that's holding us back. Have told hub that we should pay her a visit, but never got around to it. After Dad's passing, I mentioned it again and said she's getting old, better visit her while she's well. And now.........
A 70+ old lady, who's had a very tough life. But she's got amazing memory and very cheerful. She could remember all my 3 kids' birthday, both on the lunar and solar calendars. And she never needed reminder of their names, even though we only visited her periodically. She sees them as her own grandchildren. She's a really nice and simple lady.
We're gonna miss her dearly. 大姑妈您安息吧。
Thursday, 17 December 2009
2mths already, and I dunno what have I been doing. Things are piling up, papers all over and so many things to sort out and settle, yet I dunno what I'm doing. My mind seemed so empty and I dunno where to start. I need a guide, an arrow to point me the direction.
We miss you so much.
Friday, 20 November 2009
As per Taoist customary, we have prayer for Dad on 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th week of his death at the crematorium. We usually will buy some paper offerings such as 'gold', 'silver' and 'hell notes' and burn for him.
Today is the 5th week, and we had the prayer as usual. We know he'll 'need' his favourite recliner, so we got him a replica. Cool right? Anything you want, they'll produce for you. We had, during his funeral, burnt mahjong set, DVD player, LCD TV, portable CD player, mobile phone, passport, air ticket, motorcycle, a 'Mercedes Benz' and a 3-storey house!! And 30 over huge bags of 'gold', 'silver' and hell notes. Nic joked that his 外公 is gonna be so rich that he can become a banker. haha...
Now we're just short of getting him his own private jet. hee...
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
This little devil was given an award for his consistent good work this year!
There's no examination for P1 kids in his school, so they were assessed through their daily class work, weekly spelling and ad hoc tests.
I've to say that this is solely his own effort that's paid off. I've not done any extra work with him. In fact, we did not even finish a quarter of those assessment books we bought. All I did was just check that he had finished him daily work and studied for his spelling. The rest was up to him. Felt a little guilty not doing anything for him. He really deserves a pat on his shoulder. We're proud of him.
Keep it up, Xiaobudian! Continue to persevere and keep up your desire for excellence. You've a long way to go! Love you.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
At that exact time last night, I was unable to fall asleep. I was silently sobbing in bed, not because of him, but something else. Suddenly I recalled, a month ago, that time, we were surrounding him, sending him off with so much pain and tears. And then the thing I was sad about became so insignificant, so minute, compared to our lost.
I stopped sobbing and told myself I've to be strong, because I've a father who'd been so strong and resilient all his life.
I love you, 爸爸.
Sunday, 15 November 2009
"Aunt carol, I dreamt about waigong. He was telling me he had just moved into his new house a few days ago. He was also walking like he used to when he was younger, full of vigour. Told us all not to worry."
Is Dad really trying to get the message to us? Is he really conveying all these messages to let us know he's fine? I do hope so.
Friday, 13 November 2009
A friend messaged me last night after I updated on facebook. She said she sensed Dad and he asked her to tell me,
"... your dad saw u there.. but that you need to let go..he says to take care of yur loved ones ( i sense he is esp refering to a female, not sure if its yr mom? or an elderly someone female .. he says he is fine and will be fine. "
well, I know there are pple out there who can 'sense' things or 'see' things. Usually, my logical self will always brush these off as their own imaginations. However, in this case, my emotional self has the upper hand and chose to believe that that's really what Dad wanted to tell me.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
The village God's birthday was on Monday, 9 Nov. He, SIL and god-nephew were helping out with preparation work at the temple till late on Sunday. They were hanging around and chit-chatting with god-brother's parents until nearly 11pm before they left. On Tue, god-nephew told Ting and god-brother's Mum that he actually saw Dad standing outside at the backyard late on Sunday night while they were chatting!!? And when Brother heard this, he questioned him, was he sure? He described that Dad was wearing exactly the same like we dressed him after he passed away. And that on Monday night, he saw Dad again when the priest was doing the prayers in the temple!? Is this real?
Well, it's been known for sometime that this god-nephew of ours seems to be able to 'see' things. So really wonder if he did see Dad at the temple. Anyway, if it's true, we're not surprised at all. Dad's been helping out at the temple since it was set up in 1972. It has grown to become part of him. It's the place where he can feel the connection with his hometown in China. All his plants are there too. In fact, we've been speculating that he's been struggling to hold on his life over the last few months just to wait for the village God's birthday. And if there wasn't 闰五月this year, then he would have lived past the God's birthday. This probably is the only regret that he had when he passed away...
Friday, 30 October 2009
Cousin, translation for you:
Were you in my dream last night?
It was foggy, but I feel you right before me. Just like last Sat’s dream, the scene was déjà vu, and you were right before me, but I cant see you clearly, nor reach out to you. Were you really in my dream? Or was it just my imagination?
Want to hold your hand again, but that’s not possible anymore…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Monday, 26 October 2009
Today he seems better, not as drowsy although still weak from the lack of food. So hopefully he'll get well soon since his exams are next week.
He weighed himself and declared that he's lost 3kg in 2 days. Poor boy.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Friday, 23 October 2009
930am - checked Dad again and his BP 146/86, pulse 159 and glucose 22.3. Convinced him that he needed to see the doc, then called NCC walk-in clinic and they suggested sending him directly to SGH A&E. Told him and he said I should call 大姐 to accompany us since I'll need to park the car after dropping him off at the A&E. Called 大姐 and she could only get to my place around 12noon.
940am - He was so breathless he needed the oxygen concentrator very frequently.
He looked so frail. My heart hurts.
1235pm - sent Nic to school. 大姐 called and said she's reached my place. When I reached back home, he was already downstairs, panting very badly on the sofa. He walked down the stairs all by himself when he heard 大姐's voice. Seeing him pant really scared me.
125pm - reached SGH A&E, and they wheeled him in for routine checks, and then into the emergency ward for oxygen. He was still able to talk then, despite being breathless.
220pm - getting very restless while waiting outside the emergency ward. Happened to turn around and looked into the ward and saw them wheeling him on a bed into the x-ray room. Felt slightly better seeing that he could still sit reclined and awake.
232pm - my phone rang and it's him. But I was shocked that he's lost his voice and I could not figure out what he was trying to say. I panicked and started asking for help from the nursing students and security guards there to please help me find him. They found him and told me he just wanted to tell me he's fine and doctor has seen him. But I'm not sure if that's really it....
3pm - a nurse came and told us that he needed to be warded. So 大姐 went to accompany him to the ward while I stayed behind to settle the admissions procedure.
415pm - went up to the ward and saw him. He was more breathless than earlier, and had to use an oxygen mask. His voice went totally hoarse and we had to guess what he was trying to tell us. When we guessed it wrong, he got irritated. We felt so helpless, and could only sit there and accompany him quietly.
430pm - Ward doctor came to see him. After checking him, he had a talk with me. Again he reiterated his deteriorating condition and suggested that we consider putting him in hospice care. His condition will get worse and we will not know how to react should emergency happen at home. And sending him to A&E all the time is not going to work either. I felt so lost.
450pm - 三姐 came to see him before heading to Pearl Centre for work. We tried to coax him to eat something and he agreed to have some milo. The nurses gave him some pills and morphine syrup. He didn't touch the porridge and carrot puree that was given to him.
515pm - 三姐 left for work. He started chasing us home. Told him that Mum wants to come and we'll wait there for her. He shaked his head and didn't want us to stay.
525pm - 四姐 called and asked about his condition. She was heading into the Turf Club to report for work, but felt uneasy, so called to check. Told her not to worry, he should be fine.
630pm - Again he chased us to go home. He looked irritated and I thought maybe he wanted to rest. So I suggested that we go for dinner first before returning to wait for Mum. He nodded his head. Asked if he wanted to eat anything, and he shook his head.
705pm - We returned to the ward. A nurse was trying to measure his BP. He looked like he's sleeping. Felt something strange when the nurse tried to get his BP reading from his calf when she couldn't read anything from his arm. My instinct prompted me to lean forward to have a closer look. He looked strange and I tried calling him but no response. Felt his face and it was cold and sweaty!! I went into panic and started shouting for him to wake up, please don't go! The nurse called for help. the doctor came, and they shoo-ed 大姐 and me to wait outside. Frantically we started calling everyone to come quickly.
720pm - the doctor came and told us to be prepared for the worst. His lungs seemed to be collapsing and his BP and pulse are very weak. They have put on a drip for him to push up his BP, but that may not last if his lung functions deteriorate further. So they suggested giving him another drug to reduce his breathlessness, so that he will be in a more comfortable state. We seemed to be left with no other choice. Doctor's final words, "..with these 2 drips, his lungs will probably keep him till tonight or tomorrow...." I couldnt hear what else she said......
730-1030pm - one came after another. He regained slight consciousness and was able to respond to what we said. Each time someone arrived, we will inform him and he will acknowledge with a nod. When we asked if he wanted some water or was he hungry, he briefly shook his head. His eyes remain half shut throughout, and continued to be breathing very hard. Finally when 四姐, last one, arrived, and we told him, he miraculously opened his eyes, took a last look and shut again after a couple of seconds.
1040pm - he waved both hands up and outwards, just like what he usually do when he 'chased' us to go home. We asked him if he wanted us to go home, and he nodded his head. He looked alright and seemed sleepy. So some thought maybe they could go back and have a shower before coming back to take over for the second half of the night.
1120pm - in the end, most left and only Mum, Charmaine, Seth, Raymond, Terence, Weiting and I stayed behind. Dad looked like he's fallen asleep. Mum insisted on sitting on the arm-chair beside him to keep watch. So Seth, Charmaine, Terence and Weiting stayed with her. While Raymond and I took a rest outside the ward.
12midnight - Seth came and woke me up. I got a shock! Then he said, nothing happened, just that Granny wanted me inside. Went in, saw Dad still the same as before, but Mum insisted that his breathing is slowing down. Asked the nurse to check and she said the reading is 22, which is still in safe zone. Not sure what reading was that, probably breathing rate?? But Mum still insisted that I must call brother back bcos we're losing him. Called brother and sisters and told them to come back to appease Mum.
1215am - came back into the ward after calling all of them. Dad's breathing pattern really changed! There're pauses in between and we started panicking and calling him to stay with us! Something prompted me to call 二姐 again and told her to rush down in a cab.
1220am - His breathing became so faint, we cant see it from the oxygen mask anymore. Nurses came in and took his ECG reading. There was still heartbeat, but faint. They left us surrounding him, sobbing away. Mum kept telling him, "wait for your son, he's coming. You've to wait for him." I held on to his hand, witnessing the colours fade away from the finger tips. I'm so scared, so afraid that we’re losing him. Suddenly, reality was setting in, we're really losing him!
1230am - 二姐 arrived. Mum kept saying that he's already gone. Although we kinda agreed with her, but we kept insisting that he's still with us and his body was still warm. Seth had his palm on his left chest all the time, and he knew there's nothing anymore.
1245am - Nurses came for another round of ECG reading. They didn't tell us anything, just left us to grieve by his bed.
1257am - doctor came and checked his eyes for any sign of response. Time of death certified at 0057hrs.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Yesterday after his shower, he said his left arm felt a bit numb. I felt the back of his neck and there seems to be more 'bums' there and when I press on them, he felt pain on a few of them. Both his forearms and the back of his palms are swollen, and there's 2 'holes' on his right forearm that's 'leaking' constantly. I'm so afraid that some infection might set in and things might take the wrong turn.
Thank you once again. Dun worry, I'm still standing. I'm his pillar of strength now, and I cant afford to fall. I will strive on.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Met the crew at the supermarket this afternoon. They were a fun group of people. That made things much easier for me since it's my first time (and most probably last). We joked and laughed throughout the setup and shooting. The whole crew was very easy-going and they were very forgiving when I made so many mistakes and kept having "NG".
It was hardwork. Shooting only took 5-10mins, but the equipment and area setting up took much longer. And imagine, the actual commercial will only be like 15-20secs? The whole thing took about 3hrs to complete just for 3 shots. Tough job!
Drew was with me and had a part to play in it too. It was both fun and scary for him. haha... But a good experience as he finally get to see how a commercial is produced and how tough is work in real life.
Thanks to the fun people I met today. You helped take the stress (and my migraine;P) off my mind for a while.
Friday, 9 October 2009
His oncologist reduced a couple of his hypertension medication and added the morphine syrup and steroid drug. Spoke to the MO over the phone when I fetched him. Apparently the CT scan was ordered because his oncologist found some unknown shadows in his chest xray. Unfortunately the CT scan confirmed his suspicion. The tumour in his lung has started spreading. They're not sure if there's any spreading through those in his lymph nodes though. But my sixth sense and daily observation tells me it has. Now the only thing that can be done is to provide symptomatic treatment as and when needed. An oxygen concentrator is recommended for standby whenever he gets too breathless.
Imagine hearing all these in front of him and having to keep a straight face. I dunno when I have learned this skill of acting. I felt so numb..so helpless..so lost...
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Sms the home care nurse, but she suggested we bring him to NCC's walk-in clinic. Called NCC, they checked and recommended that we send him directly to SGH A&E and have him admitted.
Spent about 5hr+ at the A&E and they still couldn't get a bed ready for him. But he looked much better and could drink a cup of milo and ate some biscuits. It was 10pm and he chased us home while he stayed at the observation room and waited to be transferred to the ward.
At 1140pm, he called me and got the nurse to tell me his ward and bed numbers. At least they got him into the ward and he could sleep better on a proper bed.
This morning went there around 8am and managed to catch the oncologist before he left. He has ordered for a CT scan for Dad to check the condition of his lungs. And according to him, the swelling that Dad's experiencing now is due to the fall in his nutrition level, which is common in end stage patients. They will prescribe morphine to help him ease any pain and reduce his breathlessness. And will also arrange for an oxygen machine for him to use at home after his discharge. These seemed to be the only things they could do for him now.
When Mum and I went back to see Dad again after lunch, he looked much better. He said they gave him an injection and he felt less breathless. His appetite improved a little and he could finish most of his lunch. I bought 2 pieces of sugar roll for him and he gladly kept it aside for tea. But we were there for merely half an hour and the 2 of them started squabbling again. Then he literally chased us home. sigh...
Maybe I shd be happy, since that means he's breathing well enough to argue with Mum!? hmm...
Monday, 5 October 2009
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Hubby went JB for golf yesterday with few friends. Parked his car along the road side and walked about 4-5 shops down the corner for lunch. Just less than an hour and they returned to a shattered car window and 2 missing bags! :<
2 of his friends lost their bags along with their wallets and passports. Luckily hub and the 3rd friend placed their bags in the back below the golf clubs. Otherwise all 4 bags would have been taken.
Nagged at him not to go JB for golf again. But as usual, he has his own excuses, "aiya, this is not the usual place we go to. Otherwise wouldn't have happened. Our usual haunt very safe one." !!!??? sigh...he'll go to extremes just for golf.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Anyway, my Mum has brown hair, sharp nose and was really fair when she was young. I've asked her quite a few times if she knew whether there's been some inter-racial marriage in her natural parents' ancestral line. But she didn't know because her natural parents had never told her anything. I must dig out her wedding photo and you'll understand why I got suspicious as I get older. And then yesterday, she went to Malaysia to attend my cousin's son's wedding. It was there that she started chatting with my other cousins and found out this bit of history from them! So amazing!
Apparently, my Mum's paternal great-grandfather was a Caucasian raised by a Chinese family. The background was like he was born to an unwed Caucasian mother, and they had to give him up. We believe this took place in mid-1800s in China. My cousins briefly remembered his nationality was probably Russian. What a discovery!
Told my siblings via sms and they were all so surprised! It sure sounds unbelievable...haha... But I'm not kidding ok?
Monday, 28 September 2009
This has been a common sight in recent weeks. Dad being breathless, could only speak softly. Mum trying as far as possible to help/care for him, but always cant hear him clearly despite having her hearing aid. So when Dad says this, she'll do that. Then Dad had to repeat himself till he got fedup and started shouting at her! Mum being ultra-sensitive will start yelling back and say that he's being so unreasonable and scolding her so often since he fell sick. But seriously, this is not true.
Brought Mum downstair and sat down with her for breakfast. Tried to console her and explain to her that he wasn't scolding her, etc etc. I reckon I had to reiterate the fact to her that Dad's days are numbered and he'll get weaker and weaker. So she had to be prepared herself and be more patient with him.
Think she's also very stressed, so afternoon brought her out to have coffee with sis. Trying to let her have some fresh air and destress a bit. Really worried about her emotional being when the time comes. sigh...
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
She also examined Dad physically and explained to us how they go about with the palliative care support. She will visit on a weekly or fortnightly basis to ensure that patient's condition is stable. A doctor will visit with her once a month, or as and when the need arises. And as and when they see the need through their routine checks, they will contact the oncologist-in-charge at NCC to feedback on Dad's condition.
Dad seems quite comfortable with her, and good thing is, she speaks Mandarin too. Let's hope that she'll be able to help lessen Dad's pain in the days to come.
HCA Hospice Care (HCA) is a registered charity that provides comfort and support to patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families. We do this through a hospice home care service and a hospice day care centre. More than 25,000 patients have been treated by HCA since it was founded in 1989.
We understand how lonely, stressful and traumatic it can be for patients and their families to deal with a life-limiting illness. Our aim is to provide pain and symptom relief as well as emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families.
HCA looks after more than 2,700 patients at home annually and the HCA Day Care Centre sees more than 250 patients who make more than 5,000 visits to our centre each year. We are indeed a small charity with a big reach. Find out more about our services for patients at HCA Hospice Services.
Besides caring for patients, we are also committed to providing training and support for caregivers who look after their dying loved ones at home. Find out how you can join these programmes at HCA Outreach Programmes.
Besides the adult caregivers, we also reach out to children and youths. With an aging population in Singapore and cancer being the number one cause of death, the numbers of elderly and persons with life-limiting illnesses will rise. HCA's goal is to help our younger generation to relate to and to learn how to care for the elderly sick. We have a Student & Youth Education Programme aimed at reaching students in the upper primary, second and post secondary age groups.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
We went back for his regular follow-up at NCC on 8 Sep. The atmosphere was kind of solemn. I dunno why, but just didn't feel good. Usually the registrar will see us and then check with the senior oncologist if there's need for additional medication or not. But this round, the senior oncologist saw us himself.
I think I ever grumbled about this senior oncologist not very willing to talk to family members, preferring to talk to patient directly. But this round, he spoke quite a bit with me. And unlike the usual where he'll pull out the CT scans onscreen and compare with the previous scans, he didn't this time. This really make me feel very uneasy.
Anyway, he asked about the side effects Dad got from Tarceva again. And explained that they really didn't expect Dad to react so badly to it. Most patients had little or zero side effects and the drug helped eliminate most of the symptoms for them. He asked Dad if he would want to try it one more time, but Dad rejected flatly. Guess he's totally shakened by the experience and wouldn't want to go thru it again. He disclosed that the recent blood tests also showed that Dad's kidney function is weakening and that could also be a possible reason why Dad reacted so badly to Tarceva. This made me recall why the polyclinic doctor always emphasized that Dad has to maintain very good glucose readings so that his kidneys will not weaken. Hmm...
The senior oncologist said that with Dad's kidney condition, they will not be able to put him on other chemo drugs, oral or intravenous. So the only thing they could do for him will be palliative care already. He will refer Dad's case to the Hospice Home Care service and their nurses and doctors will visit on a regular basis to determine what drugs to prescribe to treat whatever symptoms Dad may have going forward. He'll see Dad again in Nov for follow up, but there's no CT scan required anymore.
What is hospice and palliative care?
Hospice and palliative care is a holistic approach that cares for patients going through the last stages of their lives. It aims to meet all needs - physical, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual, in order to alleviate suffering and maximise quality of life for patients and their loved ones. Staff and volunteers work in multi-professional teams to enable patients to live fully and provide support to these patients and their families.
Palliative care is a form of specialized care that focuses on pain relief and pain management for pain caused by illnesses or treatments. Such care is provided in both hospitals and hospices. Hospice care focuses on the emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing of the patient on top of the physical wellbeing. It includes services that not only cater to the individual patient, but also facilitate bonding between patients, friends,
families and volunteers. Hospices function on the belief that each individual should have a pain-free and dignified death, and that the family of the dying should have support during this difficult period.
Hospice and palliative care is not restricted to any one type of life-limiting illness. Although cancer is the most common ailment of patients receiving hospice and palliative care, a patient with any condition that is terminal and life limiting can be cared for properly under hospice and palliative care. An important point to note about hospice and palliative care is that it is generally provided for patients who have been diagnosed as having just months to live, and not years.
When I explain to Dad about the Home Care arrangements, he seemed to understand what that all means. He seemed calm, and resigned. Felt so lost. sigh...
Sadly, her younger girl didn't survive. She was found buried under a thick wall behind the school's toilet. Poor girl was only 11yo. My poor helper's life is really sorrowful! She lost her father at age 7, then her husband when her girls were only 11mths old. And now she has to suffer the pain of losing her own daughter. How much more does she have to suffer? sigh...
Her elder girl had more than a fractured leg. The skin on her forehead was torn off when some concrete fell on her and her right eye lid was cut too. Fortunately her eye was not injured. She had to go thru few hours of surgery just to repair the skin on her forehead, and will need 4-6mths for her bones to fully recover. Poor girl was still suffering from the shock and still screams whenever she feels trembles or hears thunder.
All the 44 households in her kampong lost their homes. The whole kampong was a total mess of rubbles. It was horrible. And when she's there, there were still quite a lot of after-shocks. There were no food, no water, and govt has no resources to help the pple. The only thing they sent was 3pkts of indomee for each person. The stronger men had to travel to the next kampong to bring back drinkable water and some dry food. And when some representatives went to the local govt office for help with food, the only thing they were given was a bag of rice (about size of 10kg bag) for the whole kampong!
She met another FDW on the same flight home who was returning after ending her contract, and so happened to see her in the same kampong again. The poor girl did not even know there was an earthquake and was devastated to return to a collapsed house and a dead brother and father! Such a sad sight.
Anyway, she has moved her family to another kampong, further away from the earthquake zone. She managed to lease a house from another FDW who's working in Saudi. There's a small land parcel that comes with the house and her brother can use the land to do some farming for now. So at least she doesn't hv to worry about the roof over their head for now.
We're glad that we let her go back and settled all these. At least she can continue to work here with some peace of mind, knowing her family's safe for now. Let's hope that her elder daughter will recover soon and be well again.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
anyway, gonna just pen down some stuff which I've 'scribbled' on my hp over the last few weeks:
Called NCC to change scan and appt dates yesterday, but in the end the oncologist requested that we bring Dad into the walk-in clinic for a review. Brought him there and was seen by the MO on duty. Sometimes I hate seeing these MOs. They dun read the file records, and then we as patients, have to give them an account of what has happened over the weeks. Then each time, you'll see a different MO and have to repeat all over again! And the other thing is, they like to make sweeping statements based on their own observations, and not taking into account primary caregiver's explanation.
I nearly got into an argument again with this MO bcos he kept saying that there seems nothing wrong with Dad, and all his symptoms and condition were normal in any 80yo. I got so frustrated and told him off! Asked him how would he feel if his father was still walking faster than him few mths ago and now had problem even walking 3 metres to the loo? How would he feel if his usually chatty and positive father suddenly became quiet and lost the smiles on his face? I know I shouldn't have been so hostile, but sometimes we just have to insist to get our message across. At least that convinced him enough to contact the senior oncologist and got him over to review Dad's condition. In the end, the oncologist apologised to Dad for all the discomfort that Tarceva had caused. And gave him some gastritis medication to help sooth his tummy, and hopefully help him eat better again.
The swell on Dad's back is getting bigger. So I told his diabetic doc during his appt, and he decided to make an incision to remove the pus and any debris. After that he'll need to go for daily cleansing and re-dressing at the GP's clinic. While waiting to do the procedure, Dad seemed unhappy. He first grumbled about Mum's itchy fingers causing the swell. Then he lamented that I shd not have told the doc, then he didn't hv to go through all the hassle. But how can I not say? Does he expect me to leave it? With his condition, it might get worse and what if it becomes gangrene? My heart hurts when he sounded like I'm to blame for the ordeal. I'm feeling so weak.
Brought Dad to the GP to clean and re-dress his incision wound. This is the first time I saw his wound. Gosh! It looked bad...
He'll have to visit the GP everyday to clean and re-dress the wound till there's no more bleeding or pus. GP said there's not much debris inside, so it shd heal pretty fast. Keeping fingers crossed that it'll dry up soon.
have this recorded on my hp, but cant remember where I read it or did I come up with it myself??
"When a man truely loves a woman, he'll want to protect her and preserve her dignity in the face of the world."
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Eating wise he's alright. Not eating as much as before, but still reasonable. His gum sores are 95% gone, though right side still hurts a bit. He can chew on softer meat/fish dishes already. He's now eating 3 main meals and a light snack in the afternoon.
He claims that his right thigh is 'sng' and he has not enough strength to go downstairs. But bro suggested to piggy-back him down on Sunday and he refused. Told him he had to at least walk around his room, or out to the study area, to exercise his legs so they'll strengthen. He just simply 'ok ok' when mum and I told suggested, but never did leave his recliner except for the loo.
His cough seems to hv worsen a little. He doesn't cough all the time, but whenever he coughs, it's so bad that he gags. Feels so painful and helpless whenever we see him cough. All I could do is ask him to take the cough syrup, but it's not helping much though.
but what worries me most is his silence. The usual smile is missing from his face, instead i see despair. I'm not sure if we made the right decision to let him try Tarceva. But I'm very sure he's resentful about the serious side effects that it has caused him. It must have been really terrible for him to feel this way. I'm feeling really bad about it. I dunno what to say to him, cant even bring myself to make small talks with him. I'm so afraid my emotions will overwhelm me when I start talking to him. All I could do is to stay around the study area outside his room. Be ready when he needs me.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
After 3 days without food, finally Dad managed to eat something on Monday night. Yesterday he could also eat some oats for breakfast and some kway teow soup for lunch and dinner. But this morning he looked so weak, he didn't even want to go downstairs.
Wati cooked a bowl of oats for him and he finished it. But he still looked so lethargic, resting/sleeping on his recliner chair. He's not running a fever, and he just said he's tired.
I really dunno what's wrong with him. Gonna observe him this afternoon to see how. sigh...
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
This morning cooked oats for him, but in the end he didn't even touched it. Only drank half a cup of coffee. Even his usually high intake of water has reduced quite a lot. He's sipping little bit here and there. He feels pain even when he talks, so he's been gesturing to mum to do things for him.
Lunch cooked kway teow soup and again he didn't eat. Checked his blood sugar and it was 4.6, so I coaxed him to drink half a cup of Fruitree apple juice, just to maintain his blood sugar. His cheeks and nose also looks raw with rashes. Already his skin is flaky, now it's getting worse.
Mum bought a bowl of tau-huay back after lunch and managed to get him to eat half bowl. But he skipped dinner again. Looking at him makes me feel his pain. There's really nothing I can do for him. Just had to wait for these side effects to subside.
Will probably talk to his oncologist again next week and perhaps should stop the Tarceva totally. It's not helping much with his panting and water retention. Instead it's adding more pain to him. I hate to see him suffer like that. I'd rather he pant a bit, but still can enjoy his favourite food. When one cant eat or drink, you'll start to lose faith in life. No, I dun want him to give up yet. I cant afford to lose him yet. Noooooooooooo...................
Thursday, 6 August 2009
He was checked by a young doctor who simply said there isn't any ulcers in his mouth YET, and he doesn't look dehydrated. So there's no cause for alarm, and that he should just continue on Tarceva and take the anti-diarrhea medicine as prescribed. But I was not convinced and insisted that he check with the senior oncologist. It was then that he called and senior oncologist and checked. Finally came back and said to stop Tarceva for 2 days, let the diarrhea subside before continuing again. He also gave a solution for Dad to gargle his mouth to reduce the ulcers.
Sis went with us. She felt that I was a bit 'unreasonable' when I insisted that the young doctor checked with the senior oncologist. But I felt that we are the patient's family and we know exactly how he's doing throughout the day. How can the doctor just based on how he looked physically and say that he's fine? Does he think I've nothing better to do then to keep sending my dad to the hospital? Moreover the senior oncologist did mention that we shd come back if Dad has diarrhea more than 4 times in a day.
Anyway, I dun care what others may think of me or my attitude when it concerns Dad's illness. I just want to make sure he's feeling ok and not in too much discomfort. That's all I care about.
btw, I'm born with this pair of fierce eyes. Not my choice. And it is the voluntary muscles that raise my brows and make my eyes even bigger. I'm not fierce nor rude, but just the look which is not within my control. I wish I hv Sandy Lam's eyes lor. Then pple will stop judging me based on my looks lor. sigh....
Nic left a self-made 'envelope' on my bedside table last Thu night. I didn't realise there was a note inside until Sunday!
I recalled he was lying on the floor beside me, kind of restless, while I was monitoring his brothers finishing off their homework that night. This terrible mummy didn't even realise that he was already not feeling well.
The next morning he woke up with a high fever and was down with sore throat. His throat subsequently developed 2 ulcers! Poor boy was on 4 days MC and only went back to school today.
This taught me a lesson. Must always read little notes they leave for me immediately in future. They may be telling me something which needs immediate attention.
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
He is still panting, but he said it's much better than over the weekend. Based on what he described, over the weekend, it was really like couldn't catch his breath at all, like anytime he'd just stop breathing. Thankfully it has gotten slightly better. Now he'll pant, but once he's rested, it'll be better and he doesn't feel so bloated too. Hopefully it's the Tarceva taking effect and helping a little with the lymphatic drainage. A good sign for now.
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Friday, 31 July 2009
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Hope this med will work on lessening his discomfort.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Went there, waited for 1/2 hr and seen a doctor. She checked Dad and ordered for chest x-ray, blood test and ECG to be done. Then we were told to return around 2pm for the results before deciding what to do. If the water retention in the lungs had gotten worse, then an option will be to insert a needle into his lung to draw the fluid out. That will be considered invasive and has it's own risk. And personally I would only consider that as a last resort.
Thankfully when we returned for the results, they all turned out positive. ECG and blood tests showed no abnormalities. Fluid in lung is still the same as what's seen on the CT scan done a week ago. So there's nothing to suggest an infection causing panting.
Dad was confused. He's now wondering why is he panting so badly? Just walking from the sofa to the toilet and he'll pant if he walked a bit faster. Guess it must because of the cancer cells then.
lung - tumour size remained the same, but water retention is seen on one side of left lung (that's what caused his fever last week and persistent cough and panting)
neck & shoulder - the tumours in the original lymph nodes have resurfaced and new ones have been found at the back of the neck too. Probably the lymph node embedded under the left armpit is growing too, thus causing the water retention and numbness in his left arm and also the pain in his shoulder and chest.
After the doctors discussed, they decided to try a new drug on him. Tarceva is a new chemo drug, already approved for use on patients. This is an oral medication which he'll take 1 tablet a day. Doc has prescribed him a 6-week course and then to do a CT scan and review the effect.
Sometimes I hate doctors for being so frank and direct. He said, "This is not to cure. I think you understood there is no cure. But since he has these symptoms of water retention in his lungs and limbs that's causing him pain and discomfort, we will try this on him. This medication has been proven to work on non-smoker lung cancer patients. But with ex-smokers, it is hard to say. It may, or may not work to reduce the symptoms. We hope it will work on him and make him more comfortable." Ok, first fact ascertained. It is not meant to cure, but just to relieve him of his discomfort.
Next comes the cost of the drug. After subsidy, it costs S$103.00 per tablet. Which translates to S$3,193.00 per month. As this drug is considered oral chemotherapy, we will be able to cover part of the costs with medishield and pay part with medisave. The balance will have to be paid in cash.
Dad was very sharp. The moment we left the doc's room, he asked me. "what was the $100+ that the doctor mentioned? is it the price of the new medication?" I quickly said "yes yes" without going further into the actual costs. I'm not sure what will his reaction be if he knows it actually costs that much.
At the pharmacy, the pharmacist brought some 'good' news. As the drug is new in the market, the company is giving the first month's supply free to patients. That means we'll save S$3k+. Only catch is they'll only dispense 10 tablets at a time, meaning I'll have to make 2 more trips to NCC to collect the other 20 tablets. Their rationale is in case patient has too much side effect and cant carry on taking the medicine, then the balance will be wasted. NCC's pharmacy is very cautious, any medication dispensed are not returnable nor exchangeable. Anyway, this is definitely nothing compared to the costs saved.
This drug's common side effects are skin rash, vomitting and diarrhea. And like any other chemo treatments/drugs, patients' immunity will be lowered and more susceptible to infections. So will have to be extra careful when Dad's on this.
To my nieces and nephews: Please do read up on the drug from the website, especially that section under Caregiver Support. Even though you may not be caring for him physically now, but it's useful for you to know and understand so as not to flood him with too many questions. And please, if you want to visit him, ask yrself if you're well enough. Any light cold or cough can be dangerous to him. So please be more careful. Thanks.
Monday, 27 July 2009
Fri Dad looked really lethargic and couldn't even talk much without panting. After 2 doses of medication, he seemed much better before bedtime. Sat he was alright, very alert and lively. He kept saying that the antibiotic is very effective and he's panting lesser already. On Sunday, he wasn't lethargic but can see that he's panting whenever he talks for too long. Was quite frustrated when his hp kept ringing and he got to entertain those calls.
Thru the last few nights, his cough wasn't persistent. however, when it starts, it gets so bad that he sounded like he's gonna choke. Not sure if it's good sign that there's phlegm coming out as he coughed or not. I'm quite lost. But whenever he coughed and I asked him, he'd say he's fine, not panting much anymore. I'm not sure if he's really feeling better already, or he simply do not wish to go to the hospital. Guess maybe all the news about those H1N1 deaths and critically ill patients are casting some fear on him.
Now I'm hearing his cough again. Everytime he coughed, I feel the pain. I hated cough myself. I'm not afraid of any illness or surgery or pain etc. But I just hated cough. It can send you totally out of control of everything. YES, everything, including your tears, nasal discharge, saliva and even urine. I've gone to that extent before and I really hated it. Once I was in the recovery stage of some throat infection and suddenly started to cough in the crowded morning MRT. It got so bad that I had to rush out of the train and nearly threw up the moment I got onto the platform! so now I've this phobia for cough. Even hearing others cough makes me feel the effect.
Tomorrow is his appointment with his oncologist at NCC. We'll be reviewing his CT scan for his neck and lungs done last week. As much as I want to know how's his condition now, I am also afraid to hear the truth. He's had more growth around his neck and we all know what that means. I'm just afraid that we'll have to go through the process of deciding whether he should go on chemo again. I'm really not sure if his willpower is still strong enough to go through it again. I'm so scared.
Pray....pray for the best, and be prepared for the worst. been telling myself. sigh....
Friday, 24 July 2009
Monday, 20 July 2009
Sent the kids to bed around 950pm. They were still very excited and fooling around. Especially our birthday boy. Nevertheless, they needed to turn in in order to wake up fresh next day. Put them in bed before I went for my shower. When I returned at 1025pm, they were still awake! They claimed that they were waiting for 1029pm, the boy's exact birth time! So daddy and mummy relented and joined them. Finally we sang the birthday song for him again at the exact time. It was really sweet.:) Then they went back to bed at last.
Was watching a drama series with hub when we heard some rustling outside our room door around 1130pm. Got up and found a piece of paper slipped thru under the door. Picked it up and the note just sent me laughing non-stop........
They are just so funny! with such a cute note, how not to accede to their request? haha...=>
Thursday, 16 July 2009
OK， don't worry，我的心应该还好啦。至少最近做的心电图显示一切正常咯。其他器官也无大碍。那么就是脑子有问题咯？？oh dear！
Thursday, 9 July 2009
OMG! Now I know what he meant. Amazingly, he remembered this show we watched at his brothers' godparent's house in Feb!! It was about this team of doctors harvesting a heart from a brain-dead man to fly it to another city to save a man suffering from heart failure. And this little rascal actually remembered the whole thing and suddenly wanted to clarify his doubts. haha...
So I went on to explain to him that it wasn't the govt that's bringing a dead man to life. The man wasn't dead, just very ill and needed heart transplant to survive. And the heart came from a healthy man who've died suddenly due to accident or other reasons. And the family members of the dead man must consent before the doctors can harvest the heart and make sure the blood type matches the ailing man before they can transplant it. That kind of satisfied his curiousity and he went off to do his things.
And this is not the first time he asked something about 'government'. haha... last month when H1N1 first started and suspected cases were quarantined at Aloha Loyang. His dad cycled him to the beach and they passed by the chalets. His dad told him that was the place where the people were quarantined and they cant go anywhere. Suddenly he asked his dad this question, "Will the people who are quarantined be angry with the government?" =) His dad was totally dumbfounded by his question. haha...
This boy is funny. Very inquisitive and curious. Will be good if he is less stubborn, then he'll probably do better than his brothers.
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Today he called me while I was at Nat'l Eye Centre with dad. He's been selected!! He sounded really excited about it and when I told hub, he was ecstatic! We're really proud of him. He'll hv to go through some training before he'll assume prefectorial duties. We hope this extra responsibility will make him more mature and keep him on his toes with his studies and behaviour.
Son, we're very proud of you. Keep up the good work and live up to your teachers' expectations. We love you.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
While I was calling the fire brigade, I saw curious children looking and running away quickly. I saw adults passers-by, looked, frowned and walked away. I saw returning office workers passed by, looked shocked but then proceeded into the lift to go home. At least 5-6 pple passed, but no one stopped to even think if there's anything they could do to put out the fire. What's wrong with these pple?
I ran across to the sch gate to get Nic. Checked his water bottle and he still had 1/2 bottle of water left. So we ran back to the bin and I poured all the water into the bin. The fire was put out, but there were still some sparks on those papers in the bin. About 5mins later, a red rhino came. The firemen checked the bin and sprayed some foam into it to prevent any possible re-ignition.
Just feel that pple are getting really self-centred (or is it self-absorbed?). The person responsible for the fire only thot of his/her own convenience, without thinking of consequences. And those passers-by were not willing to stop and help even though it's happening so close to home. Do we hv to wait till it's really serious, like half a house is burning, before pple are willing to stop and help? sigh...
Nic was so cute. After dinner he asked to go back there again bcos he wanted to check to make sure the fire did not start again. Love him.
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
so my friends, you tell me this is true or not? I would say it's 80-90% la. hee...
Monday, 22 June 2009
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Got this in the mail yesterday. I've got a belated birthday present! An sms lucky draw that I sent in Jan while at the hairdresser and forgotten all about. And suddenly I became a winner of the hamper! Hee...now I can try their new product. Hopefully it's as good as what they claim it to be.
But funny lor. Lucky draw for Jan issue of a mag, winners only got notified in Jun? wah, that's 5 months leh. A bit 夸张 right?
Lucky star, I need you more often, but on different things. Stay with me, I really need you.
Friday, 19 June 2009
Saturday, 13 June 2009
actually, the big 4 is not that scary. actually you become more at peace and sure of yourself once you turn 40-something. the only scary fact is, the number of yr grey hair increases by the week now. hee...
oh, I'm very happy as I've received 11 birthday wishes through sms since midnight. I feel so blessed.
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!
Friday, 12 June 2009
"Come back early Mummy the terrapin passed away. ---matt" 20:05hrs
"Please come back faster" 20:36hrs
When I finally called home, Matt sounded very sad. He was not crying anymore, but I believed it must have hit him real bad. When I got home, his brothers said he was crying buckets. Cant blame him as there were no signs that the little reptile was sick or anything. It was still active in the afternoon. When they peeped at it around 8pm, it was not moving already and its limbs were hanging loosely.
Matt found a small paper box and put it inside with tissue papers. We sealed the box after saying our final goodbye. This time, Matt joined me in burying it. We chose to bury it beside our podocarpus tree. Let's hope it'll help the tree to grow better.
Bye Gryffindor. You've been good company.
My frens, thank you for lending me yr listening ears. You've been such wonderful and supportive frens all these years. You guys are one of the only few who could understand me and never cast any doubts in me. Thank you for your confidence and may our friendship be forever.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
So happy to receive this news. Now just waiting for them to put it into action. Then I'll have one less worry when my kids come home themselves.
After putting the kids to sleep, I went to talk to him. I had to clear this bcos it is literally putting words into my mouth, and worse still, it concerns my perception of my kids. He said he spoke to her to clarify what happened. And instead of responsibility and safety issues, she diverted to ask why cant a 13yo go home himself? why I have no confidence in my sons? and she told him that she brought my kids out bcos I seeked her help to counsel my kids, that's why she's doing me a favour. It's not as if she wants to bring my kids out. So I am being ungrateful to her, after seeking her help, turn around and call her irresponsible. And she added that her SIL is on my fav parenting forum and had asked her about my complaints about the kids there, and if they are really so uncontrollable? and she added in cantonese "好心做坏事".
I told the man, the kids and I have always thot that she likes to bring them out bcos she loves and misses them, that's why I always encourage the kids to spend time with her whenever she's back. So now I know, we've all these while been 自做多情. And I only remembered sharing with her and other SIL about Drew's problems when he was P5, a period when he was defiant and hiding and not doing homework. At that time I did mention that if they've time, do speak to him and hopefully with all of us showing our concerns, he'll change for the better. But that was 2 1/2 yrs ago!? Drew has already changed and matured so much. And i showed him her sms and told him that I was mad with her bcos of her rebuttal. I'm talking about her responsibility towards the kids' safety, but she turn around to attack me. I agree when he said 2 wrongs dont make 1 right. But I just wanted her to know she has to be responsible when she brings the kids out. Is making a call to chk that they're home safely too much to ask for?
I'm glad I had the talk with the man and let him understand my points. He asked me not to be so upset about it and suggested that I shd perhaps have a talk with her to clear it up. But I told him, I've had enough of her and I wonder who actually is the one 好心遭雷劈. I will not be nasty to her, but dun expect me to be nice either. She is still afterall his sister and MIL's daughter. I'm not so heartless to chase her out.
And finally, I stand by my words and will not allow anyone to try putting words into my mouth. I will dig to the bottom to clear it. However, I'm a bit skeptical about her claim that her SIL told her my complaints at the forum. Anyone who's been at the forum long enough will know, how often do I complain about my kids? Not to mention calling them uncontrollable. Totally ridiculous!