Friday, 18 December 2009

大姑妈走了。。。

received a call just now and it's from hubby's 大表哥, bringing the dreadful news of his mum's passing.

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

I need a compass....

....cos I'm so lost....


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

Does it resemble?



Dad's favourite recliner chair

And the paper recliner we burnt for him. Does it resemble?

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...

五个星期过去了,我心里还是一片空白。很多事情要做,很多东西要处理,可是精神就是集中不来。晚上一直发些莫名其妙的梦,睡也睡不好,醒来后心情就很烦躁。

也许我真的该到海边去,把心里的愤怒、悲哀、郁闷一并发泄出来。我快压抑得喘不过气了!





Wednesday, 18 November 2009

He's a star!













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

早上去巴刹,鱼贩JANE问妈妈心情好些了吗?谈话间,她说自己觉得很遗憾,没能到爸的灵堂上柱香。跟着她就跑去买了一些冥纸,托我帮她烧给爸。她说:"。。我很早就没有父亲了,所以你爸爸给我一种很慈祥的感觉。。。唉,真的很心痛。。"我只能以一声"谢谢"感激她对爸爸的厚爱。

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上星期,煤气店老板送煤气到大姐家,便问大姐,爸爸身体好些吗?当被告知爸已过世,他先是惊讶,转而惋惜。从二十出头的小伙子到现在五十多了,他认识我爸也三十多年了。所谓日久生情,也有了一定的'感情'吧。对老人家的离去,也有些许难过。

-----------

一个认识了三十多年、一个认识不到三年。两人却同样对爸爸有着一种无法解释的'情'。也许这就是缘吧?

It's exactly a month already....

..and the pain is still so intense.

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

are these really his messages to us?

got this message from Hui yesterday:

"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

原来我还是那么脆弱

这两个星期我都没什么哭了,原以为眼泪已经哭干了,原来不是的。昨晚妈才去哥那里住几天,我的眼泪都回来了!

原来妈妈成了我泪泉上的一个栓子,她在的时候,就栓住了,眼泪就不流了。她一走开,我又失去了控制心情的力量。

我觉得我好失败!一直劝哥哥姐姐们不要难过、不要哭,因为爸不要看到我们哭泣。结果呢?我自己却控制不了自己的泪水。爸,对不起,我好没用啊!

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.

爸,我会放下的,给我一些时间,我会做到的。你放心,我们会照顾好妈妈的,绝对不会让你失望。我永远永远都会记住和你一起的日子。我永远爱你!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

I love Mum


Went to Mum's room to check the calendar just now and this was what I found.
She probably scribbled this onto the calendar. She misses him so much. I feel her pain, but I wont be able to understand how she's feeling now. 56-57yrs together, it's hard for us to understand.
爸,妈真的好想你。你到她梦里跟她再见一面,让她放心好吗?好吗?

Were you really there?

Brother came to fetch Mum just now. And he sat us down to tell us some things that went on earlier this week when they were helping out at the village temple.

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...

爸,你真的到濠浦社去了吗?真的吗?
我好想你。。。。

Friday, 30 October 2009

昨晚梦里是您吗?

梦境模糊不清,只是感觉您就在眼前。就像上星期六的梦一样,似曾相识的一幕,感觉您就在眼前,可就看不清、摸不着。我是真的梦见您了,还是因为日有所思?

想再次握您的手,可那已不再可能了。。。

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

缺口

我们每个人的心都缺了个口,因为您把那一块缺口给带走了。

走进您的房间,坐在您的床上,抱着您的枕头,心里一阵阵酸痛。好希望您还坐在床上,可以和我聊天。可又不忍心看到您辛苦的样子。矛盾。。。

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

我是不是想太多?

早上坐在沙发上看报纸,心里一阵酸,眼泪又流了下来。已经告诉自己不该再哭,应该为他得到解脱而开心,为他不再痛苦而感安慰。可是,家里没了他真的静了很多、很多。

认识兴化人的都知道,兴化人出了名"大喉咙",讲话超大声!平时已习惯了听到他响亮的声音,和他的咳嗽声,但现在却是静得只听到外面鸟儿或车子的声音了。

傍晚出去买东西时经过一间纸扎店,想起我们烧给爸的那些东西。后又想起头七那天,妈说:"今天第七天了,你爸知道自己死了,不知道他怎样?"把两件事放在一起,我心突然想到,如果真的人要到死后第七天才知道自己死了,那我们第四天晚上烧给他的东西他又怎会懂得去收呢?我看我是想太多了。

Monday, 26 October 2009

Poor Matt

...has been sick since Fri evening. Diarrhea, vomitting and high fever. Doc said it's gastric flu, so can only take symptomatic medicine while allowing the body purge out all the virus itself. Poor boy was drowsy the whole Sat and ate nothing but half a bowl of watery porridge. Yesterday was better and he felt hungry. But after eating bread, he threw up again.

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

17 October to 22 October

守丧五天,夜夜都座无虚席。爸平时讲话也蛮尖锐、坦率的,相信得罪的人也不少。没想到来悼念他的人还有那么多,想必和他人缘好有关系吧。一些已逝乡亲的孩子们也来了。东马西马的亲朋戚友也来了。孩子孙子们的朋友、同学、同事们都来了。爸好像也感受到热闹的气氛,灵堂前的遗照好像越笑越开心似的。

在此向前来悼念的亲朋戚友们致以最衷心的感激,感谢大家送他最后一程。


一个人走了之后,就什么都没有了。一阵轻烟过后,剩下的也只是一堆白骨。最重要还是在活着的时候要懂得珍惜身边的人、做想做的事、吃想吃的东西,这样才不会有任何遗憾。

爸,我希望您真的像您常说的一样,很满足、很开心了。

Friday, 23 October 2009

Penning down the events of that day brought back tears and pain. But that's also a way to put everything down and let go.

爸,我好想你!不过你别担心,我会学习放下,把悲伤化作爱和力量,好好地爱护和照顾妈妈。您永远永远活在我心中。

I love and miss you.

16 October, Friday

635am - checked Dad's BP 150/89, pulse 150 and glucose 23.8. Still nausea and getting more breathless. Not a good sign.

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.
We lost our dearest Papa/Waigong on 17 October 2009, 0057hrs.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Worry....

just before noon, Dad vomitted some yellow liquid. He thinks it might be the turtle soup he ate last night, too oily causing him discomfort. But I'm not sure... He seems more breathless these 2 days and using the oxygen concentrator more often. Sms-ed the home care nurse and she said to monitor him. If it persist and he starts having fever, will have to send him to hospital again.

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.

I'm scared....

Thank you...and sorry

To all my dear friends who've emailed or messaged me. Thank you very much for your concern and well-wishes. But I'm sorry I'm not exactly in the right frame of mind to speak with anyone outside the family. And as I'm already updating my extended family on my blog, it's just too draining and depressing for me to reproduce whatever I've written again onto individual emails to you all. I hope to have your understanding.

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

Off to de-stress

was chosen for a commercial shoot because they wanted an aunty face to make it more convincing. hee...

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

Dad was discharged today. The last 2 days they gave him morphine syrup, some injections and a new steroid drug. An x-ray was taken for his lungs upon admission and the oncologist requested a CT scan. All was done and they decided that he should head home.

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...

昨天。。。

。。在医院,老爸说,

"我没事啦,打了针,精神好多了,也没那么喘。你不要担心啊,知道吗?不要担心、不要难过,如果一天我真的走了,你们不要哭,知道吗?我不担心,也没有遗憾,我很满足了。"


我心很痛。。很痛。。。我整颗心就快被泪水淹没了。。。

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

He must have felt really bad...

..yesterday that he asked to see the doctor. He didn't eat much for breakfast, only took a slice of mooncake around 11+. Didn't even touch his lunch at all. Can see that he's really catching his breath when he asked me if we can ask the homecare doctor to come?

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

我还能做些什么?

听见爸的咳声,我走进房去看他。刚睡醒的他,样子非常憔悴。

"爸,今天会很喘吗?胃口好点吗?"
"很喘,躺着透不过气,坐着大腿那里又痛。啧。。很辛苦。"
"你刚吃药,等多一下可能会比较好点。"
"哎呀,你不懂。这样子,吃也喘、睡也喘、讲话也喘,真的很辛苦。可以走的话,快点走了好些。"

我哽咽着,说不出话了。

"唉,你们不要担心,我自己都不担心了。活到这个岁数,有大家在我身边,我很满足了。"

我低着头,默默握着他的手,泪水只能在眼眶里打滚。。。

Sunday, 4 October 2009

what luck!


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

So I'm not 100% Chinese afterall!!!

All these years I've been questioned so often about my ethnicity. Many thought I had some Indian or whatever descent, which contributed to my sharp features. When I was younger, I tend to get offended and proclaimed to be 100% pure Chinese. Never would I imagine that 41yrs later today, then I found out that I'm 1/16 of an 'ang-moh'!! And most probably it's Russian descent somemore! haha...

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

Poor Mum

was reading the papers when I heard their commotion. Went up and saw Mum yelling at Dad, while he looked so irritated and told her to go downstairs.

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

Home visit

The HCA Hospice care nurse paid a first visit today. The nurse is a very warm and friendly Indian lady. She asked a series of routine questions and recorded all the medications that Dad is currently taking. She also took down details of patient's spouse and primary caregiver, and income details of immediate family members (in our case, the patient's children).

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.




慈怀护理是一所注册的慈善机构。我们专为末期病患者以及其家属提供医疗护理与支援。自1989年成立至今,慈怀护理已经为多达2万名病患者服务。

我们了解病患者与末期疾病周旋时所面对的种种压力、挫折与孤立感。我们的服务宗旨不但是为病患者减轻疼痛与控制病症,同时也为他们及家属提供心理与精神上的支持及辅导。

慈怀护理每年为超过2千7百名病患者提供居家护理服务。我们的日间护理中心每年也有多达250名病患者接受疗程。其到访总次数高达5千次以上。慈怀护理虽然是一所小型的慈善机构,但是我们拥有广泛的支援与服务范围。



Wednesday, 16 September 2009

8 Sep

Dad had his CT scan and blood tests done on 3 Sep, and oncologist added an ultra-sound scan on his left arm to check for any vein blockage that may be causing the water retention/swelling.

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...


How many blows can a person deal with in a lifetime?

Earthquake struck West Java again on 2 Sep. So unfortunately, my helper's kampong was affected. She called her brother and found out both their houses collapsed during the quake. The most devastating was her younger twin daughter went missing in school, while her elder twin girl suffered a fractured leg. We quickly packed her back home to look for her missing girl and sort out the treatment for her other girl.

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

No mood for anything...

it's nearly a month since my last update. There has been thoughts and stuff to blog, but I was just not in any mood to write at all. Frankly, I am feeling very depressed. In fact I'm suffocating.
anyway, gonna just pen down some stuff which I've 'scribbled' on my hp over the last few weeks:

19 Aug
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.

28 Aug
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.

29 Aug


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.

3 Sep

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

It's been seven days...

...since he stopped going out of his room.

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.

昨天爸的老朋友,阿良,打电话告诉他自己患了喉癌。妈说他们聊了蛮久的。谈话间爸说,"哎呀,现在能闭上眼睛就这么走了最好,那么受罪拖着有什么意思?"

今早阿良又打电话来了,我又听爸说了同样的那句话。我脑子空白了。。。。

Sunday, 16 August 2009

当游戏不再是游戏,而是一种麻醉和逃避。。。。

Thursday, 13 August 2009

子倔母忧

为什么每次孩子犯错,道歉和担忧的反而是我呢?

昨晚上床后,老二才如梦初醒,突然爬起身要求我写封信给级任老师!?原来前天上数学课时他分心了,在课堂上给曲棍球画记号,结果球被没收了,所以需要家长写信索回。唉。。。

今早临上车前,他又突然想起什么似的,冲上楼去,一会儿又两手空空地下来。上车后才知道他找不着数学课本,肯定又要挨老师训话了!

伤神啊!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Just when I thot he's getting better...

he seems to be weaker again today.

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

Kids' new 'pet'


Caught a small grasshopper in the garden for the boys. Now they're keeping it like a pet! It was about 1.5cm when I caught it 2 days ago, then it shedded it's 'skin' yesterday and it looked bigger now.
We kept it in a jam jar, with perforated paper cover. Matt is giving it fresh cut grass every 3 days. Hopefully it'll grow well and perhaps we'll release it into the park when it gets bigger.

Friday, 7 August 2009

sore gums, mouth and throat

seems like Dad's gum and mouth sores are getting worse. His throat is so sore, he finds it painful even swallowing water. He hasn't been eating much since last evening. Skipped dinner totally.

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

Diarrhea and ulcers

Dad had about 9 times of diarrhea since late yesterday afternoon. His mouth and gums hv started having ulcers and sore too. So I brought him back to NCC's walk-in clinic.

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....

'love' notes

Just sharing.

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

Mild temperature, still panting

Today is the 6th day Dad's been on Tarceva. So far side effects been minimal, though he's got some rashes on his face. Diarrhea only set in today, once only. He's running a mild temperature though. Measured at 37.3 this morning, then 38 around noon and now back to 37.9, and I've just given him a panadol.

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

28 Jul - poor boy had severe migraine and had to be sent home shortly after reaching school. Fetched him and went direct to the clinic. He's still behaving like a bb sometimes. Insisted on lying on my lap while waiting outside the clinic! can you imagine a 1.58m boy lying on his mum's lap? cute right?



31 Jul - our xiaobudian came down with high fever and sore throat. Thankfully doc said it shd not be H1N1 as he didn't have any flu symptoms. He was really cute. Doc told him to stay away from grandpa and he really hid himself in the study room for most of the day. Though he was complaining about boredom whenever he's awake. haha...hope he'll recover soon.



31 Jul late night - on the way to the kitchen, noticed this on the tv console. So touching! The creation of our most compassionate Matt. Grandpa was really touched and happy when he saw it the next morning.
I love you, my boys.

Friday, 31 July 2009

一直那么喘,有一天会这么喘着喘着就走了!

今早老爸还是那么喘,看他样子好像有点沮丧。他说晚上睡也睡不好,起床上厕所也喘,一咳嗽就喘到不能躺下。他有点不耐烦地说:"一直那么喘,有一天会这么喘着喘着就走了!"听他那么说,我眼泪就要流出来了。。。

强忍泪水,我只能跟他说:"别乱想了,这新药才开始吃,等一、两个星期看会好转些吗。"

I feel so helpless. what else can I do for him?

Thursday, 30 July 2009

必须面对的事

中午送车子去打蜡,顺便叫了四姐出来吃午饭。

我们聊了很多爸的事。最近爸的病情似乎不是很稳定,这几天好像更糟似的。不懂他自己是不是感觉到什么,最近老有跟妈和我提到一些他往生后该做的琐事。这些令我很心酸,但也让我严肃地想了一些该预先做好的准备。

1. 以爸现在的情形,肺积水会使他很容易感染病菌,一旦变成肺炎就很有可能恶化得很快。九年前我家婆就是在短短的三天内让肺炎夺走了性命。对老人和长期病人而言,肺炎可算是一号刽子手!

我们需要做好心理准备,如果他出现休克而需要插管靠氧气机支持的话,我们是否要这么做?爸本身要不要靠机器支撑?实际一点想,靠机器能支撑多久?真能恢复过来吗?就算恢复过来,会和以往一样吗?

2. 我们都很爱爸,也很尊重他。那么是不是也该问一问他,往生之后希望有怎样的安排,什么样的仪式呢?虽然这听起来有点残酷,但是既然他已经接受了生命即将结束的事实,我们何不帮他完成最后的心愿呢?让他自己选择?

3. 我们都知道老妈一向来都很保守思想,老想着女儿嫁了就是外姓人,所以绝对不可以在女儿家出什么差错。上回爸做化疗时,一段时期非常虚弱,她就已经提到要和老爸搬到哥的家去了!相信她心里怎么想,也不用我多说了。这一方面,我们要考虑的是,如果真的发生事情时,要怎样安抚妈妈,让她不要太介怀。以她的性格,她真可以怨一辈子的!

说到这里,感觉好像我很冷血!为什么那么悲观?为什么可以那么平静地想这些问题?好像牵涉到的人和我一点关系也没有!我向姐道歉。不是我舍得让爸走,不过每天看着他那么辛苦,一天一天地虚弱,我有多无奈和无助?有时妙想天开,希望我有超人的手,可以伸进他体内把所有的癌细胞都摘掉!很滑稽对吗?

或者我的看法跟DJ比利一样吧?既然已成定局,何不接受现实,利用所剩的时间为他做好安排,让他知道一切都会如他所愿呢?这也许是做子女所能为他达成的最后愿望吧?

爸,不要怪我。我不希望你走,更不愿看着你受苦。从你可以陪我逛完正间Giant Megamart,还帮我推手推车,一直到现在从停车场走进食阁吃饭你都很辛苦。我真的心很痛!我不忍心看着你那么辛苦。。。

我真的很希望我们能够对这些该处理的事情取得共视,让他在剩下的日子里能平静、无虑的过。还有,尽量抽时间来探望他,陪他聊天。工作永远都做不完的,可是跟他相处的时间似乎已经越来越少了。。。。

Start of Tarceva

Dad started taking Tarceva today around 1120am. He'll hv to take the drug at the same time everyday and it has to be either 1hr before food or 2 hrs after food. So that's the best timing we finalised on.

Hope this med will work on lessening his discomfort.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Panting

This morning Dad woke up panting. He had difficulty sleeping through the night bcos of his panting and had to resort to sleeping on 2 pillows. He looked quite bad. So decided to bring him in to NCC walk-in clinic again.

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.

update

Dad went for follow-up at NCC on Tue. His CT scan done a week ago showed the following:

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

cough cough

Dad came down with 2 episodes of fever last Wed and Thu. Then on Thu evening he started panting. So on Fri brought him to our usual GP (who knows his condition). He did a thorough check and confirmed my fear. Dad had some water retention at the lower part of his lungs. Though the wheezing wasn't very prominent, with his long term condition, it could deteriorate quickly if not taken care of. GP gave him antibiotics and cough mixture. He advised that if his panting worsens, we'll hv to send him in to SGH A&E for admission.

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

老爸早上看了医生,不是H1N1。不过他肺部有点发炎,有咳嗽和喘。医生给了抗生素,希望会好起来。如果下来几天他喘得更厉害,那就要送他去医院了。我SMS是让你们了解他的情况,不是叫你们打电话给爸。他不舒服就会很累想睡,加上很喘讲话也辛苦。还有,他抵抗力差,你们有伤风感冒就不要见他或和他出去。这都是为他好。老实说,爸的斗志已有动摇了。不是我悲观,如果他再病倒,不知道他还有毅力撑住吗?所以他精神好时你们多打电话给他。

Monday, 20 July 2009

Just love them!

It was Matt's 11th birthday yesterday and we originally arranged for tennis and swimming at the club with some good friends. Too bad the weather played pranks and we had to change our plan. Kids ended up playing WII/PSP at home, while parents chatted the afternoon away. Simple activities, simple food, but great company. The rain didnt dampen our spirits. =)

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

自闭?还是身心俱累?

最近发觉自己越来越不喜欢出门,就连每星期上一次巴刹都能拖就拖。有时甚至拖到冰箱里空无一物了,才仓促地到巴刹像wholesale那样,买足一、两个星期份量的鱼肉鸡虾。总之就是能不出门的话,就尽量不踏出去。

也不记得最后一次和朋友聊电话是几时了?好像是上个月中吧?不过这道无所谓啦,反正也不爱讲电话。每天对着孩子们唠唠叨叨的,听自己的声音都听腻了!反而有点渴望自己的声带再发炎,然后再"失声"几天,那该多好?嘿嘿。。。mad right

也许有点儿累吧?去尝试一下,每天从早到晚对着三小两老,念念念,念的都是一样的东西、同样的事物。看你累不累?

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

好啦、好啦,不发牢骚了。免得又有人要说我身在福中不知福了!很冤的!=(

后记,我是很知足的,不然就不会结婚生子,把一生奉献给我家这四个"男人"了!

so,是自闭吗?

Thursday, 9 July 2009

He and all his questions

Was having breakfast with Nic this morning. Suddenly he raised a very funny question. "Mummy, why sometimes the government will give a new heart to bring the dead people back to life again?" I went "HUH? what? what do you mean?" He continued, "you remember? we went to papa Ng's house and we watched on TV? they went to collect a new heart and then they put the heart into the dead man and bring the man back to life?"

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

So proud of him!

Before school closed last term, Drew was nominated for prefect selection. We were really happy for him, but I was, as usual, not so confident of him getting thru the selection interview. This boy is just too nonchalant and sometimes still a little too kiddy. Anyway, he went for the interview and felt confident about it.

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

are people really getting so self-centred?

on the way to fetch Nic, I walked pass Blk 510's void deck. A rubbish bin on the opposite end of the letter box was on fire! Not sparks or smoke, but a small fire was burning in the bin! Immediately I called 995 and asked them to send someone down.

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

你是啥形象?

Dear friend, Adel, forwarded an 'image' quiz "你是啥形象?" and I tried it out. This is my result:

你是属于草香形象

你拥有非常坚强的意志,不依赖他人,给人独来独往的印象。你拥有旺盛的好奇心与丰富的感受性,是个过着知性生活的现代人。骤看下你是个自命清高,不好相处的人,但是一旦跟你交谈后,就知道你很好相处,等到交情加深之后,就更知道你其实拥有很爽快的个性。

你所拥有的中性化魅力,让你不论在男性团体或女性团体都大受欢迎,不过你不喜欢让人看到你脆弱的一面。你外表上看来也许很冷静,但实际上却是热情如火。能够知道你真正本性的人,才能够跟你天长地久地交往下去。

so my friends, you tell me this is true or not? I would say it's 80-90% la. hee...

Monday, 22 June 2009

孩子毕竟还是孩子

十三岁的坐在车里,用手假装机关枪向外扫射,嘴里还哒哒哒的装样!?是好笑还是好气呢?

十一岁的最近被一些事吓着了,晚上老是找借口到我房间睡,还得我握着他的手陪他才睡得着!望着他睡觉的样子,让我想起几天大的他在医院里,我守在他床边半忧半喜的心情。他还是我那可爱的baby

Saturday, 20 June 2009

I've got luck

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

He's in pain again...

This morning, after coming back fm the supermarket, saw Dad on the sofa, not looking very good. Then he asked me to get his painkiller fm his room. As I was asking about his pain and stuff, he said, "我看我日子也没多久了,一天一天的这里痛那里痛,前天腋下也开始有点痛了。唉。。。" His words wrenched my heart. Told him, "嘘,不要乱讲啦。我帮你把扫描和医生的日期换早些,让医生看看是什么事。你不要乱想,OK?"

看着他这样,我心里很痛、很无助。我不知道能做些什么?起初还会建议叫老妈帮他揉一揉痛处,可后来想了想,淋巴腺都是连接的,如果揉了会不会导致癌细胞扩散得更快呢?现在不敢再提议了。可是止痛药也不能一直吃啊?该怎么办呢?

另一方面,老妈的精神似乎越来越差,集中力不怎么好。现在跟她讲话,真的要坐到她面前,正面对着她讲,她才能听清楚八九成。有时还得重复两三次。真的很担心她的精神状况。唉。。

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Turning 41

I'm 41 today! or to be exact, in 2hrs 35mins time. hee...

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

Farewell Gryffindor, our scratchy terrapin

While I was out having dinner with my dear friends last night, I didn't realise something happened at home. I only realised I had 9 missed calls and 2 msg from home towards the end of dinner. Both messages were from Matt:

"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.

Thank you my friends!

Was invited to dinner with G, J and E last night. It was an advance birthday celebration for me. We had Japanese buffet dinner at Hibiki at the Flyers. It was really a very good dinner! the food was great and really worthy for the price. And of course, the company was greater!

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

something good

remember the accident that happened nearby in end April? well, i wrote an email to seek help from our Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC's MP, Dr Ahmad Magad, to get the issue to the LTA/Traffic Police's attention. Glad that I did that as they finally looked into it and decided that they'll build 2 humps and add some curve alignment markers on that stretch of the road to enhance the road safety here.

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.

my kids uncontrollable?? totally absurd!

was chatting and playing with kids last night when their daddy joined us. He joked with the kids and told them, "wah, yr aunt's SIL also on mummy's fav forum leh. And she said mummy complain about you guys and said that you all are uncontrollable...." Immediately my elder boys went, "hah? why would mummy say that? when were we ever uncontrollable?" As usual, he switched topics and talked about other things before heading out again.

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!