Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009 ?

2008 is coming to an end. As usual, I received several SMSes on my hand phone, inviting me to attend gathering of sumptuous foods and free flow of alcohol.

I have no doubt that this get together session will probably end up as being another get drunk session. A session for a bunch of boys trapped in old men bodies trying to out compete each other on how much their bodies can withstand alcoholic abuses. With all due respect, I do wonder whether a person's manhood is a reflection of how much alcoholic abuses he can take.

It pain me to have the thought that there are many people living in poverty, no foods on the table, and many children goes to sleep with empty stomachs. Here, I was invited to attend a session of “sumptuous buffet” and free flow alcohol ! I do not wish to impose my opinion on others, forgive me, but I do have disliking to be associated with alcoholic drunkards. Thousand and one apologies for my oxymoronic righteousness. Why can't we just pool together the monies we are going to spend sinfully on liquors and donate it to charities such as orphanages and old folks homes ? If we are not in a charitable mood, for a start, is it very difficult for us to spend the times and monies on our family members ? Well, I guess it is not up to me to judge or be judged. After all, I do need to respect other people's rights for managing their priorities in life. How others want to live their lives are none of my business. I am after all, also a deluded soul searching for a purpose in life.

For those misguided souls who seemed to be very proud of their ability to be intoxicated. No offense intended, but here is my little observation :

An appeal to a drunkard......

When the streets are quiet,
and all has been asleep.
I am at my best,
at the pub.

The alcohols and the beers,
they are my true life companions.
I have no achievements in life,
with nonsense talks cheering me on,
I can out drank all those unhappy souls in the pub.
For a moment, my world is spinning non stop.
But, I really enjoy being “man” of the pub.
At least, in this crowded smoky arena of euphoric visions,
I have a sense of accomplishment !

In my life, I am always blessed.
There are always someone to care for my loved ones.
There are always excuses I can made.
There are always blames I can passed on.
The world is always at fault !
I am not responsible for what other felt about me.

Oh drunkard,
with hidden tears,
with choked throat, and with depleted emotions,
I beg you to sober up, look around you, and
look at the trails of emotional destructions you have caused.
Stop wasting your life, no body owes you a living,
be a real man,
be responsible,
and have the courage to face the real world.
Be fair to your loved ones !

With 2009 only a day away, Cheers ?

P/S I have no problem having a drink or two with social drinkers. Some social drinkers are industry leaders and men of repute, but not drunkards and irresponsible drunkards. Time and repeatedly, I had stated my intention very cleary not wanting to be associated with drunkards. Call me narrowminded or whatever you want, but is it so difficult to respect this rights of mine ? I do find it difficult to be involved with habitual drunkards. I respect the rights of others to intoxicate themselves, sincerely, I have no problem with them, but just don't get me involve. I do not monopolize misery or rights of others, but I do expect drunkards to respect my rights not wanting to be part of their misery and intoxications. A NO is a NO, is it offensive for me to assert this right of mine not to be associated with drunkards ?

By the way, we are all hypocrites ! We go around telling the whole world we respect freedom of expressions and opinions of others, but when opinions expressed by others are not compatible with ours, we felt offended, and looking for ways to glorify our own narrowmindedness. Wow ! my french cap is for those hypocrites to keep.......

Monday, December 22, 2008

Round Five : I kept my faith...

On December 20th 2008, I launched my book, “Conversations With CK”, at my house. I am quite happy tht my friends and relatives turned up to support my efforts to collects donations for Rumah Sharom. I was also equally surprised to see Datuk Seri Yuen Yat Ling, and some blogger fans turned up at the book launch. All in all, more than 200 books were sold from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. Not bad for an informal and low budget launch. However, I still have around 700 copies to move out before I can achieve my target of collecting RM20K for Rumah Sharom and RM 3K my my alma mater's scout movement. On the positive side, I received quite good reviews for the books. Whatever it is, If any of the readers of this blog, or your friends are interested to purchase copies of this book, please feel free to contact me at

"Autograph Session"

My 4th chemo was scheduled on December 22, 2008. Honestly, I really do not look forward to having this chemo session. I do felt very frustrating to have needle poked into my arm for blood test, and subsequently having the butterfly needle poked in to receive the cocktail of chemo drugs intravenously. Well, I guess I just have to put up a brave front, and go ahead with the scheduled treatment. So Round Five, I am on !

Due to the book launch on December 20th 2008, I missed my Saturday's attendance at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church. So, to make up for my absent, I attended the Sunday's morning service. TO prepare myself spiritually for this coming round of chemical warfare, the good pastor at the DUMC church paryed for me to have a smooth chemo session and speedy recover.

Today, my wife drive me to Tung Shing hospital for my treatment. As usual, I had my blood test to determine whether I am medically fit to receive the chemo treatment. So far so good, the good doctor also did a physical examination on my tumors. He mentioned to me that, the indicators from the blood test are within the expected range, and my tumor seemed to be softened and reduced in size. The chemotherapy today took more than 2 hours to be completed, but overall, it went smoothly without major difficulty. After the chemo, I was checked into the ward for resting, and the usual tests. By the way, my blood pressure is still maintained at 130/80, and I gained another KG in wieght. I am now 80KG in weight. So medically and physically speaking, I am well on schedule to recovery of my health.

Well, “I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. [2 Timothy 4:7]” Oh mighty God, am I entitled to claimed victory for Round 4 ?

As usual, after my 4th chemotherapy today, I encountered the usual side effects of having a numbed arm, felt dizzy, nauseated, chest pains, and lost of appetite. But this tme around, it is not as bad as my experiences in the 3rd chemoterapy. Perhaps, previous experiences made better prepared for the negative side effects. I presumed and expect the next few days will be tough for me to cope. But whatever it is, I will try my best to control my moods, try my best to adapt, stay positive, be cheerful, and take ONE Day At Time. Maybe, to make thing better for tomorrow, I will “Take no thought for tomorrow; for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. [Matthew 6:34]” And I know, as long as I have faith in the almighty God, he will make a way for me to overcome all uncertainties and difficulties.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Miracle herbs ?

“..... Indigenous peoples from the Amazon jungle have used the bark, leaves, roots, flowers, fruit, and seed from the graviola tree for centuries to treat heart disease, asthma, liver prob-lems, and arthritis. Scientists from North America learned of the legendary healing tree and, through dozens of in vitro tests, discovered its ability to kill malignant cells of 12 different types of cancer, including ovarian, colon, breast, prostate, lung, liver, cervical, lymphoma, and pancreatic cancer. Laboratory research showed it to be 10,000 times stronger in killing colon cancer cells than Adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapy drug. And Graviola, unlike chemotherapy, can kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells....”

“...... The Graviola tree has been studied in more than 20 laboratory tests since the 1970s, where it's been shown to:

  • effectively target and kill malignant cells in 12 different types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate, lung, and pancreatic cancer
  • be 10,000 times stronger in killing colon cancer cells than Adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug
  • selectively hunt down and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells, unlike chemotherapy.......”

I received my supplies this morning. In addition to Curcumin and USANA's nutritional supplements, I will take this new herbal extract to complement my existing chemotherapy. So, is Graviola (AngMor Durian) a miracle herb ? Well, if it cause no harm, why not ? So now, I have added new weapon in my chemical warfare arsenal, you mutant cells out there, watch out...... hehehehe....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Week that was.....

My favorite girl, Christine Vasco, came down from Singapore to visit her old uncle......

My old varsity mate, Larry Pomerantz, came down from Canada to visit. The last time I met Larry was 25 years ago...

My old varsity mate, Phua & wife, came down from Singapore to visit. The last time I met Phua was probably 2 years ago...

25 years ago, the four of us studied at the University of Guelph....

My God daughter, Dawn, and her 2 months old baby, Isaac...

My brother, Benny, has been visiting me regularly to make sure I am well taken care off....

Now, coming back to the present, on Saturday (December 20 2008), my first book, "Conversations With CK", will be on sale. The book is price at RM 39.90 per book. For everybook sold, RM 25 will be donated to Rumah Shalom. I hope to raise RM 20K for Rumah Shalom, and RM 3K for my alma mater's Scout Movement.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

“Conversations With CK” – Book Launch

My dear friends,

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2009 !

I have not been in active blogging over the previous three months. My apology for the lack of visibility as I was quite pre-occupied with the management of my health issues. But most important of all, together with my good friends, I was also involved in documenting and finalizing a book, “Conversations With CK (A man, his life, and Cancer )”. I am hoping to raise about RM 20,000 to help the home cover their daily expenses for foods, clothings, utilities bills, etc.

The book will be on sale on December 20 2008. I need your support to make this a successful event. Please take note of the following administrative details :

  • Date : Saturday December 20 2008

  • Time : 10:00AM to 3:00PM

  • Venue : 31, Jalan USJ 4/6F, UEP Subang Jaya Selangor

  • Tel : 013 – 3638327 ( Irene ), 012 – 239 5569 ( Liew Suet Fun )

  • Price of the Book : RM 39.90

In the spirit of Christmas, I urge you to join me to make this world a better place for all, and to bring cheers and hope to Shalom Home. Please bring along your friends to purchase copies of the book on December 20, 2008. I will be there to personally autograph the purchased copies.

(1) Preface Of “Conversations with CK”
This year, on September 16, I received an email from CK telling me that he may have cancer. He had not been well for some time, having lost about 30 kilogrammes and been in and out of hospital trying to figure out what was going on. I had not seen him for a while, engrossed as I was with work and the usual rush of life. His initial fears were not unfounded, when subsequent tests confirmed a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

As a friend, I must confess to being at an utter loss of how to offer help in a meaningful way. While sympathy and moral support are some avenues of such expression between friends, I wished that I
could do more to add to his quality of existence in this extremely precarious passage of his life.

I have not known CK all my life. Our own friendship began just a few years ago when he rang me out of the blue one morning and offered to support my fundraising efforts for our alma mater's rugby team. I was surprised at the swiftness of his response to an email I had sent out just the night before to an e-group we both belonged to, asking for contributions to this fund. I later learnt that he, like me, had an interest in doing our bit for communities.

So over the years, I would ask for his help or for donations and he would give, always without hesitation and with great generosity.
One morning, not long after I first heard about his diagnosis, it struck me that I could offer to compile a book containing selected entries from his blog site. CK, while an IT professional in his daily life, is also an avid blogger who writes compulsively and often close to the midnight hour almost every night, before falling asleep. He once said to me that it allowed him to fall asleep peacefully, this unburdening of his thoughts. As a writer myself, I understand the cathartic nature of writing but I also understand that in order for this act to be cathartic, it must rise from the deepest part of oneself. I do not know what this deepest self is called; maybe it is pure instinct, the subconscious or both.

In this collection, CK has selected entries dating from 2006 till December 2008. This spans more than two years, from before his diagnosis till after his third chemotherapy session. Part memoir and part discourse on life and spirituality, the writings explore with unflinching honesty a childhood marked deeply by poverty, his immense respect and love for his parents, his relationships with his siblings, his spouse and his children, his philosophical and spiritual conflicts and his fight with cancer. It is this revealing honesty that transforms his writing into an absorbing read.

He often refers to himself as an "oxymoron", a wry term he uses to describe his dual nature. He is rational yet emotional; proud yet humble; materialistic yet spiritual; empathetic yet self-absorbed. In short, he is human, like all of us, and prepared to admit it. His "street style" as his calls it, pulls no punches and tells us like it is. It is a rare virtue to be able to write with such searing honesty and it can only mean that one has little illusions about oneself, life, and now, death.
In earlier postings, he reveals an unnerving sense of premonition of his fate.

"Although my heart is filled with love for you,
but soon the rhythms must halt.

I must whisper a quiet goodbye,
and journey to the promised land…"
– Bring me no flowers, May 7 2006 -

Facing death changes us. In CK's case, his own desire for spiritual enlightenment has led him to seek peace in the Christian faith. And while fear and pain mark his daily life now, he continues to summon a sense of humour in his narratives. In "The Almighty and me", while he debates vociferously the idea of God particularly within the context of the hardships of his life and the painful death of his mother , he declares himself an "accidental" Buddhist due to an oversight by a nurse while registering his birth.

In "Fighting for my Life", he speaks of confronting Jesus Christ with his own forbidden fruit – a lighted cigarette – only to be faced with the Almighty's reprimand expressed in proverbial thunder and lightning. These touches of humour surface frequently throughout his writings and remind us that no matter how dire our lives might be or even in the face of death, we still have a choice to take it in
our stride, and become the Better Man for it.

In the many, many nights that CK had spent writing on his bed while his wife slept beside him, he may have never imagined that one day, he would see his entries in print. He wrote because he sought to write; he wrote because he had to. Unwittingly, he was also drawing an arc that linked his existence together in a way that is helping him to see himself clearly now. As we put this book together, he told me how, on re-reading his writings, he can see his life more clearly now and that he understands himself in a way he has never been able to understand himself before. He said this wonderingly as if surprised that the wisdom which he once sought outside of himself was now found, contained within his own words.

Liew Suet Fun
December 2008

(2) Introduction to Rumah Shalom ( Peaceful Home )

A little history goes a long way….

Rumah Shalom is a home for underprivileged children who come from broken families, many of them emotionally and physically abused. The home was established in 1997 with two children then.

Until today, their aim is for all children to be given the opportunity of a basic education regardless of their background, so that they can grow up to be responsible citizens. The home endeavour to provide parental care and education, teaching them self-worth to lead a productive life.

Today, Rumah Shalom needs to buy their own property because in the last 9 years of existence, they have moved from place to place due to tenancy problems as owners had opted to sell off their properties to take profit.

Some 180 needy children have passed through Rumah Shalom and some are doing well in life. And they believe it is time they buy a permanent home for these destitute children so as to provide them a more tangible program for their future.

Their current premise at No. 1 Jalan Teong 5, Bandar Puchong Jaya 47100 Puchong is up for sale for RM400,000. The owner is charitable enough and is willing to sell it below the market value. The building comes with four large rooms and three bathrooms. The built up area is 20 x 75 feet with an additional land area of about 3, 000 square feet.

This property is ideal for Rumah Shalom due to the following factors:

  • Spacious corner lot with 4 large rooms

  • Ample land in case for future extension

  • Beautiful playground in front

  • School is within walking distance for the children

  • Ample parking space for visitors. There were occasions when as many as 120

  • visitors called on the home at one time!

  • Good location & easily accessible to visitors

  • The back portion of the building has already been renovated into a dining hall

  • The house was recently properly fenced up by a social group

(3) Kindly also forward this appeal to your friends.

May the Almighty bless you with Good Health and Happiness !

Monday, December 01, 2008

Round Four : Here I come……

I was at the Tung Shin Hospital at 8:30AM today ( December 1st 2008) for my scheduled treatment. The objectives of today visit are :

• Blood Test to gauge my performance over the previous 6 weeks, and
• To received my 3rd Chemo therapy.

I did my blood test at 9:00AM. Despite all the side effects after my second chemo treatment, the result of the blood test showed very encouraging results. Firstly, all my blood cells counts are within the normal ranges. And, most important of all, my cancer marker drop from the previous 6000 point to 3,700 point ! An improvement of approximately 40 %. The physical examination by the doctor also hinted that the growth of the tumor is control or reduced in size. This means I am responding to the prescribed chemo drugs. So, what does that mean? Well, I can safely declared that I did managed to kick quite substantial butts of those cancer cells from my system, and in the process, I won ROUND THREE ! Lala lala lala……….

Sincerely, I would like to thank all my family members, friends, and Christian brothers & Sisters for their moral support, encouragements, and prayers. The Almighty is indeed mighty good to me. I praise my good lord Jesus Christ for being my Shepard to keep this misguided lamb under his protection.

So, Round Four, Here I come!

The Oncologist start my chemo drips at around 10:00Am and finished at 12:00 Noon. After that I was checked into the ward for rest and observation. The nurse measured my temperature – No fever detected, and temperature was normal. My blood pressure is within healthy measurement of 130 /80. On my weight, I actually gain 1 Kg over the previous measurement 3 weeks ago, I am now weighting at 78 Kg. So I am still physically very fit !

I check out from the ward at 6:30PM and managed to reach home at approximately 7:30PM. So, another day gone by. The next three weeks should be interesting for me coping with the unexpected, if there are any.

However, I do have an uneasy feeling that, the increasing numbers of chemotherapy is beginning to weaken my body. Within One hour after I completed my 3rd Chemo, I began to felt severe chest pain, according to the nurse, this side effect is probably due to “up-flush of gastric juice”. I don’t really know what it meant. But suffice to day, it is very uncomfortable. And my appetite is bad, I have problem eating the lunch and dinner provided by the hospital. As usual, I have to resort to fruits and the USANA liquid nutritional supplements to make sure my body is not unnecessarily stressed nutritional deficiencies.

So far, I have fought a good fight. And I do hope, I can maintain the stamina to manage my treatment regime effectively.

Overall, despite the good result from the hospital, but my body do felt very weak, and emotionally, I am negatively affected by the chest pains and other side effects that cropped out so fast unexpectedly. Whatever it is, over the next few days, I will find ways to minimize the unpleasant effects.

My Goddaughter, Dawn, who gave birth to a healthy baby boys two months ago, send me a few photos of my grandson. Isaac is such a cute and handsome baby. The photo cheered me up a lot. I hope I will have the opportunity to hold him in my arm soon…….