Thursday, December 03, 2009

A day at Hospis Malaysia's Daycare Centre

For the previous few weeks, I spend a day a week at Hospis Malaysia's daycare centre to share experiences and to learn from others how they cope with the management of their chronic illnesses. Today I am too tired and too lazy to write. A picture speaks a thousand words, so I will let the following photographs do the talking......... :

" Free Hair Cut "
"Group Guided Exercises"
"Free Nutritious meals"

"Free hair Cut"
"Guided Exercises"
"Guided Exercises"
"Warm Water Foot Bath"
"Foot Massage"
"Bingo & Games"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Another decisive battle ahead.........

I have been troubled by pains and discomfort at the abdominal and back areas for the past few days. At times, even doubling the dosages of pain killer doesn't help to alleviate the discomforts. At least, at this juncture of my journey, I am being reminded that, the road ahead is not going to be a smooth ride. I had not been on medications since I last completed my 3D conformal radio therapy in June 2009 with the exception of intake of Traditional Chinese Medicine over the previous three weeks to improve my overall immune system. Although, the past treatment protocols of chemotherapy and radiotherapy during the previous 12 months has managed to maintained and control the tumor, but the recent pains made me a bit worry that the cancer activities within me may turn active again and metastasized.

I realized, in fighting cancer, I am not on this journey to remain status quo. Fight, I must ! But I must also find new route to make my journey unpredictable and surprise the nasty cancer cells. I had been evaluating the option of seeking new treatment protocols from Fuda Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou, China over the past one week.

The type of treatments suggested by the hospital are :

  • If operable, using Cryosurgery to freeze the tumor directly.
  • Iodine seeds implantation to conduct local radiation inside the tumor.
  • Local chemo using a tube to look for the artery, to inject chemo drug directly into the tumor.
  • Immunotherapy to prevent metastasis and recurrence, slowing the growth of cancer, improving general health, and boosting the immune system after the effects of chemo therapy.
I am at this juncture of my precarious existence where I have to make a decision on my next course of action. Putting aside fears and emotionalities, I know, I need to have rationality and clarity of thoughts to take some calculated risks in my attempt to seek recovery of my health. Today, I have decided to pursue the option of seeking treatments in Fuda Cancer Hospital.

I booked my tickets and scheduled to fly to Guangzhou middle of next week, as well as a return ticket on the first week of January 2010. I will probably have to spend 30 days in the hospital. I know, this is not a holiday trip, this is a journey to seek recovery of health, and I do have my fears and anxieties over the medical procedures. For the time being, I will leave my emotionalities as it is. Over the next few days, I will have to organize some logistics to ensure my trip to Guangzhou does not encountered any hindrances. Honestly, I do felt like a helpless soldier, pondering his fate, while waiting to be transported to a war torn area to fight for a cause that he does not wished to be associated with. But like it or not, I must walk through this valley of fears, and show leadership to my children and family members that, when the going gets tough, the tough must gets going to overcome life's adversaries.

The hospital has estimated the medical costs to be around RM 60,000. It will probably costs me another RM 15,000 for 30 days of lodgings, foods, and traveling expenses. For the time being, I will used my overdraft facilities to finance this treatments. When I complete the treatments in January 2010, I hope I will be able to complete my second book “Living With Cancer”, where the proceeds from sales of the book would be able to recoup some of these medical expenses.

This is such a horrible journey to go through, I honestly felt so lonely and helpless. But I do look forward to be “cured” and come back as a healthy person. So, pray for me and wish me luck !!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The roads ahead......

My sleep was interrupted at around 3 o'clock in the morning. The sudden and sharp tearing pains woke me up ! It can not be, because I took my pain killer before I went to bed, and the pain killer is supposed to last for 12 hours. In order not to make thing any more difficult for myself, I took another tablet of pain killer and waited for the soothing effect to sink it. I finally went back to sleep again at around 5 o'clock in the morning. Finally, I have a few hours of good sleep and woke up at around 9:00AM. But the pains came back again.

I did not get up from the wrong side of the bed this morning. But I woke up this morning with extremely foul mood and unbearable pains. I told myself, I must control my emotions in order not to make thing difficult for people surrounding me. I tried to bear with the discomforts associated with the pains, and finally, I guess the best strategy to counter this discomfort is to pop in another pain killer. But somehow, today seemed to be an odd day out. The pain pain killer doesn't seemed to work effectively. Well, I guess I will have to bear with it for the time being. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better for me.

I had been reading and trying to make a decision on whether to go for Cryosurgery with Argon Helium Knife and Iodine Seed Knife therapy. Well, the more I read, the more confused and indecisive I became. Well, I had been through so many type of treatment protocols during the past 12 months or so, and all these treatment have effectively control the cancer activities in my body, but the end result does not seemed to meet my expectation of elimination of the tumors and cancer cells. In a way, I feared the new treatment protocols may failed to meet my expectation again. I am so fed-up of living in daily pains and discomforts, and I really do not wish to see this negative aspects of life being prolong unnecessarily. Like it or not, I am at this juncture of my journey where I have to make another major treatment decision, and I do not have the luxury to procrastinate but to make quick decision. I pray that the Almighty can grace me with the wisdom to make the right decision again this time.

I was recommended to go through a combination of four types of treatment therapies :

  • Cryosurgery with Argon Helium Knife
  • Iodine Seed Knife Therapy
  • Immunotherapy, and
  • Vascular Interventional Therapy

These treatment protocols are not available in Malaysia. The hospital that has the facilities to perform this treatments is Fuda Cancer Hospital located in Guangzhou, China. I was advised by the hospital to stay there for a minimum of 30 days for the treatments to be performed. I know, this kind of treatments is going to be expensive, but I have faith that, when the time comes, the good Lord will make the necessary provisions.

Although, my present Oncologist does not recommend I go through these therapies, but honestly, beyond these new treatment protocols, I really do not have much options left. I am getting very fed-up with all the daily pains and discomforts. I can still cope with the pains and discomforts, but emotionally speaking, I am really not what I used to be, I am getting weaker and weaker to the point of giving up and breaking down. I do not want my family members to be burdened with my degrading state of emotional well being. And I really do not want to see the quality of my existence slowly degrading with each passing day.

I guess, there are really no other options but to commit myself to these new treatment protocols. Hopefully, after these treatments, my present Oncologist can take over from these treatment protocols and work out a maintenance strategy to improve and prolong the quality of my existence.

An annonymous person send me this song by Maria Carey – There is A Hero. I like this song, I think I will think of myself as a hero in this journey against cancer, and with the blessing of the Almighty, I shall emerge vitorious. Here goes the lyrics of the song :


There's a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don't have to be afraid
Of what you are
There's an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you
It's a long road
When you face the world alone
No one reaches out a hand
For you to hold
You can find love
If you search within yourself
And the emptiness you felt
Will disappear

Lord knows
Dreams are hard to follow
But don't let anyone
Tear them away
Hold on
There will be tomorrow
In time
You'll find the way

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

From the eyes of a deluded mind....

The past few days had been a mentally exhaustive exercise for me. I research through the Internet and read up a lot of materials on Cryosurgery to assess its relevant as another option in fighting cancer. Yesterday, I forwarded my CT scan images and medical report to the hospital for them to assess my condition on the suitability of cryotherapy as a treatment for me. The hospital should be able to revert to me on the duration of admission, treatments protocols, and the total costs involved by end of next week. At the moment, although, financially I am almost at the brink of disaster, but this is the least of my worry now, I know, when the time comes, the good Lord will provide. So, I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be an affordable and curative exercise for me.

Looking back, this whole “journey” I gone through has been a real adventure of enlightenments. As much as I was negatively affected by the emotional and physical disturbances, but I also acquired new skills and beginning to appreciate the habitat I am in in a different way. I self taught myself in Chinese calligraphy to smooth my trouble minds, and I also took up photography as a hobby to practice patience.

Over the period of the past 12 months, I took more than a thousand photographs. I am still learning to sharpen my skills. The followings are some of the pictures which I had taken :

"At the airshow TUDM 2009"
"The Middle Finger Salute"
"Famous Taiping Cendul"
"Bukit Tinggi"
"Taiping Lake Gardens"
"The Twins"
"the Orchid"

"The Thinking Monkey"
"The Eagle"
"The Butterfle"
"The Trinity"
Garden Flower"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Moving on.............

Sometimes, I asked myself, what does it take to beat the nasty Cancer ? I had been on this journey of enlightenment for more than a years, spend substantial financial resources, emotional reservation, and physical endurances to fight these nasty mutant cells. Looking back and taking stock of current situation, I am still at where I started. The tumor is still at its originally diagnosed size, and the CA19.9 marker is still out of the normal range. I guess, I am still no where near the victory mark. The only encouraging sign is, the cancer has not metastasized, and I am still standing on my two feet plotting strategy in my attempt to defeat those unwelcome invaders. I guess, the answer I am seeking lies within me.......

It is a very frustrating period for me, and emotionally, at times, I am almost at breaking point. However, I told myself, I had gone thus far, surrendering now is not an option. I will keep fighting till my last “drop of blood”. I honestly do not know how long I can go living with this state of anxieties, fears, and uncertainties. The only thing I can do now is to have faith in the doctors and medical team that attended to my treatment regime.

I have been praying to the Almighty for miracles, but frankly, I do not think the Almighty is capable to heal me. Well, my fellow Christian brothers and sisters may accused me of having lack of faith in the Almighty, but the truth of the matter is, I got to believe in facts not fallacies. So far, this Almighty fella has shown no capability to heal, he failed. It is now up to me to mentally prepare myself to be physically and mentally fit to fight this battle on my own. I must continue to remain strong and positive in my ability to make informed decisions and to keep fighting against all odds. I pray that the Almighty will not let me lose hope in the sacredness of life.

So far all the treatment protocols did not produced the desired result. I am disappointed, but like it or not, I got to move on with life, and manage my expectations from here. To stay positive, I need to move out from this cocoon of trapping myself in fearing failed treatment protocols. I need to have faith in the medical team to keep my cancer at bay and become a survivor to lead a normal active life.

I know, the journey ahead is not going to be any more easier than I first started. I did not bargained to put myself into this precarious situation. Believe me, it is not easy living in fear of the unknowns, but the cruelty of life is such, sometimes, like it or not, when you are at the receiving end, you got to stay even stronger to get out from the mess. For better or for worst, I need to stay calm and rational about every decision I am going to make, and I need to summon all my courage to instill a semblance of bravery into me to journey on.

A the end of the day, I may win, or I may lose this battle along this treacherous journey, but I want to be put on record that, I fought a good fight, and I had made all possible attempts to complete this journey. So, place a yellow ribbon on your desk to cheer me on..........

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In search of another option ?

I had been off medication since the completion of my radiotherapy in June 2009. My last visit to my regular Oncologist indicated that my CA19.9 marker has risen, and I agreed with the good doctor that I will be going for another CT scan to do positional review in first week of January 2010. After which I will have to decide, in consultation with the doctor, whether to proceed with another protocol of Chemotherapy.

I take note that my previous treatments protocols of IV chemotherapy, oral chemotherapy, and 3D Conformal therapy, and B17 alternative treatment did not produce the desired results. While waiting for my monthly check-up and the incoming CT Scan, I decided to try out Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM). I visited the Traditional Chinese Medicines section of Tung Shin hospital to seek the alternative treatment. The Oncologist who attended to me is Prof Zhao Tiang Yong. Today is my second weekly visit to Prof Zhao office. Prof Zhao has prescribed a combination of herbs to be boiled ( with given instruction of how to prepare the dicotion). The dicotion is to be taken twice a day.

"The Prescription"
"The Herbs Medication"

I guess, as it is, I am almost running out of option to combat my existing health problem. As a sane man, I do have my fear and anxieties facing this state of uncertainty. Over the next few weeks, I have to seriously reconsider all options and make an informed decision on my next course of action.

I also did my own research on the Internet and found another option of using Cryotherapy to combat advanced stage cancer. Cryosurgery treatment is available at Fuda Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou, China. My brief research in Internet indicated that Cryotherapy is the application of liquid nitrogen using cryoprobe to target at the tumor to induce extreme cold to destroy the abnormal cancer issues. I will have to consult the doctor on the viability of this new option on my next scheduled appointment.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jesus Christ is my only hope for healing ?

I received an anonymous comment relating to my recent posting of “another disappointing day again...”

I am sorry I am not able to publish this Anonymous reader's comment in my blog. However, I do hope this anonymous reader, being a righteous Christian, can use his real name in future comments so that I can communicate with him as a Christian. In summary, the followings are some “advises”given by this “anonymous reader” :

  • Do not go for Chemotherapy
  • Do not use my nickname “Dalai Baru” as it is unchristian
  • Jesus Christ is my only hope for healing

Honestly, I would like to sincerely thank Anonymous for his advises. As much as I am over anxious in seeking healing for my current medical condition, I also need to be logical in my next step of action.

With regards to Chemotherapy, my take on this medical option is simple. I beeed through 7 rounds of intravenous chemotherapy and many months of oral chemotherapy. The experiences are horrible and at times humiliating. I also realized that, cancer is not just a normal chronic illness, but a horrible terminal illness. If I can do away with chemotherapies, I will avoid it at all costs. But, I am not a professional medical personnel competent in cancer cure, therefore, I will have to rely on qualified medical professional such as Oncologists or doctors for the advise on the best possible option that I can adopt to recover my health. I can not be that irresponsible to rely on the advises of people who are not qualify to offer medical and treatment advises. If my doctors advised me to go for Chemotherapy again as the next best option, then it is the necessary evil to adopt. I do hope, people who are not well versed or qualified in cancer treatments to refrained from offering inappropriate dangerous advises and insensitive comments.

I know, at the end of the day, I may not win this battle against cancer, BUT, at least, modern medicines can improve the quality of my daily existence in whatever number of days I am left with.

With regards to the usages of my nickname of “Dalai Baru” in my posting, I would like to emphasize again that, I had been using this nickname for years. If using this nickname is being perceived as “unchristian” or offensive to some Christians, then so be it. I do hope, these Christians, in their eagerness to portray themselves as super Christians of righteousness, they can refraied from imposing their narrow minded religious interpretations on others. It is a sin to live life as a hypocrites. For those Christians who still think that “Dalai Baru” as a nickname is unchristian, I would like to seek their understanding and interpretation of the term “Dalai Baru” first, before they go around criticizing other people's unchristianness. What next, do I have to discard my Chinese name and adopt a Christian name in order to be sounds like a Christian and looks like a Christians ? May the Almighty bless those misguided Christians to have basic respect for their own cultural roots, and be enlightened to be more knowledgeable and open minded.

I may not be feeling well, but I am not sicked in mind. I thank the Almighty for blessing me with a sound mind to see the hypocritness of some misguided minds. May the Almighty forgive them for their inapropriate insensitivities of their narrowmindedness.

Now, coming back to religiosity. Is Jesus Christ my only hope to secure cure and recovery of my health ? Prayer gave me hope and gave me a sense of direction, but beyond that, I got to be responsible for my own welfare. Honestly, in my quiet times and in the privacy of my dwelling, I had been praying to the Almighty for his blessing and grace. As much as I want to be spiritual about it, but I also need to be logical and rational about this whole medical fiasco I am in. As much as I want to have faith in the mighty Jesus Christ as my healer, I also need to have faith in modern medicines, the doctors, and medical personnel who attend to my treatments. I hope this position of mine will not be challenged by Anonymous as being having lack of faith in the mighty Jesus Christ.

May the Almighty bless all those people with the sensitivity, grace, and wisdom with qualified knowledge to offer qualified medical advises.

Praise the Lord !

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Another disappointing day again......

I had been having my monthly blood test for tumor marker for the previous 12 months. Yesterday was no exception. I went to the hospital laboratory in the morning for my blood sample to be taken, and made arrangement with the laboratory technician to have the result ready for my monthly consultation with the doctor this afternoon.

As usual, I was a bit anxious about the blood test result. I do really want to see some reduction in the CA19.9 cancer marker reading. I was a bit disappointed that the reading for the CA19.9 Cancer marker has gone up again compared to the previous month's reading. Well, I guess, over the previous 12 months, I had been through so many disappointments in term of my treatment outcomes. So, one more disappointment is not going break me. I will just have to take it in my stride and hope for the best.

I discussed with the good doctor that, most likely, if the situation does not improve by January 2010, I will have to go for another computer tomography scan to do a positional review, and seriously consider the option of another regime of chemotherapy. The doctor has recommended that the next round of chemotherapy may involve a combination of Germcitabine and Avastin. I told the doctor my reservation of using Germcitabine as the main formula, because previously, I been through seven rounds of chemotherapy using Germcitabine, and it doesn't seemed to work in bringing down the cancer marker readings and tumor size. However, I will leave the option open and cross the bridge when the time come. At the moment, my main concern is to increase my weight and prepare my body in good physical condition during the next two months, so that I can withstand another assault of chemo drugs in the event that this course of action is unavoidable.

As much as I want to maintain my positive outlook, but I also need to accept the reality of the current situation. For a start, I know, the pains and discomforts are getting more frequents and I will have to increase the dosages of pain killers to manage and minimize my pains and discomforts so that the quality of my daily existence is not eroded. Whatever it is, I got to keep myself busy so that I will not unnecessarily lapsed into too much negative thoughts and anxieties. More than 12 months have passed, but I realized, he journey of my recovery of health has just began ! Metaphorically speaking, for better or for worst, I already dug my trenches, I will fight this battle with all my determinations. I pray that he Almighty can grant me the strength, wisdom, and grace to fight and overcome all those nasty cancer cells in my body.

Physically, I noticed, my body has been significantly weakened due to all those treatment protocols and lack of nutritions resulting from lack of appetites. Emotionally, I realized, people surrounding me has been treating me DIFFERENTLY, as seemed that I may drop dead suddenly, or perhaps, may be, I am over sensitive in this aspect.

I had been trying very hard to arrest my declining weight by forcing myself to eat as much as I can. Luckily, my weight has been stabilized over the previous one month or so. My immediate objective is to attempt to increase my body weight over the next two months to prepare myself for next round of treatment protocol.

I also told my loved ones that, although, I am not feeling well, but I do not want to be treated like a sicked person. I really do not want to be a burden to anybody, and emotionally, it is also very stressful for me to be in a state of awareness that I attracted all these unwelcome attentions. Those thoughts, attitudes, and perception of cancer by people surrounding me can, at times, prevent me from wanting to live my life as it is. Life must go on, as NORMALLY as possible.

I went through a period of, from shock to fear, from fear to acceptance, and finally from acceptance to adaptation.. Emotionally speaking, I had been through so much roller coaster rides dealing with the treatment regimes, with people surrounding me, and with the priorities of my life. Suddenly I begin to realize, life is indeed precious to me. I am beginning to appreciate the little things in my habitat. As much as I want to live my life to the fullest for the day, I also begin to look forward to the next day. And I really appreciate the opportunity to smell the flowers, and even enjoy the chirping sounds of the birds in my garden. Life is indeed beautiful ! Perhaps, the Almighty in his wisdom put me into this predicament in order to enlighten me to focus my life into this new perspective. The finality of life may seemed to be near, but I still have a choice of how I want to live my life, how I want to be remembered, how I can make this world a better place for all, and how I want to inspire others in the same predicament as me to live a better life than me.

Well, the journey ahead is going to be very challenging, but I know, it is going to be very interesting and enlightening as well. I shall emerged from this journey stronger and a better man.

Praise the Lord !

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A trip down memory lane......

I was persuaded by my ex-classmate, Muzzafar, to visit my old school in Taiping. Muzz and I were classmates at SMK King Edward VII School in 1977 & 1978. Together with my Kampungmate, Chee, we traveled back to Taiping on Oct 28th 2009. Chee is a younger brother of another of my classmate. He is a successful abstract artist and owned a studio in Kota Damansara. I used to joked with him that, one piece of his painting can fetch the price of an apartment in uptown Kuala Lumpur.

We left Subang Jaya at around 11:00AM and reached Taiping at around 2:30PM, Checked into my usual Panorama Hotel to freshen up before we proceed to our next event of the day..

For our “tea break”, we went to have a bowl of our regular Jemeema's cendul – those unforgettable and distinctive taste and fragrance ice cold dessert ! We actually also plan to savor the Malay Assam Laksa near the cendul store, but luck was not on our side. The mobile Assam Laksa store was not there on that day.

After finishing our delicious cendul, Chee suggested that there is another good Laksa store near the Pokok Assam's police station. We drove there to satiate our urge for the spicy and sourish noodle.

After finishing the laksa, on our way to pick up our car to go back to the hotel, I notice a very run down single storey wooden building diagonally across the police station. I remembered, in my younger days, this run down building used to be a clinic offering free medical care to the village folks. The building used to be in green colour. My late mother used to use bicycle to ferry to the clinic to seek medical care whenever I am not feeling well. The building is now in such a neglected state, what a waste.

We went back to the hotel at around 6;00pm and decided to have dinner at the hotel at around 8:00pm. After that, we adjourned to the nearby mamak coffee shop to have the tarik and roti canai. We called it a day slightly after mid night.

The next day, after having a light breakfast at the mamak coffee shop, we went to the school at around 7:30AM.
We were welcomed by the school principal, the parents teachers association members, and some members of the old boys association. After signing the guest book and some chit chat at the principal's office, we were ushered to the assembly ground where the “Majlis colours Day” were held.

After speeches by the principal, the president of the parents teachers association, and the president of the old boys association, I presented my speech also. While I was on the rostrum looking at the students assembled in the field, I suddenly realized, more than 30 years ago, I was also standing at the same spot looking out to the podium wondering where I would be in the years to come. Well, it looks like I had went round the globe and back to my alma mater to seek acknowledgement that, at least I completed a loop in my journey of seeking enlightenment.

The following was my speech :

Good morning to the honorable emcee, the respectable principal of SMK King Edward VII, Mr. Yahya Bin Liman, the worthy YDP of PTA, Tuan Haji Ali Akhbar, the honorable President of the Old Edwardian Association, Taiping, Mr. Mohaideen, senior assistants, teachers and beloved students.

I would like to extend my appreciation on the willingness of the Colours Day Celebration Committee to invite me to this meaningful event. I would also want to congratulate the school administrators and all the SMK King Edward VII committee for successfully continuing the Colours Day tradition annually. This event is really significant to all the students who have contributed in upholding the good name of the school in the co-curriculum fields involving sports, games and uniform unit at the district, state and national level.

My fellow young tigers,
Colours Day is a very prestigious event which is held only by certain elite premier schools in our country. As far as my knowledge is concerned, SMK King Edward VII Taiping is the only school in the district of Larut Matang and Selama which successfully celebrates the event every year.
Here, I would like to congratulate those students who are awarded with the Full Colour Award and Half Colour Award for their excellent achievement in the co-curriculum activities. I wish that the accomplishment attained will motivate other students to put more efforts towards the success in the co-curriculum fields they engaged in.

Ladies and gentlemen,
In his speech just now, the Principal did explained about the success accomplished by the students in the domain of sports, games, uniform unit and societies. We are so proud that the good name of this school is highlighted at both state and national level. It is undeniable that SMK King Edward VII is a premier school that is not only well-known in the Larut Matang and Selama District but also in the Perak state. SMK King Edward VII is a warrior and champion in the sport like rugby, and the great name of the school is enough to frighten the opponents in any competition. May this tradition of excellence remain in the coming years.

My fellow young tigers,
Let me digress a bit, about a year ago, I was diagnosed with advanced stage Cancer of the Pancreas. The doctor has quietly told me that I had less than 6 months of sands left in my hour glass. When the carpet was suddenly pulled from under my feet, I was alone and in despair, but the Tiger spirits within me fought back and roared. Today, more than 12 months later, I am still standing in front of all you living my life to the fullest. You know why ? Because we are all Tigers. The road ahead maybe difficult, but a true tiger will never quit, always fight back with dignity and pride to overcome life's obstacles and adversaries.

Under the shadow of this great name, SMK King Edward VII, you are privileged to be given opportunities to acquire a sound educational and character building foundation. I believe, this acquired foundation shall prepare you to be Greater Than Before, and shall stand you in good stead in the years ahead to bring glories to the school and to yourselves.

Before I end my speech, I would like to take this opportunity to wish good luck to all the SPM and STPM candidates. For the form 3 students who have just finished their PMR, I wish that all of you may pass the tough exam with flying colours.

I would also like to advise all the students to balance their involvement in the co-curriculum activities by not neglecting their academics. There is no easy path to success. Every dream and success requires efforts and high fighting spirit.

Last but not least, , I launch the Colours Day Celebration today.

Thank you.

After the speeches, certificates and colours were presented to the students who excelled in sports and co-curriculum activities.

After the ending of the Colours Day ceremony, I was invited to officially launch the new scout den. In my younger days, I was an active scout in the school. So, I was more than happy to officiate the new scout den.

After completing the “business” in the school, we went to another famous cendul store in Taiping – Ansari Cendul, to have another bowl of cendul before we hit the road to go back to Subang Jaya.

To Muzz, Eng Hong, Alex, Siva, and Mohaideen, thank you very much for making trip to Taiping memorable for me.

Magni Nominis Umbra, I shall be Greater Than Before..............

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The myth of cancer cure....

Times and again, I was told by well intended people that, in order to better my chances of survival against cancer, I must alter the pH balance of my cells environment. In other words, I must put more “Alkalinity” into my body because cancer cells can not survive in alkaline environment.

In this regards, I had been introduced “Alkaline supplements” to create a “less acidic” body condition so that my body environment is less friendly to cancer cell. It really amazed me that, there are so many over enthusiastic sales personnel from direct sale companies suddenly became so eloquent about cancer cure. Mind you, these people are not medically trained, but will always tried to convince and confuse you with their “cure all” supplements with all sort of conspiracy theories of large pharmaceutical companies suppressing their so called “proven” alternative cures. Sometimes, I do wish all these peddlers of “Cancer cure supplements” can be enlightened with ethic, less driven by profit motivation, and blessed with basic medical knowledge to cause less harm to cancer patients.

The great scholar and philosopher, Confucius, once said “ A little bit of knowledge is very dangerous”. While I am not denying the fact that there are many researches that concluded that high alkalinity inhibits growth of cancer cells, but these researches are done in laboratory condition ! Our human body is a very complex chemistry driven eco system. It is virtually impossible to alter cell environment to derive high alkalinity condition by taking “alkaline liquid or supplement”.

In fact, our body is chemically conditioned to obtain balance by excreting any excess acidity or alkalinity through urine and sweats. So, as an educated man with a sound mind, I don't think by intensively taking supplements or alkaline liquids is going to improve the chances of cure for cancer. As a cancer patient, I hope, our Ministry of Health can come up with guideline to regulate the over enthusiastic of direct sales companies to prevent further misinformation of their hocus pocus alternative cures.

So, the question is, “Can cancer be prevented or cured by intensely taking alkaline liquids or supplements ?” I don't think so ! So, if next time you are approach by person claiming otherwise, please take the person's calim with a bucket of salts. My take on this is, to minimize the risk of cancer and to improve the chances of recovery, perhaps, we should not deny ourself evidence based treatment protocol, maintain a healthy lifestyles by having regular exercises to improve the oxygen intake into our body, eat everything in moderations, eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods, consult your doctor and don't miss your annual medical check-ups, and most important of all, be more jovials to lead a less stressful life.

And, lastly, if you are strickened with cancer, it caused no harm to seek spiritual comforts in the Almighty., by faith, the Almighty is our ultimate healer !

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Life goes on....

It's been more than a year since I was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. In addition to the dreaded treatment protocols such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc,, daily pains and discomforts has become part and parcel of my daily existence. Not wanting to sound perverted, I am beginning to get used to these pains and discomforts. I guess, that is the normal price to pay for wanting to prolong the life. The only option I have now is to find ways to improve the quality of my existence.

I am blessed to be able to enjoy good medical services to help me cope with the management of living with cancer. On this score, I would like to thank Dr Tan Meng Kuan of TungShing hospital for making chemotherapy less painful for me, Dr John Low of Pantai Medical Centre for managing my present treatment strategies such as oral chemo, radio therapy, etc., Dr SY Loh of University Malaya for advising me on qualitative aspect of my remaining life, and Hospice Malaysia for helping me to cope with symptoms management. I am also greatly indebted to my family members for their understanding and untiring efforts to provide care to me. Indeed, I thank God for given me the opportunity to receive the best medical care, a loving family to take care of me during my times of distress, and my friends for providing me with moral support. One undeniable fact is, modern medicine, while not completely able to knock off the cancerous tumor in my body, but it does significantly lessen my discomforts and greatly improve the quality of my remaining existence. The Almighty with his amazing grace has provided me with abundances ! Praise the Lord.

In late September 2009, I visited my hometown, Taiping. The foods, as usual, are as fantastic as always. The Lake Gardens, the Burmese Pool, my alma mater, and various other places of interests, are also as beautiful as always. I hope they will be forever beautiful as long as the Taiping Hills stand. I hope I can be given more opportunities to visit my home town as often as I want.

The Taiping Lake Gardens
The Taiping Lake Gardens
Taiping War Cemetery
A pre-merdeka tri-cycle
My Alma Mater

I went back to good doctor last week for my scheduled consultation. The blood test indicated that my CA19.9 marker has increased compared to last month's result, but the doctor advised me not to unduly worry about the latest result. The doctor advised me to come back for another consultation in a month's time. In the mean time, the doctor gave me the green light to eat whatever I want, have my regular coffee, enjoy my cold beer as often as I want, and enjoy my life !

My main concern now is, since the completion of my radiation therapy, I lost a lot of weight, probably due to lack of appetites. I am now weight only 56Kg compared to my pre-radiation therapy's weight of 75KG. So, the immediate objective is to bring my weight back to around 70Kg before I consider new treatment protocol. At the moment, the doctor has not prescribed any maintenance medications for me. For the time being, I am taking a dicotion of herbal drinks on alternate day. It is basically a combination of garden herbs consists of 黑面将军 (Strobilanthes crispus), 爬樹龍 (Rhaphidophora decursiva), 甜 (Stevia rebaudiana), 四方藤 (Caulis Cissi Hexangularis), 紅田鳥 (Alternanthera sissilis), and 白鶴靈芝 (Rhinacanthus nasuta).

Yesterday evening, while brushing my teeth, I broke a tooth. Well, after months of aggressive treatment, my teeth are becoming brittle. I got to be more careful in brushing my teeth in the future. This morning, I went to the local dentist to assess the damage. The dentist took half an hour and managed to reconstruct my broken tooth, and it costs only RM 80 ! A job beautifully done.

I am now writing my second book, “Conversations with CK – Living with Cancer”. I hope to complete the draft for final editing by January 2010. The proceeds from the sales of this book will go into charity, most probably an orphanage. In the mean time, I am still sourcing for sponsorship to cover the costs of editing, design, and production. I hope the funding can come in during these two months. I have faith that the Almighty will made the necessary facilitations to ensure success of this small project.

Praise the Lord......

Friday, September 25, 2009

A small mission accomplished......

In my posting on February 18 2009 ( Memories... ), I blogged about the demolished Scout Den in my Alma Mater. I was a bit disappointed that the scout den was demolished by the school authority due to termite problems. I made a pledge to myself then to rebuilt the scout den for the school.

With the help of some ex school mates both in Taiping and Selangor, I managed to solicit some funds and support to to kick start the rebuilding of the scout den.

Last week, I went back to visit the school, and was indeed very pleased to learned that the Scout den has been rebuilt, and I was told that, the Scout Master who is also an Arts teacher is making arrangement to make mural painting on the wall to make it more presentable.

All in all, approximately RM 17,000 was spent on this small project including the building, portable tents, and other scouting equipments. I do sincerely hope the young boys in the school can make full use of the facilities for better scouting activities.

Now that I have accomplished this little mission, I will now refocusing writing my second book - Life's Monologue : Living with Cancer. Hopefully, I can complete this book by January 2010.....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

As I see it.....

I felt very sad to learn that, Patrick Swayze died at the age of 57 on September 14, 2009. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in January 2008. Since I was diagnosed with cancer in September 2008, I followed closely his 20 months battle with cancer. In addition to subject himself to various treatments, he remain positive and keep his heart,soul, and spirit open to miracles, but sadly, miracle eluded him. I can understand the level of pains he went through, perhaps, death is the ultimate escape from the physical miseries inflicted by the dreaded illness. May he rest in peace.

As I see it, cancer is a dreaded disease. For previous 12 months, in my search to seek cure for my illness, the so called modern medicines also subjected myself to endure so much unbearable pains and discomforts. I also have to endure the humiliation and anxieties of the various treatment procedures. On the spiritual side, I am also constantly being disturbed by some misguided souls who advised me to abandon treatment and seek the healing miracles of prayers to the Almighty. Initially, I went for prayers after prayers, and eventually realized that, these are all futile exercises. My take on these is, healing comes from within, and it got nothing to do with the Almighty, and I sincerely do not think the Almighty is capable to heal sicknesses. Ever wonder why there are so many deaths from illnesses all over the world ? I guess, when we are healthy and wealthy, we can always praise the lord for blessing us with health and wealth, but when we are sick, it is every man his own ! We got to believe in ourself to seek cure and move on with life.

At times, as the intensity of the level of pains increased, I resigned myself to the fact that I am fighting a losing battle. It is not that I am not positive or give up easily, but, I am only a human being unaccustomed to all these new found pains, discomforts, and sufferings, and there is a threshold on how much I can take. In my attempt to prolong my life, is it worth it if this prolong life span is tainted with pains and degradations ? Although I count myself lucky to be surrounded by caring family members and friends, but when dealing with this terminal illness, it is about me and how I deal with my fear of the eventualities. I do not think my family members and friends understand my state of minds, because I myself, at times, also wandering and lost in my own state of confusions. Sometimes, I do wonder whether it would be better off for me and my family members if I just end it – no more sufferings, no more fears, no more uncertainties, and most important of all, I am no more a burden to my loved ones.

Coming back to reality, I know, I can not be so irresponsible to neglect the emotional well beings of my loved ones. The least I can do now, is to keep fighting like a warrior and not to let them down. I will continue to keep my mind and heart open to miracles. I walked through the most difficult patch of my life during the previous 12 months, from now on, how much tougher can it be ? Perhaps, I will be lucky soon. I know, as long as I stay clear of negative emotions and never give up, I will eventually find a way to overcome.

Praise the lord.....

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's been a year...........

I went back to see the doctor the previous week for assessment of my CT scan result. The good doctor told me that the scan image indicated that there is no changes in size in the tumor size. His assessment is, the cancer activities is under controlled, and he is quite happy with the result. Happy with the result ? Well, I don't know what to say. After going through One and a half month of daily radiotherapy and oral chemo, I was a bit disappointed that the latest treatment regime was not successful in shrinking the tumor. But on the other hand, the consolation is, the cancer tumor marker reading has been substantially reduced, and it has not spread to other vital organs. I guess that is the prelude to a longer haul battle to regain my health. Well, I guess if the good doctor is happy with my progress so far, I will have to have faith in him to manage my treatment regime. The doctor has also given me another month of “medical leave” before I check in to the hospital again for consultation, assessment, as well as giving the allowance of time to figure out what is my next treatment regime.

This month is September month. A few months before September 2008, I was having some minor constipation issues, minor tummy upsets, and began to loose weight. After many visits to the doctor, I was shocked with the news that a 5CM tumor was detect at my pancreas! One year has passed, and I am still seeking treatment to overcome this health predicament ! Looking back, it has been a painful, scary, and difficult period for me during the previous one year. But, on the other hand, I also realized, it has also been an amazing journey of enlightenment and self discoveries.

I was indeed a blessed person with so many good friends and family members that cares about my well being. I was also indeed very lucky that the good Lord has provided for me to afford my medical bills. In his amazing way, the good Lord has guided me to live one day at a time, and provided me with abundances.

I read the statistic that said that patient with pancreatic cancer has less than 5% chance of surviving more than 5 years. I know, the odds are heavily stacked against me. But honestly speaking, over the previous one year, I had never loose hope in my ability to regain my health. Deep down in me, I know I am not sick, I am just having symptoms of this chronic illness. I will have to keep trying to get rid of these symptoms by putting my best foot forward to climb the stairs of recovery. The symptoms of illness may dent my physical body, but one thing for sure, they can never dent my spirit, my hope, my faith, and my determination to get well and to restore my life back to normalcy.

It is a lonely journey in my fight against cancer. As bad as I felt about the chances and statistic, but I am also determined to beat the odds and I am going to survive this ordeal !!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another longest Day.....

I was admitted to the hospital last Friday for CT Scan and Lab test. This morning, I went back to the hospital to see the doctor for consultation and assessment. I was at the Hospital at around 10:00AM and waited for more than 3 hours before I managed to see the good doctor. Well, three hours is usually not a long period of time to wait, but for me, it seemed like a long time. I was very anxious about the scan result and the blood test specifically. I was worried the CT scan may gave negative result of the tumor being enlarge and spread to other vital organs. I was restless and over eager to get the consultation with the doctor over with as soon as possible. After all, waiting for the doctor to present the scan and test result is like waiting for my immediate fate to be display on the table.

Much to my disappointment, when I finally met up with the doctor, I was told that, the CT Scan result is not yet available for assessment. So, I have to go back to the hospital next week for assessment and to work out the next treatment strategy. The only good news I received this morning was, the CA19.9 tumor marker has dropped from the previous 1970 to 524, a drop of approximately 70%. It basically indicate that the cancer cells activities is now on a decreasing trend and is not that active anymore.

My weight for the previous one month has been stabilized in the region of 60Kg. My immediate objective for the next one month or so is to manage and increase my weight to around 75Kg before I consider the next treatment strategy. As it is, at 60Kg, it is kind risky for me to embark on new treatment strategy because any side effect resulting from new treatment protocol may further reduce my weight from 60Kg to a dangerous level. The good doctor basically also agreed with my strategy of improving my weight and nutrition first before new treatment protocol is implemented.

As usual, since the tumor is still there, I am still encountering the daily discomforts of abdominal and back pains. I have not been taking pain killer for more than three months now. I am already adapted to the level of pain, and the pain is more manageable and predictable nowadays. I guess this is another positive sign that the tumor and cancer cells activities are slowly and surely degenerating into passive state.

After almost one year of trying out various treatment protocols, I was a bit disheartened to know that there are not much significant progress in terms of reducing the size of the tumor. For the time being, I have to be realistic to accept the fact that, perhaps, the best option for me to consider now, is to adopt a maintenance strategy for status quo in an attempt to prolong my life and at the same time to treat whatever arising symptoms to minimize discomfort. Honestly, I am at a lost for what to do next. Perhaps, the good Lord with his amazing grace will show me the way and guide me........................

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday's rantings.....

Since the new Prime Minister came into power in this Bolihland, there has been too many burpings of support for 1Malaysia. Frankly speaking, I do not know what is all this 1Malaysia thingy all about, and I sincerely do not wish to know anything more about it either. As far as I am concern, and take it from this dying old man, this political sloganeering are basically to sustain the stay of power for the new regime, and for the ignoramus like us to gain a little bit of self satisfaction of fantasizing something that are never meant to be.

Honestly, asked ourselves one simple question. Are we prepared to accept the fact that equal treatments must be accorded to all Malaysians irregardless of ethnicities and religions ? As long as majority of Malaysians are still indecently incapable to respect the basic tenets of universal human rights, all these shouting of “1Malaysia” are oohing but farting in the winds.

Maybe we are more ready for 1MalaysiaL instead of 1Malaysia............

About more than a month ago, I sold my unit trusts which I bought from a local investment bank many years ago. They told me, payment will be made and send to my physical address within 10 days. I waited, and more than one and a half month later, I still have not received my payment. So I called them to enquire the payment status. Mind you, talking to their customer service personnel would put any mild temper person's blood pressure shooting through the roof. I don't know whether these people acted dumbly or trying to be evasive. They love to put you on hold until the line is cut off. When I finally get through to the so called “right person”, it was three days later. I was shock to found off from the “right person” that payment has already been made, and I was told that he need time to investigate. From the tone of his voice, it sounds like he is trying to delay payment and hoping that I will not call back to request for payment. Well, dealing with this type of local bank, the best strategy is to raise your voice , shout obscenities to them, and give them ultimatum. And it works, a day later, the bank call me up to say that my cheque is now ready for collection. Hmmmmm..... I shake my head. Well, 1MalaySiaL at its best !!!!

This morning, I went to Taipan USJ to have my breakfast, after the breakfast, I went to retrieve my car, and unfortunately, there is a car irresponsibly parked behind my car, the driver was nowhere to be seen, thus obstructing me from reversing out. I waited for about 20 minutes, finally, one Chinese woman walked out from one of the shop and arrogantly pointed to the car to indicate that the car that obstruct my car belongs to her. She didn't even bother to offer an apology for causing inconvenience to me. So, I approached her to ask her not to simply park her car to cause inconvenient to others in the future. What surprised me most is, this uneducated Chinese woman told me not to tell her how to park her car, according to her, she has “connection” to all the MPSJ ton council !!!! Well, what do you say to this type of uneducated asshole ? So calmly, I told her “ Ah koo, listen to me carefully, I am only going to say this once. FUCK YOU & FUCK OFF ! Now go get your MPSJ connections to issue me a summon” Now I understand why our infamous MACC is investigating our State Executive Councilor, Mr Ronnie Liu, for connection to gangsterism. Well, is this another 1 MalaySial at its best...... ?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Night cometh....

On the bed I lie,
hallucinating in contentment of blissful solitude.
I saw myself wandering and riding the breezy winds,
twinkling high up against the dark night skies,
sparkling on wide open sea with never ending horizon.
My heart fills with pleasure,
my mind fills with never ending glee and hope.
Delightfully, I was drowned in enjoyment and desires,
for once, I reigned supreme in this free realm of nirvana.

When I ceased to be,
would I be in this state of serene illusion perpectually ?
The teary pains brought me me back to reality !
I saw papa smiling at me,
it was the saddest smile I ever saw !

I am still trying to grasp what is my state of mind,
and what was attacking me from within,
that put me in this state of illusion.

Reminiscing the past,
I realized, I am not what I wanted to be !
To my wife, a husband I was but never a lover.
To my children, a father I was but never a friend.
I am sorry.......

Life is, but a sweet dream I slept ?

Friday, August 14, 2009

City in the Heaven ?

This mind is alert,
with a spirit that is still strong.
Oh Almighty, be with me,
for the determination is slowly dying,
and this temple is too run down for the holy spirits....

August month,
reminds me of the falling maple leaves.
Those beautiful golden yellow maple leaves,
I used it as bookmarks, and they gave me a sense of serenity,
of man's poetic appreciation of the finality of nature.
In death, would we be able to leave behind a natural legacy,
to be appreciated by those who come after us ?

The clock within my heart ticks,
reminding me of life slowly turning yellow,
just like the fallen golden yellow maple leaves.
Sooner or later, the desire to fight shall withered.
And the body shall be too lame to march on,
in this so called journey of life.
And eventually, would I be a bookmark in memories....

I lived a good life with no regret.
But now I see a future shrouded in haze,
the sounds of burial chants ring in my ears from a far distant.
I now see the calmed open arm of the wide sea beyond the river mouth.
Is there where the promised city of the Almighty reigns ?

Oh Almighty,
as I walk this challenging journey,
would you help, heal, and bless along the traveled path ?
Let there be no more pains and sufferings,
and let my soul return to that promised blessed abode......

Monday, August 03, 2009

The thing called cancer....

This journey,
a road that has been traveled by many,
but never survived.

This journey,
is also a road that less traveled by many,
but never comprehend.

This journey,
a journey into my soul,
a road to discover what I am made of.
If this journey is cut short,
Could I still claim victory with pride and dignity ?

This is a journey through the valley of the death,
an ultimate challenge for the brave and steadfast soul.
In the illusion of my mind,
I saw fiery fire, red skies, and sea of blood.
The bitter winds whisper my name,
urging me to give up and abandon the journey,
to take the short cut to the tempting paradise.

Mama was waving at me,
She said,
“Son, you have gone thru' enough.
Come home, to take your needed rest”

But I know, this is not a journey to paradise,
for the heavenly paradise is a place I am not ready for !
I still have my purpose on earth.
I still want to see my children have families of their own,
I still want to hold my children's children on my lap...
I know, time is running out,
but I will hold on to my last breath,
'till my wish come true..

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Fighting Cancer ?

One year ago, my weight was 102Kg, this is me now, my weight has been reduced to less than 60 Kg ! My spirit is still strong, my mind is still alert, but, my body has been physically degraded due to various injection, consumption, exposure to chemical abuses and radiation. Do you think I can still win this battle against CANCER ?

I will, I will, for now.......

Oh Almighty, you made a lot of promises, but did you fulfilled them ? I think you are one hell of a funny pervert......

Anti ISA Demonstration in Kuala Lumpur

"Oh God, please help us," one of the mothers was heard calling out. About a few metres away from her was a young man with blood all over his head, cut by the tear gas canister that hit him. - Malaysian Insider

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, in an immediate reaction to the rally, showed no sympathy towards those brutalised by the police, saying they had been forewarned not to join the rally. -- Malaysian Insider

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said there was no way the government was going to repeal the ISA, declaring that "as long as BN rules, the law stays." - Malaysian Insider

Cry, My Beloved Country, CRY !!!!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bits & Bytes (8)

I completed 30 sessions of 3DCRT last week. As a follow-up, I consulted th doctor today on my next course of action.

The good news is, the blood test result showed a further drop of the CA19.9 marker from 2899 to 1970. A drop of 32%. The negative sign is, my weight now has gone below 60kg. Compared to my previous weight of 102kg, I have lost almost 50kg over period of one year. Hmmm..... Almost half of me has gone, I am indeed not half the man I used to be. I guess I need to go to the departmental store to buy new clothes !

Anyway, I do hope the CA19.9 marker can continue to drop to within normal rang soon. And, I am also equally hopeful that, the latest marker reading is an indication of the reduction in size of the tumor.

The doctor has recommended that I take a one month “break” in receiving treatment. I will be admitted to the hospital again at end of August 2009 for further medical procedure such as CT Scan, Lab diagnostic, etc. to assess my status and to plan for next round of strategy. For the time being, the good doctor told me that everything is under control, and I should make use of the month long break to enjoy whatever I want to do.

I have gone through seven rounds of intravenous chemotherapy, 4 months of targeted drugs, one round of alternative treatment protocol, and as well as the recent combination of oral chemo together with radiation therapy. I know, all these treatments, medications, and procedures during the last 12 months have inflicted heavy damages on my body. Not wanting to sound pessimistic, but the rational side me has the expectation that the road ahead is not going to be any more easier than my current state of uncertainty. What I can do now is not to b too anxious of what lies ahead, but rather to take stock of my current situation, and get myself ready for the battle ahead. What I really need to do now is to arrest my declining weight and strengthen my body over the next 30 days or so, so that I am physically fit to combat those nasty mutant cells again when the I resume my next treatment protocol in about a month's time.

Looking back, I used to take pride in myself for having control and always in the driver seat for whatever I want to do. While my mind is still alert and my spirit is still strong, but physically, this cancer thingy has slowly and surely inflicted degradations on my body. I fainted a few times while doing a simple chores like climbing the stairs, and even fell down while walking because I lost control of my left leg. A man is suppose to be the pillar of the family, I really do not want to lose my dignity by becoming a burden to my family members. I guess the only way for me to overcome this unwelcome situation is by having greater determination and will to win this battle against my present chronic illness. I hope the Almighty does not forsake me again, but to give me the guidance and strength to overcome the challenges ahead.

So, what am I going to do during this “medical break” ? Well, I will do some traveling, write my journal, and sharpening my photography skills. Perhaps, I will take this opportunity to live life as it is, one day at a time, smell the flowers, and appreciate the creations of the Almighty.

Praise the Lord, and may all beings be well and healthy........