I’ve had two weeks of low dose chemo and it’s rather effective at bringing down the blast cells, although a tad slowly. We are continuing this daily chemo infusion for now.

Felt discomfort in my left chest around 5+ a.m. on 3 Feb. Done ECG, blood test and x-ray and they seemed normal. CT scan showed a 6 x 2cm lump in the soft tissue between the heart and left lung, which probably explains the pain I felt upon deep inhalation.

With the current leukaemia condition, the discovery of a mass wasn’t too difficult to accept. At least we found out the source causing the chest pain and we are so going to remove or at least shrink it.

Was scheduled for biopsy of the mass yesterday but it was cancelled. Reason for cancellation were: low platelet count of 48k (need at least 50k), low haemoglobin count of 7.7, biopsy site very near to heart and major artery – doing biopsy after office hour means there are no senior consultants to oversee if any mishap. Actually I was more than happy to postpone the biopsy as I could tell the medical team was tired and overworked. For patient’s safety, I’m not going to complain about the 9hrs of fasting and 3hrs of waiting time.

Hope the biopsy will be smooth today, allowing me to go home for CNY tomorrow as planned.
Whatever I need to know is being revealed to me.
Whatever I need comes to me at the perfect time, space and sequence.

Have a Blast!

Here’s the official announcement – I’m no longer in remission.

The aggressive blast cells are out to take over my world again. This time, they could be successful as my medical team has exhausted all possible curative treatments.

Currently, I’m receiving low dose chemo to keep the blast cells down. It’s a matter of time before the leukaemia becomes resistant to the chemo. Then I’ll have the option to go for a higher dose chemo (with more side effects of course) or oral chemo which only has effects on blasts in the blood but not in the bone marrow. No treatment and palliative care can be considered too.

Whatever it is, I have decided that my own treatment plan is to be happy with the days that I have. :)

2013 – To Be a Better Man

Welcome, 2013! Ever since my diagnosis in 2011, every single day is like a precious drop of water in the desert, and it is even so after the subsequent relapses.

2012 kicked off with a shocking relapse, but I am glad that after all those treatments, I’m in remission again at the end of the year. One of the best lessons I had learned in 2012, is to appreciate what I have before time makes me appreciate what I had.

The entire year of treatments made me appreciate my family and girlfriend who are always there for me when I needed them the most. Not to forget all my friends and the dedicated nursing team who cared for me and my family as well.

My humbling experience told me that I must reciprocate my gratitude when I get well, or at least whenever I am feeling well. The best way to do this, after much thought, is to pay it forward by amplifying my supporters’ loving kindness and reach out to the community.

With that, my resolution for 2013 was set – To be a better man and care for my community.
To be specific, in 2013, I aim to:

  1. Raise awareness about bone marrow donation.
  2. Convince 100 people to register as a potential bone marrow donor.
  3. Participate in Hair for Hope 2013 as a shavee and help to raise S$10,000.
  4. Develop a socially responsible business.

What would your new year resolution be like?
If you have not thought of any, do consider joining me in what I will be doing.
Leave a message to let me know you are interested and I will contact you shortly.

Wishing all my family and friends a fulfilling 2013. May you be well and healthy, and blessed with good fortunes and true happiness. Cheers!!!

Hello, Day +56

Been missing-in-action for so many days. The second bone marrow transplant, at reduced intensity, had almost reduced me to bones making me weak and just want to rest it out.

The nua days are over and now I have regained some decent strength, energy and consciousness to update you briefly on my treatment progress.

22 Oct – 17 NovHospitalized for Second Haematopoietic Stem Cells Transplant a.k.a. Bone Marrow Transplant
23 Nov – 7 DecHospitalized for Treatment of unknown infection
11 Dec – 18 Dec: Hospitalized for Treatment of parainfluenza infection 

During the above mentioned period, I felt like there were many small tsunami waves of side effects from all the drugs and treatments hitting me. The side effects would have been tolerable if they have not overlap each other. In any case, the tough times are over and the tough man last!

As for treatment outcome, thus far, I’m in remission (cheers!!!) and my spanking new set of bone marrow is carrying out its duties well. There are signs of mild graft-versus-host on the skin and liver and they were all well managed by the medical team (cheers!!!).

Till then, may we have more good news to come, especially so for 2013!

Collection of Memories at Gardens By the Bay

Gardens by the Bay

Super Trees are so giantic that they can’t be missed!

Teng Family

Kening and brother.

Super brothers.

Curious mind checking out the kois.

Happy day out!

Qipee’s first visit to GBB.

We’re so green!

Trying to squeeze the super trees into the mini Diana.

A day out to GBB with beneficiaries from Home Nursing Foundation.

Third Time Lucky

We have tried to delay this as far as we could. A second transplant is inevitable.

I had my second chance in life in March this year, but it didn’t work out the way we want it to be.
Perhaps it’s going to be third time lucky for me. The medical team has set the date of admission to be on 22 Oct 2012.

Chance of remission is about 10 – 20% (previously 70%).

Chance of Graft versus host disease – 60 – 80%.
- This is both good and bad.
Good in a way that the chance of graft versus leukaemia is higher.
Bad in that the donor cells may launch aggressive attacks on my cells.

I have done whatever I could, the rest I will leave it to fate.
What’s important now is to live happily, with peace in my heart.

The following two to three weeks will be difficult and likely to be another test of my limits. Visitors are limited to my immediate family.
To my supporters, I would really appreciate any lovely quotes, jokes, pictures or even past good memories that we had together send to my whatsapp, facebook or email. Things that will give me the strength and will to fight. Things that will make me break a smile. Things that water the seeds of hope, courage and positivity. :)

Self Healing Possible

A couple of weeks back, I mentioned about doing home composting. I read in compostinginsingapore  that a layer of hay on top of the food waste can prevent odour in home composting. It got me into a cheap-hay-hunting mo0d in local pet stores, but it ended quickly after my doctor told me I would need a transplant soon. The verbal agreement to start home composting was no longer valid since I may be away from home for quite some time. But hey, it was such a coincidence that I found another Hay, this time at a book store. I was rushing off already, but I managed to note down the author of a Chinese-translated book, Louise L Hay. A quick research on the smart phone got me interested in Hay’s metaphysical work linking the mind to the body.

Louise linked how our negative thoughts and feelings get manifested as problems and illnesses in our lives. It has to do with how we are brought up and the environment that we lived in. During our growing up years, we were always involved in comparisons and competitions. Hence, we may find ourself not good enough and often look at what’s there to improve instead of being thankful for what we already have. Over time, our guilt, resentment, anger, fear and etc get expressed externally. However, Louise believes that everyone can still turn their situation around with gratitude, self-love and daily affirmations. In You Can Heal Your Life, she helps the reader to identify the problems and recommends changes in their life that could benefit them in their relationships, work, success, prosperity and health. What’s remarkable was that Louise practiced and proved her philosophies after she got diagnosed with cancer, which she shared her story in the later chapter.

I was particularly amazed by the list of dis-eases and  probable cause that Louise had compiled in Heal Your Body. Checking up on the probable cause of leukaemia, it stated “Brutally killing inspirations. ‘What’s the use?‘”. Have I been doing that?

I was going through Hay’s website and I came across Dr Wayne Dyer and Anita Moorjani. Those are long stories, but the story of Anita Moorjani brings hope to cancer patients in my opinion. Down with Stage 4 Hodgkin Lymphoma, in a coma with multiple organ failure, with 24 tumours the size of lemons all over her body and Anita given 36 hours to live. However, she made an unbelievable healing with all the tumours and swollen lymph nodes disappearing in the next few days. With reference to the meditation materials that I have read recently, it seemed like during her near death experience (while in coma), she went into a deep meditation state and her survival was followed by her enlightenment. In any case, I agree with what she believes in the present moment – to be yourself and live fearlessly without emotional baggage.

It’s amazing how looking for hay helped me to find these three books. Cheers for inspirations, hope, and healing. Best wishes.

Health Update

After last week’s drop in blast counts to 4%, I was so happy and hopeful that it will reduce further this week.

Unfortunately, the numbers shot up to 29%.

This calls for Plan B, which is to re-transplant using my sister’s haematopoietic stem cells. The transplant is likely to be scheduled in two to three weeks time. The following week will do another bone marrow biopsy and pre-transplant checks (vision, heart, lung, kidney & liver function, dental and etc.)

Knowing my condition well, this day will come eventually.
In any case, I am very contented with the quality time I had for the past 7 weeks.

There is still a glimmer of hope that GVHD (stimulated by DLI) will take place within this two weeks. Then, perhaps, I may not need a transplant.


I had finally started my own herb garden. It’s such a simple thing to do yet I’ve been putting it on hold. I think I was probably worried that I might be unable to take care of it in the future.

Last week, I bought a small pot of sweet basil home as an ‘official start’ to my herb garden collection.

I will shower this aromatic herb with TLC so that it’ll flourish happily. Then, I will get to harvest its leaves for cooking to share with my loved ones. That’s such a happy and harmonious relationship isn’t it?

 Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) re-potted on 19-Sep-2012

Currently, I am looking at producing home-made organic compost, using tea bags, vegetable and fruit scraps. Should my blood counts remain stable tomorrow, I will start the composting this week.

I am also looking at expanding my garden collection:

  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • pandan

Will accept any kind donation of healthy plants. :)

Living in the Moment

Monday blue doesn’t just apply to working people only.
For a patient who requires weekly blood test, I detest Tuesdays.

Because the blast cells have entered the blood stream, and it’s still growing in numbers.
Because if leukaemia continues to thrive, chemo and transplant is inevitable.

But if the blood test shows stable blast quantity, I’ll have another week of happiness!
But if the blood test shows stable blast quantity, I’ll have another Tuesday blue.

Living week by week.

I can’t confirm my attendance for gatherings or friends’ weddings that’s not within this week.
I can only confirm meet up after Tuesday’s blood test, when I’ll know if my immunity is okay.

Living week by week.

I don’t know if I’ll get to use my passport if I renew it.
I don’t know if I’ll get married and start a family.
I don’t know if I’ll get to chase my dreams.

Life is so much full of uncertainties.

We can’t control every thing.
But we can control our emotions and attitude.

 Life is not for us to dwell on the past.
Life is not for us to worry about the future.

Life is living in the moment.