Monthly Archives: October 2011


Being a NSman, and now a leukaemia patient, I have to update the Army about my medical status for two reasons:

1. To avoid getting charged for not attending remedial trainings (RT).

2. To get a PES status downgrade.

The 2-page Medical Report (cost $89.24!!!) finally reached my hands last week, on 4-Oct, after some delay. I logged into to book a medical review appointment, hoping to find a slot this month before I return for my fourth cycle. The month of October slots were fully booked but I managed to get one in mid-November.

Then I navigated to the “Book Non-ICT IPPT/RT/IPT” page and saw a notice:

“Please COMPLETE your 20 RT sessions by 29/10/2011, otherwise you will be subjected to disciplinary action.

That’s like I may face charges before my medical review appointment date! I ranged Mindef customer service for an advice and I was told to book an IPT on 29 Oct. I followed suit, but could not understand why, by booking IPT, I will not be charged.

Honestly speaking, I am not worried about getting charged as I have a valid reason with supporting documents. The Army will review my case separately, if not, my MP will.

Thinking back, at the initial stage of diagnosis, I rejoiced at the thought that I may not need to fulfill the 10 years of reservist and IPPT. Another case of blessing in disguised. Now as I understand my condition better, I am thinking I might have rejoiced too early – I may only get a temporary downgrade. Perhaps the Army is kind enough to dismiss any soldier who has recovered from a major cancer, giving him a new life? The decision lies in the hands of the Medical Review Board. Fingers crossed.

A Blessing In Disguise

Unfortunate events may fall upon you, but take a look again, it may be a blessing in disguise. As I excused myself from work for leukaemia treatment, I had the opportunity to spend time with and take care of my ailing dad. This was important to me, especially when I was hospitalized and away from home.

My dad is hardly mobile nowadays due to the unbearable pain whenever he moves. As such, he could not visit me at the hospital. A few days into my third cycle of chemotherapy, he was hospitalized for pain and breathlessness. I was so afraid of losing him. But he remained strong and battled with the illness that brought him immense sufferings.This is something I have to learn from him.

For the past three weeks, I have helped to relief my mum, the main caregiver. By sharing the house chores and listening to her, I was able to reduce stress and the amount of work my mum has to shoulder. She also gets a chance to take a breather while I looked after dad.

Dad stays in bed most of the time. I would bring the newspaper to him, remind him to take medications, and give him a good massage wherever he complains of pain. As a patient myself, I knew how comforting it is to have someone with you when you are weak. These are simple things that anyone can do, but nowadays, how many of us can take time off work to take care of our parents (or children) ourselves?

Every night, I pray that his cancer cells would disappear miraculously so that he will not suffer from any pain and our family can spend more happy times together. Will the universe conspire in helping me to achieve this?

Whatever happens, I am glad that I had the time to do what is important to me. And I am also blessed with a girlfriend who’s understanding and listens to me all the time. I could only keep counting my blessings.

What are your blessings?

Another Week at Home!

Another week has gone by so quickly. I packed the necessities for next hospital stay.

Qipei has left her job last week. She accompanied me for today’s check up. I had a queue number of 0050 but it was never called. I was 45 minutes away from doctor’s consultation, so I decided to ignore the queue system and get the nurses to collect my blood sample.

After all the ding-dongs of preparation and waiting, the blood sample was finally dispatched to the testing lab 15 minutes before the consultation. It would usually take about an hour to get the results. We could see my doctor pacing up and down the walkway of the Haematology Centre, probably to get help to expedite the testing.

Finally, the results were out and I was ‘beeped’ into Room 10. My counts were going up, but white blood cells and neutrophils are moving up very slowly. I was inked with “unfit for chemotherapy” and given another week to recover at home!

Could it be my body knew Qipei’s not working this week and wants me to spend time with her out of the hospital? Whatever it is, we headed on to Ikea store at Alexandra. I had my afternoon snacks while she had her lunch. Organic Pasta + 5 Swedish Meatballs + Lingon Berry Drink = $3.90! What a great deal! I love my life :D