Monthly Archives: September 2012

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.

Random Thoughts

Health Report Card

Done a bone marrow biopsy on 22 Aug and the results show about 5% blast and ~50% mutated t8-21 cells in the bone marrow.

Not very exciting results but that’s pretty much the characteristics of cancer cells. They grow fast, damn fast. A seed will grow into a plant only when favourable conditions are met. I wonder what are the favourable conditions that make these t8-21 grow so fast.

In any case, I was scheduled for 2nd cycle of AzaCITIdine low dose chemo which I have completed the last dose today. Each chemo jab costs $700+. The bills just helped me earn another $200 cash rebates for swiping >$4,000 in a month on the Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Card. This is really a rewarding card to have when you have large medical expenses each month.

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Unpredictable Schedule

Because of possible treatments, appointments and poor immunity, I have been rejecting wedding invitations. For general gatherings, I can only confirm my attendance closer to the date (usually after blood test). Luckily all my friends are understanding.

In support of Liting (my partner-in-crime), and as a treat to my travel buddies, I bought tickets to a play titled “Doctored” after my discharge on 3 Aug. I wasn’t very sure if I could attend it as I’d been told that I might be doing a week of low dose chemo treatment. Leave it to fate, I thought. It turned out that I made it to the play but Peiling and Wei Yuan had to pull out due to work commitment. Fortunately, the tickets didn’t go to waste. I managed to sell one and give the other ticket to Gwen.

A picture with Liting (lead role as Dr Dai).

After the show, Qipei and I headed to Le Chasseur for two-generations Farrago dinner gathering. Similarly, I could only confirm my attendance the day before. But I was very happy to catch up with these group of volunteers and also very thankful for their care and concern.

Freeze your smile for Farrago!

I used to be very cautious of where I go and what I eat. But gradually, I learned to let go of these fears and I found life in my life. Sometimes I wonder why do one seek treatment to extend his life but only to live a life without much life. It’s like building a Titanic and keeping it at the harbour. However, having said that, I still exercise caution by sticking to neutropenic diet and avoid sick people.

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