Tag Archives: life

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!!!

Gardening

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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“Experience Your Life”

I was reading Pema Chödrön’s “Comfortable with Uncertainty” and I found a chapter which I love very much. Let me share with you:

Experience Your Life

A woman is running from tigers. She runs and she runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. She comes to the edge of a cliff. She sees a vine there, so she climbs down and holds on to it. Then She looks down and sees that there are tigers below her as well. At the same time, she notices a little mouse gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries emerging from a nearby clump of grass. She looks up, she looks down, and she looks at the mouse. Then she picks a strawberry, pops it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.

Tigers above, tigers below. This is the predicament we are always in. We are born and sooner or later we die. Each moment is just what it is. Resentment, bitterness and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting. This might be the only moment of our life, this might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could feel depressed about this or we could finally appreciate it. We could delight in the preciousness of every single moment.

Do you Ukulele?

I have a new toy called D-uke.

It’s a Hulala Soprano Ukulele (HO-1).

Taking the first step to learn ukulele seemed like forever. Nevertheless, I’m glad I did and I love the cheery sound it gives!

My brother and I signed up for the 1-hr Ukulele Introductory Workshop.
It cost $26.75 (incl. GST), with ukulele loan set provided. The workshop taught us how to hold chords, strumming, and a few songs to give us an idea of ukulele playing.

The showroom of Ukulele Movement.

Smile Over Happy Stuff :)

Some things that made me smile!

Collected tickets for Doctored! Hope I’ll be free to support my partner-in-crime, Liting, in this production.

Collected $11,838.00 for Children’s Cancer Foundation!
I have 90-over supporters! :) Thank you everyone! :D

Met up with the Power Puff Girls, together with LeRoy!

Made a small donation in support of needy patients who are going through transplants!

A plate of 番茄炒蛋.

Cooking Mushroom & Pork Rib Claypot Rice with mum!

Pacifying Kexin to sleep in this “kangaroo pouch”.

There are many more…

Having yummy Indian food that I’ve been craving for, at Zaffron Kitchen, together with LeRoy, Ewan, Neil, Lilian and Qipei! (No pictures)

Caught up with Kelvin Ho, Jinhe, Kian Chye and sign language!

Celebrating 47th National Day at home with a simple steamboat with my family.

Met up with Wei Yuan, Peiling, Qian Hao and Pin Jie. My first time trying stuff crust pizza… nice!

Seeing Mr Chow in clinic and knowing that he’s doing well.

:)

10 More Days to Support HFH’12

Next weekend, Singapore will see more botaks in Hair for Hope 2012 at VivoCity! After my registration for this Charity event in April, I got excited with sending out messages to friends on Facebook, asking for their support and donations. I must give thanks to Eugene Chen, LeRoy Chan (a.k.a. The Hungry Cow), Dr Koh T.Y., Catherine Ling, and many more who have helped to spread the message to their contacts.

We managed to raise awareness about children cancer and gathered $5,468 (as of 19 July 2012) from over 50 people, for Children Cancer Foundation. I agree with Mr Paul Max’s comment, everyone has their own battle to fight in life. I think it makes us a better person to be able to take a break from our own battle, and help others fight their life battles.

I won’t be able to shave my hair at HFH ’12 as I’m still confined in SGH. My blood counts (today – Hb: 7.9, WBC: 0.05, Plt: 27k) are still on the down trend, requiring transfusions and GCSF – WBC booster shot – every now and then. But it’s okay, I’ll continue to use this 10 days to reach out to more.

Join me in this ‘fight’ will you? Donate, leave a message, forward this link!

Warmest and best wishes to you! :)