Thursday, January 19, 2017

My Mum Lose Her Fight but I Kept Going...

After a year battling with her cancer, my mum lost her fight & passed away on 21st Sept 2014.
Its been more than 2 years now. I still remember how my mum wept her last tear before leaving us.
I just couldn't help but to let my tears flow out. The grieve & pain that we have in us, yet glad that my mum does not have to suffer the pain anymore.
She may be gone but our love for her will always be bright in our hearts. Miss her so much.

During these years, I have accomplished  my dream of racing a full Ironman.
I have run many full marathons and started on own business.
I continue to sleep early, eat well & spend quality time with my family. My lovely caregiver continues to pour her care & love to me. I am happy and content.

Will continue to live well and lead a healthy life.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

From a Cancer Survivor to a Cancer Caregiver

My life connection with cancer is deeper than I expected.

After 2 1/2 years of winning my battle with cancer, my mom just got diagnosed with colon cancer.
Its rather hard to swallow this but still have to force it down.

My cancer experience had taught my family a lot about things... things like controlling our emotion, managing the finance, therapeutic food, quality rest, exercise routines & most of all, strong mental fighting spirit.
In our lifetime, too many times have we come upon dreaded news about our close ones, our relatives & our friends being traumatised by cancer.
The top 3 questions when someone hear a person has cancer.
1. "I'm so sorry". The first reaction is the state of feeling sorry upon hearing the tragic news.
2. "Which part of the body & how bad". Second is to learn which part of the body got affected.
3. "What stage is it?" Third is to evaluate how serious the condition is.

If a person is new to cancer, the above questions and answers doesn't matter as they already sentenced "Death" in their mind.
In this fast moving world where our life is dictated by technology advancement, synthetic products, chemically laced food, mounting working stress & negative ecological changes, we are posed to meet some kind of sickness in our lifetime, just a matter of seriousness.
BUT if you have sound knowledge on cancer, then there is always hope.

My Mom, staying positive : )
It all stated with indigestion. My mom started complaining that she has a full stomach after eating just a bit. There wasn't much stoll during her toilet routine. This lasted for a year ( and she kept quiet about it!! ).
Until about 3 months back, her stomach started to bloat & minor pain kicked in.
She went to a local GP(general practitioner) & was advised to go to the hospital for a thorough check up.

Initially, she went to see a chinese doctor. As expected, only able to diagnosed wind in her stomach. Was prescribed with some herbs & advised to come back again for a follow up.
She vomited all the medicine out just when she took in the first pack.
The following day, she went to Tung Shin Hospital due to the mounting pain & was administered by Dr Lim Chwen Loong (laparospic & colorectal surgery specialist).
Dr Lim was very professional & quick in his action. He reduced the swelling & put my mom on antibiotics & painkillers. A week & a half later, my mom was admitted to the hospital again. She did a colonscopy & was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma.
At the same time, the doctor made an opening on her left side of the stomach. This allows the intake of food to exit through & not going through the cancerous part of the colon.

A battle with cancer will take a long time and it burns deep into the pockets.

My siblings & I made the decision to admit her into Selayang Hospital for the operation to remove the cancerous colon. So, with the recommendation letter & scans result, we met Dr Raj whom is in the surgical department to arrange for the operation. Initially, it was suppose to be scheduled about 5 wks later. But to our surprise, the hospital called & had us to admit into the hospital a week later for the operation. It was that fast ~!

The operation went well
A operation is never easy for a senior citizen . Physically they are not as strong to stand the pain & recovery time is longer too. The road to recovery had a few hiccups but was brought under control. As of now, her condition & well being is very good. She looks cheerful with a face of good health.
The appointment with the oncologist takes about 2mths right after the operation. Chemotherapy looks inevitable as a few of my mother's lymph nodes were affected.
Prior to the appointment with the oncologist, I got a cousin of mine to help me to get substance X.
Based on the spiritual findings, she has to take in 15pills compare to mine of 12pills. She's done with the pills now. Hopefully it has the miraculous effect which its fabled for.
Just need to wait for the scans again to see the result.

At Beijing Houhai, so smoggy.

At the Great Wall of China
Now, we want our mom to lead a quality life. She went to Macau a month back & just came back from her tour of Beijing & Shanghai last week. At her age, she couldn't ask for more but to lead a happy life. She continues to plan for next trip out to Bangkok & Japan. What my siblings & myself could do is to just plan a good holiday for them.

Now, she is happy & nothing to worry about. 
Just continue to help me at my shop and keep herself occupied. This way, she has the motivation to continue to be "here" & to look forward on her holidays at
cold climate countries.

For the past few months, I have a few friends/acquaintance whom were diagnosed with cancer too. They accepted what they have & fought courageously. I gave them as much moral support as I could.
The point is, cancer cases are popping out everywhere. It seems rather rampant & the hospital cancer wards are always full of people. Just when we least expect, it will strike & hit us on the head with a bang.
Therefore, take care of your health to lower the risk. Eating healthy, exercising, ample sleep & spiritual balance will help to lower the risk of getting cancer.
Don't just talk about it, you got to walk the talk.
2013 Adidas 16.8km run. Finished in good timing : )
Going to run a full 42km on 17 Nov'13

Sunday, March 24, 2013

2nd cancerVERSARY ~

Together with my family at
a Japanese BBQ Restaurant ( I still avoid BBQ
food as much as possible.
Eat very little unless its BBQ in a foil)
OH MY ~!
Believe it or not, its way past my 2nd year cancerVERSARY~!

I did my biopsy on 18th December, thinking that the polyp in my trachea was nothing serious.
It was probably just a growth of flesh blocking the air into my right lung. A minor operation should be able to grab it & pull it out of my trachea pipe.
On the evening of 21st Dec, when I went to meet Dr Jurina at Columbia Hospital Bandar Puteri Puchong on the result of my biopsy, she frowned & wasn't showing her usual cheerfulness.

I was thinking to myself, 
"PLEASE GOD, don't, please don't... please don't let it be what I think it is".
The minute she threw the phrase,
"I'm so sorry, the biopsy test result shows that you have squamous cell cancer in your trachea", 
the world went blank around me.

My mind went blank & I could hear my heart pounding.
My wife looked at me & was seeking for a  explanation. Her face turned & wanted me to translate every single word Dr Jurina had told me.
I kept my composure & explained to her the best I could.

After accepting the result & hearing Dr. Jurina's recommendations on the next course of action, both Mimiko & myself called to our parents to update them.We went over to my parents place to fetch Ryusei. My parents & sister were devastated & were crying on what I had told them.
At that moment, I do not know whether I should cry or just turn a deaf ear to all their wailing.
My heart hurts seeing the people I loved pouring tears for me.
I do not want to add my tears to their agony, so I had hold back my own tears, till to this very minute I'm writing this sentence.

To know I have cancer is like someone pounded my head with a hammer & let all hope drain out of me.
The feeling was so lousy. Not only that my life is 50/50, but I was worried about the welfare of my son & wife. What happens if I can't make it & they need to go on without me. Will they be all right?
Will my son be brought up the way I wanted him to be?
So many questions, so many "what ifs"... and it was flooding my mind breathlessly.
It wasn't only myself but also involved so many around me, the ones I loved.

This was the feeling that described me on the first day. The day I got to know I had cancer.
Just a week back, I was talking to my wife & we had a reminiscence about my operation ordeal in Singapore. 
I recall about the anxiousness before I went into the cold operating theater, the cold operating stainless steel bed, the pain on my shoulder due to the protruding plastic tube extracting liquid out from my lungs, the sleepless nights I had as my old ward neighbour kept moaning hysterically in the middle of the night calling his death wish.... sum it all up, it was indeed a lifetime enriching experience to me. 

This could the same feeling & thoughts of a new cancer fighter.
Only a cancer survivor will tell you how it feels like & understand truly how it feels when we stand on  the 50/50 line.
No matter how hard it is to accept, no matter how painful the road to recovery is, no matter how long it takes, there is always a reason to live. Giving up is never the option GOD had given us.

My brother & sister.
NOW, I am different : ) ~!
I can tell you that I laze around, I run far, I climb a mountain, I went rafting, I quit my job, I have fun, I cherish every moment that I have with my family & friends, I sleep early, I have good dreams.. so many things to do & I'm not stopping anytime soon.
I want to live this life to the max !
All of this happens once you know what you have & how to live with it.
We fear because we do not know. I survive because I choose to fight, learn & overcome it.

The time I wrote this, I just finished my 2nd half marathon, BROOKS 2013 Half Marathon at Bukit Jalil.
Brooks 2013 Half Marathon
Together with YG Har.
Even though the timing was longer than my first run, the left leg was cramped badly, & right knee was painful, it still felt very very very good ( I really mean it) coz I know I can run even with an impaired trachea & post thoracotomy chest wall pain. Its a BIG Self Satisfaction & adds onto the list of achievements.

I have registered for another 21km run; Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013 & will also run a couple more half marathons before I put myself to a full 42km challenge, scheduled in Nov 2013 at Penang Intl Marathon.. My brother had also asked me to gear up for a 50km trail run at Kota Kinabalu on end 2014. (sounds crazy~!)
Crossing my fingers & hope to finish it with my own physical strength & mental perseverance.

To me, I have found a reason to live.
Like any cancer survivor, no matter how worried I am about a cancer remission, I will always to choose to live.
The occasional pain on my chest & coughs makes me wondered whether is it going to be a lung cancer or throat cancer. . . my visits to Dr Foo YC at SDMC always make me worried about the results from the CT scan & Xray report.
As worried as I can get, the good things & what we should experience/see outweights the fear in me.

I'm looking forward to run a marathon with my wife & son(just a short 10km marathon for them) & to climb Mt Kinabalu again with them.
These is just one of my dreams.
You can do the same as well. Just don't give up.

I was discussing about exercising with my buddies over Watsapp a couple of days ago. We were talking about exercising & investing in bikes & sorts. I still remember I told them about this.

"We need to take care of our physical being first. Can't keep giving reasons like "no time" & "accommodating to family weekends". 
If one day you fall sick & not able to work & provide, 
what good are you to the family but a burden to them?"

It sounds ironic especially when one balance himself/herself to provide the best for their family at the sacrifice 
of their own health. 
I learnt the hard way and am now sharing my experience with you. 
This blog is not about my grief or whatever sufferings which I had gone through, 
its about promoting good health,  
improving the quality of life, 
cherishing those around us & most importantly, 
how to be courageous to move on with our life after cancer. 

During a CNY dinner  gathering with my school mates.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sharing, from another Cancer Survivor - Mesothelioma Cancer

Clear Blue Sky. I "stop & look". 

At Last ~!!
I have finally found a bit of time to slot in a new blog page.
Over the past 6 months, many things had changed.
I quit my job, adopted a quality lifestyle & am enjoying every bit of life now.
I ran my first half marathon in my personal best time & started running my own little business.

My 1st 21km marathon. Penang Bridge Intl Marathon

My first 10KM run. Nike Run KL 10km

I have adopted to change for the better. To relieve myself of the mental stress, I am now operating a small courier service kiosk with additional business center services like printing, internet access & instant photo services as add-ons.
With the help of my family & parents, & not forgeting my friends, things have been running smoothly.
I have learnt many things like managing stress level, time management, anger management & most importantly, I have chose to live.

About 2 months back, I have received an email from a person by the name of Cameron.
He would like me to share his life story & experience with cancer.
His family are strong fighters & deserve all my respect on their encounter to overcome the odds.
Its a  touching story & will give many cancer patients out there a GOOD MOTIVATION.
As long as there is a will, there is a way.
Its never the END till you fight to your last breath.
Below is his story about his wife & her CHOICE TO LIVE.

A Cancer Diagnosis Affects the Entire Family

My wife’s diagnosis with mesothelioma was one of the most difficult times in my life.  I talked with her once about my experiences when I was caring for her, but now I would like to give a more detailed description of my experiences.                                                                                                                                           

As with all cancer diagnoses, my wife’s diagnosis was unexpected and unwelcome.  We had just brought our new daughter Lily home a few months earlier.  Our daughter’s birth was a wonderful occasion, but our happiness quickly turned to distress.  Hearing the doctor tell my wife that she had mesothelioma made me wonder how we would ever get through this situation.  Seeing the tears in my wife’s eyes let me know that she was thinking the same thing.

The initial diagnosis was such an unreal moment that I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.  My wife was overwhelmed with this news and so was I.  Regardless of how overwhelmed I felt about the situation, I knew that I had to be my wife’s anchor.

I do not believe that I have ever been as angry as when the doctor gave my wife her diagnosis.  Unfortunately, others around me felt my anger.  I realized that I could not continue to be angry, and I eventually found ways to keep calm.  I knew that the anger would be detrimental to my family.  I had to be strong and be there for my wife, but there were many days in which being strong seemed impossible to do.

I was suddenly forced to take on so many responsibilities.  If I had not learned to budget my time and resources, then I could not have made it through this ordeal.  Our friends were there to help us when we needed it. Their generosity could never be replaced, but even with their help, I constantly found myself on the verge of becoming overwhelmed.

After Heather’s surgery, I experienced the most stressful time of all.  Heather and Lily both stayed in South Dakota with Heather’s parents, as Heather got ready for another round of mesothelioma treatment: chemotherapy and radiation.  I felt awful being so far away from them.  I was so desperate to see them one weekend that I drove 11 hours through the night in a snowstorm.  Once I got there, I could only spend a few hours with them before I had to travel another 11 hours to go back home and get ready for work.

Being away from Heather and Lily was tough, but I know that by having them in South Dakota, I was able to continue working and providing for them.  If they had been at home with me, I would not have been able to work and take care of them at the same time.

I was so grateful that I was able to make choices that were beneficial to my family, but most of all, I was grateful to have family and friends to help us through our difficult time.  Through all of our struggles, Heather is still here and still healthy over six years later.  I hope that our story can be a source of hope and help to those currently battling cancer.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Objective to Live - Mount Kinabalu Climb

When I wrote this, I had already scaled Mt Kinabalu, done my first 10km run & am now gearing for the half marathon on the 18th Nov 2012.
Honestly, sometimes I'm proud of myself & am glad of whatever happen to me happened.
Without the experience, I would still be my old self... working & scaling.... never stopping to watch      whats going on around me.
Its been so long since I last wrote.... mid Jul 2012?
GOSH~! I have been lazing in my blogging, but I have been SO SO SO BUZY to be where I amtoday. Things have been shifting & seems as though I'm in a train seeing the view running past my eyes while the sun stays at the far horizon , waiting for the night to ease the heat from this side of the earth.    

Let me recall what happened at Mt Kinabalu, my first physical challenge.
The idea was mooted at the end of 2011, when I came upon an article in the web. I was so eager to challenge myself to conquer my physical body which had never crossed my mind before... especially Mt Kinabalu.
I have never ever thought about scaling a mountain as it wasn't my cup of tea.
But after what I had been through, I wanted to experience something more challenging, something which I can test my confidence, my perseverance & importantly, my eagerness to stay focus & lead a great life.

Me & my Brother
Initially, I wanted to climb the mountain as early as Mar 12, but ended up going in early Jul'12.
I was suppose to go alone on the trip but at the end, my brother joined me to make the climb. Glad that he came along as the climb was physically challenging for my age(yup, even for my age).
It was a 4 nights 5 days trip, with 3 days at Mt Kinabalu, 1 day at Pedas for white water rafting & another short day at Kota Kinabalu.

The Group of Climbers
Prior to the ascend, I have light trained for about 4months and another month of hard training. Even with all the training, I barely scrape through. We joined a small group of 5 persons, Phoebe, Kean, Hong, Ian & Isaac to make the climb. All of them are outdoor junkies & are really fit for the climb.
I had lots of fun joining this group, they were full of enthusiasm and it really pushed my limits up.
The day we reached Mt KK, we took a long 2.5hrs van ride up to Sutera Sanctuary Lodge. The road was so misty(as it was raining) & at some point, we were barely able to see not more than 10m.
The hotel was surprisingly clean & pleasant. Had a hearty hot meal and was able to return to the room & repack our stuffs for the following day's climb. We each left a luggage behind & only took the things that we needed to use. Since it was a tiring day, we rest early & look forward to the following day's event.
Not even a quarter of the climb

We woke up to a chilly morning at 5am & got ourselves ready. Had a good breakfast at the restaurant & started our climb at 8am. My backpack was approximately 8kg & I had decided to challenge myself by putting the weight on my shoulder. We have the option of appointing a porter to help us on the baggage but I didn't opt for it. I believed in myself & did not want to give up.
Majestic View of the Mountains

Crossing from a mountain to another mountain
The Mesilau trail is longer by 2km compare to the shorter Timpohan trail. The view was fantastic & breathtaking. The air was cooling, just right when we hike up the mountain. The path was ascending & descending at certain points. Unlike the Timpohan trail which only consists of stairs made from concrete & stones as far as the eye can see, Mesilau Trail offers a climber to stop & experience the greens & mystical mist of the mountains. The plants & mountain view were a sight to behold. The view act as energy boosters when we are tired & lack of breath due to the high altitude.

This view didnt end for 7 hours

My brother & I reach Laban Rata at 3pm, which is the resting point before finishing the climb to the peak. The last 1km was so tiring & I had to zig zag my way up. The last 500m was killing me, with the rain pattering on my bald head for the past 2 hours, all I could do was to concentrate on every step that I make. At one point, I wanted to vomit & my brother helped me to carry my backpack for about 200m. When I regain my composure, I took the backpack & finished my way to Laban Rata rest pit. The rest of the team were half an hour earlier than us, sipping on their hot drinks & talking about the hike.
Took me about 30mins to regain myself as I couldn't even talk nor move my limbs the moment I sat down. I was thinking to myself, "What am I doing here? I dont want to do this again".

After spending 3 hours resting at the restaurant, we had our dinner & made our way up to our dorm which is about 150m away upward from the restaurant. As the climb was agonizing we decided to eat at our dorms rather than making our way down at 1.30am for breakfast.
The dorms were simple but clean. It was also freezing and pitch dark outside.
By the time we slept, it was about 8pm. Had to wake up at 1am and get ourselves ready for the ascend to Lows Peak by 2.15am.
Reached the peak at 5.30am

The ascend to Lows Peak was much easier compare to the climb to Laban Rata. Even with my 3kg backpack weight, I had no problem at all & did not suffer from short of breath either. Probably the qiqong exercise did help in circulating the oxygen in my body.
By the time we reached the peak, it was 5.30am & had managed to catch the sun rise from the horizon.
The peak was all jagged & the freezing wind piercing through our wind breakers. The feeling of accomplishing & standing at the top of South East Asia's tallest mountain was SUPERB. The altitude was 4095m. The view was majestic. My spirit was all fired up. This had made me set a new objective, which you will know on the next paragraph.
View from the Top

After spending 15mins at the peak, we begin our descent. We spent the early hours taking loads of pictures of the lighted trail & jagged mountain. On the way down, 3 of the members continued with their adrenalin rush with Via Ferrata, tight rope climbing.
I just got the link to one of our fellow hikers. His blog has full details on how exciting our trip was.
He even inspired me to try for Everest Base Camp Hike, a full 3wks hike to view Mt Everest.
Yes, this will be my new objective after I finish my marathon in Nov.
View of the Peaks (Lows Peak on the left)

Small plants can survive the harsh environment

The vast rock bed to the top.
After months of training, I managed to scale the mountain eventhough I'm a first timer in hiking. (I was never an outdoor person). Before I reach, I was so worried whether my legs will bring me up the peak, whether my lungs can stand the altitude(which surprisingly did not bother me at all). After the hike, I even went for white water rafting on the following day.
It was truly an experience to remember & I vow to scale the mountain again.

Padas White Water Rafting

Setting objective keeps a person going. It will keep the mind focus on what we need to achieve & not what we had experience before. No matter how much we worried of recurrence, we always need to look forward to achieve new goals. Wouldn't it be nice if a cancer survivor can have new objectives which keeps him going for years, until old age catches up (and not the cancer cells) ?
This is the power of positive thinking & keeping ourselves occupied. I always believe our mind plays a big part in combating cancer cells. Positivity keeps our mind sane, which in turn makes the body to produce the necessary agents to fight sickness.
It works superbly well with our physical body as long as it gets sufficient rest. With a positive mind & a fully functional body, sickness will not be able to break through the body's defenses.

Therefore, it helps to set objectives & trying our best to achieve it within our physical body means.
As for myself, I have ran a full 10km during a recent popular running event which attracted some 15K of people.  I managed to finish a decent 61mins for the full l0km.

I have trained for a few months before able to run long distance without resting. Its pretty challenging physically especially when age is catching up.
After this 10km in mid OCT'12, I'm going to join another run at Penang in mid NOV 12 for a full 21km run which I hope to finish withen 2.3 - 3hours. These are my objectives which keeps me going.

On my next blog, I will tell you on how I had done for the run.
I will also describe how I had stopped work & embark on a new relaxing working environment.
It will coincide with my 2 YEARS CANCERVERSARY(end of DEC 2012)
(can't believe it that its been that long).
As of today, my chest still bugs me especially when its rainy & cold. I will carry the scar & pain for the rest of my life. It will always remind me of how others had done for me, not how much I had suffer.
It opened my mind to a new dimension & the meaning of "stop & look".
God works in many ways. Mine imposes a big impact in life in order to make me see.
Be Glad & Seize the Day, every single one of it.

Summary, live your life with no hesitation. Cherish the things that we have. Cherish what makes us happy. Money maybe the basic of many things but we will never stop no matter how much money  
we have.
To all the cancer survivors out there, life isn't over when we had cancer.
Rather, its a beginning of many good things that we had missed till now.
Live it, enjoy it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trading My Previous Lifestyle for a BETTER QUALITY LIFE.

My last working day : )

Oops ...  I have been slacking.... lazy... 

Its been a while last I updated my blog. 
My sincere apologies to those whom had follow my path to wellness.
Over the span of 1 1/2yrs, I have met many people along the way. Cancer patients, caregivers, friends whom have someone diagnosed with cancer... all have the same question.

"What is the next thing to do when someone is diagnosed with cancer? " 

I might have wrote this in my earlier blog but I will just write it again.
Dealing with a person having cancer is a challenging feat. 
It takes a lot of courage, loads of patience & strong self determination to be a pillar of support. 
There are some whom were diagnosed early & some diagnosed on the late stage.
Whatever the stages, believe in what we are able to help & never give up hope. 
Everyone believes there is a higher "being" up there. Whatever that we are going through must had been pre-arranged as a challenge.
Its like a test to see how we are able to overcome it. 

Our emotions are always the first to take the impact. 
Feelings like sorrow, sadness, fear, frustration, anger, aimless are some of the common rejections that the person & the family will face. 
The sense of a fatal possibility is extreme & that's why many will break down.  Some will fall all the way if there isn't anyone to help them up.

My experience with cancer had put me in a position whereby I can advise based on what was good for me & what I think could had been better if I had did it in another way. 
I do hope that it will help them someway, to get better & overcome our fight against our common enemy. 

1. Supporting role of a CAREGIVER 
To me, the person or family whom are taking care of the person diagnosed with cancer plays the biggest role as they have immediate contact with the person.
Their fighting spirit, positive mentality, the supporting words, the vast knowledge to advise, the protective role, the clear mind to weight what is best for the person, the never ending patience and the love for the person are some of the needed qualities to face the challenge together.
As a caregiver, he or she needs to become strong, become the strength when another is weak, to be the one whom held them up when they fall, & to give them faith because we believe they will heal. 

2. Get a 2nd doctor's opinion to clear your doubt.
As you are the person paying the bill, you will only believe WHAT CERTIFIED DOCTORS say.
If you are unsure, go seek another doctor's advice.
It will settle your doubts and prepare you to face what is coming.
If you are sure on what you are facing & do not need another advise, then go ahead with the healing process with 100% faith in the doctors. Faith will carry a person a LONG way.

3. Have a CLEAR mind & choose what you need to listen. 
Believe me, when a person is diagnosed with cancer, many people around he or she will give tons of advise. These people care & love, that is why they wanted the best for them. However, sometimes the advise might not be exactly convincing. 
It could be " I heard that..." , " I found from the internet...." , " I know someone had the same thing & got healed..."... at the end of the day, a person can't be going around to try all healing methods, right?
If he or she does, they will purge like a water tap & the body will get very weak.
At the end of the day, the body might fail to fight the cancerous cells because it is not strong enough to strengthen the antibodies to fight.
Therefore, make up your mind to stick to the method which you think is best.
Once you have chosen, believe that it will work. 
Faith can do miracles to the healing process. 

4. Western + Eastern Cure
If you have done some research, you will find that eastern medication has good effects on fighting cancer as well.
Ayurvedic practice, yoga, meditation, acupuncture & herbs has its own effective ways of healing.
As for myself, I had chosen chinese herbs & twice weekly acupuncture to help my body to keep the cancer cells at bay.
Western medication kills the cancerous cells, as well as the healthy cells & its only short term. 
However, we can't be sure whether the cancerous cells are fully killed or not. 
On a long term, do remember that our body's antibody is the best agent to kill the cancerous cells.

My Driving Factor

5. Own Will Power
What pushes he or she to get better? You must find the answer for them.
Someone that they love? The feeling of not letting anyone down? 
Hasn't travel to the other side of the world yet? Or climb the highest mountain? Dive into the deep blue sea?
You must find a strong motivation factor to drive them & weather the hardship during healing.
As for myself, my son was the biggest driving factor. 
I know that he is still small & needs a father to love him. 
Thoughts of love is one of the strong motivational factor.

6. Know Your Medicine.
After seeing the doctor, a person will feel lost, confuse & disorganize. 
Whatever it is, he or she needs to start the process of healing... operation, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
They must heal for the sake of the people around them, not for the sake of themselves. 
They need to be brave & face the challenge. 
To strengthen their confidence, know what they will be putting into their mouth or injecting into their body.
Its always good to check & know information like the medicine's origin, the side effects & the do's & don'ts during medication.
Many do not take the impact of the side effects well. 
Common side effects like loosing the hair gives BIG impact to some people, especially for ladies. 
It takes great courage for a woman to walk out of her house with a bald head. 
That's why during some of the cancer awareness events, some woman will volunteer & shave their head bald in support of the event. 
Know the medicine so that they are able to anticipate whats coming.

7. GET OUT from the house.
A person with cancer is not contagious. 
They do not need to confine ourselves in the house facing the 4 sides of the walls. 
Having cancer is not the end of the world. Rather it's a NEW BEGINNING to a chapter of their life. 
A trip to Bangkok with my friends
They need to go out & get some air. They need to mingle with other beings. 
There's always a positive advantage when they seek solace in others. 
Be proud of who they are & what had happened. 
Hiding isn't going to help the situation to get better. 
It's good to continue & lead a normal life, with lesser stress of course. 

8. Go for a walk. Exercise
Hey, even if their body is weak, doesn't mean that they can just sit there & be a couch potato. 
GET THEIR BUM up & start to move the body.
Exercising helps in many ways. It keeps the occupied. It helps the frail body to sweat. 
It keeps the body moving & make it hungry.
Do brisk walking. Or swimming. Or do some house work like sweeping or moping. 

9. Watch what you are eating.
Fresh salad but not too much
This is one part which is rather difficult. It always play tricks in their mind. 
Rule of thumb, watch what they eat.  
Western doctors will advise them to eat whatever that they could. 
Eastern doctors will only limit the choice to certain foods. 
Choose wisely & practice it. Get a certified doctor for advise. 
Especially when the side effect kicks in, the appetite will change like the wind. 
Eat the food that they could eat but don't engorge too much of it, especially food which they are not suppose to touch.

Taken at Kek Lok Si, Penang

10. Religion
If they have a religion, its always good to pray for body & mental strength. 
If they don't, they could consider believing in a higher being than ourselves. 
I have read a couple of books where cancer survivors used religion to heal themselves. 
Its pretty amazing & heart warming to hear that miracles can happen anywhere. 
It will only irritate them & they might shut themselves out from you. 
You don't know how dreadful it feels when we go through the side effects of the chemo or radio or even post operation. 

11. Patience
The healing process will take time. It depends on the number of chemo/radio cycles & the body condition.
Things will not happen overnight. Confide in them & give an ear to them.
They need you to listen to them & not the other way round. 
Be patient with them & patiently walk them through the process. 

From my experience, the above should do. If you need any advise, just drop me a mail.
I will advise the best that I could, based on my experience & capacity. 

Just to update what I'm up to now...
My last chemo was done on 10 May 2011.
It has been more than a year. Its really hard to believe what I had experienced.
Contrary to what I felt when I was diagnosed with cancer; I take the experience as a blessing & a life enrichment programme.

Life has never been that meaningful until I fell, bruised & started to look around myself.
Who are the important people in my life?
What have I achieved till now?
Have I climbed a mountain to be closer to the angels above?
Have I dive into the sea to the take a look? 
Have I spend quality time with my family?
Mt. Kinabalu

We, mankind do not realize how short our life is until we start to loose some important people or things in our life. 
We will never stop to chase after the riches that we had created for ourselves.
Instead, we can forget & forgo the body health which GOD has created for us.
As ironic as it sounds, you know this is true.

Every cancer survivor has a common fear.... a relapse of the cancer experience.
Whenever there's a pain or unusual feeling that we feel in our body, it automatically pops out in our mind... "Is this another cancer sign?"

Yes, it happens to me every time as well. 
Yet, after a while, I will forget & start to walk again.
I've come to understand that there is no point to live in fear.
Even if it did come, we still need to go through the process of recovery for the sake of our loved ones. 

So, rather than tormenting our brain cells, why not adopt the "Preventive Maintainance" of ourselves?
That "Preventive Call" came to me &...VOILA!
I quit my job & started to lead a QUALITY life.

It's been more than a month now since I started to work on my own.
I traded my semiconductor sales job for a simple small business owner, doing instant photo, printing & business services kiosk.
Honestly, the responsibility is way much different compared to corporate life.
If we take a day off from the office, we still get our salary.
BUT being a business owner, if we don't work, we get nothing = '0' ~! 

The pressure is different.
Being an employee, we are pressured to deliver the results to the company.
BUT being self-employed, the pressure is to deliver a hot meal to my family with a proper roof above their heads.
At the end of the day, the quality of a person's life depends on how well he/she deals with the uncertainty. (I learn this from my buddy, Ryan Long. It was quoted by Anthony Robbins).

Secondly, Aerosmith sang this theme song from the movie, Armageddon.
It's called "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing".
3 of us at Cameron Highlands, again.
My feelings are just like the song. I don't wanna miss a thing that is important to me.

I don't want to miss the quality family time which I can have with my wife & son.
Not forgetting the quality time which I can have with my parents, siblings, relatives, buddies & friends.
All are very important to me, especially those whom had supported & helped me up during my 6 mths of recovery. 

I'm planning on a few holidays with my family too. It doesn't need to be fanciful like going overseas or spending a hefty sum of money to have fun. 
Instead, its the time which we will spend together.
To be able to sit down, talk casually, take artistic pictures, dine, swim & enjoying the moments together is so wonderful. These are quality time.
It's something which money can't buy as we can't turn back the clock.
Kellie's Castle

On our first trip, we went to Penang with Ryusei's godparents. It was a real good "eat your heart out" 2days trip. On our way down, we routed to Batu Gajah to see Kellie's Castle.
Ryusei wanted to see it as he had always read it in his school books. The castle was well kept & quite number of local tourist as well. Hope that it remains that way it is, full of mysteries at every corner.

Right after spending a couple of hours there, we continued our journey up to Cameron Highlands.
It took us like 3 hours just to reach the rest house. The traffic was bad due to the school holidays.
Again, the time that we spent there was just wonderful. It was so relaxing just sitting there reading books, surfing with the Ipad, taking short naps.... all of these makes me wonder why I didn't stop to look around me until I had cancer. 

Does it really take pain & suffering to wake a person up? I guess it does.
I'm very happy now & able to sleep tight.
I'm enjoying everyday.. its such a wonderful feeling. 

My next trip is coming very soon... Mt. Kinabalu Expedition.
Till then, I will write again.
Ta~ Ta ~!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

1 Year After, My CancerVERSARY

Sg Palas Tea Plantation

Hello ~! ,
Today is the day when I had gone to the operating theater & came out renewed. 
Lost in her drama world
Just cant believe it. Its exactly a year now. 
In fact, its more than a year the day I was diagnosed with cancer. 
I know I have been lagging on my blog... need to buck up ~!                  

Below is just part of what I had wrote during my retreat to Cameron Highlands during Christmas.
Stayed there for a week with my family.

I'm in Cameron Highlands again, writing this blog, while my wife is in the room with her computer & my son running around with his scooter.
Xmas present fr GodParents

Its been more than 1 year since I was diagnosed with stage 3 trachea cancer.
I celebrated it with Mimiko & Ryusei by spending a week at Father's Guest House in Tanah Rata Cameraon Highlands. 

To think about the minute I was told "I'm sorry, but you have CANCER", I just can't believe its already 1 year now.
I have made very good progress, had some hiccups but overall, it has turn out to be a GREAT 2011 year ~!

Below were the events during my journey to well being.
Just got up fr Ops at HDU
17th Dec 2010 - Found a mass in the trachea
18th Dec 2010 - Went for a bronchoscopy test with Dr Jurina at Columbia Hospital
21st Dec 2010 - Was informed that I have cancer
22nd Dec 2010 - Went to SDMC to meet oncologist, Dr Foo Yoke Ching
23rd Dec 2010 - Went for a PET scan at Wijaya Medical Centre
27th Dec 2010 - Went to Singapore, Raffles Hospital(Dr Donald Phoon) & Mt Elizabeth(Dr T.Agasthian) for 2nd opinion

My Souvenir
28th Dec 2010 - Had my 1st chemotherapy at SDMC
18th Jan 2011 - Had my 2nd chemotherapy
8th Feb 2011 - Had my 3rd chemotherapy
28th Feb 2011 - Went to Singapore to get ready for my operation by Dr T.Agasthian
1st Mar 2011 - Had my operation to extract the cancerous portion from my trachea
29th Mar 2011 - Had my 4th chemotherapy
19th April 2011 - Had my 5th chemotherapy
10th May 2011 - Had my 6th chemotherapy
28th Jun 2011 - Back to work

During my journey, I have changed & saw many things which I have never realize to be of such importance.

Look at the COLORs !
Regular CT Scan chk-ups
Even though the journey was painful, it had made me STOP & LOOK around at the people & beautiful things (look at the flower which I had captured).
Every part of me felt thankful that I'm able to open my eyes & enjoy another beautiful day ahead.
I'm so happy to have my wonderful wife@caregiver, son, parents / in-laws, brother & sister, nephews, family members, friends, colleagues, bosses and many more whom had played a BIG part in my road to recovery.

My Resolution
The incision from the surgery on the chest does not hurt anymore now. 
But the foot long scar serves as a reminder to lead a positive and healthy lifestyle.
I take care of my body... making sure it gets the proper nutrition and exercise.
I still go for my routine morning walks & weekly acupuncture. I practice my Qiqong twice a week.

I'm able to control my emotion much better now, especially when I'm driving.
I look at things from a new perspective.
I have new objectives to keep myself going. New goals to achieve every year.
Mt Kinabalu
My next one will be conquering Mt Kinabalu. Scheduled to be on early Jul 2012.
My brother had asked me to join him for the Singapore Marathon at the end of the year. Will probably go for the half marathon(20km).

I would like to help as many cancer patients as possible. Assist them in their war against cancer.
What every cancer patient needs to have is the courage & emotional support.
The road to recovery is difficult but not impossible.
I have seen & heard many remarkable recoveries. People whom did not give up eventhough diagnosed at the 4th stage & advance stage.
They are the real CHAMPIONS whom have strong spirit & look at things positively.
They had beat the odds & came back stronger than before. 
I miz this place !

I will do my best in whatever that I do. I cherish all the people around me.
I look into the details off the things around me.
Frequent excursion trips will always be in my mind.
I shall also continue my acupuncture treatment with Dr Cheung, Dr Zhao & staffs at EverHealthy Care Centre..

I have always wanted to run my own small business ... Hope to materialize this in the very near future.
Need to slow down my pace & take things slowly.

What ever it is, DO NOT BE AFRAID OF CANCER.
Face it with courage & outrun it. You are not alone & many people will run with you.
All you need to do is to ask. Many will share their experience.
Many will tell you that its not hard, just do not give up.
Drive yourself with strong determination.

Love everyone around you.
I know just how hard it is to do rather than to tell you the above things.
Nevertheless, I have every right to tell you so as I have went through the process myself.

Time waits for no one. The seconds tick away even as we speak. Live your life to the fullest.
Take care of yourself & cherish all the loved ones around you.
Till then, Cheers ~!