Friday, 30 December 2011

End of Chemotherapy

The last few sessions had left my dad drained of energy, loss of appetite and difficulty breathing. The specialist had changed his chemo cocktail of drugs, and as explained in my previous posting, it was taking a toll on his health.

Before my dad had his 12th second level chemotherapy, a CT scan was ordered to see whether the development of the cancer cells had been halted in any way. Unfortunately, it shows that improvement, if any, was very minimal.

After consulting the various doctors, close friends and families....after 16 chemotherapy sessions (4 first level + 12 second level), my dad decided he has had enough of chemotherapy. So the relationship with Radiology and Oncology Department HKL remains as a palliative procedure, requiring him to pay a visit every few months. My dad was happy with his decision, and I was happy that the old man was happy. I had always, in the past, decided on all his medical decisions, but this time I let him decide on his own.

Sour Sop or "Durian Belanda"
We have now embarked on a new pathway, that is of alternative medicine. No...its not about witch doctors, voodoo dolls or the local Tok Bomoh.... its taking the natural pathway... fruits, berries etc. During our numerous visits for his chemo sessions, we heard tips and advices from numerous cancer survivors at the clinic. Among the consistent tip is to take Sour Sop on a daily basis, or locally known as 'Durian Belanda'.

After he started taking the fruit on a daily basis, his cancer marker showed an improvement, and this was after his 10th chemo session during which his cancer marker was increasing all the time. A myth or coincidence? Maybe...but quite a number of cancer survivors attest to the power of the Sour sop.

Maybe that is why the 'Durian Belanda' is quite expensive nowadays. For those of you who have large plots of unused land, maybe this would be a good business venture :)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Rave Party Tiesto Style

One fine day, my old friend Zeq suggested for us to attend Tiesto's concert in Sepang. Hmmm...sounds interesting. Then he said the magic word "My treat". That sort of seals the deal. hehehe. Zeq and I share this passion for what I call 'laid back' music...more of the music, less of vocals. We used to listen to Cafe Del Mare during long drives on dive trips. However I am not sure that Tiesto and Cafe Del Mare are of the same genre.

When CaTz heard the news, she thought I was kidding. After a few minutes of her laughing her head off, then she said..."you nak pergi concert budak-budak muda tu? Can you stand that long?". I answered "kalau penat duduk la kat kerusi". Then it dawned on me that it is not the same kind of concert as the Kenny G concert I attended way, way back in London, where there were plush dedicated seats in a nice concert hall. O M G.....early signs of regrets starts to surface.

However, it was a few hours away from concert time, it's too late to chicken out. So I put on my black  tshirt, jeans, shoes and headed for Sepang. Little did I realised I was dressed as a rocker heading for a rave party.

There were local and international DJs spinning their music. The atmosphere was just nice, with soft wind cooling the scene, and a full moon in the background. Everyone was waiting for the star of the show, Tiesto to come on stage. Eventually he came on, to the tremendous applause from the crowd. Suddenly there was an influx of people. You can see rows and rows of hand phones videoing (is there such a word?) the appearance, and Tiesto did not disappoint us. Much effort went not only to the music, but also the video and special effects.

At last, I have to admit that I felt a teeny weeny out of place. I spent most of the time looking amused at the antics and dance 'styles' of those around me. Here are some of my observations:
  • the fatter they are, the skimpier are their outfits....ewwwwww.
  • stay away from those who have just left the centre court area, coz they are sweaty and smelly, from all that jumping around... of course.
  • the longer you stay, the more invisible you are...coz more people seems to be making body contact with you, as if you weren't there.
  • no matter how sexy you are, you look really ugly when you are drunk and vomiting everywhere.
  • any body movement qualifies as a dance move....even just putting your hand up (like when in school and you are asking permission to go to toilet).
At about 1am, we left the area. Somehow the thought of our beds seemed more inviting. Sign of old age....maybe. To all youngsters who were looking at us in disbelief, we have this to say... "we have been there, done that... when you were just an itch in your dad's pants" hahaha.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Reality Hurts

It's been months since I last blogged. It does not mean nothing interesting happened in my life, but I was quite occupied between teaching,work and sending my dad for his chemotherapy. He has just completed his 12th second level chemo, plus the 4 first level chemo, totaling 16 chemotheraphy sessions. Until today, I had forgotten about his 'true' condition, subconsciously hoping that the chemotherapy was doing it's magic.   

The person that snapped me back into reality was a good doctor friend who took time to call me and reminded me of the truth. You see, as it was his 12th session, he was asked to do a CT Scan to determine the extend of the damage done by the cancer and whether the chemotherapy actually worked. I guess my friend saw the result, and it's not good. The cancer is stage 4, has spread to his lungs and liver, and it's terminal.   

Even though I had watched how life was literally sucked from my dad, from happy, strong old man to a frail and weak old man, I had always told myself that it's the side effects of chemotherapy, that inside the chemotherapy was doing it's magic. I believed that so much until I forgot that he was a stage 4 cancer patient and that the cancer cells were eating him up.   

My friend had asked me to prepare myself for the worst, to spend every available time with my old man. The problem that is on my mind is how to tell my mum and my siblings. They too have the right to know the truth, but I am not sure whether knowing the truth would be best for them or my dad. No matter how many times I had been faced with death while rescuing people, it is not an easy subject to face, much more when it involves someone dear to you.

I hope and I pray that I have the endurance, perseverance and strength to go through all these to the end, to carry out my tasks and responsibility as the eldest son. The feeling of helplessness is simply overbearing.   

It's true what some people say, chemotherapy is a bigger killer than the disease.
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