Been such a long time since my last post on this site. Well, I am still very much alive and kicking. On 19 April 2018, it was precisely 8 years to the day when Dr. Tay shared with me the bad news about my Rectal Cancer.
(I hadn’t updated nor access this blog for a very long time and was really amazed that there were so many visitors to my blog, some with questions and others with good wishes. I will try to find the time to go through each entry and respond to the queries though it might be many years ago since they posted it)
With 8 long years behind me now since that fateful day, each day since had been a blessing for me.
As we get older, I guess the same applies to all, that the days seems shorter unlike the time of our youth when we can sit back and procrastinate on things that matters. These eight years seems like only yesterday. Every day now is so precious to me as I am very aware that my remaining days on this planet is counting down. How much I do have left who can tell but it must be cherish.
I keep feeling that there are still so much I had not seen of the world around me, so many books and magazine I still need to read, so many documentaries and movie I wish to watch and so many nitty-gritty things I still need to prepare, arrange and get sorted out nicely before my appointment with the maker. But the running down time keeps me worrying will time be sufficient for me.
During this 8 years so much had happened. The first two years were the most life threatening period of my life as I had several major operations and even had to spend a long period in the hospital. After each operation, I got weaker and weaker and it was during this period when my weigh felled from 70kg to 39kg. (I actually look like an inmate from the Auschwitz Concentration Camp). I was all bones and even had a sunken face. I recalled telling myself probably that is how I will look when I am in the coffin.
Those two years in TTSH became like a second home to me and was without a doubt the worse period of my life. But somehow although I was in this situation, I never once give up the fight and the willpower to fight and live on was so strong within me. I believe it was my strong desire to live that helps me to pull through.
I was blessed to be surrounded by some great people who were there for me throughout my fight for survival.
The first person undoubtedly was my dear wife who was put into such a predicament barely a month after our marriage. She could had simply packed up and leave me and return to Shanghai while I rot but instead she stood by me all the way as I fought this battle of my life.
During my very first surgery, she waited alone for me from morning to late in the evening when my operation by Dr. Tay ended up taking longer than expected.
She ended up in tears when no news of my situation were forthcoming. As I was on the slow road to recovery, she kept things going at home and work. It was tough all the way as I was too weak to work nor do anything especially during those scheduled Chemotherapy sessions.
My dear friend, Mr. Yune was the one that literally pop by to see me almost everyday during my long stay in TTSH and when I was recuperating back home.
In fact I daresay one reason I am still alive today was because of him.
I cannot remember whether it was in 2011 or 2012, but it guess it was the latter, I still feeling weak, tired and suffering from all the side effects that were part and parcel of Chemo treatments.
LG were already working then so during the day time I was usually alone at home. Yune would frequently call to check on me and keep my spirit up and on occasions, he would even pop by my place to see how I was getting on.
During one of his visits, he saw me in bed very weak and looking like someone awaiting his maker. (At this time, my weight was already down to 39kg) He decided to carry me off and rush me to TTSH to check me in for observation. What he did that afternoon probably saved my life.
For that admission I actually stayed around 2 months in TTSH. It was discovered I was suffering from an Electrolyte Imbalance which was likely caused by an inflammation due to an Anal Fistula. The inflammation affected my entire body Electrolyte and it resulted in my body not being able to absorb any nutrients from what I eat. This causes me to lose weight and become weak.
I ended up being force fed in TTSH with special packs of Nutrients food that was fed directly via IV drips into my veins to force the absorption of the nutrients into my body system. Those huge packets of Nutrients weren’t cheap I should add, but it did work and gradually after several weeks, life returns in me.
That was the worse period of my life and even Dr. Tay commented that if I did not re-admit myself soon enough I could had become too weak and could even had died. Yune saved me.
When I finally started to regain back my weight and strength, I even started returning back to work.
My eldest sister constantly provided me with health food and supplement and her daughters also took the time to develop fruits and vegetable to me. My niece, Wai Cheng also introduce me to the 5-Elements Vegetable Soup which I constantly make and drink throughout the period of my recovery over those 2 years. My sister and nieces really took the time and for that I am also eternally grateful.
After my recovery, LG and I decided to get rid of our apartment in Bishan and we found a new home in Buangkok that we both loved.
In 2013, we moved into our new apartment which is on the top floor, bright and airy. Our old home was on level 2, dark and stuffy.
But during these 8 years, two persons who are so close and dear to me passed on. The first to go in 2014 was my second brother.
His death was so quick and sudden. He had Stomach Cancer, but by the time it was detected, he was already at Stage IV. From the time it was diagnosed till his death was merely 3 months.
It was a pity he could not lived on and until today the family members still misses him. (Ironically, tomorrow is 9/11 and it is actually his birthday as I am typing this out). I might not be ready to publish this post yet but it is nice to know his birthday is just a day away.
Barely six months later in Feb 2015, it was my mother who passed away from old age. For more than 10 years she been suffering from Alzhemier’s disease.
By the time she died, she could not even recognised any one of his children. But I am happy she died peacefully from old age. She died at the age of 91.
After we shifted into our new home, both LG and I decided it was best I quit working and just take care of my health and look after the home.
So for the last 4 years I had not been working.
Although I am in remission, but sadly I am still having Anal Fistula. Originally, the plan was to drain the Fistula and once that is settled, undergo another minor operation to eliminate the Fistula completely.
But unfortunately, it was easier say than done. Doing my own research on the Web I read lots of articles by others with the same problem and many of them are still living with the Fistula but had found ways to cope with it.
I had also learned to cope with it and though like any other health issues, there are inconveniences, but overall I am doing well.
I still travel a lot with my wife and though ensuring public toilets are easily accessible wherever we travel, there seem to be no holding me back as far as holidaying is concern.
The moment I wake up each morning, the first thing I do is to take my medication. Actually they are Supplements. The only medication is the tablets prescribed by Dr. Tay to slow down my gut so wouldn’t need to find a toilet after a meal. The IBS issue within me will remains unfortunately. So I need to take this pill for the rest of my life.
But what had really kept me going is my dear wife who had not only stand by me throughout but had sacrifices so much for me. Because of me, her stress levels had also risen.
If I did not survive the Cancer, I would not had seen my only grandson, Travis Jay Chan who was born in 2016.
I am therefore so ‘Thankful’ to God for sparing my life, my wife. My family and my small group of the closest friends that I am blessed to have by my side,
This last 8 years had been great just being able to live and breath and I sure look forward to many, many more years to come.
The only sad part is seeing 2 persons who are so dear to me past on.
Like my wife says, “I hope you outlive me”
Hope it would not take too long before I post again after this is published…