For the rest of my life, I will never forget what happened on 19 of April 2010. On this day I found out that I had Rectum cancer. The rest of my life will never be the same again. Throughout my life, I had always feared I would get cancer but I always felt it could never happen to me. From young, I had often read up on cancer but my lifestyle all these years was not designed to prevent it.
Not only do I smoke, I never exercise, take up any sports, does not rest and sleep well and most of all, my diet was very unhealthy. I craze for fried & BBQ food and I eat lots of fatty meat. Meat like Roast Pork, Duck, Chicken and beef were my favorite. Especially after Liu Ge returned back to Shanghai in 2007, my diet was even worse. I could eat the same food for a week and I hardly ever touches vegetables nor eat any fruits. Most of my meals were consumed at the 3 food courts located near my home in Bishan Street 22. On weekends, I might just venture to Thomson Plaza, Ang Mo Kio Central or Bishan Junction 8 for my meals. But I always ended up eating the same food.
My favorite food included the following: Chicken rice, roast duck & pork rice, duck rice, kuey chap, Bak Kut Teh, Hokkien Prawn noodles, fried noodles, laksa, Soto Ayam, Mee Soto, Lontong, nasi lemak, nasi padang, nasi beryani, Indian rojak, Satay mee hoon and wanton noodles. All these food were very unhealthy. I ate lots of spicy food which was not good for my digestive system.
Recently, during a conversation with my wife Liu Ge, she commented that till today she hasn’t gotten use to the Singaporean diet. According to her, most of our local delicacies, like those I mentioned above does not include lots of vegetables. She is right, for whenever I buy a roast duck rice, the only vegetable given are just 3 or 4 slices of cucumber. Big deal!
Colon cancer is known to be a cancer of First World developed countries, what with their fast food and low fibre diet. That’s why it is the number One Cancer killer in developed countries like USA, Australia, UK and even Singapore. Countries like China and India do not until today have a high proportion of Colon cancer patients, but in time, the statistics might also change. So Liu Ge jokingly tell me that maybe we ought to uproot ourselves and move to Africa. Not a bad suggestion as they eat lots of non-fat food there.
Though I was never an alcoholic, I was nonetheless a very excessive Coffee drinker. I drink Coffee all-day long instead of water. I uses Sweetener, sugar replacements for my Coffee and I now know that it is bad for cancer.
On reflection, I had often tell myself I could never get cancer, but if I ever get cancer, I just hope it is never in my colon or intestines for I always felt my diet was bad. Yet in the end, that was where my primary cancer tumor was located. Right near my rectum.
All these years, if I had been more considerate with my health, I could had avoided or even detected my cancer much earlier instead of now. When the doctor informed me on 19th April, my cancer was already a Stage III cancer with penetration to the lymph nodes.
Because it was a Stage III, not only did I had to go for a major surgery to remove the primary tumor, but I also had to go through 8 cycles of chemotherapy and 5 weeks of radiotherapy.
For years going back maybe more than 10 years, I had always been having problems with my digestive system. Whenever I had a meal, not long later, I would need to go to the toilet to discharge my stools. Unlike others, who does their business once a day, I can have mine more than 3 times a day. It all depends on how frequent I eat. Because of this, I spend a lot of time sitting on the throne in the toilet.