My Dad’s Fight Against Cancer And His Last Moments With Us

April 18, 2016 at 9:16 pm

My dad on his birthday celebration in 2011, a year after his surgery. He looked so good then.

It’s almost 2 months now since my dad has passed away. I thought I’ll write about his fight against cancer, and his last moments with us.

After my dad had his liver surgery to remove the cancer tumour in May 2010, he had been doing pretty well. Almost every 9 to 15 months, he had to go back to do TACE when there were other tumors found in his liver, he recovered well from TACE, never had any side effect, and usually was up and about the following day.

Early 2015, he was told there were little pimple like cysts found in more part of his liver, and he had to start another treatment. He started on Nexavar, an oral chemo drug. That was about the same time we started him on Naturally Plus Product to help fight the cancer.

He was doing alright initially, and then the side effects kicked in. Dryness of the hand and foot (which caused cracked skin), constant visit to the toilet due to frequent bowel movements, loss of appetite, increased thyroid level, hair loss. He was always having stomach discomfort, and overall because he wasn’t eating much, he became physically weaker, however, he was alert and mobile.

As Nexavar was not helping him much with controlling the cancer marker reading, by end of 2015, Dr requested him to switch to Inlyta. Although the cancer marker was improving, the side effect was immediate. He got tired easily, became weaker, started getting water retention on the leg which caused discomfort. Second week into Inlyta, he became extremely weak. We were in Japan on a holiday; my sister, who was his main caretaker, was messaging us and telling us he was getting weaker, had difficulty in walking, getting diarrhea, feeling nauseous and his blood pressure was very low. Making us all worried and wondered if we should cut short our trip.

We decided to stop Inlyta.

Although he slowly built back his energy, the damage was already done. We almost couldn’t make it for our family trip to Bali because of his condition. He made the decision to go ahead although he had to be on wheelchair due to his swollen legs caused by fluid retention, a symptom of thyroid.

We had a blast in Bali, spent Christmas there, all 15 of us! Dad although on wheelchair, was alert, watching over the younger kids at the pool and (literally) roaring at them when they misbehaved. He was also beginning to walk more.

When we came back from Bali, he was admitted for a couple of days because of cellulitis on his legs, nothing major, but just to be on antibiotic.

Almost every weekend, we were at my sister’s place, spending time with him. We were also planning to rent a villa for Chinese New Year so we could all be together for 2 to 3 days. I tried to have lunch with him on work days too, and on one such occasion, he actually said he didn’t know how long more he had. I almost cried.

Middle of January this year, as he was regaining his strength and getting better, he decided to go back on Inlyta to control the cancer. Again, all the side effect came back, and he got weaker than the last round. He was admitted again to drain the fluid which was accumulating in his abdomen. After that, his health went down hill even after we stopped Inlyta.

From being able to sit up on his own, he had to be lifted; he spent most of his time sleeping and he was in a lot of pain, always asking about the next dose of pain killer just after eating the current dose.

On Chinese New Year day, he was having so much difficulty staying up for the tea ceremony and family shot. It was his last.

My dad during the Chinese New Year Tea Ceremony

Feb 12th, 5th day of Chinese New Year, I was taking a blood test at the clinic because I was running a fever since 1st day of Chinese New Year, my sister called and told us to rush to her place. My dad was showing signs of his body shutting down. Hospice who was providing him support told my sister so when she called them and let them hear the way he was breathing (differently).

We got to their house around 9:30pm. Dad was breathing differently, as if labored, he acknowledged my arrival, but didn’t speak to me. All my siblings were there at his bedside. When my sister asked if he wanted ice cream, he actually looped his pointer and thumb together, indicating ‘little bit’. We fed him a little ice cream to cool him down. We changed him, and then left the room thinking he would need his rest.

My sister went to check on him slightly after 10pm. Her loud shout roused us out of our drowsy state. All of us rushed to the room to see what had happened, and saw him took his last big breath. He left, with all of us by his side.

The last few weeks of his life, he has brought the family together like never before. To know that he’s no longer in pain, and he would be reunited with my mom lessen the grief a little, but we all miss him deeply.

A strict boss and a man full of principal and integrity, he spent 3 quarter of his life working in the bank and then at the church right till the last few weeks of his life. We don’t know how many lives he’d touched or affected until we speak to the people who came to pay their last respect.

I’d never said I love him before (nor did he), the last hug I gave him which he received awkwardly was when he sent me off at the airport to further my studies; and now I’ll never have the chance again.

Loudao, we all miss you ok?

Naturally Plus Super Lutein and Izumio – My Experience

March 1, 2016 at 3:15 pm

My dad was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2010, he had half his liver removed and did a couple of TACE and was doing great. Beginning of last year, he was told TACE no longer worked for him and he needed to start oral chemo drug (Nexavar).

After hearing about all the great things Super Lutein and Izumio can do (from the Super Lutein and Izumio Resource Group), we were hopeful and we started our father on the product March last year.

I was interested in the business myself, but I’m the sort who needs to know the product works before I can promote.

We bought 2 years supply and spent RM9403. We wanted to believe in what the product could do, we wanted to be the success story and hence were willing to spend the money.

From 3 caps of Super Lutein + 2, 3 packs of Izumio up to 15~20 caps of Super Lutein + 5 packs of Izumio, we didn’t see improvement in my father. The cancer marker continued to climb higher. What‘s more, he hated taking the supplements, he wasn’t looking forward to ‘Izumio or Super Lutein’ time.

His health was deteriorating gradually overtime, so, maybe, Super Lutein and Izumio were helping to slow down the process. I don’t know.

However, if you’d read some of the success stories, or miracles the product can do, i.e. healing cancer solely on the product, curing eczema, improving eyesight, and helping with any ailments imaginable; we have high expectations.

Some people in the Super Lutein and Izumio Resource Group wanted to know how my dad was doing, and I shared the updates. Bad for business I guess, for I have no good news to tell, it was always ‘my dad’s cancer marker is going up after x-packs, x-capsules per day‘. Eventually, my dad requested to stop Super Lutein (too many capsules to take) and continued only with Izumio. We let him decide.

I shared some of my own experience in using the Super Lutein and Izumio Resource group as well, but no success stories too.

I had a very bad rash behind my ear from an allergy reaction, I was told applying Izumio on that area will help. It didn’t work for me. The rash stayed with me for almost 2 months before it went away on its own.

I got a very bad burn on my forearm, I was told applying Izumio on the burn will help. It didn’t work for me.

I took Super Lutein for overall well being, but every time I took it, I got a migraine attack. It may well be a healing process, but I got an attack and I just shared my experience.

I was told taking Izumio will cure sore throat and flu, it didn’t help the girls or me, but propolis spray did wonders.

I guess I was not a good user experience example for marketing and business. While everyone in the group was sharing success stories, I had none.

2 weeks ago, my dad lost his fight with cancer.

I got booted out from the Super Lutein and Izumio Resource Group, not sure if it was not long before my father passed away or soon after. The intention of removing me from the group was perhaps to prevent me from sharing my father’s deteriorating health and his passing.

I suppose MLM group, Product group, only wants you to hear the good things, positive feedback and the success stories; but shun frank but unfavourable feedback or failure stories of the product.

In my opinion, do not believe and take everything you read for granted, be your own judge.

Disclaimer : This is totally based on my experience. I’m not against the product, I’m still a consumer, and belief there’s some health benefit to be gained.

Paris In A Day

May 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm

(Back dated)

I had another opportunity to go to US for work in Feb. As this round, I was going with a colleague, Sally, we made plans to take Air France, then spend a day in Paris, before flying to Atlanta for work.

My French colleague provided us the necessary information to maximise our stay there, so that we can see the key sights within a day.

So here is what we did on our 1D1N trip in Paris.

We stayed in Ibis Gare du Nord TGV near the city; the hotel is about 200m from Gare du Nord, station along the RER B train to the city from the airport. We got a day pass at the airport station (Euro23.50) when we arrived in the morning, which allowed us to travel on RER and Metro (and I believe bus too although we didn’t take the bus). And from Gare Du Nord, it was easy to get to the city centre via the metro.

Gare Du Nord is a big station, and we had to ask for direction before we could even get to the exit.

Gare du Nord viewed from across the road.

There are a lot of Ibis hotels around Gare du Nord, the one we stayed in, i.e. Ibis Gare du Nord TGV is along the road on the right of Gare du Nord, about 1minute walk away. This is the view from across our hotel entrance.

The hotel is a small hotel, with narrow walkway between rooms.

However, the room is of moderate size and very clean. We booked a triple room, which came with a queen bed and a single pull out bed.

After we’re done with our check in, we started our tour.

♥Eiffel Tower♥
We took the subway from Gare du Nord (RER Line B + Line C) to Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel. The Eiffel Tower is not far from the station. It was a beautiful day, but oh, so cold.

It was below 0C that day. My teeth were chattering, and my bones were aching, this was the closest we got to the tower.

♥Arc de Triomphe♥

My French colleague actually asked us to walk to Trocadéro (which is across the River Seine or La Sein from Eiffel Tower) to take a bus from there, but we couldn’t find the bus station, so instead we went to the nearest Metro station and found our way to Charles de Gaulle Étoile.

Right above the station, is Arc de Triomphe.

This is where the Champs-élysées Avenue begins, and so did our shopping.

We had something to eat at Publicis Drugstore, and it was my first time trying out Pierre Hermé macarons. Oh my goodness! It was much much much much more nicer than Ladurée. For Euro2 per macaron, I bought 8! They seemed to be less sweet, the shells were softer, and the filling much creamier and flavourful.

Later when we went passed Ladurée, I wasn’t even compelled to go in.

We entered a couple of shops, and spend most time in Loius Vuitton, Sally got herself a bag, while I was tempted, my frugality got the better of me.

We found it really nice that in all the shops, pets are welcome, even in Louis Vuitton, you can stroll in with your dog and no one will stop you.

♥Louvre♥
We took the metro from Charles de Gaulle Étoile to (actually, any metro station along the Champs-élysées Avenue which is on Metro Line 1 will do) Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre. From there, we walked Musée du Lourve.

I’d been to the museum more than 12 years back, and since we have limited time in Paris, we have no intentions of visiting the museum, but more to just take some photos around there.

♥Notre-Dame♥
In the afternoon, the weather has turned slightly warmer, so it was more comfortable to walk around. From the Lourve, we walked back to the Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre, and took the Metro Line 1 to L’Hôtel de Ville, and then walked towards Notre Dame.

We walked pass an outdoor skating rink near Hôtel de Ville. My first time seeing an outdoor skating rink. Later I realised this is Patinoire de L’Hôtel de Ville, the most popular seasonal ice skating venue in Paris. Aah, if only the girls were here, I’m sure they would enjoy skating there.

It was a short walk across the River Seine to Notre-Dame.

There was a big crowd in front of the cathedral, some just to take photos of the facade, some were queuing to get into the cathedral. For us, we just walked around the cathedral, trying to spot the gargoyles.

That was our last stop for the Paris tour. We were kind of tired, and wanted to go back to the hotel for a rest. From Notre-Dame, we walked towards Saint-Michel (the Latin quarters) and then took the metro (line 4) back to Gare Du Nord.

After a short rest, we were out again, to go to Hard Rock Cafe Paris as Sally is a Hard Rock Cafe merchandise collector. We took the metro (line 4 then 8 or 9) from Gare du Nord to Grands Boulevards, then walked there.

We wanted to have a good French dinner around Grands Boulevards, chose a restaurant which we thought was decent, but the food turned out pretty disappointing.

If it wasn’t so cold, we probably would have gone back to Eiffel Tower area to enjoy the night scene. But it was bone chilling cold! So instead, we went back to the hotel to have an early night.

The following day, we had to check out early to go to the airport for our flight to Atlanta. I was actually loosing hope of having a good meal before we leave, but good thing was Sally spotted this cafe, Cafe la Chaufferie, just behind our hotel; and we had a scrumptious breakfast there.

Bread with crispy crust and chewy inside, and the crumbly croissant were freshly baked. I had a chunky piece of cheese that came with my breakfast and it was good cheese.

Now we can leave Paris happy and satisfied.

Life Rushes By

February 28, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Since the end of the year, I have been so busy, hence the long absence of new posts in this site.

The 1st few weeks of the year were spent sorting out classes the girls should attend, finding tutors for the girls etc etc and finally a routine is established.

I’m involved in 2 big global projects on top of my normal day job. Every day, besides working the regular hours, we have night calls so all regions can work together for 2 hours. Globalisation and mobility get you sucked into work 24×7 that’s what I think.

Life just rushes by the last couple of months.

The Pros And Cons Of Being Bilingual

October 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm

My parents sent my siblings to English missionary schools for 12 years (except my youngest sister who went to Chinese primary school and later moved on to missionary school), where as I went to Chinese primary school and then Chinese Independent school for secondary education.

I spent most of my schooling days speaking Cantonese (thanks to TVB and KL culture), and then when I started work, it was almost English all the way. For the last 6- 7 years I’m conversing more in Mandarin since I have to work with Taiwanese and mainland Chinese, speak to the girls’ school teachers.

The first thing that gauge what is the language that you are strong in would be what language do your brain think in? Mine? English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Even when I pray, I use more than one language in my conversation with God.

So there, I seem to have an advantage over my siblings, and some co-workers who don’t speak Chinese, or mothers who can’t help their Chinese school going children with homework because they never learnt Chinese. But… I find there are some disadvantages too. Here is what I think are the Pros and Cons of being bilingual.

Pros
1. I have a wider range of books to read and reference. For someone who likes to read, cook and bake, this is really great!
2. I can guide the girls in their school work.
3. My Chinese speaking colleagues warm up to me faster, and tell me things that they won’t tell the English speaking colleagues (at least not until they warm up to them).
4. I can read Chinese menus, Chinese sign boards in restaurants, it helps even locally.
5. I have no problem reading Chinese notice from school, or communicating to teachers in the girls’ school.
6. I can google in Chinese. When it’s related to Chinese herbs, Chinese places, Chinese recipe

Cons
1. I’m never very proficient in either language. Sometimes knowing how to say something in English but not Chinese, and vice versa.
2. Because of 1, it sometimes takes a moment longer for me to form a sentence in either language, occasionally even having to use Google or Phone Apps to help.
3. I’m never as eloquent as a native speaker. Even Zara speaks better English than me now, she use words more efficiently and effectively. I’m always in awe of those who can say/write something so well or beautifully, while I may sound so crude and unpolished.
4. I have the feeling that people are less tolerant of your Grammatical mistakes or mispronunciation of words (“Neh, she’s from Chinese school, that’s why.”)

For those of you who are bilingual, do you feel the same?

Pros And Cons of Working From Home

August 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I started working from home partially when Zara was born, and when Zaria came along, I requested my then Australian manager if I could work from home fully, and he agreed. Although it’s now quite common for people to work from home, it was quite uncommon 8 years ago, and that’s how long I’d been doing it.

(Actually I don’t have a choice as I don’t have family or in-laws who can help me with child care, my option was to leave the girls with a helper at home or send them to a child care.)

So what are the pros and cons of working from home? It was one of the discussion topic brought up in a Facebook Group that I joined, and here are my thoughts.

Pros:
1. The kids are fully under my care, my supervision, their upbringing is done my way. (If they turned up rotten or outstanding, we will take the blame or the credit).
2. I get to experience their witty moment, mediate their fights, and not have to depend on someone to relay the information to me.
3. I can supervise the girls with their homework, what & when they watch (on) TV, what they eat, how they spend their time at home.
4. I get to witness their milestones.
5. The time spent getting stuck in the jam going to office and coming back, can be spent on the children, going for a run or sleeping longer.
6. I get to attend all their events in school, bring them to doctors/dentists without having to take leave.
7. I don’t need to spend much on clothes. (I sometimes wear PJs to work until noon time and then get showered and changed before picking up the kids)
8. I don’t have to rely on a transporter, and can send them to as many extra classes as long as I can afford the fee, and the time to chauffer them.
9. Have time to cook if I decided to, and can supervise the helper on what/how to cook.

Cons:
1. Get taken for granted at times. (Once, I asked the hubs to pick up the kids when he’s working from home, he replied, “It’s a working day for me you know?” WTF! It’s NOT a working day for me EVERYDAY when I pick the kids up.)
2. Socially, I don’t get much adult’s conversation, or mix around with adults except via FB, chat. This is the one of the things that affect me most. I sometimes feel I’m deprived of adults’ interactions.
3. The helper at home depends on me to decide what to cook for every damn meal!
4. The girls’ bickering or coming to you to ask for assistant in stringing a bead, solving a sum, cutting a shape can be very annoying when you are trying to focus on work.
5. Career advancement is more limited. I had to give up jobs opportunity which required travelling or working from the office. This also means salary wise, it hasn’t increased much since I started working from home (the company’s increment % is also partially to be blamed).
6. While lunch time for other working moms are a time to socialise, catch up, my lunch time is spent going to the school to fetch the children.
7. The girls are with me 24hrs every day (except when they are at school or attending classes), it can be stifling at times.
8. I don’t really have off days. Unlike moms who work in the office, when they take leave, it’s likely they can do their own things, because the child care/chauffering bit is taken care off per their daily arrangement. If I took leave, I still have to carry out my chauffer duty, unless I have the hubs take off to handle the kids while I have time for myself.

If I were to choose again, I’ll probably still choose working from home, just because at this point in time, the girls come first.

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