Wednesday, March 30, 2005

cat chaos!

Mr Frodo:
I haven't seen for weeks now..apparently my dad says Mr Frodo can be seen at the end of the street sometimes. But he doesn't come home anymore. He's my favorite... :-(

Still small as ever...she's still scratching her ears and making them bleed.

She spends most of her time inside the roof. Will only come down for breakfast and dinner.

He's starting to poo and pee at places other than the kitty litter! arggh!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

she, who always seems so happy in a crowd..

went to Ikano on Sunday. Wanted to look for some photo frames from Ikea and a pair of jeans from the Padini Concept Store. The jeans were more of a need than a want, in marketing terms, since my existing jeans/pants have now gotten too big for me. I just bought one pair though, just to get me through these skinny times (which feels quite nice actually, hehe).

Stepped into Ikea...and oh my! what's up with our people and Ikea? It's been almost a year...and it still feels like a zoo! Haven't people bought enough furniture already? I didn't know i could cut through the cafe to the downstairs part, so i followed the long way, trying to zoom by quickly past furniture buyers with my hand over my nose until i got to the frames section. Made it safely out of the cashier's lane without elbowing or tripping anyone (which i sooo felt like doing to the many kids who were running around the store!).

After that i had a drink with some friends at Dome, which was nice, given that I haven't seen them since raya.

Ended a perfect day watching Notting Hill at home, DVD courtesy of my friend J. Yea i know, it's a soppy girly movie, but I just love it! British accents, Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, incredible soundtrack; yup - simply irresistable.

Nitey nite!

Friday, March 25, 2005

i need to start exercising!

man...i can't seem to bring myself to wake up before noon. unless i have a doctor's appointment, that is. i'm supposed to get some exercise, get some fresh air in my lungs every morning. how ah? instead, everyday i wake up, take my shower, have lunch, and then sit in my beanbag to watch DVDs (DVD player courtesy of my friends for my!). If i'm lucky, i'll get to do my brisk walking at Giant, while I wait for my mum to buy our groceries.

Maybe i'll start exercising tomorrow. I must! Transplant is only a month away, so I need to get fit. aaargghh...i'm so lazy! Or...could an early morning walk in 1Utama count as exercise? Ooh I must not tempt myself. I need to save the money to fix my car..

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Stem Cell Collection

Yesterday we went to the clinic for my checkup, and for my brother's stem cell collection session. My checkup went blood counts are "as normal as they can get", according to the doctor. Then the normal warnings, no gardening, no cats, lots of rest, eat properly, etc.

The preparation for my brother's stem cell collection looks rather painful. First, the nurse inserted a needle on each arm. The needles are damn big! And they stayed in my brother's arms for 4 hours...ouch! Next she connected the tubes. My brother had to sit next to the machine. The machine would take blood from one arm (i think 200ml at a time), separate the stem cells from the other cells, and return the blood back through the other arm. So it cycles that way until it reaches 12,000ml. The target is to collect 3 million stem cells from my brother to transplant into me.

When the collection finished, we all went out to lunch while waiting for the clinic to call us back with the stem cell count. After about an hour an a half, we received a call from the clinic, saying that they only managed to collect 2.33 million stem cells. So he went back today for another session.

Today we managed to collect another 5 million stem cells. Yay!! It's more than there's going to be enough for me, and for my brother to store for himself in case he needs it in the future.

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The stem cell collection machine from the back. Note the yellow bag contains plasma, and the red one contains waste. At this point the first batch of stem cells haven't been separated yet.

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The front view of the machine. It looks quite ancient huh? But apparently it's a very high tech machine that costs about RM300,000!

Monday, March 21, 2005


condolences to my friend, whose sister was shot at Giant last saturday afternoon. May Allah bless her soul.

as for myself, i guess things are good when there's not much to write about. my leg is completely better, i haven't had a fever in days, and most of the time i can sneeze and yawn properly without feeling pain in my chest. so i'm just going to put up the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, dedicated to my parents, my brothers, Z, my friends and everyone who has put up with me thus far.

Flying Without Wings - Westlife
Everybody's looking for that something
One thing that makes it all complete
You'll find it in the strangest places
Places you never knew it could be

Some find it in the face of their children
Some find it in their lover's eyes
Who can deny the joy it brings
When you've found that special thing
You're flying without wings

Some find it sharing every morning
Some in their solitary lives
You'll find it in the words of others
One simple line can make you laugh or cry
You'll find it in the deepest friendship
The kind you cherish all your life
and when you know how much that means
You've found that special thing
You're flying without wings

So impossible as it may seem
You've got to fight for e-very dream
'cause who's to know
which one you let go
would've made you complete..

Well, for me it's waking up beside you
to watch the sunrise on your face
to know that i can say I love you
in any given time or place..
Those little things that only I know
Those are the things that make you mine
And it's like flying without wings
'Cause you're my special thing
I'm flying without wings..

And you're the place my life begins
and you'll be where it ends
I'm flying without wings
And that's the joy you bring..
I'm flying without wings..

Saturday, March 19, 2005

photo shots

was trying out my camera outdoors...

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Owen my cat (doesn't he look like the cat in the Friskies ad?)

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Daun sirih (testing the macro function)

i'm an archeologist!

spent the afternoon with a fossil excavation kit that i received as a birthday present. It's quite fun, really. It's like jigsaw puzzle, only that you pretend to be excavating a are some pictures i took (with my new digital camera!)

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When we first found the fossil

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Hard at work

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2/3 done...note the lighting. Just like at a site, yeah? kekeke

i'll put up another picture when the thing is completely excavated. hehe.

Friday, March 18, 2005

insurance shminsurance....!!

i'm not happy with the way Great Eastern is treating me. I bought a critical illness policy in 2003. When i was evaluating it, the agent told me that the claim process is short and easy. It's been 4 months now, and the claim process is still not complete! *(&^&*%^%$$^*%

First i had to file all those forms, which i don't mind. Then i had to get a copy of my bone marrow aspiration, doctors reports etc. When everything was completed, i gave the form back to the agent to get processed. I waited 3 weeks. Then i got a letter, asking for my employer's address and my GP's address. Why didn't they just ask for it the first time around? And my GP's address is right on the piece of paper where he wrote my referral to the hematologist! I called the insurance company to ask why they need these info now. They told me that they wanted to check with my employer that I didn't hide the fact that I already had leukemia when I bought the policy (by looking through my MCs). Yea i guess some people would do that, huh?

And then there's the GP issue. The agent called me last thursday to tell me that she picked up the forms, and will send it to my dad's office, since she's not familiar with the places in PJ. A week went by, and dad still hasn't heard from her. And the letter still hasn't reached the GP. I don't know what her problem is, but i shouldn't have trusted her to do it. Arrrgh!

The thing with insurance is that you need it, but it's such a pain when it comes to claiming! Honestly, i didn't shop around when i bought it. I was so tired of listening to the agent babbling and asking to see me again and again that I just bought the insurance to shut her up. Sure enough, she faded out of my life. Furthermore, at that time, i thought, if i were to go shop around for insurance and have to bear with agents like that, i didn't think i would survive. Now i'm stuck with a useless agent, and an insurance company that has a complicated claim process. When all this is sorted out, they can be sure I'm not buying insurance from them again!


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

:-) much time, so much to do, too lazy to do. it's been a hectic day so far. went to Hyatt Saujana to pick up a cake, then went out to buy lunch. Car wouldn't start after buying lunch, so had to wait for mum to come to fix it. Whaaah such a hot day outside!! then came home to find my Palm ran out of battery a few days ago and all my data is gone! Not much data la, just some games and most importantly my banking data. Unfortunately my last sync was in Nov 2004, so i had to copy back the transactions from then i did my tax returns, finished it...yahhh!

i still have loads to do, like filing all the car loan and house loan receipts...argh! they're all over the place. i'm so lazy!!

my leg is getting better. i don't know what did it. i tried the detox kit (the one where you paste some stuff under your feet), and i tried some traditional stuff. I find the traditional stuff weird, so i won't talk about it. heheh..

I think i want to go get myself a digital camera now. Ciao...!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

birthday wishlist

yup, tomorrow i'll be another year older. while nibbling on my New York Cheese Cake at Secret Recipe this afternoon, i thot, i have done quite well for myself so far. I have great friends, a good job, good steady income, a car. Unfortunately i'm not healthy enough to be spending time with friends or go to work, spend the money, or ride the car. Oh well, God gives, and He takes away, yeah? birthday wishlist is as follows:
  1. For the lung infection to totally clear up so i can have a full stem cell transplant
  2. For all other lurking viral/fungal infections to clear up
  3. For my stem cell transplant to be successful
  4. Holiday in Disneyworld, Florida (wooohoooo!)
  5. Trip to Taiping Zoo
  6. Moisture restored on my face, it's so dry despite me drinking bottles of water!

That's it then! Ciaooo

Sunday, March 13, 2005

doctors are like...

I was reading The Rule of Four last night, and came across this paragraph:

Doctors are like gamblers, always looking for the right combinations. Patients are like slot machines: twist their arms long enough and you're bound to hit the jackpot.

Jangan marah ye docs, but i think a lot of times it's true. Haha.


Friday, March 11, 2005

stem cell transplant

went to the clinic yesterday for follow up. my blood counts are all normal, my chest seems clear and the splenic nodule has reduced.

after the follow up, me and my brother (plus mum and dad) met with another specialist for transplant consultation. it was a lot of info!! for the donor, the doc gave two options. the first is to go under GA for stem cell collection from the bone marrow. The doc said the procedure would take about 45 minutes, then rest for two days, afterwhich the donor can resume his normal life. The second option is stem cell collection from the peripheral blood. The donor will receive 4 days of GCSF injections to get his bone marrow into overdrive. Once the system is in overdrive, the stem cells will spill into the blood stream, which will be available for collection. This procedure takes 4 hours, but it's relatively painless compared to the first option. My brother decided to go for the second option.

as for me, the next step is to go for a mini-transplant. Doc explained that mini-transplants are designed for elderly patients and patients with fungal infections (like me). The dosage of radiotherapy and chemotherapy for a mini-transplant is about one-fifth of a conventional transplant. The good thing about a mini-transplant is that my immune system won't be wiped out entirely. However, the chances of the leukemia not entirely eradicated will be higher compared to a conventional transplant.

so, i'm here resting at home, trying not to get infected with anything more, hoping that the fungal infection in the lungs will totally clear up by transplant time. at the moment i'm trying to keep my lungs fit by doing deep-breathing exercises and blowing balloons. I'd like to take daily walks in the park, but at the moment my leg is not allowing me to do much brisk walking.


Monday, March 07, 2005

i'm a bum.....

my my, it's already 3.45PM. I had a whole list of things to do today, e.g. research, tax returns, insurance claims, etc. None is accomplished so far. I'm such a lazy bum.

my leg still hurts, sometimes...i don't know what it is. people ask me if it's sengal or bisa, how would i know? All i know is that I can't place my leg in one position for a long time. i have to move it every so often, which sucks when i'm trying to sleep. last night i tossed and turned in my bed, and finally just took some painkillers and fell asleep. arrgh..

last night i had rib-eye steak for dinner. yummy!! it was just as wonderful as i thought it would be. after that i went for some coffee, and headed back home. mum said, "i will only let you out this once." oh dear.

my mum's maid left today, to go back to her family. Who's going to help out with the kitties now? Boohoo!

Friday, March 04, 2005


got to go home for a longer time today. i could leave the hospital at noon and come back at midnight. by sunday i'll be discharged...for the time being. splenic biopsy story. ooof i didn't know how painful it would be. I should have known when the specialist at the private hospital asked the medical officer to accompany me that day. I was expecting another lung biopsy kind of thing. How wrong I was! The specialist put a needle in my spleen, and he said he would first aspirate whatever that was in the spleen nodule. It was pus...don't know where it came from. After two aspirates, he decided to do a spleen tissue biopsy, but by the time, i was already experiencing severe pain in that area. So he decided against the tissue biopsy..thank God.

Days after that, i had fever and abdominal discomfort. Air entry on the left lung was reduced..turned out there was some fluid as a side effect of the splenic aspiration. The thing that really irked me was, before the splenic aspiration, i was fine! i hadn't had a fever in days, my breathing and lung condition improved. so i had to stay in the hospital for a few more days. everyday, a physiotherapist would come and help me with deep breathing exercises to improve the condition on the left lung.

Then, last monday and tuesday, i felt pain in my right hip, down to the lower leg. Doctors didn't know what was going on, because from the x-ray, it seemed that the hip joint was OK. I took all sorts of painkillers, which didn't help. Alas, on tuesday night, mum came with some Yokoyoko and rubbed it in the aching areas. Problem solved.

Had my third CT Scan yesterday. Doctor came today and told me that the lesions in my lungs have gotten smaller, which is a good indication. I guess I could go for stem cell transplant soon, then. Doc plans to discharge me on Sunday, and indicated that I should come back for checkup at the clinic in two weeks time.

So that's the story so far..I will get to be at home for a while. Yay!!