Saturday, April 30, 2005

the 'joys' of not working

yesterday i had lunch with some colleagues. had a nice chat about what's going on in the office. after about 2 hours, it was time for them to go back to work. i had nothing to do but roam the mall, while waiting for my mother to fetch me. before i knew it, i had a few bags full of stuff, i.e. books, clothes, etc.

after an hour plus of walking around the mall, i decided that i should go sit somewhere before i start spending all my money. but where? it was 4.50PM, so i started harassing my colleagues upstairs to see if they would come down and hang out with me. unfortunately it is not the culture of the company to leave work at 5PM sharp.

so i ended up at a cafe, by myself, wishing that I was upstairs working and complaining about how swamped i am at work.

soon, the wish will come true. soon.

Friday, April 29, 2005

finally...a good morning to all of you!

i'm up!

if ever i'm up this early, it's only because i never slept.



Just finished watching the movie Quill. It's a touching japanese movie about a dog, Quill, who leads a life as a guide dog. It's an excellent movie for anyone who loves pets and animals. It will make you cry. At least I did! Well, I don't know, I'm such a sucker for animal stories - my eyes get watery even when I watch the many shows on Animal Planet! (e.g. Growing up Wild, Miami Animal Police, The Animal Precinct, Monkey Business, etc.)


Thursday, April 28, 2005

thursday ramblings

again, i woke up late today. drove my mum to the dentist in kota damansara to get her tooth extracted. hung around the shop lots while waiting. was tempted to go to mcDonald's for some french fries, but decided against it since i already had some last night.

while we were passing the damansara NKVE toll booths, i was reminded of the day my car overheated and died in the massive saturday afternoon jam to pass the toll. it was so embarassing! imagine a brightly colored sports car stranded in the middle of the road. i was alone, so i couldn't push the car to the side. after a while, a man in a jeep drove up next to me and asked what was going on. i told him my car died, and he drove away. 10 minutes later, to my surprise, i saw the man walking towards my car. thank god, the kind man helped pushed my car to the side of the road, and accompanied me while i called for some help. i will never be able to recognize his face in the crowd now, but i will always remember his name, Mr Jamal.

American Idol - who would've thought, huh? Constantine was dropped! I'm glad Scott Savol is still in the competition though. He's cool. The reason i'm a Savol supporter is because i think he looks exactly like a good friend of mine at work. You know who you are, man! Don't worry, you're much skinnier than Savol. Kakakakakaka!!

nadio out.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


never. ever. force me to wake up in the morning if i don't want to.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

meow meow

as i stepped out of my car today, i heard the familiar sound.

"meowww....meowww..." or it rather sounds like a high pitched "nguwekkk...nguwekkk"

"oh hello mr frodo!!! lapar ke? jom kita makan"

"nguwekkk..." he ate a few bites of his Iams and started closely following me around the lawn, preventing me from going inside my house. he's not allowed inside the house because of my condition.

frustrated, i stood in front of my door. he started rubbing his skinny body on my jeans.

"golek (roll) frodo...golek boy"

he slammed his body on the floor and started rolling around my feet.

that's about the only command that Mr Frodo responds to.

btw, yesterday I went to speak to my hematologist/bone marrow transplant specialist. He asked me why i wanted to postpone my splenectomy. I had a million reasons in my head, but in the end all i said was, "When you decided to have my spleen removed, I was caught unprepared. All this while I've been concentrating on my lungs, and I never thought about my spleen. I just want to give it a second chance, and have another CT scan in a few weeks time. By then if the lesions are still there, we can remove the spleen, and my conscience would be clear." I was prepared for the doctor to argue, but all he said was "OK." Yess! He said he would continue me with antifungals and arrange for a CT scan in 3-4 weeks time. He also said that in 2 weeks time, I should do a bone marrow test to see the blast level in my bone marrow. We spoke a bit more, made some notes and I left the clinic that day happier than I was a few days before.

bye for now.

ps: in the midst of composing "the chronicles of september 2004 - part III". it's really just for my benefit, since i never really properly recorded what happened, and i don't intend to forget.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

the chronicles of september 2004 - part II

Dad entered the clinic and went into the doctor's office. He was in there for several minutes, while i waited outside. When he came out, he told me that the specialist in SJMC was not available, as was the doctor in Damansara Specialist. After making a few calls, we were on our way to the General Hospital. The specialist there said she would wait for me.

It was a quiet ride to the hospital. Neither dad or me spoke much. I remember asking my dad, "How could this happen?" He said, "Exposure to chemicals, lifestyle, who knows?" When we arrived at the hospital, we went straight to the Hematology clinic. There was a sister who greeted us, and sat there holding my hand while we wait for the doctor. She hugged me once, and i remember being uncomfortable, though i felt greatly consoled. Other than with Z, i am rarely the touchy feely kind of person. I would later find that I would have to get used to it, when the streams of visitors came and gave me hugs and kisses.

after a few minutes of waiting, the consultant finally came out to see me. I could see that she already had my blood test report and referral with her. She said I would have to get admitted immediately for blood transfusion. My mom arrived and brought me up to the ward while my dad sorted out admission issues. I was given a double room. Next to me was an old lady who was sleeping. (I found out later that she was actually much younger than my dad!) A nurse came to ask me if i knew my blood type. I told her I didn't, and she took some blood to get it tested. I think she was going to take it anyway, because the lab has to do cross matching before they can give the blood to me.

a medical officer came later to ask me a few questions, e.g. if i had any fevers (no), when did i start feeling tired (since a month ago), if i had any bruises (yes), and few million questions more. then she listened to my lungs, checked my eyes, throat, and felt my abdomen. After that another nurse came to insert an IV needle in my vein. My very first one, ouch!

the cross matching results took a while to come back. I didn't get my first pint of blood transfused until around midnight. I developed a fever in the middle of the night, probably a reaction to the blood transfusion. A couple of paracetamols got rid of the fever.

24 hours later, i completed the blood transfusion - 4 pints altogether. I got up and tried to jump up and down to see if I get tired easily. Nope. My blurry vision became clear. I was feeling much better.

the next day the consultant came to check on me. She said she would try to organize a bone marrow aspiration for me on Monday. She told me that the pain would be similar to getting my tooth pulled. I said OK, though i have no idea how it feels to have a tooth pulled. All my teeth came off at home. At this point, i just wanted to get over with the bone marrow aspiration so I can hear the doctor tell me that I don't have leukemia and I can go back to my normal life.

Every single experience was a new one to me, and i was quite the snobby patient back then. Complaining about how the room did not have a TV, complaining about the food, the condition of the hospital, the nurses and a whole list of other things. One night, at the nurses' station, while a nurse was trying to insert a new IV needle on my hand, she introduced me to two patients who have been there for quite a while. She smiled and told me, "These will be your new friends soon. You'll be staying here for a long time, dear." I looked at her and didn't smile back. I said, "I don't intend to stay here for a long time." Boy, how wrong I was.

to be continued...

Saturday, April 23, 2005

the chronicles of september 2004 - part I

Friday, 3rd September 2004. it was the third day i took sick leave from work that week. it was also my third visit to the panel clinic in the same week. i had my blood sample taken the day before, and that Friday went back to the clinic to find out why i was so pale. the doctor i saw a few days earlier told me that he would start me on folic acid and iron pills once the blood test results came back. never once did it occur to me that I had leukemia.

since it was a Friday and there was Friday prayers, it was almost impossible for me to get a cab from my house to the clinic. i called Z maybe a hundred times but he never answered (turned out he had a fever that day). i would have driven there, but my car wouldn't start. after calling a few more cab companies, i finally got one who was willing to take me to the clinic. even so, the driver dropped me off about two blocks away, despite me telling him that i wasn't feeling very well. so i forced myself to walk the two blocks, which was about 300 meters, while silently cursing the cab driver. after 15 minutes of walking and managing not to cry, i arrived at the clinic, feeling as if i could faint at any minute. the 300 meters felt like 300 kilometers. it was the most tiring walk of my life. i took a breather for a couple of minutes and informed the receptionist that i was there for a follow up with the doctor.

after a few minutes in the waiting area, a nurse called me in. it was a different doctor, not the one who ordered the blood test. i think the clinic has a rotation system or something. i sat down, and said to him, "so, how did the blood test come out?" He looked at me, placed my blood test results in front of me, and pointed to the section marked "Impression". It said "Suspected acute leukemia. Urgent bone marrow aspiration needed." If i wasn't already as pale as i was, i could probably have felt the blood rush at that moment. My first thought was, isn't leukemia a type of cancer? Me, cancer? After a few seconds, the doctor looked at me again and said "Do you know what it means?" I hesitated and nodded my head. The doctor instructed me to lie down so he could feel my spleen, liver, kidneys etc to see if there are any enlargements. When he finished, he told me that it seems that my organs are in normal condition and told me that i could sit down. I sat down and asked him, "Where could I get a bone marrow aspiration done?" He told me that he would refer me to a specialist in SJMC and that I would have to go there immediately. I said OK, and asked if he could kindly tell the nurse to call a cab for me because I didn't have a car. He gave me a weird look, but agreed to my request and asked me to wait in the waiting area. At the time i thought he was thinking that it wasn't his job to organize the logistics. But looking back, the doctor was probably thinking that i shouldn't be driving at such a low haemoglobin level. i was in dire need of blood transfusion, but of course, i didn't know that back then. I was only vaguely aware of what haemoglobins are (i wasn't very good at Biology in high school). The fact that I could still walk at the time remains a mystery.

as soon as i was out of the doctor's office, i walked straight out the clinic door, found a trash can and threw my newly bought pack of Malboros away. Until now I don't know why I did that. Scared, maybe. As if it would erase what just happened in the previous few minutes. After that i called my mum, who was very shocked to hear the news. Next I called my dad, who asked to speak to the doctor, and then told me that he would come fetch me at the clinic. As I waited, i constantly reminded myself that nothing is confirmed yet, and the blood test result only said "suspected".

40 minutes later my dad arrived at the clinic.

to be continued...

Friday, April 22, 2005

sono confuso

i'm trying to postpone my splenectomy for a couple more weeks. not too keen on losing it. as a result, in the past 3 days i've met with people who practice alternative medicine. one practices homeopathy, and the other uses herbs (mainly germanium for cancer patients) and acupuncture points.

and now i'm confused. hehe. everybody claims that their method works the best. the testimonials i heard were quite convincing. in the end i decided to try both. after all, if they have worked for quite a number of people, it could work for me, yeah? i guess i just want to be open to options, and not regret later thinking that i should have tried it out. however, i'll give it 2-3 weeks, and go for another CT scan. if there is no improvement, then i believe my spleen will have to go. gosh, i'm thinking so much about this dilemma, maybe i should draw up a decision tree so i can see the problem more clearly. i did, after all, study information and decision systems back in college. haha.

in the mean time, i pray that i stay in remission while i buy some time to clear up my spleen infection.

...and also for my doctor friends to not think that i have gone mad by doing this.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

splenectomy update

dad called some doctors in Singapore yesterday to get a second opinion on the splenectomy. It seems that the doctors there also think that it would be a good idea to remove it. The good news is that the hospital just called me today to tell me that the operation has been postponed from this Friday to next Wednesday. Hope something good will come out of this postponement, i.e. the spleen lesions gone or significantly reduced.

Monday, April 18, 2005

haven't slept. Been kept awake by Kane & Abel - J. Archer. Curse that book for depriving me of my sleep! Am going to go read some more now. Don't think i will stop until i've finished.


many have asked me what a spleen is. i checked and found this definition:

A large, highly vascular lymphoid organ, lying in the human
body to the left of the stomach below the diaphragm, serving to store blood,
disintegrate old blood cells, filter foreign substances from the blood, and
produce lymphocytes.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

"same to me"

i was listening to Awie's songs today when i came across the starting dialogues of Di Ambang Wati. Maybe some of you have heard it before.

Awie: How are you? Are you ok?
Wati: Yeah, I'm ok.
Awie: Kau masih marahkan aku Wati? Wati, cool down...perkara kecil tak baik dipanjang-panjangkan...maafkan aku kalau aku telah menyinggung perasaan kau tempoh hari..please?
Wati: Same to me.
Awie: I miss you...
Wati: I miss you too.

(Song starts)

Same to me? SAME TO ME???

i don't know whether i should laugh or cry.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

immunizations completed

had all my immunization shots done today:
- pneumonia
- influenza
- meningitis

i'm all set for the splenectomy. still hanging on to the hope to have it cancelled in case by some divine intervention the lesions are gone by next week.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

splenectomy - go ahead

it's a go with the splenectomy. i'm scheduled for next friday. will have to check into the hospital mid next week. tomorrow i'll have to go to the clinic to get my immunization shots in preparation for the splenectomy.

feeling a bit sad that i'll be losing my spleen. but i'm thankful that at least i still have all my other organs intact. i still have my hands to type, my legs to drive and walk, my eyes to see, my lungs to breath...well you get the point.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

a spleenless me

had my CT scan last monday, and went to see my specialist today. My blood count remains normal (Total white 6.3, Hb 12.2, Platelets 329,000). The scan showed that the lesions in my lungs have resolved, alhamdulillah. However, the lesions in the spleen have not improved since the last CT scan. The doc is thinking about having my spleen removed, so we can proceed with the transplant. She said that the spleen will not be functioning for about 2 years after the transplant anyway, so i might as well get it removed. This is to avoid the spleen from being a cause of infection during my transplant.

i don't know what to make of it. I have heard that quite a few people have had their spleen removed, and that you don't really need a spleen. But, there must be a reason why Allah put the spleen in our bodies, right? I asked the doctor if there is any other medication she could give me to improve the condition of my spleen (so I won't have to remove it), but she told me that i've been on voriconazole (antifungal) for quite some time, and if the medication hasn't reached the lesions in the spleen by now, it won't reach them at all. so i guess if i have to get it removed, i will. i'd rather not postpone the stem cell transplant any longer, in case my leukemia relapses.

she said it's a simple procedure, since my spleen is quite small in size, i won't have to have a major operation to take it out. I hope she's right. As of now the decision to have a splenectomy isn't final yet. We'll hear from the clinic when the other specialist comes back from his break sometime next week.

Some info on splenectomy.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Just finished watching Sepet. It's got its lovey dovey and funny bits here and there, but on the whole, the film is just to artsy fartsy for me.

The movie truly depicted the Malaysian society. but maybe I was expecting something more typically Malaysian, e.g. "Kuliah Cinta", "Hingga Hujung Nyawa" and the likes of them that have been flooding the local film industry lately.

Whoever has seen Sepet, my question is: Who was on the phone at the end of the film?

Saturday, April 09, 2005


buggeration. i'm now a couple of thousand dollars poorer from fixing my car.

my brother found Mr Frodo under the car. We haven't seen him for almost a month. He's now so skinny. Nevermind. We'll nurse him back into the fat cat that he was.

Friday, April 08, 2005

must sleep....

i've been Zoo Tycoon-ing my night away. Must remember to put a clock in this room, so i can keep track of the time. my back still aches. i find it difficult to sleep nowadays. so, yesterday, while waiting for my mum at the immigration office in shah alam, i bought a book titled Activity Based Costing - Making it Work. I believe that should take me to dreamland in no time.

Team GGK: kalau nak pinjam buku tu, let me know. ahahahahaha.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

a tired me

i've been feeling tired these past few days. my blood count, liver function and renal profile from saturday came back normal, except for a slightly low haemoglobin count (9.6), and my red blood cells showing a tendency to macrocytosis (enlarged in size). I'm taking as much oxygen water as i possibly can to increase my energy level, but most of the time i just feel like sitting or lying down.

spent most of my day yesterday playing Mall Tycoon 2, but kept going bankrupt from being overambitious.

ok lah...i better go get some rest.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

numa numa yay

numa numa yay..
numa numa numa yay..

Najah!!!! This is all your fault! I can't stop humming the friggin tune now!


woke up at 5.21AM to find my back is hurting again. and i'm out of strong painkillers. boohoo!! i really need to find out what's causing the pain in my back.

went to check my blog, and found Najah's comment on NumaNuma. Wahahhahaha! that video is really funny. watched it about 10 times before starting to write this entry.

oh, I got to meet Mobilemom in person yesterday. She dropped by to give me a couple of the LiveSTRONG bands. Yay!! Now I have one! Thanks Mobilemum!

ok, off to kick my brother's ass out of bed. His alarm clock has been ringing since an hour ago, and it's starting to annoy me.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

oh God...

can't sleep.

i'm having negative thoughts.

i must stay strong, healthy and POSITIVE!

over and out.

Friday, April 01, 2005


had some pain in my left back and spleen area the past few days. i actually felt it since last week, but only told mum and dad a couple of days ago. maybe i thought if i say it to someone, the pain will get worse. and it did!! after i told my mum, i couldn't stop thinking about it. my dad said the back pain could be muscle pain, or my kidney. and my spleen may have gotten infected again (had a fever last night). so i started drinking loads of oxygen water and took some painkillers. the pain has subsided for the time being..let's hope it goes away.

mum dropped me off at my office to pick up my insurance claim. since it was lunch time, i decided to meet up with my friends first. then went up to the office to check out what i've been missing. Quite a bit, i think.