Monday, October 31, 2005
After more than a year, boy did that maggi kari taste benissimo this morning. Nyum nyum!
HAPPY DEEPAVALI & SELAMAT HARI RAYA TO EVERYBODY. Yes, YOU!
Jangan main mercun sampai putus tangan ye!
ps: has anybody ever gone to that fair next to 1-Utama? I saw some rides there, and suddenly felt like riding the ferris wheel. How much to get in?
Sunday, October 30, 2005
With You showing the way, I made a decision today. You know what it is. Three months ago, it never crossed my mind that I will have to take that action ever. But today, it happened. This has been the most difficult year for me, for You have tested my strength physically and mentally. I know I forget to think about You sometimes, but I am always grateful for the blessings that you have given me. I also believe that everything happens for a reason, and I pray to You that this decision I have made is for the best. Thank you.
"Ya Allah, janganlah Engkau biarkan dosa meliputi diri kami, melainkan Engkau mengampuni kami dan tidak ada sesuatu kesempitan melainkan Engkau beri jalan keluar, dan tidak ada pula sesuatu hajat yang mendapat kerelaanMu, melainkan Engkau kabulkan."
Addendum: And please let me sleep tonight, for I haven't slept in two days playing Destroy All Humans, thus forgetting my obligations to You. Amin.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
I'll have to fix this now. Not that people care, yes I know that. I just can't stand knowing that there's an imperfection, argh! Thanks for giving me something to do now, Torque!
Friday, October 28, 2005
So, I decided to meet new people.
In over a year, I haven't really made new friends, other than my doctors, nurses and fellow patients. I never realized how nervous I was until I decided to join a couple of friends who were seeing their friends tonight. Almost turned my car around because I wasn't sure if I was up to it. Do I dare? I kept asking myself. Don't even know what I'm scared of, actually. :-) All I know is that these days, I get nervous easily when I have too much company, especially when I can't bring myself to concentrate on the conversation.
And of course, the new people I met were very nice. I'm glad I decided to brave it tonight. Come January when I start work, there will be a lot more people to meet, so it's better that I start getting comfortable with that right now.
Here's to making new friends, and keeping the old ones.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Here are some pictures anyway...
I had an ultrasound of my abdomen on Day +100, and everything looks normal (liver, pancreas, kidneys, etc etc).
Last Monday (Day +105) I went for my review at the clinic. My liver function test from last 2 weeks showed that my liver enzymes have shown improvement, but the numbers are still high. At this point we're not sure whether it's GVH or liver infection. The doc has decided to monitor it for a few more weeks. If the levels do not drop and there are no external signs of GVH (e.g. vomiting or/and diarrhea), he'll have to do a liver biopsy to ascertain the problem.
Funny thing, the body. I haven't had any nausea or diarrhea in months. Not even 24 hours after the doctor told me that he would have to biopsy my liver since I didn't show any sign of GVH, I started having diarrhea and nausea. Probably my mind telling the body to show some sign of GVH because it doesn't want to go through another biopsy for as long as I live. heh! Logik ke?
Slept from midnight on Monday through buka puasa time on Tuesday (in between visits to the bathroom). Woke up with a mild headache, probably from oversleeping. Feel much better today, after recovering from the diarrhea and nausea.
My blood counts were OK, although they could be better: WBC 3.3, Hb 9.0, Platelets 176.
Hopefully we'll see some improvements in the next 2 weeks. :-)
Over and out.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
The boy continued to listen to his heart as they crossed the dessert. He came to understand its dodges and tricks, and to accept it as it was. He lost his fear, and forgot about his need to go back to the oasis, because, one afternoon, his heart told him that it was happy. "Even though I complain sometimes, " it said, "it's because I'm the heart of a person, and people's hearts are that way. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren't, or of treasure that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly."
(Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist)
Yup. I've got nothing to write about these days. Apart from feeling sad about the passing of Datin Seri Endon, things with me have been going great. I've got a few entries in draft mode because I am too scared to push the Publish button. Want to bitch about the way Habib Jewels in Ampang treated us last week, but am too lazy to do so. Suffice to say I'm never stepping into another Habib Jewels store for a very long time.
Have a wonderful weekend, fellas.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
There were days when I questioned myself, Would I ever get that far?
There were times when reaching 100 days felt like 100 years.
There were days I surfed around the Internet and admired the people who got through their 100 days and wished I was them.
And Alhamdulillah, here I am today, 100 days post transplant and doing quite well. Thanks to every single person who supported me, e.g. my parents, my brothers, my friends, my bosses, my online support group, the medical team; it would have been difficult for me to come to this day on my own. (I was planning to use this for when I receive my Academy Award, but this came first..so..heheh)
I don't claim to be a better person, but there are some things that I've learned when dealing with a critical illness. Well, I guess I already knew some of them back then, if you read back my first posting since I was diagnosed, but here they are anyway (plus some more):
- Try to be brave, positive, strong and all that.
- Have a sense of humour.
- Keep yourself happy, don't let little things upset you. Even if for some reason you become unhappy, just try to act happy and soon enough you will be happy.
- Evaluate your options and try to understand what is going on.
- Keep track of your developments. Keep a journal. Understand what medications you are taking and what they are for. Make sure the nurses give you the correct medication (yes, they are trained, but they are human too).
- Take it one day at a time. Don't worry too much. Trust that things will work themselves out.
- Stay focused. There will be people coming to your door trying to help you by telling you what works and what doesn't. People like to tell you what to do - it gives them a sense of helping out. Thank them, but most importantly, just focus on the few things that are really useful for you.
- Keep your family close.
- Eat well (I'm still struggling with this until now).
- If you're immunosuppressed but you feel like eating something that you're not advised to, e.g. a burger or mamak curry, never forget to baca Bismillah and hope that whatever you're about to eat is safe, heheh.
- Pray. As often as you could.
Here's to another 100 days. Cheers.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Listening to Craig David's Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry). It's got some Gabrielle/boyband-ish zing to it, which I like. I just like it ok, lagu ini tiada kena mengena dengan yang hidup atau mati. Ahahahaahaa..! I wish I could share the music here, but since I can't, i'll just share the chorus:
"...Rain outside my window pouring down
What now, you're gone, my fault, I'm sorry
Feeling like a fool cause I let you down
Now it's, too late, to turn it around
I'm sorry for the tears I made you cry
I guess this time it really is goodbye
You made it clear when you said
I just don't love you no more..."
Reading books. I just finished Who Moved My Cheese and just about to start on The Alchemist. I really don't know why I never bothered to read the cheese book before. It is actually quite a good read, with loads of lessons to learn from, not only at work, but in life. A couple of years ago my company went through a major change. They probably could've executed the change better if they had made everybody read and really understand the story. I think I saw some powerpoint slides being emailed around, but nobody really took charge of it. Oh well. Maybe it will be useful for future programs.
Playing Kingdom Hearts. An adventure game that combines both Square and Disney characters, you won't get enough of it. I certainly couldn't stop playing it until I got stuck at one point and was too lazy to find the walkthrough on the Internet. The character's name is Sora, who started in an island, and constantly wondered if there are other worlds out there. Initially worried about leaving the safety of his own home, he decided to venture into the excitement of the unknown. Eh, somehow this reminds me of the cheese book pulak! ;-)
Okay...jom berbuka! Lapar ni...
Monday, October 17, 2005
I was looking for some paper just now, and found this on my desk. I remember vaguely my youngest brother telling me that he got it from a motivation seminar conducted by Fazley in his school several months ago. (Don't ask. I don't know how he got from singing to motivating). I never touched it since it wasn't mine. But today I was desperate.
I opened the notepad to start writing, and I shuddered when I saw it. There it was, an autograph from Fazley, addressed to me! How exciting! Now who wouldn't kill for an autograph from Fazley?
I know two people who would be so jealous when they see this. Keh keh keh.
My little brother is such a sweet and thoughtful fella. Little brother, I said Yusry lah wey....NOT Fazley!! Not in a million years!
Sheeesh! Men never listen, do they?
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Check out Craig David's latest - The Story Goes. Actually it's not so latest la, but I just got it today, and it's pretty good, if you like Craig David. My favorite tracks: All The Way, Do You Believe in Love, One Last Dance and Separate Ways (ala2 espagnol).
I was fiddling around with my friendster account today, and noticed that my Friendster's "Popular searches in my network" list has gotten worse...here goes:
- posisi jimak
- terlondeh baju
- malam paling panjang
- sepupu 1
- selak kain
- signs that he likes you
WTF??? Astaghafirullah, kan ke bulan Ramadhan ni? Bawak-bawak la bertaubat weyy...I tried clicking on the first item, just to see where it would take me. Whoa...trust me, you don't want to go there. Well, unless you're one of those erotica-loving wankers! I'll give 10 bucks to anyone who finds "niat solat tarawih" in their list. hehehe...
Friday, October 14, 2005
"...Mampukah ku alun kesemua tawamu
Menjadi melodi menemani diriku
Dapatkah kita memahami jalinan suci
Apakah ertinya kasih sayang ini
Berikanlah masa untuk difikirkan
Apa yang terbaik bagi meneruskan
Yang terpendam di jiwa..."
(Sahri - Memori Bahagia)
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Alhamdulillah, my bone marrow test came out well. The doctor said that I am in remission, and they did not detect any blast cells in my marrow. My next Bone marrow biopsy will be in another 4 months. My blood counts are fine, and my liver enzymes has shown some improvement, although the numbers are still high. I'll have an ultrasound of the liver next week to make sure everything's A-OK.
And really, thanks to all your prayers for me, because I sometimes still forget to do it for myself.
You turn a blind eye on something, and suddenly life turns inside out and you don't know what just hit you. You thought that something was your ally, keeping things afloat, but now it has turned against you and become your enemy, and you never saw it coming.
Here's what happened to a person i know, who like me, has been ill for a while. Her health is improving tremendously, but now her heart is breaking. What do you do with a broken heart? You can kill off your bone marrow with chemo and radiation and generate new cells. But a broken heart? You can't zap it off with radiation. You can only heal it with time. How much time, it really is up to you. And how strong a person you are. Unless you want to kill yourself with high-doses of radiation and die of a broken heart...but that would be just sad. Plus no radiotherapist will agree to do that to you, so not a chance.
She cried, although she doesn't really feel sad. Is it because she saw it coming? Or is it because she thinks there's still hope? She told me, it's strange, it felt worse when she was wildly wondering what was going on. Now that she knows, she can decide what her next action should be. I thought about it. It was just like when I didn't know I had leukemia. I knew that I wasn't physically well, so when I looked up my symptoms on the Internet, it could have just been normal anemia or up to a variety of cancers. It was a lot more worrying than when the doctors confirmed I had leukemia. Because when I knew, I could then set my mind on how I would get better. I think it's the same case with this friend of mine, although at this moment she must think her situation is a lot worse than mine.
This person is a rational, logical person (she was rather good at math, hehe). She said that if she was told today, straight in the face, that there is absolutely no hope, sure, she'll be upset for a while. She would go home, cry for an hour, speak to a girlfriend for another hour and get on with her life. After all, you can't force how another person feels about you, can you? So why bother too much about it? Agreed. But when you're left with a bit of hope that things will work out, aah, that's different. You're stuck in between wildly wondering and certainty. In a state of limbo. Purgatory. Whatever they call it. What should she do? Should she (1) fight for it like she fought for her life, or (2) should she just abandon all hope and get on while her pride is still intact? Having been brought up in a school where pride conquers all, she is tempted to lean towards option no. 2. But having cared deeply for someone for years, no. 1 doesn't seem like too bad an idea after all, if you sort of sweep the pride part aside for a second. I really don't know what she will do. She's smart. I trust that once she manages to separate the problem from her emotions, she will have her solution. And everybody will see her smiling again in no time, no matter how bad she feels inside.
She said that her body was literally shaking, and I don't think it's the effect of her medication or the air-conditioning in her room. I told her to go lie down and go to sleep, and forget about everything for now.
You know what, enough of this. No more stories of broken hearts. Whatever happens to me, or that person I know. We'll go back to cat pictures and leukemia updates from now on. Or articles on what-to-eat for buka puasa. (Yes! I managed to puasa yesterday! Way to go, me!)
Wish me luck for my bone marrow test results today. At least for me something will become certain soon. :-) I'll worry about the rest at another time, in another place. Not in here.
Sir Winston Churchill once said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
and at the risk of sounding like a blogging cliche (nyehehe..), because, my friend, this too, shall pass.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Saki baki keropok lekor Rasta
Haven't been snacking at places like these other than the odd mamak shop for a while now, and I can't believe I just paid RM9.70 for some keropok lekor, a roti kaya and a nescafe tarik. Wow! Whatever it is, it definitely satisfied my week-long crave for Rasta's keropok lekor. I wish I had taken a picture of the RM3.00 roti kaya though, just to show the injustice of it all, too bad my brother gobbled it all up before the idea came to me.
Do excuse the randomness of my post, but I just have to share this!
Hair growth status
Day +92 - It's now about 5 millimeters long. I was watching TV one day and saw a Pantene ad that claimed fast hair-growth. Luckily there was some of that shampoo in the house so I decided to give it a shot. I really don't know whether it was the shampoo or that my hair was going to grow anyway after 3 months of of baldness, but there it is! Soft little bristles that I can't help but touch every few minutes...
Secondly, after months of "ding-dong"-ing over the phone, wasting a lot of energy on rage and anger, I finally decided to a confrontation. Went over to HSBC to settle the dispute, pay all my balance and cancel my cards. Man, it was like ending a really bad relationship. I was in a bit of a dilemma over whether I should cancel the card initially. They have discounts in almost all the shops that I love. Then yesterday, they called me with another problem. They said my cheque was returned, so my payment could not be made. I asked, "How come?" and the officer told me that the amount was probably not enough, or that there was some other error. OK. That was it - enough was enough for me, no matter how good the rewards program is.
So I told the customer service guy that I wasn't happy with their services and wanted to cancel my cards. The cancellation went without a fight. My brother was probably right, under my name there's probably a warning that said "Beware: Bitchy Customer." Ha ha. The officer even wrote the cancellation letter for me, explaining that I am paying all my balance, minus the disputed amount and the finance and late charges. I think I should've felt insulted, because he didn't even try to pursuade me to stay with the bank. Instead I felt free. Liberated. I know I won't have to bother with this bank again for the rest of my life. Plus, I can always use my other cards. Their rewards programs are not as exciting, but they never give me trouble and they serve their purpose. And that's another problem down, still a couple more to go. :-)
Thanks to The Kimster, who said to me yesterday, "don't settle." (Yes kimmy, i know we were talking about something else entirely, but the concept is the same, innit?)
Sunday, October 09, 2005
After that we all went to another friend's house, who has a 1+ month old baby who is just so bulat! Such a peaceful baby too, she just sleeps most of the time, despite having aunties around her noisily chatting away.
After buka, I went for a drink with a couple of friends who's got a handsome little boy. He's 5 years old, but still a baby in his own way. Gave him a KitKat bar and watched him run around the restaurant high with sugar.
So, a toast to thank babies Arina, Arianna and Sean who really did make my day. Oh, and my friends too...hahaha! :-) See you guys soon!
Oh yes, while we're on the subject of achy-breaky hearts this week, do check out Datin's latest entry titled Fabulous. Not that I'm having an affair with a high-powered man, but somewhere in that entry, something touched my heart somehow.
Friday, October 07, 2005
When someone tells you that she/he needs some time to her/himself to think about things re: your relationship, that's gotta be kind of bad, does it? Oh, the number of times I've used that line on people and vice versa. After a while you sort of catch on on why people say that. Only this time I really hope things will turn out OK, because it has sort of become one of my motivations to get rid of the leukemia, and it has got me this far.
I guess the good thing is that fretting about this will definitely take my mind off worrying about my upcoming bone marrow test this Monday. Though I'd actually rather not be fretting about anything at all, in an ideal life. ;-)
Now I'm going to take some time off to think about my bone marrow test. Haven't thought about that in a while. Wish me best of luck. Bone marrow test and everything.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Kelana Jaya Pasar Ramadhan
This was as far as I dared to venture today - about 100 meters from the first stall. It looked like a human barricade, probably infested with germs which could be lethal for an immunosuppressed person like me. So I got back into the car and watched people walk by with their bags full of goodies, hoping that next Ramadhan I will be well enough to brave through this street.
My cats have taken to roaming around the neighborhood, only coming back once or twice a week for food. I'm not sure who feeds them the rest of the week, because they seem to get fatter everytime I see them. Only Cookie remains my true companion, hanging about in the garden every day. Too bad I can't touch her since she's still got those skin cancer lesions all over her body.
Frodo trying to look sexy
Cookie-in-a-bag (macam chicken-in-a-bag)
My Banana Boat. Wear Yellow! LIVESTRONG!
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Have you ever known a person who just stops calling you for no apparent reason? It really is mind boggling, trying to figure out what is going through that person's mind, without having to directly ask. It is especially puzzling, when the person is someone you talk to almost everyday. You don't remember what went wrong, except that when you spoke last, you felt that things with that last conversation didn't end up too well. But you really, honestly didn't think it was your fault. You wanted to say some mean things but held your tongue just because you hate to argue. So you hang up. You just don't have the energy to argue anymore after all these years. Plus, if you start an argument, you know exactly what happens. You don't speak for several days, then you finally give in and make the phone call. And you both act as if nothing has happened, you don't talk about it, and life goes on. Nobody mentions the communication gap again. And it makes you feel like an absolute shithead. You wonder how the heck other people deal with it. Try talking about it? Bargh, you won't even know how to start, because you know you'll end up being called too sensitive. And you know that you're not that sensitive, but somehow you still feel like a lesser person. So, everytime it happens, you keep it mostly to yourself, and hope that it doesn't grow into a tumor. Because then you'll be a shithead with a tumor. You don't want that. No way.
At times like these, you start comparing yourself to other people. You hear about the boy who sends flowers and chocolates to his girlfriends on Valentine's day. You hear about the friend who threw a surprise birthday party for her best friend. You hear your friends telling stories of how very much in love they are, how life is going so well for them. You hear about people who genuinely love their jobs. You hear about people surviving cancer. You imagine - how sweet. Other people's lives always seem better. How you long for your life to be perfect all the time, but you know that's just wishful thinking. Then you remember the saying, be thankful with what you have, the grass on the other side of the fence always looks greener. You're thankful, but sometimes you can't help yourself but think - maybe the grass is actually greener over there. The question is, dare you venture to the other side? Or do you stay and work with the grass that you already have, and try to make it look as green as the grass across the fence? Does that make you a coward?
What will you do? You decide to go to bed because you realized that it's almost 2AM. And you hope to wake up tomorrow chilling out in greener pastures. The same ones, or the ones across the fence, you don't really care, as long as it's greener.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Here they are:
- selak kain
- zodiac love match
- awek ku
- kena main
- terlondeh baju
- sharifah aleya
- louis vuitton handbag
- ramalan jodoh
Can you get a feel of the main theme of the list? Makes me wonder what kind of perverts are lurking around in my network of friends. Jeez. What the hell is the matter with these people? Get a life!
What's in your friendster search list?
- Once you've uploaded an image to the blogger server, is there any way to delete it? Sometimes i upload the picture medium size, and turns out that I want to upload it small, so can I delete the medium size that I've uploaded before?
- Does anyone know what time and day the talk show hosted by Nina Sharil airs on TV every week?
- Where can I buy a good Chicken Tikka Masala?
- When does the school holiday start? Coz I want to visit this and this, before the crowd goes wild!
Door of possibilities - my doctor's room
Dude donating his stem cells
Monday, October 03, 2005
Total white 3.4
Liver enzymes elevated.
I guess the meal at Carnaval in the weekend didn't help much. It was still good, nevertheless. Especially since I was in good company.
I hope my specialist will be back in time to aspirate my bone marrow next week. One bad experience with a trainee doctor should be enough, I think.
Want to watch TV, but I think I've seen almost everything on Astro. I think they rotate the programs every 2-3 months, so if you watched a lot of TV 2 months ago, you won't have anything much to watch now. Waste of money paying for Astro.
Oh. Hang on. Puasa announcement. At least that's one program you only see once a year. Hehe. They just announced that puasa starts on Wednesday. Happy fasting to all Muslims!
Am going to lie down for a bit.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
In the absence of The Family Guy videos to watch, I went on the net to look for Stewie Griffin's (the baby character) sound clips. Found this. He is absolutely sarcastic!
Ok, I'm going to watch my brother repair my desktop now. Bye!
Have you ever had one of those days where loneliness seem to cloud your mind wherever you went, or whatever you did? Today is one of those for me. Maybe I woke up too early, ran my errands, and then ran out of things to do. At 8.30AM, I wasn't sleepy any more, and felt hungry. I went out to do some stuff while waiting for a more civilized hour to call Z for breakfast. Unfortunately for me, 10 AM was still quite uncivilized to be waking him up, so I went ahead and had breakfast by myself. From now on I will consider it uncivilized to call him at all hours. (merajuk la ni...) For some reason I feel rather rejected this week. I'm finally getting enough energy to do stuff today, and the most I'm doing is sitting in front of my computer watching Family Guy. And now my desktop's broken, and I feel even worse! I don't even have Family Guy to fill the gap!! :-((
Thank God for the little bursts of excitement today, e.g. taking rides in fancy cars and touring my aunt's new house, otherwise I think I would have fainted of boredom. I'm almost excited to go for my clinic checkup tomorrow. At least I can sit there and watch people.
I guess this boredom is a good sign that I'm getting my energy back. I just need to find things to do, like when I first came back from the hospital post-transplant. Can't expect people to change their plans just because I suddenly got back my energy can't I? Boy, I wish Mar was here so I could go lepak with her.
Enough about my boredom. I'm getting bored meself moaning about it. Let's talk about food. Anybody tried Carnaval Churrascaria in Damansara Jaya? I went there for dinner last night with my brothers and a future sis-in-law. Brazilian Barbecue. Wish I could have the stuff on the buffet spread as well, but I had to stick to just the meats that they bring to the table every few minutes. There were top side beef (medium well is yummy, but of course mine had to be well done, so it was a bit tough but still good), turkey ham, chicken, chicken sausage, fish, lamb and garlic roasted beef, everything all you can eat for RM48++. May have overdosed on the beef and turkey ham last night, but it was one of the best meals I've had in months! So, all you carnivores, check it out! It's in DJ, at one of the shoplots near Atria, on the same row as Maybank. You circle the area enough times, you'll easily find it. Ooh! I found the address in my wallet, here it is:
77, Jalan SS 22/9, Damansara Jaya, PJ.
Aight...I'm gonna go find stuff to do. Adios.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
My latest favorite TV show. I was surfing www.tvtome.com to find out the latest TV shows in America, and saw this show keep popping up in the Top 10 rating section. So I downloaded an episode just to check it out...and it turned out to be hilarious! It makes The Simpson's look lame in comparison. It's not suitable for children though. Voices by Mila Kunis, Seth Green, et al. Check it out, you torrentsters!