Saturday, March 31, 2007

Day +269 : Common Misconceptions About Cancer

I am fine today.

On my blog Day +262, I posted a newspaper cutting where the chairman of Malaysian Oncological Society (MOS), Dr Gurcharan Singh Khera, warned the potential risks of taking natural supplements indiscriminately. MOS has a very informative though brief website that provides valuable information to cancer patients.

One of the attractive sections is “Common Misconceptions About Cancer”. I extract the most frequent misconceptions that I encountered from friends and relatives after I was diagnosed with the disease:

Many people suspect my disease is caused by my diet. See what doctor says:

Doctor, what food should I avoid?
Food is not the most important cause of cancer. Neither is it an important modality in the treatment of cancer. It is important that cancer patients observe a diet high in protein, calories and vitamins while undergoing treatment. However, that is a far cry from saying that "this food will prevent cancer" or "that food will cause cancer!"

People sent me document warning me how damaging the conventional treatment could be and advised me to go for alternative treatment – taking organic foods, vitamins, mushroom and many other 'magic' foods, and stop taking many other foods such as sugar, dairy product, meat etc. See what doctor says:

I don't want to undergo cancer treatment because 'good' cells are killed.
Cancer treatment is a judicious combination of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and molecularly targeted therapy. There is no such thing as medical treatment (for any disease, including cancer) that is devoid of side effects, just as there is no such thing as a free lunch. However, most side effects of cancer therapy are temporary, reversible and manageable. Much progress has been made in the control of nausea and vomiting, which is a frequent side effect of treatment. 'Growth factors' (G-CSF, erythropoietin) are available to combat bone marrow suppression, which is another common side effect of cancer therapy. And the list goes on… If cancer is left untreated, there will be great suffering. Death will ensue within two years in most cases.

I received countless proposals to go for one form or another kind of alternative therapy. See what doctor says:

What about alternative therapy?
What about it? There is no alternative civil engineering, no alternative computer technology and no alternative chemistry. Any treatment for cancer has to be subjected to the rigours of scientific enquiry. This inevitably means a slow, laborious, intellectually honest process that starts in the laboratory, proceeds onto animal studies and finally studies on humans. There is only medicine that works and has been proven, and medicine that is not proven and may not work.

The full article can be viewed here. If you have friends or relatives who are diagnosed with cancer, please refer this to them. I believe this would help them to clear a lot of unnecessary doubt.

The MOS website is at

See you next post :-)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Day +268 : It is more blessed to give than to receive (3)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

Why is it more blessed to give than to receive? The very first reason is that there are a lot more opportunities for us to give than to receive, and giving is within our control while receiving is beyond our control. If we enjoy receiving we have to wait for someone to give but if we enjoy giving, we can do it right away!

I opened my house to my nephews and nieces who came here to study and to work. Currently, three of them stayed permanently at my house and another one or two would come during the weekend. No one needs to pay anything to stay with us – food and lodging are provided free of charge.

One of them sent me a message thanking me providing him free delicious food and lodging for a whole week during the last Chinese New Year :-) I replied to him that I was so happy to have him here and my house was always open to him. He could come and stayed with us anytime he likes – free of charge :-)

My heart was full of joy when I saw them enjoy staying here with us, especially when they said that some foods that I cooked were more delicious than the restaurant :-)

I am not the richest and my house is not the biggest or the most beautiful one, and yet they feel that this is the most comfortable place they could stay. I like them staying with me. To me, they are like my children :-)

Someone said that I am over generous, but if you know the reason behind, it may not be that generous anymore :-) I will explain the reason later.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Day +267 : It is more blessed to give than to receive (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

When I was young in Sarawak, I liked to follow adults to visit the native Iban friends during the eve of Gawai Day - their major festival equivalent to Chinese New Year celebration. These Iban friends, though normally poorer than Chinese, always served us the best food they had happily. In contrast, when they visited us during the eve of Chinese New Year, we hid the best food and gave them only the inferior food. Who was more blessed? I believe the Ibans were more blessed because they gave truly. They were poorer externally but abundantly rich internally. I saw the Chinese, busy hiding superior food, were richer outside but poorer inside.

It had been so many years I did not have chance to celebrate Chinese New Year in Sarawak. Next time, if I were celebrating Chinese New Year there, I will definitely treat them good food, as good as what we ourselves have :-)

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Day +266 : It is more blessed to give than to receive (1)

I am fine today.

One Sunday morning, while we were driving to the church, my son Daniel told us that a bird was eating one of the papayas on the papaya tree at the backyard. My mother-in-law quickly responded, “It can still be eaten,” meaning that we should ‘fight’ with the bird for the papaya. “Do you all agree we give this papaya to the bird?” I asked. Everyone agreed and felt very happy about this.

This is one example that shows the blessing – joy and happiness – that we enjoy through giving unconditionally. Even giving a papaya to a bird will reap such a blessing, what more to say when we give to human?

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Day +265 : Pray for my friend

I am fine today.

Yesterday, while I was in the hospital, I called a friend whom I meet while doing post-transplant follow-up in the General Clinic. We met quite regularly and became good friend. As mentioned in my blog Day +162, he did his bone marrow transplant 5 years ago. Unfortunately, he experienced severe chronic GVHD until now.

Lately, due to infection and GVHD, his lung is damaged quite seriously. CT scan showed that his lung was collapsed and he has difficulty in breathing now. His breathing needs to be aided with external oxygen supply in order to get enough oxygen for his body.

He is very kind, nice and friendly. Please pray for him. He name is TS Tiong.

See you next post :-)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Day +264 : Follow-up

My Blood Count Today:
Red Blood Count (RBC) = 145 (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 119(Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 6.3(Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 5.292 (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
Potassium = 5.1(Normal 3.5 - 5.2)
ALT = 146(Normal 30 - 65 )
AST = 31(Normal 15-37)
GGT = 267(Normal 15-85)

I am fine today. I went to UH to do my routine follow-up in the morning. The ALT and GGT level reduced quite significantly compared to last follow-up’s reading. This means that my liver function is improving over the past two weeks. With this, doctor reduced my daily steroid Prednisolon dosage from 60mg (12 tablets) to 50mg (10 tablets) this week, 40mg (8 tablets) for the following week, and then 30mg (6 tablets) for the remaining two weeks before the next follow-up, which is one month later.

Upon doctor's advice during my last follow-up, I did not visit any friends in the hematology ward today. This is because my immune system is still suppressed through the drugs Ciclosporin and Prednisolon and thus is prone to infection. “I will tell you when you can visit them,” said the doctor.

I reached the hospital at 10:00am this morning. After drawing blood sample, I had to wait until 2:00pm to see the doctor. I cannot be busy body this time, talking and visiting patients and friends in the ward. So I brought along a notebook computer, running here and there to investigate which location in the hospital has wireless access to internet. In the end, I found two spots with internet access:-)

Still busy body, isn’t it?

See you next post :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Day +263: You are always there!

I am fine today. I went to attend Sunday service this morning. Pastor preached a sermon based on Psalm 139.

Our God knows us so intimately that he knew our days even before we were conceived as written in Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Apart from this, the beautiful verses below gave me tremendous strength and peace to face Leukaemia treatment:

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

8 我 若 升 到 天 上 , 你 在 那 里 ; 我 若 在 阴 间 下 榻 , 你 也 在 那 里 。
9 我 若 展 开 清 晨 的 翅 膀 , 飞 到 海 极 居 住 ,
10 就 是 在 那 里 , 你 的 手 必 引 导 我 ; 你 的 右 手 也 必 扶 持 我 。

During the treatment, I strongly felt the presence of God regardless my everyday’s health condition and the environment. I knew He would be with me and guide me no matter what would happen to me and where would I be; just like what the above verses say.

You are there, whom shall I fear? You are there, whom shall I afraid?

See you next post :-)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Day +262 : Nutritional supplements, the more the better? (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

My common sense told me at that time that this kind of argument is seriously flawed though I did not normally confront them directly. No matter how good and natural a product is, we still have to exercise control in taking them. Of course, our body is clever enough to maintain an optimum level of vitamin or mineral by disposing any surplus through organs such as kidney and liver. But we have to consider the unnecessary burden that the organs have to bear in doing this; which might eventually lead to organ failure. In the end, we pay money to make our organs to do extra work unnecessarily, worth it?

I share with you the following Chinese newspaper cutting on the possible long-term side-effects of taking nutritional supplements. The chairman of Malaysian Oncological Society (MOS), Dr Gurcharan Singh Khera, warned the potential risks of taking natural supplements indiscriminately. These includes possible organs damage and shorter life span.

Click the newspaper cutting to get a larger view.

The more you take, the better they are, not you are :-) Who are ‘they are’? You guess.

See you next post :-)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Day +261 : Nutritional supplements, the more the better? (1)

I am fine today.

After I was diagnosed with this disease, I was approached by many people to take health care products, herbal, vitamin and nutritional supplements.

The reasons given to me to take them include but not limited to the following:

  1. They are natural products and thus it is impossible they could cause harm to you.
  2. Someone took them and their health improved or disease got cured.
  3. Once you are diagnosed with cancer, the end can’t be too good either, so why not try this product, who knows you will get better?

Apart from this, they encouraged me to take as much nutritional supplements as I could. “They are natural products, the more you take, the better you will be. There is no such thing as over-dose in natural products”

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Day +260 : A Minister without Portfolio (不管部长) in the company

I am fine today.

My boss decided not to let me involved in any software development management work which I was doing before, even though I see many areas that I could contribute. Apart from this, I am given total freedom of doing whatever I would like to do in the company. Now, I considered myself a minister without portfolio (不管部长) in the company :-)

I have a broad range of interest. Therefore, a minister without portfolio should not be too boring to me. Now I am free to learn new technologies and see how these technologies could benefit the company; either absorbing them into our software or utilizing them to support the company operation.

However, to be minister without portfolio is not without side effects. One of the most notable one is that the income is significantly reduced :-)

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Day +259 : From David Ting to David Healed

I am fine today.

When I was admitted to hospital for bone marrow transplant procedure on the 26th of June last year, I was unaware that my ward had access to internet until the 4th of July; that was more than one week later. Upon knowing I had access to internet, I immediately got the idea of sharing my first hand transplant experience with family members, relatives and friends through blog. This was extremely useful because the procedure had to be done in an isolated environment where no visitors were allowed. Thus, the best way to keep them informed of my daily progress was to post my progress through this blog.

The first thing I had to do in setting up this blog was to give it a name. I tried and obviously this popular name was taken by someone else. The next choice was which was still available. After some more thought, I finally named it as, a name which reflects my strong desire of getting healed.

By making some logical deduction between my name david-ting and this blog name david-healed, we manage to come to a very interesting conclusion.

Here is how it goes.

Comparing david-ting and david-healed, we have ting = healed, and since ting is my surname, we come to the conclusion that healed is also my surname.

Now I have two surnames, the old one called ting and the new one called healed. If you tend to be forgetful, just remember anyone of them. I totally don’t mind if you called me David Healed. In fact in some occasions I also named myself David Healed, for example using david.healed @ as my email address.

See you next post :-)

David Healed

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Day +258 : Side effects of holiday

I am fine today.

After our Genting trip last week, my mother-in-law and Aaron were down with flue and fever.

My mother-in-law looked very tired but she always insists that she is fine and reluctant to see a doctor. She would never inform us when she fall sick or felt uncomfortable. Sometimes, it is quite a challenging task for my wife and me to make sure that she is fine; lots of guessing works, and very often we only came to know her real problem after beating around the bush(转弯抹角) :-( One occasion, she had toothache. Instead of telling me her problem directly, she said to me, “I heard so and so saw a dentist last week, didn’t he?” Hearing this, I suspected she had toothache and asked, “You have toothache?” She said yes. I brought her to see dentist immediately.

I brought Aaron to see doctor this morning and the doctor found out that he was having throat inflammation. So we put him on antibiotic.

I enjoyed the cold environment at Genting very much, but the same environment made my mother-in-law and Aaron sick. How could this happen? Doctor said the cold environment did not make them sick directly, but it lowered their immune system making them more susceptible to infection. I must remember to keep them extra warm if I were to bring them to cold places again.

See you next post :-)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Day +257 : Oh! My hair

I am fine today.

My hair was straight before I was diagnosed with the disease. After going through a series of treatment including the bone marrow transplant, my hair becomes curly now :-( And I am having difficulty in managing my hair to make it looks neat and tidy.

Looking at my hair, one of the nurses asked, “You macam ini bagaimana menghadapi student?” (How you face students like this?) She thought that I was still teaching in the college :-)

Using hair jell might be a good solution, but I don’t like the sticky jell at all and also don’t want to spend too much time on the hair everyday. In the end, I went to the barber shop and asked the barber to cut my hair short enough until it looks neat and tidy :-)

No combing is necessary and yet it is still quite tidy. Save me lots of time :-)

See you next post :-)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Day +256 : True forgiveness, true freedom

I am fine today. I attended Sunday service in the morning. The Pastor delivered a sermon called “Joseph, a man who magnified the Lord”(尊主为大的约瑟).

First of all, this Joseph is not my second son Joseph; it is a Biblical character in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Joseph was a Hebrew who honored God. His brothers sold him to Egypt. Despite many difficult circumstances, he raised to become “the governor over all the land of Egypt”.

Based on the life of Joseph, Pastor explained the characteristics of the one who magnifying the Lord, using the life of Joseph as an example.
  1. God be always with him no matter under whatever circumstances, and his faith in God will not be diminished by any circumstances.
  2. He fears God so that he won’t fall into temptation.
  3. He forgives truly and thus enjoys true freedom.

In the end Joseph forgiven what his brothers had done to him. Yes, only the one who forgive truly is able to enjoy true freedom. So freedom is not a result of circumstances, but a result of our choice. If we choose to blame others making our life miserable, then we are in fact imprisoning our freedom ourselves - not the one who offends us, because the choice to forgive is ours :-) On the other hands, if we choose to forgive, we are free!

True forgiveness, true freedom! Start to forgive to enjoy freedom now and I guarantee that this principle will work for you :-)

If you would like to listen to the sermon, you can download it here free of charge :-)

See you next post :-)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Day +255 : Holiday Photos

I am fine today.

I would like to share with you some photos of our holiday :-) Click any of them to get a larger view.

A family photo. Many people said that my face is getting chubbier (round and plump), but I am definitely not gaining weight. The chubby face is caused by the steroid (Prednisolone) that I am taking as a mean to control GVHD. This type of face is also called "moon face".

Joseph and Daniel were having fun :-)

Adriel is enjoying cool morning air.

Adriel with clowns.

The three kids.

My niece was very lucky to have a chance to take photo with one of the characters from "FLY : DEFY GRAVITY" show. We met a few characters while they were promoting their show.

Another character from the show.

Here is another one.
See you next post :-)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Day +254 : A children holiday, adult hard-work day

I am fine today.

It is almost impossible to enjoy a relax holiday by bringing so many children along. Parents normally need to put in extra effort to take care of and manage them during the trip.

Our children are of different ages and many attractions in the theme park have age or height restrictions. In order to maximize the ROI (return of interest) of one-day unlimited theme park ride pass, the best way to do is to divide and conquer. Since my wife has to take care of 11 month old Aaron, it is impossible for me to lead two teams of children (分身乏术). Fortunately, my two nieces are around, so that we can split into two teams (兵分两路). Joseph and Daniel joined the two nieces to enjoy the best deal - the outdoor, indoor and Wet Park unlimited rides for a day, while I accompanied Adriel for indoor unlimited rides.

By now, Joseph and Adriel are too tired and fallen asleep, but the two nieces and Daniel are still enjoying the fun in the indoor theme park which will be opened until 1:00am. In fact, Adriel fallen asleep half-way while playing in the indoor theme park in the evening, I have to carry her back to the room :-( I ‘enjoyed’ too many ‘turtle-slow and boring’ family rides, but when I saw Adriel enjoying them, the ride became more and more fun.

My wife and I are very tired now – a children holiday, adult hard-work day. But deep inside our heart, we still say, “worthwhile, worthwhile.” Why? Because we are family!

Anyway, I think I should arrange a holiday for my wife and me alone, leaving the children to my mother-in-law and the two nieces. With this, we must be able to enjoy a relax holiday.

Posted at StarBucks (without coffee), First World Hotel, Genting Highlands, see you next post :-)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day +253 : Hurray! We are going for Holiday!

I am fine today.

This morning, I am bringing my family including my mother-in-law and two nieces to Genting Highland for a three day two night vacation :-) Again, this is the first time I ever bring my family for holiday since I was diagnosed with Leukaemia.

This vacation was arranged by my brother Richard. About two weeks ago, he booked the rooms and passed the confirmation slip to me. Neither he nor I paid anything for the rooms because it was booked under someone else timeshare package.

I really appreciate him for this kind arrangement.

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Day +252 : Think and Grow Rich

I am fine today.

A kind friend of mine invited me to attend Napoleon Hill International Convention 2007 on 12 – 13 March 2007 free of charge. The two days conference worth RM1880.00 and it was was held at Putra International Conventional Centre. This is the first conference I ever attended since I was diagnosed with the disease.

A photo of the Putra International Conventional Centre.

Delegate tag.

I missed the first day convention and the delicious (I think) GALA dinner because I needed to do my regular follow-up at UH on that day.

The convention is propagating the principle by Dr. Napoleon Hill in achieving success in our life. At the end of the convention, I purchased the book “THINK AND GROW RICH” by Dr. Napoleon Hill.

If you are interested to read the book, you can download a copy here absolutely free of charge.

Frankly speaking, I still don’t know much about the principle as I have yet to read the book. At first glance, the title of the book seems to be very materialistic if we link the term “RICH” to money or wealth only. However, as I read the publisher’s preface, I came across a meaningful paragraph which says, “Riches cannot always be measured in money! Money and material things are essential for freedom of body and mind, but there are some who will feel that the greatest of all riches can be evaluated only in terms of lasting friendships, harmonious family relationships, sympathy and understanding between business associates, and introspective harmony which brings one peace of mind measurable only in spiritual values!” Do you agree?

In the convention, one speaker also stressed that accumulating wealth without a purpose is in fact a curse. This implies that a blessed way of accumulating wealth has to be always in accordance with the spirit of giving :-)

I believe while the principles do help many people to achieve material richness, there is no guarantee that it will work for everyone as we are so unique. However, one thing I am very sure is that, despite all circumstances, we are still rich by 'ourselves'. Why? You can read my perspective of ‘We are born rich' here (Day +234 blog).

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day +251: Nothing she brings from this world but loving kindness she planted deeply in my heart

I am fine today.

Today we mourn the loss of my third sister’s mother-in-law who lives in this world healthily for 88 years. She encountered major health problem only at the last few weeks of her life.

As you all know, my third sister was the one who donated her stem cells to me that allow me to complete the bone marrow transplant successfully last year. Her mother-in-law was very supportive throughout the donating process where my sister had to come from Sarawak to Kuala Lumpur twice. Not only this, she was very concerned about the progress of my treatment. On one occasion, when she heard that I was recovering very well after the bone marrow transplant, she made monetary offering and shouted “Halluyah!” in the church. For your information, “Halluyah!” is the most joyful word of praise to God. She said to everyone, “God is so good! He cured my nephew!” You see, for some reason, she treated me as her nephew! (外甥)

About 20 years ago, I studied form 6 in a school nearby her house. As the school did not provide sufficient motorcycle parking lots for students, I often parked my motorcycle at her house and then walked to the school. Very often, my sister’s mother-in-law cook me “kampung” (village) chicken eggs to eat at her house and then gave me a few raw eggs to cook in the school hostel during the week days. She said these chicken eggs would boost my memory so that I could study well :-)

She ended her journey in this world and now she is just starting her new life where heaven is her home, a home full of peace, joy and happiness as what the Bible says, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Nothing she brings from this world but loving kindness she planted deeply in my heart. May God bless my sister’s mother-in-law and may God bless my auntie!(姑姑)

A photo taken with her on January 2005. Click the photo to get a larger view.

I have asked someone to read this post during tomorrow memorial service.

See you next post :-)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Day +250 : Follow-up

My Blood Count Today:
Red Blood Count (RBC) = 129(Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 118(Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 6.4(Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 4.928 (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
Potassium = 4.1(Normal 3.5 - 5.2)
ALT = 265(Normal <51 )
AST = 44(Normal < 41)
GGT = 327(Normal < 51)

I am fine today. I went to do follow-up this morning. The blood test result showed that my liver is quite badly affected by GVHD. The ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) level increased to 265, a value which is 5.2 times more than the normal level. On the other hand, GGT (Gamma-Glutamyltranspeptidase) is also increased to 327, a 6.4 folds increase than the normal level :-(

High levels of ALT in the bloodstream mean that there may be liver inflammation or damage while high levels of GGT may indicate the inflammation or damage of bile duct.

Persistent dry mouth and eyes also indicates that I am now having chronic GVHD, which doctor said would take a few months to cure. The doctor supposed to cut down my Prednisolone (steroid) dosage but when he looked at the result of my liver function test, he decided to maintain the dosage. He also wanted to see me sooner, so my next follow-up will be two weeks later.

After the nurse drew my blood sample this morning, I went to visit a friend in an isolated ward in the haematology ward. One doctor spotted me and said, “What are you doing here? I know you are very kind but he got bacterial infection! Go away from here!” She also reminded me that I am on immunosuppressive drugs now and thus prone to infection.

I was later worried that I might be at risk of infection because I entered the isolated ward. After seeing the doctor in the General Clinic in the afternoon, I returned to the hematology ward to find out what type of infection my friend had. The nurse told me that my friend was infected by a type of bacteria called Salmonella which causes foodborne illness (food poisoning). It can only be transmitted through contact with the patient's faeces or food contamination. What a relief! Next time I have to be very careful in visiting patients.

When I told this incident to my wife, she scolded me, “Busy body you! You are getting more like your eldest sister!” :-)

See you next post :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Day +249 : Live to Fellowship

I am fine today. I went to attend Sunday worship this morning. Pastor delivered a very meaningful sermon this morning urging church members to foster stronger fellowship with one another. The title of the sermon was “Live to Fellowship – From Bible Perspective”.

God created us to fellowship with others. What is fellowship? It is simply to foster closer relationship with people. For example keeping in touch, interacting, helping, supporting, depending, encouraging, accepting, loving, caring and responsible for one another.

As what Jone Donne (1572-1631) said, no man is an island. We do not thrive when isolated from others. The tremendous amount of supports rendered to me while I was encountering my health crisis convinced me deeply the need to fellowship with one another.

Life can be too busy for us to find time to fellowship with people but one thing I can tell you, when I was sick, I thought of family members and friends more than anything else :-)

A friend of mine lost touch with his brother who migrated to Canada for almost 20 years. Now he needed this brother’s bone marrow for transplant. However, his brother found all sort of excuses not to donate his bone marrow to him. You can read the story here.

So find time to fellowship with family members and friends even if you think that you don’t have time. It might be more of a priority issue than lacking of time :-)

See you next post :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Day +248 : I booked a maid

I am fine today.

I booked an Indonesian maid yesterday through Agensi Pekerjaan HAZ which has an office very close to my office. After reviewing many biodata and upon recommendation from the agency, we chose a 26 year old maid from Medan, Indonesia. Her name is Debora and she will be with us in about 2 month time.

Since my former maid did not turn up after she went back for holiday, I need to cancel her work permit in order to get a new maid. To do this, I went to lodge a police report early yesterday for the agency to process the cancellation. The police report cost RM2.00 only but the immigration department will fine me RM250.00 :-( Fortunately, the police station is very close to my office as well :-)

The fee of getting a maid is as follow:

Agency Fees(after discount)RM 2,215.00
Indonesia Processing Fee   RM 1,300.00
Recruitment Fee (Christian)RM   200.00
Advanced Salary (6 months) RM 3,000.00
Immigration Fine           RM   250.00
Total                      RM 6,965.00

I paid RM4250.00 yesterday and we just pray that the maid would perform.

I let you see a photo of our future maid :-)

Based on the look, do you think she will be a good maid? If you guess correctly, I should cook you a delicious dinner when the maid comes :-)

Lastly, may God bless the maid and God bless me!

See you next post :-)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Day +247 : Enjoy Challenges in Life

I am fine. I attended another company monthly meeting this morning and share the following with staff.

"It has been more one and half month since I came back to work officially. John (my boss) is a very caring person, he wants me to enjoy life in office first before involve too much in the office work.

I am overwhelmly impressed with the progress made on Esteem 7 (our next generation software) so far. This software is just like my unborn ‘baby’ which I had to leave it to your care after I was diagnosed with the disease end of 2005. With the progress that you have made so far, I am very confident that it will be born very soon. I will slowly get myself involved in some areas of the project especially in planning the release of the software, the detail which I have yet to discuss with John. I already have something in mind and you can always approach me if you have any good suggestions.

In fact, in whatever circumstances, I learned to enjoy life. During the past 6 weeks in office, I learned and did a lot of work though most of them might not be directly related to Esteem 7 software. Involving in the office work may be challenging but challenge in life in fact can be enjoyed. I gave a real life account of my bone marrow transplant experience through my blog while I was doing my transplant in the ward. Everyone would agree that the transplant was challenging. However, if you read my blog carefully, I was actually enjoy life in the ward amidst the treatment; watching and listening to music, playing guitar, writing diary, understanding the treatment, doing exercises, playing ‘sport cars’, solving Sudoku puzzle, talking to the nurses about delicious foods and etc.

I hope with this, when you encounter challenges in life or work, you also be able to enjoy life.

Sometimes, the challenges can be overwhelming, but life, I enjoy still :-) "

See you next post :-)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Day +246 : Send Free SMS Worldwide From Your PC

I am fine today.

I am introducing to you today a free SMS service that really works. Just register at and start to send free SMS worldwide from PC or mobile phone with Java support.

You will see the following when you visit the MOBIK home page.

Click Send Free SMS will bring you to a screen as shown below.

If you have not registered before, click ‘register’ button. This will bring you to the registration form. Fill in all the details and then login using the user name and password once the registration is successful.

After login, you will be presented with this interface . Click to enlarge.

Just keys in your own mobile phone number below the Message Composer, after the word ‘To’. Please bear in mind that the number has to include the country code, 6013xxxxxxx instead of 013xxxxxxx for example. Type the message below and then click the button ‘send’ at the bottom. You will get the message almost instantly!

You can also add in contact by clicking on the green '+' button. Once you get the contact in, you can then drag and drop the contacts to the 'To' box. However, the contacts do not support group, so if you want to send SMS to a group of people, you can put all comma separated mobile phone numbers of the group in a separate text file on our computer and then cut and paste into the 'To' box.

Click on the folders tab and then 'send' will let you see last 20 SMS that you sent.

You also need to bear in mind the following:

  1. Mobik will append an advertisement into your message.
  2. Your message length can be 120 characters only, the remaining 40 is used by Mobik for the advertisement purposes.
  3. Your recipient will receive advertisement together with your message. If they don't like the advertisement, ask them to close their eyes immediately after reading your message :-)
  4. Chinese character are not supported, messages with Chinese character fail to deliver.
  5. Please always remember to sign your message; else the recipient don't know who send them the message as the sender as appeared on the recipient mobile phone is MOBIK.

Let me know if you have problem using the service.

Happy SMSing and see you next post :-)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Day +245 : Car robbery, lesson learned

I am fine today.

What lesson I learned from the car robbery incident described yesterday?

  1. If someone knocks your car at the back, don’t stop and come out from the car, remember the car registration number and drive to the nearest police station to lodge a case. (A tip from my friend)
  2. Don’t link all your banking accounts to the bank card and never leave too much money in the account which is linked to the card.
  3. If you were kidnapped, don’t try to be brave, give anything the robbers want. After all, life is more important than anything that the robbers could take away.

Anyway, I should be considerably safe because the car that I am driving cost RM3000 only (see the condition of my car here) while the commission to rob a car is RM6000. If the robbers were so stupid to rob my car, they would lose RM3000 (RM3000-RM6000) :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Day +244 : Government & robbers, who is more efficient?

I am fine today.

My friend bought a new Toyota Vios last year. One morning, while driving in the midst of busy traffic along a road in Puchong, he sensed a car hit his new car at the back. He stopped and talked to the driver who hit his car. The driver said that he was sorry because his attention was diverted while using hand phone.

My friend returned to his car to get paper and pen with the intention to record down some detail of the incident. When he was near to his car, the driver pushed him into the car and threatened him with a knife. Another guy moved into the driver seat quickly and speeded off. He only realized at that time that he fall prey to car robbers.

The robbers took his wallet and forced him to reveal the pin number of his bank card. Considering that the robber might go to withdraw money before dropping him off the car, my friend gave them the correct pin number. In the end, they dropped him off the car unharmed. However, the car, the wallet with all documents in it and all money in bank account were gone :-(

Someone told my friend that the syndicate which was responsible for robbing the car managed to transport the car to Batam, an island off Singapore within one day time, bypassing all custom clearances. “Your car is in Batam now,” the adjuster told him the next day. It was so fast and efficient! If the syndicate could not dispose the car within such as short time, they have to abandon the car due to the risk of being traced by police.

On the contrary, our government needs one year to adjust staff salary due to unpaid leave (Day +106 blog), took four months to deposit cheques (Day +187 blog) and sometime didn’t event bother to deposit cheques (Day +194 blog) issued to it before they were expired; government and robber, who is more efficient?

See you next post :-)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Day +243 : Friend & Foods

I am fine today.

I mentioned on last Friday’s blog (Day +240) that I had a long chat with a retired teacher who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). He went for a few rounds of chemotherapy but unfortunately did not respond well to the treatment.

The family went to see natural therapist who proposes the use of papaya enzyme called Papain to destroy cancer cells. The principle of this type of treatment was covered in various local Chinese newspapers. You can read one of them here.

After he was diagnosed with the disease, the family controlled his diet strictly. “I never take oat meal for 60 over years but now they force me to take it,” he complained. “I used to drink two cups of coffee per day and have fried Mee or Kuitiao for breakfast but now they ask me to eat bread which I seldom eat before,” he continued. Apart from this, no egg, no dairy product and no meat at all :-(

He was about to discharge on that day. He and his wife asked me what diet I took now. I said I take all type of foods but try to eat more vegetables and fruits. I also shared with him my lifestyle as what I described in my Day +74 blog and told him never regret of what diet he took before. While others disease might be related to diet, Leukaemia might not be related to diet at all.

At one point of the talking, he was almost begging his wife to let him have fried egg and fish. “Can-lah, can-lah, no need to deep fry them, just fry with a little bit of oil,” he said to his wife.

Looking at his skinny body, I am really pity at him. While we are still not very sure whether the causes of Leukaemia is due to diet, the strict diet his family imposed on him already causes him loose too much muscle and at the same time deprives him the privilege to enjoy food at the last stage of his life:-(

See you next post :-)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Day +242 : Blessed Are Those Who Make Peace With People

I am fine today. I attended the Sunday service this morning. A visiting pastor from Hong Kong preached a topic called “blessed are those who make peace with people.”

Those who always make peace with people will definitely be able to enjoy life more than those who always have conflict with people. I see many family conflicts arise due to family members failed to make peace with each other. Sometime, it is very disheartening to see people suffering due to unnecessary conflict.

Some ways to make peace with people are to forgive, accept and tolerate them. It is very easy to advice people to pursue these make-peace characters; to live with these characters successfully can be difficult. If we are dealing with family related problem, one way that helps is to view our family as ‘one body’ where each members are organ of the body. With this, if we feel that anyone of them is really unreasonable, we should still be able to tolerate and accept them easily.

For example, I am now fighting GVHD where my immune system is attacking my eyes, mouth-throat, skin and liver. These organs under attack cannot say to the immune system, “You! Trouble maker, we kick you out of the body!” because immune system is part of my body :-) Instead of kicking out the immune system, these organs learn to tolerate and live with it to preserve the body.

This ‘one body’ concept is elevated from family to church where its members are considered as organs of the church. Bible says, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body…” I believe this ‘one body’ concept is particularly important in resolving conflict within the church as well :-)

If you are having problem with your spouse, children, sibling, do something now. Apologize, even if you feel you that you are completely right! Make peace with them and you will be blessed :-)

See you next post :-)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Day +241 : Mother-in-law's Birthday

I am fine today.

We celebrated my mother-in-law 71 year old birthday today. She retired from teaching career 16 years ago and had been staying with us for almost 10 years :-)

My mother-in-law was born in Indonesia. She migrated to Taiwan later and then got married and followed my father-in-law to Sarawak, Malaysia. She is a Hakka but manage to speak very fluent Foochow :-) As mastering Foochow is not an easy task for most people who speak other dialect, I admire her language talent.

I missed her 70 year old birthday celebration last year because I was doing my third round of chemotherapy in the hospital at that time. I really thank God that I could arrange and attend the celebration this year :-)

It is really a great blessing for us to have her with us! May God bless her with good health and joyful heart everyday!

Click any of the photo below to view a large one. A family photo with my mother-in-law.

My nephew and two nieces also attended celebration. Another nephew came later. Therefore, we have 11 people celebrating the event :-)

Lastly, the delicous cake :-)

See you next post :-)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Day +240 : Happiness is a habit

I am fine today.

Today marks 8 months of my post bone marrow transplant. I went to hospital to remove the stitches on my abdomen in the morning. The stitches were left due to skin biopsy done on 21 February 2007 (4th day of Chinese New Year) to confirm that the rashes were caused by GVHD.

As usual, I took the opportunity to visit patients who were receiving treatment; listened to them and shared my experiences with them. I had a long chat with a retired teacher who failed chemotherapy and was admitted to the ward due to fever and mouth ulcers two weeks ago. The chat was mainly centered on foods :-) I will share with you what we talked later.

When I wanted to come home, I see something incredible as follow in the car park :-)

A car blocked three cars including mine :-( I notified the hospital guards. They advised me to be ‘sabar dulu’ (patience first) and there was no guarantee that they would be able to remove the car for me. This will definitely made me returning home late and even pay addition parking fee :-(

Was I upset or angry? No. If I did, the circumstances would control my emotion and I would lose twice; firstly, lost of time and secondly lost of health due to negative emotion :-) I said to my self, “If the guards failed to remove the car for me, worst comes to worst I return to the ward to enjoy talking to the patients there.”

I talked nicely to the guards and observed carefully the way they handled the situation. In the end they performed something incredible to me; pushing the car away just sufficient for my car to come out from the parking lot. I watched and took photos of the event happily :-)

Someone forwarded a story to me a few days ago saying that “Happiness is a habit” which I fully agree with. In whatever situation, no matter how difficult it is, we could always secure a position to view it happily :-) As what Bible says, "A cheerful heart makes good medicine," (喜乐的心乃是良药) I guarantee this habit is good for you :-)

While I shake hands with the guards to appreciate their great effort in removing the car, they kept reminding me to delete their photos from camera because they didn’t want their photos to appear on newspaper :-)

See you next post :-)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Day +239 : Appreciate Life - Part 2

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

Appreciate Life – Part 2

Someone would like to take away other’s life
Recently, we learned from newspapers that some parents concluded their life after experiencing certain setbacks in life. Not only they did this to their own life, they also took away their children's life. We might treat these as extreme cases. In fact in our family life, husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters (church life) often tend to ‘take away’ others life. Whenever conflict arises, no one is willing to make concessions and everyone insists that he or she is the most reasonable being in this world and thus others must give in to him or her, resulting in unnecessary disputes and grudges. Because of these disputes and grudges, their life is a little bit shortened. Whenever we heard the unfortunate news that some parents while giving up their life also took away their children life, we tend to condemn their cruelty strongly, but do we realize that in fact we also tend to ‘take away’ other's life, especially the life of our close ones such as couple, children, siblings – in a chronic way?

In this New Year, let us learn to be more understanding, tolerate and patience, focusing more on others strong points rather than their weakness. Make concessions in disputes. Our life in this earth is short, when the time comes, we can’t bring a single thing in this world away with us. Our eternal home is heaven.

The audio file of the sharing in Chinese can be downloaded here. I was experiencing dry and sore mouth-throat at that time due to GVHD.

The Chinese version of the sharing is as follow.









See you next post :-)