Monday, April 30, 2007

Day +299 : A beautician turns into a doctor?

I am fine today.

My niece went to a beauty centre to treat her acne problem. The beautician there told her that she had tons of health problems: thyroid inflammation, respiratory problem, liver problem, stomach problem and etc. The beautician found out her problem by examining her pulse (把脉). She then persuaded her to sign up for a course of treatment that includes weekly 2-hour session nerve massaging for 10 consecutive weeks. The treatment would cost her RM1,500.00.

She was quite worried to know that she had so much health problem now. In an effort to reduce her worry, I brought her to do a health screening (blood test) early in the morning. The result will be known this coming Thursday.

They are so many people out there try to assume the role of a doctor without going through a proper medical course. They attract people through specious (似是而非) theory. Very often, this put people into unnecessary worry. Now, my niece feels that she had all the problems that the beautician ‘diagnosed’ her.

“Someone might not have the disease initially, but after listening to this type of ‘doctor’, they start to worry and eventually get the disease,’ the doctor who did the health screening told us.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Day +298 : Don't just sit there and say!

I am fine today.

Our daughter Adriel is about 2 years 8 months old now. We sent her to kindergarten since the beginning of this year. A teacher told us that while younger children especially girls normally get bullied by the elder ones, nobody dares to bully her. We don't know why this happens. It might be because her command of language is quite good or she is 'fierce'.

A few days ago, Adriel asked one of my nieces who was reading newspapers to find her pencil box. Like most of us, my niece doesn't like to be disturbed while reading newspapers, so she found some excuses to delay Adriel's request by asking her some trivial questions. When Adriel saw my niece showed little interest of her request, she started to become impatient.

"Don't just sit there and say! Go upstairs and take!" she raised her voice.

What a 'fierce' girl :-(

See you next post :-)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Day +297 : Nobody is better than you, but still, you are not the best

I am fine today.

I spend more time to look after the two boy’s study now than any other time. Teaching them to study is a very challenging task as they don’t like to study at all despite continuous persuasion and encouragement. The most important and interesting thing to them is to play. As such, my life would be much easier if I could make them feel that studying is equal interesting as playing. But I don’t know how to do this.

Daniel is very weak in Bahasa Melayu (Malaysia national language) subject. Since his Bahasa Melayu teacher is a Malay and he did not explain the subject in Chinese or English, Daniel failed completely to comprehend what the teacher taught in class.

I started to teach him the subject a few weeks ago and in one occasion I asked about his opinion about my ‘performance’ as his teacher.

“Daniel, am I better than your Bahasa Melayu teacher?” I asked.

“Yes,” he answered.

“What about comparing me with your tuition teacher last time? Who is better?” I asked again.

“If you score 100%, my tuition teacher would score 75%,” he said.

“Comparing to Mama (my wife), who is better?”

“You are a little bit better.”

“Since nobody can teach you better than me, so I am your best teacher!” I commented proudly.

“No, no,” he disagreed, “the world is so big; there must be someone who can teach better than you.”

“...”, his answer rendered me speechless :-(

See you next post :-)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Day +296 : I teach myself

I am fine today.

While doing his mathematic exercises a few days ago, I noticed Joseph who is studying primary two used a special technique to solve a math multiplication problem – 9 x 5 =45. He looked at his fingers and then arrived at the solution. I still don’t know how he did that, but since the answer was correct, I am too lazy to probe further.

“Who teach you to count like this, Joseph? Is it your teacher?” I asked.

“No, I teach myself,” he answered proudly.

How I wish he could teach himself everything so that I do not have to spend so much time to do revision with him every night.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Day +295 : A relaxing holiday

I am fine today.

My wife and I went for holiday yesterday with our Pastor’s family. Since we did not bring along our children, we had a very relaxing holiday this time. Furthermore, pastor was kind enough to give us a lift, so we didn’t even have to drive :-)

How we spent the holiday? Basically eating, talking, sleeping, and enjoying the scenery and fresh cool air. With the buffet dinner and breakfast, I felt that I had enough food for the first time since I took steroid. In fact, this is my first time taking buffet meal after the bone marrow transplant :-) Apart from the food, I also enjoyed very good sleep; not need to wake up in the midnight to bring children to toilet and prepare milk :-)

Enjoying buffet dinner with Pastor and his wife.

Photo of my wife and I taken in front of the golf course.
Oops! Luckily not my wife or me who got hit. A scenery.
Another scenery.
See you next post :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Day +294 : Going for holiday

I am fine today.

I brought Aaron to UH for MMR vaccination in the early morning. The vaccine protects him against Measles, Mumps and German Measles (Rubella). Since my immune system is suppressed by drug and this vaccine contains attenuated (modified) live viruses, there is a risk for me to get infected with the virus if I am too close to him. The transplant handbook recommended me to keep a distance from him for about 6 weeks.

As I blog on Day +286, my wife and I are going for 2 days 1 night holiday now :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Day +293 : Eat but never feel full

I am fine today.

The nurse weighed me during yesterday follow-up and found out that I gained 2kg in a month :-) The gain in weight is within my expectation because I eat too much recently.

I feel hungry all the time, even after a heavy meal. All food, whether healthy or unhealthy, is delicious to me now. The incredible appetite is not due to the fact that I am gluttonous, but one of the side effects of taking steroid.

My tummy is growing everyday due to over-eating :-( In order to avoid Adriel or Aaron mistakenly thought that I am pregnant, I went for jogging to prevent my tummy from growing further. Every morning, I managed to complete 3.5km within half an hour. Apart from preventing me to get ‘pregnant’, I think jogging also play an important role in bringing down my blood pressure :-)

Given the large amount of food that I could take now, it is very worthwhile and ‘profitable’ for me to take buffet meal:-) And please let me know if you want to join me for the meal, I could share some steroid with you to make the meal equal ‘profitable’ to you :-)

See you next post :-)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Day +292 : Follow-up

My Blood Count Today:
Red Blood Count (RBC) = 131 (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 101(Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 6.6(Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 5.346 (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)

I am fine today. I went to do my follow-up in the morning. The blood report revealed that my platelet and red blood count (HB) dropped about 15% and 10% respectively compared to last blood report. Hopefully, the platelet will not drop any further. The liver and renal function test result was not available due to computer breakdown.

Doctor also cut down my Prednisolone (steroid) dosage, from 6 tablets (5mg/tablet) to 5 tablets per day for this week and thereon reduces one tablet every week. Hopefully, with this, my face will not swell like moon anymore. In addition to this, doctor also stopped the antiviral drug called Valtrex (Valacyclovir). I had been taking this drug after discharged from transplant until now. One tablet of Valtrex costs RM11.30 and I took three per day; RM1017 a month.

However, I am still taking many drugs everyday. These include Penicillin, Sporanox, Famotodine, Forlic Acid, Ciclosporin and of course, Prednisolone. On top of this, I also took Bactrin twice a week. Few weeks ago, I also took Norvasc due to high blood pressure. Luckily, the blood pressure is quite normal now, so I stopped the drug.

My next follow-up will be one month later.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Day +291 : Fish head meehon reduces heatiness (下火)?

I am fine today.

Apart from the birthday cake, we also served fish head meehon after the cell group meeting. It was prepared by my wife. She is a good cook :-) Many cell group members said that the fish head meehon was very delicious.

Our pastor dropped by my house to enjoy the meehon. He mentioned in today sermon that he heard a cell group member said to his wife, “Eat another bowl, eat another bowl, this fish head meehon could reduce heatiness (下火).” With this in mind, pastor took two big bowl of it. When he woke up this morning, his hoarse throat symptom was greatly reduced. He had been coughing for the past two weeks which lead to hoarse throat. Therefore, he attributed the improvement of his throat condition to fish head meehon :-)

This is the first time I heard that fish head meehon could reduce heatiness, and I really would not know if it works as claimed. He mentioned the above experience while he was preaching something about cordiality (亲切感). So it may be the cordiality that counts. I don’t know the effectiveness of fish head meehon in reducing heatiness, but I do believe that cordiality could reduce angriness, a form of emotional heatiness. So next time, if someone especially your spouse or family members 'caught fire', don't set yourself on 'fire" too, try to neutralize their heatiness with cordiality :-)

Cell group members busy eating meehon.
See you next post :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Day +290 : Happy Birthday, Aaron

I am fine today.

We celebrated our youngest son Aaron’s birthday today. He was born on the 20 April 2006. I was in haematology ward doing my fourth round of chemotherapy at that time. He was the first child that was delivered without my presence as I was not allowed to leave the ward. I described the birth of Aaron on my Blog Day +128.

About two months after Aaron was born, I did my bone marrow transplant. Time passes very fast. He is now a one-year-old cute and healthy boy :-) I praise God to be able to live to attend Aaron’s Birthday.

We delayed the celebration of his birthday until today because we are hosting a church’s cell group meeting at our house today. This would allow more people to attend the celebration.

As you can see, the birthday cake also included a baby called Joan. She is the youngest daughter of my brother, Richard, who was born 3 days earlier than Aaron. Two families had dinner together in the evening and I thought Joan and Joseph could celebrate birthday together after the cell group. But the meeting ended quite late and Joan had to leave earlier, she miss the celebration. You can click on any of the photos below to get a larger view.

Singing birthday song to Aaron. Aaron was enjoying meehon.Aaron was enjoying birthday cake.

See you next post :-)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Day +289 : Cracking a nut with a sledgehammer (杀鸡用牛刀) (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

These untold side effects are:

  • dryness of lips (prevalence in clinical studies with dosis of 0,5mg/kg: 80%*)
  • inflammation of lips (i.e., redness, swelling etc., 90%)
  • inflammation of face (55%)
  • scurfing of skin (65%)
  • dry nose (mucous membranes, 35%)
  • itching (40%)- dry mouth (30%)
  • red eyes (conjunctivitis, 20%)
  • thinning of the skin (15%)
  • hair loss (20%)
  • muscle/joint pain (15%)
  • nose bleeding (15%)

Other possible (less common) adverse reactions are also reported,among those:

"Psychiatric: suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, suicide,depression, psychosis, aggression, violent behaviors (see WARNINGS:Psychiatric Disorders), emotional instability. Of the patients reporting depression, some reported that the depression subsided with discontinuation of therapy and recurred with reinstitution oftherapy."

Roaccutane is prescribed to patient with severe acne problem and I am quite sure that my niece is having mild acne problem. She was undecided whether to take the drug.

“How many new pimples appear on your face in a month?” I asked.

“Not many.”

“You have mild acne problem. You might get a few new small pimples on your face in a month, but those people with severe acne problem might get few hundred pimples on their face. Now you have to take the same risk as those who have severe acne problem to cure just a few pimples? Do you think its worth to do this?” I analyzed for her. In the end, she did not take the drug.

Next time if you came across some very popular or effective doctors, remember to check whether they always use sledgehammer to crack nut. If they become popular because of sledgehammer, then you better have second thought before seeing them.

Another thing worth to mention here is that never believe people who tell you vitamin is good, the more you take, the better you are. Vitamin A overdose will bring same side effects as mentioned as Roaccutane.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Day +288 : Cracking a nut with a sledgehammer (杀鸡用牛刀) (1)

I am fine today.

One of my nieces is very concerned about her acne (pimples) problem. She wanted to see a dermatologist (skin specialist). There are so many dermatologists available here, which one to see? I asked her to visit some discussion forums on the internet to see which doctor is good in treating acne.

Through the discussion forum, she managed to identify a very popular dermatologist here. His clinic was packed with people when she went to see him about two weeks ago.

“How many percentages you want your acne to be cured? 70% or 98%?” the dermatologist asked. Of course my niece chose 98%. Doctor told her that taking antibiotic, which is cheaper, will treat only 70% of her acne. Since she would like to be 98% cured, he prescribed her Roaccutane. Doctor told her that this drug is derived from Vitamin A and the side effect of taking the drug is dry skin and possibly elevated level of cholesterol. It may also causes major birth defects if taken during pregnancy. He did not charge consultant fee. He only charged the fee of Roaccutane which cost RM200 per month and even give away skin lotion to my niece free of charge :-)

When I checked for her the side effects of the drug, I almost “terpelanting” (fell flat on the floor).

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Day +287 : No miracle cure

I am fine today.

“Be wary of traditional medicines that claim to cure serious ailments,” warned a newspaper article in The Star Online on Thursday March 22, 2007.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Malaysian Oncological Society president Dr Gurcharan Singh says 80% of cancer patients only come forward when they are already in the late stages of the disease. He stresses the need for greater public awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer, and that patients should get evidenced-based treatment.

“It is very unfortunate that some patients have been misled into believing that treatment for cancer, such as chemotherapy and radiation, are so terrible that it would be better to die than to go through treatment.

“The fact is, medical science has made many advances and cancer treatment has come a long way. Just because you’ve been diagnosed with cancer doesn’t mean it’s a life sentence. Many have responded well to conventional Western treatment and have gone on to lead full lives,” Dr Gurcharan adds.

What Dr. Gurcharan Singh said is very true. I had been warned about the danger of conventional treatment, and I also see many people responded well to the treatment in the hospital.

Another excerpt from the article:

“Consumer confidence is further boosted by erroneous assumptions that ‘natural’ means ‘safe’. The public fails to realize that herbs contain active substances and some may be potentially harmful.”

The message is clear: While patients may want to try alternative therapies, they must come forward to seek evidence-based conventional Western therapy first.

I have been regularly advised that ‘natural’ means ‘safe’ even until now. “No harm to take this, it is just plant.” That is what people always told me. I did not confront people most of the time. However, many occasions I responded in my heart, “plant can be poisonous too!”

You can read the full article here.

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Day +286 : Not fair?

I am fine today.

On my Blog Day +254 (A children holiday, adult hard-work day), I said that “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 relaxing holiday.”

I have been looking for opportunity to fulfill the above wish. When the government declared holiday on 26 April 2007 in conjunction with installation of the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin (King), I decided to go for a 2 days 1 night holiday at Awana Genting with my wife only. As the holiday was declared ad hoc, we managed to book a Refreshing Free and Easy Package at low season price :-)

I told my eldest son last night about this. “Any buffet provided?” he asked. “Yes, the package includes buffet breakfast and dinner for two person,” I answered. “Not fair,” he reacted angrily, “you go for holiday one time more than me and your holiday is better than last time because it comes with buffet!” Then he started to cry :-(

Unlike other children, Daniel enjoys eating very much and he is also more particular about food. He must be dreaming about buffet for a long time. I promised to treat him a very good buffet in a nearby 5 star hotel (with 50% discount through Credit Card) in the coming school holiday, a buffet much better than the one we will have at Awana Genting. He only stopped crying after hearing this.

Hopefully, with this offer, he will feel that it is fair not to bring him along for the holiday.

See you next post :-)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Day + 285 : What? Pizza is healthy food?

I am fine today.

I came across an article on the Sin Chew Daily on 16 March 2007 saying that many foods once categorized as unhealthy are now discovered to be healthy, cancer preventive food and Pizza is one of them :-)

I talked a lot about Pizza over the past. On one occasion (Blog Day +117), I stated that Pizza might contributed to the restoration of my white blood count. My eldest son, Daniel, also likes Pizza very much. He was overwhelmly happy to know that Pizza is now a healthy food :-)

A research found out that regular pizza-eaters were 59 percent less likely to contract cancer of the esophagus, and 26 percent less likely to develop cancer of the colon. You can read more about the research here.

I post the newspaper cutting here for your reference. Click to get a larger view.

Never feel guilty of eating Pizza again.

Happy Pizza feasting and see you next post :-)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Day +284 : Love, the greatest gift of all

I am fine today. Pastor delivered a sermon on love this morning based on the teaching of the Bible in 1 Corinthian 13.

What is love? The Bible gives a perfect description of love as follow:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

爱 是 恒 久 忍 耐 , 又 有 恩 慈 ; 爱 是 不 嫉 妒 ; 爱 是 不 自 夸 , 不 张 狂 ,
不 做 害 羞 的 事 , 不 求 自 己 的 益 处 , 不 轻 易 发 怒 , 不 计 算 人 的 恶 ,
不 喜 欢 不 义 , 只 喜 欢 真 理 ;
凡 事 包 容 , 凡 事 相 信 , 凡 事 盼 望 , 凡 事 忍 耐 。
爱 是 永 不 止 息 。

I believe no one can achieve the standard as outlined above fully. It is very easy to love someone who is lovely and cute such as our children since all parents, including me, always thought that their children are loveliest and cutest in this world. It is very easy for those who are dating to love each other because at this time, they are contracted a ‘disease’ which causes them ‘ugly-blind’ – losing the ability to see the ugly side of the partner :-) We do not need the teaching of love to love someone who is lovely and cute.

But once a couple get married, they will gradually be cured of the ‘ugly-blind’ disease and slowly contracted another disease which causes them ‘beauty-blind’ – losing the ability to see the beautiful side of the partner. As time goes on, our couple, the one who is closest to us, might becomes the most difficult one for us to love :-( With this, the above passage becomes incredibly relevant in maintaining a successful and happy marriage :-)

Wish you a happy loving life and see you next post :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Day +283 : It is more blessed to give than to receive (5)

I am fine today.

Noticing that my income is quite significantly reduced as what I mentioned in my Blog Day +260, my youngest brother, Richard, generously offered me half of his monthly sales commission, without any obligation. I told him that my current income is sufficient to meet our family’s needs and therefore I should not accept this offer from him. However, he insisted that I should take his offer. He earned quite a lucrative amount of sales commission last month. When I received a cheque from him a few days ago, I told him that I would set aside this money as a special fund for our family so that anyone could benefit from it in times of need. He said, “No. This is your money, keep it for yourself.”

While convincing me to accept his offer, he mentioned one incident that happened long time ago. It was related to a profit sharing scheme of a business which he and I was promised 30% of profit sharing in the proportion of 10% and 20% respectively. However, due to some complicated circumstances, the result did not turn out as what he expected. In order to prevent dispute that could affect the business, I gave him 3% of my share. This increased his share to 13% and my share reduced to 17%. I almost forgot about this but he still remember this.

I gave long time ago and already experienced the joy of giving at that time. And now, I also received the material blessing from him. Double blessing :-) The way he persuaded me to accept his giving this time showed that he also gives with a joyful heart :-)

May God bless him!

See you next post :-)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Day +282: It is more blessed to give than to receive (4)

I am fine today.

I talked on the above topic on my Blog Day +266, Day +267, Day +268 and today I would like to continue to talk about it again.

When my nephew came to stay with us, I share with him our cars also. At that time, my nephew, my wife and I were sharing two cars. If my nephew needed to use car, he had to check with us if the car was available. After I was sick, he assumed ownership of my old Proton Wira, including the maintenance :-) Since he is the “unofficial” owner now, I need to check with him if the car is available whenever I need to use the car :-)

My nephew is now dating a girlfriend ‘fiercely’, there is little chance that the car would be free after working hour. It looks like I put myself into an inconvenient situation by giving the car to him, isn’t it? And you might ask, “Where is the blessing of giving?”

Seeing me not having a car to drive, my sister who stayed nearby gave me her Proton Perdana, which is a lot newer and better than my old Proton Wira :-) So you see, if I didn’t give my old car to my nephew, I won’t get this newer and better car from my sister :-) This is the blessing that I received from giving.

Of course when I give something away, I am really not expecting material blessing such as this. The joy and happiness of seeing people enjoying what I share or give is already a tremendous blessing, but sometimes material blessing do come along.

Giving is a lesson. I am still learning about it everyday and I am very convinced that “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.

Give and you shall receive!

See you next post :-)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Day +281 : Finally, it is done.

I am fine today.

I was in the midst of setting up a website for our church just before I was diagnosed with Leukaemia on November 2005. I was forced to stop working on the website after the diagnosis.

I did not have much experience in developing website, it took me a lot of time to study, understand and to try various open source (freely available) web based content management technologies. I am now able to setup a quite advanced website within one hour :-) This does not mean that I am now an expert in this field. We do not have to understand the technology thoroughly in order to setup the website. What we need is to know how to configure and use it, just like how we use Microsoft Word. I am still learning, exploring, understanding and trying everyday :-)

I started to pick up the work again a few weeks ago. I found out that setting up a website is easy once we are familiar with the technology, but populating the site with relevant and up-to-date content is challenging. In order to do this, I have to work as a reporter for the church; always get ready my digital camera and mp3 recorder to capture whatever church events worth reporting. Apart from this, I also record every Sunday’s sermons using my notebook, process them and upload them to the website.

I invite you to have a look at the website here. It is in Chinese language. You can download the past sermons under the download section. I will be adding more functions such as discussion forum and photo album in the near future.

The cost of hosting a website such as this, inclusive the domain name, can be kept under RM100 per year. Pretty cheap, isn’t it? If you would like to setup a website like this and need help, tell me :-)

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Day +280 : A right decision and a good mistake (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

The course supposed to end at 4:00pm, but my wife SMSed me at 2:30pm to pick her up. Since I knew the place now, I thought I could do it in half an hour time.

Unfortunately, on the way to pick her up, it rained heavily. I could not see properly and I missed the school again :-( I totally lost sense of direction, wandering in some USJ areas except USJ 12 where the school is located amidst heavy rain, lighting, thunder and worst, flash flood.

At one junction with traffic light, I supposed to turn left without going through the traffic light, but I miss the turn, go straight and stopped by the traffic light. When I about to ‘blame’ myself of making such as ‘stupid’ mistake, I saw a car which turned left was caught in the flood. “What a good mistake I make this time,” I said to myself :-)

I spent more than 30 minutes roaming in USJ area before I found the school :-(

My wife told me that the organizer had to change the venue last minute because all audio-visual equipments of the school were stolen last night. Not only this, the thieves also vandalized the power cable, rendering the school ‘powerless’.

With this explanation, I felt a little bit better, and when I recalled back the car that was caught in the flood, I felt even better :-) Finally, I praised God for allowing to make such a good mistake :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Day +279 : A right decision and a good mistake (1)

I am fine today.

Today, my wife attended an English course in a school located at USJ 5, a place about 20 minutes drive from my house. She worried quite a lot over the past few days on how to get to the school. Her colleague drew a map for her. Then on last Saturday, I did a rehearsal with her; accompanied her to drive to the school and then drove home again.

After the rehearsal, she got a better understanding on how to get to the school, but she was still not very confident that she could do it without mistake. Since she only drives to specific locations such as school and hospital through fix route, if she makes mistake, she might have great difficulty to get onto the right course. I believed she was worrying all the time.

When I woke up this morning, I decided to send her to the school rather than let her drive herself. What a relief is she after hearing this! She went to teach in the early morning happily and then came to my office at 10:30am for me to fetch her to attend the course. When I just about to leave after dropping her at the school in USJ 5, she rushed to my car saying that they changed the venue of the course to another school in USJ 12.

No on knew that the venue had changed. I wonder why the organizer did not inform attendees about the change earlier. With much complain, we set out for the new venue, without knowing exactly where it was. Worst of all, there were two cars following me at the back. These two teachers must thought that I knew the place. In the end, I lead them wandering inside residential area, making u-turn here and there :-( This was just like having the blind leading the way (瞎子领路). Pity them and I felt so sorry for them :-(

I have extremely poor sense of direction, so locating new places is definitely not my piece of cake. Only after many enquiries, we managed to find the school.

On the way back, I was very happy because I made the right decision by fetching my wife to attend the course. If she drove by herself, I would not know how she could reach the new course venue.

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Day +278 : We choose a maid again

I am fine today.

Last week, the agency that I booked a maid on early March (Blog Day +248) informed me that the maid could not come to work. I thank God for this (Blog Day +272) even though there will be a delay of one month of getting a maid.

Now we have confirmed another Christian maid with the agency. She is 23 years old and comes a rural place called Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) in Indonesia. Our former maid also came from the same place.

The agency said based on their experience, maids from the Indonesian Agency which supplied this maid always performs very well. Do you believe? I choose to believe :-) This will make me happier than choosing not to believe :-) You might ask, “What if the maid could not perform later?” The answer is very simple, be happy now and handle the problem later, if any (到时才打算) :-)

Again, as I asked earlier, 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 :-)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Day +277: Eternal Assurance (永恒的保障)

I am fine today.

I went to attend Easter Service this morning. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, which occurred on the third day after his death by crucifixion.

A Pastor from Hong Kong delivered a sermon called “Eternal Assurance”.

Life is weak, short and full of uncertainties. No one would know what would happen to us tomorrow. One who does not have courage to face birth, growing old, sickness and death (生老病死) is unable to live a life of hope. This is because no one can escape from this law of life.

The biggest assurance is to have eternal life, a life where we live forever with our Lord Jesus in heaven. A life as described in Revelation 21:4 in the Bible, "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.”

This assurance gives us courage to face death with eternal hope. Once we have courage to face death, no other challenges in life would be too difficult for us.

The message delivered by the Pastor this morning is very relevant to my experience. I can tell you that, without this eternal assurance, I don’t know how I could go through this challenge of life.

You can download the sermon here or click the pink play button below to listen to it. If one click does not work, click another time :-)

See you next post :-)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Day +276 : 80-year-old he is, but cease not he prays for me

I am fine today.

While I was doing my first round of chemotherapy in Kuching, an elderly uncle from my eldest sister’s church came to visit, encourage and pray for me. Though he could not come to visit me everyday, he called me and prayed for me regularly through the phone.

Uncle Au is an 80-year old faithful and kind Christian who was diagnosed with prostate cancer many years ago. He completed his treatment in Singapore. By God grace and mercy coupled with medical treatment, he was cured of the disease. In the same year which he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, his wife was diagnosed with colon cancer. She was treated in Normah Specialist Centre (NMSC) in Kuching, the same hospital where I did my first round of chemotherapy. She was too weak to complete full treatment but by God grace and mercy, she was also cured of the disease :-)

I called Uncle Au this morning. He was so excited to hear my voice. He said he wrote down my name in his prayer booklet and never stop to pray for me since December 2006 until now. 16 months he had been faithfully praying for me continuously! What a caring and kind uncle who supported me from far away through prayer without my knowledge.

Before we concluded our conversation this morning, he prayed for me again through the phone. “Through good doctors and medicine coupled with God’s grace, I thank God that you are healed,” a blessing that he would repeat in very prayer. With this, I suddenly realized that I shall add in doctors to the “I see the moon” nursery rhyme that I mentioned on Day +273 Blog. It would sound like this, “I see doctors and doctors see me, God bless doctors and God bless me.” We should not forget to pray for God to bless doctors who treat us.

Apart from uncle Au, I know there are many people praying for me day and night continuously regardless of their faith, race and age. Many of them are praying for me persistently without my knowledge. I thank you for your continuous support. With your prayer and support, I am not lonely at all in facing this great challenge of life.

I am truly blessed to have you around and may God bless you abundantly :-)

See you next post :-)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Day +275 : Finally, the countdown is started! (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

Now I share with you the speech that I delivered to the staff during yesterday meeting.

“I am very pleased to see the progress that we have made so far and I strongly believe that Esteem 7, our next generation software, is one the best software in the world.

After years of perseverance and hard work, finally we come to the point to actually prepare for the launching of Esteem 7 with a fixed launching date. I believe everyone of us is very excited as we start to countdown for the launching. I can assure you that you will gain tremendous self-satisfaction later when you see so many engineers are using the software – a masterpiece that you have developed patiently over the past few years.

I believe there are many pre-launch and after-launch challenges that we are going to face. Facing customer’s requirement and demand directly can be a very different experience from what we are doing now. However, with the great team that we have assembled over the past few years, I am very confident that we can handle all challenges that will come to us, no matter how tough they are.

Lastly, I wish you happy preparing for the launching of Esteem 7.”

After the meeting, staffs are treated with delicious lunch in restaurant. We have been doing this for many years. Now everyone like to have meeting, not because they are given chance to present something, but because they would get free lunch after that :-)

See you next post :-)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Day +274 : Finally, the countdown is started! (1)

I am fine today. I attended the company monthly meeting today.

As usual, every staff is given a few minutes to present what they have done over the past one month. Since I am a ‘minister without portfolio’ (Blog Day +260) now and have nothing specific to do, I have to find something to talk :-) Fortunately, I already trained myself to talk through writing this blog for the past 277 days, so talking is not too difficult for me even though I have no specific task to do in the company :-)

My boss developed the first version of Esteem alone. It was a Microsoft DOS program. Then in 1997, I joined the company to complete the development of the Microsoft Windows version of the software which we named it as Esteem 5. It took two of us about one year to complete the project. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I left the company to work as a lecturer in a college for two years after that. In 2000, my boss called me back to develop Esteem 6 (EsteemPlus) which two of us took two years to complete. This was the toughest project that we did so far and Esteem 6 is still the major source of revenue of the company now.

In 2003, we started to work on Esteem 7. We setup a development team to handle the development work. This time we redesign and rewrite the software from scratch to overcome certain limitations that the earlier versions carry. After working for about 3 years, I was diagnosed with Leukaemia and forced to leave the development work for more than one year. Fortunately, we had setup the development team and established the groundwork by then, so that the development team could continue the development work without me.

I am very pleased that we are able to fix the launching date of our new software, Esteem 7, on the 7 of July, 2007 :-)

If you are interested to know what we are doing, you can visit our company website here.

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Day +273 : I see the moon

I am fine today.

When I was having sign of acute GVHD on the 22 February this year (Blog Day +232), doctor asked me to take 120mg (24 tablets) steroid Prednisolone a day. Even though the daily dosage is reduced to 40mg (8 tablets) per day now, the side effect of taking this drug is still apparent. It causes my face to swell like a moon - a condition known as moon face. Many people thought that I was gaining weight when they saw my face and in fact many of them commented that I looked healthier now :-)

Apart from this, my chest also grows pimples and my appetite is extraordinary good.

I came across a nursery rhythm while I was reading with my daughter Adriel sometimes ago. It sounds like this:

"I see the moon, and the moon see me. God bless the moon and God bless me. I see the moon, and the moon see me. God bless the moon and God bless me."

I created a simple melody for this nursery rhythm so that we could sing it. When our family sang this song, we replaced the word "moon" with everyone's name - one by one. For example, "I see Aaron, and Aaron see me. God bless Aaron and God bless me..." When it came to my turn, they would sing, "I see Baba, and Baba see me. ..." But now they can omit Baba's turn. Why? It is because when they sing "I see the moon..," they are already seeing me because my face is like a moon :-) This makes us complete a round faster.

Click the play button (pink color) below to listen to the song.

Or you can download the song here.

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Day +272 : Three things to thank God

I am fine today.

The agency that I booked a maid (Day +248 blog) told me yesterday that the maid could not come to work due to unforeseen circumstances. We are in the midst of choosing a fresh one and now, the earliest we can get the new maid to work for us is June - a delay of one month. It is very fortunate that the problem appears before the maid comes; else we need to tackle her problem here and may even need to replace her. This will incur unnecessary effort and expenses. So we thank God for this :-)

When I reached home from office yesterday, I noticed a screw penetrating one of the tyres of the Daihatsu Charade, leaving the tyre half-punctured. I immediately drove the car to a nearby workshop and get it fixed, just before the workshop closed. It took only RM5.00 and 15 minutes to finish the job :-) It was very fortunate that the screw was positioned in such as way that it was very easy for me to spot it. I did not check the tyres of my wife’s car everyday :-) If my wife drove the car to school with the screw on the tyre this morning, I would have to do extra work to get the tyre fixed. So we thank God for this :-)

This morning, I brought my two nieces to open bank account in a nearby bank. The car park was full. So I parked the car in front of the bank and waited for them inside the car. After waiting for quite sometime, I went into the bank to see if everything was going on smoothly. When I came out from the bank, I saw a MPSJ (council) officer at the back of my car, aiming a scanning device to my car plate. He was just about to scan my car plate for the purpose of issuing summon to me for parking my car outside parking lot. When he saw me coming out from the bank, he left. Huh! I thank God for this :-)

See you next post :-)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Day +271 : Trust God and Stop Worry

I am fine today.

Yesterday, when I was about to wear the short pant to go for the church outing, I sensed a hard stuff in the pocket. I quickly took it out. “I find it!” I shouted to my wife. It was the Daihatsu Charade key that was missing three weeks ago.

Initially, we had one set of key. My wife and I went to duplicate the key one day before the key went missing. Then I went to attend a cell group meeting the next day and came back quite late at night. When my wife wanted to go to school the following day morning, we searched the original key high and low but could not find it anywhere. It was very fortunate that we duplicated the key one day earlier :-)

Where was the key when my wife and I were searching for it frenzily? It lay peacefully inside the pocket of my pant in the washing machine :-( I forgot to take it out and my mother-in-law did not notice this either. So the key get washed together with the pant, and then get dried under the sun, and finally went into the wardrobe; inside the pocket of the neatly folded pant :-)

My wife was quite worried initially about the key. I told her we should praise God instead of worrying about the lost key because it went missing only after we duplicate it. “It is not missing. It is only lying somewhere where we don’t know now. It will appear,” I told her.

If we worried for the ‘missing key’ for the past three weeks, then we were worrying for nothing – because the key was there. Sometimes, we worry too much in our life - about our future and very often for something which is not true or not there. Bible says, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6: 27.

Trust God and stop worry today.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Day +270 : A Church Outing

I am fine today.

Today marks 9 months of my post bone marrow transplant. I thank God for his mercy and grace that I am able to live a normal life now.

As usual, I went to attend church service in the morning. In the afternoon, the church organized an outing to Taman Bukit Jalil (Bukit Jalil Garden), a big and nice garden not too far away from my house. This is the second time I visited the garden after bone marrow transplant. I brought my family to the garden on Day +185 after bone marrow transplant.

Because of heavy rain in the afternoon yesterday and the sporadic rain in the morning, we were not sure if it would rain in the afternoon. So the outing was in the unconfirmed stage until 3:30pm when pastor SMS me saying that a few families were going. But at that time, I was enjoying my afternoon sleep. When I waked up at 4:00pm, pastor’s wife called asking me what food I would like to bring for the outing. My wife and I initially would like to cook “Fried Meehon Singapore Style”(星洲米粉) but she said that someone was bringing Thai Meehon and advised us to prepare fried rice.

The outing was at 4:30pm, so we started to prepare the fried rice frantically. We managed to get the work done from scratch within one hour :-) This included cooking the rice, rushing out to shop for a pack of mixed vegetables, preparing the ingredients and finally fried the rice. After that, everyone jumped into the car and speeded off to the garden and reached there at 5:30pm :-)

Almost 50 church members including children turned up for the event. My family members constituted almost 30% of the attendees :-) (6 from my family, 1 mother-in-law, 3 nieces and nephew, 4 from my brother’s family = total 14)

Nothing more satisfying when I heard people saying that the fried rice was delicious :-)

We managed to take one photo only because the camera ran out of battery :-( Daniel and Joseph were too busy to take the photo; once we were there, nowhere to catch them :-(

See you next post :-)