Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day +483 : Congratulating my wife for the excellent PTK result

I am fine today.

My wife Angela told me happily this afternoon that she scored 4-4 for the government Penilaian Tahap Kecekapan (PTK) or Competency Level Assessment that she took last August. This means she scored highest point for both papers and she will be qualified for grade jump or salary hike with this excellent result :-)

I wonder how she achieved this result as she didn’t prepare much for the assessment; all she did was reading some relevant material a day prior to the assessment.

In fact, she took the same assessment last year and scored 3-3 which qualified her to enter “Time Base”; what exactly “Time Base” means we still don’t know much (blur-blur) :-) But it doesn’t matter as long as it translates to some kind of salary increment. What do you think?

Last year, she thought of absenting from the assessment as she didn’t prepare for it at all. However, one of her close colleagues persuaded her to sit for the assessment. So she went with no preparation at all and scored 3-3 :-)

How she did it? She said she used common sense to answer questions.

I thank God for blessing her with a “common sense” more common than others :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Day +482 : Witness a marriage at National Registration Department, Putrajaya

I am fine today.

I went to Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN) or National Registration Department this morning to witness the marriage of a couple from our church. We just had steamboat dinner on Sunday :-)

This is the first time I visit JPN at Putrajaya and also the first time I witness a marriage since bone marrow transplant. The office there is really spacious; it is more like a shopping mall than office :-)

Luxurious office.

We took a group photo while waiting for our turn (the couple's turn to be exact)
The couple was taking oath.
Taking photo with them after the marriage ceremony.
The husband is from Hong Kong while the wife is a Malaysian. So, this is an international marriage.

Once again, I would like to wish them a happy and blessed marriage!

See you next post :-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Day +481 : Follow-up

My Blood Count Today:
Red Blood Count (HB) = 148 (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 163(Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 6.2(Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 3.844 (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
ALT = 135(Normal 30 – 65)
AST = 53(Normal 15-37)
GGT = 258(Normal 15-85)
ALP = 98(Normal 50-136)

I am fine today.

I went to UH as early as 6:30am this morning to draw blood for afternoon appointment with hematologist. There were 12 people ahead of me in the blood drawing unit, so I got number 13. After the nurse drew my blood, I rushed back to office to finish off some work before going to UH again at 1:00pm.

The liver function test result indicated that the ALT and AST levels started to climb again, from the previous level of 80 and 28 to 135 and 53 respectively. On the other hand, the GGT and ALP level dropped from 283 and 103 to 258 and 98 respectively. However, doctor said that I should not be too worried about the result as along as the readings are not too high; approaching the 1000 range for instance.

Even though there was an increase in the ALT and AST level, doctor still decided to cut down my daily Prednisolon (steroid) dosage from 6 tablets (30mg) to 5 tablets (25mg) while maintaining the other medication. Besides, I will have my next appointments 3 weeks later :-) What a relief!

I am very glad to have the Prednisolon dosage be reduced, even though it is a small reduction. I just pray that my liver will function normally in the future despite the reduction of Prednisolon dosage.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Day +480 : Steamboat dinner :-)

I am fine today.

My wife and I attended a steamboat dinner this evening with pastor and some church members. We were actually celebrating a couple that are going to get married on the coming Tuesday.

The restaurant that we had the dinner is one of the best in Puchong in serving steamboat, and they charged RM12.50 per head only. I remember, just before I went for bone marrow transplant, our pastor and some church members also treated me and my wife a steamboat dinner in this restaurant :-)

Guess who are going to get married?

The answer: the first couple on the right. They are Desmond and Ashley.

May God bless their marriage!

See you next post :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Day +479 : Delicious prawn fritter (cucur udang)

I am fine today.

We are hosting cell group meeting on Saturday night fortnightly. One of the most enjoyable events of the meeting is to enjoy desserts with cell group members after the meeting. Therefore, we need to prepare some desserts for the members for every cell group meetings that are held in our house.

We are delighted to prepare food for the members. My wife prepared cucur udang for tonight cell group. This dessert is quite easy to prepare as the ingredients are easily available. Just mix the flour, baking powder, onion, eggs, dry shrimps, anchovies, salt, pepper and water together and fried them into medium ball-shape pieces. As my wife is not comfortable of frying the cucur, I volunteered to do it, but my hand became "red hot" after that :-(

We are very happy to see the cell group members enjoying the food. If you would like to taste the cucur, come to join our cell group :-)

One kg of delicious cucur udang that is enough for at least 15 people.See you next post :-)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Day +478 : Are you addicted to internet?

I am fine today.

The use of internet is ever increasing these days especially among the younger generation. Internet today provides an ocean of unprecedented rich resources and activities that could easily submerge anyone with little discipline. We call those people who drink alcohol substances habitually and excessively “alcoholic”. Interestingly, there is an equivalent term for those who use internet excessively – cyberholic :-)

Some common behaviour of a cyberholic is as follow:

  1. Enjoy chatting purposelessly with anyone on the net.
  2. Enjoy downloading information such as music, books and games without border looking at them after downloading. Pleasure rises from seeing the progressing of downloading status bar :-)
  3. Enjoy “reading” anything online which wind up oneself wandering and lost in the dense forest of information. Everything seems to be so interesting!
  4. Turn on computer on the way back from toilet at midnight to check for email and other online information.
  5. Feel empty and bored without access to internet.
  6. Neglect spending time with family members and friends. Just like what my wife said, “You are married to computer.” :-(

I must confess that I am a cyberholic to certain degree as I possess all the above criteria except online chatting :-(

If you would like to find out whether you are addicted to internet, click the link here for an Internet Addiction Test. I scored 46 with comment, “You are an average on-line user. You may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but you have control over your usage.”

I am not satisfied with this result. I think I have to cut down the online time to score something less than 46.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day +477 : A good modem is better than meals

I am fine today.

I have a nephew studying university foundation program in Universiti Tun Abdul Razak at Petaling Jaya, somewhere very near to University Hospital. He is the eldest son of my kind third sister who donated stem cells to me.

He used to be very rich. When his grandmother was around, he flattered her so much that she “rewarded” him with a lot of money :-) Indeed, her grandmother was like his private bank. The decease of her grandmother early this year (Day +251 : Nothing she brings from this world but loving kindness she planted deeply in my heart) literally means the “bankruptcy” of his private bank :-(

While waiting to see doctor after the nurse took my blood on last Tuesday’s follow-up, I went to meet him and had breakfast with him. He proudly showed me his new wireless modem for Celcom wireless broadband service which he had just subscribed. He generously paid RM980 to purchase the best-of-breed modem, but after this, he was left with RM50 only for two weeks :-( I believe he planned to survive on instant noodles for the coming two weeks :-)

I would choose a cheaper modem if I were him. What is the use to have a modem that can support up to 3.6Mbps with a 384kbps Celcom wireless broadband service? He is only using 10% of the capacity of the modem! In order words, he has to sacrify his meals for two weeks for the 90% capacity which he would never use :-(

Don’t worry; he is now very happy with the best-of-breed modem. To him, a good modem is way better than two week’s meals :-)

I also wrote about him on my blog Day +80 regarding his subscription of an internet service and shared it generously with me.

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day +476 : Aaron’s vaccination

I am fine today.

I went to UH again today. This time I brought Aaron there to have his DPT/OPV (Booster 1) vaccination. In order to beat the traffic, we started our journey as early as 6:40am and reached there at 7:10am. Of course, we were the first one to arrive :-) I managed to return to office before 9:00am.

Aaron must be very happy if he knows that his next immunization will be in 5 years time; when he studies primary one. Not need to suffer the pain of needle for a long time :-)

We were the first one to reach the clinic, and I managed to reach office before 9:00am after this.

The nurse asked me to give one dose of Paracetamol (Panadol solution) to Aaron after we reach home, but I didn’t do it. He was not feeling well for the whole day and was extremely difficult to care. After I gave him the Paracetamol in the evening, he became active and happy again :-) Better listen to the nurse next time.

Aaron is about 18 months old now. He is very active and talks a lot. Remembering he was still in my wife’s womb when I was diagnosed with Leukaemia, and was born when I was doing my fourth round of chemotherapy, I give thank to God for preserving my life to be able to witness the growth of Aaron and other children :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Day +475 : Follow-up – Liver function further improved :-)

My Blood Count Today:
Red Blood Count (HB) = 151 (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 159(Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 6.3(Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 4.095 (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
ALT = 80(Normal 30 – 65)
AST = 28(Normal 15-37)
GGT = 283(Normal 15-85)
ALP = 103(Normal 50-136)

I am fine today.

I did my follow-up in the day care unit this morning. The liver function enzyme levels continue to show signification improvement. Compared to last Wednesday’ result (Day +469, done in private clinic), the ALT level dropped from 126 to 80, while GGT level dropped from 393 to 283. Now, the only level that is way beyond the range is GGT.

Since my condition is more stable now, doctor arranged me to do next follow-up in the general clinic next Monday afternoon. He did not reduce my Prednisolon (steroid) dosage today as expected, but he said if my liver function continues to improve, then there is a possibility to start reducing it during next follow-up.

Though I leave home at 6:30am this morning and only managed to see the doctor almost 1:00pm after drawing the blood at 8:30am, I am still very happy and thankful to God :-)

See you next post :-)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Day +474 : Side effects of steroid appear again

I am fine today.

I have been taking 30mg (6 tablets) of steroid Prednisolon daily since Day +432 as a measure to combat the elevated liver enzyme levels possibly due to GVHD.

As documented on the Wikipedia, the side effects of Prednisolon includes:

  • weight gain
  • facial swelling
  • depression, mania, or other psychiatric symptoms
  • unusual fatigue or weakness
  • Mental confusion/indecisiveness
  • blurred vision
  • abdominal pain
  • peptic ulcer
  • infections
  • painful hips or shoulders
  • osteoporosis
  • acne breakouts
  • insomnia (sleeping disorder)
  • severe joint pain
  • cateracts

I am lucky to have facial swelling and acne breakouts only :-) However, I hope my liver enzyme levels would drop further tomorrow to give room for the doctor to start reducing my Prednisolon dosage. It can be life-threatening to stop the drug abruptly especially for those who has taken it over a long period of time. Therefore, it would take months for me to completely do away with the drug.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Day +473 : Sharing in the church

I am fine today.

I shared the testimony regarding the wonderful deed of God toward me based on my blog Day 468 : Follow-up – Liver function improved amazingly and Day +471 : Liver function continue to improve.

The liver function improved against old odds – heavy and oily sea food, and tiring returning journey :-)

God listened to our prayer and healed me :-)

The sharing can be downloaded here (Right click the word "here" and choose "Save Target As" to download), or just press “Play” button below to listen.

Slides showing the trend of my liver enzymes level.
See you next post :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Day +472 : The free ticket was approved, but they are running out of money temporarily

I am fine.

As mentioned in my blog Day +455 : Prepare for year end holiday, I mentioned that we applied for free government air ticket between KLIA and Sibu for the year end holiday from 4th to 23rd of December. The relevant department approved the application in a few days time upon the submission of the application documents. Compared to other dealings with government department such as medical claims, adjustment of salary due to unpaid leaves etc, this is considered to be lightning fast :-)

The next thing after approval is to get the travel warrant (payment certificate) for us to get the air ticket from Malaysia Airlines (MAS). When my wife called the finance department before the Hari Raya, she was told that the allocation for the travel was finished, and we have to wait for next allocation which nobody know when it would arrive :-(

Prior to submitting the free travel application form, we have to confirm the date of travel and make a booking with MAS. Now, in order to maintain the MAS air ticket booking, I have to call MAS every Friday to extend the booking. On the other hand, my wife has to call the finance department every Thursday to check for the status of the warrant :-(

Thinking about the amount the air tickets would cost, we are still very happy to do this :-) And more importantly, we are very sure we would get the warrant and thus the air tickets in the end. This is called hope, and very often it is this hope that drives us moving through challenging and difficult circumstances.

See you next post :-)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Day +471 : Liver function continue to improve

I am fine today.

In order to make sure that the liver function test carried out at UH on Tuesday follow-up was accurate, I went to do another test on Wednesday at a nearby clinic.

I am very glad to see that the results are getting better. The ALT level dropped from 195 to 126 while the GGT level decreased from 486 to 393. The GGT level is now back to normal level :-)

The result.
This evening, a church member who attended the camp told me that she was so worried seeing me enjoying the prawns and crabs at the church camp, and she advised me to control my diet; avoiding those “poisonous(毒)” seafood such as prawns, crabs, and cuttlefishes. She was amazed to hear that my liver function improved so much despite consuming so much seafood during the camp. I told her that in fact I almost didn’t touch oil and meat for the past two weeks or so until the church camp, but the liver function still deteriorated during that period. In the end, she said I better continue to enjoy seafood :-)

However, the food might not be the reason that brought the astonishing improvement, but what is shown in the following photos might be the reason. The campers prayed earnestly on Sunday morning, asking the God, our Healer to heal me. I felt a lot better after the prayer session.

Again, I would like to praise God for his grace and mercy, and may this testimony glorifies His name.

See you next post

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day +470 : He is the way

I am fine today.

On the way to Pulau Pangkor last Saturday, a driver shouted at me through his car’s window at one of the Bidor’s junction.

“Where is Teluk Intan?”

“Sorry, I don’t know,” I shouted back.

Not long after this, I realized that I was in fact heading toward Teluk Intan.

“I should ask the guy to follow me,” I told my wife.

It was not that I was reluctant to give direction to the driver, but before this, I really didn’t know that I needed to go to Teluk Intan first before reaching Lumut.

The question is how could I reach Lumut without knowing the way? It was because my brother Richard knew the way, so I just trust him and follow him. The only important thing to me was the destination – Pulau Pangkor. What places we need to pass by or what kind of situation we would encounter on the way is secondary to me; with so many children to take care of, not much time left to bother so much about that :-)

This is the same for those of us who believe in Jesus and trust Him would lead us to heaven - our eternal home.

Jesus told his disciples, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

Jesus not only knows the way, but He himself is the way.

When we put our faith in Him to lead us to the heaven, turmoil and difficulties in life become secondary because we know that we won’t miss our ultimate destination - a beautiful place full of joy and happiness as described 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.” Revelation 21:4

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Day +469 : Pulau Pangkor Trip (3)

I am fine today. Continue to talk about the trip…

The journey back from Lumut to Puchong had not been an easy one. Instead of coming back through Bidor, we headed north to Ipoh first, then heading south to Bidor and then back to Puchong. We experienced heavy traffic jam on and off on the way from Lumut to Bidor. It took us about 6 hours to travel 300km to reach home:-(

At one point of the journey, I had to hold Adriel while driving because she wanted me to hold her to sleep. Worst still, my stomach was full of gas :-( I felt so tired when we arrived home until I just barely managed to take a quick shower before going to bed. As I vomited too not long after I reached home, I suspected I was also infected with the virus that caused the children to vomit a few days ago:-( The dinner for the night was one piece of Jacob high fibre low salt biscuit.

I was still very weak when I went to do my follow-up yesterday. Immediately after the nurse drew my blood at 8:30am, I found myself a quiet corner at the hospital to sleep until 11:00am. I didn’t have appetite for the whole of yesterday – just had two table spoons of quick cook oat for each meal. I feel better today and manage to eat more :-)

I would like to share with you some more photos of the trip.

Pangkor town. Scene 1.
Scene 2.
Scene 3.
Scene 4.

Richard rented a motorcycle for two days at a cost of RM40 per day. The motorcycle was very useful. I managed to fetch my wife to round the island and enjoyed beautiful scenery along the way :-)

I really didn't expect to see Hornbill here.
See you next post :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Day +468 : Follow-up – Liver function improved amazingly :-)

My Blood Count Today:
Red Blood Count (HB) = 153 (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 135(Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 7.0(Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 5.60 (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
ALT = 195(Normal 30 – 65)
AST = 50(Normal 15-37)
GGT = 486(Normal 15-85)
ALP = 136

I am fine today.

I went to do my follow-up early in the morning. The liver enzymes levels dropped tremendously. The ALT level dropped from 787 to 195, while the AST level dropped from 404 to 50. Besides, the GGT level also dropped from 621 to 486 and ALP level dropped from 169 to 136.

It is very fortunate that the doctor did not initiate the pulse methylprednisolon therapy last Tuesday. He had made a very good decision to monitor the liver enzymes levels for another week before changing the course of treatment.

With this result, no liver biopsy is required. The doctor arranged another follow-up next Tuesday in the day care unit. If the liver enzymes levels are under control, then he would cut down the Prednisolon(steroid) intake very slowly this time.

I praise God for this amazing result. After knowing my health problem at the camp, the participants prayed for me earnestly and I believed God listened to our prayer :-)

No one will imagine after such heavy and oily sea foods – fried fishes, prawns, sotong and crabs, the liver function managed to improve so much :-)

I thank God that I decided to join this church camp and I felt that I am blessed tremendously in this memorable camp.

Last but not least, I would also like to thank everyone of you who prayed for me and may God bless you richly.

See you next post :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Day +467 : Pulau Pangkor Trip (2)

I am fine today. I continue to share with you some photos of the trip. Some of these photos were taken by my nieces and visiting friends from Hong Kong. I would like to thank them for sharing the photos with me :-)

One of the western style breakfast we had. Apart from this we can have nasi lemak, curry mee, plain soup mee and toasted bread. One thing to note is that they were using crabs, not chicken meat to cook the curry soup. It is a pity that I could not take much curry now. We were allowed to eat as much as we can :-) Some of us managed to eat every type of food :-)
The resort served delicous prawn and fish every meal. Apart from this, they also served crabs and sotong (cuttlefish) many times.
A family photo taken at the beach.
Aaron and Adriel were enjoying the lollipop with our friend from Hong Kong.
Happy Adriel posing for photo.
Children were playing sand on the beach with our maid.
About 100 adult and children participated in the camp and together with us were seven visitors from Hong Kong.
To be continued and see you next post :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Day +466 : Pulau Pangkor Trip (1)

I am fine today.

On Saturday morning, we first drove from Puchong to Bidor via the North-South Expressway. Without stop over Bidor, we continue our journey heading toward Teluk Intan. Then we proceed to Lumut where we boarded a chartered ferry to Pulau Pangkor. The total driving distance from Puchong to Lumut is 270km and as expected, the whole journey took us three and half hours.

The traffic on the first day of Hari Raya was quite clear except some congestion experienced at Bidor town.

We parked our car at a multi-storey car park beside the jetty with a charge of RM10 per day.

It was very fortunate that we chartered a ferry to travel between Lumut and Pulau Pangkor; else we had to join the festive crowd to board the ferry after long queue and I can’t imagine how I could handle the situation with some many children and heavy luggage if we were to queue up.

The ferry trip between Lumut and Pulau Pangkor took about 45 minutes only. After that, we took taxis to the Sea View Resort.

Bidor fruit shop.

Delicious fruit.

Seedless guava.
Bidor biscuits.
A ferry at Lumut Jetty.
Dennis (Richar's son), Joseph and Daniel was having fun on top of the ferry.
A battleship at Lumut navy base.

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Day +465: Hurray, we are moving :-)

I am fine today.

We will be starting our journey at 8:30am, driving from Puchong to Lumut, and then proceed to Pulau Pangkor with ferry. It would take about three and half hours to reach Lumut jetty, a distant almost equivalent to driving from Puchong to Penang.

Joseph is still having minor fever this morning, but he does not vomit again.

May God bless us, and everyone who go for the trip, and of course also faithful reader of my blog like you:-)

See you next post :-)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Day +464 : Joseph vomited and having fever, but we still plan to go for the trip

I am fine today.

Joseph vomited in the early morning, and developed fever in the afternoon L My wife brought him to see doctor. The doctor suspected of virus infection. Three out of four children get sick just in a few days time.

However, this does not deter us from going ahead with the trip tomorrow unless his condition is getting worse.

When we are healthy, we never have to made tough decision on whether we should proceed with our planned holiday. This is the toughest one for me as both I and children are encountering health problem this time.

I pray to God that I have wisdom to make the best decision: to go or not to.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Day +463 : I decide to proceed with the Pulau Pangkor trip

I am fine today.

Since Aaron and Adriel have fully recovered from vomiting and diarrhea now, my health becomes the determining factor in deciding whether we should proceed with the Saturday’s Pulau Pangkor trip.

As I mentioned earlier, I planned to do a liver function test tomorrow. The purpose of the test is two-fold. Firstly, to decide whether I should proceed with the trip based on the test result. Secondly, I could use the result as a benchmark for next Tuesday’s result. Why the benchmark is important? The reason is that I adjusted my lifestyle since Monday – take more rest and almost don’t eat oil. If this helps to reduce the liver enzymes, it will be reflected on Friday test result. Then if I proceed with the trip and found out that the liver enzymes level increase again next Tuesday, it must be caused by hectic life and oily foods during the trip.

Unfortunately, the lab that I contacted told me that the test result could only be available on next Tuesday if I do the test today. So my plan doesn’t work :-(

I also called our family doctor to enquire about the test, but he is also not very sure whether I can get the result fast enough especially in this festive season. After I told him my intention of having the test, he advised me to proceed with the trip and enjoy my holiday. He said those with high level of liver enzymes still can travel :-)

With this, I decided to proceed with the trip :-)

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Day +462 : I can cook :-)

I am fine today.

Following the 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving dinner last Saturday, our church held a thanksgiving service at the church the next day.

Someone invited me to contribute some food for lunch after the service which I gladly accepted. I volunteered to fry 4 packs of Beehon (400g each) on the Sunday morning :-)

It took about 15 minutes to fry a pack of Beehon, so I spent one hour to complete frying all 4 packs. If I have a larger wok and perhaps a construction spade, I would have fried all of them in one shot :-)

The maid helped to process carrot into slides, it would take hours to cut the carrot alone if she did not use the handy tool.The ingredients which took my mother-in-law and maid hours to prepare.
I was in charge of frying only :-) Easier than preparing the ingredients.
The amount that a pack of Beehon would produce. My mother-in-law was having "headache" seeing ingredients scattered all around the kitchen. Can't be help :-( I had to fry fast; else they would transform into charcoal.
Transfer the finished product to pot.
Finally, it was ready to be dispatched to church. This amount could serve at least 50 people :-)
See you next post :-)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Day +461 : Follow-up – Back to day care unit

I am fine today.

Further to yesterday’s follow-up, I went to see doctor in the day care unit this morning to further access my condition. Doctor arranged a few tests for me which include chest x-ray, CMV test, and CT scan for thorax. The chest x-ray indicates that the lung is clear while the results for CMV test and CT scan are not known yet.

The planned administration of intravenous steroid was temporary suspended to allow a longer period of observation so that right treatment can be taken. The doctor keeps the current GVHD medication – 50mg (6 tablets) steroid Prednisolon and 50mg (2 pills) of Ciclosporin everyday. They will re-access my liver enzymes level next Tuesday. Should the level increases further, a liver biopsy (extraction of a small portion of liver tissues for analysis) has to be done :-) This is to ensure that the elevated liver enzymes is not caused by infection before engaging a more aggressive GVHD treatment such as high dose intravenous steroid therapy (also called pulse methylprednisolon therapy) and replacing Ciclosporin with Cellcept or Tacrolimus.

Even though doctor said that it is now very safe and easy to do a liver biopsy and the procedure is less painful than bone marrow aspiration, I am still quite worry about it :-(

I also seek advice from doctor about the trip to Pulau Pangkor this weekend. Doctor said that I am fit to travel. However, he warned that I should avoid raw sea foods :-( I am still deciding whether I should go ahead with the trip. Perhaps I should do a liver function test on Friday and make decision base on the result; only proceed with the trip if the liver enzymes level drop.

Adriel and Aaron have fully recovered from vomiting now :-) However, Aaron developed diarrhea this afternoon. We came to know that another child who attended the Saturday night dinner also start to vomit at the same time yesterday. With this, we highly suspect that some food of the dinner was contaminated with virus.

See you next post :-)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Day +460 : Follow-up - Liver function reading continue to climb

My Blood Count Today:
Red Blood Count (HB) = 151 (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 163(Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 5.5(Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 2.97 (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
ALT = 787(Normal 30 – 65)
AST = 404(Normal 15-37)
GGT = 621(Normal 15-85)
ALP = 169

I am fine today.

I have my post transplant follow-up today. The blood test result revealed that my liver function continue to deteriorate. The ALT reading increased from 504 to 787 while the AST reading increased from 202 to 404. The GGT and ALP reading reduced slightly compared to the last follow-up two weeks ago.

The liver function test result revealed that the GVHD is a little bit out of control. The doctor will take more drastic measures to protect the liver. I have to return to day care ward to have intravenous steroid for the next few days :-( I believe this should serve as a quick mean to suppress the immune system in order to reduce its “attack” on the liver.

Apart from this, doctor arranged a series of tests tomorrow – lung x-ray, respiratory, and CMV(cytomegalovirus) test. Though the oxygen saturation test showed a result of 97%, doctor would like to carry out the lung x-ray and respiratory test as I have a very slight difficulty in breathing for the last few weeks. Doctor also mentioned that he heard that my lung is "tight".

The doctor will also decide how to manage my case tomorrow. One inevitable course of action is to alter the anti-GVHD medication; either increase the dosage of Ciclosporin (the drug that I am taking now) or simply replace it with other anti-GVHD drug such as Cellcept and Tacrolimus in which both of them could cause severe side effects.

With the change of anti-GVHD drug, I might need to take the very expensive Valtrex (anti-virus) drug again :-) The cost is RM11.3 per tablet and I need to take 3 tablets per day which is equivalent to RM33.90 per day (Almost the cost of one BBQ duck 烧鸭) :-( This time, I need to purchase the drug first and then take a long process to claim back from the government through my wife.

Not only have I had problem, my youngest two children Aaron and Adriel started to vomit this afternoon possibly due to virus infection:-( My wife brought both of them to see doctor, but the vomiting does not stop until now. They can’t even keep a small volume of fluid. My wife called our family doctor in the evening and he advised us to admit the children to hospital in fear of dehydration :-(

After discussing with my wife, we decided to observe a little longer before taking the next course of action. I asked my wife to give them a few table spoons of 100 Plus not long ago and they manage to keep it for more than an hour now. I believe they will keep the drink as it is too precious for them to throw it out :-)

As we are going to have a 3D2N church camp in Pulau Pangkor from this coming Saturday to next Monday, I hope they will get well before the camp. And I also pray that my body will response to the treatment the next few days; else I will miss the camp this time.

Anyway, I just leave everything to God as He is in control :-)

See you next post :-)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Day +459 : Church 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving Dinner

I am fine today.

My family and I attended our church 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving Dinner last night. There were more than 300 church members and guests turned up for the event.

My wife and I joined the church since 1998, the second year we shifted from Miri, Sarawak to Kuala Lumpur. Time passes really fast, we have been with the church for 9 years already :-)

I wrote the following article for the 10th Anniversary Bulletin to briefly describe our life in the church.









I thank God for bestowing me health to participate and to witness the glory of God in this memorable event :-)

My brother Richard was leading the worship. He can sing very well :-)
My wife was playing piano.
I was conducting the choir :-)
Dinner with pastors.
My wife, Aaron, the maid, and Adriel were enjoying the food.My mother-in-law, Joseph and Daniel.
My niece came all the way from Melaka to attend the dinner :-)
Aaron was trying very hard to master the use of chopsticks.
See you next post :-)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Day +458 : “He/she is stick!” perception is useful (2)

I am fine today. Continue from yesterday…

After some explanation, my wife would normally understand the situation, but I came to know some cases which were much worse than this whereby the wife simply turned herself into a “private detective” and employed all sort of means to trace the movement of her husband. These include checking the telephone numbers on the telephone bills to see if the husband called any suspected women, tracing the movement of the husband by calling him regularly, checking the husband email or mobile phone messages, and of course a lot of unreasonable questions which resulted in heated debate. This situation will inevitably lead to marriage problem if the husband does not know how to handle the situation.

If we encounter a partner who is terribly sensitive (疑神疑鬼、草木皆兵) or behave in such a way beyond our comprehension or tolerance, be remember to consider him or her as a sick person. When we have this perception in mind, we would no longer treat him/her as our enemy or troublemaker, but the one that deservers our loving care and support. We will be more tolerate and gentle when dealing with our partner. In other words, the “He/she is sick” perception will change ourselves rather than our partner, and with this change, our partner might change eventually. This is the principle of changing the situation through changing ourselves first :-)

If we think that it is unfair to do this, then we are as sick as the sick one :-)

See you next post :-)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Day +457 : “He/she is stick!” perception is useful (1)

I am fine.

It is very useful to extend the “He/she is stick!” perception toward someone in the family who behaves abnormally or always creates trouble for us. For instance, a wife who is insecure or lack of self confidence might be extremely sensitive and suspicious toward her husband. Due to her family background, my wife is quite sensitive (fortunately not too extreme) and on my Day +17 blog, I wrote an example scenario that I encountered :-)

“Lastly, I should never forget to ask my cute beautiful wife Angela. "How are you today, Honey?"

"Tell me, why you look at the beautiful young lady yesterday?" She will start to question.

"Honey, it is completely necessary to look at her."

"You see, you admit it yourself, colour wolf..."

"Honey, if I didn't look at her crossing the road and adjusted our car speed accordingly, we would simply knock her down." Of course she will not be satisfied with this simple answer and start to argue with me. In order to prevent this type of unnecessary misunderstanding and argument, I will definitely has to put "auto-pilot" as one of the top most features when purchasing our next car. With this feature, when I see a lady crossing the road, I can quickly put the car on "auto-pilot" then close my eye immediately and tell my wife "You see, I see nothing now." If the "auto-pilot" feature is too expensive, the "auto-brake" feature will also serve the purpose.”

To be continued and see you next post :-)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Day +456 : Dare to ask (不怕下问)

I am fine today.

My wife and I are not so brave especially in dealing with people who has a trait record of being rude. And we have an impression that a lot of government staffs are rude and impatience when servicing their customers. They will act in such as way that as though they are the boss or we owe them something.

Because of this, when I asked my wife to call the relevant department to enquire about our free airfare entitlement for the year end trip, she was quite reluctant to do it. Fortunately, the staff that she called was polite and helpful. What a relief for her!

In contrast, my eldest sister is always very daring when dealing with people regardless whether the one that she deals with is rude or not. When she wanted to find out something, she would ask until she get what she want.

One day, she shared with me the secret of being brave when dealing with people, and it has something to do with our perception on people’s behaviour. When she encountered rude and impatient people, she just said in her heart, “He is sick!”

With this perception in mind, we would have confidence that no matter how people react to our requests or enquiries, the problem does not lie with us. If they ill behave, they are just sick. Why a healthy one like us need to bother so much how a sick one behave?

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Day +455 : Prepare for year end holiday

I am fine today.

My family and I will be going back to our hometown Bintangor for a long holiday from 4th to 23rd December. A government staff from East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) who works in West Malaysia is entitled for free air ticket for the entire family members once every two years. I am very fortunate to have my wife as government staff :-)

We used the free air ticket facility provided by the government on November 2005 whereby the end of the trip marked the beginning of my fight against Leukaemia. Time passes swiftly; it had been almost two years since then, and I really appreciate and thank God that I am still fine and able to plan for the next trip :-)

In 2005, the government only provided air ticket to Kuching. As it is quite inconvenience to transit in Kuching airport with so many children, we requested to have a flight direct to Sibu and we would top up the balance, but unfortunately, our request was not considered.

When I started to plan for our year end trip a few weeks ago, I asked my wife to contact the relevant department to make the same request again – to have direct flight to Sibu rather than Kuching. To our surprise, the response was beyond our expectation this time; we are not only able to do this but the government will also bear the full air fare between Kuala Lumpur and Sibu :-)

I couldn’t believe this initially and we only knew the reason behind after my wife called the staff in charge second time. Finally, we found out that the government has relaxed the “pekeliling (regulation)” to allow staff to fly to their hometown starting from 2006. But no one ever inform my wife about the changes.

Fortunately, we take the initiative to call the person in charge of this free travel; else we will still book the flight to Kuching and transit to Sibu on our own expenses. The total cost of air fare for six of us is about RM4,000 :-)

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Day +454 : Beggar’s chicken – a must try!

I am fine.

A friend showed me a printed copy of the above delicacy. I did a little bit of searching and found the writing at Click here to read the entire “mouth-watering” write-up which introduces the delicacy in great detail. It also provides telephone contact of the restaurant which opens 3 days a week only. An 8 course meal including the chicken cost RM330 and 3 days of advance booking is needed.

You can view a youtube posting on this delicacy, but I don’t know if they were referring to the same restaurant.

Click on the play button to play the video.

If you don’t want the full 8-course meal, one chicken alone cost RM38; a food for rich beggars only :-)

Now I have a new dream, a dream to be a rich beggar. Let me know if you dream the same dream with me, perhaps we can visit the restaurant together.

See you next post :-)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Day +453 : Even David not die yet, how could I? (David 还没有死,我怎么可以死?)

I am fine today.

Our church holds cell group meeting every Saturday night at my house and Richard's house alternately. There were about 20 cell group members attended the cell group meeting at my house last Saturday. I fried Sin-Chew Beehon for them :-)

During the sharing session, one interesting lady said that she fainted suddenly a few days ago. When she felted that she was going to die, she cried out for God’s help. At the same time, she told herself that she would not want to die. One very interesting thought came to her mind at that time, “Even David not die yet, how could I? (David 还没有死,我怎么可以死?)” :-) I believe many people who came to know I was diagnosed with Leukaemia shared the same thought with her :-) Don’t worry, I don’t mind.

With the mindset - in order for her to live longer, I have to live longer or as long as I live, she will not die :-) She has to crack her head to make me live longer. So she brought some health drink for me in the church yesterday:-) I believe she is praying very hard for me too :-) That is why I don’t mind to have people with this mindset :-)

The health drink that I received yesterday morning.
See you next post :-)