Monday, December 31, 2007

Day +544 : Follow-up

My Blood Count Today:
Readings in square bracket [] are result from previous test.
Red Blood Count (HB) = 148[144] (Normal 130-180)
Platelet = 246[168] (Normal 150-450)
White Blood Count (WBC) = 11.1[12.6] (Normal 4 - 11)
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) = 7.104[9.072] (Normal 1.5 - 8.0)
ALT = 57 [152] (Normal 30 – 65)
AST = 24[78] (Normal 15-37)
GGT = 165[208] (Normal 15-85)
ALP = 103[99] (Normal 50-136)

I am fine today.

As usual, I went to UH as early as 6:15am this morning to draw blood for the afternoon follow-up. The blood test result is very encouraging. The liver enzyme levels improve very much, and for the first time since I experienced GVHD, the ALT level falls within normal level :-) Now the only liver enzyme level that is beyond the normal range is GGT. For the blood count, the white blood count reduced from 12.6 to 11.1, which is almost within the normal range. It is very likely the elevated white blood count is caused by infection. The platelet count increased from 168 to 246, a 46.4% increase, but it should not be a problem as it is still well within the normal range.

If the liver function maintains or improves further during next follow-up which is 3 weeks later, doctor will cut down my daily Prednisolon (steroid) dosage to 10mg (2 tablets).

My liver function trend (Click the graph to get a larger view)
It is quite interesting to note that whenever I eat prawn, the liver function improves. The prawn in the graph shows those two incidents that coincide with prawn eating :-) When I had dinner with my course-mates last night, one of them was surprised to see me eating prawn. “You still eat this “poisonous” food? (这么毒的东西你也吃啊!) ” he commented. I told him my body might need some “poison” too :-) However, I have to clarify that I seldom eat prawn.

Prawn or not prawn does not really matter, it is the grace of God that counts. Eating superior health food might not always bring good health without the grace of God, and with the grace of God, occasionally eating "unhealthy" food might not necessary spoils our health :-)

See you next post :-)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day +543 : Happy 8 years old birthday! Joseph

I am fine today.

We are very glad to celebrate Joseph 8 years old birthday.

Joseph is my second child. He was born prematurely through caesarean due to heavy bleeding as a result of broken umbilical cord. Because of this, he was born one year earlier.

Though he is celebrating his 8 years old birthday today, he will turn 9 years old officially just two days later, and he will have to study primary three 3 days later.

Once again, I thank God for sustaining my life to be able to prepare and to join his birthday party.

God bless Joseph!

All who attended the party. The cake which was chosen by Joseph.
Pizza. Remember? I still have the Domino's Millenium Gold Card which qualify me to get one large Pizza for every large pizza purchase.
Shao Mai (烧卖) - one of my nephew brought it from Kuching.
Spaghetti sauce. Very different from the one served in restaurant, but the children like it very much.
The drink
See you next post :-)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day +542 : Luckily, it is a camera, not spouse :-)

I am fine today.

My niece’s old Olympus digital camera was spoiled. She would like to get a new one.

Few days ago, she called me excitedly to tell me that she found a cheap and good digital camera at Lowyat Plaza – the digital heaven of Malaysia. She said that the 8MB Pentax camera was selling at RM499 only.

I told her that I couldn’t offer much advice as this is the first time I heard the brand Pentax, but she kept on telling me over the phone that the promoter told her this was a good camera and some customer had been using Pentax camera for 9 years. I reminded her that any promoter would surely say that their brand was good, else how could he/she strikes a deal?

Another thing I asked her to check was the picture quality, and the respond was very positive; the picture quality was very good.

I asked her whether she could delay the purchase so that more research could be done. No answer :-( She just kept on telling me how good the camera was; the promoter said that it was good, the picture quality was good, and there was satisfying customer who used Pentax camera for 9 years…

In the end, she purchased the camera happily.

But when she tried out the camera at home, she was not happy anymore. Most photos taken indoor were “blur blur” no matter how she played around with the camera setting :-(

Now she was thinking of how to get rid of the camera without losing too much. One way is to “lelong(auction)” it off via, and the other way is to persuade my nephew to purchase it, perhaps with some discount :-) I also advised her to check if it is possible to return it to the shop and get a refund.

It is very interesting to see how young people learn their lesson and my comment on this case is “Luckily, it is a camera, not spouse” :-)

It is definitely a valid approach to “lelong” off a camera, but who dare to “lelong” off their spouse?

See you next post :-)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Day +541 : Thank God that they are healthy

I am fine today.

I brought my mother-in-law and my wife to collect the health screening report this afternoon. They did the health screening on the 19 November and the reports were actually available on 3 December. But we were busy preparing for holiday at that time. So we only managed to get the report today.

We were a little bit worried about my mother-in-law’s health condition as he weighed 28kg only as mentioned in my blog Day +512 : She weighs 28kg only. The report indicated that she has slightly low haemoglobin and white cell count, and her calcium level is a little bit low too. However, the doctor who interpreted her report said that her health condition is generally well :-) She just needs to take some supplement to correct the condition. What a great relief for us to know this :-)

Based on the report, my wife’s is having high bad cholesterol level, else she is healthy. Now she would like to learn from me – take oat meal for breakfast :-) Hopefully this will reduce her bad cholesterol level.

I thank God that they are both generally healthy. May God bless them to be healthy all the time.

See you next post :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Day +540 : I am 6 years younger than me?

I am fine today.

I visited an interesting booth that measured one's health condition using two apparatus : Omron's KaradaScan and Pharmanex's Biophotonic Scanner.

KaradaScan is body composition monitor. It displays body weight, the levels of skeletal muscle, body fat and visceral fat, basal metabolism, BMI (body mass index), visceral fat rate, and body age.

The Biophotonic Scanner measures the stable level of carotenoid antioxidants in the skin and generating the skin Carotenoid Score.

Despite going through all those aggresive cancer treatments such as chemotherapies and bone marrow transplant, the KaradaScan showed that my body age was 6 years younger than my actual age. My real age is 40 years old, and my official age is 38 years old. The KaradaScan measured my body age as 34 years old only :-) The guy who did the scanning said that I "untung(earn)" 6 years.

The Biophotonic Scanner gave my Skin Carotenoid Score a reading of 42,000 (green zone) which was near the optimal end (blue zone). Most Malaysians are on the orange zone which is on the "weak" end. Your can refer to the report below to have an understanding on how to interpret the result. They told me that I scored the second highest in this test. My wife scored exactly the same Skin Carotenoid Score as me :-)

One thing pondering me is why such a healthy body developed cancer. Not only this, I met a lot of Leukaemia patients who told me that they were pretty wrong and healthy before getting diagnosed with the disease. May be unlike other cancers, Leukaemia is for the healthy one :-)

The report. (Click the report to get a larger view)

See you next post :-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Day +539 : The Christmas potluck dinner

I am fine today.

I would like to “share” with you some dishes from yesterday Christmas potluck dinner at our church. Many delicious dishes were served, but at the same time there were also many hungry consumers craving for the food. Many dishes were emptied within a short while :-)

All dishes were prepared by our church members and certainly everyone cooked the dish they specialized at, so every single dish was guaranteed to be delicious :-) This made the potluck dinner better than any meal that a restaurant could serve.

My wife cooked 60 tea eggs (茶叶蛋) for the potluck.

Church members busy taking food.
My two nieces, my wife and my mother-in-law.
Below are photo of some of the dishes. There were a lot more dishes that these. If I took my sweet time to take photo for all the foods, I would to starve for the night as all food would be gone before I finish taking the photo.

See you next post :-)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Day +538 : Wish you a blessed Christmas

I am fine today.

Click "Play" two times to play the card.

I gave a sharing in the Caring Christmas Event held in MCA Hall, Taman OUG in the morning, and in the evening, I attended our church Christmas potluck dinner. I repeated the sharing during the potluck dinner.

I was sharing.

Taking a photo with my wife.
Receiving souvenir from pastors.
The audience.
Balloons - the organizer used 2000 balloons for decoration :-)
Sharing in the church after the potluck dinner.
I will post the sharing later.

See you next post :-)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Day +537 : Preparing for tomorrow sharing

I am fine today.

I mentioned on my blog Day +510 (Invited to share in a Christmas Event), I will have to give a sharing on the challenging and difficult experience that I faced in a Christmas Evening tomorrow.

I take a day off today to do the preparation.

As I take this sharing seriously, I will prepare complete script for this sharing – writing down every single word that I will speak.

The main objective of the sharing is to encourage people who are in difficulties so that they will find hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.

See you next post :-)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Day +536 : We are home!

I am fine today.

My wife and I, together with Adriel and Aaron moved to my second sister house in Sibu last night while Daniel and Joseph stayed at my third sister’s house. The two boys liked to stay there because they were allowed to play computer games without restriction :-)

My second sister asked my third sister to purchase 60kg Pomelo and 6 kampong chickens for us to bring to KL. On top of this, my third sister also supplied me at least 10kg of baby milk powder. This made the total weight of our check-in luggage including the clothing and some books amounted to 121kg, 11 kg overweight. Fortunately, MAS didn’t request any additional charge for this, else I would have a hard time to determine what to bring.

Our flight to KL at 11:55pm was very punctual. The children behaved very well on the plane this time and not only this, they were also very helpful in handling the 121kg luggage at KLIA :-).

We booked two airport Limousines from KLIA to Puchong and reached home at 3:00pm.

I thank God for bestowing me good health to be able to bring my family for this great holiday.

See you next post :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Day +535 : What a service! Maybank

I am fine today.

My eldest sister went back to Kuching today. I sent her to Sarikei bus terminal to board a bus to Kuching in the morning.

We plan to buy Adriel some clothes in Sarikei town after that. As very few stores in Sarikei accept credit card payment, I went to withdraw some cash in one of the banks in the town. Unfortunately, the only Hong Leong Bank ATM machine that I tried to withdraw money was out of service. Then I went to Maybank to withdraw money, but this time my ATM card stuck in the machine :-) The machine showed me the “out of service” message only after the card was stuck. If it showed this message earlier, I wouldn’t put in the card at all.

Worst still, the bank was not open as today is Saturday. Coincidently, I forgot to bring along my mobile phone, so I went to a shop nearby to make a call to Maybank customer service. I waited on the line listening to Maybank advertisements and promises that their executive will attend to my call shortly, but more than 30 minutes of "torturing ", the line dropped :-)

When we passed by the same ATM machine again, we saw people were drawing cash happily without any problem :-) What happened to my card? Dropped into the machine or was taken by someone?

This incident almost destroyed my shopping mood. I felt more comfortable only after I successfully contacted the customer service again and confirmed that all accounts associated to the card were in proper order.

It is quite upset to have the so called largest banking group in Malaysia to keep a customer on hold for 30 minutes and then simply dropped the line. With this low grade of service, Malaysia Mana Boleh?

See you next post :-)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Day +534 : Celebrating Mid-Winter Festival

I am fine today.

I am almost fully recovered from cough and flu, and no longer having fever now. I give praise to God for the speedy recovery from infection without even taking any of the three medicines that was prescribed to me by the doctor yesterday. Our God is great and He is the healer who listens to our prayer. I also appreciate your prayer.

We also celebrated Mid-Winter festival today, a day earlier because my eldest sister will be going back to Kuching tomorrow morning.

I was well enough to go to Bintangor town early in the morning to shop for the Mid-Winter dinner. Apart from the tangyuan(汤圆), we prepared many dishes.

Though I didn’t have chance to celebrate Mid-Winter with all my family members, I am glad to have my mother, 3 sisters (out of 4) and 2 brothers (out of 4) and their children joining the celebration.

My mother - our heroine. She managed to bring up 9 children with the absence of my father. Making tangyuan. (From Left) My eldest brother, his wife, his son, my eldest sister The raw tangyuan
The soya bean powder mixed with sugar
The Foochow tangyuan
My three interesting sisters. (From Left) 2nd Sister, eldest sister, third sister (my stem cell donor)
Now introducing the many delicious foods that we had for the dinner.

Butter milk fish fillet. Fried chicken
Tea eggs
Special Toufu (招牌豆腐)Pineapple spareribs
Seacucumber soup
Mixed vegetable
Fried Mee
Egg roll
Durians - very good one. From my second sister's relative. Managed to finish all 9 pieces after the meal :-)

My sister-in-law discovered that we missed to eat one dish - the fried fish - only after the meal :-) Having too many dishes can be confusing and error prone :-)

See you next post :-)