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Staying sane with cancer
cancer patient sharing her experience
Frances, an ex-patient of mine, died from breast cancer in April 2007. Her funeral was held in May 2007. I received this email in August 2006. I passed it to her friends and relatives to be read out at her funeral to show them the always sunny side of Frances. Another year has passed, it still lifts my spirit reading , and sharing it.
“Dear Dr Yeung,
I had a lovely week in Manila and just returned with Mum last Tuesday. The good Dr. Siu even allowed me to delay my treatment for 4 days so I could spend a longer time with family. I think she was happy that I returned - I suspect that given her turbulent beginnings with my family members, she thought that I would take this opportunity to escape her stern ministrations.
There was a slight sibling coup plot to keep me home for good, but emotions do get set aside when one approaches things logically. So, finally my siblings are resigned to the fact that I have to finish the course of my chemotherapy here. I did promise to go home again two weeks from now, Dr. Siu permitting, to spend my birthday there. The thing is I feel like every day is a birthday!
I had anticipated the 4th chemo to knock me out (as the doctors in Manila warned me), but apart from my usually excitable taste buds going on a sleep mode, I feel no more than the usual after effects : achy joints. Whilst I have been given lots of pain killers, I try not to take too many chemicals in if I can help it. Hence, when it is just a general discomfort, I get on my laptop and write. I therefore have packets of pain killers which I can use to launch a small business in partnership with the drug lords on Temple Street.
I have always seen the funny side of things, I think, Dr. Yeung. So much to see that actually is interesting and amusing. I have never been a patient. Let alone being in a hospital. Before this ailment, I was traveling a lot doing executive development work for “JM”. Today, I should have been in Jakarta, and the week-end should have been spent in one of the palm oil plantations of our associate company. Do you know that one of our Indonesian companies breeds owls? They're to kill the rats that infest the plantations. Before, the Indonesians used cobras to kill the rats, but plantation workers were also being bitten and killed. Hence the owls! Don't you think that's amazing? It would have been nice to see the owls.
Now, I try to do work from home writing case studies - that sort of boring non-interactive thing. Well, when I recover, maybe I can see the owls!
Here are photos of before I was a patient and now that I'm a patient. I think I look healthier as a patient! One thing I have learned is that cancer is very limited. It cannot corrode faith, nor invade the soul, nor conquer the spirit. It cannot destroy peace and suppress good memories. It cannot kill friendships nor prevent one from continuing to have new friends. It may not get me a tax reprieve, but it will not stop me from smiling!