Sunday, 3 November 2013

The truth

So I mentioned that I have a lot on my mind these days. Its my dad actually. We are actually quite a close knit family. Dad is my hero. My idol. My father. Recently, he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. This means he's a stage 4. Sigh.

Over the past few months, I have been trying to hide this. From my friends, my blog, my colleagues. My dad, on the other hand, a lot of his friends know. For me, it feels all too personal. I don't like confiding or discussing this. But at times, I want to vent. To write it down. But over the months, more and more people know, and it seems there's no point hiding anyway. If anything, I'm finally honest on my blog now. This is what my mind has been consumed with for so long. I think of this everyday.

I wrote down some things below on those dates. Blue font indicates what I edited today.

17 Oct 2013

Worrying doesn't help. Laughter might. Positive thoughts might. But mid laugh, I sometimes feel guilty. Mid joke, I feel sad.

I do try to think on the positive side though. It could be worse. It really could be worse. I feel this is as bad as it can get but really, we have only just started. So, the only way to get through this now is be strong and take it one day at a time.

***

30 Sept 2013


Anyway. I suppose I should mention now.

The main trip to KL was to go to the hospital. We were getting a second or third opinion for my dad. We recently found out that he has Stage 3 (doctor has since said its stage 4) prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. I do not think lightly of this. My uncle (dad's brother) passed away from prostate cancer, and my grandpa also passed away from cancer. Cancer is in our genes!! 

No its not funny but I have known about this for the past few months and I feel that for now, we have more or less accepted this. Not for the bad. I'm prepared to fight this. I don't know lah. I have a lot of things I want to talk about but I feel its too personal. I want to share this journey and yet I don't want to. 

Right now, my dad is undergoing treatment. When people ask how is he, I say he's doing treatment. He's fine. I don't want people to think of him as weak, old, sick, cancer, bed-ridden or any bad stuff. 

I think of him as still strong, still fighting, happy, working still, and just going about day to day life as normal. If anything, that is what we are all doing. We are going about day to day life normally. Yes, its cancer. Yes, its serious. But really, its psychological too. 

The doctors emphasize this actually. Being happy. Your state of mind. That is what's important. If you keep thinking you're sick, then you're sick. Instead, think that you're going to be fine or am fine.

Even as I'm writing this now, I don't know whether to share this or not. It feels way too personal. 

*****

9 Sept 2013

Why is life so fragile?

Why do we only know how precious it is when we are about to lose it?

Why do people die?

Why do we have to outgrow our parents? 

Why do people we love leave us?

Why does nothing last forever?

My dad is fine now. But only recently he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. We are waiting for the bone scan result to come out to know how serious it is. 

My close friend's dad passed away tonight. We call each other "sista". She's like my sister. We have known each other since primary school. Our dads were close friends, and so were our grandmas. We are the third generation. Her brother is also close friends with my brother. In addition to that, we lived next door to each other for years.

So, her dad's passing has affected me quite a lot. I'm sorry if I make this sound like its me. My dad has cancer. This phrase is something I'm trying to avoid even thinking out. I have not told much people. 

How am I taking this?

It varies. Sometimes its as if we are still the same. The same happy family because we try (or we are still) happy being together..eating together..watching movies. But not planning vacations because we don't know about the future.

When we just found out, we were devastated. We cried. I found it so hard to focus on other things, and on my job. My mind wanders and I try so hard not to break down in the office. I was so disinterested in other things. Now, we have more or less talked it over, and accepted it (not really but life's like this), and we just try to make dad happy. Or, at least, I am. 

I don't make plans for my own future. My plans revolve around dad. I have two vacations planned but you know what? All I'm thinking about is dad. What can I do for him? What vacations can he go on? Which doctor can I refer him to? Will he have a chance to hold his grandchildren? Choi please.

I'm superstitious now. Can you blame me? 

This is why I'm taking Uncle Ah Huat's passing really badly. I know how she would feel. I know what she's feeling now. I'm sorry sista. I don't know what to say. IF I was in your shoes, nothing would help. But know that I care. 

I'm desperately trying to remain positive and look on the bright side. And take each day as it comes now. Whatever comes, we will face it together. God willing.

Life is so fragile. Why?

I have the best dad in the world. Please don't take him away.

***

Today.

I just came back from Singapore today. Yes, we went to look for a doctor again. This doctor, I didn't like him much. He was the most direct, most honest doctor who gave us his very honest (or harsh) opinion. How many years we have, what to expect, but too bad this is delivered in his I'm-too-good-for-you manner. In the beginning. Towards the end, he seemed to sympathize (I don't know if this is an improvement).

Anyway. I suppose this counts as an update.

Again. I want to emphasize. Please don't think of my dad as sick. I know he's very sick. But I really don't like that word. He's fine. Look at him:


Sometimes I wonder am I in denial? No. I just want to be strong. Plus we carry on as if we are fine.

After meeting the doctor, we (mum, dad and I) were all quiet. Then dad said: well, its good too to know the truth. At least we know what to expect. He smiled and resumed his normal manner. Mum and I followed his lead. Because really, what can we do? Might as well take each day as it is, as happy as we can be. 

I don't even like writing this post. Should I post this? Way too personal but I feel its time to share the truth. With my friends. I hide it very well I think. On Facebook, all you would see are my shopping loot at Orchard. We went there after the hospital you know. 

I didn't feel like shopping. But we followed dad's lead. I felt numb and at times I'm wondering: what am I doing? How can I shop now? 

Aih. I really don't like this post.

I know. I know. It could be worse. I'm repeating this phrase to myself so many times I feel almost numb. But its a consolation. I saw my friend post on FB something along the lines of: lung cancer that has spread to the brain. As selfish as it sounds, the first thing I thought was: thank God! Dad's is not that bad. 

Its life innit. Cruel world. 

OK. I gotta get myself outta this dump. 

Repeat: it could be worse. 

For now, let's pray. Hope for the best. I have not given up yet. Let's fight together.

I don't want to end this post like this.

Seriously. Aside from the cancer, we are carrying on life as it is everyday. We all go to work everyday. We go to KL and Singapore to see doctors, yes. But we also make time to go shopping, drinking and to the casino. Weird eh. Hahah. We spend time together. 

Our way of thinking is this: might as well enjoy, travel and eat more now while we can. I take lots of photos. I spend lots of time with my family now. Because I want to.


Lousy photo taken at Sentosa. Queuing up to go for dinner. Soo crowded during the weekends. 

I'll update more next time. Bye.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I haven't commented for a while. I'm from HK and love reading your blog. You and your dad are in my thoughs and prayers. STAY STRONG and BE POSITIVE :)

Amy said...

Thank you for your prayers. Btw, I'm always surprised that people read my blog. Thanks again. :D

Pete said...

Hi,

My mum has uterine cancer. This is scarily as most women do not know it until late stage as most pre menopause women think it is irregular period;there is no clear symptom. Doctor in Singapore said 1 in 10 women has it.
I told my mum everyone of her friends and relatives should know about it so they can show her support. There is no shame in having cancer as it is just normal cell growth gone crazy. It is not some contagious disease.
Best regards to your father treatment.

Eva said...

Saw your lovely photo in fb, and just found out you have a blog~ be strong girl, my prayers are with you...stay +ve!

Amy said...

Hi Pete. Its good to know. Yeah, I think everyone should go for regular check ups every year to avoid this kinda things. Even if its cancer, at least you can catch it earlier on and thus have a stronger fighting chance. Best regards to your mum!

Amy said...

Hello Eva. Thanks for your prayers. Yes, I have a blog. I have visited yours too but too bad I can't read Chinese. Boo. :)

Arldalyn John said...

I met ur dad few days before his trip to Spore... He told mom about it.. All I can say, he's very strong. Have faith n be positive...he will get well soon. Sorry, I've not msg u eventho I know wat happen.. It just reminds me on my dad... After so many years, everything seems just happen yesterday. We all still couldnt accept tat he's gone.. even until today. For us, everything happens to sudden.

Amy said...

Yes, he's very strong. We all seem to go through everyday like normal still. I try not to think too much about it. Its ok - You're the last person I would blame. Time flies.. I just visited ah kong and ur dad last weekend.