Seoul-ful Adventure


After so many years of watching K-dramas and dreaming of going to Korea, we finally got the chance to fly in for a 4-day weekend getaway. The AirAsia Premium Flatbed was a comfort for an almost 7-hour flight. Finally, arrived @ Incheon International Airport. Well decorated, systematic and you’d be pleasantly surprised to listen to recorded home-language greeting when you presented your passport at the immigration. 


I was delighted to discover that we could choose to take a limousine bus to our hotel. I’ve always preferred moving around with public transport like the train, bus or simply walking if the distance isn’t too far. Walking around the city is the best! We’ll get to see more by walking and exploring the streets. 


The public limo bus was rather spacious and clean inside. A 50-minute ride from airport to the hotel, and they offered mags to read too! Relieved to see that there was always someone standing by to help load the bags and unload them upon arrival. It stopped right at the hotel. How convenient! 

Checking in was smooth. We were shown to a waiting lounge while waiting for our turn to check-in.

The room at the new wing was spacious. Just nice and cosy for the 3 of us. Simply lovely! The children, as always, would enjoy the bubble bath. Off to Lush for supplies!


Mainly, we explored the streets in Myeongdong, Namdaemun market and Namsan N Tower. All within walking distance. Boy, did we go crazy over the cosmetics shops! Another place to grab for foodstuffs would be the Lotte mart. Lots of snacks and everything was delicious!


The weather was so lovely. Sunny, windy and cold. Temperature was around 15degC to below 10 at night. Windy throughout the day and night. Our noses, ears and hands were freezing. Eyes and lips drying. However on the day of our departure, it showered in the early morning and then cloudy with temperature at 8degC in the afternoon.

I liked the foodcourts here. The whole exercise was : Select your food and pay at the cashier. We’re given the buzzer. Collect the food at the stall and after eating, return the food tray to the respective stall. There’s a drinking water station with sterilized cups and it’s complimentary. The floor attendants would wipe the tables ensuring everyone returned their trays and throw rubbish into the bins provided for. That’s great isn’t it? Wish it’s done the same way in my home country. 

If you can’t speak Korean, there is still chance of “survivorship” here. Mandarin is widely spoken in retail shops, restaurants and by stall operators. If you speak neither languages, like me, then there’s going to be an issue. Fortunately, I had my children with me. They became my translators (Mandarin – English) and in exchange I was their banker (LOL!). 

It was a wonderful weekend well-spent. Not long enough to explore more places in Seoul, but just nice to satisfy my curiosity. I had a fabulous experience, especially the food! Now, back home. Rain greeted us when we landed. Temperature at 20degC. Nice! Next, need to exercise to burn the excess weight….oh noooo! 

Back to work and school/classes for children. Gonna be busier than usual as I’m left with just this month to complete my cases or handover those W.I.P. ones before I leave the firm for good. 

Just before we flew back home, the children said to me, “Mom, no more weekend getaway or flying for a while, ok?”….but my traveling engine has just warmed up! Oh boy!
Cheers,

AliceN.

Retirement?


After working for 28 years, and the last 17 years growing in the financial industry, I’ve finally decided to retire from it. Those who heard about it couldn’t believe that I’m “retiring” from the works…which I’m so passionate about. My chidren till today still continue to ask if I’m really, really, really retiring (LOL!). I guess they are concerned about what I’d do with my time and myself. Never in their growing years have I stopped working. Not even during my confinement – when I worked from home/bed. 

Some colleagues who knew about my past attempts to quit from the firm thought I’d stay again when the shareholders chat with me. I was offered to freelance at the firm on specific (to my expertise) cases too. Nope, not this time. The 4th time is for good. And yes, I do agree that it is such a waste now that my knowledge and skill will not be put to good use to help clients plan for their generational wealth preservation strategies. It’ll be the consultation, advice, mediation and interaction with clients which I’m going to miss the most. 

What’s next? 

1. To complete my long outstanding thesis so that I can finally graduate with my MSc (Finance);

2. Spend more time with my family. Right, time to be more motherly and homely. Learn new recipes, learn to bake, etc;

3. Perhaps, try my hands on some e-biz or something;

4. Actively blogging;

5. PhD in Psychology? I’ve always have interest in social psychology, not the clinical kind;

6. Let Go and Let God. Can’t really plan for everything. 

No worries, guys. I won’t end up being a couch potato nor an ahjummah chasing after the next episode of Korean dramas. My back can’t take sitting on the couch for so long. More time to meet up with friends and have a cuppa or two. 

Focusing more on health too, keeping stress to the minimal. Scheduling a minor surgery for beginning of the year. Having more quality and relaxing lifestyle. I should be cutting down on a lot of “works” and just be as laid back as possible for 2017. Traveling will still remain on my list. 

So, what is retirement to you? Mine is to complete what I can’t when I’m running from one place to another when working….from gainfully employed full-time for the first 11 years of my career to working on contract for the next 17 years. Once those are completed, I’m sure I can find something, which I enjoy doing. Lecturing? Training? We’ll see how it turns out next year. 

Retirement to me doesn’t mean stop everything and sitting in front of the TV or going to spa treatment whole day long or shopping with friends. There’s more to life than just that, I’m sure. I’m still young therefore I shall make full use of my youth and time to do what I’ve always wanted to achieve, for my family and I. I used to answer people that there is no such thing as retirement because life has got so much to offer. Why must we stop moving and growing? Instead, we can choose to move and grow at our own pace and that is retirement. The brain is still active. The body is still young. The mind is matured, experienced and knowledgeable. 

So, with effect from December 2016, I’m unemployed and a “young” retiree (wink). Let’s see how I survive it (LOL!)
Cheers,

Alice N.

Say what?


Communicating clearly is important to ensure smooth delivery of your message across to the other party. For the listener/message recipient, do listen attentively or read the message carefully so that no part of it is misunderstood. If unclear, it is always wise to ask for further clarification or verification. 

I’ve personally misunderstood statements and messages sometimes. It happened when I misread them or having the wrong perception or being a tad too quick to jumping to conclusions. I’m sure, I’m not alone in this.  We are either busy, on the move, or multi-tasking that we can’t focus on the matter in hand. We put ourselves through some embarrassing moments before we learn to be more careful. 

That is the reason why I often remind my children, to ask the right question to the right person so that they will get closer to the right answer. When unclear, please ask for an explanation. This simple act makes a lot of difference especially in avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings. Besides, by asking questions, we get to slow down to think before we react. 

I observed that most conflicts started from mere words? Tone of voice used actually plays a part in it, especially when people are sensitive towards one another. Some words were spoken carelessly, some were misunderstood due to language barrier or mental block. Firstly, we must understand that no two persons can perceive one message exactly the same way, not even a set of twins. People see things from the way they feel at that particular state of mind. Feelings affect the way we process information received. For example, we are more forgiving and optimistic in a happy mood.

One of the 7 Habits written by Stephen Covey is “Seek to understand then be understood” is the best way to communicate with one another. I liken it to “taking one step back, to gaining two steps forward”, especially during confrontation, conflict resolution, negotiation, mediation, or during an argument. It is more manageable when we put our ego aside. Ego can block the right message from reaching us just because we don’t like the way it was delivered. Ego also puts us in a state of denial because we always think that we can do or say no wrongs.

Being trapped in a rat race, people are multi-tasking more now than ever or seemed preoccupied. Most of us here belong to the sandwich generation, whereby we tirelessly  strive to make our lives better by providing for ourselves, the growing children and ageing parents.

Juggling with work and family matters round the clock can make us physically and emotionally drained resulting in roller coaster mood swings. Could it be due to the stress that we are being more impatient and short tempered? I noticed tempers flare like firecrackers these days. It is as if everyone is a walking time bomb. What an emotional mess we are in!

Anyway, regardless how easy or tough your life or day is, remember to filter the words before they are spoken. Sift through the words and thoughts. Do they make sense? If you need to re-read the sentences or re-run the train of thought, do so. All it takes is mere seconds, but it saves one from making a fool out of oneself. 

Remember to be more careful when sending words out of our mouths and fingers. Let us not hurt others with them. Let our words be encouraging, motivating and inspiring. 

Cheers,

Alice N.

Growing Up Children 

The most important responsibility of parents is parenting. Bringing a new life, pure and innocent, into this world is not as challenging as the journey of parenting. Carrying the life for the whole pregnancy and giving birth is just for a fixed period of time. The parenting part is lifelong.

How time flies…as if it was only yesterday I’ve been awarded the status as a parent, a mom at that, for the first time. This December shall be my 19th year. In a job, I would have been a senior and well-experienced employee at least, if not a master of it. However, in parenting, why does it feel as if I’m still a newbie? 

At each year of growth, I continuously experiencing differences and changes in parenting style. My summary on this is, what used to work for a certain stage does not apply anymore for the next. What worked for the boy doesn’t necessary work for the girl! 

When a lovely young lady enters my son’s life, I guess it is normal to feel a little apprehensive. Will he be a better person, will he respect her and be kind to her, will he take care of her heart and well-being and will she be and do the same to him?

I can only pray and hope that my dear son will remember the family values that’s been instilled in him thus far. Respecting other ladies as he would his mom and sister. Oh well…I just have to let go and let them be. I’m sure they are in good hands. Of course, studies come first (*hint*). 

I wonder how other parents deal with it and still stay cool about it. I heard that some freaked out, some tried to act cool but feeling otherwise, some resorted to stalking the children. I am fine as long as I can see some positive change in him. And no, I didn’t freak out..hahaha.

As for my teenage daughter, she’ll come to have deeper understanding of friendship year after year. People grow up and change along the way. Feeling is ever changing so does the environment. The only thing constant is change. Embrace change for the better. My gentle advice to you, dear daughter, is do not hold on too tightly to things or people. Let it go if you have to, let it pass. New things will come along. Receive it while you learn to adapt and accept. The choice is yours. Therefore, choose your thought and action wisely.

My dearest children, no one has the power to determine your happiness except yourself. No one has the power to make you angry or sad. It only applies when you permit it. You are your own master. If you feel down or angry, validate the feelings. Allow the feelings to flow in you (don’t try to stop it) then wipe the tears,  get up and move on. Always remember if you don’t have the energy to get up, reach out for help. I promise you that I’ll always be there for you no matter what or when. 

Life is neither easy nor difficult. Just a bit complicated. No ones knows the answer to everything. Not even I. We learn from our mistakes and become wiser. Just ensure we don’t repeat the same mistakes. If I may add, don’t even try the “bad stuffs” in order to learn from the mistake. Some mistakes can’t be turned around so easily, for example drugs. Some grave mistakes don’t come with second chance, for instance, road racing, drink and drive and anything that is against the law.

Children, when faced with uncertainty, always think things through. Do not let others force you into making rash decisions. You’ll be able to make sound decisions when the mind is more calm and steady. 

I enjoy watching the children grow and grow up well, not perfect…I’m proud of them as they are. Walk tall but be kind and humble. Carry yourselves well, speak well and always be mindful of your action. I’m so blessed having you by my side. You are my pride and joy, then, now and forever. 

A contented parent,

Alice N.

24th Month into Glivec

2 years into Glivec. We are optimistic and thank God for the blessings we received to see Dad doing well. On the last CT Scan we did not see any change to the size of the tumour. It is still a piece of good news as the medication is working to suppress the growth.

At our most recent follow-up consultation with the oncologist, we were told that the tumour has after all shrunk to a safe size for surgery. However, the surgery will not be focused on one part only i.e. removal of a part of the stomach. In fact, it would also require removing a part of the liver and the adrenaline glands. Thereafter, dad may still be required to continue with the medication. Dad was stunned and I saw that he was perturbed by the news. He told the Dr that he would not consider multiple major surgeries due to age and medical condition. The Dr then advised that he should continue with the current prescription. We shall see how it goes in the next scan.

Dad is still going strong despite the GISTs. He is a happy-go-lucky guy, strong-willed and an independent man. His next CT Scan will be due in November. Continue to pray for good results….Meanwhile, he just carries on with his daily activities, never fail to exercise early in the morning on daily basis, weather permitted. Once in a while mom and him will go for a holiday or two, nearby.

On his 78th Birthday, we celebrated in the revolving restaurant at the tallest tower in the country, hosted by the owner himself. Thank you so very much, our dear friend. I was so happy to see my parents enjoying themselves, VVIP treatment at that. So did my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephews. Missing those who couldn’t join us on that evening. Such wonderful birthday for Dad. Glad I got them to travel down to Kuala Lumpur for this special celebration. Happy Blessed Birthday, Dad and we love you lots!

If you have followed my blog posts since the beginning, you’ll know that my dad has much influence on me growing up. I am who I am because of him. He showered upon me unconditional love, support and guidance. Since very young, he thought me about responsibility, being independent, decision making, problem solving and leadership. My dad chose to teach me to fish rather than fishing for me. Thank you, Dad. You are the best! All I want is to see him happy and live a fulfilled life. Besides being a great father, he is a wonderful, loving and romantic husband to mom. He is such a rare gentleman. Loving them both to the moon and back. Cheers to love and life.

~ Alice N.

 

 

 

 

My PTA Experience

What is the PTA? Parent Teacher Association. What does it do? An organization of parents and teachers for promoting closer relations and improving educational facilities at the school. Bearing in mind that the PTA does not interfere in the day-to-day administration of the schools. Instead, it serves as support group and a significant partner of the school in providing a forum for discussion of issues and solutions related to the entire school programme. It also undertakes fund-raising activities to support the school’s academic and co-curricular activities.

Why be part of the PTA? Here are some of PTA’s benefits I can personally testify:

  • Leverage Volunteer Power. PTA organises hard-working, dedicated volunteers; Parents who are ready to help implement school improvement programmes. Parents who are willing to spare their time for such activities, when required.
  • See Measurable Results. More than 85 research studies conducted over the past 30 years prove that children do better in school when their parents are involved. Exam scores improve. Attendance increases. Better self-discipline.
  • Discover More Dollars. PTAs are self-funding. PTA fundraisers support school programmes, building improvements and educational events.
  • Enjoy Informed Parents. Involved parents understand the challenges school faces and become part of the solution. By developing a closer relationship with parents, student achievement improves, and the school develops a positive reputation in the community.

Now, I would like to share my personal journey towards the PTA. When my children were in primary school, as much as I wanted to, I did not take part in the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) because of language barrier. I sent them to a vernacular school so that they could master another language (i.e. Mandarin) besides English and Malay.

When my elder child entered secondary school in January 2010, I was excited and keen to contribute towards the PTA. However, as a new parent in the school, not knowing how things work, I felt that I should observe and learn first. That was when I decided to be a “shadow” PTA member. I contributed behind an active PTA committee member, working in anonymity. I allowed myself to be  a sub-committee member in a fund-raising event organised by the PTA. That was my initial involvement and small contribution towards the school PTA from the start….

I worked in anonymity for 4 years before I finally accepted the nomination to be a member of the PTA, fulfilling a promise I made to the then principal. At that time, I had completed all 10 courses of my Masters degree, dissertation pending. To this year, it has been my 3rd year as an official PTA committee member, 7th year actively participating in my children’s school. Not as much as I wanted to but I can confidently say that I have done my best for the school and students. Challenges will always be part of our lives. It is what we choose to do at time of adversity that makes the difference. I am a firm believer of teamwork. As a team, we can achieve much more when we pool our resources together.

Being a member of the PTA has its pre-requisites. Some people thought that you have to be wealthy to qualify; some felt that you must have this much of free time to dedicate yourself; etc. etc. If you think along this line of thought, I’m sorry to say that you are not entirely correct. It is a big bonus to have the money but how much can one person continue to contribute for the entire school? Most importantly is to capitalise on our  network of people and to dedicate the time to do so passionately. The more people involved, the bigger the network is going to be. I am not ashamed to ask for help in any way possible. After all, what we do is for a good cause – for our future leaders, the students.

Volunteering ourselves to serve in the PTA require us to be committed, honest, sincere and responsible. Whatever that we do, we must carry out the tasks with clear conscience. Just as mindful as we are in taking great care of our home and family, we would extend the same, if not more to our bigger “home and family” i.e. the school and students. We shall protect students’ and teachers’ welfare as well as we would do the same for our own family.

I personally believe and live by this : I shall not settle for anything lesser than my best. Be passionate in whatever that I do. Despite my heavy work and social schedule, I shall make time for it as best as I can. If I can’t give my best, I shall without second thought, step down and let another take over the seat. I will not selfishly hold on to my position for the sake of holding on. I am sure there are always others out there who can do a better job than me. This is not a glamorous job, but I shall call it “labour of love”.

Dear parents, if you are concerned about the well-being of your children in school and in their education (academic as well as co-curriculum), be active in the PTA. If you have ideas to improve the condition of the school for your beloved children, don’t be satisfied with mere exchange of criticism outside the fences of the school. Step forward to volunteer your services.

Not to worry about being a newbie. Everyone is still learning. So am I. I was “born and bred” in the corporate world throughout my working life. My way of doing things is, cut the red tapes and tackle the issue at source in the shortest time possible. Look for solutions when faced with problems. Regardless of where you come from, we will always find ways to work together harmoniously. It is made possible because we share common objectives and focus on working towards achieving that common goals.

I shall hope to see more volunteers stepping forward to serve in the PTA. The success of the school is very much depended on the PTA. When school administrators work well with the parents, together we can achieve much more and reach greater heights. After all, the ultimate purpose is to provide a more conducive learning environment for our children.

I am most grateful to be given the chance to work with so many wonderful people, teachers and parents alike, who work so hard to ensure the interests of our stakeholders are protected. It has become a lovely big family to me, so much I had seen and experienced, the ups and downs we went through together. Hats off to those who have served the school in the PTA and the ones continue to do so. Great job, everyone! Keep it up!

Cheers,

Alice N.

Healthy Food is as Delicious!

Each time when I told my children about “healthy food” or “organic food”, their faces go “ewwww”! Why do we have this perception that healthy foods are tasteless? Hmm….let’s check it out.

My recent adventure was to this cafe nestle well away from main roads, a row of shoplots in a residential area. 


Medifoods is a chain of restaurants, retail outlets and lifestyle cafes. The one I visited was in SS18, Subang Jaya, Selangor (Malaysia). Branches of Medifoods can be found in SS2 (I googled it) and Subang Jaya Medical Centre. We all know that foods in hospitals usually don’t suit our tastebuds. Glad Medifoods is there! 

Medifoods has an inhouse nutritionist to offer nutritional advice, sale of a good range of organic dry products, household items, toiletries, beverages and vegetables. I learnt that they do catering services too.


The cafe serves mixed or economy rice.  The spread, kept warm by hot water and an electric heater below, consists of 10 to 12 troughs of cooked food, including vegetables, eggs tofu and chicken. Customers select any combination of these cooked dishes, which are served accompanied by a portion of steamed white rice and an individual bowl of soup. All for just RM12.80 per serving.

Besides, one can also order from the ala carte menu. They have appetizer, entree, dessert and hot and cold beverages. Vegan and non-vegan foods. 

Since I wanted to have a vegetarian lunch, I ordered the Nasi Lemak (traditionally fragrant white rice cooked in coconut milk served with condiments) and a glass of hot home-made soy milk.  Mine looked like this….


Lovely to look at and tasted yummy too! The rice was cooked with some herbs. So was the “sambal” – hot chili pepper sauce. Next, I ordered the “chai kueh”, steamed vegetable dumpling. Love the texture and taste. However, I wish they had used the original dumping chilli sauce, which will enhance the taste of the dumpling. The one served tasted more like the chili sauce for chicken rice.

If you were to drive there, remember not to park at the shoulder of the roads. Your cars will be towed away by the city council officers. That will make the meal a very pricey one. 

Try it out, if you are around these areas. 

Cheers,

~ Alice N.

Mother’s Day Dinner

Dining at 57th floor, window table gave us the view of KL city centre.


Marini’s on 57, an Italian retaurant and lounge comes with excellent dining experience. Located at Level 57, Menara 3 Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. 


I like it that my table was kept clean at all times. The waiter kept “sweeping” away crumbs when necessary. He was attentive,  informative and most helpful in explaining the menu. 

Relaxed ambiance of the restaurant makes it suitable for for couples and friends. However, rather dim for older folks and young children. 

Food wise….We ordered our entree, main and dessert. Besides sparkling water, I had a glass of wine to go with my food. Food presentation was good. Taste average – representing my personal opinion. 


Added points – they are so generous with “gifts”, while waiting for entree to be served, while waiting for dessert, complimentary Mother’s Day dessert, while waiting for the bill and finally something to take home for brekkie tomorrow.

They know how to make lasting impression. Service is top notch. I like it more for the service than the food. 

If you are looking for special dining experience, drop in to Marini’s 57. Do make reservation first before going. Not sure if they will entertain walk-in patrons. Call to find out. 


Cheers and Happy Mothers’s Day to all moms. 

~ Alice N.

For the Love of Food

foodie

Since I enjoy exploring good food and writing reviews in TripAdvisor, I thought it’s a great idea to add a new category here to share my foodie experience with you. Through sharing, I hope that if you are around these areas one day, you too can check them out.

Coming up with a name is tough though. While getting stuck in a bad traffic jam traveling down south, I spent the idle time exploring the name of this new category with my two teenagers. When one agreed the other disagreed. When all of us agreed to a name, it’s either been published in Instagram or already belongs to a blog. I’m trying not to duplicate names, if at all possible. Seems that French names/words are not so freely or widely used. So, there you are! Bon Vivant!

Before your thoughts run wild, firstly, I don’t do parties. Secondly, I am not a wine connoisseur. I am a simple person who loves delicious food. But, no exotic food, please. Keep those wild animals away from me (ewww!). I’m not a vegan. I love my meat too much…But, I go on vegetarian diet from the time I awake till 7.30pm once a week.

I must qualify myself first…I am not a professional chef nor food/restaurant critic. I can cook decent dinner at home, 4 times a week like any working mom. If I were to cook following a printed recipe, I always select the ones which are simple to cook with ingredients which I am familiar with and easy to obtain.

When I make comments about places I’ve visited and food I’ve tasted, it is by my personal experience and taste for food. I know very well what I like and want, how my food should taste like and where is comfortable. If I am not satisfied, I shall explore the same food elsewhere till I find the right one with the right taste. What are my basic requirements? Clean place, staffs practicing good hygiene, good food and great service always win my heart.

I firmly believe that in order to fully enjoy a meal, the surrounding must be comforting too. A place where I can relax to enjoy the plate of sumptuous meal. It may not be expensive or a huge restaurant. I like it that the owners pays attention to little details to please their patrons. Like it even better when they mingle with us. Like it best when they are eager to know how we feel about their food and restaurant/cafe. Don’t you feel the same?

There are times when I’d go just for the food, some simply because of the cosy ambiance and some just because of the friendly owner or floor staffs. Some afternoons, I’d hang out at a cafe to do my work or blog in peace while enjoying a cuppa and snack.

To me, FOOD is the most beautiful universal language which connects people. Everyone needs food and most of us appreciate good food. You’d be surprised at the number of people on the lookout for the best of foods in town. I guess that is why you see food critics and food search apps sprouting like mushrooms. There are books published about location of local flavors! Having said that, no…I’m not jumping into the bandwagon.

I’m starting this because some of my friends read my blog. These friends are also the ones who would ask me for restaurant references once and in a while. So, I thought, if I were to record my experience here, they will be able to read and see pictures for themselves and make their choices. Easier this way as compared to trying to search for me in TripAdvisor, where I am actively reviewing hotels, restaurants and places of interests.

I hope you guys enjoy reading about my foodie experience. I live to eat, and yes, life is great! All for the love of food….

Cheers,
~ Alice N

GISTs

Those who have been following my blog will know that Dad was diagnosed with GISTs back in July 2014, about 2 weeks before his birthday. Many people have not heard of GISTs and those who have, wonder if it is cancer after all. Treatment for GISTs is different from other cancers and there is no staging to measure its condition.

What is GISTs? Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors are the most common mesenchymal neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract. they are defined as tumors whose behaviour is driven by mutations in the KIT gene. Most (66%) occur in the stomach and gastric GISTs have a lower malignant potential than tumors found elsewhere in the GI tract. (ref : wikipedia)

Treatment wise, it is different from the regular cancers. Radiotherapy has not historically been effective with GISTs and GISTs do not respond to most chemotherapy medications. However, 3 medications have been identified for clinical benefit in GISTs : Imatinib, Sunitinib (Sutent) and Regorafenib (Stivarga). Imatinib (Glivec/Gleevec), an orally administered drug initially marketed for chronic myelogenous leukaemia is useful in treating GISTs in several situations.(ref : wikipedia)

Dad has been showing improvement all these while, visits to the Oncologist has been lengthened to 4 monthly, CT Scan every 6-9 months to monitor the tumor. Great news is, his diabetes has stabilised. The surge in his blood sugar back in 2014 must be due to the GISTs. Now, he is back on oral medication. Gone were the insulin jabs. Thank God.

The CT Scan last month showed that the tumor remained in size. Though the size has reduced to safety level for surgery removal, Dad can’t undergo that because he has lesions in the liver and some parts of lymph nodes. So far, all these are controlled by the Glivec, meaning Glivec is working on them. Seems like Dad has to continue with Glivec for as long as possible since surgery is not an option for his condition.

I am so grateful that Dad is still going strong, taking it positively and exercising daily to keep himself as healthy as possible. I insist upon him to go travelling overseas at least once a year. It is good for my parents to go away from home once in a while. Holidaying without any concerns except to walk, eat and sleep. Enjoy the sceneries and experience different environment while interacting and making new friends. What is most rewarding is to see their happy faces upon returning from each holiday. That is priceless!

I can’t thank Max Foundation enough. I know I have been doing that over and over again. If you were to be in my shoes, you would too. Max Foundation has made expensive treatment becomes more affordable, giving the patients a chance to recovery or continue living. Long term treatment is no joke. Not just financial stress, it is also an emotional journey and it demonstrates how a family stick together to go through it for the long haul or fall apart. Let us hope more families will choose to stick it out together.

I admire Dad for his determination to fight it and be well. I’m proud of Mom for being strong for Dad and be his primary caregiver. More of great companionship and keeping him busy. Much thanks to my brothers who have been keeping in touch with them with constant visits, taking them on short trips and frequent telephone calls. It’s a family thing and that is what we do to stay together at all times, through ups and downs, laughter, fears and tears.

I continue to pray for my parents’ good health, peace in their minds and happiness. Just enjoy life! Cheers, Dad and Mom!

~ AliceN.