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.

 

 

 

 

 

Friends

   

We all have friends. Young and old; friends from the school, work and social environment. Some friends, we have known since we were little. Some are rather new, met personally and through social networking.

I still remember when I was very young, aged between 7 to 12, friendship was formed instantly and naturally. Almost everyone I met was a friend. Life was simpler in the eyes of a young child, isn’t it? 

I had the same circle of friends till I was 13. The following year, I moved back to my home state. Starting afresh at a new school and town without a friend was rather scary. I was the new kid on the block with different accent (lol). Fortunately, my differences created curiosity in others and I made new friends quickly. Sadly, I lost the old ones sooner than I thought. 

You see, back in the late 70s to early 80s, we didn’t have any other way to communicate with one another except via snail mail or home telephone. Land line calls were rather costly for inter-states. Gradually, we lost touch permanently. It was like a part of my past had been erased. Wish I could re-connect with some of my old friends from the Father Barres Convent secondary school in Sungei Petani, Kedah. 

As we get older, friendship can become a little more complicated. People have the tendency to become more selfish, possessive, suspicious, envious, prejudiced and selective one way or the other.  We are divided by our thoughts and perceptions, which resulted in  building more walls than bridges. Regretfully, there are friends who build friendship based on benefits only. 

I’d rather keep to myself when things get too messy. I enjoy being alone as much as being with friends. Recent years, I’ve made some  new wonderful friends but sadly, I have also lost some used-to-be-wonderful friends. Change is inevitable. Just like a moving train, some got off halfway, some get on board along the way. Funny how some friendships created through the Internet are closer than those built from around us. From mere acquaintance, we become closer with the few whom we share common interests and meet more often. 

Everything in life requires putting in effort to make it work, including friendship. In our busy lifestyle, if we care about our friendship, we need to make time for it. Either meet to catch up sometimes or drop a line or two would be just as nice. Don’t seek out friends only when we are in trouble. We should be there rain or shine, sharing not just tears but laughter too!

One word of caution though. Be careful who you make friends with on the Internet chat rooms, Facebook, Instagram or whichever network. Being conservative is wise. Being paranoid about safety is life-saving. Let your family members know about your “internet friends”, just as you would tell them about your friends around you. For initial meetings, meet at public places during the day, in a group. It is better to have someone accompanying you for these meetings. Let your family members know who you are meeting, where and what are their contact details. 

To this date and age, I have become even more selective with friends. Yes, I agree that living in this world, we need friends besides our families. How many friends is enough? I’d rather choose true but few friends over being in a big crowd. There are times when being alone is more enjoyable and beneficial to me, especially when I require peace and quiet to get in touch with my inner self.

Everyone has faults, so do I. No one is ever a perfect person. I may be a great friend to one but a lousy friend to another. Depends on how the person perceive me as. My definition of a true friend is someone who sees beyond our faults, still try to understand us and want to spend time with us; someone who will not be swayed by how others feel about us; someone who tells the truth even if it is not so pleasant; someone who will defend us in your absence; someone who will find time to keep in touch……. A true friend is indeed a rarest gem in the world.

Some friends we keep close to our hearts, some we shall remain polite with. When we have true friends, do not take the friendship for granted. Do not allow others to destroy it so easily when it takes such a long time to build the foundation of your friendship. 

  

My Dearest Friends, thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me the meaning of true friendship. Thank you for being there for me, sharing my frustrations and laughter. Thank you for your warm thoughts. Thank you for the lovely gifts. Most of all, thank you for asking me sometimes, “Are you alright?”. The three most beautiful words I’ve ever heard from wonderful friends, who are the rare gems. Thank you and I love you all.

Cheers,

~ Alice N.

 

Saying Farewell to 2015, Greetings to 2016!

2015 has been a year filled with long, emotional roller coaster ride for me. Lessons learnt about friendship, studies, work and other personal duties which have casted clouds of doubts to my usual confident and calm self. Too many distractions and diversions for a systematic person like me, will turn my world topsy-turvy (LOL!).

I have always treasured friendship with friends, existing and anew. I greatly appreciate sincerity and honesty in a friend, but loathe politics of all sorts. Loving to share generously what I know, since I’d been there and done that. We all know how it feels like to be ignorant and sometimes helpless or hopeless. Hopefully it will help ease the burden of another person. 

But, I have learnt the painful way that sharing has its faults. Same goes to being generous, kind, optimistic and happy. I have also learnt that if I don’t follow the lead of someone, however wrong it may seem, I’m an outcast or I’m classified as rebellious. I also saw how envy and jealousy can destroy a beautiful friendship. Exactly what we see faced by our kids do happen in adult friendship too; as childish as “camps” and “grouping” and passing snide remarks like passing flu virus. If the so-called “leader” dislikes something about you, the rest of the “clan” will boycott you or be critical of you or subtly avoiding you. 

I always thought as an adult, being wiser, we should be able to weigh our thoughts and consider our actions, independently. We know how to advise our children or others to follow their hearts and intuition, but sometimes we forgot to take our own advice. Sad…

Something new this year is that I’ve learnt from kind souls on how to cook healthier foods for my family, more about fashion, gardening and other self-enrichment skills. Thanks to them with ❤️.

Moving on to 2016, I shall choose to be more selective with people around me, words spoken and actions made. I shall give permission to myself to be selfish sometimes, to do what is right for me and my family and not pleasing others too much. 

The year 2015 has gone to waste in terms of my attempt on completing the thesis for my Masters program. Time is just isn’t enough and I humbly admit that I got distracted with other urgent matters of greater importance. Entering 2016, I have to sit myself like a good student, be more focused and force myself to complete as little or as much as possible day by day till I submit my journal to my Prof. I shall look forward to graduating in 2016. It has to happen!!!!

Work-wise, uncertainty of some sort. Regretably, once a great passion to me has now dwindled to mere interest, in the midst of negotiating my new contract with the firm. I may be very giving but business is still business. Though it is great passion to me, I should be appropriately compensated for my time and effort. For those who had worked with me in the past, they know that I set high expectation upon my deliverables. I pour my heart and soul into it. I was once advised, “If you can’t do your best, might as well don’t do it!”. I shall carry it with me till my last breath. 

In 2016, I shall only reward my loyalty in return of appreciation for my contribution. I trust that I have given my very best ever so freely all these years that my conscience is clear.

Life is short and fragile. A new year has come, giving us an opportunity to start afresh on a new page. I also feel that it is time to introduce writing resolutions to my teenage children. Some of you will think that it is a waste of time and adding unnecessary pressure. Me too but I feel that this time, it is going to be different and more fun to do it together with them. Hopefully, we could cross-motivate and monitor one another throughout the year!  I’m all excited to greet the new year…!

In 2016, I’ll resume blogging more often and journaling. I’ve stopped writing journals for quite some time but now I feel it is good to start again. You should try doing so too, if you have not already done so. It is therapeutic! Makes one wiser too.

New Year Eve dinner with my beloved family is starting soon. Let me wish you a very happy new year 2016,  may your wishes materialize, may your health be better, may your family be showered with love and happiness and finally, many 2016 be a prosperous new year, better and bigger than the last. Have a blast ushering in the new year!

Cheers!

~ Alice N.

14th Month into Glivec


Three months had passed since the last CT Scan. Recent meeting on 17th September, with the Onco was just for a chat and to get to know how dad has been doing the last three months. Glad to say that dad is doing well. Weight maintained. Blood test results look rather alright, doctor isn’t concerned about the slight difference in one or two numbers. The brittle nails have recovered except for one, the right forefinger. Dad will continue to apply homemade coconut oil onto it and other nails as maintenance. Considering dad’s improved condition, Dr Mellor says that it is not necessary for us to meet as often. The next visit shall be in four months’ time in mid January 2016.

The visit to the endocrinologist, Dr Chan was great! Blood test results are good especially his blood sugar. Perfect! His regular home-kit test results showed a couple of low readings (tested two hours after lunch). Dr Chan reduces the insulin dosage but encourages dad to do what he has been doing all along, i.e. the exercise, 7 small meals, etc. She further advises dad to stay longer during the next visit because she intends to revert dad to taking tablets. For that, she needs to monitor his progress every two days once he stops his insulin injection. This is excellent news for dad! Let us pray and hope that blood test results will show as good report so that dad can revert to tablets. No more insulin injection! I know he suffers, especially the initial several months. He had never injected himself before; was anxious and clumsy. Thank you, God for answering to his and our prayers.

Bravo to dad! He is serious about getting well and therefore, has the discipline to follow strict routine. I can always count on dad. He knows very well how I feel and he does not wish for me to be worried for him. Thank you dad, for feeling better, for being strong for yourself, mom and us.


Not forgetting, we owe it to the Max Foundation
. Without the Max Foundation, it would be much tougher for us to follow through with the treatment. We are most grateful to Dr Mellor and the Max Foundation. The Max Foundation is a global health organisation; firmly believes that all people living with cancer have the right to access the best treatment and support. Thank you!

Regardless whether you are a cancer patient or a caregiver, it is important to join a good support group. No one else can understand what you are going through as well as those who are in the same boat as you. There are many over the social media. I am a member of the GIST Support International (GSI) group in Facebook. Members are mostly GIST patients, and fellow caregivers. At GSI, everyone is supportive of one another. We share our experience and knowledge. The community also shares fears and concerns. Members are from all over the world. We are one and we are family. We continuously receive news, information as well as virtual hugs and cheers within this group. We share good and bad news freely. We send wishes and prayers throughout the globe, for those in need. Love is all around. And we hold dearly to our Purple Ribbon with much hope. Thank you, fellow Gisters! Love you all!

My dearest readers, if upon reading this, you feel deeply for the Gisters, please offer your prayers to them. 🙏🏻Thank you and God bless.
~ Alice N.