Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I remembered when I was younger, growing up and trying to be a little adult, I refused to hold my parents' or guardian's hand while crossing the road. I wanted to show them I was old enough to cross the road on my own, but they nevertheless still grabbed my hand or arm and refused to let go. Now I finally know why they did what they did... They wanted to make sure I'm safe and to protect me.

Whenever I see kids running around without supervision at the supermarket or at some eating place, I get angry at their parents/guardian. People are pushing trolleys or carrying trays of hot food. Should the kid gets knocked by the trolley or gets scalded by the hot food, who's the blame? So, I tell myself, my kid should never leave my side in case any accident happens.

That CCTV footage of 2 vehicles running over a little toddler in Foshan, China, attracted a lot of attention worldwide. Some criticized the people who walked past the scene without rendering any help, some criticized the lady who helped saying she helped because she wants to be famous, some criticized the drivers, some criticized the moral values of the country, some criticized the law and policies, etc.. I'm not here to point fingers at who's right or wrong, nor am I writing this to criticize on morals, law, policies, etc..

When I first saw the footage, I was horrified and shocked. A little girl, lying in a pool of blood being ignored. Of the first few questions I had after watching the footage, one was "where are the parents"... I then shared the footage on Facebook. One of the reasons why I decided to share was because I want it to serve as a reminder to myself, not to let my kids venture away from me, from my sight. Accidents do happen, and it's up to me to protect my kid and keep him/her as safe as possible to try to prevent an accident from happening...

Restoration Of Pearly Whites - Part 8

This will be a real quick update...
With work on the upper jaw completed, work started on my lower jaw two Fridays back. Two front teeth did not need to take the root canal route.
Went back to the clinic last Friday again to work on the tooth on the right of the two front teeth, and no root canal needed as well. Checked on the wisdow teeth extraction wounds and everything's ok as well.
Will be back at the clinic again this Friday to work on the teeth to the left of the two front teeth...

Thursday, October 06, 2011

10 Warning Signs Of Cancer

Recently I came across an article titled 10 Warning Signs Of Cancer. I shared the link on Facebook and thought I could share some thoughts about the article. You can read the article here.

For those who are going to laugh or brush this off, let me put things into perspective: I HAD 4 out of these 10 warning signs. I'm not saying that when one has these 10 symptoms or warning signs, one has cancer. But it DEFINITELY calls for a visit to the doctor. 

The 4 I had were:
1) Fatigue and weakness
I slept, and I slept a lot. A few months before I was first diagnosed, every weekend, without fail (unless I had to wake up early), I'll be having a good long session of about 13- to 15-hours. If I do not have to wake up for work the next day, I'll be clocking in those hours as well. And it is not because I sleep late on weekdays and hence I needed to catch up on my beauty sleep. I usually sleep by 12 midnight and wake up at 7am.
I felt tired easily and after work, I simply had no energy to do anything.
2) Unusual bleeding
The first nose bleed on CNY was brushed off as too much bak kwa, hence heaty, hence nose bleed. If I recall correctly, the second nose bleed came about 3-4 weeks later, the third was about 2 weeks later. Then it became more frequent, to a weekly affair, then to once-in-2-3 days affair. 
3) Swollen lymph nodes
There was a swell below my right ear, near the jaw, on the neck. The swell never once subsided, it just grew and grew and grew. Turning my head was such a chore as it was damn painful.
4) Persistent pain, fever, cough
A few months before I was diagnosed, I fell ill quite frequently, with flu and cough. Ok, maybe we could or want to pass that off as immunity weak or I was working too hard, etc...
However, we cannot disregard the fact that I started to have fever on the night after I had my first radiotherapy session (blog post here). The fever never left and I started to have backaches as well (blog post here). Even a few weeks after I'm done with radiotherapy, the fever and backaches still haunted me (blog post here). It was only after a PET scan was done, that we realised that my cancer had spread.

Please remember that for some cancers, there's a higher chance of survival if it's diagnosed during the early stages. I'm probably a miracle case as I was 2-6 months away from knocking on death's gate. Who could have thought that one with liver and bone metastasizes could survive? Moreover, from the day I was first diagnosed till the day it was discovered that it has spread, it was just a little more than 3 months. In 3 months, the cancer cells decided to turn aggressive, wreck havoc and party round my body. Even my oncologist said that chemo is to help keep me around longer, with the option to cure.

It's your life and it pays to be vigilant. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Restoration Of Pearly Whites - Part 7

And the whole climax arc starts from here!

Last Friday, it was yet another dental appointment. This time, it's really starting work on fixing my smile. Dr Lee first took impressions of my teeth. Then he started drilling away the decayed parts of my 4 front teeth on the top jaw. Good news is the decays did not go too close the nerves and hence, we were allowed the option of putting in fillings or to continue with root canal and crowning. And so after weighing out the pros and cons and the whole scenario, we chose to do fillings.

Why fillings over root canal and crowning? No one can be really sure and confident how long the fillings or crowns will last. To do root canal and crowning, much more drilling is needed to be done and the already weakened structure of my teeth will be further weakened by the additional loss of the teeth's natural structure. By doing fillings, I can retain a little more of the teeth's natural structure, so I decided on take the least damaging route. Should the teeth further decay, then root canal and crowning can be considered at a later stage.

This Friday, I'll be back at the dental clinic, starting work on my lower jaw. Dr Leong will be attending to me instead of Dr Lee. Dr Lee is a root canal specialist, so since we are doing fillings, Dr Leong will start doing the drilling and all first. Should any particular tooth needs to take the root canal route, then Dr Lee will take over for that tooth.
Dr Lee is so sweet. I was mentioning after the fillings were done that my teeth felt heavier and perhaps I'm not used to them yet. He called me yesterday to find out if I'm coping well, if there's any sensitivity, discomfort, pain and all! Actually I'm doing fine and I'm more used to extra "weight" already. This is actually my first time having a doctor to call and check on me. Really touched by his gesture... 

Honestly, I'm kinda hoping I don't have to take the root canal route at all. Why take away some healthy parts when they are still useful right? Will update again after this Friday!