Today is my 42nd birthday, but I am only 10 years old.
I died 10 years ago when the doctor gave me the worst news ever. I was knocking on death's door and the Grim Reaper was waiting just behind the door. I was so weak I couldn't even walk anymore. The whole left side of my body was gone. I had lost all feeling and control on the left side of my body. I couldn't feel my left arm, leg and torso. I couldn't even feel the left side of my face. I also lost my left ear to the cancer. Everything on my left side was gone. I also suffered from a massively painful, violent and exhausting 12 hour long bout of hiccups. My spleen was so enlarged, it squashed my stomach, diaphragm, lungs, basically everything inside and the only way my body knew how to react was massive and violent hiccups. I was in so much pain......I really didn't care about living anymore. Death would have been a pleasure. At least then, the relentless pain would stop!
I always thought I was blessed with strong, healthy, sporting genes. My father was a legendary Malaysian sportsman who is in the National Hall of Fame. I was once a strong and healthy athlete too. I never got sick. I never thought of dying young but now I was reduced to a crumpled bag of bones waiting to die. After the doctor gave me the diagnosis of cancer, my world imploded. I thought it was the end. Yes, I was in so much pain and thought death would be a pleasure but hearing the doctor say it, really hit home and I just broke down and cried and cried and cried.........the whole day.
Thank God I have the best and strongest wife in the world. She was with me in the hospital, day and night. She was with me at all times, never leaving my side. She knew I was afraid to be alone, very, very, very afraid. I was so afraid of the Grim Reaper sneaking up from the shadows and grabbing my soul. I couldn't sleep at night because there was so much pain even with the painkillers. All I could do was lie in bed and wait for the sun to rise. Besides the excruciating pain, I was also afraid of the dark now. According to statistics, most terminally ill people die during the night. I didn't know it then, but I had developed a fear of the dark. Every morning, I would just sit by the window in the hospital and look out, waiting for the sun to rise. Fortunately the room I was in, had a beautiful view of the Subang Jaya park. I would be so relieved when the sun rose and filled my room with warm, rejuvenating light. The warmth of the sunlight felt like God's blessing and I was allowed to live another day.
The simple joy of watching and hearing the birds singing in the trees at sunrise was now the best thing on earth, not a billion dollars in the bank, not a big house, not a Porsche in the garage. All I wanted was time, to do all the things I never had time to do. I was a workaholic working 15 hour days and all I could think of was money money money. I said my prayers and I asked God to give me 5 good, pain free years. I needed it to do all the things and say all the things I needed to say to my wife and kids. I stopped everything. I stopped working. I sold off the business. All I wanted now was my dearest wife and kids and the simple pleasure of waking up strong and healthy every day.
I asked for 5 good years, I have had 10 years now. It might not have been a smooth journey, I was a real bastard to my wife and kids in the first 3 years. I had violent moods swings, massive rage issues and depression. It took me 3 long years to come out of the dark, gloomy clouds of sadness and anger. They call it the "Why me?" stage. I have since learned that it does no good and I am just wasting whatever precious time I have left. I now try and be happy every day and just be thankful for every extra day I get.
My dearest wife Sally, I LOVE YOU from the bottom of my heart. You stuck it out with me. You steered my broken sampan through the fog of hell, you helped me escape from the Grim Reaper. Most women would have packed up and left in the middle of the night. You took it on the chin for 3 horrible, long suffering years of me being a total bastard. I am so grateful you are still here with me. I wouldn't have pulled through without you. You are my rock, my navigator, my partner, and I am eternally grateful for that. It hasn't been a perfect 10 years but I will keep on fighting. I will try for 10 more good years and then hopefully another 10 more years after that.
I WILL LIVESTRONG!!!!!!!!