Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Starry Starry Night

I can't sleep so I thought I may as well write today's post earlier than usual.

I have been thinking why of late I have been bugged by this reflux problem. My food intake has been quite consistent except for the following:
1. Spicy Dhal curry for about two weeks
2. Spouted bread + cayenne pepper for about two weeks
3. Green apples and pineapple

I think eating spicy foods are the major cause of my acidity problem. I have stopped taking the above foods (except for item 3) for a week a week now and the reflux problem is getting better. Because of the reflux problem, I developed this craving for eating green apples (1 apple a day) and pineapple (one 1 slice a day) during the last few days. I have also since stopped eating green apples and pineapples.

More than reflux, I think I am suffering from some deficiency syndrome as it is known in TCM. The symptoms are palpitation, insomnia, restlessness, unable to lie flat, heat in the chest, palms and soles, dry mouth and throat and sticky sputum. I feel feverish at times, cold feet in the day and warm feet at night and restless all the time. It gets worst towards the night. Due to the disturb sleep, I easily feel agitated and have no presence of mind. My TCM lecturer said treating this syndrome is not easy.

Yesterday, I took my bath for the first time in 21 months with cold water. The water was chilly and I had to cope with the cold even though the evening sun was in full blast. I was afraid to catch a cold which would make matters worst. I figure that cold water would help me to cool down my whole body. I have not experienced all these symptoms together in the past. I am also not sure if these symptoms are cause by the tumors or the changes in the food intake or my new therapies or combination thereof.

Due to the way and the food I took the last 21 months, my body has been conditioned in certain ways and can be easily get out of balance even with a simple diet change. As you can see, adding spices to my diet was a big mistake and self inflicted. I should have been more patient. Dhal is fine but I made it very spicy! So double whammy. Sigh...

I have been very conservative in performing my therapy but in recent months, I am starting to lose patience. I have became bolder in my approach and I have still have not understood why I am beginning to be more aggressive. I think this song Vincent by Don McLean best reflect how my mind is now:

Starry starry night
paint your palette blue and grey
look out on a summer's day
with eyes that know the darkness in my soul.

Shadows on the hills
sketch the trees and the daffodils
catch the breeze and the winter chills
in colors on the snowy linen land.

And now I understand what you tried to say to me
how you suffered for your sanity
how you tried to set them free.
They would not listen they did not know how
perhaps they'll listen now.

Starry starry night
flaming flo'rs that brightly blaze
swirling clouds in violet haze
reflect in Vincent's eyes of China blue.

Colors changing hue
morning fields of amber grain
weathered faces lined in pain
are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

And now I understand what you tried to say to me
how you suffered for your sanity
how you tried to set them free.
perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you
but still your love was true
and when no hope was left in sight on that starry starry night.
You took your life as lovers often do;
But I could have told you Vincent
this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.

Starry starry night
portraits hung in empty halls
frameless heads on nameless walls
with eyes that watch the world and can't forget.

Like the stranger that you've met
the ragged men in ragged clothes
the silver thorn of bloddy rose
lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

And now I think I know what you tried to say to me
how you suffered for your sanity
how you tried to set them free.
They would not listen they're not list'ning still
perhaps they never will.


  1. CT,

    My favorite song, too. This song is often played at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.

    The part of the lyrics that say, "How you suffered for your sanity" refers to the schizophrenic disorder from which Van Gogh and his brother suffered.

    McLean, is a practicing Catholic, was also going through a dark period when he wrote this song.

    This song, and Van Gogh's painting, reflect what it's like to be misunderstood. Van Gogh painted "Starry Night" after committing himself to an asylum in 1889. He wrote that night was "more richly colored than the day," but he couldn't go outside to see the stars when he was committed, so he painted the night sky from memory.

    Most of all, this song can be a reminder about God.

    CT, try to read some holy scriptures about an hour before you sleep. It can do wonders.

  2. My sanity is being tested to the maximum. I just can't sleep nor sit down calmly. The fire is burning in me. I am in a state of frustration and depression. All I want to do is end it all and my mind is filled with suicidal thoughts.

    Chanting the holy scriptures is one thing I did not try and I think it should have at least a calming effect.

  3. CT,

    Chanting or quiet passive meditation can restore the spiritual equilibrium of your restless heart. When all else fails, we are but merely a fragile being with absolutely no control over our existence. We get so caught up each minute with the "doing" that we almost entirely forget the "being".

    As human "beings" we do the best we can to get better, but we must not get overly fanatical...the rest is in the hands of the Creator. Perhaps your nature and conditioning dictates that you must be in control, you must be in the "know-it-all"...try to be kind on yourself and it really is ok to depend and rely on God. Be patient with the waiting....after all, it takes nine months for you to be formed!

    Seriousness aside, your sanity has not been tested to the absolutely minimum yet...after all, you are the number ONE sperm amongst the many, many millions of other swimmers. If you must get frustrated and depressed, be quick about it and get over it.

    Be patient, be spiritual, just be...

  4. Hi Chang,

    I try not to discuss anything "spiritual" in your blog. I know this is a very sensitive subject. There are many out there who have ulterior motives for reasons better known to themselves. You know I am a Buddhist and answer Buddhist questions. I write this because I know you are a well-informed Buddhist. I shall just stop here, and I shall never write anything about "spirituality" here in your blog again, respond to any comment on this subject. This blog is about life and death. This blog must be rspected for what it is. It is your invaluable contributions for all of us. I am sure you should be respected for your firm believe in whatever religion you choose to follow. I am sure you have a mind of your own, and being a well-informed Buddhist I am sure you know how to take good care of your life, spiritually in the Buddhist way.

  5. Hi Chang,

    As you know, the cancer war is fought on many fronts. You have been successful in the psychological battle. Just keep on fighting. Suicidal tendencies are a natural passing thought when one is faced with seemingly prolonged unsurmountable problems. This too happens to me occasionally. But I am still alive and kicking, and I am past my 60 years.

    You have a very strong mind and heart. Keep fighting on. Take care.

  6. still praying for you CT..just like what Justin said only you can make a decision on your treatment decisions but also your spiritual path.. only you. In the privacy of your thoughts, you do not have to let us know, unless you have a conviction to do so, or have it in your heart to share what you have found..the Grace of God is free for all.

  7. I have been following this blog since 2009. Let's not get overly defensive on spirituality. Its like saying that you can only have friends of a certain religious belief. Love and concern tresspasses all boundaries of religion. The only "motive" many of us have by visiting this blog is for CT to keep finding strength for the journey...to carry the hope...to keep believing that there is a tomorrow.

    It is rude to categorize comments of others as "spiritual" in a narrow mided sense...it certainly does not resound consistently with many of the knowledgeable Buddhist friends I know. I trust that comments posted reflect sincerity of heart...to reflect and combine each letter, into a word, forming a sentence...to give hope to others to go on.

    Being technical, analytical...so-called 'non spiritual' can suck one's spirit dry.

    Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
    and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared.

    Please do not blow out the light shared by others, if it can brighten a little of other's path.

    My comments meant well, CT, with no other "motives" to offend you or any other old and narrow minded beings.

  8. I would like to echo the last post. CT, even if we are of different faith, I know that God will dispense Grace to anyone He choses, Buddhist or not, Christian or not. I am not here to push any agenda or to earn points in Heaven, I just want to be with you, in any way I can. You see I am working full time and blogging is not a very " professional way" of spending corporate time.. but if just to light a candle when your world starts getting dim.. if only to paint a starry night in your room-- I would spend just a few precious moments to write to you. You are blessed, so many people love you (regardless of faith and belief and treatment decisions).

  9. Ok you made a mistake. Move on. I have not read anywhere that chilli causes cancer to grow. Give it a few days for yr body to come good. You never know it could be a healing reaction.

  10. Van gough would be have been ok if he knew about dr. Hoofer his vitamin b3 treatment therapy.

  11. At the end of the day, whatever you have tried would have to help you improve your current physical conditions, period.

    1. Good appetite.
    2. Sleep well thru' the night.
    3. Toilet time, big or small.
    4. Hand and feet should feel warm all the time.
    5. Feel energetic.

    Have you consider fasting? Maybe you should to that.

  12. The friend whom I have know does not quit that easily. It is just not you. Do what is comfortable with yourself as long as it is an informed and well researched decision, be it chilli (I think that's is not cure but greedy)or dhall. Take care...


  13. pineapple is not used in the gerson therapy because of the acidity of the juice. However, pineapple in asia usually freshly picked therefore less acidity. What arises next is that it has a high fructose level which is not to be eaten by cancer patients. This maybe the source of the heat?

  14. Chang,

    Amidst all the chaos and noise, try this soothing music which I listen to for calm.

    Just listen on headphones, close your eyes, dim the lights and let your mind go...don't think


  15. Chang, my friend,

    From our generation, Glenn Campbell has some nice advice for you...(since you like karaoke...)


    Stay calm and don't worry about anything else.

    We are all mortals, bro.

  16. CT,

    Don't blame yourself. What has happened has happened. Perhaps it is also due to readers out there who over-care and recommend everything under the sun. Sometimes, we need composure and a calm center so that we do not sway away from ourselves and dance to the tune of readers who have absolutely no vested interest in your life. These people are out there with nothing to do but lots of time to kill.

    The Blogosphere is filled with people like that, some genuine, others may just want you to try out this and that and give them feedback.

    Therefore, stay steady with yourself as you have done...maintaining the course. Trust yourself. Trust your body. Its too late to quit now on yourself and your family.

    Don't spend too much time researching this and that to please readers out there. Get much needed rest to heal the body.

    Will continue to pray for you.

  17. CT,

    Just read your blog and apparently there is a comment which says that this blog is "your invaluable contributions for all of us".

    Hello, readers, this blog is perhaps CT's way of thinking out loud for himself and journalling his experiences.

    In the course of doing so, if there are people who share similar experience and benefit, so be it. CT is not contributing anything, per se, FOR all of us. This is not a job!

    Since when did spirituality became a forbidden subject? We are friends of CT and obviously we pray for him whether we are Muslims, Christians, Sikh, Buddhists, Atheist, etc. Who gave this guye the mandate to judge comments of readers, anyway. He may be the one with "motives"...

    Anyway, CT, you get well. We are fasting and praying for you.

  18. I think Justin Choo is using this site to re-direct traffic to his own blog. Although, I think from time to time he is genuinely concerned about our dear CT Chang.

  19. Hi CT,

    I am saddened to hear things are not going well for you at this time. I have you in my prayers and hope you are well soon.

    There is a weed that grows everywhere, possibly in your back yard, known as "Common Plantain," that may help with the heat in chest and sticky sputum, it is also said to help stop internal bleeding.

    In Chinese Medicine:
    Parts used: seeds (all parts of the plant can be used, depending on the condition being treated).
    Nature: Sweet;cold
    Affinity: Liver, kidneys, small intestine, lungs
    Effects:Diuretic, antdysenteric, expectorant, improves vision
    Indications: Difficult or painful urination, diarrhoea, of "full-hot" type, aching and swollen eyes, blurry vision; excess phlegm.
    Dosage: 5-10g
    Remarks: This is the only diuretic that also tonifies the kidneys and appears in many aphrodisiac prescriptions; ot also lowers blood pressure.

    It has a long history of herbal uses all over the world, and is eaten as food by many.

    My experience with it was in treating poisoning, burns and cuts.

    My mother had put pellet ant poisen on a mound of ants, and two of our ducks got into it and by the time I found them one duck was dead and the other already had the stiffness of rigor mortis setting in...but was still breathing. I remembered being told the "American Indians would use plantain for rattle snake bites"...so I thought "it was worth a try." I crushed the plantain leaves and shoved it down the ducks throat as far as I could, and put the duck in a cool safe place for the night. The next morning I could not believe the duck was up walking around.
    At another time my brother bought a bag of rat poison and sat it on his outside porch, the dogs got into it, and were vomiting; everyone thought the dogs would die. I immedietly crushed plantain leaves and put in hamburger meat and fed to the dogs, the ones that would not eat...I shoved the crushed leaves down the throat. All the dogs lived.

    I have used the crushed leaves of the plantain many times on cuts and burns to help in the healing.

    I hope you will be well soon.
    Much Love,

    There is much info. on the internet concerning its use.


  20. I tend to agree with Annonymous 9.13pm that this guy is out to redirect traffic and advertise himself at the expense of genuine concern for CT. His blog is out to make money for himself!

    Come to think of it, our friend CT's condition has taken a downturn since he came on board with all his 'suggestions'.

    Be careful, CT...

  21. anonymous at 10:53pm

    I agree with you (I am anonymous at 9:13pm). He has been encouraging CT even on the guise of getting visibility for his site-- at one minute he would encourage CT on Baking Soda Maple Syrup therapy and when one challenges it-- he would say it is risky. Its just so obvious that he is riding on to CT Chang's blog as his own blog does not have regular followers (he does not have a consistent theme or a true personal story to tell)-- now he is jumping on another blogger's comment (nanaymiriam).

    Sorry, CT, I know we should not be arguing in your blog.. but Justin has to stop antaganozing other bloggers and accusing people of what he is doing.

  22. Dear CT,
    I will be away for 10 days (will be in Manila), not sure if I will have time to check your blog.. but I am hoping that you will continue to live a happy and fulfilled man-- and most of all that you will have a good night's sleep tonight. Take care CT. Will keep you in my prayers.

    To all of CT's friends-- virtual or not,
    please try to be with him at this crucial stage, just keep him company...specially during the wee hours of the morning.. either just responding to his post.. if you can call him on the phone-- please keep him in a conversation specially around 2am to 6am (if he is awake-- if not let him sleep).

    take care of our dear friend.

    to anonymous--- I believe Justin wasnt jumping on me-- but is just making his comments regarding some seemingly "spritual" posts. I do not mind that at all.

  23. Dear CT,
    I cant help it, but I am worried that you may have an infection. Your body is probably too alkaline to fight the infection. remember the acid/alkaline balance? I know you are determined to alkalanize your body-- but dont forget that we need some level of acidity to fight off infection.. CT, am sure your TCM friends will probably have something for you on this.. sorry I am rattling now.. maybe you should just keep to the GT protocol and be patient. I know it is monotonous and you are probably tired of waiting.. sorry am rattling here now.. hope you get some good conversations tonight CT..

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