Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The Living End
Many of my friends cannot now recognised me because I am wearing long hair. It's been a long time since I last posted a picture of myself. So, I am posting a picture of myself with a 10 year boy, Mohd Shafiq.
Last Sunday, I visited Mohd Shafiq in Serendah, Selangor with my friend Yeong, and his wife Kat. This boy has sarcoma and has his left leg amputated. The cancer has spread to his right knee and also his right shoulder. A lump has appeared just below the right rib which I suspect is a liver tumor. As it is now, there is nothing the doctors can do and he is now on morphine patch for pain management. What I cannot understand is that the doctors (from General Hospital) have suggested to amputate the right leg and the right hand! Well, I can rule out money as the reason but I cannot fathom why the doctors wanted to do that for. Although it was only a suggestion, I think the doctors are really being insensitive unless there are palliative reasons for doing so. I also noted that the tumors has been giving him a lot of pains and when the morphine patch wears off, he cries. We did the best we can to cheer him up and he was engaging with us. But I can also see his mother (a single parent) trying so hard to cope with the situation. We hope to celebrate his 11th birthday at the end of July 2011. If there is anyone out there who would like to give Shafiq a birthday present, please contact me.
On the way back, Kat said the boy told his mother that he thinks he has only two weeks of life left. He wanted his mother to allow him to eat anything he wants. Obviously from the mother's point of view, this is not acceptable thinking as no mother would allow her son to die. Yet now, she is faced with a dilemma. If she did not do as her son's wish, what if he really dies? But by going along, it would be "permission" for the son to move on. What should the mother do?
As I sat down observing Mohd Shafiq during our hour or so visit, I was wondering that he being so innocent and young, how would he developed such insight? From another view, this young boy seems to knows the end is near. He has to see out his last days. Despite that, he looks cheerful and seems contented watching the TV most of the time. Although bed ridden, he did not seem to complain very much other than that he constantly needs the cooling winds of the fan and that even a little touch on the tumor areas would create extreme pain for him. His needs are so simple. For example, he like watching the Phua Chu Kang Inc and Mr Bean videos, so my friend brought some videos for him while his wife back made some food for him.
It's easy to imagine myself being in such a similar situation. My needs are more complex and surely waiting out my last days this way being in a happy mood certainly sounds contradictory. The morphine patch seems to be doing a wonderful job of keeping the mind in a dreamy state of happiness. Bed ridden and in pain, what do I expect? Another question is whether I would abandoned my current diet and have my "last few meals" on any food that I like while waiting for the day to come? I guess it no longer matters when your life is nearing the end. Is this what is called The Living End?
Nothing comes new to me anymore
Is this for real? I can't decide
Something is messing with my mind
Well I guess that now my time is near
Displacement conjures up no fear
The end will only linger on
Responsibility has gone
The end of existence is heading my way
I don't think I can last one more day
Stuck in a place that doesn't wound or mend
Is this what's called The Living End
Stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea
The end is here for eternity
(Lyrics by The Living End)
The above are some of my thoughts that I would like to share with you; some of the things that crossed my mind during this difficult period of my life. I am not immune to such thoughts and occasionally, I do get such visits. I think such thoughts are not all that bad because I think I learned more about myself and in touch with my feelings. Obviously I have not reach any mastery level where I can control my mind to switch "on" or "off" or think "positive" and "negative" at will. I am still far from that goal but I am working on it.