Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In A Circle

Last few days, I had some problem with my legs. Due to the pain, I could not sleep that well. So I asked my mother to apply some medicated oil on the back of my legs and then used the electronic massager to roll over the affected areas. It did provide me some temporary relief. I have also been doing a lot of self massaging.

Although I am in positive territory most of the time, there are occasionally pockets of lapses. Last night, I could not sleep and I was awake sitting on the couch with the TV on at 2am in the morning. I was not watching TV as my mind had other thoughts. I was just wondering how long more I had to endure all of these? Sometime back, I was reading an article about prisoners on the death row. They have been sentenced to death but they do not know when the execution date will be. It can be one week, a month, a year or more from now. Everyday they wait for news of their turn and many of them had developed mental and psychological problems. I think my situation is like theirs, probably with two differences. The first difference is that death row prisoners are in solitary confinement while I am not. That's make a great difference, possible that explains why I am still sane, or what's left of it. Secondly, like some prisoners who are appealing against their death sentence, I am on alternative therapy in the hope that I will get a chance to live. Appeals can take very long time, so some prisoners waive their right to appeal and chose to die. Success in alternative therapy also take a long time to materialise, if it indeed materialises, sometimes I also want to give up.

My therapist told me and from what I read, that there are three main possible reasons why cancer patients have trouble sleeping. The first reason is that the patients are in some form of pain that prevents them from sleeping. The second reason is that cancer patients constantly worry about their loves ones and about themselves so much so they cannot settle down to sleep. The third reason is that these cancer patients can sleep but choose not to sleep. Why? They are afraid that when they sleep, they will not wake up the next day. I belong to the first and second category of cancer patients with sleeping problems. But many a times, I do wish after I fall asleep, I will not wake up the next day. Sometimes, I feel so very tired, I want to throw in the white towel. I surrender. The state of constant uncertainty does take a heavy toll on my mind. I take my chances in my afterlife. But then I wake up the next day.

I get another chance to live another day and I also get another chance to meet my dark thoughts in another day.


  1. Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide

    Check it out.


  2. dun give up, every thing you are now must hav a reason......

  3. just visiting... sometimes I also want to just "not wake up the next day", but I worry for my 5 year old daughter, so during those bad days, I just fight those thoughts off as much as I can and use Three Minute Therapy (google it). Do you not worry about your love ones? What would happen to them when you die?Just curious..


  4. Dear Lanie,

    I don't quite agree with you about not entertaining such thoughts. Putting them aside is just not dealing with your thoughts. Sure, we can pray, chant, listen to song and get busy by doing all sort of things, but it just denying, postponing the problem. Actually, when you contemplate on it, you can get a better understanding of yourself and then learn to live life better. Thinking about it once in a blue moon does not get me into depression.

    I read in a Christian friend's blog (also a cancer patient) and she recently wrote about "An Appointment With Death" wherein a Church consultant talk about death therapy which she was asked to do. The consultant said it's just a therapy and nothing prophetic. The consultant is 45 years and he thinks he will die at 50 years old. She wrote "... He said that if he lives beyond 5 years, he would just continue glorifying God. So see, it does not matter when we think we will die because we are already assured to be with God early or late in life."

    Likewise, as a Buddhist I am also preparing for the day. Buddhists are taught to contemplate on death. When we leave this world, we will leave behind our loves ones. The important question for me is what kind of relationship did you have with your daughter when you were still alive?

  5. by the way Chang, whenever I am having those very bad days, this verses kind of help me to start running life's marathion one step at a time..

    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is Christ Jesus our Lord”. Romans 8: 38-39.


  6. Dear Chang,
    About "fighting those thoughts off", I just said it to make it simpler. But I agree setting those thougths aside does not solve the problem. But it does propel me to do what needs to be done in a day. I cannot afford to just stop, because am the only bread winner. Many times, I have wrote about dying in my own diary (I dont publish it). But really, I am not afraid of dying because of the same reasons (I am asured to be with God, anyway)-- its just a matter of when. And though, I agree that quality is much better than quantity, I am not sure yet if 5 years is enough time for my daughter. I am 36 years old now, but my mother felt that she cannot leave me yet. It seems her motivation to keep fighting and just being alive, is to continue being a mother to me and my brother and a grand mother to my daughter.

    I am just wondering if that is the case with you, as well. I find it interesting to read your Buddhist views. specially when you mentioned what kind of relationship did you have with your daughter when you were still alive?


  7. Dear Lanie,

    As parents, we try to provide and give the best to our children. But when the time comes, there is nothing we can do. The children will have to be taken care by the next of kin.

    Worrying about what happens to the children after we leave this world is not going to help. If you don't want to worry, then do something for them when we are still alive so that you can leave freely. From a Buddhist perspective, when one leaves this world but still hold strong attachments to children, parents or love ones, one may continue to linger on in this world as a ghost or spirit.

  8. Am not sure if its a coincidence, but in the Biblical perspective, we are also being thought to spend quality time with our children--witht he assumption that one day we will leave them and that they will not depart from what they were taught to do..

    Old Testament:
    Proverbs 22:6
    Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

    Proverbs 23:13-14 “Withhold not correction from the child: for if you beat him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from hell.”

    New Testament
    Let's take a look at two people who taught the Bible in the right way: Lois and Eunice. They appear in 2 Timothy. Lois was the grandmother of Timothy and Eunice was his mother. Timothy's father appears to have been an unbelieving Greek (Acts 16:3). Both Lois and Eunice taught Timothy from the scriptures (2 Tim 1:5). Their scriptures would have been the Old Testament to us. Both women made a great effort to make sure Timothy understood the scriptures correctly and when he finally heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, it meshed with what he knew of God from his Jewish faith and the lights came on for him and he became a believer. In 2 Timothy 3:14-15, we see Paul talking about the faith that his grandmother and mother taught Timothy:

    But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

  9. there are also biblical teachings about severing the attachments between parents and child and between siblings (however I do not think that being detached is only limited to physical death or physical separation)

    Luke 12:51-53 ESV Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

    Jesus demonstrated His spiritual detachment to His mother mary and brother John, when He was 12 years old-- when He spent time in the synagogue learning about God-- His mother and brother was so worried about Him, that they chastised Him.. and He said..

    "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?"

  10. However, I think where Christianity nd Buddhism does not meet is in the idea of ghosts or what happens after death (just sharing)..

    Hebrews 9:27 declares, “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” That is what happens to a person’s soul-spirit after death—judgment. The result of this judgment is heaven for the believer (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23) and hell for the unbeliever (Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:22-24). There is no in-between. There is no possibility of remaining on earth in spirit form as a “ghost.” If there are such things as ghosts, according to the Bible, they absolutely cannot be the disembodied spirits of deceased human beings.(again, am sharing this for the purpose of discussion, not condemnation)

    So, if I die while my daughter is young and even if I die with too much attachment to her, I would not be able to stay around her as a ghost (cause I only have 2 possible destinations, and being a ghost is not one of them). Do, take note however, that Catholics (not Christians) believe in an "in-between" (purgatory), this is not Biblical and this is not a Christian belief (just making clear the difference between Catholism and Christianity).. perhaps Catholism learned the concept of "in-between" from Buddhism? I dont know. Just throwing that question into the wind.