Monday, March 5, 2012

Keep Hanging On

Every where I look, its depressing. I have not been able to shake off my depression. At times I feel I have almost beaten it only to find myself sinking deeper in. It's like quicksand. The more you resist, the more you sink in. Living with cancer is already difficult and to find your cancer advancing is very depressing. Still it's a choice of how I make of it. Continue to indulge in self-pity or make the best out of it. But I am also very tired. Physically I am exhausted. Mentally, I have tried to cope as much as I can take. Perhaps being depressed is one way to help my mind cope with so much pain. I don't know how much longer I can maintain my sanity. I am just an ordinary person, no superman. Remaining positive is like swimming against the current. How much longer can I keep up? At times, I feel like trowing in the towel. Easy way out, like taking a holiday forever. Take a last glance at the world and close my eyes forever. As a Buddhist, I will take my chances on my next rebirth, whatever it maybe. My greatest regret is not having the courage to live the way I want, true to myself.

How do I contain those constantly felt negative feelings and depression? My best weapon is music, soothing and relaxing music. Next is to have someone to talk to. No, I don't want them to give me any advise, just be there for me and listen. When that is not possible, I go for walks. Why not meditation? The mind is agitated and the heart restless. Those negative emotions must be dealt with and not suppressed. Only then would relief come.

Yesterday after lunch, the pain on my abdominal area became more pronounced. Normally, the pain if it comes, are usually after dinner. As the day progressed, it became painful and I had to take the pain killer. Then I was awaken by the abdominal pain at about 5am. Woke up, made a hot oatmeal drink and then took another pain killer. I am monitoring the situation.

I think I need a holiday. I have decided not to go Sri Lanka in the middle of this month due to my abdominal pain. Perhaps later in the year. My friend Eddie from Ipoh has invited me to stay in his house for a few days. The last time when I was there, we spent so much time talking. He was my colleague from my banking days in the 80s. He is retired and so we get to talk for the whole day. When you get older, you reminisce the good old days. The best time we spent together was in 84, together with his colleagues, we stayed at Strawberry Park, Cameron Highlands. That was the first time I went to Cameron Highlands. I fell in love with the place immediately. It consists of verdant hills and valleys. We booked a one room apartment. The girls took the room and the guys had to sleep in the hall. Actually we did not sleep very much. We spent the whole night eating and talking. We got together at the fire place and sang out hearts out, especially the heart touching song We Are The World. Oh, how I missed those days. I have not decided whether to take up his offer. This is because he is such a good host, I don't want to trouble him. He would drive me around and this time he said, we could go to Cameron Highlands to stay for a day. Very tempting offer. I may just go to have a break in routine.

Think for a Moment

NEVER JUDGE ANYONE BECAUSE You never know how their life is or as to what is happening or what they’re going through. Just think ABOUT this moment.

-Author Unknown-


  1. Dear Chang

    It would be very interesting to hear your views as a Buddhist of your current situation.

    Thank you.

    Liew Fook Seng

  2. Hi Liew,

    So far, I have refrained from discussing about religion and also about my private life. This blog is not my personal diary.

    Religion to me is a private relationship. Some people believe in this religion and some in that religion. Even within the same religion people have different ideas. That's why I don't discuss them in my blog. However, I do engage with my friends (same religion or other religion) over a cup of tea in private discussions.

    1. Chang

      I think the writer was possibly looking for u to soul search and express yourself as a Buddhist and about giving up/ throwing in the towel as u have said...I think the writer meant for u to think about this aspect and if u discuss about it it is a form of helping yourself to get through this depression journey...As always Chang, your blog is for u to speak and for us to listen..

  3. I received an email from a reader who is also a cancer patient. She shared with me her experiences and it contains quite a lot of useful information. With her permission (request anonymity), I thought it would be good to share it with you:

    Dear CT,

    I am a stage 4 breast cancer patient (stage 3 in 2006, stage 4 in 2007) with metastasis to lungs, bones and lymph nodes and have undergone multiple courses of chemotherapy and RT.

    Currently I am on metronomic chemotherapy which is a lose dose continuous oral chemo. The difference between the full gear chemo and metronomic is, while the full gear chemo attacks the tumour itself, the metronomic targets at limiting the blood supply to the tumour. The side effects are minimal as I have taken this regime since early 2009 and have been quite stable. Actually I managed to get rid of my lymph nodes and lung metastasis only in two/three months after starting it.

    Though I still have multiple bone lesions on my spine, ribs and sacrum, I am enjoying very good quality of life now with no pain or discomfort whatsoever.

    I have tried quite a number of alternative treatment, including dentritic cells in Germany, detox treatment in Reno of USA, and some off-label drugs. I know you are very much against conventional medicine, and me too, but sometimes we have to use it to buy time.

    I want to recommend something I have used with minimal side effects for bone metastasis (see attachement). But honestly I cannot tell whether it is working or not as I am having so many supplements and it's really difficult to tell which one works. But as there is no side effect, and the cost is very affordable, so no harm to try.

    Another thing I have taken for quite a while is the Sun's soup:-

    This is under clinical trials for lung cancer but they said (I've called the company) it's also good for other cancers, though it's quite costly.

    I am living in Hong Kong. I know how you feel as I have gone through pretty much the same feeling when my condition deteriorated a lot in early 2009. But please press on, I believe there are still options around. (Currently I am looking into fetal stem cells in Ukraine:, but can't recommend to you as I haven't tried it myself).

    My best wishes to you!

  4. Hope you will go... give yourself that little break and recharge... let the dust here settle a little and perhaps after you come back, it will seem, if not, a little clearer.

    Take care and as always remembering you in my prayers.

  5. I totally agree with the anonymous reader who wrote to you, and where you had reproduced the content of her letter. It may be a good idea to re-visit conventional treatment, given the current status of your disease now. The aggressive conventional treatment may just be the remedy needed to buy you some time till you find an appropriate alternative treatment or a breakthrough in the form of cure for cancer is found. Conventional treatment such as chemo does not cure stage 4 cancers, but it has in many instances provided the much needed symptomatic relief to patients, such that they are able to live life normally.

  6. Have you ever tried Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) for your pain? My husband uses it for pain in his elbows and hands, and says it works good for him.

  7. Hi Anonymous @ Mar 5, 2012 10:31 AM

    Thank you for sharing the information.

    I have not used DMSO before for pain management and I am not sure if it will work for cancer pain.