Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Joy of Dying in Peace

Last week while I was at the University Hospital, almost towards the end of my visit the senior doctor asked me a question. It's an unexpected question but it has been in my thoughts for a long while. The doctor asked "What if at the end, you find what you are doing is not working? What will your do?" I know the day will come and when that happens, I am prepared to call it a day. While, I would certainly like to find a cure for my cancer, there comes a time I will recognised that it's no good. I have tried all that I know (of course, you can say there are many more I have not tried) which I think will work for kidney cancer. I am satisfied with my actions and prepared to move on.

You know, sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night due to pain, I will ask myself, with every new day that I survive, I am also subjecting myself to another day of pain. With every new day, I also present myself a chance to better my own condition. But so far, what I have seen from my treatment; it's sustaining but the cancer is also progressing slowly. So, it's going to be a slow painful death in the end. That is one possibility. The other possibility is that I will survive. This is a bonus or like some of you said, a miracle. A very well known oncologist from Singapore once said, curing cancer is like striking a jackpot. So there is so much physical therapy one can take or do. There comes a time, it's better to accept the end is near and then prepare for it. For me, I will not cling to this body of mine any longer.

I have the opportunity to speak to a number of cancer patients, a few days before they passed away. What I noticed are that these people are not prepared to die. It's due to many reasons and one of them is acceptance. They still cannot accept the fact that they have cancer and why it happen to them. They feel pitiful and that the world or life has been unfair to them. They are really in a miserable state. I take a different view. I am actually preparing for this day so that I can die peacefully. To this end, my doctor loaned me a book called The Joy of Living and Dying in Peace by His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. To approach death without fear or regret and welcome our passage of death. To live peacefully you must also learn to die peacefully.

I have said at the beginning of this year that this year will be a difficult year for me. Half a year has already passed and it was painful so far. The second half of the year will be more painful and challenging and but still I hope to survive it.


  1. Dear Chang,

    Even if you didn't write this post, I know you are in such state of mind. Your indepth understanding of Buddhism is something I admire, something that lead you at peace with your body.

    Our bodies will spoil one day, with or without illness. We die not because of illness, but because of our bodies.

    I am not surprised if you are cured one day, but still, that doesn't mean you won't die one day. What matters is whether one can die at peace when the time comes, like what you want to tell in this post.

    Just curious, if curing cancer is like striking a jackpot, what is an oncologist for?

    1. In cancer treatment, you have only two outcomes. Either you get into remission or otherwise.

      One of the other important function of an oncologist (besides treatment) is how to manage the well being of a cancer patient. Many cancer patients die of very painful death and oncologists can help a cancer patient lead a better quality of life during this crucial period.

  2. Hi Chang

    I stumbled on your website earlier on while checking out SSG for a friend and I am impressed with all your extensive blog and tons of useful tips and info on alternative cancer therapies. Wow! I am not suffering from cancer but from diabetes - it has been like that for at least 14 years and I know what it is like to suffer bodily ailments as I have them day in day out. I almost had kidney failure a few years back, but was saved at the very last minute by Buddha Jigong's spiritual healing, channeled through a Taiwanese healer who happened to drop by KL at that felicitous moment. It was a total miracle for me, and more importantly, he and I had a very meaningful telepathic communication prior to the healing.

    Noting the pain and suffering and the tortuous drug therapy you've been going through, I would like to suggest that you could consider including the Zen approach, which is essentially a nondual approach.

    I would be delighted if it can help you in any way - it has helped me tremendously. Essentially, the mind and body are ONE, and this ONE entity is ultimately nothing more a CONCEPT or THOUGHT,which is the ultimate core understanding of Buddhism - insight that few can or do realize.

    I posted 2 replies to some of the blogged articles just now under the name of cjuan. If you would like to hear of the Zen approach and technique I mentioned above, you are welcome to contact me at -

    BTW, I noted your affection for Imee's Metta Sutra chant, this is also one of my favorites too! There is a hymn which you might want to listen to - it's the Lord Prayer performed by the Mormon Tabernacle choir with - here's the youtube URL for you to access:

    May the splendid and blessed light of the Buddha shine on you and relieve you of your woes. So get well soon!


    1. Hi Cjuan,

      You don't have to suffer from diabetes anymore and it can be cured.

      It's based on a vegetarian diet of brown rice, no oil, no sugar and no salt when cooking. You need to be on the diet for about two years. My sister's colleague, whose husband was suffering from severe diabetes and on the verge of losing his vision cured himself of Type II diabetes. He was not aware about this Gerson diet. This diet closely resembles the Gerson diet and but not as strict.

      Now, it's your turn to cure yourself of diabetes. Good luck.

  3. Chang, It takes a great courage to accept the cruel fact which most of the patients refuse to face it. I share your pain though we may not see each other every day. Just want you to know that I always pray that you have less sufferings. I admire your attitude. From KH Tan.