Saturday, April 06, 2013
We often see relief centers whenever there is an emergency such as floods, earthquakes, and most recent was the Lahad Datu incident. These relief centers function as temporary accommodation for the victims that could add to thousands. These victims who are forced to leave their homes would be cramped together in schools or public halls. Usually, when these happen, donations and aids would come pouring in, in the form of clothings, food, blankets, medications and so on. When I was watching the news the other day about how the villagers from Kg. Tanduo, lived in the relief centers, with their children running around, how they slept on the floor, how they washed their clothes, had their meals, my heart really went out to them. I could just imagine how miserable they must have felt. Most of them left all their belongings and got there with just whatever they had on their backs. I could not help imagining if I were to be in their position. The first thing that came to my mind was, how would I take my food??? I would have left my blender and my foodstuff behind for fear of the intruders. And I would also have left behind the tube I use to pour down my food. I would have to go for days without any food..I shuddered when the thought crossed my mind. My survival now is greatly dependent on my PEG tube and it is like my lifeline and I'm really thankful to whoever that came with this idea of a PEG tube. Or else, many people like me would have died of malnutrition instead of cancer..... With Love, Sharifah
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Just the other day, I read Dr. Swill's blog, an entry about leading a life as a tongue cancer survivor. He had a very successful life before cancer. At a young age of 24, he was already an owner of three pizza franchises and he did not look back. However, his good and successful life was significantly altered when he was diagnosed with tongue cancer and had his tongue removed. But thankfully, after a few years of struggling with some major and minor operations and a series of treatments, he got back on his feet, but sadly, has to face the world with slurred speech and altered appearance. Well, a tongue cancer survivor is different than survivors of other types of cancers. A breast cancer survivor, for instance, does not have to deal with social issues as much. She can speak or take her food without inviting stares from those around her. It does not really affect her social life. And a lot of time, nobody even realise that she had had breast cancer before without her revealing it. But for tongue cancer survivor, especially those who underwent total glossectomy, the repercussions are quite serious. It could really affect your self confidence you tend to get emotionally upset when you can't express yourself as well as before. Sometime, you are wrongly understood. For some people, it takes a lot of patience on their part to make sense of what you are trying to say. And this can cause a lot of awkwardness in a social scene. There have been a few times that I noticed some people being uneasy for not understanding what I say but either too embarrased to ask me to repeat or too worried that I might get offended. So, they pretend as if they understand it by nodding or providing inappropriate responses. And me, also either too embarrassed to repeat myself or afraid that I would make them feel uncomfortable, or I might waste their time, just go along with them, pretending that, yes, thats what I meant to say. But, from their body language I could tell that they had no idea what I was saying but too polite to admit. However, this seldom happens with friends or people who are already used to my way of speaking. Alhamdulillah... But then, there are also times when I thought that people don't understand me when they actually do.....and it irritates them when I keep on asking..."do u understand what i'm saying?"..or "faham tak ni?".. Sharifah, with love...
There he was, sitting facing the front door willing her to walk in. She had not been back for months but promised to come to Bangsar to meet him and his wife. They drove all the way from Kedah to his sister's house first thing in the morning just to meet her. He missed his beloved daughter terribly. Where is she? She said she would be here. The clock ticked by....one hour...two hours...four hours...still no sign of her... He got up, had a cup of coffee...stretched..then sat again with his eyes still fixed on the door..watching the knob..hoping it would turn or hoping to hear a knock... Finally....maghrib azan could be heard but she was still not there...His heart sank. His wife watched him helplessly..she did not know how to cheer him up for she herself was heartbroken..it was such a heartwrenching moment..too painful to watch.. That incident was narrated by her aunty to her when she arrived the next morning.....she cried, really cried... To her abah, she was really, really sorry for putting him through the agony...and she promised to herself that she will never, ever disappoint him again.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
She was fast asleep on a mattress on the floor. It was past midnight. The small boy and his father came into the room and woke her. The father said: "Mak, bangun, ni tilam James. Mak kena bagi tilam ni dekat dia. Kalau tidak dia tak boleh tidur." ("Mother, wake up, this is James' mattress. You have to give this mattress to him. Or else he won't be able to sleep.") Startled, and sleepily, she got up and handed the sponge mattress to them. Father and son then just left her sleeping on the mengkuang mat. And I was there, watching the whole scene with tears trickling down my cheeks. That was, I think 40 years ago and its still clear in my mind and I'm sure it will stay affixed in my mind till the day I go. That loving woman who was my grandmother passed away when I was fifteen.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Everytime I come across someone who is physically handicapped, such as a person with amputated leg, or blind, or deaf, I always ask myself; would I want to trade places with them? Am I more fortunate compared to them? At least, they can be still be sociable. When people see a blind person, they know what to expect, that is, this person can't see. Or this person has to depend on clutches or prosthesis to walk around. But, for people like me, who look just like any other normal people, strangers are bound to be surprised when you start talking. And what do they do when they are surprise? Yes, they stare at you. Wondering, what is wrong with this lady...because you sound funny. I was once asked by a stranger whether I had stroke when he heard me talking. The situation is even worse when there are children around you because children cannot hide what they feel. They would just scrutinize you in awe. And what if they see you eating through the PEG for the first time? They would not be able to take their eyes off you, rite? Well, pouring my food down in public is something that I haven't got the guts to do just yet..even now, after 3 years... Cheers!!!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
It is that time of the year again. The first day of Ramadhan. This is the fifth Ramadhan for me since I lost my tongue, alhamdulillah. My first was in 2008. I was still in the ward, with my maid of 6 years. My family, hbby and the kids (Abg, Hakim and Ismail) would come to the ward and break the fast with me about two or three times a week. They brought all kinds of delicacies to the hospital; laksa, cendol, chicken rice, and all. I just watched them from my hospital bed enjoying the food. For me, I had my ensure milk. I never thought before my ordeal that watching your loved ones enjoying their food could be that satisfying. And indeed I love watching them eat. When it was Ramadhan in 2009, I was back at home. Nope, I went for umrah and spent the first two weeks in the holy land. That was when I almost had gastric for going without food for too long. Since then, I’ve been taking great care when it comes to my food intake. In 2010, I started working again. I was back at school as a non-teaching teacher. That was the year when my first son, Abg, started a new chapter in his life, college life. He went to JMTI, Japan Malaysia Technical Institute. That was the first time for him to be away from home. Initially, it was a bit hard for me. However, since the college is just nearby, it was not that bad. He comes home every weekend and now he is home much more often. And now, today, the first day of Ramadhan for 2012, we are in Malacca, sending my second son, Hakim to UniKL Alor Gajah. He is going to study Chemical Engineering. I am writing this from our hotel room. Every body else is napping, and I suddenly visualise what is going to happen tomorrow, when we say goodbye to him. Tears just trickle down my cheeks. I’m not going to see his jovial face again every nite. I won’t be screaming at him again in the morning waking him up. I won’t have him massaging my feet again. I can just imagine how quiet our house is going to be. My son, is going to be on his own now. Abg Ngah, my prayers will always be with you. I can’t be with you now. I know you are capable of doing a lot of things in your life. I believe you will go far in life. Just don’t forget to pray and always remember that Allah always listens to our prayers. with love, Umie