Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Message from Sibu

Salute to A Courageous Lady
Posted by Dr Clement Chen (Sibu)

L.C. presented to my clinic in 2007 with a raised serum tumour marker CA 19.9 .She was in her earlier 30`s . There was a strong family history of cancers . Two siblings had already died of cancers . Two nieces died of leukemia before their 12th birthdays . One other sister subsequently diagnosed to have cancer and died shortly after diagnosis . .

L.C. was completely asymptomatic . Subsequent investigations found a lung cancer . There was the beginning of her long battle with cancers till her death 2 days ago . She was referred to KL to have part of her lung removed , followed with Chemo and radiotherapy . Unfortunately , in 2009, she was found to have another primary cancer in her right breast . She went through surgery , chemo , radio again . Life had not been fair to her , she was soon found to have metastatic lung cancer and have more chemo till she died 2 days ago .

It all sounded like just another case of cancer . Ya , she was a bit young but so many young ones had died of cancers . The WHO had already announced that 38% of us will die of cancers and certainly more will have cancers but survive with treatments .

The amazing things about this lady were:

1) throughout all these years , she continued a very active life : raising few children ( her husband was overseas most of the time ) popped in and out to have the ' killing ' treatment in hospitals in Sibu and Kuching in between her routines . Never saw her complaining . So many times , I had no good news for her : cancers growing , serum tumor markers rising ... She would just bow her head for a second or two and continue living !

2) she had been a very active volunteer with our cancer counseling group ( part of Sibu cancer society ) , visiting all the cancer sufferers . She wore head scarf most of the time as she was bold most of the time . The hair never had a chance to grow back with almost continuing treatment ! You could see her always smiling , laughing , joking . She lightened up many lives and had given great hopes to them too ! Last year , she wanted to join our trip to Similajau in Bintulu . She rush back from Kuching immediately after her Chemo but too weak to join us at the end .......... . .
3) I often looked at her with amazement , admiration and highest respect ! How could someone dying from cancers could still go around smiling , laughing , giving , helping ..... I was sure she was in pains , was crying .. but I just could not see a trace of that in her ..... She was a real fighter!

4) Her fighting spirit was extra ordinary . So many times this year , she had been admitted with shortness of breath ( lungs replaced with cancers ) and put on Oxygen etc ...Every time , I though this was going to be her last admission ! Before long , she was discharged and I bound into her around in town , gatherings .. walking around without oxygen !

5) Few days ago , I came back from overseas and was told that she was admitted again and was very sick ! I saw her , she was really in distress , gasping for breath . I put her on morphine to ease her sufferings . She asked " is this drug going to send me to haven quicker ? " I replied " Are you scared ? " She laughed through her Oxygen mask ,in between coughs ..and choking .......I could not hold back my tears , I knew her answers .................... Actually , she was such a brave soul throughout her ordeal ...She died at 6am the next morning .

Her funeral is tomorrow . she had lived and would be remembered by many for a long long time . Her soul would sure rest in peace in Heaven !

Dr. Clement

The above notes were posted by Margaret at the Kuching Toastmaster's web-group


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