Friday 31 March 2023

His Compassion Is New Everyday

As usual I will get up a few times during the night to got to the toilet, drink water or make a cup of hot drink if I feel hungry. My appetite is considered good, eating more meal with small amount.

Sunrise at 7:55am - 03.02.2023
Sunrise at 7.30am - 04.02.2023

Everyday, I see the goodness of God at work in my family and my life. God provides abundantly and He takes care of all our needs. He blesses me with kind and generous "angels" to meet our needs.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift
coming down to us from God our Father,
who created all the lights in the heavens.
He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
(James 1:17, New Living Translation-NLT)

Photos of tiny critters from my garden.
Gardenia flower with a tiny insect.
I think this is a wasp fly on the peace lily.
I don't know the ID of this insect but it looks like some kind of fly.

And this same God who takes care of me
will supply all my needs from his glorious riches,
which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:19, New Living Translation - NLT)

Thursday 30 March 2023

2nd Chemo In A New Environment

On the 28th March, hubby drove me to the public or government hospital for my pre-chemo blood test. We reached the hospital before 8am and I went in on my own as parking was not available. When I turned the corner to the registration counter, there was a big crowd. The crowd consisted of people waiting at the eye clinic and the pharmacy. The number given to me was 1089 and that means there were 80 people ahead of me.

Sunrise on 15th March, 2023.

I took a seat and waited patiently for my turn. Waiting time plus taking of blood took about 50 minutes. I rested for a while and then called hubby to pick me up. 
Yellow and green coleus.

The next morning 29th March, 6:15am, we drove to the hospital. At that hour there is no problem with parking. I was told to present myself at 7am to register at the chemo day care ward. Since it was my 1st time there, I was treated as a new case. I was assigned a bed to rest while waiting for the doctor to do her round and to review the cases.
Angled loofah

The chemo process started at about 11:15am and the whole thing took about 3 hours plus (complete almost 3pm+). Thank God, I was prepared with breakfast, some cookies and drinking water in case I got hungry). All in, I was in the hospital for almost 9 hours and thank God, hubby was there the whole time. He was needed to do some running around to make photocopies of my pension card, identity card, collecting of medication from the pharmacy and etc.
Belimbing buluh

After leaving the hospital, we drove to Ipoh to get our late lunch at a quiet restaurant. Hubby ordered beef rice and I ordered grouper fish porridge. The bowl of porridge was big and I only managed to eat half. I requested for take-away or "tapau" the remaining half of the porridge for dinner. For dinner, hubby went out to take-away fried rice for himself.

My next blood test will be on the 18th April and chemo will be on the 19th April. There will be a change of chemo drug and I will be have to warded for the administration of the chemo. Will update when the time comes.

I want to say that God is good to me all the time and I know He loves me and provides for all my needs in many ways and through people around me. My heart is filled with thankfulness and gratefulness to my Heavenly Father.
My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness
by Keith & Kristyn Getty.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain;
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again;
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me in His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With pow'r upon my heart.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside;
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly;
Whose ev'ry promise is enough
For ev'ry step I take,
Sustaining me with arms of love
and crowning me with grace.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To him who reigns above,
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace,
Whose ev'ry thought is love.
For ev'ry day I have on earth
Is given by the King;
So I will give my life, my all,
To love and follow him.
Peace lilies

Monday 27 March 2023

Hiring A Part Time Maid To Clean Our House

From the day I was discharged from hospital, hubby has taken over the role of marketing, cooking, laundry, keeping the house clean, etc. It is not easy and can be stressful for him. To help lessen the work load and stress on hubby, I got a part-time maid through an agency which a friend recommended. The rate for a 4 hours job is RM70. I called the agency on Friday and a date was fixed for Saturday afternoon after lunch for the part-time maid to come to my house. Meanwhile, I prayed for a good maid who will do a good job.

Since it is our first time hiring a part-time maid, I didn't know what to expect. Come Saturday afternoon, the maid arrived at our house and I can see that she is very experienced in her job. There wasn't much talking, I only managed to ask her name. Straight away, she got down to her job. If she needed anything, hubby was there to help her. I went to my room to rest and also to get out of her way. She wiped all the windows, clean the ceiling fan and standing fans, table tops and surfaces, wash the toilet and bathroom. Ours is a single-storey house with 3 bedrooms + 1 room converted to a store room. 

She finished all the work in less than 4 hours and asked if there is anything that we want her to clean. We let her off half an hour earlier. We are not fussy and we are happy and satisfied with her performance and we will be requesting for the same maid in 2 weeks time. Alternate week, hubby will only need to give the floor a mop.

Let him have all your worries and cares,
for he is always thinking about you and
watching everything that concerns you.
(1 Peter 5:7, The Living Bible-TLB)

Lunar Occultation Of Venus
Friday, 24th March, 2023.
#1 - photo credited to Jagjit.
On the 24th March evening, an ex-colleague sent me the above shot of the crescent and a star in front of her house.
Photos #2 to #5 were shared by a church member.
Looks like a star almost touching the silver of the new crescent moon.
It is actually the planet Venus, the brightest natural object that can be seen in the sky with the naked eye, apart from the sun and moon. According to the newspaper report, the Moon is about 375,700km from Earth and Venus is 185,000km away. To us, Venus seems to be very near to the moon but it is actually very far away.
I didn't have the opportunity to see these for myself.
Photos #2 to #5 credited to Shirley T.
My friend and I went for mural hunting a few years back. I can't remember exactly when. 
My friend who is about 2 years older than me can still do the hopscotch game.

Linking to Monday Mural.

And it is he who will supply all your needs from his riches in glory
because of what Christ Jesus has done for us.
(Philippians 4:19, The Living Bible-TLB)

Sunday 26 March 2023

Registration & Appointment With Oncologist

This morning I woke up to the sounds of birds chirping in my garden. I slept quite well last night compared to some other nights. I will take naps in the day to make up for whatever lack of sleep in the night.

Sunrise at 7:50am.

Yesterday 23rd March was my appointment date with the oncologist at the government hospital. Initially, we intended to call Grab to take us there but a close friend and her hubby offered to send hubby and I to the hospital. To avoid the early morning traffic congestion, our friend came to pick us up at about 7:10am. We reached early, so we needed to wait for the registration counter to open at 8am.
Since it was our first time, we needed to wait in turn to see the oncologist. The initial waiting time was almost 2 hours, but once we get to see the oncologist, things started moving fast. After they have gone through the results of various tests done on me at the private hospital, the doctor once again briefed me about the chemotherapy which will be similar to what I had for my 1st chemo. The doctor asked me about my 1st chemo and thank God, the date for the 2nd chemo at the government hospital was fixed without any delay.
After that for their record, I was sent to get a chest x-ray and an ECG test done. Then we waited for the nurse to give me the appointment card for the 2nd chemo. We then call our friend to pick us up from the hospital. Upon reaching home, we had time to cook our lunch.

And the Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy you with all good things,
and keep you healthy too;
and you will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
(Isaiah 58:11, The Living Bible-TLB)
Grasshopper clinging onto the ladies' finger plant in my garden. This shot was taken in 2021.

And because the king trusts in the Lord,
he will never stumble, never fall;
for he depends upon the steadfast love of the God
who is above all gods.
(Psalm 21:7, The Living Bible-TLB)

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Lou Wong Kua (Old Cucumber) For Boiling Soup

 Currently, the weather here is hot. 

Sunrise at 7:10am.
Today, we are having "lou wong kua" or old cucumber soup. Many people including myself thought that "lou wong kua" is normal cucumber left to grow old on the vine. Actually normal cucumber and "lou wong kua" are from 2 lookalike but are different types of vine. "Lou wong kua" will start off as light green cucumber and then will turn yellow until it matures. I know because I have grown both the normal cucumber and "lou wong kua" in my garden.
As "lou wong kua" grows more mature, the skin will tend to crack slightly and you will know it is time to harvest. Ingredients for soup: chicken, "lou wong kua", carrot, corn on cob, red dates and goji berries.
My corn plants growing in front of our house. They were left to grow on their own. I was not able to take care of the plants in my garden now. Hubby has no time to feed them fertilizer because the cooking and house keeping have taken up most of his time.

O God, you have declared me perfect in your eyes;
you have always cared for me in my distress;
now hear me as I call again.
Have mercy on me. Hear my prayer.
(Psalm 4:1, The Living Bible-TLB)

Monday 20 March 2023

A New Chapter In My Life

After returning from the hospital, our sons were at home with us and they helped in the cooking, while hubby does the marketing. After our sons left for work, hubby took over the cooking as well. The first few days were quite stressful for him but he willing learn to pick up whatever he needs to learn.

Hubby has to learn to cook simple meals for both of us. I taught him to cook soups where everything goes into the pressure cooker. He learns to steam fish, steam minced meat, eggs, chicken and blanching of green vegetables. I planned simple menus to make it easy and less stressful for him. After a few days, he is now quite good in the kitchen without any instruction from me. Thank God he is not fussing and he is eating the same food that he cooks for me even though it could be very bland for him.
Hubby doesn't mind porridge but the only thing he doesn't enjoy is fish porridge. I have a small sized slow cooker which can cook enough for 2 meals for 1 person. Whenever cooking porridge, hubby has more time to relax, does his own things, and can go out to eat whatever he wants to eat for a change. Whenever possible, I will help out with light work e.g. like plucking and sorting out green vegetables while sitting at the table, etc.
Elder son is now back home with us and he takes over the cooking for us. He brought back a fresh grouper fish and yesterday, he cooked fish head soup. He put in a lot of effort to cut and clean the fish, cooked the soup and all was worth it. We enjoyed the fish head noodle soup very much and no complain from hubby. We had it for lunch and dinner.
Oh, do not hide yourself when I am trying to find you.
Do not angrily reject your servant.
You have been my help in all my trials before; don't leave me now.
Don't forsake me, O God of my salvation.
For if my father and mother should abandon me,
you would welcome and comfort me.
(Psalm 27:10, The Living Bible-TLB)
This mural looks like winter time with snow flakes.
The last few days have been very hot. There was some rain but not enough to cool down the heat.

Linking to Monday Mural.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
(Psalm 91:1-2, The Living Bible-TLB)

Friday 17 March 2023

Appointment With The Oncologist And 1st Chemo

Happy day my friends. Yesterday was my 67th birthday. 

Sunrise at 7:50 (18.02.2023)

In the previous post, I forgot to mention the result or rather what they found from the CT Scan. The result confirmed metastatic or secondary liver cancer. It is a malignant tumour that originates in another part of the body.  In my case, the malignant tumour started in my right side colon. It then spread to the liver through the blood stream or lymphatic system. Primary liver cancer, which initially develops in the liver, is diagnosed much less frequently than metastatic liver caner.

On the 8th March I had an appointment with the oncologist. The only option is for me to go through chemotherapy. I decided not to wait and requested for the 1st chemo to be done on the same day because the liver is causing pain. I left the chemo day care after 4pm and went home to rest. I was given oral chemo (tablets) to continue for 14 days. My medical insurance is not enough to cover the cost of chemo and blood test. I asked to be referred to the government hospital since I am a government pensioner. I was assured by the private oncologist than the treatment at the government hospital is as good as in the private.
8:14 am (18.02.2023)

I received an appointment date (23 March) from the government hospital. From there, hopefully I will have the date for the 2nd chemo.

Currently, my hubby is my main care giver. My sons will take turns to be back home to help out. I am really blessed to have good, caring care givers from family members.

And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another advocate to help you
and be with you forever - the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept him,
because it neither sees him nor knows him.
But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
(John 14:16-17, New International Version-NIV)

A friend who dropped by a zoo sent me the above photo.

I have been crucified with Christ
and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20, New International Version-NIV)

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Liver Biopsy & Discharged From Hospital

I called up my hubby after the doctor gave me the CT Scan result. I broke the sad news to my hubby and my sons. I also informed them that the doctor wanted to see them the next morning.

Sunrise at 7:50am, taken on the 24th February, 2023.
The dark cloud was partially blocking the beautiful sunrise.

My hubby and sons came early before the doctor. I had some time to talk to my love ones and comforted them that everyone has his or her timing, telling them that we have to be strong and united as a family as we weather through this storm. And we are not alone, for Jesus promised that He will be with us.
Later that day, I had an ultrasound to mark the sites for the liver biopsy. I remember asking the doctor whether I will be sedated and he replied that there is no need. I asked, "Is it painful?" He said it will be a fast one but it was only later I realized he didn't mention about the pain. I suppose different people has different pain tolerance level.

Before the biopsy, I was given a pain relief injection. Maybe it did help but I was caught off guard. The doctor needed to take 4 samples. I could hear the cutting sound "tuck" 4 times. It was very painful procedure and very traumatic for me. After the 4th one (which was the most painful) was done, I was left breathless and in pain. I took a while to get my breathing back to normal. While they left me to rest in the room, these words came to my mind, "I kena tipu" without any ill feeling towards the doctor. Well, "kena tipu" is something like being deceived. 

After the biopsy, I couldn't sleep well because of pain and the discomfort of getting on and off the bed whenever I need to go to the washroom. On 4 March, I was discharged and went home to wait for the biopsy result before meeting the oncologist.
Jesus your love has lifted me
Open my eyes and now I see
Your gentle power will come to me
Jesus your love has set me free
I'll lift my hands to worship you
God of my soul you made me whole
Father I give my thanks to you Lord joy and peace are now with me
We'll sing hallelujah (hallelujah) (2x) glory and praise
We'll give glory and praise
We'll will sing hallelujah (hallelujah)
We'll sing hallelujah

Jesus your love has lifted me
Open my eyes and now I see
Your gentle power will come to me
Jesus your love has set me free

Worship the Lord, in His presence we stand,
He cares for us and He understands.
Come Holy Spirit, reaching us now.
Grace, joy and peace, love abound.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord. (2x)
Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb.
Worship the Lord, in His presence we stand.
He cares for us and He understands.
Come Holy Spirit, reaching us now.
Grace, joy and peace, love abound.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.
Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb.
Faithful, faithful, faithful is the Lord.
Mighty, mighty, mighty is the Lord. (2x)

Worship the Lord, in His presence we stand.
He cares for us and He understands.
Come Holy Spirit, reaching us now.
Grace, joy and peace, love abound.

Sing a new song to the Lord!
Sing it everywhere around the world!
Sing out his praises! Bless his name.
Each day tell someone that he saves.
(Psalm 96:1-2, The Living Bible-TLB)

Great is the Lord!
He is most worthy of praise!
No one can measure his greatness.
(Psalm 145:3, New Living Translation-NLT)

Monday 13 March 2023

Caught In An Unexpected Storm

I got admitted to the hospital at about noon on the 1st March, 2023. A CT Scan was done on me in the afternoon. In the evening while waiting for the doctor to relay the result of the CT Scan to me, I was given a form to sign for my insurance claim. I saw the words "metastatic liver". I googled and it mentioned something about malignant liver cancer that originated usually from the colon. The thing was I was not taken by shock probably because I expected something bad after seeing the ultrasound image shown to me that morning itself.

Sunrise shot.

The doctor visited me later in the evening and delivered the result to me. The cancer tumour started from my right colon, spread to the liver and have traces in my lungs too. I was diagnosed with 4th stage cancer. The doctor then requested to see my hubby the next morning to give him the bad news.

Sunrise shot.

Different people received these type of news differently. As a Christian, who puts my trust and faith in my God, I didn't go into denial. All I said to my God was, "If it is time for you to take me home, I am willing. But if this is not from you, God, I know you are able to do a miracle and heal me for your own glory. I know my God can do all things and He is The God of impossibilities. I will only have to trust and have faith in Him no matter what happens."

That night I was at peace and was able to sleep well. I appreciate your prayer for me and my family as we go through this great storm. 

The next morning, a brother in Christ send me a word after he received the news. "Remember Jesus is IN THE BOAT with you while you are in the storm."

From a young Christian, Isaiah 41:10 has always brought comfort to me.

Don't be afraid, for I am with you.
Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

My story will continue.........

I can't remember where I saw this mural.

Linking to Monday Mural.

One day about that time, as he and his disciples were out in a boat,
he suggested that they cross to the other side of the lake.
On the way across he lay down for a nap,
and while he was sleeping the wind began to rise.
A fierce storm develop that threatened to swamp them,
and they were in real danger.
They rushed over and woke him up.
"Master, Master, we are sinking!" they screamed.
So he spoke to the storm: "Quite down," he said,
and the wind and waves subsided and all was calm!
Then he asked them, "Where is your faith?"

Saturday 11 March 2023

Missing In Action - What Actually Happened?

Hello and good day my friends. 

This sunrise shot was taken on the 21st February @ 7:45am.
Today started with a bright and sunny morning. But now as I am typing in front of my PC at 3:35pm, it is raining outside.
I have been out of action for about 10 days now. I am sure many of you are wondering what really happened to me. I have shared about my stomach issue which started some time in early December last year and thought it was related to gastric or acid reflux issue. 

I was having pain on the night of 28th February and I told my hubby that I needed to see a specialist because the earlier doctors all treated me for gastric and acid reflux. A good friend recommended me a physician and I was waiting at his clinic at 9am plus. I told him about my symptoms and about the lump on the upper part of my stomach area. He immediately did an ultrasound on the area and told me that I have lumps on my liver.

He advised me to admit into the hospital immediately to get a CT Scan test done. I was then admitted to the hospital at about 12pm the same day. I will continue with my stay in hospital and the results from the CT Scan in the next blog post. I will try to keep it short but I will try not to keep you all in suspense for too long.
Whatever the results, it is not the end of the world. Life still has to go on. See, my Bauhinia Kockiana is so bright and it cheers me up when I look at them. For now, my hubby has to take over the garden.
While watering the Ixora plant outside my house, I noticed this hairy caterpillar on the plant. I don't know the ID of this caterpillar.

He brings the hungry to settle there and build their cities,
to sow their fields and plant their vineyards,
and reap their bumper crops!
How he blesses them!
They raise big families there and many cattle.
(Psalm 107:36-38, The Living Bible-TLB)
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