Thursday, November 8, 2007

After much consideration, I felt that this is something that I needed to do.

So here goes.

This is a reflection on the past year, and also a tribute to my mum, who took her final breath on Sunday the 4th of November at 2.15pm, after a year-long struggle with ovarian cancer. Today is one year to the day that she was diagnosed with stage 3b ovarian cancer.

It has been a difficult year for my family, from the moment she was first diagnosed and not telling me as I was still having my exams at the end of last year, then steadily seeing her decline in the way that she did, seeing her suffer, day-to-day, yet, without a single complaint. The first few months, which coincided with me being back for the summer holidays, were, on hindsight, the best months of the lot, when she was still up and about, albeit in constant pain, but since she was at home more often, I was able to spend some good mother-son time with her, time that was very limited before that, as she was always working, and I'm very glad for that.

Going back to Melbourne for semester 5 was in a way, a curse, but also a blessing for me. Being surrounded by friends from uni and from college, I was able to take my mind away from the problem at hand. But not thinking about the problem does not make the problem go away, and the worry was always there, eating away inside me. And it also was difficult for me knowing that I wasn't at home with her as she went through all the suffering.

The midyear break was another chance to spend some time with her, accompanying her to Singapore to see a specialist, accompanying her when she was around the house.

And then I had to leave for my AMS year. And it was then that her condition really deteriorated so much in so short a time. The last few months of the life was spent in the hospital, and apparently she only returned home once every 2 or so weeks, as she was very weak, and very vulnerable to infection.

I did get to return for 2 weeks sometime during the midsemester break, and in hindsight, it was a very good decision, as it was the last time I actually spoke to her. After that, when I was in Melbourne, and was calling back every 2 days or so, I only got to speak a few words with her every time, as she was always tired and talking on the phone was difficult for her as well. I remember the last time that I spoke to her was on Tuesday last week, and I only spoke to her for about 10 seconds, as she had mouth ulcer and couldn't really speak.

It was a journey, of sorts, for me, from the time that my dad smsed me on Friday morning to tell me to book a flight back asap; arriving in KL on Saturday morning; reaching Hospital Selayang slightly after that and seeing her breathing through the oxygen mask, unconscious; my dad making the decision that we would bring her home the day after and letting her rest at home, seeing that we thought that she wasn't going to be able to make it; to her finally taking her last breath on her own bed at home.

It is in this last year that I learnt the importants of small victories in the face of a big disaster, which is a way of helping you cope with dealing with the pain. We all hoped for days that she felt better, and then we would all too feel happier.

Now that she is gone, I would like that she be remembered in our hearts always, for all the good times and also the bad times. How she was a mother, wife, sister, daughter, to everyone of us.

And I would just like to end this with the last words that I said to her on Tuesday.

Take care mummy, I love you.

14 comments:

youngyew said...

That's a genuinely moving reflection from you, Jian Wey. It must have been a tough emotional journey throughout the past year, even though you never talk much about it. It is wonderful that you are able to see the silver lining in that you appreciate the time you had with your mum even though those were not easy times. I wish that you stay strong as she continues to live in your memories.

JIAN said...

Ok I guess the same two people will occupy the first two "comment spots" again. However, this time I understand your post. It was very moving and the fact that you have managed to deal with the pain and agony in such a mature manner really astounds me. I, for one, can't fathom the thought of losing a loved one, let alone my mother. Knowing me, I'd have been enraged and would have definitely taken it out on someone. I guess acceptance is the first step to dealing with the pain. Take care and see you back in Melb soon!

Rena said...

I'm sorry about your mum. You never talked about it much and you are ever so cheerful, so I guess I never get to know the real Jian until after reading this entry. But I'm glad you still found things to appreciate and to thank for despite what you had to go through. Hope to see you back soon, and then we can indulge ourselves with bang (or dr. lucky) =)

clara said...

Jian Wey, you have shown immense personal strength for being able to cherish the the moments spent with your mum depsite undergoing all the emotional tribulation of losing a dearly loved one. I could not imagine what you have gone through. May your mum rest in peace in God's loving care. Stay strong.

Yi Wen said...

Very courageous of you to post this, and this really brought a tear to my eye (almost typed 'ear' there...hmm). yeah after getting your email the other day i spent the whole day wondering how you could cope with that, but this post made me see how strong you are and appreciate/accept all that has happened. i don't know how i could deal with the loss of a loved one but this post has really given me an idea and thanks so much for sharing it. I'm sure your mom is watching you and your family from above now, and resting peacefully. see you back in Melbourne soon, where i hopefully will moving into 51/75 Drummond street, after a relatively successful appointment with the owner this morning. Take care! *big virtual hug*

Melissa said...

you are loved for more than 22 years, and you will forever be, as she's always in you. take care jian wey

wptan said...

Hey Chin, sorry to hear about your lost. It must have been tough studying in Australia knowing that your mum was suffering back home. May your mum rest in peace, knowing that she has brought up such a wonderful son. Anyway, I have been occasionally dropping by since my bro gave me the link to your blog. Sorry that I didn't post any comments... Take care man and maybe we'll meet up someday...


Wei Phin
(Wei Shen's bro) just encase you didn't know.

Aleckii said...

I am sorry about your loss. My heartiest condolensce goes out to you. This was a really touching post. I don't think anyone can really understand your emotion until they are put into your shoes, but I hope you're doing well.

Shi Zhou said...

I am sorry to hear about your loss. It truly came as a shock to me. I didnt know something this big was happening to you. I was wondering why you were leaving melbourne this early the other day. Hope you are coping well... She would be proud of you...

FengY said...

Hey, sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sure your mum would be proud of you =) May she rest in peace. You take care too

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry but hope you are doing fine. I cannot imagine how you are going through this but I am sure your mum will be so proud of you and would want you to continue living this life to the fullest

Ai Ling said...

hi jian wey. so sorry to hear that news. i'm shocked as everytime i saw u in uni, u always had a smile on. i didn't know that you were going through rough seas. stay strong, always knowing that she's looking over you day and night. your mum left from your sight, but not from your heart. take care.

kimberly said...

a very moving post.
do take care jian wey!

o-mii-gaa said...

This news came as a huge shock to me. I never realised that you were worrying about your mum as you were always happy and cheerful. I'm so sorry to hear about this, and I hope you'll continue to stay strong. Remember that all of us are always here for you in your times of need.

God bless and take care.