Most Things Start With WhatsApp Messages

[ 28.01.2015 ]

No explanation needed.

[ 02.02.2015 ]

This was one of the first images I made of Mom’s journey. A few days earlier, on Jan 25, 2015, the doctors found spots in the x-ray on her lungs. They suspected that it was cancer but needed a biopsy to confirm that. Mom was obviously scared but she tried to cheer herself up by making conversation with the nurses and porter.

[ 02.02.2015 ]

I don’t know much about Auntie Diana except that she has been a great friend to my Mom for many years. They go to social dancing classes together and Mom, although a Taoist, also attended church service with her occasionally. When Mom went to her oncology radiation consultation Feb 2, Auntie Diana was there to pray with her. Whenever Mom is home after a hospitalization, she would visit and take her to the park downstairs. Mom told me a few weeks ago, “When she prays with me, she says things that are very comforting.”

[ 02.02.2015 ]

One of Mom’s earliest visitors was Kar Joo​, my primary school classmate and good friend. By Feb 2, 2015, the doctors established that the cancer had also spread to her brain and Mom was waiting to see Dr Kim Su Woon, a radiation therapy specialist from the National Cancer Centre Singapore. We went through a lot of details about the radiation therapy Dr Kim recommended and Mom eventually signed the consent. A few days earlier, she asked us if she had the option not to seek any treatment. I told her of course she had that option but I encouraged her to talk about her reasons. She told me she didn’t want to suffer too much and also didn’t want to burden us.

[ 03.02.2015 ]

Because of her more flexible schedule, my eldest sister Kay Har​ was the ‘default’ caregiver and spent the most time looking after Mom during her illness. We also owed a lot to our relatives who helped us in one way or the other. Gigi, our cousin’s wife, took time off to give us a ride home.

[ 03.02.2015 ]

I really lost count on the number of times we went through this CTE tunnel in the past three months. But each time I was about to get out of the Outram exit, I sighed a little.

[ 03.02.2015 ]

By the first two weeks, I was already becoming quite an ‘expert’ on medicine. I knew that steroid is also known as Dexamethasone, I knew that you can’t start and stop taking steroid without a proper ‘exit strategy’.

[ 03.02.2015 ]

The radio played a very important role in Mom’s life. She told me she usually leave it on 95.8 because she liked the songs they played. The radio was also her main source of information and occasionally, her source of worries. Once she heard about an automobile accident in China involving some Singaporeans and because my brother was in China for business then, she worried the whole night. She said she had wanted to call me in the middle of the night so I could help her check but she resisted. She only felt better after sunrise, when more information about the accident surfaced.

[ 03.02.2015 ]

Auntie 雪梨 (left) lives on the sixth floor and is one of Mom’s dearest friends, since we all moved to the same block almost four decades ago. Mom didn’t really want visitors initially as she was tired and wanted to rest but she found it hard to say no to Auntie 雪梨 and Auntie Diana. Mom told them very candidly that afternoon, “I have too many hidden treasures and the doctors needed to do a lot of scans to find them.”