Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mission: Life Saving, Update: More Visitors! and MHI interview on TV3

I am privileged and honoured to have visitors and more visitors when I am back to "tanah air"!

I travelled to Teluk Intan right after I touch down. The next day, Ling Hooi, Pei Ting and Shu Ying came to visit. The next day all friends of my batch came - I had Ai Chuen, Wai Kheng, Karen, Jenny and bf, Suet Sze, Wai Theng, Hoon Koon, Nusrat (Dr.) and Shiao Chin came. It was the first time my house was filled with visitors. Every year, I visited their homes and collected angpaus but this is the first time they came.

I sms-ed Shiao Chin that I was back to TI, she immediately replied she will bring the whole kampung to my house. And yes, she did! Since we have Dr. Nusrat in the "kampung"of friends, she became the advisor and consultant - everyone asked her questions regarding my operations.

On the second day of CNY, I went to Ipoh. In the morning at 7.00am, I woke up to prepare as the producer for Malaysia Hari Ini (TV3) will call me at 7.30am for a live interview on the show. At 7.20am, the call came and we have almost 10 minutes chat live on TV. I appreciate the chance to promote organ donation and the joy of giving.

The next day, my colleagues Elaine, Voon Pin and Allen came. Sharon and Alicia - An Qi's aunts also came. Then my aunt who stay in Ipoh also came with my both cousins and my cousin's gf.

At night, my 2 grandaunts and a granduncle came to see me, too. Then, when Ying Ching travelled back to Penang from Teluk Intan, her husband and her took the trouble to drop by and visited me.

Then the day after I also had Mr Kok, one of Dato' Sri Ong Tee Keat's secretary came to visit as he stays near Gopeng. In the morning, Amy - publisher for Money Compass business magazine so happened to be in Ipoh and came for visit, too!

I just got a call from Alicia - An Qi's aunt. She said her father insisted to visit me and so they will need to fetch him here. So tomorrow I will have visitors, too.

THANK YOU and my appreciation is to all supporters and all visitors. My house now has Essence of Chicken, Essence of Ikan Haruan, Bird's Nests in Rock Sugar, Cordyceps Soup in bottle, 2 big hampers.

THANK YOU but if anyone reading this blog and planning a visit - come in BODY, no presents/gifts required. I appreciate enough visits and all your support.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mission: Life Saving; Update: Visitors

During my journey to the mission of life saving, it was really touching knowing that I have so many supporters for the mission.

I remembered that when I signed the organ donation pledge form, it came to my mind that I would also donate organ if someone needs it when I am alive. Therefore, the decision to donate liver to An Qi was an easy one.

However, when I made the decision, a lot of mixed reactions arised. When almost 80% urged me not to do it, I took the courage to consult a friend regarding my feelings and how I am in doubt of whether to donate my liver or not. After some advise, my decision was firmed and even though I had a lot of challenges, the decision was made and firmed.

Lesson learnt: Make the decision, follow it firmly and never look back.

During the journey, there were so many family members who supported and came to take care of me. My friends, too. My second aunt who was working in Singapore came everyday to see me until she left Singapore to Malaysia for Chinese New Year preparations.

My aunt and mom also planned their trip to Singapore. My Dad, too, of course! My friends in Singapore and family members also gave support although I still felt there were some rejections to the idea.

First day in the ICU, someone sent in flowers and fruits. Although they cannot bring it in the ICU room but they showed it to me through the window. And the delivery order came - it was Mr Tan Kok Poh who sent the flowers. He was one of my best supporter although I knew him for only less than 2 weeks.

Then after I discharged from ICU and transferred to general ward, I have Abraham suddenly came in to my room with sunflowers.

Lesson learnt: Flowers are important to bed-ridden patients - when you can't move, flowers are only things you can see and it got cheerful with it especially with colours and knowing someone cares.

Although my Dad and Mom divorced more than 20 years ago, this was the FIRST TIME ever I saw both of them together. After that when I travelled to Ipoh on the second day of Chinese New Year, I forced them to sit and dine together. Then I took the opportunity to take this picture!
My second aunt and uncle came with a hamper of bird's nest.

Then after a while, someone in black who looks like one of the male nurses came in through the door. The patient next to me in my room has been discharged so everyone who walks through the door was definitely my visitor. Then I noticed a pair of sunglasses on his head so this definitely is not a nurse. Then, another familiar face entered and followed by the third person, I figured out.... hey XeerSoft staffs! YinRu, Elaine, Allen, G and Daryl came to visit and it was a pleasant surprise. They drove all the way from KL starting their journey at 2.00am!

The booster: a surprise visit and a XeerSoft card full of signatures!

One day I was tired and fast asleep. When I woke up, I saw a note next to my handphone. I quickly raised my bed and reached for the paper. The note says "Chew, we were here but you were asleep. Call us when you wake up - we will be right at the lobby. Iewi 2.00pm" - a glance at the clock - 2.10pm - that was 10 minutes ago so I called Iewi. Iewi and Michael - both my very good buddies and supporters came to see me.

Danny came to join Iewi and Michael but then nurses came in to sponge me and I was tired - it was time to sleep. So they left.

The next day, Danny and Rudi came. I was getting better so when they came with lots of jokes and laughters, I could take it although it was a little stretching on my mercedes scar when I laughed.

Throughout the 7 days in hospital, I have endless sms-es, calls and of course visits from An Qi's family members - father, Mr Lee - mother - aunt, Sharon and Alicia - all came to me. When both An Qi and I were fit to walk, An Qi came to my room very often, too!

Mission: Life Saving; Status: Completed!

This is Lee An Qi and I. 60% or about 500grams of my liver is in her body now. Dying of cancer, this 13-year old girl must get her whole liver removed and replaced with a new one. So after tests and more tests, it was found that my liver matches hers. So surgery was done on the 14th January 2009.

Next to me is An Qi's mother and father. We are now like family and I am grateful to have a new family in life. It was so touching when her mom repeatedly say thank you to me and how my mom said that An Qi's mother always say 'We are lucky we have your daughter willing to donate her liver'.

After surgery, I had tubes all over me. Note something colourful hanging over my neck - tubes for the drips, medicines, pain-killers and others. In ICU for the first 2 days I also had my left wrist with wires for measurement of blood pressure. I also had a tube through my nose going all the way to the stomach for removal of gas and acids from stomach. Oxygen for breathing also introduced tubes to my nose. On my left hand was provided a Nurse Call button and on the right, the pain-killer release button - to release pain-killers when I am in pain.

I also had another tube to remove fluids from my body - note the picture above - the tube was then removed and replaced with a small bag at the right of the lower abdomen. Hmmm.... another tube for removal of urine! Tubes everywhere!

I also thought that having a surgery = reduction in weight. Seems like I was wrong because the tummy stays and the fats content stays. No lipsuction involved, I sleep and sleep and sleep... and eat and sleep and eat and sleep... so expect my weight to grow steadily!

Nurses removed bandages to change the dressings and I took the opportunity to take this picture quickly. I never expected the scar to be this big and long.

The menu - hey this is like a hotel - I get to choose what I want to eat - breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea and supper.

This is the tube removed from my neck. I asked the nurse to hold it up for my camera pleasure.

When the tube to remove fluid from my body was slowly being pulled out from my body, I still remember the excrutiating pain! About 10 cm of tube was in my body and by the time nurses removed it, I think the intestines or tissues have grown around it. It was so painful but not at this hole, but inside the body! Phew... it took about 15 minutes for the nurse to remove the tube - lots of deep breath, 3 releases of the pain-killers and almost tears rolling off my cheeks. No stitches needed, and the wound will heal by itself.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My PDA, My Life

I just realised how life has been so dependent on gadgets. I depend on tools a lot for my work but most of them are gadgets and softwares.

My good ol' O2 XDA II - large screen, fast processor, big RAM

Two or three years ago my hands landed on a O2 XDA II phone which I only forked out RM400. My Dad gave RM200, Mom gave RM400 and my boss (at that time was Mr. Mok) gave RM200. Total: RM1,200 for a second hand PDA phone. Now, if you can sell it off for RM300, make a real big laugh! I bought it from - a place where bargains begin...

It was one of the best PDA - big screen, fast processor and by far the best RAM ever had. Too bad is only Pocket PC 2003 and not Windows Mobile. I had good experience with it - the only drawback is that all data will be gone if it is out of battery for some time. However, with frequent synchronization, my data are all safe. The only frustration was when you least expected it to wipe out everything and you have to reinstall all third party softwares..... again. This process could be as painful, if not more painful than formatting the PC.

That day when I came back from Singapore I realised I forgot the charger. Oh NO! However, not to panic - I got the cradle which could charge and sync the device perfectly. The happiness only lasted for 3 days and alas, the cradle went crazy and couldn't sync anymore - means no charging, too!

Panic! Now, looking around Cheras I could not even get the charger nor the cradle - this is too old a phone to look for its accessories.

Asus P750 - tempted to buy at second hand price of RM1,111 from Lelong - 3G, GPS, Business card recognition - all I wanted

My DREAM phone - but spending RM2,000 for a PDA phone with same platform wouldn't be much of a good investment particularly current phones can already fulfil what I need (eg the Asus P750 at half the price)

Would love to land my hand on this G1 Android - Google phone - something on a new platform. Available in Malaysia. Again from Lelong, it states a price of RM1,900 - RM2,300. Anyone thinks you want to throw away this phone, maybe you can throw it to my house at 25, Jalan Perdana 1/8, Pandan Perdana, 55300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

So..... I got myself a PHONE! I bought the O2 XDA Stealth - second hand one (RM500 only!) as something I could use as spare for the mean time. I have been eyeing on the HTC Touch Diamond for some time and the new Google G-phone was also very tempting.

O2 Stealth - yea the sliding looks nice heh... and the keypad for easy texting - no more poking with stylus for sms! (the keypad was a blunder though)

However, my objective at that time was to have a phone up and running and transferred all data to so when my XDA II wiped out data, I will still be OK. So, the O2 Stealth. WHY this model - too short a research.

The first few weeks trying the new phone was a bit out of my patience boundary (the boundary was never large anyway!) The phone hangs, the battery life s**ks and it wasn't really such a great phone. But getting the Windows Mobile 5 phone for me to test on newer softwares than my XDA II can take, this was real worth trying.

After a few more days, my patience with the phone has gone to another level - I MUST upgrade my PDA phone! So I sms-ed that guy in PDA Concept where I bought the phone. I said - may I have Asus P525 (after some research - this is almost a similar phone but much better), and trade in this Stealth. I researched on that the phone can go around RM400 to RM550. He came back to me and said - I can take back the Stealth at RM350 and I am selling the Asus P525 at RM688.

What? RM688 - RM350 --> I will need to top up more than RM300, lose a phone and get another. If I only spend RM450 - I have 2 phones (means I buy a P525 from Lelong members).

RM300+ for only ONE phone
RM450 for BOTH phones <---- and I still can sell the Stealth over Lelong at RM400 at least! I am also a Lelong-er, dude!

Anyway, thank him or whatever - I forced myself to learn upgrading the ROM and I did it all by myself. I was first attracted to PDA Concept because it was near my house and he provides LIFETIME SOFTWARE SUPPORT. I sms-ed him for help to upgrade the ROM but he never got back to me and he still calls himself Software Expert. Ahem....

Good or bad - I learnt a new thing so is GOOD! I enlarged my patience boundary so is also GOOD!

Let me try for a few more days to see how the new ROM works.... And I will use The Secret and Law of Attraction to attract my Dream phones which will drop from the sky right at my house!

Phew.... got some time to figure out WHY all the buttons of my Stealth are not working upon soft reset. I need to plug it to the laptop, do a soft reset and then voila, it works! Then if I unplugged it from the laptop, reset and all the buttons not functioning again. It was also the main reason I did a ROM update but alas, the same happened. I have tried uninstalling all software one by one to catch the culprit. But guess what, the Remove Program function does not have the CE-Star (Chinese software) in the list. You can only go to its folder, click on Uninstall. That was why I missed this software in my culprit-finding process earlier on.

Thanks to this forum, I finally realized what happened and I will try new Chinese softwares.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mama Mia! Here I Come Again!

Wooo hoo..... It was a fine day when Dato' Sri Ong Tee Keat asked if his staffs wanted to watch the great musical hit, Mama Mia! I straight away said YES! That was what I have been waiting for so long and here it comes a free treat.

Today I went to the show at 8.30pm. I was getting excited because the last minute confirmation only came at about 4.30pm when I was on the way back to KL from Johor Bahru. I put on my best dress and then headed to Istana Budaya, reached there at about 8.00pm.

My colleague from Dato' Sri's office said he got 3 tickets - one VVIP tic and 2 VIP tics, further saying he will take the 2 VIP tics as he brought his wife along. All these years, watching musical shows and theatre, I have never got the VVIP seat before. Well, for the price of that VVIP seat, I'd buy something else although no doubt, it was all the worth! This time I have the whole seat for myself, right at the middle of the hall at the second level, right at the front row!

Guess what, Tun Dr. Mahathir came with his wife and it must be 2 grandchildren with them. They took the centre seat at the Level One.

The show was really enjoyable and the songs made me remember the time when I was young. It wasn't my time when ABBA was popular but my cousins love the songs so I got to listened to ABBA songs, too. I still remember an album, ABBA Gold, in my house. It was missing one day and my cousin got so furious so I knew it was special.

My best New Year SMS

I have my phone ringing and buzzing non-stop for the New Year 2009. I thank ALL my friends who have sent those messages to me and I will ensure I have time to reply each and every sms.

The best sms I have ever received came from Allen Lee Loong Hwee - my colleague in the sales team - whom we named ourselves as EAGLES.

The sms goes like this

Go to RM500,000... yahoo!!

That's the end of the sms. Reminding me of my goals for the new year is one of the best sms and moreover, this will be my main focus for 2009. RM500,000 - here we come!!!

反正不会死 but this time I may die...

Never Try, Never Know
I saw my friend's (Axiao's) blog and strike on to me was her motto in life "Never Try, Never Know". Came to think about it, I spent my life with the motto "反正不会死" (As long as you will never die).

Means I will do whatever and try new things if it will never bring death. I tried new businesses, direct sales and learnt a lot of things. In fact a lot of things beyond elaboration here. I must admit I may not be the FIRST to do it nor will I be daring enough to try new things. I always have my fears and very often, I need examples of people showing it or demonstrate it before I do it.

Say, for example, I was at a seminar doing arrow breaking with our necks. At first I wanted to be the first to try but our group leader said he will go first so I let it. Then I tried to be the second, but as I positioned myself and I was all ready to break it - I stopped and asked that someone else do it first. The reason was simple: I have not seen a lady doing that YET. Once a lady tried and I seen it with my own eyes only did I dare to do it and of course, I DID IT!

That act of breaking arrow may have the risks of death but I did it anyway. The session actually enlightened myself to know myself better. In short, I need examples but being a fast learner, once you teach a dog to sit, the dog sits quietly. That's HoongLing!

A Giant Leap Forward
This time I am a huge, giant step ahead from "Never Try, Never Know". I am far ahead of 反正不会死! I am risking my live to donate part of my liver to a friend. This will be a major operation to remove my right lobe of the liver (about 60%) to Lee An Qi, a family friend who is now having cancer. Only 13-years old and already under chemotheraphy is really something very dreading.

Although my motto was to try things 反正不会死, but this time is a major operation which the risk of death will be 0.5%, risk of infections 15% and no one knows the long-term future for a living donor yet because the technology for living liver donation is pretty less than 2 decades now. Yet, something in me has the urge to JUST DO IT!

At first, I was in a complicated relationship which forced me to do something out of my mind. Then, doubts started to pour in and I wanted to review the decision. However, it wasn't much of a crossroad at all. I made up my mind pretty soon and really stick by it to JUST DO IT! Now, when people ask me "Why are you doing this?" I simply answer, "Why not?"

I thought this is just a normal act of kindness and never thought this is such a great thing to do until everyone whom I have spoken to said that this is a great sacrifice. Ain't human's life is to help each other? I really do not know but really, is this act so great?

I have been through thorough tests to ensure I am fit enough to donate my liver. The tests include blood test, urine test, abdominal ultrasound, ECG, CT Scan, X-Ray and 24-hour urine collection! Operation will be done in Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore.

Singapore - Gleneagles Hospital looks really much like a 5-star hotel so rest assure that once I wake up I will have time to relax and rejuvenate.