Thursday, October 25, 2007

For a moment...

It is a lot easier to say "Face your fear and deal with it" to someone else than to yourself. I fully realize this today when the lump I found on my right chest next to my armpit two days ago still did not go away. It really scared daylight out of me every time I told my self that I had to see a specialist. I would never be ready to hear the result if this is really a breast cancer or not. It's every woman's nightmare to be diagnosed with a breast cancer. I kept on thinking about my son and his future, about my parents, my husband, my brother and his family, my friends, and all other people that have touched my life. For a moment I saw my life flashing before my eyes and I broke down in tears because I was so afraid and so worried. But then again, I really need to know if this lump is a breast cancer or not.

When I woke up early morning to get ready to accompany my husband checking out the best kindy for my son, I saw there was something different about my upper body shape when I put on my bra. I thought my bra was too tight, so I changed to a bigger one. But that 'extra meat' still sticked out of my bra. I could not believe my eyes! I suddenly remembered clearly what I should do to check for any signs of a breast cancer. No matter how I tried to hide that extra meat, I still could see it. I called my husband to help me to check as well. He did feel and see the swollen on my right chest next to my armpit but he told me that it would most likely be my muscle. I felt a little bit better because I remembered I did my yoga exercise in the gym the night before and at that time, I had to do many push-ups.

But I was not completely relieved because I kept on questioning my self what if this is more than just a muscle. I texted my parents and they told me the lump might just be my body fat because I am overweight and they kept on telling me to reduce my intake and loose weight.
I felt even worse because I have been on diet (and I got gastric and stomachache) and I have been diligently going to the gym to shed some pounds.

I browsed the internet for any information about breast cancer. Overweight and poor diet can also be the factors that can cause a breast cancer. Oh please God! Give me a chance to take care of my son longer. This has been my short prayer since 2 days ago. I also spent more time with my son. I hugged him and kissed him more. I realize how life is so precious with my son in it. I realize how thin the line that separate life and death. One moment you are so much alive, the next moment you could be gone taking only your sinful soul.

I could not bear to think about all these alone. I really felt so lonely as always, and even lonelier when I had to face my worst fear. I knew I had to go and get my lump checked by a specialist before it was too late. So, before I could pluck up my courage to listen to any words that would come out of the specialist's mouth, I needed to give a call to my beloved friend, one of my many angels in my life. She told me to face my fear and deal with it. Whether I liked it or not, I had to get a proper check on my lump. Yeah...she's right. I cried for a while because I was so terrified.
After I hung up the phone, I dragged my self to go to the hospital. Along the way I could not stop praying so hard asking God for a second chance. I was like a zombie walking towards the customer service in the hospital. I could not even remember the clinic number where the specialist is. I just walked away like a lost child, asking many people whom I should see for my case. I went to many different clinics before I finally went to right one. I visited a general surgeon. There I realized that I forgot to bring my ID. Luckily, the hospital already has my detail in the database. The fear got into me again when the door was open for me.

The surgeon asked me to sit down and told him what happened with me then he asked me to lay down so that he could check my lump. "Where is the lump?", he asked me. I pointed the lump to him. He checked it thoroughly both sides and said, "This is nothing. This thing is part of your breast and the hard part is your muscle. There is nothing to worry about."
Oh God gracious!! Thank you very much for the second chance! I felt so relieved! I covered my face and could not stop saying Thank you God. I heard the surgeon said, "I know you were very worried, but if in 3 months you see that lump develops, you have to see me again. I may have missed something else." Oh God, please...I don't want to return to him. I want my second chance. I know I sound so selfish but honestly, I still want to see my son for as long as possible.
I really hope the surgeon is right that this lump is just part of my breast and my muscle that get bigger because I exercise a lot.

For a moment I saw my life flashing before my eyes. For a moment I did a bargaining with God. I begged God for a second chance and He granted me that second chance.
Now I have to learn to appreciate life more, learn to forgive and forget, and learn to be a better person as if I will die tomorrow because life is never mine forever. It's on loan. It can be taken away from me any time any way.

Thank you God for the second chance! Thank you for listening to my prayer! I baked the Thank you cake especially for you today together with my son, to show you how grateful I am for everything you have given me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Idul Fitri in Jakarta

After a few hiccups on the way to Jakarta, my family and I finally made it to arrive at Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Cengkareng, Jakarta, Indonesia. Nothing could make me feel so relieved to be able to see the familiar faces I had been missing so much. My dad took the whole family including my uncle and my aunt to pick us up. Our (Air Asia) plane landed 15 minutes earlier and things proceeded smoothly. I had prayed hard for this because I had experienced so many terrible things, such as loosing my husband's hand phone, just before we departed. Thank God everything went great the moment our plane took off from Sepang LCCT airport.

So, for 8 days, I spent wonderful times with the whole family. It's hard to describe how happy my parents were to be able to gather their children and their family during this festive season. Many times my mom expressed her happiness by saying that she's so blessed for being able to run around preparing food for her beloved children and grandchildren. My aunt and my uncle joined too. Unfortunately, they had to go back home on the 3rd day. But they were very nice to lend us their car. Thank you, Auntie, Uncle!
We don't celebrate Idul Fitri but we wanted to use this opportunity to be with the family and to enjoy Jakarta sans traffic jam (which only happens once a year)... :)

Although my family don't celebrate Idul Fitri, we still prepared some snack for our guesses because on the 1st day of Hari Raya, my neighbors would come to visit us bringing their family wearing new cloths and happy smile. Many neighbors delivered some Idul Fitri traditional food such as ketupat (sticky rice cubes) complete with opor ayam (javanese curry chicken) and rendang (spicy curry beef), uli (sticky glutinous rice cake - something like lemang) complete with its tape ketan (black glutinous rice fermented). Oh the food was soooo yummy!! I don't get a chance to eat this kind of food every year, so, while they were on the table, I've got to taste them all... :D :D

Early morning of the 1st day of hari raya Idul Fitri, many children had gathered in front of my gate waiting for Pak Raden to come out (my Dad is called pak Raden by the kids in my neighborhood because he is just like Pak Raden, a character in Unyil show who is super stingy).
These children were waiting for some 'green packet (contains some money)' (red packet is for chinese new year) to be given out. Yeap! That's the tradition. We ought to share with the needy ones. My mom and I distributed the green packets to all children in the neighborhood. They were very happy. They would go around the kampung to collect as many green packets as possible.

Since I have cousins who celebrate Idul Fitri, we went around to visit them and to have a family gathering too. It was great because for my husband and my son, this was their first time to see some of my cousins and family. I personally seldom see them. The last time I saw some of them was 4-5 years ago. So, this was great opportunity for a family reunion.

To me, every time I have a chance to go back home, it is the opportunity to meet up with my schoolmates and to catch up with their life stories.
All in all, the experience was marvelous. The only thing that refrains me from going back home is....the MOSQUITOES. Damn! I don't understand how the people in Jakarta can survive the stubborn-and-very-determine-to-suck-your-blood-mosquitoes. My dad has 3 electric rackets to kill the mosquitoes but I don't see that help. My son and I still have to 'bring home' many red spots all over our bodies as the souvenir. The only way to reduce the number of mosquitoes is to let the 'longkang' (drain) flow. The longkang in my neighborhood is still stuck and gets dirtier and smellier. This is the 'home' of the very happy mosquitoes. Plus, Jakarta is a very dirty city. The view like in the pictures below is found every where as if Jakarta is a giant rubbish bin.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri

Selamat menyambut hari raya Idul Fitri kepada semua yang merayakan.

Mohon maaf lahir dan batin. Enjoy the best ketupat and lemang with the whole family.
Btw, I've tasted an instant Malaysian lemang for the first time last night and it was good..hmm..yummy. I believe the real one cooked in the hallowed bamboo stick is so much more delicious and tasty.

I'm off to join the exodus of balik kampung and will be back soon.
If you drive, drive safely and remember your loved ones waiting at home.
If you fly, don't carry anything dangerous for you and for the whole passengers.
If you take train/bus, watch out for your belonging and your kids.
Watch your children closely during this festive season.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Best wishes for Malaysian Angkasawan!

Tomorrow will be a very historical day for Malaysians because one of 2 Malaysian Angkasawan (Cosmonaut) will go into space with Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft to carry out scientific researches aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor (35) is the primary crew while Kapt. Dr. Faiz Khaleed (27) is the secondary crew.

Catch a live telecast of the launch at 9.21pm (GMT + 8) tomorrow, 10 October 2007, on Angkasawan Programme website at and Astro channel 588 but RTM1 will start the coverage earlier at 8.45pm.
Watch this live telecast with the whole family because this can inspire your children to become an Angkasawan. I definitely will watch it with my son because he is crazy about space, rocket, and astronaut/cosmonaut. I'm sure he will count down and say 'Blast Off' together. This is his favorite moment.

To be an Angkasawan was my childhood dream and I hope my son will have the same dream and make it come true. All the best for you, Dr. Sheikh Shukor and Dr. Faiz Khaleed! 'Till we'll see you on Earth again. Make your country proud! Our prayers are with you always.

This is for men

It's already October. I have not been very active in the virtual world for the past 2 weeks because I have lost my motivation and my mood completely. I thought I would never post any more stories in my blog until yesterday when I read The Star newspaper.

There is a small article written by M.Krishnamoorthy which is titled "Listening to wives more curbs nagging, says expert".
Wow! Just by reading the title, I felt so motivated right away to bring up this subject to my blog.
Wow! I said it again because I am so amazed by the article...:) Thank God finally someone understand us (women). I feel so empowered..:D
Print it out, frame it, and hang it in the room where you and your wife spend time the most so that every time your wife nags, you'll remember what to do.

Based on the story in that article, to have happy marriages, men need to listen more to the wives to restraint nagging.
According to Dr. Leonard Yong, an educational psychologist, Malaysian men do not spend enough time with the family, listening to the wives and children.

I think this does not only happen to Malaysian men but it happens to almost all men with big ego in their heads.
The most common reason thrown by men is men need to work to lay bread on the table. Men have to work hard 24/7 to meet the minimum standard of life.
Ok, I agree. No one denies that. But men have to remember that they work hard to make some money for the whole family; wife and children are part of the family. But if you work hard for your own satisfaction or you are just a pure workaholic, don't get married then if you are still so selfish thinking about yourself all the time.

Just like what Dr. Leonard Yong said, "Paying attention to the wife can reduce the level of nagging and result in good marital relationship. Good focused listening to the wife when she is troubled is the best way to resolve any misunderstanding in the family."
In my own word: your wife is NOT part of your house decoration. When she makes noise, she wants you to remember that she is your partner in life. You ought to listen to her.

Most men walk away or talk back when their wives throw so many words per second just like a machine gun because they say they can't stand it.
This action won't solve the problem but escalates it instead and this is not a creative solution to relationship. According to Dr. Yong, creative solutions to relationships come from being able to challenge yourself. So, if you choose to just walk away or argue back, you don't challenge yourself. Oh well, I thought men like to challenge themselves so men should be able to stand still and listen to the nagging.

I believe many men think that standing still and listening to wives nagging are signs of surrendering their pride (and ego). In fact, it's the total opposite. If you, as a man, stand still and listen even if your wife asks you to go away, she will realize how important it is to have you in her life and she will stop nagging eventually. Even better if you come closer to her and embrace her when she starts to cry. are actually winning the battle together. Your wife will love you more and more and you are the most precious thing in her life and you will realize that this is what men should do; stand by her and protect her because she was created out of your ribs to be protected and to be on your side for better for worse. So, listen to her woes...she will appreciate you more and you will have a happy marriage.