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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

My Dad has cancer.

I'm not sure whether to blog this, but things can only go downhill from here. They might go towards better days. We always want to believe that the best things in life lie ahead of us. But then some of those best things may not come. And so I'll blog about my life, since it is, after all my blog.

Recently, my father had been through a series of shocks. Some two months ago, he complained of blood in the urine. He went to see a urologist, and was told, after an examination, that his PSA was unusually high. It was almost certainly prostate cancer.

We were all appalled, and we prayed hard that it was not the case. The urologist in SJMC did a biopsy; the report came out that there wasn't a single cancer cell to be seen. Our friends from church who had been praying with us rejoiced. We rejoiced.

Then my father's legs began to weaken. Strangely, and progressively, he complained that he had no strength in his legs anymore. He could not walk without a walking aid. He started to use a walking stick.

Then October swung around, and, sometime last year my wife was in a dreadful fright over the potential Islamization of this country, and the spectre of ISIS had hung over our heads. So more than one year ago, I bought air tickets to New Zealand for my little family of four.

We went to New Zealand in that early part of October, and, as luck would have it, since I had bought our return tickets more than one year ago, AirAsia called to say that we could reschedule our flight to any time within the same month at no extra cost. Gratefully, we extended the stay by a few days, and enjoyed our trip in the land of lamb and cows. We drove all over the North Island, from Auckland, right down to Wellington, and back to Auckland, in a Mighty campervan.We then switched to a car and stayed for a few more days in Auckland.

When we came back, in mid-October, my father was in a walker. Our spirits, so lifted by that trip to the land of the long white clouds, became downtrodden and sad. My parents tried to find out what was wrong with him. He went to general practitioners, massage therapy, and chiropractors, and as luck would have it, the chiropractor told him to see a neurologist. The general practitioner told him, "You sit around too much. Get more exercise!" The masseuse told him, "Your legs are fine. Your muscles are fine!" It was the chiropractor that told him to see a professional.

And so, sometime just past the middle of last month, he visited a doctor in Assunta Hospital in PJ. What was supposed to be an MRI on his spine turned into a stay of almost one week. The physician got a team together: neurologist, urologist, radiologist, altogether four. They treated him, and told us, that even if no cancer can be detected, the symptoms show that his PSA is unusually high: it should be cancer.

His urologist helped  him to get an MRI on his prostate at another hospital: Gleneagles. There was nothing there.

His doctors gave him conflicting advice. The urologist suggested a bone biopsy. The neurologist suggested prostate biopsy. And the physician, well, he suggested medicine without surgery. My father, faced with so many views, decided that he would not do anything.

Then some of my friends came to the house and advised him that he needed to see an oncologist. For that I'll be forever grateful. They advised him that there was no oncologist looking after him. And so he went to meet an oncologist, in yet another hospital: Pantai. That oncologist gave him a few options, and the possible outcomes and implications. For the first time, my father felt that someone was making more sense than everybody else.

Last Friday, my father went for a pelvic bone biopsy. He's supposed to get the results from the urologist this Saturday morning.

My friends have been supportive. They have visited my father in hospital every time he was hospitalized. They have prayed for him. And they have counselled me.

Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, I felt the need to prove myself to my father. To make something of myself, so that he can finally take a back seat, or let it go entirely.

All this while, I've been in the family business, I've been following in the path that he first carved for me.

I'm now trying to make things work, so that my wife can finally do something productive. I'm trying my best to support my own family, so that my father does not need to worry about us. Because cancer is a beast that drains all your financial resources.

I think there are many old people who realize that a prolonged bout with cancer will drain the family of its wealth. And so they refuse to take medication, or minimize it whenever possible.

At this age, he does not deserve this. My father has had a tough life.

And you know what? My wife's bitten the Ju Ju Be bug again. She's just messaged me to ask me to pay Carina ... AUD91.

How are we ever going to be financially stable if this goddamned Ju Ju Be keeps sucking up all our money. Ju Ju Be is truly the Devil's playground for idle housewife minds. Maybe Ju Ju Be will be the ultimate cause of our marriage breakdown, if it eventually comes to that.

Every cent should go towards saving my father's life. Not Ju Ju Be.