To Live Again

On the way home

It was Friday the 13th and that was the date picked for my medical review. To be honest, the ominous date hardly bothered me. The procedure, however, was in my mind since the beginning of June. This time, Jen offered to drive me to the hospital. I couldn't recall why I didn't request for her to go with me last year. Perhaps I was a mental wreck after the surgery and an follow up didn't faze me by then. That went to show how flexible the human mind such that it can be twisted to survive under different realms of reality. That explains why it was almost an impossibility for any human being to truly empathize. 

For instance, it is all but too easy for a Chinese to tell an Indian in Singapore how he understands the possible racism his Indian friend has to face in his daily life. In reality, that is a load of bullshit. One will never truly feel like one unless he is one. If I couldn't even imagine how I went through the regime of working 12 hours in a metal workshop every night almost 2 years ago, or how I went through the cystoscopy last year nonchalantly without fear, how can a man earning millions a year confidently tell the masses Singapore is a fun place to live in as a poor?

Yes, it was the same guy who bravely took on the short cystoscopy procedure last year. That was me. A year on, he was a bundle of nerves. True enough, when the doctor jabbed whatever that felt a kilometre too wide into his weeny, he almost jumped out of his skin. When water was pumped into his bladder, he had to bite his lips and wished the time away. Fortunately the doctor did not dwindle too long and pulled the scope out not-so-gently the moment she finished looking at whatever she needed to. That little few minutes of pain was nothing. Nothing as compared to chemotherapy, an ordeal where patients swore they wouldn't wish upon their worst enemies. I counted my blessings. In comparison, cystoscopy was fun.

"Good, all clear," she mumbled. Still recovering from shock, I had to ask for affirmation in case I heard it wrong, to hear the sweet verdict once again just to make the pain worth it. With that, while many spent their lives chasing 10-year COE for a car, I had been given the COE to live another year and you bet that felt better than the former, which held no meaning for me.

I did the ceremonial pee before I was allowed to leave the hospital. It was painful as expected, peeing bubbles with popping sounds at one stage but finally the stream were passed out. I staggered slightly out of the hospital, waiting for Jen to drive Stargazer over. "I drove home myself last year," I thought. "How did I do it?" Different realms of reality. Always remember that before telling anyone you understood.

Albany was sleeping in her seat by the time they arrived. I rubbed the back of my fingers on her pink rosy cheeks that usually showed up more definitively during cold weather. I couldn't wait to give her more of the hugs I had been told I had given too many. 

Never too many.

Never too many.

Thank you for all those who cared.


  1. Happy Father's Day! Albany is growing up quickly. cheer

  2. Hi Nix

    A word of advice

    Always get Jen to come with you for medical review for cancer, no matter how good or bad the news is. People always forget to ask important questions even when they get good news and also have trouble remembering things. Recording the doctors doesnt help if you dont ask the right questions.