Friday, December 31, 2010

Picture blogging: Gullivers’ travel.

Once upon a time, there was a voyager named Omar Gullivers who liked to travel to kingdoms far and near to seek wisdom and experiences.
On one of his many journeys was to the kingdom of Perthia. Omar Gullivers was surprised that the Kingdom was nothing like he had ever since before.
omaridefftiny tiltshifttrammies 
The plants were smaller that the ones he usually see back at home. Buildings were tinier and cars and trams were so much smaller and cute as well. Everything were doll sized but were magnificently built.
ffvat the penskhgt
As he was marvelling at the petite architecture, he bumped into a tiny Perthian man.
The Perthian man was only his knee height. I can tell you that the man is called Miguel Ayman. He turned out to also be a traveller himself. In fact he had just arrived in Perthia and like Omar Gullivers, he too was fascinated by the beautiful city.
Initially Miguel thought that the city was pretty tiny built. but boy he was surprised when he looked up to see Omar Gullivers standing next to him.
giants 2meet the giantssdgfdfggitantf,mv nmfn
Omar Gullivers was pretty surprised himself when he saw Miguel Ayman stared at him. So he bent over to touch the tiny man’s head. Although it was scary at first, Miguel Ayman braced himself and try to befriend Gullivers instead.
In the end they became friends and decided to enjoy sightseeing in Perthia together.
The End.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

F e s t i v e . c o o k i e s

I was looking through a recipe magazine and found a delightful idea of giving away edible presents during the festive seasons… a major economic saviour I must say from the tradition of giving away money. I wonder what are the kids going to react to this? Well, you know what they say, it’s the thought that counts..hiks…
meringue biscuit close up
The cookies that I made were “Chocolate Chip Meringues”. Before wrapping it all pretty and nice, the cookies will have to be wrapped with a parchment paper and secured with a clear tape. This is an important step to prevent the oils from absorbing on to the wrapper. Luckily meringues have very low fat content which made it a perfect cookie for gift wrapping.
Choose a pretty wrapping paper, and draw exactly like I did in the picture. Make sure the cookie can sit nicely in the middle of the square. Cut the areas marked “X”.fold it

Fold the sides like in the picture. tape it securely
Grab a cookie and put it in the centre. Tape the folded sides using a clear tape.close it using double sided tape
Now fold the remaining sides together and tape one on to the other using a double sided tape.
dress it with a paper bandduobiscuit close up
If you have a bit more time, you can also dress the wrapper with a band of contrasted coloured paper.
prettify with cutoutsribbonize
And of course you can prettify them with more cute embellishments if you like. I, in particular love embellishments. =^.^=
Now, it is hard to stop once you’ve started cookie giving (or barter trading) with your friends. But who can find the time to bake the cookies all the time right? So like me, you could theoretically buy the cookies and wrap them instead. the cookies may not be “home-made” but they still look the same. And in my case, it might also taste better. =)
or You can bake the cookies and let the kids have fun embellishing the wrapper!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


As much as it is accustomed to see no one in the Anatomy building as the Uni closed it’s door to all things “work” on the 25th of December each year , I too customarily write a blog entry on this date to celebrate the NOTHINGNESS of this day. And I do not mean it in a nice way.
I distinctly remember 12 months ago, I was writing this blog, posting images of how wonderful it was to be able to work alone for a change for I am not a very people person… I can’t believe it that I am still doing it again this year.  I was promised that my hard work and dedication during the 2 weeks Christmas holiday last year would be benefited by a scientific paper. Excuse me, where is that paper now? if it was going to be delayed for a year, why was I “pressured” to finish it during Christmas holiday? The only holiday that I was allowed to have but was taken from me, for what?
So, wash it wong for me to be a wee bit “angwee” and twor a weetle baby tantwums  while I’m at it? hikhikhik
There was also the issue of me not going and not telling anyone that I was going to ditch the Christmas party.  I agree that I was excessively rude to not call anyone about my absence especially when so many preparations had been made so that the food (sushi) would be acceptable for me. Well I am truly sorry for that. I was inconsiderate to a large extent.
But the change of venue 72 hours before the party to a venue where there is completely no acceptable food for Muslims, the very Christian give giving ceremony, and the constant access to beer here and beer there, positively blackening and hardening my soul, sorry peeps, It’s not worth it anymore to try to pretend to be OK with it if I had to sacrifice my Islamic practice. NO WAY…
On top of that, the trauma from the last Christmas Party was still haunting me. I came home from the party feeling undeniably shameful. I felt ashamed and cheated. I really thought that the restaurant in Swan Valley was  very near to Swan Bell in Perth City (5 minutes drive from home) which was the reason why I agreed to join on the first place. I blamed it on my immature sense of direction. I should have Google mapped the location prior to saying yes to any invitation, but my internet knowledge at that time was poor. So I accidentally missed 2 prayer times. And what I thought was a short Christmas lunch turned out to be an all-day event.  Really, not in a million years would I have agreed if I knew that was going to happen. NOT IN A MILLION YEARS. {Regretful}
So there I was, explaining to the Big Boys the reason why I was acting “strangely”. I was torn between keeping my imagehuman to human relationship with them intact without sacrificing my established relationship with God. And whilst I triumphed at one, I failed miserably at the other.  But amidst all that, I am relieved that I was strong enough to make the right decision..which was to abandon the party and let Allah settle it for me.
And as usual, HE did. In a meeting that I arranged with the Bosses last Tuesday, “HE” helped me gather all my courage to FINALLY explain the truth about the struggle that I have been facing ever since I joined this group. Turned out, things are not as complicated as it seemed and all is fine now. of course at the end of the day I came out looking like a REBEL. But I don’t mind that because that is who I am after all. What I love the most is, I NEVER had to cater for lab meetings anymore.. a great burden lifted. {Bliss… =^.^=}
Even though I am still working over the holiday again this year, I do not mind because this time it is for ME. It’s my study, it’s my baby. I am willing to do anything for it.
Till then,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

why don’t I just slack away from my prayers today and repay them back in double tomorrow?

My big programming study is well underway. There is a reason why the word “BIG” precede the description of my project. Because amongst many things, being BIG is the best description for it.
Firstly, BIG amount of money had been invested and will be invested on it. And compared to the last programming project, this one involves BIGGER number of rodents. And most importantly, it is the BIGGEST thing happening in my life right now.
Thinking about the project can easily send chills down my spine. In total, 768 rats will be generated from 96 pregnant mothers and 300 or so of them will be culled. 350 kg of standard diet, 350 kg of high fat diet and 350kg of high fat, high omega-3 diets will be ordered and used. The amount of animal work will be MASSIVE which include daily pregnancy generation, daily offspring body weight and food intake measurement, training the rats for blood pressure measurement, training myself for cardiac ultrasound and performing DEXA radiation scan. Should I mention the “odd hours” tissue collection that will be done at 8am, 2pm, 8pm and 2 am. No, it was not a typo, I did consciously typed 2 am.
I supposed, I had been given enough times to come into terms with the massive amount of works destined for me. And I am not the least bit worry because, I know myself, InsyaAllah, I can push through, Ameen..
If I could survive back to back calls, this should be manageable. I didn’t mean to brag but, none on these works involve a continuous 58 hours of continuous standing, running around doing cardiac resuscitation or chasing x-rays. and most importantly none of these works involve total sleep deprivation. there will be some altered sleep pattern that will ultimately screw up my circadian rhythm… but it will be worth it.
In fact I do feel a bit lucky because at least there is a PhD degree awarded at the end of it. because if I was still doing calls, the money received get spent almost immediately. and how much did I make a night? wasn’t it just 100 Ringgit a night? Subhanallah…. those of you who are still doing that, I salute you.
So Jess, in response to your question, “why don’t I just slack away from my prayers today and repay them back in double tomorrow?,” I have to say that unfortunately I can’t. This PhD thing is already so huge, I don’t know if I could do it alone. I can’t be arrogant because I need Allah’s help, I need Allah’s guidance and I desperately need His love all the more right now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


And it could never be anymore correct than this.
Minimize contact,” I told myself. Minimize contact with her if you’d want to survive this despair. And so I did. Have you ever wondered how it feels to get her name mentioned in my presence? I can not even describe it. All that I can remember was urging to cry ever so desperately…image 
I was reminded by a friend that perhaps excessive sadness over something “so trivial” is likely to be the work of evil. But, my lovelies, define “trivial” for me please… If only you knew what she did, you wouldn’t have forgiven her so easily. But I clearly have.
Forgiving is easy. Especially after I rationalize with myself that perhaps she had her own problem, and that she just “had to step on her friends” in order to survive (advance forward?).  But forgetting, my friend, is harder. You have to experience it to understand it.
image I talked to mom about her and in her own words she thought what this person did to me was wicked.She also reminded me to be an adult about it and not to“discontinue” friendship with this person. Come the right time,  mom wants me to tell her adult to adult, woman to woman that “Did she really think that I wouldn’t find out? Did she really think that Allah would leave me in the darkness forever?”
I don’t discuss about my sadness with anyone. But this disappointment is slowly building up to a depression. I don’t want that for myself, so here I am ventilating it all out on a piece of blog hoping that the burden is eased, the heartbreak gets mended and the despairs are gradually relieved. All I wish is that I can go through another day without having to feel sorry for myself after what she had done to me. It is obviously not easy, but I am hopeful that Allah will help me and guide me all the way through. 
I am not the kind of person who would seek revenge and I am grateful to Allah for that. But I am also not a person who could easily put a trust on people. It breaks my heart so severely when my trust was betrayed so casually. Betrayal… Oh, the feeling.
~Oh Allah, defend me from my friends because from my enemies, I can defend myself~


Sunday, October 31, 2010


image I heard it for the first time not from books that i read. Not from the dictionary and neither from the TV. But from a lecturer, My English  matriculation lecturer. we were struggling doing our mock English oral examination for MUET. It was the most dreadful University English Test ever to most Malay speaking Malaysians because this test involves actual speaking/discussing to one another. There were 4 of us in a group and Miss Norimah was observing us for the entire 10 minutes. topics were given at the start of the test and we all must talk about the given topics in that 10 minutes time. missing a topic means a severe deduction in points. image
I figured, to maximize the group points, someone will need to steer the discussion to a certain direction so that all topics are covered. And I naturally took the lead after seeing for the first 1 minute that my 3 other group members were having difficulty to organize what to talk. the discussion went ok, I think. not marvellous, just OK. but Miss Norimah also told me that I was very committed. A blah word at that time because I really didn’t know what it means in relation to the ten-minute-group-discussion that we just had.
Looking at my confusion, she explained. “I said, you were very committed at controlling the group so that everyone gets their chance to talk and get a point,”  
image I looked at her, feeling more confused. “But Miss, of course I’d do that, if not we’d lose points.”
She smiled and explained again, “Well, most people are for themselves. they’d just talk uninterruptedly for ten minutes and steal all the points, leaving the others scoring a zero. Well done! You can go back to your place.”
i heard it so many times after that. probably a very common description people said about me.
I am never a funny person, never the person people would ask to go out having a laugh with, never the person you see as the heart of the party. I am just committed…
So, no matter how hard it will be, facing the person that broke my heart on weekly basis, I will be committed to my PhD support group from now on. Especially after looking at Suhaili and Kak Faizah cried last Friday (it was probably the first time I saw them cry, ever!). Pity them, no doubt personal problems are creeping into their professional lives too. they must hate it when that happened, as do I.
I feel sorry for them. I was selfish. but now I am… committed. =)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sometimes, the right (best) thing to do is to let go.

image I have been engaging my self with bucket loads of thinking lately. With a lot of thinking comes very little literature reading and writing and that really annoy me. nothing annoys me more than a personal problem that creeps itself into my professional life. Utterly unacceptable. But, I am only human. sometimes, my less than perfect human brain could only handle one world problem at a time.image
I love my PhD support group because it helps to keep me on track with my PhD, being with fellow Muslim Malaysian keeps me more grounded, and just the idea of regular meetings with friends makes the week feels more bearable. Not that my every week as a PhD student had been awful, everyday is awesome in room 2.3.6, but it gets “awesomer” if there is a PhD support group at the end of each week. It is difficult to understand why I like such meetings so much, but I do..I really do.
Loving it does not make it any easier. not one bit. (swallowed some sadness…) But after careful thinking, for our own benefits (or perhaps just mine… ), I made the decision to withdraw from the group. Although it is not possible to expect a reaction (I thank MJ for this lovely quote), I kind of already knew how I would react to being in the same group with this person who shattered my heart to pieces. I don’t hate her, I am obviously not angry at her. I am just E x t r e m e l y (with a capital “E”) disappointed. Upon mentioning her name, I feel like crying. So how functional will I be, really in a PhD support group if me, the “leader” wants to cry all the time? 
No one could imagine how devastating it is for me. but then, you can argue that Intan is just too carried away with her emotions. But have you seen me cry? no one has. Have you seen me talking about it to everyone all the time? hardly. But I should tell you dear unexisting readers, that I have cried so many many times over this.
In ANHB bathroom, check.
In my bathroom, check.
In the animal house, check.
In ANHB memorial garden, check.
and not to forget, silently in my heart all the time, check.
now, check.
image Crying obviously does not make anything any better. but in my defence it helps me to make an informed choice. the choices are, (one) whether I could be the bigger person, to forgive and forget and to move on with my life, pretending as though nothing ever happened.. or (two) mend my heartbreak, by minimizing contact, increase focus on my research and channel my constant desire to do good to someone else. Someone who would not break my heart. or have less possibility to do so, like the orphans in Somalia, or hungry people of Cambodia etc, etc.
I don’t discuss my feelings to people. because mom said, “Who would like to hear stories about your petty feelings?” She was right. She always is. (suddenly another warm tears bud at the corner of my lateral canthuses). I always believe that by crying you take some of the emotional burden off. but it doesn’t seem to happen for me yet. May be that’s why choosing option two is the right (best) thing to do.
May Allah give me strength to go through all these.
I try to be a good person, but may be I am just not good enough.
I try to be a strong person, but this time I am just not strong enough.
till then,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

major changes

iphone1 me, writing my blog everyday is not a good sign. it literally screams emotional instability. but since this is the place where ideas and emotions interact.. then I assume, it is not an offense to write as much as I want as long as my thesis is not neglected.
yesterday I had a meeting with my supervisor. MJ said talking to him, even a casual chat… can change your whole life (PhD wise) 360 degrees around. And she was abso-freaking-lutely right. now that my big programming study is underway, lacking the very important aspect of novelty in it, he suggested that “why don’t we do a circadian analysis as well? I heard something about it in some conference I went to sometimes ago.”
and I nodded yes like my neck was made of BedShed mattress’s spring. Yes, of course it is going to complicate things…especially with the 4 collection time points. (and somehow I sensed an aura of extreme dread in the air coming from the people around me in an instant)… but it made my PhD much more MEANINGFUL. I am not just another student replicating the Seckle group’s experimental model. I actually have something novel to present to the world now. AND THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME.iphone-wallpapers-cute-girl-05
so other than the fact that someone broke my heart and I am making all excuses to minimize contact with this person, I actually have a STRONG, LEGITIMATE reason to withdraw myself from group activities that involve her. SWEET. It all works out to my favour. yeay for Intan!
shouldn’t I be a bit more secretive about this person’s identity? Nah… the entire population in room 2.3.6 knows about it. I bet with clever guessing you’ll know who she is very2 soon.
No one is an island. every so often you’ll need friends and support from people who cares for you. But back stabbers are really not in my list of good friends. everyone else are, everyone else in my previous PhD support group are…except one. but I can’t bear to see her face again that’s why i need to withdraw myself from the group. You wouldn’t want me to be in that group anyway because I can only mask this overbearing disappointment for a couple of meetings may be..and  pretty soon I might break down and who knows what I’d do. slap someone on the face perhaps.. now, that would be very2 nice indeed. =). tempting…
cupcakes So life resumes as it should. all careful break-up plans are also underway. MISCHIEVIOUS..I know.
In the midst of all these, I realize that despite extreme loathing to her actions towards me, there is no way that I would go that low to her levels to get back at her. no point, really. In fact, I don’t even care to sit down and explain to her. too tired for that. most people say that me not telling is the reason why they do not know how I feel. they may not do it if they knew I will be so upset about it. but I am not good at discussing because, I can not control my hands. sometimes they tend to slap people very fast.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sometimes, you have to swallow the medicine even if it is bitter. But at all times, never swallow a poison even if it is sweet and coated with chocolate. That is just good sense.

Sometimes, you have to swallow the medicine even if it is bitter. But at all times, never swallow a poison even if it is sweet and coated with chocolate. That is just good sense.

Even a war strickened country can bounce back on its feet, therefore, so do I. So do I. Today is Tuesday. My feeling is generally a bit upset from finding out that there was a big samurai knife being plunged at my back... Cordially being put there by a good old girlfriend. Owh the feeling. Nothing compares.

Presently, i tried my best to deviate away from talking, discussing or thinking about it. But meh.. Who am i kidding? I kept on thinking about it and in fact had already made some life changing decisions with regards to the matter in question.

Agree to complicate my research with circadian analysis, check.
Withdraw myself from phd support group, check.
Pretend that i am ok, check.
Cry my heart out at night, erm..check.

So let me check that cry my heart out box tonight. I'm off to take a slumber. Hopefully tomorrow i will wake up feeling refreshed and unaffected by this megaextreme dissappointment.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, October 25, 2010

Please, I don’t want to see you again…

I have just turned 28 few days ago. the birthday celebration was lovely. We (Suhaili, Hubby & Me) went to Takaza for dinner. We ordered a massive amount of food. we were too full by the end of the meal, I barely ate my spaghetti carbonara… to make way for the heavenly chocolate lava. But at least I felt less guilty for the wasted food coz hubby helped me finished all the bacon (halaal bacon, of course).
So I am officially 28 now. An adult, married and matured. At this age I expect that I would see less and less of opportunists, back stabbers and pure evil hearted people because those are all immature, childish personalities. But at 28, I never thought that I could still be so naive. those characteristics does not mature with age, if ever, they only got worst. Enough said, only one day after turning 28 I met with the very person that should really, for the lack of better word; rot in hell.
what did he do? you might ask.. he? no, it’s a she. She lied (well who doesn’t), but she lied when it is against her belief to lie. She manipulated me when it is against her belief to manipulate. She took advantage of me who happily called my self her friend, when it is against her belief to take advantage on people. And most of all, she betrayed me. not once, but twice. how could I still befriends with this person, I am still puzzled. may be, I do have a soft spot for her. but, now that I know what kind of person, this girl is. I should really start avoiding her.
Because surprisingly, I am not angry at all.
If anything, I am extremely disappointed.
In fact, I am really devastated.
IMG_1133You would think that people whom you helped would remember your kindness.Nah… they just don’t. well, I am not generalizing. But this one particular person, just don’t. so I have only one thing left to say. Please, I don’t want to see you anymore. you know who you are, and I bet you also know what you did. till then,
May Allah guide both you and me to be better persons… in our own separate ways. I know I will find a way to forgive you, but not now while I am still so heartbroken.
P/S: Suhaili baked an awesome chocolate cake yesterday… in conjunction with my birthday, I presumed. It was the best birthday cake ever! should really get the recipe. love it so much.

Friday, October 15, 2010

~ Your blog is your unedited version of yourself. ~

~ Your blog is your unedited version of yourself. ~ Lorelle

Due to certain living circumstances, such as staying in a distant country, not in immediate contact with my besties and my sister, the highly expensive cost of calling back to Malaysia and the fact that emails hardly get immediate reply anymore, a very expressive person like me, who have a constant need to report the day back to someone else just so that I can get it out of my system and move on therefore, had to resort to blogging.

Forgive me if I am too direct in my blog. I usually am not. I just think that if i switch-on that editing freak that I am, firstly I will never get to publish anything until my entries are perfect, which none of them are. Secondly, it takes away the joy of blogging, which is to tell more about you, your life and your thingking process...

And thirdly, extensive editing...really? It is just tiring. Enough with having to edit my thesis and other people's written work, I just want to free write and enjoy the act of writing for once.

So yeah, in my blog I am honest. So pardon me if some of my writings made you feel judged or are sarcastic or is a slap on the face, because they are just letters, arranged into words and structured into sentences. For all you know, they might not be relevant at all. =^.^=

I use everyday things, everyday people, newspaper articles, and my own fascination to get that writing muscles working. You might already be in my blog, with different names or just your initials. Or you might be in here someday.

Till then,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 14, 2010

“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling."

“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”

Well, you know me, I would never agree that one's passion for his or her profession should become spiritual in calling. But I do agree that passion put things into perspective, makes it much easier to wake up in the morning and harder to sleep at night from the anticipation of tomorrows work.

I quote Saiful Nang, a very famous Malaysian professional photographer, that only 5% of the people in the world actually love what they do. The remaining 95% only work for the sake of the paycheck...and also how lucky he felt to be one of that 5%.

That is exactly how I feel with teaching. I have always known that I would teach in the future. At school, I made extra effort to understand the subjects so that I could teach it to somebody. I had the biggest study group of 11 people when I was in uni and I actually spent everyday teaching and sharing informations with my friends. My third year juniors scheduled classes with me during my final year and I remembered actually loving every single moment of teaching them. Not a moment that I felt like I HAD to do it. Not a moment that I felt the time was dragging very slowly when I teach. If anything, time feels like flying in every class that I attend as a teacher/lecturer/tutor.

I thank Allah for bringing me to this path. That dreadful feeling that "something is missing" that I had been having ever since graduation has now vanished forever. I am now in the field made for me. A field where I have no fear to become myself, where I can fluorish and blossom as a person. Now I can understand why Saiful Nang felt so blessed for being able to get paid doing something that he loves, because I can too.

Educators at tertiery centers get paid several magnitudes higher than those in primary and secondary schools. Shame on the government for overlooking the important roles of these equally passionate teachers. But I stand tall with them sharing our same passion for teaching. Double doctor or not. =^.^=

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:University of Western Australia

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The best dream…

Imagine your best dream. Your favourite music is playing softly at the background.
You are wearing all white, with a long flowy skirt and an intricately embroidered veil.
A bouquet of fresh pink flowers kept neatly in place by a delicate white ribbon,
and that haute couture glittery shoes that make you feel like a real princess..
Seal that dream with the perfect princess cut solitaire diamond ring… and all your previous nightmare seemed to be washed away by this one very pretty dream.
Today I am going to share with you my best dream. Believe it or not, I had it last night.
In my dream, I was on my entrance to the Baitullah. There were a lot of people walking pass me, all in a hurry wanting to get to the first “saf”, the closest to the “kaabah”.  And in all of the confusion of how did I get there, the crowd behind me sort of pushing me forward and soon I was in the first saf.
I couldn’t remember the dream down to the finer details. but that is enough to keep me smiling all throughout the day today. when I woke up, I made a wish that someday, Allah will grant me my wish to go there. InsyaAllah, soon…ameen.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Of fire and friend

Last Thursday ceased to be an average Thursday for me. Early in the morning, I received a frantic message from a friend asking to call her back, there was an emergency...she said. I guess there was something wrong with my thinking process during that time because I honestly believed that her emergency was at the most will be a lab machine broke down or her cultured cells died.. Something that are considerably disappointing in the research community but were deemed greatly trivial in comparison to what actually happened.

Her house caught fire. Better yet, she had just escaped a near death experience form a fire.

When she said that over the phone, it was extremely hard to register it in my mind. A house caught fire? Is this real life? Or am I still dreaming? Fires are the stuffs you hear in the news... Not the kind of thing you hear from a person from the other end of the line!

Although it was still hard to make sense, I hurriedly went to see how she was doing. Upon approaching, the smell of burnt wood greeted both my husband and I. It was repelling but sad at the same times. A fire has just died. And along with it are the things it consumed while it was alive. Luckily no one was seriously injured. Like any fire scene I occasionally observed in Malaysia, neighbours usually stay for quite some times to help the unfortunate victims to get back on their feet. Usually there will be donations of food, clothing and money. Those who do not have anything to give will at least offer help and shelter..

Freakishly weird, the place of incident was quiet and still. There was no one except the three girls that were shaken by what happened, busy cleaning the place out. They had just been evicted from the premise. I pity them. For fire victims who had just escaped death, with no relative around for them to turn to for help and having loss so many things during the disaster, and no place to stay for the night, no one was there to comfort them. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE!

And that, had no doubt made them (and me) miss Malaysia even more. A hard life, just got harder. The stone hard, icy cold, hollow chested and dry-vein Edward Cullen would have shown more emotions than the community of Hollywood court. But what can I say? We are living in a materialistic world. If we do not pose any significant importance to the community then we are as good as invincible. And not trying to be narrow minded or anything, but may be their headscarfs had been doing the talking for far too long. Tell me that I am wrong.

I have in one of my rooms, one of the girl victim. If you do not think that it was her headscarf that made her feel abandon in a community of Islam minority, what else? What ever happened to "do good to your neighbour?"

Pretty intense emotion there, Intan..calm down.

Here are the pictures of the house. I couldn't take more because they were busy cleaning then..

Alhamdulillah, everyone managed to get a temporary accommodation from the caring Malaysian community around the area, until they find a new place to call home.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Hollywood court, Monash avenue,nedlands

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"All that I hope is for you to get better, and then she cried..."

In a room full of twenty something girls, discussing about boyfriends, mensies, PMS, and naughty dreams are inevitable. So does the discussion about PAP smear results.

Have you had an abnormal pap smear result before? What did they asked you to do? Come in 6 months? Biopsy? It IS a major pain in the buttski to have to go for pap smears every so often don't you think so? To schedule the once a year appointment is already a hassle, let alone twice. So,I can imagine why people would complaint about it.

But before I proceed, let me introduce you to Natassha. She is a girl from my past, when I was working in a big hospital wearing fancy white coats with stethoscope hanging on my neck and the all so important pager in my pocket. That was when I met Natassha. I was 24 and she was 28 then...the age that I am going to turn to on Oct 22nd this year.

Natassha had 2 children, a 1 and a half year old Ayesha and a 4-month-old little boy Areef who was barely weaned from the bottle. Because we were almost the same age, we became instant friends. With me being the friendly doctor and her being the end stage cervical cancer patient coming for follow up.

Other than that typical old scarf covering her obviously bald head, no doubt coming from vigourous chemo regimes, Natassha was a happy, positive young woman. Tall and slightly thin, as many other chemo patients I have seen... She would have looked breathe takingly beautiful if not for her pair of tired eyes. I always wondered, did she cry the whole night last night? She didn't seem like someone who would least not in front of others.

And maybe I was right.

I met her several times that month. She had weekly follow up then due to the extensiveness of her disease. When I first met her in the specialist clinic, I judged her. "She could be promiscuous because everyone knows that cervical cancer is a disease spread mainly by sexual intercourse. You must be extremely unlucky to contract the disease just from the one partner that you have.... I wondered, whether the husband knew about this before he married her? Slut!!! Huh, me and my glorious code of conduct. Give her a break. Get to know her first," I thought.

And I was dead wrong.

Like me, she married her husband at a relatively young age of 21.he was her first love. They were highschool sweethearts. They were busy studying and therefore had to postpone starting a family. Right after uni, she got a steady job as an engineer and few years later got Ayesha. While she was still nursing Ayesha, she was confirmed to be pregnant again.

Now, had she ever done a pap smear? Yes, she had once. A routine pap smear which was done to all post partum mothers 6 weeks after the delivery of a child. The smear was normal. And soon after, she got pregnant again, so that pap smear was her one and only.

Problems started when she was 7 months pregnant with Areef. She experienced post coital bleeding and staining for no apparent reason. Worried that she might had placenta praevia (low lying placenta), she came to the clinic. Ultrasound scan showed a good size baby with a fundal placenta.

Vaginal examination was carried out and you should know the finding because I have already given you the diagnosis. It was a growth (full stop). Bleeding and fungating. There was no other diagnosis left. But nonetheless, a tissue sample was taken.

She was shaken, but her husband....was devastated. By the painful look on his face, I knew instantly then how deep a man could love his wife. I knew he wanted to cry. Everyone in the room knew that he wanted to cry too. But he was the husband. If he cried, what would happen to Natassha and the healthily growing baby boy inside her?in my own interpretation, i think he swallowed his sadness and while he ushered his wife out of the clinic, he gave a second glance at the gynae specialist. A glance that was full of both hope and despair all at the same time.

As she sat there telling me this story, i listened attentively... I was filling the chemo form for her. Due to the pregnancy, she had to wait until the baby was mature enough to be delivered before she could start her chemo. There was no way she would opt for an emergency evacuation even if it would mean it could save her life. I remembered how the husband's face always changed when she mentioned this. He obviously would give everyhting in this world for her, but yet, all she wanted to do is to give him a boy.

On my last day of gynaecology posting, she was the last patient I saw that afternoon. I was writing her discharge form. But I was also worried for her. She had exhausted all her savings to pay for the good chemo drugs only to find out that her cancer cells were resistant to the drug. Even though she knew that she should just give up, but for her children and most importantly for her husband's sake, she couldn't...

She told me,"Now that I am sick, I couldn't work anymore. My husband is the sole breadwinner. Every month, we run out of money by the middle of the month to buy my medications and formula milks for the kids. Looking at our situation now, all I wanted to do is to quit trying so hard. I just want to stop buying meds and going for chemo because then we could save a lot. But my husband told me again and again that I should not worry about where we are going to find the money from. All I should concentrate now is to get better.."because all I hope is for you to get better"...," then for the first time I saw she cried.

Right after she said her goodbye, i ran to the cancer unit that handle all cancer patients in need of financial help. Whilst I ran, i felt warm tears budding at the corners of my eyes. "This job is so hard". I am a doctor. I know her prognosis was only 10%. i knew that before her financial help application could be processed, she would have long gone from the world. I knew that the 2 cheerful babies would never knew her mother who made the greatest sacrifice in the world and that loving husband was going to be a widower in 2 months time. Sure, their financial burden will be lifted up. But so does the love of his life.

Sad story, these cancer things are... I cry every time I think about them. Natassha especially. I hope she is in a good place now. Rest in peace, friend. May Allah bless your soul.

.....Come to think about it, I wish she just had praevia.

and as for the last order of the day, a reminder to all of us, girls...


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