Friday, July 30, 2010

Ibrahim Last and final update - Gone but not forgotten

It is with great sadness that I wish to inform you all that our Ibrahim had passed away in  his kampung in Kuala Trengganu, yesterday Thursday 29 July 2010 at about 9.30 am.

His father had asked me to thank everybody who had cared and loved  Ibrahim.

I personally wish to express my gratitude and thanks on behalf of Encik Mazlan's family and our late Ibrahim, to all of you who had offered prayers, thoughts, care and kind contributions for Ibrahim in his hours of need.

Ibrahim had touched our hearts as we did his.

Ibrahim, rest in peace. We won't be in the way of Allah's plan for you. You had left us early but we won't forget you. Thank you for making us humble and collectively stronger in compassion and deeds. Please run or ride with us from heaven above, making us safe for always.

Our deepest condolence to Encik Mazlan and his family.

Uncle Allen

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ibrahim Update 8 - Towards getting better

Encik Mazlan had SMSed that Ibrahim is getting much better after palliative treatments in HKT. Our additional food and nutrient supplements are working well with him too. He is beginning to eat pizzas and things like that. Ibrahim has gained back some weight in him . However his full blood count is still on the down side despite blood transfusions. Given that there is no signs of remission in his leukemia, it is imperative that his white blood cells would remain high. As it is, all these are excellent progress so far and we feel that Ibrahim would be off palliative treatments soon. If all is well he should be discharged from the hospital sooner than later.

The next treatments would be another full session of chemos to be administered as soon as possible to arrest the growth of the cancerous white blood cells.

On our side we are making Ibrahim as happy and comfortable as possible. May Senn is currently in Kuala Trengganu for office work. She will visit Ibrahim to cheer him up with pizzas and stories of our runs for him. Kooky and Paul Lee participated in the annual Port Dickson International Triathlete Race last weekend. Both had pledged to give their finishing medals to Ibrahim. How nice of them. This should certainly cheer Ibrahim up.

PCM members will ride for Ibrahim this Friday night in Putrajaya starting at the Palace of Justice at 9.00pm. Come and join us for this ride and contribute a small token for Ibrahim. This is the least we could do for the month of Ramadan.

For more information on this ride please call me at 013-3948839 for details.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ibrahim Update 7- Weekend Therapy

Friday is weekend in Terengganu and several other states in Malaysia. Mazlan had smsed that it was a full day with visitations from relatives and friends of the family. Ibrahim was really happy and was able to eat a bit of hospital food without vomiting. Ibrahim was actually back to his old self.

We had dispatched the four bottles of Seven + extracts immediately to Ibrahim and he had received them safely. Mazlan had captured a video in his mobile and sent to me. See below. The video above speaks volumes for Ibrahim. He spoke loud and clear “Terimah kasih Uncle”

Terimah Kasih ! everybody.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ibrahim Update 6 - another angel passed by

One day several months back as I was cycling round my block one evening I stopped to assist 2 ladies in distressed. Which gentleman wouldn't? Tina and her lady friend was riding when the latter fell down. Now don't you laugh as she was learning how to ride a bike only at a very matured age. She wasn't hurt but the chain came off the rear spocklets. The gentleman stopped and said "Can I help ?" and did. We exchanged hellos, pledged to ride safe and went on our ways.

Fast forward yesterday. I was just starting to do my training run around my block when Tina, whom I had not met since the last time I helped in the episode described, came up from behind and said "Hello Allen, long time no see. I was trying to catch up with you but somehow in wain." we exchained pleasantries and I told her about our Ride for Ibrahim Do with our PCM gang next friday night.
Tina responded immediately and said she will ride PCM next week and would like to give some nutrietious extracts for Ibrahim. She is a reseller for exfuse products. I welcomed her contributions and made arrangements to receive FOUR bottles of SEVEN+ to be couriered imediately to Ibrahim in HKT.

I Googled to learn about SEVEN+ extracts. I won't try to impress you what the extracts are. Please google for it yourself. Suffice to say that it is God sent remedy for what everybody is looking out for. Certainly it is pricy enough to be in the Ivy leaque's choice supplement. Thanks Tina for the four bottles and one for me as well.

Our super logistician Kooky dispatched the extracts to KT at 4 pm today. I went shopping with my care giver today and bought a proper juicer and some glass cups and plates for Ibrahim. Ibrahim should not be using any plastic things from now. We are starting to looking into the smaller details to propel Ibrahim to better health on a fast track.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ibrahim update 5 - All is well that ends well

The crisis to get fresh red blood for Ibrahim ended well at 1645 hours. Syabas to HKT. Transfusion was administered immediately and all will be well again. I had just transferred online RM500.00 to Mazlan to used as petty cash in KT. There you are Ibrahim, you are fixed up and we hope there will be no other crisis lurking round the corner. God has sent in the artillery troops. Soldiers in KT had been alerted and they shall be on call. All stand down. Once in a while we should be tested for our competency to crisis management. I would believe I had just passed my test, with God's help of course.

Kooky Kash is one kool Kooky. She had always rose to the occassion under all battle conditions. I must add she is very infantry. She too passed her competency test in this crisis. Kooky had called me to say that she had O+ blood group set and will be ready to donate her blood for Ibrahim. Thanks Kooky. I am glad to have you as my partner in any situation. You rock.

Back on the normal front Kooky and I had planned to dispatch some nutrients and stuff to Ibrahim in HKT. Kooky is really resourceful and can make things happen at the drop of the hat. She will purchase the nutrients from Nestle at staff price. That should give us some super savings as the nutrients I believe, are super expensive. She will also make the arangements to dispatch the package by courier service soonest. Her talents in logistics will make most of us awe. Kooky is a 'solutions person' as she will have solutions in her pocket for any occassion.

Thanks Kooky.

Ibrahim Update 4 - Call up for blood doners

Ibrahim's photo just came in by MMS. He looks good.

It is 3 days now since Ibrahim was transferred to HKT. He seems to be reasonably stable as he has started to eat piza on his own. He had many visitations and his father is happy.

Ibrahim's blood content is still so unpredictable. Just got a call from Mazlan. Ibrahim's red blood count moved up to 9 points as suppose to a normal range of 4.0 to 5.6.  In cases of leukemia where rouge white blood cells grow at a tremendous pace, these bad white cells will soon take up more space in the blood stream. Hence red cells will be curtailed perilously low.Very very dangerously low. It may result to brain damage if the brains does not get enough oxygen via red blood cells. I am not sure why HKT's blood bank may not have enough type AO positive for Ibrahim.

I have told Mazlan to go to the nearest army camp in KT to source for emergency blood. He is to use my name. The duty officer of the regiment will call me up for authentications.

While all this emergency briefing to Mazlan is going on my mobile interrupted me.

God is great. Please, please, believe me for this time only. It cannot be anybody but God getting an army lady officer from MINDEF to call me if I would like to attend any regimental functions during our Corps birthday this weekend. Again I was saved by the bell, as I was also franticly trying to get somebody in MINDEF at the same moment. I instructed the lady officer to contact the Malay Regiment stationed in Kuala Trengannu to round up blood donors. Once contact is made, the rest is SOP. (Standard Operating Procedures.)

Thank you lady officer and I still do not know your name.  I'll find out to thank you later. You have just saved our Ibrahim's life. I can sense your confusion. You took your instructions well from and old officer whom you had not met before, but only know my name. God sent you to me.

Ibrahim you hang on. Blood and more Piza is on the way.

Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ibrahim Update 3- Palliative care at its best

Palliative care work wonders. Received SMSs from Mazlan that Ibrahim is settling down nicely in HKT. He is visibly much better than yesterday. He had plenty of visitations from his relatives and Mazlan is busy assisting the visitations. We will be getting Ibrahim’s kampung address so that we can send essential items / foods to him via courier services. I am in constant touch with Mazlan via SMS. When he comes back to KL for work, he will tell me who to contact in Kuala Terengganu. Thanks to mobile phones, SMS, the internet and the courier services. We are indeed living in a very well linked world.

Palliative care includes the actual medical treatments and administration provided for by the hospitals. Palliative care also include essential human touches and human soft skills.  The sum total of medical treatments, care givers attention and other human touches all add up loads of synergy effects to Ibrahim’s prognosis.  We had all done our part and Ibrahim should be on his way to full recovery and he should be able to receive his next planned phase of chemo’s shortly. Good planners are always several steps ahead in the game plan. Big C hit the wrong guy. Ibrahim’s friends are one tough group of people who will always belong to the winning team.

Mazlan and I are already planning into the final phase for Ibrahim’s medical treatment; Bone marrow transfer (BMT). Mazlan has agreed to approve the procedure. Ibrahim has a younger sister 8 years old called Kakak and a younger brother 2 years old called Adik. They would have the best and natural source to match Ibrahim’s marrow. Once we know the cost involved in Ibrahim’s BMT, we would be approaching NGOs and the corporate sectors for assistance.

Anybody who is in the Ivy leagues or know somebody, who knows somebody in these leagues, please give us a hand for any leads. Thank you.

Ibrahim Update 2 - Transfer to Hospital Kuala Trengannu (HKT)

Ambulance ready to roll out

Waiting in the ambulance for too long. Mazlan drawing emergency medication for the journey at the famasi

Prayer before leaving

Dosing on and off

Note the drips still attached. A happy father.

Mazlan SMSed me close to midnight last night. IB akan pindah keHKT pagi esok pulkul 8. Thanks to everybody for their help. What ? Something is definitely wrong. We have already firmed up that Ibrahim was to undergo palliative treatments in HUKM until he is stronger. No balik rumah tunggu masa.

 I immediately called Mazlan to find out what happened. He could not explain coherently, but I summarized that Ibrahim was not doing very well earlier in the day. Mazlan was called up from his office and the doctors had explained to him that they had exhausted every treatment. There is nothing more HUKM can do. He was advised that Ibrahim should be brought back to his kampung. He could be transferred to HKT the next morning by ambulance. Ibrahim’s condition had worsen, all critical readings were very bad. White blood cells read 147, placelets 9. Blood transfusions did not stabilize him any more. He was in great pain, as he had maxed out his morphine dosage. New pain started in his stomach, he was throwing everything fed in from his nose. Ibrahim was visibly very uneasy and short of breath.

I told Mazlan to be steady, myself not so. Jangan Panik I said. It is alright ,semua ini biasa. I wished it was so. My heartbeat must have maxed out too. I told Mazlan that I could not come to the hospital immediately but will be there the next morning. I was coughing badly. Mazlan was to be close to Ibrahim, be there for him. Everything will be alright. Ibrahim was wired up with all monitoring machines tagged to his toe, finger and chest. Should the graph go horizontally, the will be a long beep. Nurses were only 20 steps away and they visit his bed every half hour.

My mind was racing, my heart was beating off beats. God, not now. Not Ibrahim. “Breathe Ibrahim, breathe”, I shouted in my mind. An order to myself, as I often shout “breathe Allen breathe” when struggling uphill in my runs. I know that’s all Ibrahim needs to do, breathe. He can go into a coma next as great pain causes body shocks easily. Never mind, but breathe. I’ll be with you tomorrow morning. Just hold on. Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban. (If there is life there is still fight)

I did not wake up the next morning, because I never went to sleep. Why the “sudden transfer” was in my mind the whole night. My coughing did not help either.  Very illogical. Every patient from other states wants to be transferred to KL hospitals, not the other way round. Maybe the only reason I can guess is HUKM don’t want to have bad statistics in its wads. HUKM will not push Ibrahim around.

I was at HUKM first light and met a dazed Mazlan next to Ibrahim, who did not look all that bad. My mind was very corrupted with Ibrahim in a bad shape for the whole of last night. He was OK, smiled weakly and mumbled something. I didn’t have care for anything, Ibrahim survived the night. We high-fived and Ibrahim did his usual deep breathing drills each time we met.  I dug into my haversack pack and took out my iPAD for Ibrahim to play with the games that I had downloaded for him. He was in seven heaven driving a brand new Merz AMG.  He had forgotten his pain and ordeal. I was very relieved. God had answered our prayers.

I pulled Mazlan one side. OK Tell me what happened ? He had said that he had signed all papers for the transfer to HKT and he did not know what he was thinking or doing. Saya semuanya anggup sahaja. Mazlan was certainly more in a worser shape than his son. Never mind we’ll go through with the doctors again when they come around. Mazlan started to shake. I don’t blame him for his feelings, as he knows what the transfer had meant. Any father won’t think straight. Parents and Caregivers often breakdown as well.

I wanted to tell Mazlan a true story that came to my mind. But did not.  Instead, I said “Mazlan, I had prayed to God, if God wants to take Ibrahim, please take me instead. I am old and Ibrahim is young and has a long life to live ahead.”  I know in my heart, God would not agree to my plea, for He would want me to help Ibrahim. He knows I will, so He won’t take me away. Mazlan felt very much better after that.

The doctors came around. I introduced myself and requested for the rationale for  Ibrahim’s transfer. The doctor replied politely that it was parental wish, and it was traditionally the requirement for patients to go home to their kampungs to be with their families and kampong community. The essence of my case was always what was good for Ibrahim’s survival, not what was good for the family’s societal  requirements. The doctor had also emphasized that it was also a religious requirement. I cannot fight two very important decisions. The Muslim requirement and the family’s requirement. I turned to Mazlan and asked him in front of the doctor if he understands and he had requested for the transfer? He was affirmative. Done. Ibrahim will be transferred to HKT. I then checked all preparations were in order, that Ibrahim would be able to withstand the long 7 hours journey, that the ambulance had all the necessary CPR equipment. Mazlan and two medical personnel would accompany him in the ambulance. Ibrahim’s data on his vital organs were surprisingly fairly stable. Best was a very strong blood pressure reading. Ibrahim had even grumbled that he wanted to balik kampung in a bus. That his Nintendo needed a new charger, that he wanted wanted new games to play. My iPAD must have influenced him, for that was the very purpose I had brought it along. When Ibrahim grumbled, I knew it was a good sign for him. He is alive. We promised him everything he wanted. His eves lighted up when I hinted Hari Raya was round the corner. He will soon get new baju melayu and a big duit raya packet. Which kampung boy wouldn’t respond like Ibrahim?

All done, they rolled out at 9 am and we had ta pau food and drinks from the canteen. I also gave RM200.00 petty cash to Mazlan for the long journey. We prayed for safe journey.
 Ibrahim checked in HKT at 4 pm at wad 5DC. Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ibrahim update 1 - Palliative treatment

 Kooky with Ibrahim

This is the winning smile we wanted to create. Ibrahim will be off the terminal list soon.

Following Ibrahim's recent relapse, he was in a critical stage and was admitted once again into HUKM at 4.00 am Friday morning. Before he could fully recover from his treatments for his testicles. Cancer had attacked all over his bones and joints. Doctors oncall had categorised him as too week to be administered for anything else other than morphine, morphine and more morphine. Later in the day Ibrahim was able to be dripped with saline, minerals, and blood transfusions. It was ER all the way.

Then the specialist came around, but then they still could not proceed with the dreaded chemos. Ibrahim must be stabilised first. Calls were made to HKL's national central blood bank for more blood transfusions. No more can be done for Ibrahim, who was now sedated in morphine and was in a state of delusion. Ibrahim was placed for palliative treatments and administration. Meaning relieving pain or alleviating a problem without dealing with the underlying cause, cancer.

Ibrahim's father, Encik Mazlan was in a state of total shock. He never thought of calling me or anybody when Ibrahim was admitted to the hospital. The doctors had told him that Ibrahim was a terminal case. He may take him home if he wants to. Who wouldn't be shocked by such cold but insensitive prognosis?

Encik Mazlan eventually called me the next day, Saturday. He had tried to explain the situation to me, in all jumbled facts. I rushed immediately to see Ibrahim in the Pediatric Wad to find him really done in, and in a the worst condition I had ever seen him. His mother, siblings and an uncle and auntie were already there. All "tunggu masa". I managed to extract out the bit and pieces from Encik Mazlan. I pleaded with the nurses on duty for me to see Ibrahim's daily report cards to no avail. Confidential and I am not authorised access. The IV nodes, oxygen, drips hanging down and Ibrahim being wired up spoke for itself.

I was fortunate that the doctor on call  did his rounds early in the evening. I caught him at the reception desk and he was good enough to spend some time with me. We discussed Ibrahim's condition in detail. He was very sympathetic and clear in his discussions. The hospital could not do anything more than palliative treatments. Ibrahim must recover on his own. I won't pen the doctor's stand on Ibrahim's chances of survival. I can't. I have faith in Ibrahim. He has fighting qualities. He had looked forward to my visit. His eyes told me that he was alright.

I then bargained with the doctor. Would Ibrahim be better off in the hospital or go home? He was caught off guard and said of course he will be better looked after in the hospital, nurses, equipment, ICU etc etc. Ok then, thank you doctor, Ibrahim is staying and not going home to tunggu. Please state Ibrahim's requirement for continuous palliative treatments in the hospital. I wouldn't have anything otherwise and I speak on behalf of the father. Please send an urgent note to the departments' nutritionist. Spare nothing. Ibrahim will fight and we will all fight for him.

Kooky and I had planned to visit Ibrahim this evening. Kooky had done a wonderful job sounding the alarm bell. She had created a tsunami of responses in her networks. She had managed to collect RM3266.00 for Ibrahim's fund todate. AND, she had said she expects more to come. Kooky was so upbeat that she SMSed me as the collections increased each time, minute to minute like bookies did in last football world cup. Relax Kookie my first joke on you.  Allen Lai is in the best mood today.

On top of the contributions, there were calls for coordination of visitations. All hands were on deck. Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban (If there is Life there is still fight). I was amazed that everybody wanted to do something. Thanks guys, we are team. Kooky and I finally agreed only to invite Nurina (a triathlete and nurse by profession) to come along. Thanks May Senn for cueing Nurina early. We had discussed and shortlisted the emergency foods for Ibrahim. From Nestle's to Appleton's to..... We will ensure Ibrahim will get the best food. Thank you for you generous contributions and well wishes.

The most heart warming thing to see during our visit was to see kids with kids. Kooky's children Nady and Citra had tagged along. Nady wanted to give Ibrahim his personal favourite Transformers toy. Nady was taught that if he wanted to give something to somebody, he must give his most favourite toy. He had no reservation, no regrets and no boundaries like his wonderful mom. Nady rocks. An unconditional bond was made on the onset. Nurina and Citra had also given him a soft toy each.

We know that children in the terminal list are often given their last wish. The therapy is aged old and serves the purpose of making the child happy so that they forget their pain and sufferings. This indirectly will make their bodies want to fight to live for another day. I promised to take Ibrahim for my bike rides with PCM and runnings with Pacesetters when he is well. I promised to buy him a bike when he can ride one day. The day will come. I promise.

Together we will not loose Ibrahim, not without a fight. Agi Idup Adi Ngelaban.

PCM Rides for Ibrahim

Kooky is causing a tsumami. It is a rave now. She informed me today that PCM will be riding for Ibrahim on Friday night 30 July 2010, holy month notwithstanding.

I am lost for words to see the how the speed and responses for call ups are zapping in the networks. Blogs, websites, comments, Face books, Tweets, SMSs and mobiles. Land lines not verified yet. Runners, cyclist and triathletes are now responding with lightning speed and near the to the speed of light.  Believe me, I am really old school. Thank you all.

PCM is Putrajaya Critical Mass. Families come in doves to Putrajaya every last Friday of the Month for a social ride on their bicycles around the city lights. I have been riding safety warden for the evening and every body knows me as Uncle Allen as I would be lighted up like a Christmas Tree, always there at main road junctions controlling traffic.

If you have a bike, do come and join us. It is fun.
For more information please visit :

Call me @ 013 3948839 anytime to directions to Putrajaya.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer? | Video on

William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer? | Video on

Of Cats and Cancer

As I browsed the blogs for more information and links to all things cancer, I chanced upon Of cats and Cancer, a blog by Puan Azmi Talib. Her profile said that she had been "there and done that". Unfortunately this blog is now somewhat stagnant. I would believe Puan Azmi is now cancer free and had left her legacy behind in her blog for all to read.

Of Cats and Cancer is a good blog for ladies who have breast cancers and of course anyone who loves cats. I am particularly interested in her post describing her exercises in Guo-Lin Qi Gong. See her post here.

I wish to thank Puan Azmi Talib for leaving this blogsite behind for us to read and I wish her best of health. God bless her.

Allen Lai

The ABCDs of Fighting Cancer

I am glad my ordeal is partially resolved. My Oncologist reported that I was curable and that I was doing fine. My response to the hormone and radiotherapy were very successful. My PSA reading is now 0.09 down from an all time high of 27. I am celebrating life inspite of my problem being only partially resolved. I survived the hospital so to speak, but I had not really survived cancer. We all know there is no real cure for cancer, for cancer is not a disease per se. Cancer is very complex and hence it should be better categorized as “a problem to be solved”. Cancer patients are not sick people as in other diseases. We have a bio-chemico-medico-psychological situation existing in our body. Period. See the relationships? Things go wrong in our bodies when there are imbalances and conflicts in these relationships. No drugs, chemo’s, therapy’s will completely cure cancer. Cancerous cells will emerge and relapse soon enough when they become immune to your treatments. Traditional medical practices can only treat the patient and stabilize the situation as in fire fighting. Thus cancer patients are given a reprieve until the next fight. Even radical surgeries, to remove body organs affected by cancerous cells does not effectively cure one of cancer.

How then do we fight cancer ? In reality it would involve an Oncologist, Radiologist, Surgeon, Nutritionist,Physician Phycologist, and Chemist to sort it all out. And at best they would have to agree to disagree. In my case, my hospital team( HUKM and Putrajaya hospitals) comprise an Oncologist, Physician, Urologist, Radiologist and Nutritionist). We should also not forget the important medical supporting personnel like nurses and system operators who are specialists in their own rights, and most importantly our care givers.

In my relatively short time of 11 months since detecting cancerous cells in my prostrate gland to my excellent prognosis today, I applied myself to the problem to be solved. I do not know anything about cancer, save that my relatives and friends had cancers and that they are going to be cured by specialist. How wrong I was. When I first met my Oncologist, he had tried to explain everything to me. I am convinced that he is the specialist and that he could fix me up. So I said with full confidence “ Doc, you are in charged. Fix me up”
While being fixed up by my Oncologist via a dual modality of hormone and radiotherapy, I started to meet other cancer patients. I then had a fuller realization. It is not that simple to be cured of cancer. I went into full time research into cancer in general and prostrate cancer in particular. I talked to people, read books and browsed the internet. The sea of information available is mind bogging. Prostrate cancer is supposed to be a slow cancer, but reading in-between the lines, prostrate cancer is slow only in relation to other types of cancers. So it does not mean years and years of extra time for prostrate cancer patients.

Todate, I am more knowledgeable and confident of cancer, my cancer at least. If cancer is a problem to be solved, then we must apply ourselves to solve it. Period. Nobody else can solve your problem, others can assist and complement the solutions to your problem. I am not a doctor, much less an Oncologist, I will have to rely on my other talents and skills in leadership, physiology and management. There should always be a dual approach to solving the problem. Do not ever forsake traditional treatments and medication. The Oncologist is the only person who can do damage control and effectively stabilize or halt the cancerous growth quickly. We could then apply ourselves to partake in helping the Oncologist to do his job.

My first task was to do an appreciation of the situation, which would result in courses open for me and needless to say I would select the best course of action. Whilst the Oncologist would follow through with his best medical practices and protocols, I would embark in self actions in alternative approaches to prepare myself for full cure in the shortest time possible. The caveat here is to always tell the Oncologist what you are doing and what are your body responses to his treatments and yours. Your actions can be done before, during and after your hospital treatments. But I will certainly not recommend your actions, except for safe actions, before and during your hospital treatments, but you must do your part, post treatments. Whatever the case, always consult your Oncologist on whatever you do.

My guiding principles have always being ABCD.

Attitude starts with being happy and don’t worry. It is true for it doesn’t help being otherwise. You must have a good attitude towards yourself, your immediate families, your work and your life. Be calm and rational and be decisive. Don’t be angry at yourself or with the world.

You must believe the following:
1. Cancer is curable. You are lucky to have cancer now not 10 – 15 years ago. Treatments are almost perfected. You can almost be guaranteed of enhanced morbidity. You will need the time to cure yourself.
2. There is always GOD who will help us when we asked for help in prayers.
3. There are always peers and other people out there for you.
4. Can I be bold enough to ask you, to believe in me? No don’t believe me. Believe in ABCD.

Change is a must. You must change your lifestyle. Period. For it was the old lifestyle that you had allowed cancerous cells to grow in your body. Change your food to accommodate value added food in the fight. Eat more alkaline making food. Proper nutrition’s and essential minerals are force multipliers in your battle against cancer. Do exercises to oxygenate your body. Qi Gong and short walks in the sun not only allows you to smell the roses, but you will get free Vitamin D to boot.

Discipline is not only for the soldiers. It is critical for us cancer patients. With discipline we can solve and overcome any problem head on. It is a matter of whether you want to walk the talk, or take a walk from it all. There are so much that we can do, change, eat to assist our Oncologist in our personal fight against cancer.

I do not wish to preach nor teach you how to suck eggs. But I am sure you can survive cancer with ABCD like me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cultural Shock

I am starting Qi Gong class at the NCSM every Sunday morning at starting at 10.00 am for two hours. Our Qi Gong master is Master Yap. Our class comprise of mixed gender participants.
I have always had heard about Qi Gong (Hei Gong to the Cantonese) and I had always akin Qi Gong to some form of Kung Fu / Tai Chi martial arts. How I wrong was.

I would believe that I am the last Chinaman in China, or anywhere else overseas for that matter, who would learnt what Qi Gong actually is, and get culturally shocked. My Master’s first statement was Qi Gong was not an exercise. I was straight away disorientated and was so confused that I did not hear what Qi Gong actually was. Never mind I’ll find out from him after class.

Master Yap had us seated in rows in front of him, and without much ado, closed his eves and went into a meditation stance. We followed likewise without any instructions. We should be feeling calm, composed and relaxed. Master Yap then spoke in a chant like recital. Again I could not hear him clearly, as I was not used to his voice yet. And also being half deaf. Never mind, just follow and we will know soon enough. And soon enough we were following Master Yap into several “exercises” beginning with our feet, stomach, arms and shoulder blades. But then I recalled Mater Yap telling us Qi Gong was not an exercise regime. We were to know that those physical exercises were called Chen Qi. We were taught some basic Cheng Qi movements for about an hour before we started on Lar Qi. Lar Qi was apparently mental Qi Gong, the former being physical Qi Gong. Ok I will have to digest that later. Lar Qi was so much easier to follow, except for the concentration part. My mind was everywhere, except thinking of controlling the flow of Qi into my body. We were suppose to close our eyes and think good thoughts. We will have to visualize Qi inside our bodies, in great abundance, filling the parts inside our bodies void of Qi. So said Master Yap.
I had two lessons now and I am beginning to see the concept and rationale in Qi Gong. I enjoyed my lessons and tried to practice them on my own at home. I saw some good links and readings in the internet; and I am now a firm believer that Qi Gong is good for us, cancer patient or no cancer patient.

I do not intend to explain Qi Gong to anybody as I am a beginner. Suffice only to say that we should give Qi Gong a try, its difficulty not withstanding. One day and only after many practices we will be able to reap the benefits of Qi Gong.

I will try to post some links to good Qi Gong sites in the internet and uTube in my later posts.

Fourth relapse ?

Ibrahim - compare him with his photo in my earlier post below.

I visited Ibrahim in his house in Rawang today. Ibrahim’s father had told me that Ibrahim is not faring well and he is already bed ridden.

Ibrahim is indeed very sick.

I had asked previously, how many cancer relapse can a person take? How many relapse can a frail child take? Ibrahim had finished his maintenance chemo sessions and radiotherapy on his testicles only last month. He looked well enough to be on his way to full remission. But last Sunday Ibrahim had lost 5 kg in weight in one month. Loosing weight does not augur well for cancer patients. It looks like Ibrahim is into another relapse, his fourth, and this time at several places in his bones. He is in constant pain in the bones and cannot even sit up in a chair. He is also suffering from malnutrition. A stark profile of a child in famine. Large eyes, normal size head with a skeleton body frame. He is in a critical situation. I have bought him some food and gave him some pocket money to buy more food, any food for now. He needs more high calorie and high protein foods to pull through. He is too weak to take another round of new chemo treatment for now. The problem with chemo treatment is the effectiveness does not last. Cancer cells will be able to be immune to the chemo dosage pretty soon enough. A higher dosage of the chemo or a new drug will be needed. And the vicious cycle goes on; unless a stem cell/bone marrow transfer is done on the patient, to increase the patient’s level to cope with a higher dosage of chemo.

Ibrahim needs help immediately. He will be re-admitted back to HUKM tomorrow for further medical treatment. We hope and pray that he will survive this time around and be sustained long enough until he can be treated with stem cell / bone marrow treatment. We will have to seek sponsors for his stem cell/bone marrow transfer very quickly. Time is the essence now.
We will fight for Ibrahim, and fight we will. Ibrahim, you just hold on. We are with you.

Allen Lai

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Majlis Kanser National (MAKNA)

Majlis Kanser national (MAKNA) was formed in 1994 with a mission to mobilise resources in order to provide curative, preventive and research, and support services to cancer patients and their families. MAKNA is focused to keep abreast of the latest findings and information in the cure of cancer. Other areas of focus include provision of consistent cancer awareness and education programmes, raise funds for cancer related services and to have a pool of trained staff to provide best care for cancer patients.

To know more about MAKNA visit its website at

National Cancer Society Malaysia

The National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) was formed in 1996 with clear missions and objectives to offer help and assistance to all cancer patients. NCSM’s main focus of activities are in improving the quality of life of patients and in patient care. It is involved in public awareness and education programmes.

To know more about the society and its facilities, visit NCSM’s website at

Far Infrared Sauna

Fir Sauna cabin

I was invited by National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) to a gift presentation ceremony on Tuesday 6 July 2010. Dr Peter Woodroof was present with his staff from Genting Oil & Gas Sdn Bhd to present a Far Infrared Sauna cabin to NCSM.

The FIR Sauna cabin is a large cabin for three people per session. The FIR cabin is different from the traditional sauna cabins in that it emits and radiate radiant heat directly into the body. Fir energy is used to elevate blood circulation, detoxify the body, improve skin conditions, and joint pain removal. FIR energy can penetrate 1.5 inches into the whole of our body, hence invigorating all our internal organs and tissues. NCSM has kindly allowed all cancer patients free use of the cabin.
Mr Anthony Skelchy, President NCSM received the gift on behalf of the society.

Thank you Dr Peter Woodroof for your kind donation.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Feel Good, Feeling Good

It is always good talking to Kooky. You get more than what she says. That’s value added for you. She had agreed to help me to help Ibrahim. What are my plans? She had probed me. That’s leadership at its finest, be a good listener.

I’ll strategize my plan on Feel good, feeling good. When Kooky crossed the finishing line for the Ultramarathon in 14 and a half hours, she felt good as anybody would feel the same goodness. But that was not all, she had felt a higher level of goodness. Yes she must have in part felt good because of completing her race well and had achieved what she had set out to do. But most of all she had felt a higher level good because she had achieved a higher objective. Project 84; she had run for Autism, no boundaries.

When I wrote my first post (see below) on what I did to help young Ibrahim, I had many calls and prayers extended for Ibrahim. All had sympathized and had prayed for Ibrahim’s full recovery. To those who had prayed, I am God’s answer to their prayers. God had dispatched me to help Ibrahim for you. If this is too much for you to grasp, never mind. You can understand if you give it some thought at your next prayer time. Meantime you can still help. Do a Kooky. Run with Ibrahim in next year’s KL marathon. Get the higher level of Feel Good that Kooky felt when she crossed the finish line to touch the lives of those with Autism. It is different. This feeling good cannot be shared, it is very personal. Ask Kooky.

I will be talking to Kooky on my concept and plan on how to go about this project. The plan will essentially entail an immediate small collection of funds/ donation in kind, to source anti cancer food for Ibrahim so that he can get off the wheel chair ASAP. The next step would be to get Ibrahim stronger so that he can start physiotherapy and preparation for the event. Ibrahim’s father, his doctors and I will monitor his progress. I believe with all our immediate contributions and help, Ibrahim should be ready to begin his initial training for his event in 2011. I will post his progress reports in this blog.

Register with us now, no limits to the number of helpers or runners.

Contact me by email at,Kooky@Run Kooky Run or Julie @missjewelz to register your interest to chip in to help out. Let us make a difference for Ibrahim. I am his hope, you are our hope.


Me and UltraKooky

Yesterday I managed to catch up with Kooky to pass on the contributions I had collected on your behalf for her project 84. Kooky had successfully completed her 84 km maiden Ultra -marathon in Singapore and in earning her pledge to Run for Autism.Syabas and kudos to you Kooky. It was not an easy feat that you had accomplished. Many people could not even run a full kilometer, much less an Ultra-marathon. Your 14 and a half hours timing at the finish line for a first timer was testimony to your true grit and determination. We congratulate and salute you for your Project 84, which had no boundaries in the human spirit. Kooky had displayed leadership at its best.

I sincerely wish to thank all my family members and close friends who had generously contributed to this noble cause. I apologize for the poor planning and short notice that I had sent out seeking for your contributions and help. You all had responded almost immediately and had stood up to be counted. You had mattered, and Kooky had said to me that every Sen counts. Kooky and I are very proud of you all and wish to say a big thank you.

Read Kooky’s race report here.

Thank you Kooky for your leadership and wishing to help me out in undertaking to help young Ibrahim who is down with leukemia. No I won’t allow Kooky to take on the blunt end for Ibrahim. Allow me to emulate her fine efforts. It is my personal pledge this time. It is my fight to help a fellow cancer patient. I had achieved my first and immediate objective to source essential filtered water for Ibrahim. Thanks to Dato Dr. Noordin Darus and Worldwellness Sdn Bhd. I still have my long term objective to achieve, and that is to source funds for Ibrahim to have a bone marrow / stem cell transplant.

I had earlier in the hospital asked Ibrahim if he would like to join me in running marathons. He had answered “Nak, tetapi susah ku lari”. I cheered Ibrahim up and assured him that he will get well soon and will be able to run with me and my friends. We jomed. I had then discussed with my daughter May Senn that we’ll run for Ibrahim in the coming KL Marathon. We’ll take turns in a relay to push Ibrahim in his wheel chair. She will find volunteers to help out. This will make Ibrahim’s dream come true, as Ibrahim’s father had told me that Ibrahim had never ever ran in school activities before. But running in the coming KL marathon was not to be, as we did not have the time to prepare for Ibrahim’s run. And also Ibrahim and I had just completed our punishing radiotherapy sessions. We needed at least 3 weeks to recover from its side effects.

Learning from Kooky’s courage and cue to undertake in helping others, I think I can do a bit more for Ibrahim. I envisioned Ibrahim to be running with us next year. It is a doable objective. Dato’ Dr. Noordin had already assured clean and filtered water for Ibrahim, all Ibrahim needs now is a balanced anti cancer diet to help him to be cancer free. Proper selected food intake will bring Ibrahim on his feet again. Proper food will ensure remission in his cancer and it will also ensure that he will never have another relapse again. And with God’s help he may never need to have a bone marrow / step cell transplant.

I have adequate readings into anti cancer diets. I am confident proper food will cure cancer patients. My personal additional food bill is about another RM400.00 - RM500.00 per month. Given that we have to eat lots of fruits, cruciform vegetables, seaweeds, torfu and soys, low GI (Glycemic Index) lentils and pulses, berries, herbs and of course wholegrain rice and cereals on a daily basis. We also have to take a bit of supplements in vitamin C, Vitamin D (Free from sunlight) and Vitamin E. It is essential that leukemia patients impose rigid glycemic controls. All said, I envisage Ibrahim would need a budget of about RM300.00 per month for the next one or two years. This amounts to RM3600.00 per year.

Please help me to get Ibrahim to run with us next year. It is a doable objective. You can pledge a small contribution towards Ibrahim’s anti cancer food need. If you are in a tight corner yourself, please pass my request for help to your friends who can chip You can call me anytime at 013-3948839 or use my to contact me. I appreciate if you can inform me of your contributions for me to keep track.

Thank you for touching young Ibrahim’s life. Let’s get together and make Ibrahim well again. It's a doable with your help.


Power of the Human Spirit

The power of human spirit is an awesome experience. Many people would have experienced it sometime in their lifetime. I just did.

I always had a high quotient of EQ and compassion in me and I had applied myself well in a general way. When I became a victim of a life threatening disease, my quotients raised to another notch higher, particularly for those who were less fortunate than me in coping with our medical predicament.

I was doing my daily radiotherapy sessions in PPUKM Cheras (HUKM) when I met Ibrahim accompanied by his father Encik Mazlan. Ibrahim was sick, undernourished, frail and wheel chaired. Ibrahim had the classic profile of a very sick child suffering from Leukemia. Needless to say Encik Mazlan had looked even worse off. He had the profile of a very lost father. Lost for words, lost in his thoughts, lost in his esteem and lost for hope. Encik Mazlan had lost hope for his son Ibrahim because Ibrahim in a span of several years had three relapses of cancer cells lodgment in the brain, spine and now testicles. Chemo and radiotherapies are not working well for Ibrahim. How many cancer relapses can a person take? How many cancer relapses can a frail child take? It is more often that chemo and radiation side effects would kill the patient well before cancer does. Encik Mazlan understood that.

It took two days for me to break through to Encik Mazlan. The first two days were always exchanges of a polite weak smile and “Selamat Pagi, ada baik ?”. Encik Mazlan would then shut down into his though, sitting by himself; Ibrahim waiting for the nurse to call his name for his turn in the daily long queue. From the third day onwards I had learnt more of Ibrahim’s medical conditions and the team of Oncologist’s fight to stabilize his Leukemia. PPUKM is a teaching hospital and a Specialist Centre. Ibrahim’s Oncologists are Professors and teaching staff. All doctors were on overdrive to make Ibrahim well. But there are always constraints in life. Encik Mazlan works as a billing clerk in a local TELCO company. He does not get government support and rates for hospital treatments. However Encik Mazlan is able to cover his son’s treatment under his company’s basic standard insurance scheme for lower staff members. Bone marrow and cell stem transplants are out of the question.

Over the week I had gained more confidence from Encik Mazlan and I was also able to put Ibrahim in a happy mood every morning by letting him play the games I had downloaded into my iPhone. In the course of our daily conversations, Encik Mazlan had told me something interesting. There was a full year that Ibrahim was well and his quarterly medical examinations and reports showed good markers. That was the year that Encik Mazlan’s neighbour had helped Ibrahim. He had provided filtered water for Ibrahim to drink daily from his new water filter system. All was well until Encik Mazlan had to relocate from his home in Kelana Jaya, PJ to Rawang for economic reasons. Ibrahim did not have any more opportunity drink filtered water since then, as the neighbour’s filtered water system cost about RM2500.00, with yearly maintenance cost to change the filters. Encik Mazlan could not afford it. Then Ibrahim’s cancer relapses came in one after another unabated.

I told Encik Mazlan, that he should provide the same filtered water for Ibrahim to drink daily no matter what it cost. Ibrahim was OK when drinking the filtered water. We had found out that his neighbour was using the RX WATER filter system from Worldwellness Network Sdn Bhd. A local provider in wellness products founded by Dato’ Dr. Noordin Darus.

I had suggested to Encik Mazlan to take a loan or an advance salary from his company to purchase RX water system. But he could not get his request granted for a small company loan nor advance salary. I told Encik Mazlan not to worry not to despair, I will think of something. I will think of a two stage plan for Ibrahim. Firstly is to get the RX water system immediately for Ibrahim and on a longer planning term, to source support for a Bone Marrow transplant.

I was troubled and worried but did not panic. What if I could not deliver my promise to help Ibrahim? I prayed for guidance and clarity of thoughts. I was no longer thinking of my own prevailing medical problems. My only thoughts were on how to help Ibrahim. I shared my thoughts with my wife and my daughter May Senn. I am Encik Mazlan’s HOPE. I must not fail him and Ibrahim. I must not.

I researched relentlessly in the internet into Leukemia and more into Worldwellness Network Sdn Bhd. I must contact Dato Dr. Noordin Darus. I know help is out there. But how do I talk to the company? More so, what do I talk about to the company? I called the company and requested for an appointment with Dato. The next day I had an appointment with his marketing staff who gave me the best returned call I had ever received in my mobile. Dato’ would see me, Encik Mazlan and Ibrahim on Tuesday 8 June at 11.00am.

My prayers were answered when the good Dato agreed to take on Ibrahim under hisDanaWellness programme. Dato gave instruction to his staff to issue a new set of RX WATER filter system, prescription for RX salt and RX Tra to Encik Mazlan. Dato also took time to explain to us his approach to cure Ibrahim. He will see to Ibrahim on a monthly basis. What more do we want? Dato Dr Noordin is God sent to help Ibrahim. We have achieved our first stage with God’s grace.

I have gained this inert power of human spirit in me. I have it, in part because of my upbringing and the close family bondage that I cherished; thanks to my parents. In part also due to my long career in the Army. But in a great part, it is due good friends and commanderie with my running friends in Pacesetters Malaysia. They are the most selfless souls I know. After all running marathons is very akin to the human spirit. The sweat, endurance for pain and the sheer determination says it all.

My first charge - Ibrahim Mazlan

Me and Ibrahim

I first met Ibrahim, when I went for my medical treatment for cancer in Hospital University Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) in May 2010. In the six weeks of 32 radiotherapy sessions, I had also met many other peers, undergoing radiotherapy for different types of cancer tumours. But Ibrahim caught my attention and compassion almost immediately. He was wheeled into the Radiotherapy Department by his father. Ibrahim was weak and frail, suffering from this third relapse of Leukemia. He had Chemo and radiation treatments in his spine, brain and now testicles. I had posted my plans and project to help Ibrahim in my other blog sites. I will re-post herein. You can follow his progress under tag Ibrahim. You are most welcomed to help out.