Sometimes I look at the knife on the table, the scissors in the drawer, the cars on the street, the ledge of a high rise building, and a dangerous thought will cross my mind.

When people ask me how I’m doing, I’ll always tell them, I’m holding on.

“How are you living each day?”

“By holding on.”


In with the new, in with the old

New year, new me!

Haha, who am I kidding. I’m still the same person as I was in 2017, just with more baggage from 26 years of unresolved issues (instead of just 25).

Happy 2018, everyone! I hope we all become the person that dogs think we are this year.



The good day

Yesterday morning, I overheard my parents arguing about a Facebook and felt like crying. It was nothing new. In dealing with cancer, I am learning that my life is a 24-hr theme park with Being-On-Edge-of-Tears as the most popular ride. The causes for that emotional state differs. Sometimes it was because your mother was dying. Sometimes it was because we are all dying but we are more aware of some deaths than others. Sometimes it was because your mother has asked you to start packing up her things to be given away when she dies, that she was so resilient and brave in the face of eternal annihilation while you’re a soggy mess, crying over cups of teas and diced carrots. Most of the time though, in general, it was because you hate everything and life suck.

Yesterday’s episode was because I was happy. And sad. And upset. Simultaneously. Since beginning her medication, my mother barely had the strength to eat. She’d get violent coughs every time she speaks. Most of her days were spent on the couch in our living room, dozing off the effects of two different chemo drugs waging wars in her body.

But yesterday was different.

Yesterday, she had a Good Day. She woke up and ate almost half a bowl of rice without throwing up. She picked up her phone and looked through Facebook posts. She commented on things. And she had the strength to banter with my father. It has been so long since I’ve heard her speak that loudly that I panicked. Was she sick? Was this a new episode? But no, it was just a good day. We were having a rare good day, and all I wanted to do was to cry, because I was happy that she was well, because I was sad that it would end in a few hours, because I was beginning to realise the importance of a moment, a minute, an hour, because everything was moving too fast in the wrong direction, like a rollercoaster going unhinged, but that morning we were somehow given a moment of reprieve from the shadows that have been clouding our lives.

That morning reminded me of the pre-cancer days. Every single of one of those days must have been a good day, because we had strength in our arms and legs and lungs, because we could walk to the kitchen without getting tired, but we hadn’t appreciated it then.

In which my mouth is stupid

Okay, so everyone who knows me well knows that my mouth is stupid. I have a habit of panicking whenever people focus their attention on me, which results in my brain malfunctioning, and instead of coming up answers that a person of moderate intelligence might give, my mouth ends up uttering the most useless horseshit in the entire history of the universe. And today, I added to the (super long) list of embarrassing things I’ve said.

And today, I added to the (super long) list of embarrassing things I’ve said. This is how the short – but no less disastrous – conversation went down:

Peter: My wife and I are having a baby!

Me: Yay! Congratulations! What breed is it?

Lunch table: *awkward silence*

Derek, in a whisper: Gender. It’s called gender.

*screams internally*

Oh, if only there was a rubbish chute nearby, I would have torn my mouth out and throw it in the trash.

Terminal cancer


, , ,

“The cancer is in the brains.” The doctor paused, and then she said it again, “We found some tumours there.”

I’ve always imagined that the moment would be more climactic, perhaps with a thespian filter and a stage setup. I imagined there’d be headaches and dramatic nosebleeds. Doctors rushing everywhere, perhaps even in surgical robes, with solemn expressions. There’d be a lot of crying and phone calls and somebody, perhaps a distant, weepy aunt, would faint on cue. I imagined something that was worthy of Grey’s Anatomy or House or even a scene from a B-class movie.

But life wasn’t a cable network writer looking to amp up ratings, and there was none of the electrifying tension, none of the sensational camera zoom-ins and facial close-ups.

We were seated on plastic chairs in a nice, cool room, the doctor in a practical shirt and skirt. The night before, we had fish for dinner and watched dramas on cable TV. This morning, we took the train, jampacked with office workers, and walked ten minutes up to the center. It was just a normal day, we were just normal people. Except that it wasn’t normal, that my mother was suffering from terminal cancer (people always use that term, but is there a cancer that wasn’t terminal?), and that it had spread to her brains.

The cells that she made, that she fed and watered and oxygenated, had turned on each other. The cells she created and gave life to were slowly killing her. She would continue feeding and watering and giving them life, and they would continue multiplying and spreading, demanding her absolute energy in their slow destruction of her body. It was a cruel, cruel existence, an involuntary act of self-annihilation, and it happened in plastic chairs.

We didn’t cry. No doctors rushed in with blood on their gloves. No aunt fainted. There wasn’t even an immediate action plan. The doctor said, “We’ll come up with a plan. See you next week.” We paid out our consultation fees in cash and then went home to eat lunch. It was the least dramatic climax ever. We didn’t even give good reactions. If it was a drama series, all the media executives would be up in arms, shaking their meaty, Rolex clad fists and demanding a re-write of the entire episode. Throw in the blood, they’d say. Where are the tears? Where are the anguished cries?

But it was not a drama. It felt like a drama, but it was not. It was our lives, it was my life, and I was living it.


2017 Life Update

Seeing how I’ve been blogging intermittently, I feel obliged to return here to say that I’ve officially graduated! I’m now a master’s degree holder, wooohooooo! It was very tough and very tiring and I put on at least 5 to 10kg, but at least I made it.

Also, my mother’s cancer came back. The doctor says it’s Stage 4 now, and she can’t really do radiotherapy or chemotherapy anymore, so all that’s left is to take tablets. For the rest of her life or until the tablets don’t work anymore. And they’re really expensive – about $3-4k SGD per month. The day we got back the results, just before we go bed, she looked at me and said, “I don’t think I should do the treatment.” I asked why and she replied, “It’s too expensive. How will we afford that much money every month?”

I got really upset and told her that of course she must do the treatment, we will manage it somehow. We both went to bed after and I waited until she was sleeping before breakdown and crying. I was angry at everything, at myself for not making enough money, at her for saying such things, and at life for giving her such a hard life. It was a horrible feeling, being asked to let your own mother die because you could not afford the money to save her. We had another round of check up to get a confirmation that the cancer was really growing (it was), but the doctor said it was not so critical and perhaps we can re-do the tests in two to three months time before starting treatment, so that we can have more time to gather funds. She also offered to help us find clinical trials so that we won’t have to spend so much money. Hopefully we can get it when we go back for checkups in September.

I’ve started writing again now that school is over. It’s not good, just a crappy YA romance on Wattpad full of cheesy lines and cliches, nothing that I will ever show anyone I respect, but it’s better than nothing at least! I’m also trying to participate in NaNoWriMo but I’m not sure if I can finish a story under that kind of setting.

Oh and I’ve started learning Korean! HAAHA we went to Korea last winter and I was so surprised that I can understand what they were saying, lol. So I came back and started learning in Jan and I’m almost done with my second semester. I can ask where the toilet is now. lolololol Hopefully, I’ll be more fluent by Dec.

Lots of love,


I am hungry

I have given up all hopes of being healthy, at least for this semester. I shouldn’t be surprised, but somehow, grad school is consisting of more cup ramens at 3am and screaming at my computer screen than I expected. And it’s only the second week of school. I’ve had more chicken nuggets and wings and onion rings in the past two weeks than I had in the entire year. Just last night, I ate an entire pack of pepperoni sausages. You know…those large packs meant for entire pizzas. As if that wasn’t enough, I had ice cream after. And then this morning, I woke up hungry and super tired and I cried because my stupid phone wouldn’t stop vibrating (it was set on alarm) and I tried to turn it off but the stupid thing didn’t work and it just sat there vibrating for a whole hour. I wanted to flung it against the wall but… money. Poor peasents like me can’t get angry the way rich kids in Korean dramas do. LOL

Although, I’ve noticed a pattern. I’ve been crying at small things ever since I was prescribed some pills to regulate my period. The other day, I was watching a dog video on YouTube and I started tearing up in the office because IT WAS SO SMALL!! WHy does dogs have to be so small and why is my life like this…

Also, how do people do relationships? I don’t even have the energy to shave my legs (I stood in the shower for a good 10 mins trying to muster up enough energy to bend down and do the deed but my arms decided it was another day’s work)…how does my classmates balance work and school and a bf/gf/husband/wife/partner and not DIE?! I suppose love conquers all…legs can go unshaven but love surpasses even the most tired of arms. When will I ever… T.T I blame it on Woobin. Or maybe So Ji Sub oppa? Or maybe Lee Jong Suk or one of the countless Korean men who has infiltrated my life. I can’t even see them now anyway. TT.TT

I just want the semester to be over so I can go back to doing nothing.


Fat, stressed and disheveled,




Hello Blog, it is I, your owner. Yes, I am alive. No, I did not perished into the sea or got ripped into shreds by a hungry alien, but I might have lost what little sanity I had because I am here trying to talk to a screen like it’s an old friend. But hey…if Kurt Vonnegut did it…

It has approximately been five months since I last logged in and I almost forgot this blog existed. In fact, I got so caught up with errythang that I did forget about it but then I remembered it again, like, two minutes ago so I’m here. I’m so terrible at being consistent, I know, but we’ve pretty much established that fact in every single blog post so let’s not talk about the obvious.

Quick updates: I made it through my first semester of grad school and apparently no one caught on that I am insane so I’m back for my second semester.

Other quick updates: My mom is fine. I finally went Apple. I got an iPhone a few months ago and also switched to a Macbook from my 6-year-old Fujitsu. RELUCTANTLY. *Gross sobbing* (Fujitsu, you served me well, you monstrous freak darling that survived multiple drops and water dunkings.)  I made some new acquaintances in school. I chopped off all my hair, all 12in, of it on a whim and my mother and every single woman above forty who knows me went crazy ape shit and would not stop talking about what a waste it was. I watched a lot of cat videos and korean dramas. (Translation: I’m very very still single.) I cried a lot over So Ji Sub and still laughs at videos of people falling down. My sons, iKon, made their debut and I’ve spent a lot of money on their albums and merchandises because I want them get the money. Kim Hanbin, don’t worry. Momma will put food on yo talented table. My memory is getting worse. I have trouble remembering faces and names and also a lot of other stuff. Today, I locked myself out of my ATM card because I forgot the PIN number (which I’ve been using for like 3 years) and keyed in the wrong numbers multiple times. I’m misreading more and more words. I haven’t read a book in two months, much less write one, because the words keep mixing into each other and it is becoming terribly hard for me to finish even a page. (Good luck for school with this dyslexia.) I wore a saffron colour blazer to work today and my colleagues had a shock because they’re not used to seeing me proper office wear. (Apparently I must dress like a drab/prostitute on normal days.) Alan Rickman died and I cried so hard the entire night, I had to take off the next day because my eyes were swollen.

And what else, what else, what else? I think that’s all. I think the real, actual reason why I’m here is because I’m kind of having a tough time but I don’t want to admit it. I always comes back to writing whenever life gets too tiring and it has been kind of tiring the past few months even if I don’t want to admit it. I can’t really pin point the source of the blues and I’ve tried to put off talking about it for the longest time because I want to be fine, I just want to be fine and be okay and be normal. And eventually I will be, but it is nice to be able write things out right now. I’ve got make sure that I didn’t misspell things and look really really hard to make sure the words aren’t jumbled together, but for some reasons writing is much easier than reading. If only the words don’t jumble together when I am reading, I can read properly again.

Ah, here I am again. I start off with one topic and end on another. But it’s nice to write, even if I can’t read what I’ve written. I hope it’s all correct.