In the business of theology it is hard not to be controversial - Jurgen Moltmann

Thursday, 25 November 2004

My Daughter has Cancer

我舉頭觀看你指頭所做的天,並你所陳設的月亮星宿,便說:『狗算甚麼,你竟顧念牠;小狗算甚麼,你竟眷顧牠。你叫牠比人類微小一點,並賜牠善良的心為冠冕,又有善良的主人終生為伴。』 --- 南圍詩篇

My most beloved eldest daughter, Dug Jai德仔, is diagnosed of malignant tumour (cancer) today.

Over the last couple of weeks, we discovered that she has been getting clumsy when going down the stairs. I did not think it was a big deal at all and thought it was merely an effect of age. After all, she has turned 12 in June. Then about 2 weeks ago, I started to notice that her right hand limped during a walk outdoor. The limping seems to be getting more serious gradually. I decided that I could not procrastinate any longer for a check by the vet.

Yesterday the vet observed her walking and jogging in the corridor, then did a hand check on her arms, legs, and the back of her neck. After that, he said, ‘I have bad news for you.’ He basically mentioned three possibilities: the first two involve tumours either on her right arm or in the nerve of her neck; the third is a wear-and-tear problem of her neck (something similar to what I had, I guess). I had to take her back for x-ray this morning.

Today, before letting me look at the x-ray, the vet made me feel the lump beside her right armpit. It’s big. ‘Massive,’ he said. Then the x-ray film explained everything. The tumour is definitely malignant, because only malignant tumours spread to other parts of the body, and this one has. I could easily see smaller patches in different parts of her body. Gosh, why didn’t I notice her lump earlier?

Given her age, the vet does not recommend doing any therapeutic treatment – taking away the large tumour by surgery only makes the smaller tumours grow rapidly; chemotherapy only makes the patient suffer too much while the outcome is not guaranteed. I just took some anti-inflammatory and pain relieving tablets to make her physically less painful if necessary. At this point, no one can predict anything. My beloved daughter may go relatively quickly – as her symptoms have just become noticeable quite recently, that can mean that her cancer is developing rapidly. Or she may live on for quite some time. ‘When you find that it has become too hard for her, you can ask us to put her to sleep,’ said the vet.

Putting her to eternal sleep at this point? No way. Dug Jai is still active, relatively playful, keen on eating, and fond of walk around. It is way too early to think of saying farewell.
Two and a half years ago, when Dug Jai just turned ten, I asked God to let her spend ten more healthy and active years with me. God might think that I am being ridiculous. Maybe I am. But I am not going to give in. After all, I have been wrestling and arguing with God over so many things over the years; might as well add one more item on the list.

As I have always believed in natural / herbal medicine myself, I have already identified a natural therapy approach for her, using herbal medicine.
I am not at all optimistic in this case, but I am not going to abandon – not until I find that she is suffering more than enjoying.

Tears are set aside for the time being. I will do whatever I can to fight for her well-being. At least, I’ll try my best to make her life peaceful. She is my most beloved daughter for the last twelve and a half years, and she will always be.
(from my personal journal > 25 November 2004)

1 comment:

Dot said...

read it. feel it.
I am sorry to hear the news....