We have been back for a week but I just wasn't in the mood to blog about our latest Kuching getaway. You see, when I got home, I received news that my friend Yvonne is seriously ill in the hospital. I've blogged about her fight against brain cancer and knew her days were ending, yet I couldn't bear to see a gorgeous and once vivacious girl in this sad state.
During my visits, she could no longer recognise me and her vision is impaired. One side of her brain is almost completely ravaged by cancer and she is living in intense pain. In her heavily sedated state, she drifts in and out of consciousness, oblivious to the endless stream of visitors.
Obviously she has touched the lives of many people because she has no lack of wellwishers. We mill around and it is so painful for us to see her life fading away. I see nothing but pain in the eyes of her mother. According to the doctor, she might live for another 3 weeks yet her partner is hoping to send her for treatment in the USA. In his own words, he said he cannot simply sit and watch her die. In his eyes, I see hope. As a friend, I try to remain strong and supportive.
She was sleeping peacefully when I visited her yesterday. In her sleep, she looked like the beautiful girl I used to know, someone who wasn't in pain or misery. Her skin is now fair and smooth and for once, I notice the cute freckles on her cheek. In my previous visit, she was drowsy yet confused, restless and shifting about in discomfort. We tried to keep her comfortable while the doctor increased her morphine dosage.
Today Yvonne is only 34 years of age, at the prime of her life. Before cancer struck, she was an intrepid traveler. During our beach holiday in Koh Samui 10 years ago, we spent our days lazing in the sun. Amongst us, she was the one who attracted the most number of suitors. Even as we packed our bags to go home, she stayed behind on a small island to work for an European jeweler. She had that kind of charm and spirit that appeal to people from all walks of life.
Now, her Facebook page is plastered with encouraging comments from friends and strangers. Everyone is fervently praying for her recovery or a miracle. In my card to her, I could only write "Get well soon" when what I really want is to have the same old Yvonne back again. The heatlhy and radiant girl with the golden tan and sunniest smile.