When the funeral for Mr Tng was over, I saw a notice in the obiturary again. This time, it was his family thanking friends, pastors and doctors at the Cancer Centre for sharing their grief. I gathered that he had died of cancer.
As I type the dreadful 6-letter word, I can't help but think of some people I know who're fighting for their lives. One is an old friend - a beautiful and courageous girl who was diagnosed with brain tumor 3 years ago. She's only 33 but her doctors say she'll be lucky to live another year.
Another is a lady who has devoted her life to taking care of cats and animals. I've only met her recently when she came to visit our adopted dog Bodhi. At 57, she was still very slender and pretty, with a sweet smile. Suddenly I heard she had lymphoma, cancer in the lymphatic cells of the immune system. Her condition deteriorated very quickly. Within a month, her body was totally ravaged by cancer. The organs began to shut down one by one as she remained comatose. I heard the doctors were planning to remove the ventilator, I think her life ended last night.
Yet another is a young man whom I've never met. I received an email from him recently titled, "Let me die in a run, not on a bed." He finished treatment for throat cancer last July and is attempting to complete his first marathon in May. He is raising funds for the Singapore Cancer Society to help pay for other cancer patients' treatment. Through his blog, I began to understand the physical and emotional pain cancer patients go through. He is an inspiration to everyone.