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My friend, HK

My friend, HK, discovered that she has Leukemia. Further tests showed that it is the Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Everything seemed to happen so fast.

She was coughing. It does not seem to go away. Pretty soon, it progressed into full-blown Bronchitis. She was getting better but she was feeling dizzy most of the time and could not even walk straight. When she drop by the hospital for a checkup, they will not let her go. Her blood count was so low, she could pass out any moment. From there, she had to go through many series of tests to confirm the diagnosis.  

I had dinner with her last night and we had a long talk. What struck me was her amazing strength and will. She told me when the doctor confirmed that it is leukemia, everything seemed to go into a blur. The doctor was explaining the courses of action. She listened but she did not hear. "Numb", she said.

But she is not a woman who will take it lying down. When she recovered from her initial shock, she made some sound decisions and geared herself up for a fight. She went through her 1st course of chemotherapy. It meant being hooked up for 12 hours on the chemo drip on one arm and antibiotics or whatever other things on the other arm. "Felt so cacat".

It meant being in isolation for 2 weeks. Visitors were not encouraged. We had to put on 'astronaut suit' (as HK calls it) to go in. It includes mask, gloves and one of those protective suit. No, she's not infectious but WE are. Any minor ailment like a common cold or cough can be devastating for her. Therefore, communication was via phone calls or text messages. There are times when I or other friends will bring nutritious food to her and leave it at the nurses' station. My reasoning is that she need the nourishment not me. If I see her, it does not mean she will get better, in fact, I may bring germs in to harm her. But yesterday, she was allowed visitors without the spacesuit. *yay*

We have not been friends for a long time. In fact, I can't remember when exactly we hit off. She is also a ballet teacher. I was surprised until right before she is ill, I don't know much about her personal life. We were bonded by the fact that we both love dance. By some weird way, we are now drawn much closer.

Last night, we talked about things that mattered. About life, about living and about God. She became a Christian 2 weeks ago. She admitted that had she not been ill, there will be many things she would not have time for. She would not have time to read the many things she's reading now. She would not have touched base with God. She would not have valued Life so much. We talked about how we always take it to the limit, how gungho we all are (present company included) thinking we have the time and the energy to do this and that. Then one day, we wake up and suddenly find everything around us shattered.

I feel, in many ways, I am now living the experience through her. It is a wake up call for me too, to slow down and smell the flowers. To value Life, to touch base with God more often.

To you, HK, thank you for being so strong. I pray that you will receive special strength from God to go through this experience and come out shining. May your life, vitality and wit be with you always. May you rest upon the Wings of God and let Him take you soaring above the clouds.  

Reader Comments (5)

It's great to hear that she's given her heart to Jesus :)

It's true, though, that it usually takes a personal crisis to make us sit up and pay attention to the things that really matter in life.

Everyone should listen to Tim McGraw every once in a while:

That's the key to life - to live like you were dying :)

God bless and keep you, HK
September 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJulian
Cry. I just cried. I knew this person the moment I read this. I pray God will be her strength in this moment and yes, God bless her, God keep her, God save her. Amen
September 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterpL
Ju - I've always loved this song.
pl - Yup, I truly believe that God IS her strength.
September 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
Live Like You Were Dying
Written: Tim Nichols, Craig Wiseman
Sung By; Tim McGraw

He said I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
When a moment came that stopped me on a dime
And I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
And talking 'bout the options, talking 'bout sweet time
And I ask him when it sank in
That this might really be the end
How's it hit ya' when you get that kind of news
Man, what'd you do (he said)

I went sky diving I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
And he said one day I hope you get a chance
To live like you were dying

He said I was finally the husband
That most the time I wasn't
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all 'a sudden going fishin'
Wasn't such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
And I finally read the good book
And I took a good long hard look
At what I'd do if I could do it all again ... and then


Like tomorrow was a gift
And you've got eternity to think of what you did with it
What you did with it ... what did I do with it

September 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjonatrhan_n
She lives her life with such boldness and courage. Such an inspiration.
September 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWanZ

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