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Showing posts with label Condolences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Condolences. Show all posts


How does it feel to be closer to death? Is it scary? Will it be painful? That was one question that played over and over again in mind a year after being diagnosed with CML some 21 years ago but it is still fresh in mind. With so many deaths in the family within just a few months, this would be a good story to share. I can only share the near-death experience from my experience battling leukemia and would not know how it felt with other sickness or illness but I am sure the agony was similar. The thought of dying had never crossed my mind when I was first diagnosed. Infact, I never thought that I would die so soon but did go through many rounds of mental and emotional cycle but that is a story for another time. I initially refused to accept that my day was coming sooner and closer to an end but it was after the full dose chemotherapy and total body irradiation (TBI) for the Bone Marrow transplant that I saw, felt and really experience the deterioration in my body, health and physique and began thinking perhaps this is the phases of death.

Before the Bone Marrow transplant, I was admitted a few times at the University hospital for spleen enlargement and the painstaking lung pneumonia. The pneumonia was indescribably torturous. I could not breath and breathing was painful. I was in tube inserted through the nose for oxygen but although I was on breathing support, I can still hardly breath. Lifting the arm or any slightest of movement was almost impossible. I was too weak.. unbearably weak but I never thought I would die. I cannot die yet.. There were so many things that I wanted to do. For one, I was pursuing after this one puppy love and I really needed to go out for a date. I also need to look good and get out of this stupid hospital that made me wear the hospital gown that exposes my buttock and back. Damn I was embarrassed but the teenage hormone was pumping high.

Although I was unbearably weak but it was not as scary as when I first saw myself after the chemotherapy and TBI. The chemotherapy and TBI began a week upon admission at the Hammersmith Hospital in London. I was checked-in a 200 sq feet glass room (felt like living in an aquarium) equipped with television, video player, my own fridge, own toilet with bath and shower, a laundry room, a hifi system and a library full of videos!!! Woww... almost like living in a Hotel room. This could not be so bad, I thought to myself but with doctor's expectation of a hospital stay for at least 3 months if not longer, it justified the means. I was all smiley and my attending nurse!!! She was hot!!! a 26 years old, blonde, tall, long leg, err.. busty and so feminine. .... 3 months? I wanted to stay in hospital longer!!!


Just three days ago, I lost an aunt and attended her funeral in Gombak. It was a hard news to swallow but attending a funeral of an 84 years old aunt was not as disturbing as the news I received from a blackberry private message this evening. I was having a steamboat seafood dinner with Ly Rattana while waiting to meet with CEO, Steven Path at the Family Soup dining in Phnom Pehn.

"Yaz I saw on fb of a friend that mentioned a dear friend passed away... 'Farul', I hope its not your friend that had the leukemia as you", reads Melor Edina Pahamin's BBM private message to me. "Huh??? Dont Joke!! Can't be my Farul?" I replied in shocked and insisting a mistaken identity but immediately facebook-email'ed Farul Rafiq Mohd Farid, sms him and even called his dad Datuk Farid Ariffin (but reached the voice-box instead). I did not know what to ask, so I just sms him and said.. "Farul, testing.. if you receive this, pls reply thanks." expecting a reply from him, I waited anxiously... and was lost in a sudden flashback of Farul's cheerful smile and the many moments we both shared when we were battling leukemia.... we were in our mid-teens then.

It was at the Government house at Hyde Park in London, 1992 when we were first introduced by Farul's father whom was then, the Deputy Minister of Health. Farul arrived from Malaysia to undergo the Bone Marrow Transplant procedure at the Hammersmith Hospital, where I had just completed mine. Somehow, we just clicked... and became close buddy bypassing the normal hierarchy of friendship but that is how Farul was... he was friendly but secretive and mysterious in many ways but our bond was build on ties that no one else could understand. We shared common aspiration to make the best out of our supposedly short span of life which we both outlived our own expectation. We shared similar emotional cycle from being angry, rebellious, then self pity and felt numb before being able to accept (if ever) that we actually had leukemia.

إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'u

(Islam forbids indulgence in intemperate grief for the dead. It requires that all affliction be borne patiently. On hearing of the death of a relative or a friend, or of any other affliction, a Muslim is enjoined to say: In-naa lil-laa-hi wa in-naa I-lay-hi raa ji-`oon (We are Allah's and to Him we shall return). These words are a source of unlimited solace and comfort in bereavement. Hence it is forbidden that one should indulge in regular mourning or ostentatious grief.)

Barely two hours into the holy month of Ramadhan, my Aunt, Hajjah Bidah Abdul Razak, aged 84 years old peacefully left at 1:30am. Hajjah Bidah Abdul Razak was the eldest in a sibling of five. Second, was Mahadi Abdul Razak whom passed away in 1998. The third was Noordin Abdul Razak. Fourth, my father Pahamin A. Rajab and the youngest Hashim Abdul Razak.

Bidah Abdul Razak or more fondly known as Mama by us all, left behind two daughters Norliza binti Ahmad and Norizan binti Ahmad. Mama's husband Ahmad bin Yusoff or more fondly known as Abah passed away in 1992. Mama whom resides in Gombak was a very caring Aunt. She pampers all her nephews especially me, Ervin Nordin and Arman Mahadi during our childhood. Mama was pretty Rawk and hot when she was young. I first began smoking cigarette with her.. aged 13!! Of course after getting consent from gangsta-Uncle Hashim aka Ayah Su. Actually all of father's sibling are gangsta with temper of a dragon (worst than a lion). Once, a robber armed with parang burglar Mama's house while they were asleep and Mama fist-fought the three armed robbers until the robbers fled. Mama was badly bruised but she would not let anyone get away without a fight.. She even fought with a Cobra once when the snake entered her house. That is the female version, imagine us male.. how we were brought up!! Fighting is almost a feast since childhood.

The last three surviving children of Salamah binti Awang (from left) 
Pahamin A Rajab, Hashim Abdul Razak, Noordin Abdul Razak
The last three siblings Pahamin A Rajab, Hashim A Razak, Noordin A Razak.
I last met Mama at our anniversary dinner just last week on 23 July 2011. She was struggling to walk out from her car to the eating place. I held her hand and walked her towards the table and again assisted her to the toilet. She was always smiling even when she was not well.

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