‘Charlie’ cells

In this post, I use the term ‘Charlie’ cells for cancer. Last month, ‘Charlie’ cells invaded into Dad’s body organ and we noticed changes in Dad. In the past, he liked to eat wheat crackers. Recently, he said he prefers to eat cream crackers. Sometimes, his behaviour is like a young child who is choosy on the food to eat. Sometimes, he gets hungry within an hour after eating his meal and we run out of ideas what food to prepare for him to eat. Mum panic whenever Dad say he’s hungry as the food takes time to cook and Dad needs to eat his meal immediately. I ask Mum why she panic? Her reply is people who are on medication tend to shiver whenever he/she is hungry.

‘Charlie’ cells change a patient’s lifestyle. Family members & ‘Charlie’ patient needs time to adapt to the new lifestyle. In addition, we need to be courageous to handle unforeseen problems as well as to have patience and tolerance to tackle his temper & childlike behaviour.

This afternoon, I did spring cleaning and found a postcard – the essential ‘C’ s… for a loving relationship which represents Care, Concern, Commitment, Communication, Compromise & perhaps chocolates too! We can do it… Jia you 🙂


Diarrhea again…

This morning, Dad has diarrhea again. We look through the handbook given by National Cancer Centre (NCC) and explain to Dad that we need to monitor his condition. Dad needs to avoid eating fried, oily & spicy food as well as high fibre food until his condition is better. So we give him low fibre food and 1/4 cup 100 plus to replenish lost fluids.

Today’s menu

Lunch – 1/2 mashed potato & broccoli

Snack – mee sua soup with pickled lettuce 

Fruit – few slices of red apple without skin

Dinner – lao su fen soup with beansprout, button mushroom, fish cake & green leafy vegetable

Supper – 1 slice whitemeal bread with fried egg & button mushroom

We also try to give him fruits to eat before lunch & dinner. We don’t restrict on the foods that he wants to eat. If he has 1 of the side effects of chemo, we tell him that he needs to avoid certain foods. He’ll listen to us as he does not want to be admit to ‘5 stars hotel aka hospital’. In fact, he knows that he can’t eat raw food and he is a good patient who eats his medicine in the morning & night daily.

Lemongrass water & Green tea

When Dad said he can’t stand the smell of lemongrass water, we knew that the cells don’t like lemongrass. So we gave Dad green tea (it’s green tea powder & too much of it became dark green colour) & his appetite is very good for that day. But, Dad said green tea too thick so we gave him a bit green tea powder (the colour is light green).

Now, we try to give Dad lemongrass water & green tea on alternate days. Recently, we start to give him lemon water so that he don’t feel tasteless drinking plain water.

Today, we ate fried chu mi fen with beansprout, green leafy vegetable & fish cake for dinner.


Diarrhea is 1 of the side effects of chemotherapy. This morning, Dad has diarrhea (few days after his 2nd chemo). I browse through the books and prepare the following meals for him.

Lunch – mashed potato, broccoli, carrot & vegetarian hamburger

Snack – edamame, tuna bread (Aunt comes to our house & buys tuna bread for Dad)

Dinner – soba noodle, tau kwa with fresh seaweed, green leafy vegetable

Supper – carrot, potato & onion soup

I also give Dad 1/4 cup of 100 plus to replenish lost fluids.


Remember those days when we were young & had fever, our parents would look after us day & night till fever had subsided. We’ve grown up but parents would go the extra mile to buy chinese medicine for fever if panadol does not bring down the fever to normal body temperature.

Nov 2012, Dad complained of bloatedness in stomach & did not have appetite to eat his meals. Dec 2012, Dad was hospitalized and underwent different tests such as biopsy and PET scan to find out what’s wrong with him. Dad was diagnosed with cancer of unknown origin (stage 4). Oncologist suggested chemo treatment of IV drip and oral medicine. Tears came rolling down our faces, we need time to accept the fact & to be strong in front of Dad.

Now, it’s our turn to look after Dad. After the 1st chemo treatment, we need to ensure that Dad takes his medicine as prescribed and monitor for any side effects. Since Dad started to eat his medicine, his taste bud changed. Some foods taste delicious to us but no taste to him. To have a better understanding of cancer & a patient, I went to the library to borrow books – ‘Cooking with Foods that Fight Cancer’, ‘The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen’ and ‘The Chemotherapy Survival Guide’.

Relatives are a source of emotional support. They give my family words of encouragement to be strong and optimistic during house visits and phone calls. They send relevant emails to us so that we are aware of the foods Dad should eat to fight against the cells & foods to avoid to prevent cells from spreading. Uncle bought the book ‘Betty Crocker Living with Cancer Cookbook’ for us to use the menu plan as a guideline to prepare meals for Dad.

We heard stories of some cancer patients who have fully recovered from cancer. We pray for a miracle to happen & hope that Dad could recover from cancer too.


Sabah Snake Grass

Last week, we received email from uncle regarding Sabah Snake Grass (SSG). People who have cancer and other illness could consider to drink SSG juice. If you drink SSG juice on that day, there are certain foods that you must avoid to eat.

Fortunately, I managed to find someone who knows the place to buy the leaves of SSG. Mum’s aunt had lung cancer and her children prepare SSG juice for her to drink. Her children bought the leaves of SSG (1 packet of about 300 leaves costs SGD 8) at Lim Chu Kang farm while Mum bought 2 small pots of SSG plant (each pot costs SGD10) at Clementi.

It’s the first time dad is going to drink SSG juice. Mum’s cousin gave a guideline on the amount of leaves & green apples to prepare SSG Juice.

88 leaves

3 green apples

1/2 cup water & 1 ice cube

1/2 lemon

I’m glad that dad is ok with the taste of SSG juice. SSG juice is like drinking bua long long juice.

Dear mum’s cousin, thank you very much for your help to buy the leaves of SSG and deliver to our house 🙂