Driving Instructors

K1 and K2 passed the Basic and Final Theory tests for driving in Aug 2012 and Nov 2012 respectively. When Dad was hospitalised in Dec 2012, Dad told Uncle P that 1 of his wishes is both K1 and K2 could pass the Practical driving test. Both K1 and K2 started the Practical driving lessons under the guidance of a private instructor, Uncle J. Every lesson, both of us have to be mentally prepared to be scolded by Uncle J for our mistakes in driving the Manual car.

Uncle P’s advice to K1 is to learn Practical driving (Manual) from school as the lessons are conducted module by module and school learners have more opportunity to practise driving in the circuit before proceed to learn to drive on the roads. After few lessons learning to drive under Uncle J, K1 went to CDC @ Ubi to change account from private learner to school learner. K1 wanted to change to learn Practical driving (Auto) but the staff (Mr Chang) at counter persuaded K1 to try few lessons of Practical driving (Manual) with school instructors. If after few lessons, K1 still encounters the problem of engine stall and restart engine, then K1 could consider to change to Practical driving (Auto). Mr Chang also suggests to have a 1 team instructor for few lessons before the Practical driving test.

This week, K1 had 2 lessons taught by different instructors (1 of them works full-time while the other instructor is on flexible working hours scheme). K1 encounters the problem of engine stall and restart engine, the school instructors encourage K1 not to give up and that practice makes perfect. K1 is looking forward to next week lessons πŸ™‚

K2 is considering to either learn driving from another private instructor or school instructor. The lesson fees of private instructor are half the price of the lesson fees of school instructor. Private learners pay cheaper lesson fees but they need to pay the hourly fee to enter circuit at school.

Jia you to Practical driving (Manual)…


Doctors and Nurse

Last week, I went to library to borrow the following books by Dr Ang and Parkway Cancer Centre (PCC):

1)Awakening the appetite (simple recipes for cancer patients)

2)Doctor, I Have Cancer. Can You Help Me?

3)Stories of Hope from the Cancer Clinic

Books 2 and 3 are stories of cancer patients who had consulted Dr Ang and other doctors at PCC. Some of them recover from cancer while some of them lost the battle to cancer. After reading books 2 and 3, Mum & I felt hopeful on Dad’s cancer.

On 12th March, we (my family & Aunt LH) went to see Dr Ang for 2nd opinion on Dad’s cancer. There are many patients waiting to see Dr Ang. We waited for about 3 hours to see Dr Ang. After telling Dr Ang about Dad’s condition, we asked him if there’s any other treatments for Dad.

Dr Ang: Mr Kwek still needs to go for chemo. If Dad is his patient, he would not recommend to insert coop loop to drain fluids that contain proteins. Lost of nutrients make a patient lose weight.

We: How high is the success rate that Dad recover?

Dr Ang: It’s very hard to say. Mr Kwek’s cancer is of unknown origin, if we use the right chemo medicine, his rate is 60% to recover. If Mr Kwek wants to do chemo, pls proceed outside to take blood test (costs about S$500) and tomorrow he starts his chemo treatment.

We: How much is the cost of chemo treatment? If Dad don’t want to do chemo, is there any other options?

Dr Ang: Very expensive (about S$7000 for 1 cycle). If Mr Kwek don’t do chemo, WAIT TO DIE…


Dr Ang is not warmly. Instead, he is blunt as he does not care about a patient’s feeling. After seeing Dr Ang in person, he’s like a different person. The stories of his cancer patients gave us hope but his words shatter our hopes. It’s disappointing that he’s a doctor who cares only about money and NOT a patient’s feeling.

Today, Dr Boon & nurse Sellam come to our house to check on Dad’s condition. Both of them are affectionate and have smiles on their faces which brighten up Dad’s day. They asked if Dad knows about his illness and how’s Dad feeling. Most importantly, Dad must be OPTIMISTIC…

Nurse Sellam teaches K1 to change the urine bag of coop loop and advises to change it every week.

KK: Nurse, last Friday you told Dad that it’s alright to go out with the coop loop. This week (Monday till Wednesday), Dad went to market with either Mum or me.

Nurse Sellam: That’s good. Mr Kwek overcomes his fear of strangers seeing him with coop loop.

Dad told Dr Boon about yesterday’s issue with Dr Ang. Dr Boon told Dad to forget the unhappy issue.

KK: Dr Boon, Dad wants to go Sibu to visit his relatives but feels inconvenient to go there with coop loop.

Dr Boon: Mr Kwek, your daughter says you want to go Sibu to visit relatives but feel inconvenient to go there with coop loop.

Dad: Yes, my relatives are there. I miss the festive mood of firecrackers and fireworks.

Dr Boon: We shall discuss with Dr Tang during the next consultation as now you can still walk. She would advise if it’s possible to bring Mr Kwek overseas.

Option 1: Mr Kwek could travel overseas for few days with the coop loop.

Option 2: Mr Kwek could remove the coop loop then travel overseas. But if his condition deters, he needs to insert coop loop again.

Dr Boon: Is Mr Kwek taking any TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)?

KK: No but we’re planning to bring Dad to see doctor of TCM so that Dad could have more energy and strength.

Dr Boon: Please inform Dr Tang on the TCM that Mr Kwek is going to take.

Dr Tan (Surgeon), Dr Tang (Oncologist), Dr Boon and nurse Sellam are professional doctors and nurse who care about a patient’s well-being and encourage a patient to be optimistic.


Last Fri was my 1st day @ work, job tasks included tour co-ordination, logistics and event co-ordination. The documents were messy, no proper handover and systematic approach to do job tasks. I felt uncomfortable working in that environment. After much consideration, I told the manager to look for another staff who could focus on the ops for inbound tour groups that are arriving S’pore 1 week later. I received a call from another company to check if I’m still looking for a job but I told her at the moment I can’t work full-time. Now, an alternative option is to look after Dad on weekdays and find a part-time job to work on weekends.

K1 and K2 are brave children as we took turns to drain fluids from Dad’s coop loop bag. On 5th March (the day Dad is discharged from SGH), the nurse told us that doctor’s instruction is to drain about 2 litres each day (3 times a day, every 6 hours interval). We also need to monitor if there’s any infection as Dad needs to go to hospital to remove the coop loop.

On 6th March, K2 stayed at home to look after Dad. Mum and K1 went to Uncle KS’s Salad Le Express official opening. The marble cheesecake is yummy but the salad has lots of lettuce and other ingredients. Mum and K1 eat soba salad with balsamic vinegar dressing. Few hours before his shop close for the day, there’s 1 for 1 promo. We bought fruit salad, brown rice salad, assorted fruits, egg and ham sandwiches. While Mum and K1 were out, Aunt LC came to visit Dad and tried to persuade K2 to consider to let pastor comes to our home to pray for Dad. The topic of asking pastor comes to our home to pray for Dad made Mum and K2 quarrel. Later, K2 shows K1 a reply from Dr Tan that without chemo, Dad has 3 to 6 months left. K1 told Mum about the reply from Dr Tan so that she could understand the reason why K2 quarrel with her. Tears are in our eyes, we cried when Dad’s asleep and we tried not to cry in front of him.

7th March is Aunt LH’s birthday. We went out with Uncle W & Aunt LH for dinner at Penang Culture (thank you for dinner treat). Both of them were happy when she opened her present – Happy Call multi-purpose pan. Glad that both of them like the present πŸ™‚

Dr Tang suggested a nurse to drop-by our home to check on Dad’s condition. Today is the 1st visit by a nurse, Sellam who is from HCA Hospice Care and the services are free. Nurse Sellam taught K1 the steps to change dressing of the coop loop tube and advised to change the dressing every 3 days. She shares with Mum and K1 that her profession is on the medical side. So if any of us needs counselling, we let her know and her colleague who is a professional counsellor comes to our home to be our listening ear and gives us advice on how to cope with our fears etc.