Snow in NY

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Photos galore!

We just finished a Xmas lunch/dinner kindly organised by RMH with a group of warm volunteers. Thanks to everyone who made this day possible, to give us the strength, the warmth, the love and the support.

Here are a few photos taken over the last 1 week when the snow first touched our feisty princess.

The photos are not in chronological order as our internet connection is quite bad here. So we had randomly uploaded them.

1. RMH House organized a kid's charity run and Jase & Char had, of course, participated in this run.

Holding hands to support each other in their first run.

Running to her brother, who is waiting for her before crossing the finishing line.

2. A rock-climbing trip with Ray and Orathai

Donning her gear, she climbed at such a height that she froze when she needed to get down.

Fooling around in Ray's house late @ night

3. Beautiful Gingerbread House made by the kids
4. Kids on snow

Outside the street of RMH
Playing in the garden of RMH

Love, Charlene

We've reached New York Safely

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hi all,

The time now is 8.30pm on the 24th of December. Charlene and I reached New York safely a few hours back. We've reunited with Cynthia, Jase and Charmaine and went for a Chinese Christmas eve dinner and did some grocery shopping just now.

The kids have grown. Their cheeks are so red and chubby and they look really adorable in their winter wear.

I'm embarrassed to say that I've forgotten to bring my camera cable as I was too used to using the card reader directly on my lappie. So as for now, there are no photos. We'll take note to use Cynthia's camera from now on.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and have a fun time unwrapping your presents!


[Advert] Last minute xmas shopping at Lilybeary

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dear readers,

A very kind lady from blogshop Lilybeary has raised funds for Charmaine a few months back by donating proceeds of her sale to Charmaine.

She is having a flea market sale as stated on the ad above and there is still a dress left from Charmaine's donation drive the previous time.

The flea market is still going on as I'm typing this and this would be a good opportunity for getting last minute xmas gifts.


It's snowing in New York and Charlene and I are really excited at the prospects of being reunited with Cynthia and the kids in the Big Apple. The kids say they wanna bring us to the Statue of Liberty and we're really looking forward to our little tour guides bringing us around.

We're counting down to New York but meanwhile we've got soooooo many work stuff and personal errands to run so we're wishing and hoping for Santa to put TIME into our xmas stockings. Apologies if we're slow in replying emails.

Merry xmas everyone!


Chemo Second Round

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sorry for the lack of response...

Feisty team have been quite busy and the internet there wasnt really good.

Charmaine has gone for her second round of chemo and the kids are doing great there. Yesterday was her second day and had to go for a 6.5hrs of chemo. It started late, dragged by the hospital and she was heavily sedated by the time at 11am NY Time.

The kids are all thrilled with us going in 1 weeks time and punishments are being carefully plotted by them for the longesssst time ever.

Thanks to Ray and his partner, Steph, Chorina, Auntie Fanny, Iris and many many more for keeping Cyn sane and making New York a home to them.
Ray, Safe travels to London and we will make sure your house is intact when you are back ;)

To the supporters who have been hanging there with us, sending regular sms-es to make sure the trio is fine.. thank you for making this year a wonderful one for us, despite the challenges they have faced.

Well, like what Chorina had said to us, all these had been panned out, to make sure that we are strong and never will fall again in face of other challenges.

We are leaving on 24th early early morning and be sure to update more when we are in New York!

Pray for good health for Godma Jolene for she has a new found love - toilet bowl.
Pray for Hama negative to come soon!

Love, Charlene

We are back and Char did great. :-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thank you all for the prayers!

We spent 9 hours in the hospital as the whole treatment ran for about 6.5 hours.
Charmaine was heavily pre-medicated and was drowsy when the infusion started.
She wanted me to jump into the bed and lay beside her. A couple of minutes after I jumped onto the bed, she fell asleep. It was very comforting watching her sleep and not suffering from whatever I had been cautioned of. Thank god. Thank you all.

Jase fell asleep soon after as well. After an hour, we all woke up. Auntie Iris arrived just in time to see Charmaine speaking and eating. :-) She even joked, "Now that she is talking so loudly, we know she is definitely back to normal!" Indeed, once the pre med wore off, she was up and bouncing again!

Its been awhile (almost a month) since we returned to the hospital for such a prolong period of treatment. Despite the long hours, Charmaine kept her spirits up high and watched the cartoons on TV and played with her brother Jase! My dear Jase has also outgrown his initial shyness and is able to make himself comfortable by going to the playroom to play by himself. He has also grown to be more sociable and would approach the nurses whenever Charmaine's machine alarm beeped!

We had a smooth day for sure and I am very thankful and grateful that everything has gone so well. Charmaine and Jase is now playing in the room doctor and nurse (Preparing to inject Charlene jie jie and Godma Jolene! Haha. Cheeky Charmaine has once again learned the names of her new medication and the doctors' names and is able to mention all the names fluently while role-playing!) and nobody will guess that she just had a 6.5hrs treatment barely a couple hours ago!

As happy and relieved as I am now, its still not time to let my guard down yet. :-( Still gotta watch out for that dreadful fever! Nonetheless, I will definitely sleep better tonight with my mind at ease.

Just wanted to let everyone know the updates so that I don't keep you people worrying for long.

The next round of chemo is on 15th and 16th of Dec. For now, I am going into my 'escapist' reality and will not think too much about Round 2 until than.

Oh, the other shock I got today is her HAMA results for last week.
I had presumed that the HAMA numbers will go down as the weeks go by. Imagine the shock and despair I felt when I heard that Charmaine's HAMA has in fact gone up from positive to super positive! She was initially at the 6000 range and last week's result showed that she has gone up to the 8000 range! :-(

How much more abnormal is my normalcy!
Aren't we all brought up to think that a strong immunity is good? How can my definition always be different from the normal standard definition? I used to dream of being different from the norm when I was younger. In fact, I am different. I married younger than all my friends. I see the hardships in life as challenges rather than obstacles. I even believe that my divorce is not a bad thing after all! My divorce has showed me the most important thing in life - friendship. I used to joke with my friends that losing one husband and getting so many worthy friends in return is more than what I had bargained for! :-)

The topic of friendship is one that I can write entire novel on! I shall leave it to another day to talk about that. But needless for me to say, everyone should already know by now that I owe my daughter's life to some of the greatest friends ever!

Back to topic of the whole NORMAL definition. I was gonna say be careful what you wish for. I am sure I had wished for an unique life at some point in my ancient life. Although I could never ever imagine this is HOW UNIQUE my life is going to turn out! (Gosh, and I am barely at the midpoint of my average asian woman life expectancy! I do not even dare to look beyond a week in my life now!) Of course, I was always gonna whine that its probably about time some normalcy return to my life, isn't it? But than, I realise its my wishful thinking again. I remembered blogging that NORMAL doesn't exist in my life anymore. Just what am I expecting and what is there for me to sob about? I just have to remember that the guidebook to the norms of living doesn't apply in my life anymore! So yes, strong immunity is not necessarily a good thing in my life.

I just have to live with the fact that I am always going to be a standard deviation. And with this faith and belief, I hope that my little princess is going to be the very standard deviation defining the most magical ab-normalcy in my life. Defying all odds and kicking this monster out of our lives forever and ever!!!

This year's Christmas holds a great deal of significance for me. Traditionally, Christmas and Chinese New Year have always been my 2 favourite festive seasons of the year. I like the romantic festive lights and mood during Christmas which also usually marks the end of the year for me and adore the noisy bustling start to the new year with Chinese New Year.

Christmas is just around the corner. It means that another year is coming to an end. What a year 2009 has been for me and my family. They say the one's life is enriched with the experiences we go through. This entire year of experiences is something that I will definitely carry with me to my resting ground. The pain, the tears, the despair, the helplessness, the shock, the agony and the scars have been doubled and tripled and zillion-fied in the entire year for me. I cannot even begin to look back and reflect on what has transpired. Even up till this moment, everything is still so unreal to me. My past year has gone by in a flash (as fast as the flash light in a camera!). I believe subconsciously my mind has decided to block out some of the most painful experiences to help me cope better (Just like what had happened 4 years ago).

But while I am here in NYC, staring at the warm orange lights hanging on all the Christmas Trees in the house, all I feel is love. I feel very blessed and I feel that the world is still the beautiful place I've always believed in. The warm fuzzy feeling has not changed a single bit, if anything, it has grown even warmer and lovelier. I remember how strangers, by the thousands, have pooled all their resources together to help me in saving my little girl, a child they have never met. I remember meeting the Dream Team footballers for the first time in my life and watching the match they played to raise funds for my little girl. I remembered the DJs, the journalists, the neighbours, the school teachers, the new friends, the nurses, the doctors, the constituency members, the SIA stewardess/stewards, pilots, the ground crew, the Nickelodeon friends, the relatives, the ex-colleagues, the internet world of friends, the Nuffnang friends, the international supporters and many many more I have not had a chance to thank in person...

I have already received my biggest and most invaluable Christmas Present from you...
Each and everyone of you have showed me the compassionate side to humanity. Your selfless heart has given me my most important miracle, a chance for my little girl to live and be happy. And life is priceless.

I have also received the most sought after gift in life - friendship. My dear friends, YOU have once again appeared in my life at the most crucial moment. And YOU are the very reason why I am still able to smile today. Jolene, Josse, Charlene, Alexis, THANK YOU. What I have received from you, I will never ever be able to repay. If anyone needs a definition of friendship, look towards my friends. We hardly meet during good times but they always appear during bad times and keep me afloat, never even once giving up on me. Some people think I am strong but the truth is I am the dwarf standing on giants' shoulders. These 4 ladies are the stronghold in my life. They each bring along with them a strength of their own and gave it all to me, never allowing me to quit. I have been betrayed by friendship before and knows how much it hurts but once again, I am compensated by way much more than what I had lost! Having you all in my life is a godsend blessing and I cannot imagine how my life would be without anyone of you. Thank you ladies. Jol and Char, I am so looking forward to seeing you both again! Miss you all so much!

Have I digressed too far out of point? Pardon me!

Am gonna end it now so I can get the kids ready for bed.

Sending some of Jase and Char endless engery and silly laughters your way!

With good health,
Cyn mommy

Her new Chemo

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A few hours from now, Charmaine will be heading for a new round of chemo, supposedly just a few hours course. This new chemo is meant to break down her body to revert back to Hama negative before she can proceed on with the treatment.
As of the same as each new drug being injected to her, there is bound to have questions laying around when her body starts to react to it.

Every parents (minus that 1 dad) worries the same for their own children. Cyn Mommy had been paranoid the entire day, packing clothes in even though it was not required. You never know what will happen especially with new drug. I am sure, we all remember days of first 3F8 ...

Thanks for making arrangement, Aunty Iris, for the babysitter, in case Jase is being left alone.

If everyone could, do pray for Charmaine, to allow her to pass through this chemo, as uneventful as possible.

Love, Charlene
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