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Monday, 24 July 2017

Incident Reports

The Playschool where Bean is at, gives us Incident Report whenever there is one.

Girl, when she was enrolled there, had all but 2 pieces of such reports. The first was for running into her classmate at the playground and crashing head on; and the second for grazing her shoulder on the corner of the bookshelf at Mandarin class.

Two. Over period of 2.5 years.

Now let's compare this (hahaha, do not go all crazy and lecture me about comparing my kids because this is just about the only entry where I will!).

Bean gets 2 reports per week, on average. He has been there for 2 years now. Can you imagine how thick his file is just on this subject alone?

Reading his Incident Report file will tell you how boisterous, active, reckless and tough he is. I interpret them as how curious, strong, smart and creative he is. He gets into those little mishaps because he wants to achieve more, reach higher, run faster and basically just outdo himself. Like all the time.

I am so proud of Bean for being true to himself. Alhamdulillah no major accidents so far and may there never be.

Carry on, Bean! Be your happy self!!

I know this will not last forever. He is going to join Girl at The Big School come January 2018. He has been doing his weekly visits to The Big School every Friday. His routine is to check his future class by peeping at the door but not entering then walk to the Link Bridge Cafe or play with his Dr Panda games on iPad while we wait for Girl to be dismissed.

An end to Bean's Playschool era is going to a huge milestone. It is all too soon.

Report Card Day

Girl had her Report Card Day last 17 July 2017.

I first saw a friend from our Patient Support Group off to the Operating Room at 8 am before picking Girl up from home. I then dropped Girl off with The Other Half after the Report Card Day meeting and went back to Prince Court Medical Centre just in time to greet my friend after her surgery and stayed with her until her son arrived in the afternoon. It was an efficient time sandwich!

Coming back to the subject matter, Girl's personal tutor is not her subject teacher so I guess there was not much to "report" other than reviewing the academic year that has been. She did well overall, and her weakest subject is Malay Foreign Language (Advanced Level) where grammar work rules. Vocabulary-wise, she is at par with her peers. I know her position, average in class and details of her marks for all subjects as they are available online. However, I miss the feeling of having a physical Report Card.

She is going to be promoted to Year 3 this September, my goodness. She really has grown (shopping for bigger shoes is the norm!). She has been sporty and overcame her stage fright. We are all very proud of her.

Much to my delight, she is now an agreeable shopping mate at boutiques with no embarrassing reviews spewed out loud. Her favourite activities with me include typical 7 year old girlie activities like going to juice or coffee places, sharing meals, browsing at bookshops, movies, sewing class, piano class and attending her friends' birthday parties.

She also spends a lot of time with The Other Half, mostly at parks, playgrounds, pools and scootering or cycling. They usually do these on Sunday mornings while Bean is still asleep. The most endearing thing they recently did got me in tears. She obediently took lessons from The Other Half for solat maghrib. her light blue Japanese cotton floral telekung, bundled up during sujud was such a beautiful moment. InshaAllah, a young Muslimah in the making, step by step.

I pray she will continue to do well in all areas of her life and be the solehah young lady. Aamiin.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Girl and Bean

I have not been updating about them for a while.

Girl is having her Term 3 final exams for Year 2 and progressing to Year 3 this Autumn. She won a gold medal for sports carnival at school together with her other Harimau House team mates. She even sang in a trio on Appreciation Day on stage. I find this commendable as it was a super short window to rehearse, perform and overcome her stage fright. I had tears in my eyes as I sang along with her from the front row of audience that 16 May 2017. The song is Better Place by Rachel Platten, you can watch it on YouTube. The lyrics get me every single time. I cannot believe she can now play the piano fluently (bravo me for not allowing her to quit!) and sew neatly (bravo her for having such talent and patience!). Alhamdulillah, she is becoming a better version of herself and inshaAllah grow up to be a good Muslimah.

Bean is turning 4 this month and his love for animated movies, Cars, Ninjago, Minions, storybooks and languages amazes me. The sporty, active and often sweaty is my Bean alright. His favourite treats during school run at The Big School include chocolate chip cookies, frozen yoghurt and iced Milo. Boo me for giving in to his sweet tooth. He zaps the TouchNGo card as if the balance will never hit zero. Not one to sit still, or keep quiet - as Drama Queen can probably attest by now. I am planning to enrol him into The Big School just to ease the school run schedule so we shall see if he is ready for pre-Reception this Autumn (or if The Big School will accept him since he does not read, write or count independently yet). He sings, sits down for many stories and chats - so I hope those skills are acceptable. Of course, my prayer for his is that he becomes a good Muslim man someday.

They have both been eating well and still fight like cats and dogs over me. Yes, me! Well, also over particular toy they happen to not want to share - just like 1001 other children do. Girl is somewhat more tolerant and gives in a lot but there are just days when you know she guards her territories like a fort. Bean is strong for his age so I am glad they have not really hurt one another.

The days are long; and the years will seem short.

I just pray I can be that healthy and happy mother to see them through these and more, inshaAllah. They have taught me unconditional love and I love them for who they are.
Monday, 12 June 2017

Intramuscular Lipoma

No, this is not WebMD. This is an account of what happened to The Other Half.

On 3 June 2017, I had 2 moles surgically excised and they were sent to Pantai Hospital for biopsy. Run of the mill, we can safely expect "benign" in the report. Done and dusted, right?

On 4 June 2017, at bedtime, The Other Half informed me he has this lump on his left side back of head that has been causing him not to be able to sleep comfortably on that side. It was covered with hair and not obvious unless we touch it.

Once the kids were dropped off at school on 5 June 2017, we met at Prince Court. The Other Half was sent to primary care physician at ER first, who then referred him to Radiology Department for an ultrasound.

The results came back as intramuscular lipoma. We saw the sac, with its pulsating blood supply. It was 0.7cm x 2.7 cm. 

The primary care physician then referred The Other Half to a dermatologist.We felt something was amiss and immediately contacted a specialist surgeon contact of mine.

True enough.

A dermatologist would not have been able to resolve the issue.

A flurry of text messages were exchanged as the specialist surgeon was on vacation. The Other Half went to see his nurse on duty and they both managed to book an operating slot for lipectomy for 9 June 2017, right after a surgery by the same specialist surgeon for another friend of mine from our little Patient Support Group. It was going to be an all day affair and an overnight stay for us.

The kids were sent to The House after school on 8 June 2017, to be looked after by The Grandparents. They both skipped school on 9 June 2017.

The lipectomy went as planned without drama. I was blessed to be able to support both my friend and my husband in the same hospital on the same day. Both postoperative reviews that evening were satisfactory and follow-up before discharge reviews were also good.

The Other Half recovered well, he stayed alert and was not nauseous after the GA. We particularly enjoyed the Junior Suite as opposed to a single standard ward which I used to book into. The extra space somehow alleviated our stress. We watched CNN and followed the news of UK2017 General Elections in the living room. I had my own little bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Ward 5H nurses were kind and caring at all hours.

Numbness at the top of his head where the lipoma was pressing on an artery is now no longer an issue. He was discharged on 10 June 2017, the kids were sent home to The Flat by The Grandparents just before dinner time and life as we know it resumed.

Syukur alhamdulillah

Biopsy results will be out later this week. InshaAllah, we are praying for good results.

P/S: Benign, alhamdulillah! Thank you for all your prayers.
Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Negative

Sometimes, "Negative" is a fabulous word.

Of late, when receiving biopsy reports, I pray to hear this word.

Alhamdulillah I was blessed with "Negative" for CA yesterday.

In another part of my body, my thyroid, something else is growing.

We found follicular multinodular goitre and the largest of them is 2.8cm. Ultrasound after 90 days to follow. Blood tests came back normal so not too much to worry about except my occasional fatigue. The TSH, T3 and T4 readings were all normal and the fine needle aspiration cytology report is benign.

Yes, I got second opinion (in fact it was at Gleneagles, completely independent of Prince Court).

In the meantime, let's pray for the best outcome. I am NOT looking forward to total thyroidectomy and being dependent on supplements for the rest of my life. Hopefully, I will never need TT or supplements - AAMIIN.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Reconstruction Via Fat Graft

I did it and I am glad I did. My pancakes/raisins conditions have improved. I do not feel depressed looking at myself in the mirror now, unlike in the beginning when it was just really sad to have 2  misshapen and asymmetrical cavities for what once were my breasts.

You can email me at hannah.zulkifli@gmail.com if you are a:
*breast cancer survivor,
*seeking breast augmentation,
*considering explant,
*post explant,
*post mastectomy,
*post lumpectomy,
*post accident,
*post trauma,
*post burns,
patient seeking reconstruction and want to know more. 

Remember this: I am not sponsored by any doctors or pharmaceutical companies, I do this voluntarily. One sister to another.

Biopsy, Brunch and Becoming

Salam Ramadan my lovelies,

Please forgive me for the long silence. I have been "living" at Prince Court Medical Centre of late.

If you only see my Facebook posts and do not personally know me, it sure looks like I have been enjoying jolly good meals and light banter with the Belang Mums before Ramadan. In fact, you can see some of our girly brunch dates at The Drama Queen's blog too. Their love, laughter and sometimes superficial subjects have kept me afloat on more days than not. They are my breath of fresh air outside my hospital walls.

Tomorrow, I get to find out the results of my multi nodular goitre biopsy. Follicular cancer of thyroid risk was mentioned and I felt my knees knock from fear/shock.  I can attest now that the ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration cytology I have had are not that bad. Compared to my moles excision under local anaesthesia? The latter was a walk in the park. Hollywood waxing without numbing cream? Bring it on!

Total thyroidectomy, post-operative concerns and supplements dependency are all new to me. I learn something new daily. It took me consultations with 6 specialists, CT Scans, X-Rays and ultrasounds before I hit a raw nerve of punching one PIN too often on my credit card. Out of  frustration and a moment of vulnerability, I finally buckled and whined to someone close to me whom I trust genuinely cares for me. Like a superhero, some intervention to the system started happening and I was redirected on the treatment path more comfortable to me. Alhamdulillah for superhero characters. They look ordinary but they perform extraordinary gestures of kindness.

In this long and and arduous journey of becoming, I am mostly grateful for supportive family and friends. I still work from home, I still run patient support groups and I still am me. 

Sometimes, I wake up to really encouraging messages sent to me by a compassionate friend or two and they keep me going. They remind me that I am amazing, that I am full of light and that my path is admirable. All the time and trouble they take to compose short essays despite their busy schedules humbles me.

Truly, I am just me. It is up to Him what he does with me.

InshaAllah, tomorrow I will learn something new. Something to be grateful about no matter what it says on my biopsy report. Fine, later in the week I will receive another biopsy report for the 2 moles. I remind myself to look at the 99% chance of those reports being benign and the 1% of them being CA. 

Wish me luck! Thank you for all your prayers and God bless.
Saturday, 27 May 2017

Crown

Start of rant.

Following the root canal treatment, I have had a new crown placed on the first day of Ramadhan (yes, it was a bummer but can be replaced!). My temporary crown fell off just under 48 hours upon flossing.

I am hoping my current long term use crown is not going to fall off anytime soon! Poorer by about RM1500 just for a crown. Really careful with chewing hard food at the moment.

Invisalign is going to set me back by about 1-2 handbags' worth depending on which handbag we are referring to. My two front bunny teeth are out of alignment so we shall see where Invisalign lies in the order of priorities.

End of rant.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Girl Turns 7

It is hard to believe this little dumpling used to nurse 24/7 and now by the grace of Allah swt she is turning 7. She has her own personality, preferences, talents and such. May you grow up to be a wise, healthy girl and always guided by His Blessings and Love. Amin.

In honour of her kind understanding and good behaviour for allowing me to be admitted to PCMC on the night of her birthday after the afternoon tea party at home, I would like to pray of her heart to blessed with even more light and love. Amin.
Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Disney On Ice 2017

Girl's turning 7 tomorrow and we thought we could give her an early birthday treat. We got A1 rinkside front row seats about a month ago when the tickets first became available. 

We had an entertaining evening on opening night last Friday at Shah Alam Malawati Stadium. It was a special, hectic day. We packed our bags for an overnight stay at The House with The Grandparents, loaded the suitcase into the car boot and picked Girl up from The Big School on the dot. A quick shower, an early dinner and we were off to the local stadium just 5 minutes away from The House. We were glad to be super early because we got choice parking lot with an easy exit straight home after the show.

The skating rink and entire performance were in our faces, literally. So was the snack cart before show and during intermission. Bean managed to high-5 Cinderella after the performance too. They especially loved all the episodes with great costumes and support cast/character movement: Lion King, Little Mermaid and Finding Dory. 

The merchandise were predictably expensive, just like Disneyland itself! The Programme cost us RM20 per copy, an Elsa and Olaf snow cone RM50 each (comes with a set of reusable cup and straw). The popcorn was RM30 per packet in custom design cereal box which The Grandparents have recycled before we could take photos of the most costly empty carton.

 

We look forward to more of such uplifting productions in future. BRAVO!!

To all spectators who littered the stadium grounds and carpark/wet the public toilets: BOO YOU!
Wednesday, 22 March 2017

New Root Canal Follow-Up

Last 6 March, we reached Stage 2 for sealing treatment. A surprise awaited me.

We discovered the fourth root was needing attention because I felt pain for about 6 days after the first treatment. My Young Living Clove, Raven and Deep Relief alongside Izumio and Super Lutein were my best friends during the fortnight between appointments. When the excruciating pain and inflammation became intolerable, I needed some painkillers just to be able to sleep through the night.

Today, Dr Jac Lam completed the treatment for me, and an almost celebratory X-Ray was taken to confirm everything went well. Alhamdulillah it was, despite some pressure and discomfort during the process as the fourth root was tricky. I am just thankful I have an experienced and highly-skilled endodontist with good bedside manners to help bring back my smile.

On to a new crown for no. 16, inshaAllah!


Monday, 20 February 2017

New Root Canal

If you are a close follower of Dr. Mercola, you will be smacking my bottom to find out that I have just gotten my second root canal treatment today.

I know.

I am ashamed of myself too.

What can I say? It hurt too much and it is my no. 16 where bridge is not the best option for now. I also don't want to lose a tooth via extraction as it can and will possibly cause further problems with bite and alignment to have gap. No. 17 is under observation as it has a deep filling done at the same time as No. 16.

Dr Jac Lam worked fast, and the procedure went without a hitch this time. Deep fillings he put in September 2014 were removed, and before I got too anxious from the root canal treatment, it was time to bid goodbye and settle the bill. How wonderful!

Say what you like but the pain I have been in the last one week is finally much reduced, I can finally eat some soft food and swallow my drinks without a straw. I also discovered a cool new way to consume all my favourite cashew, pistachio, pine, brazil, walnut and hazel - blend them with cold pressed coconut oil and add a dash of sea salt! Tastes decadently rich like butter too, spreads so well on toasts and plain cream crackers.

Next up: Non-invasive braces, provided all the other teeth are not going to act up. This is not even about vanity but to correct my post-pregnancies bite and alignment irregularities. Of course, I wish for the return of my nice smile and resting lips. Which specialist shall I go to? Do you have anyone to recommend?

Self-care is not selfish *repeating that positive affirmation to myself*
Saturday, 18 February 2017

41st


The Belang Mums arranged for my birthday lunch when I was recovering at the ward last January. They ARE that optimistic I will make it to 17 February for many more years to come. Amin.

On Thursday, we gathered for a wonderful lunch at Ashley's in Telawi, Bangsar for a scrumptious treat of organic food. Green juices, water with lemon and my delicious platter of nasi ulam with grilled shrimps. The flourless chocolate cake was moist. We even lit a candle or two and sang me my birthday song. The last time I did sing a birthday song in public at my own birthday was Hard Rock Cafe 20 years ago!

I am glad Drama Queen found a dish she loves to eat again and we already plan to go back for more! Except she is not allowed to pay for future meals. InshaAllah, we will find many reasons to celebrate since her birthday is way too long to wait! The Belang Mums bought me really generous gifts which I never expected so you can imagine my happiness when I opened them much later just to prolong my suspense?

The one thing that struck me that day during lunch was how smart the 3 other Belang Mums are. Ask them anything (HR, Finance, Chemist by former profession so can you imagine their super brains?) and they know the answers like an open, talking and walking Google. They are increasingly beautiful inside out so I much growing/catching up to do! Their sincere love, light and laughter are most uplifting!

I was crying inside (with gratitude) because the day I found out via ultrasound that I was really ill with my multiple fluid filled cysts was November 2016 when we were supposed to gather for combined lunch for 2 of the Belang Mums' birthdays. I did not make it to that wonderful lunch as I was at Prince Court on an emergency basis. Fast forward 3 months and look where we are. I never could have imagined this. Allah swt is indeed the best of planners.


Speaking of hospital and celebrations, we also celebrated my latest MRI report.

Benign.


That was the only word that mattered to me. So I am monitoring annually via MRI my two cysts, one in each breast. No lace, no line. I pray they stay that way or better yet - disappear! My surgeon was so pleased he gave me 2 high 5s. Oh dear. Was that a secret test of my arm strength which is why I am let off from physio? I have been given the permission to drive short distances, and light exercises to rebuild my muscle tone. No cardio work is allowed yet. No stressful work of any sort is permitted so I am actually under Doctor's orders to lead a carefree life as much as possible. I am afraid I am going to follow Doctor's orders this one time *hurrah*

(If you have queries about my healing journey with Izumio, Super Lutein and Young Living Essential Oils, you can still email me at hannah.zulkifli@gmail.com )

On Friday, The Other Half, Bean and I went to pick up my decadent flourless chocolate cake decorated with fresh fruits from another beautiful inside out school mom whom despite her ultra busy schedule, fitted my request in, at the very last minute! The Grandparents came to The Flat Next Block for a day trip so we could celebrate with Girl and Bean after school. It was a warm homely celebration with loved ones, and surely feels like Allah swt has granted my every wish for gratitude, love and health. Syukur alhamdulillah and thank you to everyone for allowing me such indulgence this 41st birthday.

Thank you.
Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Health Update

Where shall I begin, my lovelies?

Two breasts surgeries on 5 and 10 January 2017 and here I am now, finally getting a chance to type this. Syukur alhamdulillah.

The post-surgery MRI with contrast review will be tomorrow. InshaAllah, I pray I will be given the all clear. When I say health is wealth, believe me, because I have seen hospital bills so huge I will never say a Chanel handbag is expensive now onwards.

Hope you are taking good care of yourselves too. Until then, much love on this day we commercially celebrate love. Every day is a celebration of love and life. Never forget that.

To Belang Mums who stood by me through the dark and painful days, thank you so much. I love you to the moon and back the way I love my own family members.


Engagement Anniversary

We were engaged on 14 February 2009. Sweet memories indeed. Syukur alhamdullillah we are still married today despite the horrible/tough/challenging year we had as a married couple last year. May Allah swt bless our marriage. Amin.