Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Pleasant Dream......

Someone was wrapping me up in layers and layers of white cloth. I was somewhat tickled, because the thick layers made me look like a silkworm cocoon. I was extremely happy because I could see angels flying around the clouds, and there was
this long stairways that never seemed to have an end. The whole scenery was so beautiful - everything seemed so white and pure. I climbed the stairs as I wanted to
explore and see what I could find further up.

Suddenly, I heard a voice, "No, turn back. You're not to go further up, as it is not the time yet." All of a sudden, I found myself rolling along the long stairways and finally I rolled onto my comfortable bed! I thought it was so funny and I smiled. Just then, eldest sister Lee Lee was trying to wake me up for breakfast as
it was getting quite late, and she found me smiling away. I told her I had a pleasant dream. It was one of the most profound sleep I had for a long time, and I felt fully rested and contented.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Today's Precocious Kids ......




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Sometimes after my favourite Taiwanese serial, "Love" on Sunday evenings, I would watch the popular "Sheng Siong Show". I enjoyed watching the little boys and girls
dancing and singing so beautifully. Today's kids are truly precocious. They are able to cope with the stress of being involved with extracurricular activities as well as their studies in school. Some of their dance moves were quite intricate.
One group was even able to sing and perform some magic shows at the same time.
Truly impressive.! The children looked like they were enjoying themselves thoroughly.

I am very proud of the little kids performing so confidently on television. Their teachers must have made them practise very hard for the show. Kudos! Keep it up!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Scrabble Enthusiast .....


Scrabble - second sister Ean Ean's favourite game

Sis with her champion smile. Playing with her is my best friend, Geok Sim
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My second sister, Ean Ean is a scrabble enthusiast. She can play the game everyday
without getting tired. Needless to say, after playing scrabble for so long, she knows every strategy to score the highest marks! She is excellent in the game.

Since sister Ean Ean has come to stay with me for almost the past two months because of my illness, we have been playing scabble almost everyday, except on those days when I am very exhausted and unwell, and have to go to bed very early. Eldest sister Lee Lee would be very protective of me, and often reminds me to go to bed early. Hence, Ean and I decide to sometimes play the game in the afternoon if I am not too tired. She wins most of the time, and I heard, she also wins most of the time when she plays with her buddies in Melbourne.

I have suggested that sister Ean Ean should perhaps think of competing in the world scrabble championship, but she humbly declines, saying that she is not good enough yet.

My sister's advice is for more elderly folks to take an interest in scrabble, because it helps to keep the mind active.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Benefits of Weight Loss.....

Now with a loss of 23 kgs, I realised it has caused less of a strain on my back and
left leg when I walk. Amazing, with 23 kgs overweight, it means that I have been
carrying 4 bags of 5kgs of rice everyday! And that is a lot to carry everyday!

I remember when I was climbing the lower rungs of Mount Everest in Nepal, it was such a tedious climb for most of us. Yet, I saw how the slim Nepali ladies were able
to carry with them on their backs 20 kgs of rice up the mountain.! It was really a sight to behold. Till now the scene has been etched in my memory! It was really a
case of mind over matter.

I am now determined to lose weight till 55 kgs, my ideal weight. It does not pay now to be overweight, for excess weight brings about so many health problems - diabetes, palpitation of the heart, hypertension, etc. It also makes us look less good and we have to avoid certain types of clothes which are not suitable for us.

So let us all fight the battle of the buldge, and avoid fast foods like KFC, MacDonalds, etc. Let us take healthy home cooked food. If we have to eat out, let us minimize the number of times. My best friend, Sim, shared how whenever she had to
dine out a lot because of company functions, during weekends, she would ask her mum
to cook simple porridge for her lunch and dinner. One cannot continue eating rich
foods all the time.

Gan Cao

Friday, February 18, 2011

Something to tickle your funny bones......

My relative, Joanne from Penang sent me the following email which I thought was
quite humorous. Hence I wish to share with my readers.

Well, here is something to link the 5C's to the newer 5B's!

I don't need a CAR, but I want a BMW

I don't need a CONDO , but I want a BUNGALOW

I don't need you to have CASH but I want you to own a BANK

I don't need you to have a CAREER but I want you to be a BOSS

It's interesting for you to read!

Most of you would have heard of the Singapore5C's! :

Car, Condo, Credit Card (Gold), Cash and Career

Heard of the 5B's?


B - Body

B - Brain

B - Billionaire

B - Bungalow

And addition with the 5K's .

Kiasu (scared of losing)

Kiasee (scared of dying)

Kiabor (scared of wife)

Kiaboh (scared of having nothing)

Kiachenghu (scared of government)

We've been reading about the 5C's and 5K's for Singaporeans, now comes the 5 numerals and Malaysia 's equivalent.

Singaporeans' "practice" for Simple Living:
1 - One Wife
2 - Two Children
3 - Three Bedroom Condo
4 - Four Wheels
5 - Five Figure Salary

Malaysian "practice" for Simple Living:
5 - Five Children
4 - Four Concubines
3 - Three Figure Salary
2 - Two Wheels
1 - One-Storey Link House

My Caring Niece

My beloved niece, Yann, called me from Kuala Lumpur last night. She was concerned that of late, I had not been updating my blog. Hence, she concluded that I might not
be well.

I told her that I had been very busy with work. I had been guiding my team members
in their real estate work. Thank God, that my team members are doing very well, and we are quite on target with our sales quota.

I had also just sold my neighbour's flat. Unlike private housing, public housing requires more work. I had to help my client apply for a bank loan, and to see to the details of appointments, etc.

Yann shared with me details of their flight to Chicago for her sister, Tyng's wedding. She had a good deal from Malaysian Airline System for the group tickets which she purchased for herself, two daughters, parents and brother. I am glad they are all able to attend Tyng's wedding. It is a pity that I could not join them as the flight would be too long for me. Moreover, I can attend Tyng's wedding celebration in Penang this coming December. Something to really look forward to.

I thank God for my two beautiful and caring nieces, Yann and her sister, Tyng. I thank God too that Tyng has found a good and ideal life partner, and would be settling down in the States.

Gan Cao

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Irony of Weight Loss.......

And there I was! Jumping, kicking, and walking back all the way home from Dhoby Ghaut to my apartment in Little India - yet I did not seem to lose as much as one kg!
And here I am, 25 kgs lighter from my heaviest of 90kg. Another 5 kgs loss, and I
would be two thirds of my usual size. Since I was diagnosed with cancer, I had lost a total of 22.7kgs, all within 2 months! I guess the upside of having cancer is the welcome weight loss. One need not have to do anything and the weight loss comes naturally!

I looked at my little toes and noticed that they too have become smaller and more wrinkled. I want to laugh each time I see them - the many wrinkles made the toes
look like webbed feet. They look kind of funny yet cute. My skin on my arms and thighs also have wrinkles and they remind me of dried olives. Thank God that the only place without wrinkles is the face which still remains taut and smooth.

I remember the first time, the doctor at the Polyclinic had advised me to do something about my weight loss and he recommended me the weight loss clinic at
Alexander. After all the counselling and gym workouts, I only managed to lose 2 kg out of my 88.8kg. Since then for many months, my weight remained around 87.4kg. No matter how I jumped and kicked, the weighing scale refused to budge.! My best friend, Soh Wah brought me to London Weight Management, and we were asked to try some coffee. Now with my illness, I am giving my coffee all to Soh Wah because I would no longer need it.

Of course, now with my loss of weight, eldest sister is worried and tries to coerce me to drink lots of healthy fruit drinks and soup, and eat vegetable dishes everyday.

If only losing weight is this easy also for healthy people.!
Gan Cao

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just to Ponder......Smile!



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Ponder on these imponderables for a minute:-

1. If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?

2. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from
Holland called Holes?

3. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

4. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

5. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

6. Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

7. When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?

8. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a racing car not called a racist?

9. Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

10. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

11. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

12. 'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language.
Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence?

13. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

14. What hair colour do they put on the driver's license's of bald men?

15. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?

16. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the postmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?

17. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive. (my favourite)

18. No one ever says, 'It's only a game' when their team is winning.

19. Ever wonder about those people who spend ?1.50 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE

20. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?

21. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhoea, does that mean that one enjoys it?

I thank God for my wonderful friends who often send interesting emails to me. Thanks Soh Yah for sending the above interesting email to me which I can share with
my readers.

We Singaporeans Are So Blessed.....

Yesterday, I was at Gleneages Hospital with my second elder sister, Ean Ean. After my blood test, we went down to the lobby of Gleneagles Hospital to take a rest because it would be another two and a half hours before my results would be ready for Dr. Wong to determine whether I could have a session of chemotherapy. Eldest
sister had prepared some cooked vegeables as well as two other types of raw vegetables which I was supposed to add onto the cooked vegetables. At noon, my sister went to the food court for lunch, but I decided to carry on my lunch of vegeables at the lobby. As it was during peak hours, I did not want to deprive someone of a much needed seat at the food court.

The customer service officer was watching me with interest and smiled and commented that the food I was eating certainly looked healthy. Some ladies at the nearby sofas also smiled at me, and I found out that they were from Indonesia, seeking treatment at the hospital. After they left, two more ladies occupied their seats, and this time I found out that they were from Thailand, also seeking treatment at the same hospital. I also found out that they paid an enormous sum of money for specialist treatment. One of them told me that her father had just undergone heart surgery, and the sum was phenomenal.

All of a sudden, I felt that we Singaporeans are so blessed. We can have a choice of seeking public or private hospital treatment. I am only at Gleneagles because my insurance covers my treatment; otherwise, I would be happy to continue my treatment at the National Cancer Centre where the service is also excellent. However, in another month when my insurance no longer covers the consultation, medicine and tests, I might revert to National Cancer Centre where I can receive 65% subsidy from the government. As an ex-champion blood donor, the Blood Bank is giving me some subsidy on my treatment!

Being sick is bad enough; having to take the plane and fly for hours is even worse. We Singaporeans can receive medical treatment at our doorstop. Let us count our blessings and name them one by one!

Gan Cao

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

How you undressed reveals your personality.....

My friend Soh Yah sent me the email below and I thought it would be interesting to
share with my readers.

Subject: How you get undressed reveals your personality

Your personality , when you undress?

Amazing but true.... How you get undressed reveals your personality ........!!

1) If you throw your clothes all over the place, you are a friendly, life-of-the- party type. You are free with your thoughts and opinions, not caring much about what others think of you. Your parents might think your room looks like a cyclone hit it? But it actually represents your happy, individualistic nature!

2) If you remove each piece of clothing and put it away carefully, you are a serious person who likes her life to be very calm. You are comfortable with routine, and you believe that the best way to deal with life's problems is to prevent them in the first place. You are a perfectionist. By nature you are quite shy. You are observant and you know more about some people than they think, just because you've watched them. You are dependable and sometimes intense. You think carefully before making decisions. You go about your tasks methodically, with concentration. You know how to pay attention.

3) If you take off the shirt, and ten minutes later get around to the pants, you are an extremely self-confident person. You are naturally bright and intellectual. You are also a deep thinker who loves to ask questions and ponder the meaning of things. You hate being rushed and you do not like to be hassled. Usually you like a lot of free time for yourself.

4) If you get out of your clothes as quickly as possible, you are concerned about others and what they expect from you, but you're worried about your own needs. You are family-oriented, and stay extremely busy. You often feel stressed, but most of those heavy expectations come from your own head! Give yourself a break; you don't have to be perfect.

5) If you take off your rings, earrings, necklace, watch, etce., before anything else, you are a warm and sensitive person. You are considerate and thoughtful, and you give good advice to your friends. You are a natural born romantic.

6) If you don't have an undressing routine and you never do it the same way twice, you are a very curious and interesting person. You enjoy a broad range of activities. You take risks and enjoy fun and adventure. You are very social.

Counting My Blessings......


Wow! So many sumputuous dishes! Which ones should we select? James discussing
with his father, Johan and wife, Christmin

A gathering of relatives during Chinese New Year

Yew Tien with my beloved brother, Kee Seng

Soh Wah poses with sister Lee Lee

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As I was resting on my bed, enjoying the New Year Chinese Orchestral pieces arranged by my best friend's husband, Phoon Yew Tien, my heart was filled with thanksgiving to the good Lord. I was so happy to go to church with my eldest sister Lee Lee and second brother Kee Seng and second sister Ean Ean and enjoyed the sermon by Pastor Winston Tang. We also enjoyed the lovely hymns and choruses and I am beginning to recognise more Chinese characters on the screen. I am now attending the Mandarin service with sister as I want to improve my Mandarin.

After church, sister Ean Ean wanted to give us a treat at Jack's Place at the new mall, Nex, in Serangoon. The taxi driver, Guna, was amiable and humorous, and I spoke to him in Tamil. Later we blessed him in seven languages, much to his delight. When we alighted he only charged us $6.50 instead of $7.00 and when eldest sister insisted on giving him the difference, he declined. Perhaps it was this little bit of delay that we bumped into my niece, Christmin and her family. They invited us to join them for lunch at Dian Xiao Er, a Cantonese restaurant. Wow! The food was yummy. Their roast duck and stewed pork are really outstanding. Of course, on occasions like this, I would forget about my usual diet and enjoy what is laid before me, though I eat in very small quantities.

Since my illness, so many friends and relatives have visited me and given me so many gifts. There are more friends who want to visit me and I have to arrange for them to do so, probably after the Chinese New Year, as I am quite exhausted. Nowadays I feel more easily tired, but my heart is full of thanksgiving for every day that I can breathe.

Gan Cao

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Eagerly Awaiting the Arrival of the Pandas.......

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Now is the 5th of February, 2011. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the two pandas from China. I wonder what names would be chosen for them, and who would be the lucky prize winners with the winning names.

Pandas are one of the cutest animals on earth. They look like gentlemen in waistcoats. Their white furs look like white shirts, while in sharp contrast their
black furs make them look like as if they were wearing black jackets. What a wonderful and marvellous creator!

I am counting the days before the adorable creatures arrive in Singapore!

Gan Cao

Friday, February 04, 2011

What A Wonderful New Year Celebration......


Christmin with husband James and three kids, Jonathan, Jovien and Jethro,

Keong with wife, Kee Ling and two kids - Johnson and Khai Wern - all from Penang.

Giving thanks for the food by brother-in-law, Rev. Wong from Sarawak. On his right is my beloved brother Kee Seng,
(from Penang) and on the left is my sister Ean Ean from Melbourne.

Taking a pose with grand-niece, Zen, Esther and Yann - they come all the way from Kuala Lumpur by bus!
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This year, I must be one of the happiest in Singapore. Because of my illness, all my
relatives decide to converge at Singapore to celebrate the Lunar New Year together. You may think it is not a big deal....almost everyone in Singapore does that. But when you think that my relatives come from different parts of the world ....then it is a big and happy deal! :-)

Eldest sister is the food coordinator and she herself prepared the most number of dishes. Her seaweed roll did not only look attractive but was delicious as well. My sister-in-law also prepreared some dishes, while my nieces, Christmin and Dea also brought dishes along to share. What a feast! Certainly better than eating out at a restaurant. There were 22 of us and my only invited guest was my best friend,
Amu. Amu always like Chinese food, and at the end of the party, she was able to pack some food for her younger sister, Maya and family. They too were having their own little party.

When our family gather together there will always be plenty of noise and music! Phoebe and Sophia did a dance item - Nobody, nobody but you! Brother and his wife did a dance number. Samuel played the violin with my sister Ean Ean. Christmin and her children did a song item. Amu moved the audience with her speech when she shared about our bosom friendship. My nephew Samuel shared that he learnt from me that one could still give even when one does not have much.

It was a party that everyone enjoyed, and which everyone felt he had something to take home with all the sharing. I pray and hope that I can recover sufficiently and fast, so that the following year, I would be able to travel to Penang for the Lunar New Year celebration.

Gan Cao

More on the New Year Celebrations......


Phoebe and Sophia doing a modern number - "Nobody, nobody but you!"

Wow! So many angpows for Phobe and Gloria!

All awaiting eagerly for brother and his wife to dance. Sister Lee Lee
playing the dance piece - Yeh Lai Xiang!

Lunch together again - a continuation of the previous night's fun!
Sister bought some dumb Briyani and Fish and Chicken Curry to add to

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

When Organs No Longer Fall Apart .......the Liver Has Stabilised!

I had to see Dr. Karmen Wong on the 1st of February. She is a very conscientious and careful doctor and wanted to check on my blood condition before she flies off to
Hong Kong to see her parents and to spend the Lunar New Year Holidays.

Dr. Wong was extremely pleased when she announced with a sense of triumph - my liver is now stabilised. Out of the five organs, Dr. Wong is most concerned about my liver, because it is also the mostly badly affected organ. Yesterday I received an email from my ex-violin teacher and he asked after me and hoped that my operation was a success. I replied Mr. Yan that it was impossible for the doctor to operate on my liver because of the massive lesions. However, now with treatment and a healthy diet, my liver has stabilised. What a piece of great news for Chinese New Year. No longer, is the cloud of uncertainty looming over my head. The air is clear and once my liver has stabilised it is easier to receive chemotherapy.

Praise God for His abundant blessings! It would be extremely good news for my siblings and relatives to hear when they arrive in Singapore on Chinese New Year eve.!

Gan Cao

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

When Organs Fall Apart .......Body Temperature Also Changes...

I used to be unable to tolerate heat and wearing a jacket for me was also unheard of. Even when travelling around Israel and China in December, I did not feel the cold, and often ended up lending my coat to fellow travellers in my group.

However, of late, I realised I felt cold easily. Just two days ago, when it had rained the whole day, I felt extremely cold, and when we went to see Dr. Karmen I almost wanted to laugh at myself - I looked like I was dressed up for winter! I was relieved to be able to wear a jacket I had bought when I was on vacation in Taiwan, and it was ideal because it was a sleeveless jacket and hence it would be easier for the nurse to take my blood for the tests.

As it was was very windy in my apartment, I saw the thermometer reading was only 22 deg. Celsius. Even second sister, Ean Ean, who hailed from Melbourne felt the chill.
She was somewhat surprised that it could be that cold in Singapore!

At least now, I do not easily break out into beads of perspiration. It is indeed a nice change to keep dry and to be able to dress up a little more in vogue with "winter" clothings in Singapore!! Now again.....back to my whimsical thinking.....will it be ever cold enough to snow one day in Singapore???

Gan Cao

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

When Organs Fall Apart......Even Acquaintances Are So Helpful and Generous!


Yahoo! Pink radishes! The colour of pink is always so sweet! My first time
seeing radishes in pink!

Murdock and white radishes.

Pink radishes, brown murdock and white radishes! What an interesting
combination of colours!

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My best friend, Soh Wah, called me up one day and excitedly told me that her good friend Alvin, wanted to arrange for me to meet his friend's parents. The father had
miraculously recovered from kidney cancer with just taking some recipes of food
recommended by a guru from the Himalayan Mountains. I have always thought that gurus are some kind of Hindu priests, but surprisingly this guru is a Christian....and from the Himalayans! Wow! How intriguing!

It was with some trepidation that sister and I took a taxi to Ceylon Road. The taxi driver decided to take the CTE/PIE instead of Sims Road or ECP which would be
heavily jammed with the evening crowd. Eldest sister was somewhat impatient with the
long journey and kept asking if we were reaching soon.

Soh Wah and her friend, Alvin were already there, to my relief, for at least they
could do the introduction. The lady of the house, Mrs. Goh at first looked very serious and when we were all seated around the garden table, she asked me to tell her about my condition.

Then Mrs. Goh told us about how she met the guru in Singapore, and he gave her two recipes - one for daily drink and one for daily soup. The daily drink is for detox and consists of blending one beet root, one apple and one tomato. The soup consists of some white radishes, some pink radishes and murdock - all boiled together and simmered for an hour. Mrs. Goh shared that her husband's tumour shrunk
and he was declared healed of cancer after a month of taking the drink and soup.! Wow!

When we were about to depart, we were pleasantly surprised when Mrs. Goh asked her maid to put all the vegetables in a huge plastic bag for us to bring home. We declined and thanked her profusely, but Mrs. Goh insisted and said she could easily buy them again from the organic farm in Woodlands.

I was very touched that so many of my friends and even mere acquaintances would rally around and be so helpful and generous to someone like me. It uplifts my spirit and makes me realise that I am not alone to battle my illness.

Thank you Lord, for good friends and for lovely and kind people you bring along this
challenging period of my life.

Gan Cao