While Singapore celebrated SG50, my thought has been on my elder sister Le Khin. She would have been 50 years old this year.had she not pass away at the tender age of 42 eight years ago. She had developed a brain tumor at the age of 32 and went through the chemotherapy and alternative medication. All was well when the cancer subsided after 5 years and we believed that her improvement was the most significant when she came back and stay with mum and dad.
However the cancer came back again when she returns to the States. On the fateful day I got a call from Z that she has fainted at home and the doctors said she has 48 hours to live. My head was spinning when I heard that. After I had composed myself, I called up dad and mum and my brother who was at Houston. He was able to fly in immediately and I took the next available flight to Baton Rouge, via Chicago and St Louise.
When I arrived at the St Louise Hospital. The sight of her was heart wrenching. She had tubes through her nose and arms and she was very weak. It was just an unbearable sight. We discussed options for her with the doctor, bearing in mind that Le Khin did not want another round of chemo. When we shared that with the doctor, the advise was to do hospice care. A social worker came over and explain to us the procedure of hospice care at home, including setting up a hospital bed at home. It then dawned on me that we had to either find alternative care for her or she's going to wait to die. It's going to be a very painful process.
When the tubes were removed and she was awake, she became very alert and cheerful. We were very happy for a while. I had setup Skype so that she can chat with dad at home and things were looking rosy for a moment. Next mum and sisters came and visit her at home and she was able to move around for short distances. It was late November or December and the weather was cold outside but inside the house, it was warm and joyous.
For the month of December, things were looking up.
Came January 2007 she started to take longer naps. We could see the drop in her energy level and she tired easily, lying in bed most of the time.
On the 29th Jan 2007 I got a call from Z, crying on the other end of the phone. She has passed away peacefully in her sleep.
So during SG50, while my thought is with Singapore and wish our Nation to continue the next 50 years and my kids and loved one can enjoy the country's progress, my thought also go to my sister Le Khin. May you rest in peace and I will aways treasure you as my sister, always.