Friday, June 17, 2005

Glad to be home! 16 June 2005

Dear all,

By the time you read this, I will be discharged today. Praise the Lord! Exactly 3 wks of suffering here. Wouldn’t have made it the prayers of many concerned people and the love of dear friends like you really. Am also very thankful for the doctors (Especially Dr.William Hwang, my transplant physician provided by the Lord); wonderful nurses and staff of Ward 72, SGH who took such good care of me in their very special ways when I was going so much anguish during the BMT (Bone marrow transplant). Above all, for my younger sister, Angie who had to go through so much in order to give me her stem cells. Glad to tell you that the latest blood test has shown some engraftment taking place in my marrow.

“For you are with me” – The Chief Shepherd
Above all, the Lord has been with me in those darkest moments – it is so easy during those moments of agony and anguish to lose all perspective in those dark days while in pain and sorrow when I said, “It’s no use, I can’t go on. Please take me home”.

But Psalm 23 has given me so much new insights. Just like His presence was David’s comfort in the desert while tendering the sheep, His presence is the same for this little david. In the midst of my deep struggle in loneliness, I saw a vision of the shepherd in glittering white. Indeed, the Lord is great shepherd, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Now I realized that no valley goes on forever – God knows what we can endure…….though the deliverance may be delayed, it will come. Even sorrow has its time to be when you are suffering, but those who mourn will be comforted by His rod and staff.

Prayer items:
Now that I am going home, the main concern is food. Everything needs to be high steamed in order to prevent any potential infection especially fungal spores that are harder to treat. No outside food for at least 6 mths. So no roti prata, wanton mee, loh-mee whatever mee etc. Therefore, one of the challenges is to carefully plan some simple, interesting meals everyday now. If you have good recipes let Whee Ling know –she collects recipes all her life though she doesn’t cook!
There is also a long ‘central line’ on my right chest, a long catheter inserted into a vein that runs into the heart. It will not be taken out for the next 100 days for the purpose of drawing blood and administration of drugs etc. Therefore it needs to keep it sterile with weekly dressings and flushing to keep it clean and unblocked. Whee Ling will have to learn to do it though I can do it myself as well except it is harder to do on myself. But no worries, Dr.Melvyn Tan who has been a dear doctor friend has volunteered to do it for me too. God is so good.
Most importantly, that the new stem cells that are settling in my bone marrow will not face rejection (GVHD-Graft verses host disease).

Suffering Successfully
Honestly, the journey is still quite long. At least for the first 100 days, I will be in SGH for follow up at least twice a week for regular blood checks and consultation with Dr. William Hwang. Pray that there will be no complications in regard to infections and GVHD (graft verses host disease). But Whee Ling, Josh and I are entrusting our lives to the Shepherd of our hearts to bring us thru each valley. There were many valleys mentioned in the Bible where God’s people went through. But there will be an end no matter how many valleys we have to go through. The dark valleys make God more real to us than ever before. God becomes a reality.

Thank you for journeying with us. By standing with us, you helped us experience His reality in the community of Christ in the Church of God at large.

In all my years of Christian living, this is the year I am reconnected with friends from all over Singapore and Russia in different churches, even pre-believing friends. May God’s name be glorified thru this part of my pilgrimage.

Glad to be home ,
(Especially to celebrate birthday of Josh on 20/6 and earthly & Heavenly Father’s day!)

Dave – His beloved.