Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shin is in the Hospital

This is Tony writing for Shin.

Shin had a seizure on Sunday night and I got an ambulance to take her to the hospital. Very scary, but the good news is she is stable, alert and in good spirits now. They have given her anti-seizure medication (valium and epilim) and she seems normal now. Her doctor thinks she can come home from the hospital tomorrow.

At this stage it looks like the brain tumors may be growing, and may have caused some swelling that lead to the seizures. On Sunday night at dinner Shin mentioned she felt a bit odd and that she felt as if she were losing some co-ordination of her right hand. She had trouble cutting her food and put down her glass of water on her plate. We didn't really dwell on it but I guess we were both thinking about the brain tumors. We said we would go see the doctor first thing in the morning, but in hindsight that was a mistake and we should have called the doctor right away.

Shin will have an MRI tomorrow and we will figure out what to do after that. Gamma knife and radiation are possible options. Neither sound very nice, but I took comfort from the fact we were moving on from dealing with the panic of the night before and moving on to a standard course of treatment.

Fortunately, we had several guests visiting. Clare and Ivan were up from Brisbane and Ward was stopping by Singapore on his way returning from India to Australia. It was a big relief to have their help in getting Shin to the ambulance and taking care of Josie and Toby.

Josie and Toby are doing well. They both woke up and heard Shin, but I told them we were taking Shin to the hospital to get some medicine and they accepted that and went back to sleep. It's amazing how resilient kids can be.

I myself feel as though I have been realistic but optimistic about the odds Shin faces, and I thought I was ready for what may come. But I am more shaken and sadder than I thought I'd be after 2 years of living with the fact that Shin has an aggressive type of cancer. And I guess it's mostly a symbolic thing but today was Toby's first day of school - and it made me so sad. I'm not exactly sure why, but I guess it's a combination of knowing how much Shin loves days like this, and knowing how small he is but how excited he is to get on with his life.

The good news is Shin should be able to post again in a couple of days. Thanks to everyone for your support. It's touching how readers were concerned that Shin didn't post today, that neighbors were concerned that an ambulance came, the concern of Toby's school teachers and friends calling in from all over. Shin is special.


Kate said...

You are a very special family. We are here for you all if you need us. We are so glad to hear that Shin is doing ok. Love Kate, Stewart, Izzy, Rosie and Charlie

ALI KATI said...

Sorry to hear about this. My thoughts are with you and your family. Hope to see you back in writing form again. xxx

Francesca Giessmann said...

shin and tony;
as I didnt see a post. .I worry something was wrong and then I ran into Christa and asked her if she had heard from you.
My thoughts are with you
Francesca in Zurich

Anonymous said...

hi shin,

Sorry to hear abt this. Wish that you recover soon. God bless.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the update, Tony. We are thinking of all of you, wishing we were nearer to you to help and support... Please give Shin a very big hug from both of us, and Josie and Toby a big kiss. What wonderful kids you two have.
Love, Christa & Miro

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin, I have been following your blog for some time now - and you have been in my prayers - I know you do not believe in God - I do - and I know He hears me -
Tony, I am praying for you too - hang in there. Be strong - for yourself. Thanks for keeping us in the loop. I check in on Shin's blog everyday - after clearing my email at the office- so do keep info coming and if you need any help - I know I am a perfect stranger - but if I can be of any help - just ask. Shin has my email address.

Siok Foon said...

hi, glad 2 knw dat shin is feeling better nw. i m a new reader fr spore. was feeling amiss when i didnt c shin's postings 4 e past 2 days as she usually update daily. wil pray 4 her health.

Gloria said...

Your are in my thoughts and prayers

Leighbee said...

You all are............. x

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin,
You are in my quiet time this early morning and just read Tony's writing. Hope you are feeling much better now. Careful listening & sensitivity are always called for. It takes times to build bridges of trust and openness. I read in Henri Nouwen that We need to bend ourselves to the ground & touch the places in each other that most need washing. This suggests carefulness, humility, trust. We are not always in control. But, we continue to do our part and to do our best. Have good rest and look forward to your writing soon. Love, Yvonne

Anonymous said...

My prayers are all for you.Get well fast.

Shahiraa said...

She definitely is special... like many others, I dont know her but I read her entries daily - they make me smile, cry, think and laugh out loud. If there is anything that anyone of us can do, please post about it. I would be more than happy to help, and I am sure many others would to.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tony for letting us all know. I was concerned when there wasn't a Daily Shin to read.
Love to Shin and also to you. My eyes filled with tears when I read your words. I am so happy Shin found you.
Hope Toby Toes had a wonderful first day.
Love Sasha xxxxx

Richard said...


I just wanted to express my support and hope for you, Shin and the kids. Rick Ottenstein (Jin's colleague from Maryland). I met you at your house a few years ago.

Francesca Giessmann said...

Just checking in to see how are things going,,,
sending you strength and courage

Wendy Lim said...

Hi Tony.

Guess this is a late comment. Just want to say that Shin is so lucky to have you with her all this while. So are your kids. You are the pillar of the family.

Guess life isn't always as blissful as we all thought. We can only stay positive and be happy.

Thank you for reminding me how we can be so special to our loved ones.

Shin said...

Wendy Lim,

Tony hasn't seen your comment yet, so I'll show him later.

I'd just like to thank you for leaving that comment for him. I think we often forget how much of a toll cancer takes on the loved ones - in many ways, more than the patient herself.

I definitely couldn't get through this so well without Tony. I feel so lucky to have him in my life. I always did, but now even more than ever.