Friday, November 7, 2008

Jekyll and Hyde

I've been going through over three hundred comments you readers have sent me since the local TV channel aired a documentary film about me last Tuesday. I'm getting comments with all sorts of praise about what a great mom, wife, friend, human being I am. You're using words such as hero, idol, role model, inspiration. You say I've taught you how to truly appreciate life, your loved ones, yourselves.

The person I see emerging from these comments doesn't feel like me. I feel like I'm wearing a lovely coat that you're all describing with flattering words, but that's only because you have no idea what I'm wearing inside that coat.

Of course, this just goes for those of you who only know me through this blog.

My friends and family who know me personally know that I can be short-tempered, judgemental, arrogant, opinionated, intolerant, sarcastic, sharp-tongued, and downright cruel with my verbal scalpel.

I'm one of those people who thinks it's silly for pet-owners to spend billions of dollars on their cats and dogs instead of on orphans and other needy humans. I don't believe in the death penalty but if anybody hurt my kids, I'd change my mind in a hurry. Hallmark Cards make me want to puke. I always think I'm the smartest person in the room - any room. My favorite line from a book is from Flannery O'Connor: "She looked at nice young men as if she could smell their stupidity." My second favorite line, also from Flannery: "She would of been a good woman, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

I think people (Americans) who keep guns in the house and have kids should be lined up and shot (not really, but you get the idea). I think the fact that Americans elected George Bush two times in a row shows just how stupid they are (I didn't vote for him). And the only reason why his party didn't win this time around is because most of the people who voted Republican before shot themselves by accident in their own homes.

I'm the person who yells at a homeless man, "Get a job!" But then I buy him food when nobody's looking. I'm the person who yells insults at a customer service employee for being stupid and incompetent, then goes back the next day to apologize for being such a bitch. Classic Jekyll and Hyde.

So you see... I'm not this warm and fuzzy person your comments make me out to be. I have my faults and weaknesses just like everybody else. Except I don't necessarily see them as faults. I think this is what makes me spicy. And as they say... if you can't handle the spice, go hang out in the Hallmark Card section.

53 comments:

Cat said...

Shin, no one is an angel. In fact, I wonder... are there any angels out there? Nobody is perfect! Including me. I forbid the kids to say certain words but at times when they're driving me nuts, those words will come out of my mouth automatically. Compared to you, I should be able to control myself better as you have to endure the pain and frustation of the treatments!

Do you know that I'm now addicted to your blog? Every morning when I'm in the office, first thing I do is log on and go to your blog. I learn something from you too as a mum :0)

You're a great mum! God bless you (hmm, wonder is there really a god up there...) hahaha

Leighbee said...

Isn't it true that the best dishes we cook are those we make without measuring the ingredients but by throwing them in randomly? Who says what makes a person's character endearing and what does not? Either way you look at it, you are loved by many for being YOU! Perhaps we should think of you as a sweetie - hard outer coating with a delicious, soft and gooey middle Your zeal for life is insatiable... long may it continue! I've said it before; I'll say it again: "I'd love to be half the woman you are." x

Helen said...

Hello Shin.

I love your blog, I really do. You are very honest in this blog and I love you for that.

You are still in my thoughts and prayers. Some of my friends are reading your blog in Bangkok, Central America and USA. You touch their lives as well. Take care!

A big hug for your children!

Anonymous said...

Dear Shin,

Just to share with you that I feel rather uncomfortable reading from your blog all those superlatives describing you: idol, wonder woman, heroine...

No offence. The danger is to be over-elated and bask in the glory of human praises. To be honest, your stubbornness and pride in self-sufficiency can be a hindrance to learning and accurate perceptions in certain areas in life. Mind you, I have my weaknesses too.

What is truly commendable is that you seek to respond to each situation with a coping mechanism and not surrender to anxiety, self-pity and sorrow.

As I read and reflect, I think you have the blessing and honour of loved ones like your father and brother who care deeply for you even now. Some others may not have the kind of background that can nourish and help them to grow.

Just wish to share some of the photographs that I have taken to show the beauty, design and colours of the beautiful physical world out there. I hope it will cheer you up and give thoughts that are pleasant...

CLICK HERE

Shin said...

Anonymous (Leong Lai Ying?),

You say YOU're uncomfortable with all the idol-worshipping superlatives readers are throwing my way? How do you think I feel? Like an impostor! When I read these words of praise, I think, "Who are they talking about?"

Luckily, I know me while most of the people who are showering me with praise do not. So I know better than to get "over-elated". I know where my warts are; they don't. But I figure that if any strangers out there derive any hope or inspiration from me to help them in their own struggles in life, I must be doing something half-way right.

You say my "stubbornness and pride in self-sufficiency can be a hindrance to learning and accurate perceptions in certain areas in life." My husband, best friends, especially my brother, would absolutely agree with you on this. Luckily, they haven't given up on me and they still try to break through my stubbornness to teach me a thing or two.

Thanks for contributing such an intelligent and insightful comment to this blog. I appreciate the fact that you don't let the whole "go soft on the dying lady" thing get in the way of saying what's on your mind - with tact and diplomacy.

Thanks also for the link to your beautiful photos. A few of the sky shots brought back a memory from when I was a pre-teen. It was a cloudy day and my family was going somewhere in the car. We were just getting on the highway, when we noticed an amazingly bright sunbeam piercing through the clouds, almost like a knife. It looked like the heavens had opened up. I almost expected Jesus to appear. I've never seen anything like it since. My brother (who is now a religion professor and ordained pastor) turned to me and said, "How can you see that and not believe there's a God?"

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin.

No one is perfect! I always wanted to be a perfect wife and mother but I don't think I can.

I can't cook well; I always cook the same old dishes; I can't keep the house clean; I can't teach my children well (their studies are poor!); I can't...

I really admire you.

Shin said...

Anonymous,

The good thing about not being perfect is that you have something to work toward, something to strive for.

I think perfection is overrated. It's for people who didn't set the bar high enough to begin with.

Jane said...

Hey Shin.

Just wanted to say take care and God bless.

Jane

Yvette said...

Ha ha, this entry is soooooooo humorous. You sound so cute when self-criticizing! Take care Shin!

Alka said...

Hey Shin.

You said it all in the last 3 lines. And maybe we like you because of the spice (I'm a true Indian , remember?) You know what makes you so special is you will still buy food for the homeless guy, and you'll still go apologise to the CS person the next day. I wouldn't; maybe most of us wouldn't. I really don't know you that well, but hey, here's another one after the 300+ comments: You have touched many lives, definitely mine.

Jason Goh said...

Hi Shin,

My second time leaving my comments on a blog and both times on yours.

Whatever is inside that coat of yours, you're indeed a very honest "bitch". Please do not be offended. I personally feel that to be branded a "bitch" is an honour. Something that I'm very proud of. At least we speak our minds and absolutely the truth!

By the way, I wanted to visit you and give you a hug but after reading your blog (so far from Nov 2008 till Feb 2008) I guess you do not welcome new visitors.

Do let know if you need any assistance, driver, etc...

I'm working full time in the finance industry and own a little floral business. You can check out my humble business in your spare time.
(cgflorist.net)

Meanwhile HAPPY BIRTHDAY in advance.

Regards,
Jason Goh

Shin said...

Jason Goh,

Thanks for your offer of a visit, but I'm rather low on energy these days and any energy I DO have, I try to save for the kids.

But if and when my miracle comes along and I'm back to normal, we'll throw a huge party and invite you and all the other readers of this blog!

Anonymous said...

Shin,

As a survivor of pancreatic cancer, I can totally relate to what you are saying. I get so tired of living up on that pedestal everyone puts you on. I am nothing special, a normal mom and wife. Yes, I had cancer... so what... deal with it and stop feeling sorry for me. It didn't change things I did in the past but unfortunately it does change how I deal with the future. I am also tired of being judged for how people think I should act or deal with things. I just can never live up to some of their expectations. Cancer has not made me perfect, a kinder or more patient person. I am still ME.

Shin said...

Anonymous,

You might want to read a book of cartoons entitled, "Cancer Made Me A Shallower Person" by Miriam Engelberg. The author had breast cancer, not pancreatic, so some of the jokes may not be as funny to you, but it might still give you a few chuckles.

Anonymous said...

"I have my faults and weaknesses just like everybody else."

It's exactly what makes you so special.

You are just like everyone else, yet you possess such strength and tenacity.

ANGEL said...

Hahaha... I write a blog myself and have many years of hanging out on the Internet as I used to be an Internet editor like you. So I understand how people may be a little different online and offline.

While all that you said about yourself may be true, it really does not make you any different or any less precious because all we said about you is also you, and it is how we experience you.

I would like to add to other people who have mentioned that Shin is courageous, great, etc etc etc... it means that all this goodness is in you too! That is why you can recognize it when you see it!

Shin said...

Angel,

American kids know the sing-songy retort when somebody calls them an insulting name on the playground: "I know you are, but what am I?"

I think you're right. When people say I'm brave, strong, etc., they're merely recognizing characteristics they have within themselves.

Louise said...

Still think you are pretty awesome and extremely strong. Tony as well. 10 out of 10 to you and your family and Channel 8 for the documentary.

Dee said...

Hi Shin.

My mum saw you on TV and kept bugging me to read your blog. She wanted to write you a note, commending you on your strength and courage, telling you how she hoped you would continue to be strong in the face of upcoming trials. All the best.

Dee

P.S. I understand that this is your blog and you can do whatever you wish, but editing the comments for brevity and accuracy seems pretty anal. I don't see what's wrong with the unedited ones: grammatically inaccurate as they are - nonetheless sincere in their content. You should look past the surface.

And to add on - I think your post on Jekyll and Hyde just smacks of self-absorbed ingratitude. You display a startling lack of graciousness to people who are touched by your story and logged on to cheer you on. The fools, you seem to say.

You're right - you're really not that nice.

Shin said...

Dee,

I guess it does seem quite "anal", as you say, to edit comments for clarity (not accuracy, as you said) and brevity.

But my main purpose in having this blog is to leave it as a legacy for my kids. I'd like them to read not just my own posts, but the comments of the blog's readers as well. If they can't read and understand the comments (due to language issues), I think they'll miss a lot of the value of the blog that comes from its readers.

I don't think you see what's wrong with the unedited comments because I've posted hardly any for the past several days. Because this film was broadcast on a Chinese channel, I imagine most of the viewers were Chinese speakers. I'm very sorry, but there were some comments that I truly could not understand and therefore, could not post at all. And remember, I was an English teacher and editor by profession. It's in my blood. I just can't help myself! (And again... for the sake of my kids who'll be reading this in the future.)

I guess you could add self-absorbed ingratitude to my list of faults. I'm sorry you think I lack graciousness to people who are touched by my story. No, I do not think they're fools. I feel sincerely flattered that these people who don't even know me can think such kind thoughts about me. I am very grateful for every encouraging word, every kind thought, every prayer (even though I am not religious).

I'm sorry I haven't lived up to your own image of me, but at the very least, I can say I'm being honest with myself and my readers. I'm sure you're not the only one I've offended. Sorry. But I'd rather remain honest and lose readers than make up stuff to maintain some false image of this great and wonderful person that I'm not.

Please thank your mother for her encouraging words. Whatever you might believe, I am indeed touched by her open-hearted kindness. Somewhere out there is a woman I don't even know who wishes me well. That means a lot to me.

Bruce said...

Shin!

Excellent, you are human after all! I wouldn't call you Jekyll and Hyde, rather someone who knows how to say what you feel - too bad we don't have more like you around.

Love the comments about Bush...

FL said...

Dear Shin,

At least you have the courage to recognise those shortcomings enough to give a thought and share with all of us.

At least you know who you are and where you fall short.

There are many who don't even know who they are or who they think they want to pretend to be.

They play these 'pretending' games all their lives, being with pretentious people and being pretentious all their lives.

They smile at you but their eyes are hollow and the air around them exudes fakeness.

Their words are meaningless and empty.

I would rather be with someone who is cranky but true to their feelings and morals than with people whose lives are one big lie.

Nobody in this world is perfect and that includes me (I hate to admit it though... wink wink).

So Shin, give yourself a pat on the the back because YOU ARE INDEED BONA FIDE!! (say NO to PIRACY !!)

For a humble carpenter once stood on a mount and uttered these words:

"Blessed are they who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven"

Cheers Shin, I do hope you will have a blessed weekend.

FL

Agnes said...

Dear Shin,

Well, I agree that none of us human beings is PERFECT! Certainly, you have your weaknesses and strengths. But you have a special gift - the power to have an impact on the lives of people all around the world by staying so strong and positive despite your terminal illness.

Keep fighting, Shin! We will be here praying for you! God will bless you and your family abundantly. You have two lovely kids!

From your programme on Channel 8, I learnt that I started to view life from a different angle. And I know that we can choose to be happy. YOU ARE SO COOL!! God is watching over you and your family, so persevere!! I will visit your blog again...
Always love, Agnes

Shin said...

Agnes,

Thank you for your comment, but I don't think I have a special gift. There are plenty of cancer survivors out there who have strength, courage, and optimism. The only difference between those people and myself is that I have a blog and somebody decided to make a documentary about me.

I've met many cancer survivors over the past several years who have amazing stories to tell. The Breast Cancer Foundation's Dragon Boat Team is one group of extraordinary ladies. The women I used to chat with at "chemo club" (when I could still talk normally) are also an impressive bunch. And, of course, the readers of this blog who are also cancer survivors and caregivers. I've learned a great deal from all of them. They're all heroes and they're all around us. We just don't see them until we look for them. Or until somebody decides to do a film about them...

Chris said...

Hello Shin.

I have to say, your frankness & openness is really amazing! I can echo this entry because it is the same with me. Everyone thinks that I am a goody but in fact, I have so many flaws.

It is all right; that means you are authentic. If you were without flaws, it would be even more scary! =)

Cheers,
Chris

Anonymous said...

Shin, your documentary on Tuesday reminded me of my sister who passed away two Christmases ago. My sister was different from you. After she was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2003, she was always sad, pessimistic and negative. Self-pity is the word. It was like a death sentence had been passed to her. I just want to commend you for your positive spirit. You were so cool when you prepared gifts that were meant for your children when you are no longer here. Continue to encourage others, both sick and healthy individuals. God bless.

Kathie said...

Dear Shin,

In Psychology, we learn that Sensation and Perception are keys to how we see the world. Have you heard this? Perception of a matter is 90% and truth is only 10%.

When I first saw the trailer of your documentary and then read your blog, I started forming a perception of you, based on my association of your look and circumstances. Then as I read your past postings, my perception of you kept changing. I can't say it was for the better or worse, but you became more real.

As I read the so-called superlative descriptions bestowed on you, I recognised that it was the need to worship at play. Yes, this need that is so uniquely human and not found in other creatures.

Frankly, I was wondering about how you were taking these comments.

Your "Jekyll and Hyde" post today gained my respect because the Shin I came to know certainly would not allow human praises to get to her head. But that doesn't stop you from being appreciative of good intentions.

I thought your response was crucial to readers as you demonstrated how an imperfect person can strive to be "god like". Your comments reflect the maturity much needed.

Yes, ego and pride can hinder learning. Only under loving conditions are we motivated to change and learn. You have the best and worst situations playing out in your life. Hence, your learning would be intensified. But I have confidence that Shin will fare well.

Kathie

Emily said...

Hey Shin,

You forgot to mention your good looks. ; )

Cheers, Emily

Anonymous said...

What would you have done or achieved in these last three years if you did not have cancer?

Did cancer change you for the better? Did it bring out the best in you?

Would the Shin with cancer be any different from a healthy Shin?

Would this blog and the many wonderful praises about you exist if you didn't have cancer?

Do you think it happened for a reason?

Shin said...

Anonymous,

I'll try to answer your questions but will have to be brief.

1) What would you have done or achieved in these last three years if you did not have cancer?

Not much. I would've spent more time with my kids and maybe gotten a part-time job.

2) Did cancer change you for the better? Did it bring out the best in you?

I don't think cancer has changed me much. I've talked about this a number of times in my past posts.

3) Would the Shin with cancer be any different from a healthy Shin?

Just physically. A healthy Shin would've chased the neighborhood kids around the playground in a ghost costume this Halloween. The Shin with cancer couldn't even make it out to the playground.

4) Would this blog and the many wonderful praises about you exist if you didn't have cancer?

No. If I didn't have cancer, I'd be just another ordinary person.

5) Do you think it happened for a reason?

No.

Aggie said...

Hi Shin.

You don't have to deliberately conjure up all Mr. Hyde traits to prove there's this other side to you.

It's ok to be called an idol, a role model or an inspiration. Some people draw strength from others' heroism. And through their heroes, become better people.

Who knows, the people who have used those words to describe you could well be spreading the values they've learnt through the program and through your blog.

So please bear with the flattery while we go out and try to make this world a better place through lessons we learnt from Shin.

writerinresidence said...

Shin, I laughed a whole lot reading this entry. Because what you say here is all true. LOL. Working with you almost drove me crazy.

Nevertheless, ultimately, I sensed the goodness beneath all of that stuff, and that's why, even after all these years, I still feel warmly towards you - and it's not because you have cancer. One thing's for sure...you will never be boring!

I have a good friend who also doesn't believe in God. She used to say to me, "Pray to your God for me, ok?" Want you to know that for what it's worth, I'm always doing that for you.

Always keep the laughs. N

Shin said...

Writerinresidence,

Consider yourself in good company. I don't know ANYONE who enjoyed working with me.

But four of my former bosses and many of my former colleagues are now close friends. I've kept in touch with some of them for over fifteen years.

Another funny thing... I think I was also lousy as a girlfriend, but almost every guy I've every gone out with is now a good friend. I've kept in touch with many of them for over ten or fifteen years.

I guess that means I'm okay as long as you don't have to work with me or go out with me. Poor Tony... he kinda has to do both.

Connie said...

Hi Shin.

It's me, Connie, the psoriasis patient here. I just read your new blog post. As a human being, no one in this world is pure perfect.

Like me - maybe due to my illness, I didn't have a presentable outlook just a few days ago when I was on my way back home waiting for the bus. Suddenly, a lady asked me loudly, "Hey miss! Are you having AIDS?" ("Do you have AIDS?") I said no and stood far away from her. Then she came to me again and said, "Hey! I'm sure you are AIDS lah! Why you still come out? You should go for doctor or stay alone don't come out!" By that time I really couldn't control my temper anymore and I replied to her, "Hey aunty! You have family too better not to insult or people this way! Who knows might be one day you family will get sick more serious than me!" I didn't want to yell but somehow I couldn't control it!

Shin, everyone has a temper; it's just that we don't show it if not provoked by some issue. But what I really admire about you is you are more sick than I am and you are still so positive-thinking. I'm not trying to flatter you at all.

You know what? I'm really scared my skin will get dry and my whole body will be paralyzed, or if not, I will feel a lot of pain or my skin will burst and bleed on some part of my body. I know how a patient feels as I am one!

Shin! I'm sure you will have many moments to feel upset. Just to let yourself be angry will make a sick person more sick. Here, I'll share with you an idea. Hope you will like it!

(E)-Emotion control
(N)-Nutrition
(E)-Exercise
(W)-Water
(S)-Sun
(T)-Temperance
(A)-Air
(R)-Rest
(T)-Trust

Wish you have a good day!

Regards,
Connie

Lina said...

Hi Shin,

My name is Lina. Nice to know you. I learned about you on last Tuesday's interview on Channel 8.

Happy belated birthday.

I hope God will give you the best time as you wish.

Moon said...

Hi Shin!

I am touched by your determination and courage. I am a breast cancer patient too. I believe we still hang on because of the love from our loved ones. So do not give up; let's JiaYou and continue to fight this battle.

Anonymous said...

Shin,

I felt sorry for you when I read those thoughtless and hurtful comments which I thought were cruel. I thought of asking you not to publish them because I understand that you mean for this blog to be read by your children in the future. But on the other hand, I feel that you were very tactful in handling such people, which I hope will show your children, when reading this in the future, that their mother was a person of GRACE who could take criticism.

I sincerely hope that your children, when reading this, can learn about your bravery, optimism and strength. Hope you are not affected by those types of comments because I am sure those are people who may simply be jealous of your strength and the love you have from so many people (be it from cyberspace or in real life) :P.

Yes, you are right that there are many courageous fighters who are just not being filmed. No matter what, you have CERTAINLY MOVED, TOUCHED, MOTIVATED, CHANGED many people IN A POSITIVE WAY!!! I'D LIKE TO SAY A BIG BIG THANKS AND NEVER GIVE UP OK?! : )

Shin said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for your spirited defense, but I really don't think Dee's intention was to be hurtful. I think she (he?) had valid points to make.

In fact, I respect the fact that she spoke her mind, knowing that other readers would probably disagree with her. So, no pity on the dying lady. I appreciate her honesty.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin.

Everyone has weaknesses, shortcomings, faults. You don't have to doubt or feel undeserving of all the praise. I believe everyone knows you are not 100% perfect, but we see the strong, optimistic, positive part of you.

And it's great that you have a positive impact on those who are going through sadness, depression, etc.

Daniel said...

Hi Shin.

Thanks for letting us know the real you. I appreciate your forwardness. I think it's important for anybody to know that nothing or nobody is perfect.

Anonymous said...

Hello Shin!

Well, everyone's imperfect. We can be oh-so-great in front of people, yet bitchy inside. Human beings just need to get wacky and crazy at times. And, judging by the comments people send you, you should feel happy that many people have learnt many things from you even though you might not know them.

Cheers,
: )

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you apologised!

:D

PencilDot said...

You are writing a story of your life. Filled with the struggles of an ordinary being going through something extraordinary. Whether it is a story of victory or tragedy will depend on you.

Well, you definitely have us cheering for you.

More useful sites to add on to your blog. :-)

Cancer

Chemotherapy Side-effects

Deb said...

This post made me smile because of the truth behind it and I thought I’d add to it.

You’ve been a close friend for many years so I think I can say I know you well enough to comment. You have made me laugh along the way but I’ve also shed some tears too. I’ve been angered by your quick words but I’ve also been touched to the core by your kindness.
They say if you truly love someone you’ve got to love the good and the bad, because both run through us all and I know you are loved by many.

Can any of us really say we go through this life without anger or bad thoughts?
To do that we would be saying this is a perfect world and I am the best person I could possibly be. We know this is not a perfect world, far from it and we should never stop trying to better ourselves. Show me the perfect person!

I think it’s all about balance and your goodness outweighs the badness and you see your faults and acknowledge them.

I understand the admiration you are getting from people but I also know you well enough to know that you’re doing it this way to leave something special behind for Josie and Toby. This battle hasn’t been about you for a long time, it’s been about them and you’re doing a great job....despite your faults :)

Love you XX
From one of those damn pet owners.

BTW I still put all my correspondence to you through the spell check :)

Anonymous said...

hi shin i think you are so very wonderful
when you have a cancer and then you can handle your family so well!
i'm not a mum
i'm just a little girl
and i have some question .
you know i like chinese alot !
and my dad say he would let me join the higher mother tounge at first
and then when he saw the remarks my teacher gave me he banned me from going there
i was the first in the class for chinese
just because my english teacher says that to me he don't let me join it anymore!
and some more i got the best score on the chinese exam !
i like chinese alot !
it is my best language ever
i love it as a chinese
why don't he let me join it i hate him!
i wonder why must we have a word like dad or daddy and papa
i hate all those word
and thank you shin your blog is so very wonderful!
ps:i feel better after pouring out all this to you shin!

Shin said...

Anonymous,

I'm not quite sure I understood you correctly, but I think you said that your father won't allow you to join a Chinese class? And this is due to something your English teacher said?

My guess is, your father is concerned that you will fall behind in your English. Perhaps he's so confident in your talent in the Chinese language that he thinks it better for you to concentrate on something that you're not as proficient in?

Whatever the reason, I'm positive that he's thinking about what's best for you. I know that's what all adults say, and I heard it plenty while I was growing up (I was always fighting with my parents.) But now I realize that no matter what we fought about, my parents always tried to do what they thought was best for me.

Maybe you can make a deal with your father: If you can improve your marks in English class, he'll allow you to join the Chinese class?

Let me know what happens. I'd like to hear from you again.

anu chia said...

Hi Shin

Like all others who knew about the show, I too watched it with my hubby, Eric.

Eric identified with your remarks, that it is more difficult for the people you leave behind, (Tony to deal with Josie and Toby when you are gone). He nodded his head and quietly uttered 'yes'. He did not say anything to me. But I know the pain that he too went through when he became a widower at 39 with two children, aged 11 and 14. That road was a trying one without their mother.

But in today's era of modern technology, it is heart warming to know that both Josie and Toby are able to know more about you through the blog as well as through all the little momentoes that you have lovingly cared to do and leave behind for their discovery later on in their lives.

My admiration goes out to Tony for being so forthright and candid on TV.

As for you, Shin no words can describe you. You have been so so honest about your character and faults and opinions, that none of us can even claim to be one 'iota' (not sure of spelling) of you.

I guess that's life. It is difficult to say what we feel to everybody. We can do that with some very very close friends, but by and large, I think we will be embarrassed to say what's in our head to all in general.

So I have learned some things from your blog. That is, be happy that I can be truly honest with just these handful of friends. That to me is an achievement.

Warm regards
Anu Chia

Shin said...

Anu,

Thanks for posting your comment on my blog. I'd like readers to see that there are other cancer survivors like you, and caregivers like Eric out there who add to the understanding and wisdom of all of us.

You and the other ladies from the BCF Dragon Boat Team have taught me so much. You're a remarkable group of women. I'm really lucky that I got to meet you and paddle with you, even if it was for only a year. I hope to be back out on the water with you some day.

By the way... I'd always wanted to try Dragon Boat Racing, ever since I first laid eyes on a Dragon Boat in Hong Kong over ten years ago. But it wasn't until I was diagnosed with cancer that I actually gave it a try. I'm glad I did.

yorksun said...

You do have your faults, or perhaps "spice", but no one is perfect. I feel that you are a good mother though. You are also very confident.

Shin said...

Yorksun,

"Confident" is one way to put it! : ) Most people would say arrogant. Anyway, thanks for putting a positive spin on it!

Ping said...

Dear Shin,

When I first saw you with a cute little girl in the Starbucks at Siglap, I admired you! I was sitting beside you and I saw that you were enjoying your breakfast and had a wonderful time chatting with the little girl.
Shin, you amazed me! Just wanted to say take care and God bless!

Sychan said...

Hi Shin.

I watched the documentary about you, and I cried as I was very, very touched. You are fantastic, you are very very strong. I am glad to "know" you through this program, to learn from you (just in case I am diagnosed with cancer some day). For now, I will use your story to share with friends who need some encouragement and who have missed this show. You are great! You have two lovely kids and a wonderful hubby. I will drop by your blog again to wish you a happy birthday on the 12th Nov.
I am especially touched by this answer you gave - you think it's better that you have the illness, rather than anyone else you know, because you can handle it. Keep it up and I sincerely wish you and your family well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shin.

You know, on this Jekyll and Hyde thing... it set me thinking about all the assumptions I have about you after watching the Chinese documentary.

Reading your blog the next day created more fairytale assumptions on your "greatness". Gosh, you must be the strongest woman on earth, or so I thought. As I move through your postings, I realise, you are human after all.

I must admit I was at zero-productivity that work day as I reflected on what is happening in here, what goes on in your thoughts. Just don't tell my boss.

But I have to tell you, if there were any reasons why I am following your blog, it is your love for your children and how it set me thinking how much more I could love mine and SHOW them I really do. If there were any reason why I feel regretful after reading your blog, it was for your children and how my heart aches at the thought of putting my kids in the same position. If there is no miracle cure for you, I hope there is time enough for the children to plant deep rooted memories of you. If there were anything I'd like to hope for you other than a cure, I hope the transition of your death (if and when it happens) will be easier for your children.

It set me thinking that I should finally quit some unhealthy habits to reduce that chance of letting the same happen to my kids.

Hang on, I know you are trying hard now. For those children of yours with big round expressive eyes. Hang on to the thought that they need you, draw more strength from it, use this thought to pull yourself up should you ever feel lousy.

Happy happy birthday in advance!!