Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Thanks List

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and family!

For the rest of you... you people really ought to get a holiday like this. It's the best holiday ever. You get to stuff your face and drink all day, laze around and watch football and old Christmas movies on TV - all in the name of dedicating the day to being thankful. Good stuff.

I told you yesterday that I'd keep a list of the things I was thankful for throughout the day. This was my list:

- A good night's sleep.
- Pain medication.
- Oxygen machine.
- Tony giving me a kiss before leaving for work.
- My MacBook.
- My friend Katie who took me to chemo.
- My mother-in-law, Carol, who also came with me to chemo.
- My oncologist and her staff.
- Singapore's high-tech healthcare system.
- Funny, well-written, trashy novels.
- Chocolate croissant and hot chocolate drink - together.
- Kisses and hugs from Josie and Toby. Toby calls them "huggies" and "kissies".
- My "cough pillow".
- My friends Alan and Alison who divorced each other but didn't divorce me.
- Soft mattress.
- What-I-did-today e-mails from my friends Shelly and Deb.

Keep in mind this is just one day and the things and people I encountered during this one day. Tomorrow's list will be different. And so will the next day's. Ah! It's good to be alive to make new lists of thanks each day!


Anonymous said...

Dear Shin,

Good night's sleep is top on your list.

You've said in the past that you had insomnia. Have you been getting good sleep?

Shin said...


It's at the top of my list because it was the first thing I thought of in the morning when I woke up.

The Dexamethasone (steroids) I'm on for my lungs causes insomnia. But I also can't get a steady night's sleep because the kids wake me up or because I stay up late reading. It's my own fault, so I'm going to try to get to bed earlier. I'm a grown-up. Recognize problem. Solve problem. I can do it.

Julius No said...

You are an inspiration, Shin. : )


Julius No ( MD )

Shin said...

Julius No,

Just curious... what kind of doctor are you?

And where's your Thanks List?

Julius No said...

I am with SPECTRE (a non-profit organisation) and I am a specialist in a radiation centre in Jamaica.

Julius No ( MD )

P.S. I am thankful that my guano business is thriving.

MAM said...

What is a "cough pillow"?


Shin said...


It's a small pillow I press hard against my ribs whenever I cough. It lessens the pain somewhat. Neat trick I learned from the oncology nurses.

Ronnie Ng said...

I'm thankful for Oral B's Cross Action toothbrush, toothpaste, Gillette's Fushion blades, shaving cream, facial foam, & steam on the mirror... these are the very first creative things I get to do in the day.

I'm thankful for the newspaper boy & the morning radio DJs... Kellogg's Cocoa Frosties & soybean milk... chocolate chunk brownies, M&M's... Mega Mac, fries with lots of chilli sauce & mayonnaise. I'm thankful that Coke has no taste memory (unlike juices or coffee), so I can have five glasses a day & never get sick of it.

I'm thankful for Internet connectivity. It has made my world a bigger place, without having to leave my doorstep.

Shin said...

Ronnie Ng,

I hope that's not your usual diet! That's what's killing millions of Americans a year! Yikes!

Wei said...

Hi Shin.

I am back! It's really nice hearing about your Thanksgiving. I don't celebrate Christmas. I come from a very traditional Chinese family, but I always dreamed about Christmas trees, snow and turkeys!


Anonymous said...


I am not American, so Thanksgiving is not my holiday. But I think it is a good idea for everyone to have it, so we may realise and cherish what we have. Here is my list.

*Japanese curry udon - my favourite lunch. I just had it.
*good health
*healthy mum
*your cancer blog - really inspires me and a lot of other people, I believe.

Ronnie Ng said...

Dr. NO,

I've informed James (James Bond) about you, & he's coming after you soon, wherever you're hiding now...

Dr. Julius No said...

Replying to Ronnie Ng

Oh noooooooo!

Dr. Julius No

Shin said...

Ronnie Ng and Dr. Julius No,

I'll add this to my Thanks List:

People with a sense of humor and a willingness for strangers to laugh together.

Jason Goh said...

Hi Shin.

I am thankful for my friends & colleagues for remembering my birthday and celebrating with me.

Hopefully, you will feel good enough to entertain visitors soon, then we can all hold a party for you.

Till then, Happy Thanksgiving.


Jason Goh

Emily said...

Great idea, Shin. I never thought about my thanks list before. Here it goes.

- Money for meals
- Money for transport
- New hair clips that I bought at City Hall after work
- My job

I can't think of more to add.

lw said...

Hi Shin,

I LOVE this post - such an upbeat & insightful topic. I'm thankful for the love in my life (my family in the US, my dear partner here, my friends), the humor in my life (my wicked [sense-of-humor-wise] partner, Dilbert, the Onion, Garfield, Non Sequitur, etc)and the quality in my life (family, friends, health, satisfaction, view of the future).

I also LOVE my electric toothbrush & contact lenses...

All the best,


E x said...

Thanks for my Aunties aged 96 and 94 who gamble on slot machines, but have led such colourful lives, that we can't blame them for a tipple or two....

Thanks for "helpers" or maids who can take the flak of our day to day business and keep a cheery face, even when they're probably cursing us behind our backs

Thanks for my lovely sea view, which is wonderful even though some day it will change

Thanks for my thermal underwear which I will need tomorrow.

E x

Clarrisa said...

Hope I am not too late. : )

I am thankful for:

- my ergo baby carrier
- all the stationery supplies my DD has
- my roomy baby bag
- instant coffee mix
- concealer
- having Internet access
- my smart, infuriating, funny, amazing husband
- my two brilliant, gorgeous, zany, even more infuriating kids.

Clarrisa (thought I should leave a name. I am the *non*-holier-than-thou commenter from your previous post. :P)

HJ said...

Hi Shin,
This is not from me but something that Hana (my 6 year old) wrote.

My Thanksgiving Prayer
by Hana Rossi.

Thank you God for the family we have and friends and teachers.
Thank you God for the delicious food we have tonight for dinner and the fun day and night we had.
Thank you god for the animals and our houses. Amen
Let's eat!

I asked my 4 year old if she had anything to add- she said, "Nah, she got it".

I totally agree.

Nadya (via Peto) said...

Hello Aunty Shin,

Here's my list:

> Getting my content with just a little upright tilt and with my eyes close. [sic]
> Big Smiley "Good Morning!" from Mummy, Daddy & sometimes from "che che" although I wish she didn't have to bump my
head while doing so.
> Tasting all my fingies with daddy wrestling me and saying, "Don't do that!"
> Getting everyone's shoulder wet with my drool.
> Musical bunny, smiley flower & butterfly pillow.
> Less sweaty means I'm getting better.
> Gaining weight to catch up.
> No more daily hospice dressing.
> Healing stitches scars means fewer mummy's tears.
> Slight popping breathing means I do not have to face the scalpel for the next 5 years.
> Granny is better and no more hospital visits for daddy.
> Daddy still watches me while I sleep and whistles my favourite "me & my teddy bear" tune.
> Last but not least, My little "Shinsmile!"
> Oops! Too young to be superstitious but daddy does not wish to stop at 13, so to add on to the list:
"We All Love Toby, Josie, Uncle Tony and of course Aunty Shin!"

Daddy says just to let you know how I'm getting on and no prize for guessing who am I?

Shin said...


I'm so glad to hear that Nadya is doing well. I am sending her a "Shinsmile"...

Anonymous said...

Dear Shin,

I am happy to see one of my friends who used to be so dependent on others because of her own problems. That was 30 years ago. But today, she is showing much love and concern for others - she is a helper to many around her. She has her own family needs to attend to.

It is good to go beyond our own needs and wants to think of how others are benefitting and developing as individuals.

Christel said...

I am preparing a modified version of a Thanksgiving meal today and to prepare for this occasion, I was racking my brains for all the wonderful things (the big stuff) that have happened in our family.

I read your blog... I guess, I have forgotten all the small things that God has given us, all those that we have taken for granted. My list is as follows:-

Thank God for...

- meaningful dreams with good endings that make my nights.
- Josie [my daughter] being so quick to say "I'm sorry mama" when she sees my frustrated face
- Joel's (my eldest son) handsome face when he's trying to act manly in front of his friends
- Glorie (my middle child) being an exact reflection of myself always trying to retreat to my own shell (I know myself better, being with her)
- all the potential car accidents that didn't happen
- cookbooks and free recipes on Internet
- a husband who will praise me for my cooking (even when it is not up to my standard)
- comedies that give me a real good laugh
- toothpaste and toothbrush, without which no one will kiss me goodbye in the morning
- tears and pain that remind me that I am a human
- beautiful music and my piano
- no lifts in Hacienda Grove, so that my lazy muscles get to exercise daily. (I live on top floor)
- Little Einsteins (an educational VCD) that babysit my children so that I can space out.
- friends who are honest with me and have me in their hearts
- courage to write to you