- Dear family, friends and well wishers,I am the mother of Jie Er, a 8-year-old girl who is a jovial, beautiful girl... an angel sent from heaven. You might have come across an article that shared her story recently on zaobao. You can read the brief article at - http://www.zaobao.com.sg/znews/singapore/story20170125-717755 , full article at - readsph.sg/wb3in1I still remember that the moment she opened her beautiful eyes to this world, unlike other babies, she smiled instead of crying. Jie Er is a very special child and has brought a lot of laughter to not only my family but to everyone she meets. She is my eldest daughter and has helped looked after her two younger sisters. Our life changed the moment she was hit with high risk deficiency leukemia. In 2016, it was her first year in primary school but she often missed classes due to symptoms like fever, headache and easy-to-get bruises. We brought her to several clinics and children emergency centers after noticing frequently occurring fevers and headaches.In Feb 2016, we noticed a small reddish bump on her head but even after X-rays and scans, we did not find anything. In March 2016, we insisted on surgery to take it away as the bump kept on getting bigger and bigger even causing her to lose hair. Two days before the surgery, the bump burst exposing white tiny spots. It seemed like pus to us so we just cleaned the wound like you would do with common wounds. But to our horror, hours later, we noticed that there were crawling objects in the exposed wound. After observing thoroughly, we noticed that there were worm like living creatures wriggling in the wound and my girl kept on screaming in pain.
Without second thoughts, we rushed down to the hospital and an operation was performed immediately. On 1st April, doctor gathered our family and shared with their diagnosis that Zelle was suffering from leukemia and she would need to go through chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. The doctor also informed us that our daughter would need to stop her school and undergo all the surgery and procedures.Upon hearing this, my heart shattered into a thousand pieced and I could not believe what I was hearing. I felt so helpless and hoped that it was just a nightmare. For the first time in my life, I couldn't hold back and cried in front of so many strangers for hours.
When I broke the news to my girl, telling her about the situation and what she would be facing. She promptly asked me "Mummy, why out of so many people in this world, it had to be me to suffer all this pain?" I held back my tears and told her: "Darling, you are not the only one who is having cancer and life is never fair. Just promise me that you will not give up and I promise you, no matter happens I will be by your side. Let's fight this battle together. You have to be strong for me because I love you too much and cannot afford to lose you."
Day by day, her tolerance started draining out, as she was losing her faith and constantly questioning me. To keep her going, I had to lie to her time to time that things will be back to normal soon though I knew I am only lying to ourselves. I told myself I had to be strong and never to shed a tear in front of her but it hasn't been easy. She saw my tears and she told me "Mummy, don't cry, I will be strong and fight this battle for you."
I am very fortunate to have a very sensible and courageous girl. She's the one who makes me strong and inspires me to keep going on. It hasn't been easy for me to write these milestones as they reminds me of the agony and misery we have been through. It is a rare case whereby even the doctors encouraged me to share my story to increase public awareness.
In June 2016, my third youngest daughter had to undergo the knives as she had a cyst near her liver and hernia. That month was the worst part of my life. My youngest daughter, aged 1 year at that moment was in ICU with 12 tubes all over her body. It was double blow having to see another child suffering. I had to run from ward to ward till people around me asked me. It seemed like the world had given up on me, two kids in the hospital undergoing surgery. Everything seemed so unreal, how could this be happening to me at one go. I am right now totally drained out mentally, physically and financially. During those moments, I blamed myself for everything.
In Nov 2016, my girl found a donor for her bone marrow. It was a difficult decision to make as I was told that the transplant could be fatal. The transplant carried 50% success rate so I was afraid to make the choice. Even if the transplant were successful, she could still be facing relapse and have a higher chance of getting other types of cancer. After hearing this, I was in dilemma but still I had to make a decision.
Eventually, I discussed the consequences with my daughter. This seven-year-old girl was more brave than me as she said: "Mummy, I would rather take this one time risk than to wait for miracle to happen by going through chemotherapy." Since Nov, she has been in the hospital, spending her Christmas and new year in that cold compounded room.She starts to want new toys and stuffs to do. We always try our best to gives her what she wants. It had been so long til her younger sister misses her. Had been crying almost every night wanting 姐姐. Our heart sunk.With the help and support of the community we have been able to pay for the treatment cost, however we appreciate any help as we have a long journey ahead. Thank you for reading this.
Lastly, I would like to thank my mother in law for always being there for me and being so understanding as she never forgot about our baby girl in the hospital and helped me look after my 2 daughters at home. God Bless and thanks for your prayers.