knitting for the soul

I picked up a new skill? Hobby? Maybe?

It’s quite hard and I have mad respect for the ladies at the volunteer place and whoever who can knit!

Also, just want to take the chance to give a shout out to those who have cancer and also to the survivors! Every week I interact with patients while they undergo chemo and it has changed my perception of the disease and they people who have it.

Now that I am starting to have a better understanding of it, I feel really silly to have had the initial impression of how cancer patients should look like or what they would be like. They’re really just like everyone else, except with an extra struggle. They shouldn’t be defined by it, yet they are.

In fact, this goes out to anyone who has had to hide their medical conditions because they refuse to be defined by it. People shouldn’t be defined by the flaws and their short-comings. We should all be given the chance, to beat the odds and have a fair chance to define themselves, according to themselves.

don’t just say thank you. say it with their name too!

In the midst of all the stress from finals, I have entertained countless thoughts on bailing on friends and escaping my other commitments that were considered “time wasted that could have been put into studying”. But after gathering my thoughts and courage, I have conquered my demons and avoided cancelling on my other commitments.

So this morning, I found myself grateful to have decided to pull through with my commitments.

Today at the cancer centre, I met a wonderful lady who I got to know over the few hours together. She was a survivor and still going strong. She got to know of my life plans and she was very supportive and reassuring.

The joy from knowing that she believes I’m on the right track, was translated into a more delightful mood. So as I interacted with the patients, I was really joyful and kind. The slightest bit of rejection was fleeting and did not hit me at all. Further down the ward, a patient thanked me and even said my name. I was really surprised that that hit me so hard. I was used to receiving thanks from patients but hearing it with my name made it so personal and impactful. :’)

Once again I was reminded why I do these things despite being busy with school and other commitments. It keeps me in check and prevents burn outs. There is a simple joy that knowing the patients are cared for, that satisfies me to the bone.

So hey, next time you thank someone, if possible, say it with their name too 🙂 you might just make their day!!

don’t pity cancer patients. pity yourselves

Cancer has always had this taboo that automatically labels cancer patients wrongfully and dramatically. With that, they become society’s pity parties and we put them in the “less fortunate” section.

I have lost loved ones to cancer but I never saw them as a “wasted” case. In fact maybe sometimes, I envied them.

Today being at the cancer centre made me relive this feeling of envy. You’d think that you’d see sad, sobbing people with really pale faces and bald heads when you enter a cancer centre. Damn, I was shook. It’s quieter than most hospitals. Patients are friendly and gentle. I have not encountered anyone with a bad attitude yet, which is surprising because you’d think that sick people are more impatient and irritated. I was so wrong. I was stationed at the third level chemo wards and it smelled of light jasmine. Patients sat on chairs, probably in pain, but still smiling at you as you pass them. If you had the chance to look at them, you’d never pan them out to be struggling with cancer because they looked happier than most people out there.

To the world outside, they are the unfortunate ones. I beg to differ. In fact, I think most of us outside are the unfortunate ones. We are the blind ones that fail to see life as we should, fail to live as we should, as we could. They see life differently, love better, think better, live better even with the cancer creeping in and messing with them physically. They remember to treasure the people around them, they know how to be kind and understand that other people suffer too- something many people fail to grasp.

I envy them because despite the fact that they are in constant physical pain, they still hope to live; they push on with the will to live. Many of us just go through lives day to day, being pessimistic and hating on our lives just because of the how ever often bad days.

Oh how I wish more people could experience what I did then maybe life will seem kinder to us as we grace through life with a different mindset and lesser ignorance.

Ps. To all the cancer survivors out there, I truly have mad respect for you 🙂