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.

motivation for pre-med and med students

Medical school is not a place for smart people, but for those who are insane enough to dream for it, pray for it, work hard for it and live for it.

It’s for those who are crazy enough to want the sense of purpose that fuels their veins.

And it is insanity, then let it be, for even if it means more sleepless nights, more examinations to pass, more years in university and more sacrifices to endure.

Nothing will change. I will still keep choosing this path over and over again even for a hundred more days and a thousand more years. And nothing in this world can stop me from taking an adventure as worthy taking as this, even for a million more lifetimes.

I stumbled upon this and I knew that this was the motivational quote I have been looking for for years. Every part of this quote, I am able to agree with, with conviction. Reading this quote gives me strength during burn outs and keeps me in track when I lose sight of what I want to do with my life.

I thought I’d share it with you guys, who ever is in the chase towards a life-long career like me too 🙂

donate $$ to save the world

If you have some spare cash please do donate to Doctors Without borders, otherwise known as Medecins Sans Frontieres 🙂

Click to donate: Donate

See: Donate to MSF

Also do check out their instagram: @doctorswithoutborders

mistletoe; heaven on earth

I know what you’re thinking, and no, this isn’t a love entry. Mistletoe is a flower, that signifies a meeting place where no violence takes place. In this piece, this meeting place will be St. Luke’s Hospital.

It’s beautiful. The place may look old, and run down on the outside, but inside, it’s beautiful and high tech. It even smells like citrus everywhere I went.

I walked in nervously, but I found my way to the meeting room and knocked on the door. A man that could be mistaken for a hongki, opened the door and welcomed me warmly. He politely asked me to take a seat while he finished his meeting with a woman on 6 beautiful acrylic paintings. Let’s call this man “John”.

Shortly after his meeting was done, an elderly Indian lady came in. She was clothed so well- you could easily tell she was of a certain social class. She sat down gracefully and sat like a queen as she proceeded to converse with John with gentle mannerisms and soft gestures. I came to learn that she was a patient of St Luke before, was an author, and with her retirement, she wanted to volunteer and contribute back as she thought that she was well taken care of as a patient. Let’s call her “Jane”. She went on to get to know me and she was very fond of the idea that a young student would take her time out to be at the hospital twice a week. “There should be more people like you.”, “So kind of you to do this.”, “You will be a great person one day.”- these are some of the things she kept repeating on and on during the whole meeting. I tend to shun away from such compliments but I decided to take them and recognize my own beauty within. People closest to me have been telling me the same things but I guess it coming from a stranger who has lived longer with more wisdom makes me more confident that the compliment was genuine and impactful.

I loved how the whole time while John took me to the rehab center and the wards, he emphasized a lot on preparing the elderly to function better after discharge and to help them have a positive outlook on life. They go through an hour of exercise everyday and they go through motor exercises and art activities to discover new hobbies and skills, which is more than what the renowned hospitals offer. I admire how Jane and John loved being in this place. I loved how many of them enjoy what they are doing. It’s hard work, it really is.

Today was truly a humbling experience. It made me more inspired to study harder and give back more. It reminds me of the career path I want to take and the commitment required to achieve it. I don’t mind living my life always serving others. People ask me what do I get from this. I always just tell him “The joy of giving is priceless.”. It really is :’)

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 🙂