Hello! I'm Leonie. I’m from Malaysia. I am nineteen this year, and I have Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma - a kind of blood cancer. I’m just trying to live my life to the fullest, without any regrets. I'm grateful that I’m still able to wake up to a brand new day and know that I'm still alive.

I refuse to refer to my condition as a disease. I would rather phrase it as a 'series of unfortunate events'.

I learn something new with each passing day. This is the story of my journey, and you're welcome to follow me in every step that I take.

If you would like to learn more about me and my condition, feel free to click on the navigations below. If you have any queries or would just like to say hello, drop me an e-mail at and I'll try to respond as soon as possible!



Monday, 27 September 2010

Hello readers! Hope all is well for you and the people around you. (:

For the majority of you who have been asking me, "Are you okay?" - I'm doing alright. Same old same old, really!

But honestly, you can't expect me to answer, "No, I'm not okay. I'm in the depths of despair."

I'm going to get criticised as mean and ungrateful, but before that happens..

I understand that people ask me that to show that they care for me. They're concerned about my progress. How I'm coping up chemotherapy and being isolated from the outside world.

Which is why I'm ever so grateful to the person that founded the Internet. A genius, indeed.

I could have been completely isolated from the world, but I'm not! Thanks to the Internet!

I'm starting to sound very obnoxious. Apologies, readers.

My motivation to study for SPM and do fairly well in it is definitely not constant. One moment it's there, and the next, poof! Vanishes into thin air. I sense danger if this continues to go on.

Have you ever experienced the feeling of knowing you are capable of achieving something, but due to little effort and drive, you end up failing instead?

I feel it all the time. Especially now.

If I want to, I can score 10 A+'s for SPM 2010 for all I care. In fact, anybody is capable of doing so! I believe all of us are smart and clever. Nobody is stupid. It's only up to us if we want to efficiently put our brains to work.

It's very easy for me to type this down.

But why is it so hard for me to execute what I say?

Sigh. I really want to do well. I know I'm capable of doing well.

Why can't I just get started?

Motivate me, dear readers. Please, and my sincerest thank yous.

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Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Don't Forget - Demi Lovato.

©fat owls.



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Tuesday, 21 September 2010
rollercoaster rides.

I have been an ungrateful brat for the past two months plus.

Let me start from the beginning as to why I said so of myself.

When we received the films from my CT scan, my parents and I went to see the doctor right away. As he was comparing the films from my previous scans and my most recent one, I realised that he didn't talked about the size of my tumour first.

Instead, he was mentioning that the cancer cells in my pancreas, liver and both my kidneys have been completely resolved.

While my parents looked absolutely relieved, I was in this state of confusion.

Why in the world is the doctor talking about three organs that is not really relevant to my condition?

So, after the doctor finished explaining the comparisons, I asked him what seemed to be a silly question.

"Doctor, what has my pancreas, liver and my kidneys have to do with my condition?"

Thinking back, I can laugh at how cute I was then.

My whole family assumed that I already knew that my cancer cells had already spread to my pancreas, liver and kidneys. That was in the report from my second CT scan dated the 16th of July. Back then, I was kind of busy recovering from my surgery, so I kind of forgot that there will be a report from that scan. I just found out about the report's contents yesterday after seeing the doctor.

To think that I blogged about how I was on this very fine line between life and death before this.

My mother said there is no point in letting me know anyway. She rather keep me worry-free for two months than to constantly think about my condition. I feel bad that my parents and brother have been worrying about me so much without me realising how major my condition was. Now I understand why my parents have been so reluctant to let me go out of the house and having guests to come over. I owe them a sincere apology, and a big hearty thank you.

My doctor said I was being 'protected'. Oh well. I'll take that.

I'm still in shock over this piece of news. But I'm glad that the cancer cells in said three organs are resolved.

My tumour which was measured to an approximate 11cm from before has reduced to 6cm. Hopefully after two more chemotherapy sessions, the PET scan will show me the results that I want to hear and know. I'm completely lymphoma-free then.

Yesterday's chemo session was tough. I experienced nausea the whole day, and I vomited twice. Sheesh. I'm really glad that's over.

Now, it's back to the usual routine of consuming a variety of medicine.

My doctor told me to study hard for my upcoming SPM examinations. He has confidence I will be able to sit for SPM this year. Sounds good to me! He also said that I'll be able to go for crazy rollercoaster rides after I'm completely cured from this condition. Anna and Jia Ying, this means our trip to Singapore's Universal Studios sounds very possible and relevant after SPM. ;)

And yes, I owe Ming Wei an email. I'm really sorry! My second email account has been problematic recently, so I can't reply just yet. It's been two weeks now. Oh gosh! Please forgive me! I hope you're doing fine! (:

Till the next entry, cheers!

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Saturday, 18 September 2010
Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees.

-Past and Present, ©KrnBrdMnNix.-

Up till this very second typing this entry out, I'm lucky that I'm still alive and well.

When I just found out I had cancer two months ago, a lot of people made the effort to contact me on Facebook and through calls and text messages to convey their well-wishes, support and encouragement for me. Close friends, friends, relatives, teachers, tutors - it doesn't matter who they are, I'm grateful and thankful for everything they've done for me.

There was a period of time when I was a mini celebrity among these people. I got a lot of attention, whether I liked it or not.

And then I found out something about a particular someone I personally know.

Said someone really loves attention. Said someone will do nearly everything and anything that's not against the rules or the law to attract attention. Said someone is a very loud person.

Nah, there's nothing wrong with all of those qualities about her, really. Said someone is quite likeable, and has many friends. Maybe it's just me, and I choose to be not that close to said someone.

I don't really talk to said someone unless completely necessary. I rather mind my own business. I don't dislike her, but said someone's presence makes me feel very uncomfortable.

Whenever I'm in situations that causes the spotlight to be on me, said someone will never fail to stare at me with 'the look'. I find it very difficult to explain 'the look' to my readers here, hence me calling the way said someone stares at me - 'the look'. It's as if said someone is very displeased that I'm gaining all this attention, even if it's just something momentary.

At first, I thought it was just me. Maybe I was just being too sensitive, or I was thinking too much into it.

After years of observation and confirmation from a close friend, I realised that all my thoughts and opinions about said someone were unfortunately true.

And finally, here comes the worst part.

Said someone actually loves attention so much, said someone wants to actually have cancer for all the attention said someone can get from it.

I was shocked. I was amazed. After the fact had fully sunk in, I couldn't help but feel disgusted at the same time as well.

Well, said someone isn't that active in the online community. But here's a message for that said someone.

You really have no idea what you're asking for. It's easy for healthy and cancer-free people to say that people who have cancer just have to undergo radiotherapy and chemotherapy. They're just words to some people.

Going for radiotherapy or/and chemotherapy isn't as simple as one may think. I can't say much about radiotherapy, but I can tell you, chemotherapy literally poisons the body. Chemotherapy kills both cancerous and non-cancerous cells. Chemotherapy has many side-effects, and can affect an individual during or/and after treatment. Side-effects include hair loss, mood swings, stomachaches, headaches, blurred vision, and nausea. There's more. Seriously.

You aren't encouraged to go out often because you have literally zero immunity. You have a high risk of falling sick easily. And if you do fall sick, the consequences are ten times worse than when an average person falls sick. It's because your immune system is nearly non-existent. You will not be capable of fighting viruses, germs and bacteria in/on your body like before.

You'll have scans to go for. You'll have needles constantly being poked into you. You'll have to deal with a strict diet. You'll have your blood repeatedly taken to check on the number of white blood cells you have. You'll feel tired far too easily, and too often. Your usual lifestyle before having cancer has to undergo a 360 degree turn.

Treatment and hospital stays don't come in cheap. Will it make you feel good knowing that your medical condition may be burdening your parents? Having your parents and family members adjusting their lifestyles to suit your needs? The worry and fear you have to put them through?

Seriously, what in the world were you thinking to even harbour the thought to have cancer just for the sake of attention?

When I found out I have cancer and knowing that there is this pretty large tumour situated right between my lungs and in front of my heart, pressing against my superior vena cava, it felt like I was standing on this thin line between life and death.

If I were to find out about my condition much later, I can't even bear to think of what might happen.

Problems that seemed so major before, actually seems trivial now, compared to everything I have been through. For the record, I went for a surgery before, was in a coma and even was sent to the ICU for that. I have to say, I'm proud to have survived all that. But of course, it would have been better if it wasn't necessary for me to endure procedures like that.

The moral of the story? Do appreciate your life as who you are now. Appreciate every single moment of your life. There are bound to be both good and bad times. You can't expect life to go your way every time.


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Thursday, 16 September 2010

Hello to all!

With this post, I would like to take the opportunity to sincerely apologise to everybody who had been worried about my recent state of emotions.

It was just a phase, and I got over it.

Thinking back about how I was this close to being depressed, I feel really stupid. I wasn't being sensible, causing people to worry about me like that. I'm even giving people the wrong impression of me, that I'm only all talk and I'm not capable of walking the talk.

The earlier posts have certainly been embarrassing. Haha.

But still, I'm not going to delete those posts. It's evidence that I do have my ups and downs as a cancer patient. Of course, I'm not going to be sad and depressed about my condition 24/7. To be honest, I can't be expected to be happy all the time either. I have emotions and feelings, like any other normal human being. This is to clarify those misconceptions, that cancer patients are either complete optimists or pessimists.

Ultimately, it still depends on each individual to accept the fact that he or she has cancer in a positive or negative light.

By the way, I'll be going for the usual blood test next Monday and a CT scan to check on the tumour. Right after, I'll be undergoing my fourth chemo session.

Oh yes! Thank you to everybody who offered me encouraging and supportive words by leaving tags and comments in this blog. It really means a lot to me, every single one of them. I'll reply each and every one of those tags and comments, but I'll take time. Do bear with me.

Cheers, and a very Happy Malaysia Day to my Malaysian readers!

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Sunday, 12 September 2010
missing key.

I lost it.

What is it, you may ask?

Well, it refers to my sanity. It also refers to my positive outlook on life. It can refer to the previous enthusiasm I had to fight cancer.

Where is it, you may wonder?

Well, even I myself have no clue. I lost it a few days ago.

If you find it for me, can you give it back to me? I think I really need it.

I'm already losing my social skills to talk and interact with people. I'm already cooped up at home, as if I'm serving a jail sentence. I haven't seen the outside world for ages, except for trips to Malacca and to the hospital for my chemo sessions. I have this constant fear that my friends will leave me and never come back. I'm really scared I can't live life as it was before. I'm afraid my life wouldn't be normal anymore after I'd completed my treatment.

One of my ultimate principles in life, is that I live to eat. Since getting cancer, I already lost the passion to eat. There are so many restrictions. I'm tired of not being able to eat this and that. My diet consists of the same meals everyday. I miss having spicy food. I'm losing weight. I don't have the huge appetite to eat like the last time.

My parents said no to my friends coming over to visit me. Sigh. I understand that they are worried for my health, but they wouldn't understad how lonely I am. At least they get to go out and work. And interact with people. I feel like I can go insane from being kept away from society.

I feel tired and upset. I'm sorry if I sound so emotional, I guess it's due to me being locked up in the house so much for too long. It's been two months, readers. Two months.

I honestly don't know how much longer I can keep up with all of these nonsensical issues.

Cheers. Hope you have a better life than me.

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Friday, 10 September 2010
flavour of life.

Hello readers. Sorry for the lack of updates, but I lack inspiration to write. There's so many things I can choose to talk about, but somehow I just don't feel like putting them into words. Not just yet.

To be honest, I have been feeling rather down recently.

I thought it would be easy to stay optimistic and positive. I assumed that my mood was going to be great every single day. I thought what used to be everyday problems seemed minor and insignificant compared to what I'm facing now. Hence, giving me no excuse to be unhappy.

I couldn't be more wrong.

I found out that I have this large tumour inside of me more than two months ago. For two months plus, I have been this happy-go-lucky girl. While I had some friends and strangers who cried over my condition, I didn't. I only cried over the fear of undergoing an operation for the very first time. I just concentrated on getting better. Life is simple, actually. It's people who tend to complicate things.

Recently, certain thoughts creeped into my mind without me noticing or wanting it.

Instead of my previous problems of fretting over my sleep-deprived self, worrying about unfinished school assignments, dragging myself to tuition classes, the school's long hours and the major examination I have to sit for at the end of this year, other problems seemed to have surfaced. Problems that would never have occured before I known I have cancer.

My close friends, classmates and schoolmates are quite convinced I'm able to get back to a very normal life after I'm done with treatment. Unfortunately, as much as I want my normal life back, even though I only found myself complaining about my life a lot before this, it seems quite impossible.

Just to think about having a simple meal with my friends, or anybody else at that, in the future, scares me. While for everyone else, it's difficult to even decide what to order from the menu, for me it's a completely different story. My diet is so strict and limited, I'm going to have to be very fussy about food choices. As much as I hate this fact, my friends might eventually find me a bother to ask out. I'm going to have to be picky about things that seems minor to them. They might start to leave me out from their social activities.

That probably means, I'm may have to face the situation of having no life after I'd fully recover as well. I'm already pretty much stuck at home due to having a non-existent immune system now, I'm afraid of what the future has in store for me.

I don't know, to my readers, this looks like that I'm complaining and whining about something completely illogical and nonsensical.

Basically, I'm scared I can't get my normal life back. I'm afraid that this condition of mine is going to cause permanent damage to my relationships and friendships. I'm already having minimal contact with my friends already, I'm losing out on precious time to spend the last few months of my high school days doing crazy yet memorable things with my classmates and schoolmates. I can't go out with my friends to hang out and chill together.

I already have my parents who are strict about me going out with my friends before this. Now it's that, added with this new condition of mine. Some people are sure not going to adapt to me, and I'm going to lose those friends. Some people are going to find me boring, and it's not worth being friends with me.

Call me paranoid, call me weird. I'm afraid. I'm scared.

And I don't know who can put my thoughts in place.

I need reassurance. Who's going to give me that?

Because if you can, I'll be eternally grateful to you.

If by now, you haven't figured out that I can't live without friends, just forget about this post.

P.S.: I miss my brother who's in KL right now. A lot. Here's a sincere thank you to him, for him calling me and asking about my condition. Not just once, but more than that. He's the only one who's pestering me to update this blog as well. This entry is for him. As depressing as it sounds. Sorry kor. (:



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Saturday, 4 September 2010
we are hardly satisfied.

It's been a few days since I last blogged here.

Well, there's not much to update about my life. It's pretty much the same old routine everyday.

My life at home now revolves around very healthy and nutritious food, sleeping a lot, watching nearly every show on TV that catches my eye, taking my medicine if there are any, and attempting to study for SPM 2010. Yes, I'm quite determined to sit for SPM this year. Or I will have to face the problem of having the syllabus for the literature components changed for both the Malay and English languages' papers.

I'm not encouraged by the fact that I need to learn and understand completely different short stories, poems, novels and scripts all over again if I were to take SPM next year. As much as I enjoy literature, I really don't want to endure a situation like that.

Oh yes, let's not forget updating my blogs. And going online replying messages and comments on Facebook.

I don't even have my life as a typical average ordinary student to talk about. As I blog-hop from one blog to another, I actually can't help but to feel jealous every time I see blog posts with photos of these young bloggers with their friends, having fun in school. Or hanging out with their friends. Just doing what a normal Malaysian student does best.

As for me, this was the life I had before. I didn't appreciate it enough though when I had it.

I was too busy trying to cope with the workload I had. It doesn't help that I'm a natural procrastinator. I put things off and I play hard first before working hard. The stress from my hectic schedules got to me, and I realised I never did stop to smell the roses once in awhile.

So there you have it. I am now a girl who is lacking in inspiration to blog. I do appreciate the comments, whether by commenting on my Facebook wall or by ear, saying how much I had inspired people with my story. I'm glad to know that. It feels like I am doing some good for this world of ours.

I feel guilty that I cannot come up with perhaps equally inspiring posts this time. Forgive me, readers. This blogger does encounter something called a writer's block occasionally. I just felt the need to update this blog tonight before I turn in for bed. Least I feel guilty in the sense that I did not update as often as I would like to as usual.

The moral of the story?

Do not take things for granted.
Do not take your loved ones for granted.
o not take those precious times with your loved ones for granted.
Do not take the memories you have for granted.

Do not take the things in life that you may seem to detest now for granted,
but will eventually come to miss in the future.

Till a more inspiring post, cheers to all!



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Wednesday, 1 September 2010

-Freedom, ©PuncieGraphics.-

Having two legs and two arms, I feel lucky for the gift of movement.

I think some of us take it for granted that we are blessed with a regular body. While some of us are complaining about fat thighs, love handles, a big nose or feet that are too small, some of us aren't that lucky.

Some individuals are disabled. Disabled in the sense that certain parts of their bodies are paralysed. Disabled in the sense that they are bed-ridden. Disabled in the sense that they had their fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet, legs, thighs amputated due to accidents or medical conditions. Disabled in the sense that they are subjected to using a wheelchair for the rest of their lives. Disabled in the sense that they may be born with deformities.

But no, we shall not pity the aforementioned people. We will not feel sorry for them.

In fact, I think we should treat them as equals. We should respect them and not take advantage of disabled-friendly facilities. In my humble opinion, they do not want us to treat them differently from how we treat others. They want to feel like normal people too.

I look up to them, for it is certainly not easy to get used to a lifestyle like that. They are strong, and they have to find ways and methods to face situations and daily routines. Activities that seem simple to us, may come through as difficulties and challenges for them.

Let's say, you want to brush your teeth. You take your toothbrush. Next, you want to squeeze some toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Simple right?

Now, in the eyes of someone who has lost the ability to use either one of their hands. Maybe both! Some have to resort to using their feet to brush their teeth. Other have to figure out another way to overcome what seems to be something easy for us with both hands and arms. Do you see what I'm trying to say?

I have experienced what it's like to be lacking in movement. Like the time when I went for a minor surgery to test for what kind of lymphoma I have. I was bed-ridden for a few days. I guess it was because I never went through a surgery before, I ended up pretty weak from it. I had to have nurses to help me clean myself.

I had experienced being pushed around with a wheelchair. After my second chemo session, one of the unexpected side-effects was me having pain and soreness in the bones and my muscles, which affected my entire left arm. I couldn't move it properly for nearly two weeks. And yes, it was certainly quite tough to get used to a new lifestyle in which I couldn't type with two hands, I couldn't move heavy objects, and even simple things like taking a shower or brushing my teeth was pretty difficult.

So to all my readers, do love your body. No matter of what shape or size you are, you are lucky for having the use of both your arms and legs. Movement is a blessing you know. A walk in the park to take in the sceneries, running to catch up with a friend or two, or even dancing.

Some of us may take the gift of movement for granted, but here I am, in hopes that we all can feel how blessed we are with this gift.

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