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, 21 February 2011
i'm not okay.

I had enough.

To those of you who continuously ask me whether I'm okay or not, and seem to not believe me when I say I'm okay when I really mean it - here's some good news for you.

I'm not okay. Not at all. Not one bit.

Impatience and unbalanced hormones are both making my life miserable since radiotherapy ended.

Complete recovery from lymphoma seems unachievable.

Yes yes, call me a pessimist all you want. You think it's that simple?

You try having cancer when you're a teen who is stepping into adulthood, just wanting to have the time of your life with your family and friends.

Instead, you're isolated from civilisation and society itself. Why? The lack of white blood cells and your immune system being weaker than before. Your body cannot cope with the everyday germ, bacteria, or virus. Being infected can cause the cancer cells to massively spread to the rest of your body, namely your important internal organs. You can die just because of what is thought of as a minor flu among you normal and healthy people.

Hello! I didn't ask for cancer to happen to me. Especially not at this point of life when I'm turning 18 this year, and I was diagnosed in July last year! Just a few months more, and it would have been a year since lymphoma turned up unnecessarily in my life.

I tried to stay positive. I tried to be happy. I put a smile on my face whenever possible, I write cheerier entries on my blog, I avoid going online when I feel depressed and frustrated because I don't want to spread my unhappiness to others. I don't want to worry the people who care for me. I don't want them to feel sad or useless because they can't help lessen my pain. They can't help my cancer to just vanish into thin air and make me healthy again.

I'm sick and tired of all this waiting.

I have to wait for another agonising three months before I can go for another PET scan. I will only find out whether radiotherapy has worked its wonderful magic on me and make me cancer-free in three months' time.

Honestly, who doesn't hope for a complete recovery then?

But seriously, I no longer have high hopes for my next scan.

I had expected a complete recovery after six sessions of chemotherapy last year when I went for my first PET scan in December. Why? My doctor told me so. He said I have a high chance of complete recovery since throughout the last six months, my progress has been astoundingly great!

I made plans. Plans to finally spend time with my friends from school. Plans to go up to KL to meet up with two great people I have known online. Plans to find a job and lessen the burden of my parents who have been spending so much on my treatment. Plans to learn driving and be more independent. Plans to be a better daughter, plans to be a more responsible person.

All shattered in a matter of seconds, when the radiotherapist told me the tumour is still there, and I need to undergo further treatment.

The only good news? The tumour is smaller than before.

Fine, that's great. But to me, it's nearly like a "So what?" moment. I still have cancer. That tumour is still haunting me everyday.

I don't want to harbour high hopes on anything anymore, if it's going to result in broken dreams and a broken-hearted me.

Cancer has caused me to have this large gap between my friends in school and me. I feel like I missed out on countless conversations and fun times. I feel left out and forgotten.

Friends and friendships mean a lot to me. I'm a person who treasure friendships a lot.

No matter how much my mum tells me that friends, no matter how close they are to you now, will never stay your friends for life - I still hope that my friends can stay as friends. I hate arguments and misunderstandings between my friends and me. It really hurts me when something bad happens. Something that can cause the loss of a friend. It doesn't matter who is in the fault - whenever things go wrong, it just sucks.

I can cry on and off throughout the day, everyday. Till the problem is actually solved. To me, the possibility of losing a friend, or having a friend betray your trust - the pain is even more than falling out of love or having to deal with a breakup. I don't get romantic love at all, I'm more of a friendship love kind of girl.

I understand how all of them are busy with their own lives, with their own set of problems to solve. I understand. I really do.

It upsets me time and time again that when my friends are having problems, I can't be there for them. I cannot offer them a shoulder to cry or lean on. I cannot offer them a listening ear. I cannot give them a hug and let them know that I'll be there for them. It's just different communicating online and talking face to face.

I really feel like I'm just a fragment of my friends' past. A part of their memory. Someone who came into their lives, and is now a has been. I feel that cancer has robbed me of precious time to be spent with my friends.

I used to think that between family and friends, I'll choose my friends first. That's how much I treasure my friends. How much I love them. What I'm willing to do for them just to make them feel better, or to keep the friendship going.

It disappoints me, that friendships nowadays are so brittle and fragile. Some people are so selfish, they don't even consider your feelings. They'll do anything they can to achieve their personal goals, and hurting people along the way just doesn't matter, as long as they get what they want in the end.

I try not to rely on my friends too much, but I just can't. I trust them so much, love them so much. But what do I get in the end from some of my friends that were once so dear to me?

Hurt, betrayal, sadness, disappointment. Lovely presents, really. Just lovely.

Some of my friends that I can really trust and have no need to compete with them for anything are just so far away. I just wish I can fly off to another country and just spend time with them, pour my heart out, get some proper and mature advice and opinions.

Love yourself before loving others.

Guess what? I don't know how to.

I avoid going on Facebook, because going on Facebook can actually get me depressed. Why? I see photos of friends having a blast with other friends. Having a blast with college life. Having a blast working. Having a blast going out there and exploring the world.

Well, that could have been me.

I'm wasting my youth and the remaining years of me being a teenager - locked up at home, seeing the same things everyday. There's nothing new, there's nothing fresh, there's nothing exciting. My social skills are now nil, and I now stutter and cannot speak as fluently as I used to. I'm embarrassed of talking to people on the phone. I'm embarrassed to talk to people other than my immediate family members. I feel useless, I feel like I'm now disabled.

Compared to everyone and anyone of you that knows me, I feel inferior to all of you.

I don't want to be pitied by others. I don't want others to shed tears over my predicament.

And especially, I don't want to be famous and well-known because of me being a 17 year old going on 18 having cancer. No, please, enough of that.

I want to be known for something I'm good at.

I try not to wallow in self-pity. I'm aware that this is exactly what I'm doing. But I can no longer keep these thoughts to myself.

I'm mentally, emotionally and physically tired.

I'm not as strong as all of you think. I have those moments when I feel totally useless, weak and hopeless.

Don't be mistaken. I'm not giving up on anything. I'm not giving up on myself, nor the hopes of recovering.

I'm just going through a tough time, emotionally and mentally.

I'm just..not okay.

P.S.: I'll respond to comments, Facebook posts, Formspring questions and Cbox messages when I feel better about myself. I'm sorry. I need time, and time isn't on my side.


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