Evidence that my brain is mush

One thing I always felt proud of was never having misplaced anything of importance, like wallets or phones. He has misplaced two phones and wallets. That clean record was shattered today, when we returned home from lunch with no keys to open the door.

The keys, with my wallet and card pouch, were nestled in a sling bag for convenience when baby wearing. The moment I realised, I felt the colour drain from my face. It could have been ANYWHERE. I remember taking it off in the bus, or it could be on the table at McDonalds, or the food court.

I brisk walked back to the mall, with questions flooding my mind, including “Oh no my IC is inside but if I need to renew it this year, do I still need to pay for the replacement? What about the CDA bank cards and debit card? Will someone post that they’ve found my bag on Facebook?”

There was only about $50 inside but if you’ve lost your wallet before, you’d know that the inconvenience of cancelling and reapplying for cards is worth more than the cash inside the wallet. The wallet was a gift from a dear friend and I wasn’t quite ready to part ways with it yet.

The first location I reached was McDonald’s. Negative. Neither the couple who took over our table nor the counter staff had seen it.

Ran up flights of escalators to the food court, back to the table we had our meal at. Nope. Nada.

I approached a cleaning auntie, who even before hearing my question, went “Nope nope nope I don’t know” in Hokkien.

I circled the table, trying to look for it when an elderly cleaning uncle asked if I was looking for something. He said he picked up a bag and passed it to the office and pointed me to the right direction.

At the office, the manager asked me to describe what I lost, its contents as well as the name on my IC. After verification, she handed the sling bag back to me, intact! 😍

The cleaning uncle told me that he saw the bag lying on the chair and immediately took it to the office. He kept repeating that he didn’t touch the contents inside. I was pretty sure nothing was taken though.

I bought him a cup of watermelon juice as a token because I felt it would be an insult to pass him cash. He even rejected the juice but I insisted he take it.

What a scare. It’s fated. I wasn’t sure where I lost it exactly, and if I had left it on the bus, the chances of retrieving it intact would be much lower.

I wouldn’t have thought of approaching the food court’s management office either. Most people go directly to the mall’s office to report lost and found items.

The entire incident was resolved in less than an hour. What a turn of events. I’m so incredibly lucky. 


The Apple

We have been suffering from a food strike phase where she rejects most foods except fruits and ICE CREAM. These days, she survives on a few mouthfuls of solids a day, a bit of fruit and breastmilk.

She suffers because she isn’t in the mood to eat and we have turned many hairs to white wondering how she can function with that little food. My husband is especially worried because he thinks kids will pick on her.

Coaxing doesn’t work. My husband suggested that we punish and force her to eat 3 full meals a day. I refused.

I rinsed an apple and bit into it so she could eat it easily. Wrong. Move.

Cue 10 full minutes of straight out wailing which saw her vomit. Her world crashed. Her computer system broke down. She screamed an error message of “NO! IT’S MY APPLE. MINE, MY APPLE” in between her sorrowful cries.

I sat silently across her, waiting for her to calm down. In a panicked voice, she requested to latch. I let her. When she unlatched, she continued her opera.

“Do you want a new apple?”

She nods.

“If I get a new apple, will you eat it?”

She nods again.

I rinse another apple, this time making sure not to bite into it and pasting the sticker labels onto the back of her hands.

“Omma, cheers”, she requests, passing me the apple with my bite mark and knocking it against her new one as an initiation to begin eating.


Now imagine if I lost my cool and whacked her for being noisy and throwing a tantrum? I wouldn’t have realised that she didn’t want me to bite into her apple and I would have made her very misunderstood and sad.


The tumour first made its existence known on Thursday. It is Sunday today and SO MUCH has happened. We managed to obtain appointments with two other top notch specialists who have experience with Retinoblastoma for their opinions on the case. In Singapore, removing the eye to preserve life is their firm recommendation. Dr Quah Boon Long, a top specialist who has handled many retinoblastoma cases was also point-blank in telling us that we should remove the eye in order to save her life and to not consider the other options. IV chemotherapy and targeted chemotherapy are possible options but the failure rate is high and it will subject Elise to prolonged stress and suffering. The best way to save her life is to enucleate her eye. If everything goes well, it is likely she won’t need chemotherapy. Survival rates are high as well.

My in-laws are hopeful that Korea has better technologies and advancement (they do see a lot more cases than NUH does simply due to the sheer number of people living there. Higher population, more cases). We booked tickets but Elise fell very sick so we missed our flight. However, it also seems that the treatment in Korea is not suitable for Elise as she is too young. Looks are very important in Korean society so their first goal is always to save the eye.

It has been very stressful on my husband more than it is for me. After seeing Dr Quah, it is confirmed that this is the best way. My husband is alone and his family and friends are worried sick as well. It is much tougher on him. Over here, I have a lot of support to fall back on. There has not been one person who was not understanding of our situation. It’s a whole lifetime of gratitude debt (人情债) that I owe family and friends. My friend actually secured a next-day appointment with Dr Quah for us when even NUH could not contact him. She also came all the way down to my place with a luggage full of winter clothes and emotional support. She did all these for me when we had never even met before. The October moms want to organise a playdate for Elise before her operation too and have offered to do crowdfunding if the need arises. I bought private hospitalisation shield insurance for Elise so treatment in Singapore will be paid for.

I requested for prayers, we have so, so many people keeping us in their prayer list, including people we don’t personally know! 包个了. Our main concern now is for her to recover so that she can do her operation without complications. Other than that, she is still the happy bubba that we know!


Tearing tissue into tiny little bits and offering it to Mommy