I came from a Buddhist background. My mother was a very staunch Buddhist deeply involved in the rituals of Buddhism.
Thus from young I was very exposed to Buddhist practices and Christianity had never come into my mind.
It was only when I attended Methodist Girls’ School and later Methodist Boys’ School was I exposed to Christianity. I loved
attending Chapel and singing hymns and gospel songs. These were the happier times in my life as I loved the serenity in chapel and
the beautiful lyrics in the hymns. I also surreptitiously attended Christian gatherings without my mother’s knowledge. My mother being a very staunch Buddhist would never allow me to go near any Christian gatherings or have Christian friends . Being brought
up in the traditionally Chinese way we were disciplined to be obedient and to follow instructions without protest. It was only after my mother passed away that I was free to make independent decisions.
The first church I attended was Wesley Methodist Church and I was blessed to be under the mentoring of Dr Ronnie Teoh who later became our family physician. Under him I grew in my Christian faith and made a decision to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior in 1982 and shortly thereafter underwent water baptism. Later, when Dr Ronnie moved to FGA Penang, I followed
When I read and meditated on the book of Job, I could not help but feel that I was undergoing the same kind of situation. I was perpetually confronted with problems one after another. In 1977, I experienced heavy bleeding and consulted Dr Ronnie at the Specialist Centre. He referred me to a gynaecologist Dr Kelvin Loh who did a biopsy and found a tumour in my uterus. The
tumour was not malignant but I had to undergo a hysterectomy which meant that my whole uterus was removed . In 1982 as I was about to go to Canada to visit my nieces I felt unwell. I consulted Dr Ronnie and was told that I had a serious thyroid problem. A scan revealed that there was a tumour there. I was then referred to Dr. Geh to have my thyroid gland removed. The tumour was sent for biopsy and praise the Lord it was not malignant.
In the year 2000, I felt very uncomfortable around my abdomen area. I consulted Dr PJ Wong who did a scan and discovered a tumour in my pancreas about the size of a tennis ball. The result of the biopsy was that it was a very rare tumour called gastro intestinal stroma tumour , in short GIST which was supposed to be rare and aggressive. However, the pathologist advised that it was low grade, not malignant and no further treatment was required.
In 2002, I again felt very uncomfortable in the abdomen area and consulted Dr PJ Wong who took a scan and discovered another tumour outside the small intestine. He advised to remove the tumour. The tumour was sent for biopsy and the same pathologist advised that the tumour was low grade and no further treatment was required. My daughter who worked for Roche, the international pharmaceutical company as a medical auditor, was not happy with this diagnosis and fixed an appointment for me to consult an oncologist at Mt Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore. I was shocked to be told that this tumour was in fact very aggressive. One compensating assurance was that for the moment the tumour appeared to be localised and not spreading but I must undergo oral chemo treatment. I decided to have my treatment in Malaysia.
Back in Malaysia Dr PJ Wong recommended to me Dr Zaatar the oncologist at Mt Miriam . I was told that I had to take this oral chemo tablets for life. The side effects were very bad. I had nausea, bleeding of the small blood vessels in the eye, gastric pain, low blood count and cramps. Over the years, I underwent a total of 8 operations. Because of the side effects of the medication, I suffered from serious osteoporosis which weakened my spine. I had an operation on my spine to fix 13 screws to strengthen it. I also suffered from heart problem and had to have a pacemaker installed to regulate my heart beat.
In all these, each time I entered the operating theatre I could sense the peace and assurance of God. I give praise to God in spite of my trials and tribulations. I cling to Psalm 23- He is my shepherd, I lack nothing, I have no fear because He is always there for me. I live each day at a time, meditating on His words and feeling Him close to me. I believe my trials have brought me so much closer to my Lord in whom I trust completely.
I know that God loves and cares for me for I have experienced it. Whenever I am lonely and in need of company, He will send friends who just drop by without any appointment just to have a chit-chat. Many times when I ran out of food, I will find packets of food like chicken rice hanging on my door . Praise the Lord for small mercies.
I do not understand and many times I have questioned God why such things happen to good people like Dr Ronnie and myself. One day when I meet Him face to face I will ask Him and I think then finally He will enlighten me and make me understand all this. Till then, I continue to place my trust in my God, believing that one day I will be in His warm embrace, be at rest and at peace , a wholesome person perfectly made without any defects.