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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weather changes and 11 Months of Rust


Assalammualaikum.
I reached Malaysia on the 13th of July, that was a Friday.

I was in the plane for more than 13hrs in total, and since we are not allowed to bring bring in more than 100ml of liquids into the plane, I forgot to keep myself hydrated. The excitement of coming home was a big contributor as well, I suppressed all the thirst I had, and also the fact that I sat next to the window, which means furthest from the air stewardesses, and it'll trouble them (and the persons next to me!) if I always ask for water.

And since I did not inform my parents of my arrival, I had to take public transport home, strolling two big luggages and another laptop bag. By the time I got home I was so thirsty I drank almost 1l of water. Apparently it was too late.
That night, I started having sore throat and the next 2 days saw me lying on the floor, bed or carpet, wilted.

My relatives from Jakarta also arrived on the same weekend, on Saturday night. I was too wilted to meet them that night, I only joined them for breakfast. The next 7 days were hectic. I went for a day trip to Malacca, drove a 2-day trip to Penang, day trip to Genting Highlands, covered most of the shopping complexes in KL and in between, the fasting month started with me not fully recovered yet. Haha...
My relatives were here for 10days. Right after they went home, I fell ill again and laid on the bed most of the days, going out only for iftars with family.

With the fact that I do not have data plan on mobile, I barely able to go online since July 15th thus explained the absence from this blog =)
But I'm back now, insyaAllah.

I found my "Malaysia mind" rusted.
I used to drive everywhere in KL but since last week, I noticed that I can't remember most of the roads. I made countless futile U-turns and went for wrong turns almost half of the time. With my relatives, I drove blindly heading towards KL trying to remember which route to be taken. I was too embarrassed to call my dad in front of them, admitting I cant remember the road. Haha... Alhamdulillah, I managed to remember the road halfway there.

I can't remember where did my mother keep the toiletries stock. I thought it was on the shelves above the washing machine when my siblings pointed out it has long been shifted to the shelves under the TV *facepalm*.

And the shop lots in front of my housing area has developed! It wasn't there 11 months ago. Now the lots are full with shops. And there is already a Wong Solo restaurant branch opened in Kajang. I want to eat there!

But apart from that, nothing much changed. My mum kept saying that I am still the same, old me. My aunties said I "grew up". When asked whether did I grow up horizontally, or vertically, she said both.
And a friend of mum said "She looked different". I'm pretty sure that that means "She's a bit flesh-ier" =.="

And oh, dengan kereknya I always divide the prices by 5. RM25??? £5 only..
RM96? Waaahhh.. £20! Hahaha.. To guide me in buying stuff here. I plan to bring handbags and clothes back to UK. A simple, cheap, non-branded handbag costs at least £8 over there while the same kind of handbag cost only RM25 here. In addition, I prefer the designs here than over there! Times Square, I'm coming to you!

Okay, gotta start doing something else now!
Lots of things to do.
Hurm.... :( I have only less than a month left in Malaysia :(

-Because life is a test-




-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Posted on Sunday, July 15th. More than 36hrs of being home :)


----------------------------------------------------------

I bent my spectacles.
That will be the first thing I want to say. *sigh*
Guess what, I am now writing this in the Malaysia Airlines flight from London to Kuala Lumpur and I’ve travelled 8, 491km for the past 9 hours. We are now 35,000ft from sea level, the pilot announced we will go until 37,000ft but there’s only 3hrs left. Will he? Think so.

And guess what, my family does not know of me coming home today. Hahahaha.. I told them my flight will be on Saturday the 14th thus I’ll reach KL on Sunday the 15th. Truth is, I depart from London on Thursday 12th July and will be reaching on Friday the 13th. Yes, I am that nasty. The only family member who know this is my sister and she’s unable to drive. So that’s the major drawback of this “brilliant” plan of mine. I would have to get my own transport home, carrying two heavy luggage. Sister, why u no able to drive? At least come and fetch me and I’ll drive us home! But anyway, my plan is such a typical plan of students studying overseas. No? I can’t wait to see the shock and surprised faces of my family when they see me coming down of a cab later this evening, and also the giggles of my sister.

Before sleep, I took of my specs and hanged it in front of me, on the pocket behind the front seat where all the travel magazines etc are put. I do not know what I did in sleep, I can’t find the specs when I got up. It was on the floor, bent. Thank God I can still wear it, and see clearly (or else I won’t be able to write this) but one can clearly notice the sloppiness of the glasses on my face. I’m sure. Haishh…

I took the flight to Manchester at 1540hrs yesterday and spent 6 hours loitering around Heathrow before our connecting flight at 2200hrs. The flight from Manchester to London was operated by BMI and man it was such a tiny plane. Really tiny. I wanted to laugh when I see it. There were only 3 rows in it. Oh, now I know. I think the interior is as big as an express bus, but way longer to the back. And so with such a small plane of course the journey wasn’t as smooth as this journey on MAS. It was bumpy most of the time and by the time I got down of it, I felt so nauseous and sick. And the fact that I did not have a proper lunch made it worse. And in Heathrow, there was no food! In the terminal, after passing through the custom, they were only WHSmith, Pret-a-Manger and Costa. The rest are restaurants. And you knew it too, only rich people eat in restaurants in an airport. The prices are crazy. £10.95 for a plate of fish and chips? No thanks. I can eat 5 sandwiches from WHSmith.

So I can’t wait to get onto MAS plane. I know they will serve food. And true enough, within 40 minutes of taking off and everything settled down, I got my delicious plate of Chicken Briyani. Nomnomnom. I was very tired and sleepy by the time I finish everything, I fell asleep in no time. And that was when I bent my glasses.

When the plane took off just now, I had millions of butterflies in my stomach and goosebumps too! You know the feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and the safety belt has been fasten around you, and the roller coaster is moving slowly up the slope? That feeling “Oh heck, I do not want to ride this anymoreee!!! Please get me off!! Stop the machine!!” because you know the roller coaster is going to speed downwards and turn and turn and turn eating your heart out, once it finished the slow and steady climb up? Well, I had that feeling when this plane was moving slowly on the airport track. Looking for it’s platform and then speed up faster than you can imagine, with the grasses being blown by the strong wind of the wings, then take off. That time, I felt so vulnerable. My whole life is not in my control, at all. There is nothing I can do if the plane malfunctioned. At least if we’re in a car, I can jump off it if the brake is not working (ok, too much of action movies). That was the time I felt very very dependent on Him, to take care of our journey, Not the pilot. It’s Him.

Anyway, I have about 2+ hrs more, the crews started to serve breakfast.

I’m in a flight, thus no internet thus am writing this in word document thus, do not know when can I post this,
If I can post it in KLIA, thank God.
If not, at home maybe?

_________________________________________

Posted on Sunday, July 15th. More than 36hrs of being home :)

-Because life is a test-






-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Of Coming Home

No one can ever describe the feeling of going home after almost a year. No one.

I left Malaysia on 23rd August 2011, and I bought my ticket home in January to come back in July.
In the week that I bought the ticket, I can't wait to go home. I started thinking of what to buy, who to buy gifts for, where to buy, how to bring back and luggage allowance. I started thinking where would I want to go once I'm back in Malaysia, what dishes I want to eat, what do I want to buy and post here etc etc.

Then, the feeling sort of cool down. I became preoccupied with my studies thus even though "going back home" is in my head, it wasn't occupying much space.
Until July came.

I can't sleep well these past few days. I'm imagining how will my family react when they saw me. How will I grab them and not wanting to let them go. How I will open all my luggages full of gifts for them, the night of my arrival itself.
How I will see the smiles and laughters in them.

I'm excited and exhilarated.

But then again, I know that I will be coming here again.
Fatin left UK after graduating, and she is feeling sad for leaving Manchester, the place where she matures.
And seniors who have just graduated are posting how sad they feel about leaving the places they study in facebook.
I think I will feel the same thing once my studies here are over.
To feel sad to have to leave this place, my room, my house and the hospital.

But oh, cut that off.
I'm coming homeee!

I've always wanted to post this lyric,
I'm coming home
I'm coming home
Tell the world I'm coming home


Funny enough, a year ago my lyric was,
I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky



-Because life is a test-





-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SSC in Oncology

Assalammualaikum.

We have to do two SSCs in year 3 and two more in year 4. SSC stands for Student Selected Component and it takes 4 weeks to complete.
Towards the end of semester, the choices for SSC will be released and students are to rank 8 of them.
I don't know how the selection is done but, after a few weeks the result of the matching will be out. Last semester I got my first choice, that is in Cellular Pathology. This time I got my second choice, that is in Oncology.
Syahidah, my housemate got my first choice; Pleural Diseases. That was her first choice as well.

Last semester during my Cellular Pathology SSC, I get to watch a post-mortem for the first time and even wrote about it. This time, I was too preoccupied with the project itself and some other matters, I always procrastinate writing about my project.

"Onco" means cancer. And "logos" as most of us know, means the study of. So Oncology means the study of cancer. Make sense?
But Oncology is such a huge and specialised topic, how am I supposed to do a 4 week project on it? Well, the name of my SSC is actually "An Introduction to Oncology".

The first day saw me following one of my supervisors (there were two of them), a Brain and Gynae Oncologist to his "planning" session. That is him looking through the scans and images of people's skull on the computer, looking for the tumour and marking its perimeter with various different colours. He was actually marking the sites on the head where the respective patient will get the radiotherapy at. The markings he planned on the scans in the computer will be interpreted by a radiotherapist and marked using some sort of a tattoo on the patient's scalp/face/skull. That will mark the site of highest radiotherapy radiation. It is like watching movies where people has the blueprint of a building with beautiful designs on the computer but this one, is a brain rather than a building.

Then he went to his ward round where I saw a lady who was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer that has spread into her pelvic cavity.
She has not come to terms with her cancer, and was expecting the doctor to cure her to her normal self, free of diseases and discomfort, while the doctor saw no other reason for her to continue being in the ward and has ordered for her discharge and to meet only as an outpatient. She refused to be discharged saying that she wants to get better before leaving the hospital. And she looked horrible, crying her heart out.
I felt so bad for her.
In a way, I was unsatisfied with the doctor's way of explaining the current situation to her, since he did not even mention the prognosis explicitly. I think he made the lady think that her cervical cancer is curable. But, the lady has been in the ward for almost a month and that was not the first time the doctor had to explain things to her and perhaps, he is sick and tired of it? Perhaps he explained to the patient before this that her cancer is incurable? Hmm..I don't know. But I always have a soft spot for any woman with any kind of female cancer; ovarian, uterine, cervical or breast.

I spent the next day in the clinic with my other supervisor; the one that will be marking me based on my report, attendance, attitude etc. This is the one I have to show my face to often. Haha..

She is a Breast and Upper GI Oncologist so she deals with Oesophageal, Stomach and Breast cancer.
The 2nd SSC day was another gloomy day in my medical school history. I saw about 10 people crying in a day, patients and their carers. A lady was newly diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, after she noticed difficulty in swallowing for a few months. She presented with a typical oesophageal cancer symptoms; subconsciously changing her diet from solid to semi-solid and softer food. The cancer has unfortunately infiltrated her lymph nodes and the doctor said surgeons might not be willing to "cut her tumour out", since the lymph nodes will be very hard to reach through a surgery and if the lymph nodes are left there untouched, the chance of the tumour to regrow is almost 100%. She thought her symptoms were just reflux. So now, the only option left is for her to go through the horrible chemotherapy and see if the tumour shrinks and lymph nodes become normal again. Thin chance.

Another lady cried because she couldn't stand seeing her 70+ y.o husband suffering due to the side effects of the chemo. "If I have to lose him, I will lose him. I understand that. But I can't see him sick. Please don't give anything that will make him sick..."
Such a sad day.
A very very sad day.


I once thought of becoming a specialist in Paediatric Oncology, that is dealing with kids with cancer. I think kids are easier to deal with since they are more genuine and sincere to us, unlike adults. But will I have the heart to see young kids succumb to their cancers?

Perhaps I should stop here, this post is getting too long.

Mood: MALAYSIA!!!

-Because life is a test-





-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blackpool Olympic 2012 Torch Relay


"It is a once in a lifetime experience.
We should not miss it"


And that was the sentence that motivated me to chase the Olympic 2012 Torch Relay.
On Saturday, May 26th while Kiew and I were waiting for the bus to go home, one lady came and talk to us. She said later that week on Friday, there will be the Olympic Torch Relay in Chorley and asked if we are joining it. She was the one who said it's gonna be once in a lifetime thing.
True what she said, I do not know when will Malaysia get to be a host of the Olympics, if ever. And since I am in the country that is becoming the host this time, why would I want to miss being a part of it? However small it may be.

Well, not that Olympics is EVERYTHING, it is still just a sports event. But it is an international event. Superficially, it is a very nice and renowned event even though it may carry a nasty intention at its core. I do not know, but I don't like the one-eyed mascot.

But anyway, I found out that the Torch Relay that weekend is in Liverpool and I can't make it. The Torch will come to Blackpool on Friday 22nd June in the evening, Preston 23rd June early in the morning and make its way to Manchester later on the day.

Blackpool, Preston and Manchester.
Since I have a medical student conference on the Saturday, I can't make it to Preston nor Manchester Torch Relay.
Thus, I boarded a train with a friend on Friday to Blackpool.

Guess what, it rained the whole day.
THE WHOLE DAY.
NON-STOP.

My suede boots were soaked in water, my umbrella got severely damaged and I had to buy a new one, and it bent just 2 hours after that.
But it did not dampen my desire to watch the Torch.

The celebration event in front of the Blackpool Tower had to be cancelled but the Torch will continue. After waiting about 2 hours in front of Home Bargains, the Torch procession had finally make its appearance.

The Torch was carried by a lady in a wheelchair, in the rain.
Her arms must be aching from having to wheel at such a speed, in the rain.
The crowd cheered loudly when they saw her.






Too bad my camera wasn't able to capture the moment properly


See how bad the rain was? Fuh!


I like these kinds of celebration, where there are many people gathered to celebrate and cheer for something. It's like watching small kids running in their sports carnival and parents cheer for them from far.
My mother used to bring us to Merdeka celebrations in Dataran Merdeka where we tried our very best squeezing in between adults to get to the most front we can get so we will be able to get a good view of the procession with beautiful decorated cars.
But nowadays we rarely go to those processions anymore, everyone got busy with their lives and celebrations like that where we have to be in the middle in such a big crowd get more unappealing. But I sort of miss those times.

The procession here is nothing compared to Malaysia.
In Malaysia, the decoration is unbeatable. Here, they won by the loudness of music they put on and the staff who dance on the buses and vans.
It was pure entertainment, not so much on the effort.
Hmmm..but anyway, I can proudly say that

I WATCHED THE OLYMPIC 2012 TORCH RELAY!

despite being wet and soaked.

'til then,


-Because life is a test-

CHONG WEI GO GO GO!


-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Glory Glory Man Utd! (Eh?!)

I've never ever thought that I will know anything about football. Like, really.

My dad and two brothers are not football fans, so I've never seen people staying up until 2, 3 am to watch a football match.
I used to say that football is comparable to a children game, since there are 22 grown ups chasing after one ball for 90minutes.
The first World Cup I remember was in 2002, and one of the girls in my class was so hyped up about it I thought she was just trying to get the attention of the boys (I still think she was).

Around my second year in IMU, I started to get exposed to football since the people around me were football fans.
And it all built up till now.
No no no, I am not a football fanatic, yet.
But can someone be in Manchester yet know nothing about football?

Sp yes, I've known quite a bit about football now. Heh...
And guess what, 2 weeks ago I went to visit the famous Old Trafford Stadium aka The Theatre of Dreams!


The museum and stadium tour cost me £13, after a student discount (can I forever be a student and get discount everywhere? Minus the exams!)

I read all about the history of Man Utd (no la, not ALL OF THEM) and I now know names like Matt Busby, Busby Babes, Bobby Charlton, the tragic Munich Air Crash and the class of '92. :p



During the stadium tour, I felt like recording the tour guide's description of the stadium; how big it is, how grand the stadium is, how disabled people-friendly they are and how proud they are of their success.



And I really can feel the pride the tour guide had in him while talking us through the stadium. True what some people say, Man Utd is a proud team. Haha...

Some time ago, Man Utd did a world tour and they came to Malaysia to have a friendly match. Snapshots during the tour in Malaysia were also archived and framed in the museum.


There was also a section in the museum showing the history of Paul Scholes, I think as a special tribute for him since he has retired. But after he reversed his retirement, the section was not brought down, courtesy I guess? I don't know, that's my theory. Perhaps other Man Utd fans has other thoughts on why was there a special section on him.

I've started to care about football that I felt the (pain? sorrow?) when Man Utd lost in the Premier League. I do not know neither do I watch properly the way they played but when Man Utd lost in the last minutes of the match, I was disappointed. Even Ah Kiew, my lovable housemate was! And the very next day was my exam in Manchester and I saw groups of people wearing Man City jerseys walking in the city.

Back to the stadium tour, I get to go into the player's changing room too! Too bad though, the pictures inside there were not good enough to be displayed publicly but, I did sit on the place where Park Ji Sung and Valencia usually sit.





And I hope Malaysian Man Utd fans who are reading this will be green in jealousy while the non Man Utd fans will be in some other colour with some other emotions! Yes, I am that terrible.
Haha..

'til then!

-Because life is a test-


-AkMaR-
http://nur-akmar.blogspot.com