An Expected Warning

by - Wednesday, April 03, 2019

I woke up with a jolt. I checked the alarm on my phone and it was 3.30 am in the morning. "Fuhhh..", I heaved a sign of relief and hurriedly grab a towel in my hand and head to my parent's bedroom. I needed to take a shower. We promised to go to the hospital at 4.00 am.

I slowly walked inside my parent's room and saw my dad sat on the bed. The room was big but his shortness of breath was clearly heard in that silent morning.

"Abah okay?", I asked gently. I needed to know that he was okay. I needed to know that he can still respond well to my voice.

With a gentle and weak voice, he said "Okay. Abah okay."

I took an infrared thermometer, put it on his forehead, and clicked once for a temperature reading. I read out loud with a soft voice, "38.2 Celcius". His forehead was hot, his eyes sunken, his whole body looked super pale, his clothes were drenched with sweat, and I could even felt the dryness in his throat when he spoke.

When I was 8 years old, I had this vivid dream of being in a hospital and had a female doctor looked straight into my eyes and said to me “It is cancer.” I had the exact same dream again when I was 19 and then it occurred again when I was 26.

In those three dreams, the dreams always ended in the same way without any answers. For years, I never understand what they meant. Not until the 25th of March 2019, when a female doctor said to me while looking right into my eyes. "Based on the bone marrow test that your father did last time, it is shown that it is indeed Acute Myeloid Leukemia."

What initially started with an innocent unexplained fever, turned out to be something bigger than I thought. I looked at both of my parents who were sitting beside me at that time and they seemed at ease. They looked tired, but at ease. Which was a good thing.

We already saw this coming. We had been going back and forth from multiple clinics and hospitals for months, so this news wasn't a suprised to us. At least now we know what the problem is and what we are supposed to do next. I know chemotheraphy is not going to be easy but I will try to be strong and try my very best to help make the process bearable.

When I was pursuing my PhD study, I really didn't understand why it was impossible for me to get a scholarship. Some people had it easy. Some people even got multiple scholarships offers and had the privilege to ignore the interview just because they deemed the scholarships were not good enough for them. But for me, I didn't even had one chance.

I applied for every options that were available, went to so many public offices, tried so hard, and struggled for one year and a half by using my own money. Each time when I applied for a scholarship, I was met with disappointment. Which made me very confused.

Everytime I looked at my application, it made me think, "Am I that bad? Are my results that bad? Is that why I am not able to get even one?". Even all the people around me including my family members, friends, and supervisor were so confused as of why I couldn't secure even one scholarship.

Then, something happened that pushed my financial problem far further. My laptop and all my PhD data got stolen. I tried to get back up again by selling my things online. With the help of people around me including my readers on Instagram, I managed to get myself a preloved computer and buy all the other necessary things. I wrote everything back from scratch until completed. But still, the computer broke again and I was left feeling stunned and speechless.

I didn't know what to do. I was going to fight and get back up again, but the massive amount of stress was causing my health to become progressively worse. I've been struggling non-stop that I didn't even realized that I was burning out. It was a super hard decision to make, especially since my research was going so well and I already wrote everything back. But quiting was obviously the only decision I could make at that time. There was no other options left. Only one.

After I quit my PhD, I was hoping that things will get better. Then when I announced that I had to withdraw from my PhD study due to personal reasons on Instagram, all of sudden the amount of my followers decreased. I lost hundreds of followers overnight. All I wanted to do was being honest with my readers, but it seemed like the title 'PhD student' means more to some people than I thought it would be.

I was okay and accepted the fact that I lost hundreds of followers. However, some cosmetic brands that I was working with were not so happy that my number of followings decreased. Some completely ghosted on me. Some suddenly withdraw their projects from me although they had already asked for my home address to send the products to review.

By that time, there were only two brands that were left. Then suddenly, the management changed for one of the company and lastly, only one company was left. But one is actually more than enough for me. And if one day they decided to change for something better and they no longer needed me anymore, I would understand and accepted that. Because if it is my company, I would want the best for my company too.

When all of these things happened, I wasn't mad or had any regretful feeling about it. I just felt numb. I didn't know what to feel. What I clearly remembered was that my chest hurt and that I cried, cried, and cried every night. Begging and praying for answers from Allah swt. Because I know there is definitely a reason why these things happened. There must be a reason. Allah swt knows. He knows what is the best for me. He knows. So I just have to trust Him.

Fast forward to this present day, Allah swt gave me the answer that I was waiting for. It was because of my dad. Allah swt wanted me to take care of him. Allah swt helped me to make the correct decision in my life. He left me with no options, because he wanted me to choose the only one correct option in my life.

There was this one time when my dad had a fever and I was changing the wet towel for his forehead, he smiled and said to me, "Terima kasih Liya sebab tolong Mak jaga Abah. Kalau Liya takde, it must have been hard for her. Terima kasih sebab tolong jaga Abah."

Without even realizing it, my eyes were suddenly wet and there were tears dripping down my face. If I was still busy studying and had beauty events to attend to, who will help to take care of him? That is why I am grateful and glad that I was given a chance to take care of my dad. If I had to choose between fame, success, money, and my dad, without a doubt, I will choose my dad in a second.

This journey is not going to be easy. While people in the 30s and 40s pushing their parents on wheelchairs. Here I am with my brother in our mid twenties, pushing our father on a wheelchair to the emergency room. While people of my age are excitedly getting married, having children, chasing their dreams, and travel the world, here I am with this huge responsibilities on my shoulder.

I know that maybe I am going to be missing out on so many events in my life. But I know that this is the best for me and I am willing and happy to do it. No regrets! At all!

So if you are currently going through something difficult right now, I know that it is hard to make sense of everything at the moment and that it is hard to view it in a positive way. But one day, just like me, you are going to get your answers and finally understand why those things happened in your life. Hold on and be strong! You can do it! InsyaAllah. I pray the best for you and for us. :)

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