Friday, April 07, 2006

Precious Little Angel

I normally don't talk about my the work I do in gym, partly because I feel it's nothing much to shout about and partly because I don't think I am an extraordinary instructor anyway. Though I enjoy instructing (fine, I will admit it gives me an ego boost), I don't think I am the kind who garners a following, so when I do get a few regulars who show up at my class everytime I teach it is always a pleasure.

For some weeks though, one particular regular failed to show up and last Thursday she finally made an appearance. After the class, just out of formality I asked her about her absence.

"Oh... my daughter has brain tumour"

For a moment I couldn't quite believe what my ears made out.

"I beg your pardon?" I replied.

"My daughter has brain tumour, so I had to stay over at the hospital"

"Oh dear!" I checked myself, I didn't know if such an exclamation was rude.

Thank goodness she didn't. She further explained to me the ordeal her 11 year old daughter had been going through since eight. Apparently the tumour wasn't the spreading kind, but it just keeps growing and at the moment the doctors couldn't find any permanent solution other than 'trimming' the tumour every now. Chemotherapy wasn't exactly working so now they are recommending radiotherapy. She claimed after three years she was kind of used to it.

I looked at her face and I wasn't quite certain if she was trying to convince herself or me. I felt sorry for her and her daughter for having to suffer unnecessarily at such a young age. Corny as it may for me to say this, makes you wonder if we're taking for granted for being able to live relatively healthy lives. I never had to go through the anxiety of having a family member living with a life threatening disease and hopefully never have to. But yet here was this mother, who attends my class almost every week, perhaps just for a moment to escape from the fear.

As she thanked me before she left, I offered my wishes that her daughter get well soon and that she also remember to take care of herself. Perhaps I have little faith in God, but in a silent prayer I genuinely hoped for her daughter's speedy recovery.

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