Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The Earth is Sick

Yes, it is a horrible inconvenient truth. We must listen to the environmentalists more. This is not just about global warming or running out of resources. It is affecting us more intimately.

Many pollutants or chemicals or radioactive waves or whatever that your great-grandparents never heard of are toxic to our cells. When the normal cells are hit with these, they mutated (a change in DNA level occurred) to survive. Later they develop more survival skills then become rebellious and cancerous. Do you get it? The cancer cells are survivors. That's why it is sooo difficult to destroy them. That's why the chemotherapy agents are supertoxic (to kill clever, survivor cells) .

The things that can change these normal cells to become cancer cells are called carcinogens. Here is a list of known carcinogens from American Cancer Society if you want to check it out. The count is at around 900 now and probably growing (fast). These chemicals are everywhere, preservatives in food, cosmetics, drugs, etc etc.

Then maybe you will ask, if they already know that these substance can cause cancer, why they are not banned? The problem is, a lot of the substance are still termed as 'probable' meaning no clear cut correlation yet. And can you really ban cigarettes? what about the million dollar taxes the tobacco companies pay to the government? We are a poor nation without the tobacco companies! (We can be stupid and ill but we cannot be poor :P)---of course it is not that simple.

Ok, my point is, carcinogens are everywhere. To run or hide from them means you have to be out of this world. But we can surely make an effort to minimize the exposure. (It's the thought and effort that counts :P).

1. Don't smoke-lah of course. And to smokers, please respect us who are trying hard not to kill ourselves by this infamous method of slow suicide. Please smoke in your own private cubicle that has no window or any holes and make sure all the carcinogenic particles stay there. Make sure there are no children in 500 meters radius. To all smokers, you are certainly not welcomed in my house and around my children. By the way, to Muslims, smoking is haram.


2. Limit your consumption of processed food (preservatives, trans-fats, synthetic flavourings, colourings anti-caking agents etc etc). They are daily insults to our cells. Eat fresh.

3. Eat organic. I'm not sure why the organic things are more expensive. It sure does put off anyone with small earnings. But the difference in the concentration of pesticides in the urine of a person who eats organic and another who does not is really significant. Instead of petrol, the government should really subsidize organic fruits and veges- in the long run it is cost-saving because there will be less cancer (less medical burden) and heart disease and obesity and type 2 diabetes (because people will walk / cycle more to work). Just my two cents.

4. Don't use plastic containers in microwave ovens. Even though it is written 'microwave oven safe', it is only safe for the container, but not for you. Only use glass or porcelains. Chemicals in plastic containers are released when in contact with heat, so don't put warm food in plastic containers too. And don't leave your bottled water baking under the sun. You can google about bisphenol-A (found in many plastics) and the stir it caused in the scientific world. A lot of studies conclude that although it is alarming but it is still safe to use (??)-when are they going to make up their minds?

Maybe we really should go back to mangkuk tingkat. Save the planet from more plastics, and save ourselves from the chemicals. Click here if you are interested to order daily mangkuk tingkat, to be delivered straight to your office or home. (Mangkuktingkat.com is a daily catering service for lunch or dinner, cooked by housewives trained by Yayasan Pembangunan Nurhikmah. It is a bit expensive but it is fresh home cooked food). Our government hospitals still use mangkuk tingkat for on call doctors.

A housewife preparing the meals. Photo taken from mangkuktingkat.com

photo taken from mangkuktingkat.com

5. All the rules apply especially if you are pregnant.

6. Fish is a very important source of omega-3 fatty acid, an essential fat for health. But the floors of the oceans are concentrated with toxics and it is polluting the sea life. This can be demonstrated by the high level of pollutants in a polar bear (even though you might think polar bears' system is safe because they live in the Artic-no). Because polar bears eat big fishes, and big fishes eat smaller fishes, the concentration of pollutants build up in the one highest in the food chain ie the polar bears and humans. So limit your consumption of fish to small fishes eg bilis, kembung, bawal. Errr what about other fishes that do not live in the sea?-this I don't know, yet.

7. Live closer to country side for fresher air and less toxic fumes? Probably.

8. Use cosmetics that are made from plants with minimal chemicals/synthetics (yang dijamin bersih dan suci- betul ke bersih?). Body Shop says they don't use phtalates. Nutri-metics says they only use nutritions to make their cosmetics. It's your choice. I'm not advertising anything.

9. Sunblock lotions? This is controversial. Homo sapiens started using sunscreens since around 1970s and yet melanoma (skin cancer) is still increasing year by year. The least we can conclude is that probably they don't work? Allah has created our skin colours as such that people who live in the tropical countries (hot climate) have darker skin (to block out some UV rays). This is a protective mechanism. So don't bleach your skin with all the whitening creams. And we dark-skin coloured people absorbs less vitamin D from the sun if we live in temperate climate countries (lack of vit D is now being studied as a probable cause of cancer).

10. Detoxify your system regularly. How? Later. I'm tired. 4 boys need my attention.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Sila beri laluan..

kepada koleksi baru buku2 terpakai yang saya rembat di jualan dari bonet kereta...

Kali ini saya kehabisan £4.40...

Ya, bilakah agaknya saya akan baca buku2 ini? Mungkin musim sejuk yang akan datang di mana saya akan terperuk sekali lagi di dalam rumah akibat cuaca dingin yang menusuk tulang dan membeku fikiran.

Buku The 19th Wife itu sudah saya baca dan tulis ulasannya di sini, tetapi pada ketika itu saya membaca buku dari perpustakaan. Dan ia satu buku menarik tentang orang Mormon, jadi bila penjual itu menawarkan buku ini dengan harga 30 pence saya pun ambil.

Mungkin kakak saya mahukan buku itu. Mummy, kalau nak kita bagi kat awak.

Minta maaflah kepada penulis2 dan penerbit kerana saya hanya membeli buku terpakai. Nanti bila saya ada gaji sendiri saya belilah di kedai. Sekarang saya beli dari bonet kereta saja dan pinjam di perpustakaan.

Baking with Adam again

I bought a kid's baking set that day. Just to distract Adam from tv, computers, games..(he does not like books).

So we had a fabulous time baking together!

Our rollers

Ammar joined but only to mess up the place

concentrating hard

Cookies for WanMa

Cookies for Papayim

Tigger, Pooh and Piglet

*I, the IT-blur-wife-of-a-computer-engineer now knows how to put a caption under the photos without the help of Papaboyz. OK maybe 'kacang putih' for other people, but a big step for the blogger me :P

Thursday, 22 April 2010

To win a war...

you must know your enemy.

"Know your enemy and know yourself; had you then a hundred years to fight, you would be a hundred times victorious."

-Sun Tzu (The Art of War).

I have wrote before what cancer can do to you. It takes over your body and strip you off your bodily functions (and dignity) one by one. It invades you, weakens you, paralyzes, breaks, blocks, suffocates, makes you bleed, blind and many more. The treatment scares everyone. No doctor will ever declare a patient cured from cancer, they will only say the person is in remission. (This means, for the time being the disease is not manifesting itself).

Therefore, this enemy of ours have to be regarded with respect.

So what is cancer?

In short, a cancer cell is a rebellious cell. Our body is a large community of cells that have different functions but work together in harmonious rhythm. The normal cells respect each other's territories and functions, and when one has finish its jobs, it will commit suicide (this cell-suicide is termed apoptosis).

But not cancer cells (sel tak makan saman). Cancer cells were initially normal cell but had undergone mutation and becomes rebellious. They have minds of their own. They grow and grow, build new (and their own) blood supply, and they don't commit suicide. Eventually, when they are aggressive enough, they send army cells to other organs (eg lungs, liver, brain) to expand their empire to fully conquer the body (mungkin ini yang dimaksudkan rasukan makhluk halus oleh bomoh2 tradisional :) ).

As you can see, they are quite capable of surviving on their own. They can build their own blood vessels (bina salur darah sendiri, yer, jangan main2), they have their own knights to defend themselves (contohnya NF-kappa beta), and if ever you kill 99.99% of them, the single cell that survive is equipped with the ability to multiply and grow its own empire again.

More so if the host (that's you) makes it easier for it to grow and worse, feeds them!

But if they are so strong, full of talents to survive, how can we beat them?

The above image was taken from here. It was photographed at Cancer Research UK using electron microscopy. It shows the cancer cell trying to get out of a pore (a teeny-tiny hole in cells) to spread itself. Clever.

We actually have time on our side (provided you have not been diagnosed ie the disease has not manifest itself). It takes roughly 1-40 years for cancers to become evident (that's why you never hear a baby born with cancer).

Normal cell --> abnormal cell --> abnormal cells become bigger (precancerous) --->

Then precancerous cells develop the ability to spread, therefore termed cancerous --> Spread everywhere.

At the precancerous level, it is possible to detect these cells; this is the importance of screening. For cervical cancer, you can have pap smear. For breast cancer, you can do mammogram. For many other cancers, you can have your blood checks for tumour markers (these cells produce certain chemicals that are detectable in blood, although they themselves are not detectable yet).

When precancerous cells become cancer, it is usually detectable with the naked eye ie a breast lump, a large lymph node (kelenjar, biasanya di leher, ketiak, pangkal peha), a big mole. Or it makes itself evident by bleeding itself (bleeding from any holes you have on your body). Or where it is difficult to see (eg in your skull or in your tummy), it will grow and press on your normal organs, giving you headaches, fits, abnormal movements, pain or your tummy becomes bigger (etc etc banyak lagi lerr).

So, they grow in stages. It is not like infections where you come in contact with the culprit and you will be sick in few days (luckily God gives us antibiotics and vaccines). It is not like stroke where your blood vessel bursts or blocks and you are suddenly crippled. In cancer, there are a lot of areas where we can intervene.

First, why normal cells become abnormal cells? Why they change?

Then how to stop the abnormal cells from becoming cancer cells?

Then how to halt the growth of the already cancerous cells so they don't become bigger?

How to make your body not a favourable place for cancers to grow?

to be continued....(dah panjang sangat)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Lessons In Life

My sons..
You followed our every steps
to places north and south
From cities to highlands
I don't know if you will remember any (you are all still very small!)
But I hope that your minds can capture
The beauty of mountains, rivers and seas
(and be forever thankful for God's creations)
The vastness of land (therefore opportunities)
The diversity of life and cultures (so you respect differences)
And perhaps, when you look back in the pictures,
You will remember that we could not bear a second separated from you...

Your father and I
have given you our unconditional love
In every kiss bears our prayers
that you will understand
this is what every people deserves
Love and Respect
Nothing less...

I want you brothers
to be each other's shoulders
always in one another's prayers
and to be able to say to each other,
"For you brother, a thousand times over..."
to carry when one falls
to remind when one forgets
to correct when one err

In this temporary life
I've been blessed
With you three wonderful boys
What more can I ask?
If there is anything I can wish for
In my duty to you
I hope in the end I will teach you right
and I will teach you enough
For you to be safe
Here and After
and that you will be as great as you are named...

I pray that
He gives me guidance as I guide you
He gives me lessons as I teach you
He bestows me His love as I love you...


...the phrase "for you, a thousand times over" is a favourite line of Hassan to Amir, in The Kite Runner (author: Khaled Hosseini)

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Bila Mentari Muncul Kembali...

Spring is here!

Bermakna musim carboot sales bermula. Maka bermulalah misi mengumpul buku2 utk membina perpustakaan seribu buku di rumah.

Kali ini dapat 8 buku. Semuanya 2.90 pounds saja. Tapi memang diorang ni naik hargalah. Tak ada yg jual buku 20 pence lagi kecuali buku2 yg memang lama.

Tiba2 beli classic novel. Kot2 nanti dtg mood nak baca classic, besides, I loved Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Lovely Bones sebab tgk movie dia hari tu. The Savage Garden tu selalu terpandang kat bookshop.

Memoir yg macam best memang takkan dilepaskan. Buku resipi konon2 menambah skill. Jodi Picoult pun mesti collect!

Lepas baca A Prisoner of Birth (lepas mynie recommend kat blog) hari tu, ter-suka pulak kat si Archer ni. Pastu org ni jual yg 2 in 1. Tiba2 ada 4 novel J. Archer. Yeay!

Lagi satu yg best ialah jumpa cookie cutter (set baru) A-Z. Biasanya cookie cutters mahal jugak. Ni dapat se-pound je. Bolehla buat cookies mengikut nama masing2 nanti :)

Yes I am..

Monday, 12 April 2010


BBA kalau dalam istilah perubatan ialah 'birth before arrival'. Ia digunapakai apabila seorang ibu melahirkan anak dalam perjalanan ke hospital (tak sempat sampai hospital). Contohnya dalam kereta (terperangkap dalam kesesakan lalu lintas), atas perahu (di Sabah/Sarawak), dalam ambulans etc. Tapi bukan di rumah. Kalau di rumah- home delivery. Ini tiada masalah sangat kerana jururawat desa merangkap bidan boleh tolong bantu proses kelahiran. Tapi kalau kes BBA memang masalah sebab persekitaran tak steril (risiko jangkitan kuman), tali pusat lambat dipotong (darah bayi jadi pekat) dan ibu berisiko tinggi untuk tumpah darah (postpartum haemorrhage- yang merupakan pembunuh ibu nombor satu).

Tapi entry ni bukan pasal BBA di atas. Ini pasal BBA bagi seorang blogger- Beautiful Blogger Award.

MIO yang beri pada saya. Terima kasih MIO. MIO kata blog saya macam History Channel. Hehehe saya pun tak tahu kenapa. Kalau macam Lonely Planet atau GlobeTrekker takpe jugak :P. Apa2 pun tenkiu very much MIO. Awak je lah sudi bagi saya award sob sob.

Menurut peraturan tag ini, saya kena cerita 7 perkara pasal diri saya. Saya rasa saya cuma nak senaraikan 7 wishlist (duniawi) saya.

1. Saya nak adik saya sembuh.
2. Saya nak buat Master atau lulus MRCP dan jadi pakar perubatan.
3. Saya nak ada perpustakaan di rumah (yang ada beribu2 buku).
4. Saya nak pergi Niagara Falls (sambil duduk berpicnic berdua2an dgn Papaboyz hehehe).
5. Saya nak anak2 saya ada komputer sendiri, bukannya kongsi laptop saya (sumber stress).
6. Saya nak seorang best friend saya A bertemu dgn teman hidup sejatinya, dan seorang lagi best friend saya T mendapat anak soleh yang dihajatinya.
7. Saya nak kemahiran speed read.

Saya juga perlu beri award ini kepada blogger lain.

Penerima kehormat award ni daripada saya ialah Dr Mas Afzal, yang menulis di blognya, Not The Primrose Path, yang walaupun hebat diduga tetapi masih peduli untuk memberi inspirasi kepada orang lain. May Allah ease your path.

North Wales-errrr..

errr sebab nama tempat ni panjang sangat. Nama pekan yang terpanjang di dunia.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch -ni bahasa Welsh

Biasanya org sebut Llanfair PG saja. Makna dalam english ialah St Mary's Church (Llanfair) in a hollow (pwll) of white hazel (gwyngyll) near (goger) the swirling whirlpool (y chwyrndrobwll) of the church of St Tysilio (llantysilio) with a red cave ([a]g ogo goch).

Tak ada apa pun kat pekan ni, cuma sebab nama dia terpjg kat dunia tu lah org pergi. Ramai org ambil gambar kat depan station ni. Kat dalam tu siap boleh cop nama tempat ni dlm passport lagi, tapi kitorang tak bawak passport.

Itulah sedikit sebanyak percutian kitorang di North Wales. Gambar beratus2. Ada tempat2 yang saya tak cerita kat dalam blog ni. Ada banyak juga tempat2 yg kitorang tak sempat nak pergi. Apa2 pun Wales memang best! Terima kasih pada perancangan mantap Suria selaku ketua rombongan :)

Saturday, 10 April 2010

North Wales-Llechwedd Slate Caverns

Kalau berjalan2 mestilah ada sesi lawatan sambil belajar. Apa pengalaman baru kami ketika di North Wales?

Kami masuk lombong slate bawah tanah (Llechwedd Slate Caverns). Orang putih ni pandai je buat lombong jadi tourist attraction. Kawasan ni ialah kawasan perlombongan slate pada tahun sekitar 1850an.

Slate (tak pasti apa bahasa melayu dia) tu bahan untuk buat bumbung atau plak...

Lombong ni bawah gunung. Ada 2 tour- satu naik tram (masuk dalam gunung) dan satu lagi underground.

Kecik je tram dia..

Masuk lombong bawah tanah ni rasa dia macam masuk gua. Sekali seumur hidup merasalah masuk lombong.

Eyy kesianla pelombong2 slate ni, masuk kerja awal pagi masa matahari tak muncul lagi pastu keluar dari lombong bila matahari dah terbenam. Kerja 6 hari seminggu. Ahad je baru nampak matahari. Gaji diorang pun beberapa pence je seminggu, dan bergantung pada berat slate yang diorang berjaya kumpulkan. Dahla gelap gulita lombong ni. Kalau winter tak tau camne diorang memanaskan diri. Tak tanya pulak tour guide hari tu (Abid tak duduk diam sangat, susah nak concentrate). Kat mana diorang buang air kecik/besar pun lupa (atau segan) nak tanya.

Yang ni nak turun underground. Ada 10 chambers yang dibuka untuk tourists.

Topi keselamatan jangan lupa pakai...

Cabin tempat pelombong berehat minum kopi..

Ada kolam dalam satu daripada chamber tu..

Bersyukurlah tempat kerja kita selesa!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

North Wales- Greenwood Forest Park

Tempat ni best! Kitorang pergi lepas turun dari Snowdon Mountain. Ia adalah hutan yang ada tempat permainan (eco theme park). Highly recommended for family outings. Bukan budak2 je gembira, mak bapak budak pun enjoy. Setiap tempat permainan dipagarkan dan dikelilingi kerusi2 utk mak bapak duduk, makan2 . Boleh lepaskan je anak2 main. Toilet dan cafe pun banyak. Aktiviti macam2. Bayar masa entry saja lepas tu boleh main suka hati banyak2 kali.

Naik basikal roda 3..

Soft play area...

Gelongsor tobagan..

Bumper cars..



Roller coaster..

Apa2 pun solat jangan lupa :)