Wednesday, 8 August 2018

kakak

this is a long post that i've been dreading to write, so i'm just gonna blurt everything i could remember now so pls excuse my grammar mistakes and such as this is hard for me to write so i'm just letting my hands dance to the rhythm of my emotions. i just don't want to forget this part of my life, no matter how painful.

early 2017
i was still in america at that time, but i remember sometimes when i called my mom she would tell me that kakak had been telling her that she had a buldge around her neck area. but it wasn't painful or anything. i suggested to have it checked at the hospital regardless.

mid 2017 
i found out that the buldge around kakak's neck was actually a tumor. my parents didn't tell me it was actually cancer, but i figured it was. around this time, she started feeling numb and 'lenguh' already at her hands. i guess the cancer was affecting her nerves. i was in kl at this time, interning in TFM. we were all surprised by the news, but we were confident that she's gonna get better.

september 2017
kakak went through her first surgery to remove the tumor a few days before my flight to go to london to begin my master studies. i remember being at the hospital and accompanying her; sleeping on the same hospital bed as her even though she was the patient. she was discharged from the hospital on the same day i was supposed to fly to london. i remember it clearly because only my dad and my brother was able to send me off to the airport. before i left, she showed me her surgery's wound in the middle of her chest that looked like what could've been a heart attack patient's chest after surgery. her chest was cut in a long straight vertical line, and it looked so painful. i cried inside. but we were all positive that she's all good now. no more cancer.

december 2017
kakak started feeling numb and "lenguh" again at her hands. she went for a checkup and the scan showed more tumors at different locations. so, the cancer has spread. we were all so heartbroken and devastated. but, we were trying to be positive. we would do any treatment suggested by the doctors to make sure she could be healed. 

february 2018
kakak went through her second surgery to remove all the tumors. i was in london still, and was sending my prayers to her from afar. i thought everything would go well. but her surgery took much longer hours and finished about 16 hours later. i was scared to even get some sleep, because i wanted to know how she was doing. the surgery was not a success. the doctors couldn't remove all the cancer cells to avoid fatal complications as some were attached to her important nerves/organs. i woke up to a text from my brother that said my sister didn't have much long to live. he told me that my parents didn't want me to know about it so as to not affect my studies but he felt i deserve to know. and even up until now i'm so thankful he did tell me. or else i might have taken my time with her for granted. i was devastated by the news. reading that text, i felt like a big chunk of myself was gone. i cried non stop that day. even in class, my tears just couldn't stop flowing. i remember my friend, naina, who came to me after class and comforted me. i told her what happened, then i went home and cried myself to sleep. from this time onwards, random emotional breakdowns happens so often whenever i think about her at home. being so far was so difficult for me. 

march 2018
i decided to go back home for a month. march was an important time for me as a yk scholar but i really had to go back home to help take care of my kakak. i missed yk leadership conference in london, missed my job interviews, as well as my planned trip to morocco. all of my friends already got job offers by end of march, but not me. it was damaging to my self-esteem. but i knew kakak was more important. she was recovering from her second surgery, which cut her wide open around her shoulder area all the way to below her chest. a small part of the wound wasn't healed so every morning and night i helped clean her wound and make sure she's well fed. then she began her radiotherapy treatment. i drove her to the hospital almost every day and accompanied her until she finished her session. it wasn't much that i could do other than just being with her and made sure she got to have everything she wanted. i just wanted to make her happy. came april, i left to london as my classes were starting. now whenever i think about this i am so glad i spent that one month especially for her. 

july 2018
i went home again to see her. she was not in a good condition. i remember arriving home early in the morning so she was still laying on bed. i went to her and touched her hand. she opened her eyes, looked at me, and gave me the sweetest smile. i will never forget that smile, as if she'd missed me and was glad to see me. then she closed her eyes and i could see her face trying to hold the pain she was feeling. her body betrayed her. i spent lots of my time just being with her. we did not talk much, because after her first surgery her vocal chords were kind of messed up. she could speak but her voice's volume was really low and it was more like she was whispering. regardless, since 2017, this was the first time she cried openly because she was in so much pain. i never saw her cried at all before this, so when i first saw her cried because it was too painful, i couldn't stop my tears too. i just sat by her side, held her hand, and cried with her. i gave her morphines, i made her be comfortable so she could sleep. that was all i could do... then i brought her and my parents to langkawi, to have some relaxing time. our hotel room has a big window that faced the ocean. so in the morning my sister and i lied down on bed and just watched the heavy thunderstorm outside. it sounds like nothing but moments like this i will always remember. when we went to the beach, i took lots of pictures of her with my parents. then as my dad just took a picture of both of us, she suddenly wanted to vomit. it was so painful to see her like that. it killed me inside. after we got back to jitra, on my last night home, my friend bought me kerang bakar that i've been craving for. i will always remember me opening all the kerang and feeding her everything i got. i didn't even mind that my nails were ruined. i was so happy seeing her eat so well when i was home. then next morning, it was time for me to go to kl for my camp with khazanah. she was on her bed when i went to her and told her that i'm leaving. i noticed that tears started flowing from her eyes... it broke me. of course after that i cried like crazy too. i kept telling her to remain strong, to not give up, to text/call me if anything regardless of the time. i told her i love her so much. i hugged her. i kissed her forehead. i asked for forgiveness. she kept telling me to take care of myself, to study well; it was like an unspoken farewell. fast forward to my second last day in kl, she texted me and told me that she can't feel her legs anymore. when i read that i could feel my heart shattered. i just went straight to my hotel room and cried like crazy. i even skipped all my programs for that day. it was just too heartbreaking for me. when tomorrow came, i was contemplating so bad on whether i should go back to kedah or take my flight to london as planned. i called my parents and my sister and they told me to go back to london and finished my studies. my sister cried again. she cried so much with me idk why:( of course i cried too and i told her to wait for me to come back. she said she will.

august 2018
kakak's health deteriorated so badly in a short amount of time. she really couldn't walk anymore and couldn't feel anything from her stomach level all the way down to her toes. she had trouble breathing and was dependent on the oxygen tank. but she could still text me every day and told me how her day was. then, came the day that i was supposed to go to santorini. but i suddenly got a text from azzam (my brother in law) that their nikah would be done the next day. he called me and told me about kakak's condition and i had this heavy feeling deep down in my heart that i felt like i shouldn't go to greece. i was already at the airport at that time, waiting to board my flight but i didn't. i went straight back home and booked the next flight to go back to malaysia. i just wanted to be with my sister. before i boarded my 13-hour flight to kl, my brother called me and told me that my sister was already critical/nazak. he told me it could be anytime from now. i cried at the airport. about 2 hours after the flight took off, my left eye suddenly started to throb for quite a while. this is probably just a myth but people say if your left eye throbs that means something not good is going to happen. i felt like that was a sign telling me that it was probably kakak's time to go. i just closed my eyes and prayed so hard to god that if it's really her time to go, i want her to know that it is okay, that she doesn't have to wait for me, as long as she's not in pain. i kept saying that in my heart til i fell asleep. i arrived in kl to the news that my sister passed away about 2 hours after i boarded my flight. so there i was in klia, crying while making my way to take my next flight to kedah. when i got home, everyone cried and hugged me so tight. my sister wasn't there anymore. i was too late. she was already buried. i felt like my soul was buried too.

____


her story somehow became viral all over malaysia. we had reporters came to our house and interviewing us. it was a bit intrusive and i didn't like it. even until now, i never read any of the newspaper articles about her. whenever i see one, i put them out of my sight. whenever people tag me or send me videos of me on television or anything about her, i never open the link/video. i couldn't. i don't know why. somehow it feels like i'm avoiding this stuff. i don't know if this is my way of coping. idk; but for now i really couldn't. even when my family started talking about her especially during her last days.. i couldn't hear it. i would get up and leave the room. i am now starting to understand that maybe i arrived home late because if i was there it would be too much for me to take. i think deep down my heart couldn't handle it. i think it'll be extremely harder for me to recover if i was home. alas i don't wanna think so much about those stuff. i just want her to be happy over there, pain-free. i will keep sending her prayers every day and i will keep visiting her grave whenever i am home. she's the strongest person i knew. she really is. 

i love you so much kakak. i'm sorry i'm not a good sister.

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