I still remember that particular day in late 2008. I was sitting on a bench in a park, wondering what would happen in the future. Life was really hard for me at that moment. I used to be a cheerful boy in school and suddenly everything changed. It was after a check-up in NUH on August 20, 2008. The doctor told me that I was diagnosed with bone cancer, and that the next 10 months would not be pleasant.
A series of intensive treatments followed and my health worsened. I could not study continuously for two hours. Sometimes, I required assistance even with bathroom visits. I found it difficult to just lie in bed and wondered what my friends would be doing at school. This is not the kind of life I wanted, and yet I could do nothing about it!
My parents provided me with the help that I needed for this tough journey. Whenever I wanted to give up, they would cheer me on. With their support, I remained optimistic even during the darkest periods of my life. But I was worried about my studies since I could not go to school. My parents understood, so they informed my form teacher, Mr Gi, about my concerns. To make it easier for me to continue my studies, my form teacher decided to teach me at his house.. As such, I could continue my Year 6 study without having to take leave of absence from school. To make it even more convenient, the school decided to arrange for me to stay in the school hostel. In this way, I need not travel and I could easily discuss my lessons with my friends.
I am really thankful to all my subject teachers who sacrificed their free time to coach me and give me lessons. For instance, Mr Ng, my math tutor, stayed up till 8 pm on some evenings to teach me mathematical concepts. With their help, I needed only one month to catch up with the lessons I missed during the 4-month treatment. Even my parents were impressed by my ability to learn so fast.
Without the love and care, I would not be able to achieve such miracles by myself. At this moment, treatments were over and A-levels had ended. When I look back, I do not think of this experience as unfortunate. Instead, it was a test of my character and the friendships that I have forged. Now, I know that I have passed the test.