Guest Contributor – Alexis Soh
Article submitted by Alexis Soh
[Winning article for “A Chance To Bring Home Medicine Buddha — For Free!!”
I am very very grateful for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s blog. I benefitted a lot from the rich contents and youtube teachings on dying, and death.
I would like to submit to you my story.
My Father in law has never really been in good health as far as I can remember since I got married about 12 years ago. He has blood and bone marrow disorder for the last 15+ years or so and had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on hefty medical expenses. He continue to shuffle in and out of hospital, endure countless round of blood tests and blood transfusions to boost his blood count. He, being diabetic and with heart problems only adds to growing list of medical woes.
5 years ago, he had an persistent infection, after a couple of weeks stay in the hospital and numerous test, he was diagnosed with disseminated Tuberculosis (TB) on the bone (foot). The doctor recommended amputation. My father in law absolutely refused. Fortunately, without the amputation, he recovered and was able to walk unaided.
Last August, he was diagnosed with Stomach cancer. Due to his advanced age and pre-existing medical conditions, it was risky for him to undergo any form of treatment.
The entire family was devastated. Together with the family members, we had managed to overcome many different medical issues over the years but the Cancer diagnosis was the ultimate blow!
Of late, he has been admitted into the hospital very frequently due to low red blood count and poor appetite due to his cancer. He will be back to the hospital after every 4-5 days stay. He is currently in the hospital for a week already. 3 pints of blood has been infused , and yesterday, the doctors has pumped out over 2 Litre of dark liquid extracted from his stomach (see photo) which was accumulating . After much persuasion this morning, he reluctantly gave consent to have an endoscopy to find out the cause of the internal bleeding and/or blockage. A tube has just been inserted into his nose to reach his colon to bypass the blockage so he can get adequate nutrition via tube feed.
We are saddened that he has to suffer so much. My devoted mother in law is always by his side to take care his every needs. On certain nights he will refuse to let her leave , and she has to sleep sitting upright next to him by his hospital bed! My mother in law is already 81 years old and has to suffer alongside him , but her faith in Chenrezig kept her strong.
When he was hospitalized for TB, the family and friends of a patient (who are Christians) warded next to him often came over to speak to him and prayed for him. My father in law who is a Buddhist for many years became confused about his faith, this confusion was further aggravated by his progressing dementia.
Last December, when Sharon Saw visited Modern Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore, she shared the story on how Pastor Susan and herself recited Lord Setrap Mantra throughout the night when an elderly patient was seriously ill. They prayed for the best outcome for the patient. That inspired me to recite Setrap mantra, blow it onto my Father in law whenever I visit him. I instructed my Mother in law, hubby and my kids – Daryl and Alysa to do the same. We also regularly recite mantras and dedicate it to him. Even in his hospital bed, he will occasionally put his hands together to pray, and I will show him my collection of Buddha images from my mobile phone, and he be very much comforted. Whenever he is lucid, we will encourage him to chant ‘Amituofu’.
We accept that it will take a miracle to successfully treat his condition. We try to make him as comfortable as much as possible, and the next priority is to stabilize his mind and help him find some inner peace by reminding him to re-focus on Buddha, not the pain and to seek refuge in the Buddha. The Medicine Buddha will no doubt bring immense healing and inner peace to both him and my mother in law.
With Metta Kindness,
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