A LIFE FULLY LIVED
At the age of 86, Mr Haji Manap bin A Rahman has lived a full and rewarding life, with plenty to show for it. The centre of his world is his family – three daughters, two sons, eight grandsons, two granddaughters and one great granddaughter.
Manap’s family has been touched by cancer once before, when his wife passed away two years ago after struggling with liver cancer for five months.
When his wife fell ill, Manap’s life changed in many ways. The family feels that it softened him, allowing him to become more forgiving and less strict with his family. At first the family did not tell him about his wife’s condition, so he was a little bit jealous of the attention they were paying her. But when he found out, he and his wife became much more loving and expressive to each other. As his wife’s illness progressed, they become more vocal in their affection. His daughter Rosnah recalled fondly how she heard her mother said she “sayang” (loves) Manap for the first time. When her time came, she passed away in her husband’s lap.
Manap’s own journey with cancer began after he was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance after having difficulty urinating for several hours and feeling pain in his abdomen. Initially the family struggled as to whether they should break the news to him. But when Manap was told about his condition, he stayed positive even when he was told that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer. What concerned him most was that he should not be a burden to his family because of his illness.
He knows that he needs to stick to his treatment regime and follow the instructions of his doctor. He also diligently does physical exercises to make sure he stays strong.
Manap now lives with two of his daughters in a flat in Boon Lay. A heavy-set man, he now has limited mobility and needs assistance when moving into and out of his wheelchair. When he needs to go to the hospital, he is always accompanied by supportive family members, and most often by Rosnah.
Rosnah understands the importance of having the family members closely-knitted when one of them is battling cancer. When her mother fell sick, Rosnah quit her job as a supervisor at a manufacturing facility to look after her. It was her first job which she had held for 23 years.
The family tries to manage Manap’s pain as best they can and help him keep to his medication schedule. They have decided against an operation or chemotherapy, so he manages his illness with a monthly injection for pain, and takes an oral hormonal medication.
Rosnah and her siblings feel strongly that the family must rally behind their father so that he does not feel alone in his fight against cancer.
Still, at 86, Manap has much that he is grateful for. Few men at any age can enjoy as much care and support as Manap receives from his devoted family.
Rosnah now works part time to spend more time with her father. The whole family chips in to help Manap in his battle with the disease, with his other daughter, Kamisah, working to provide financial support along with contributions from his other sons and daughters.