A MOTHER’S LOVE - STORY FROM DYMM RAJA ZARITH SOFIA, THE QUEEN OF JOHOR
“The time in China was quite hard because we were in a completely different environment, completely different from Singapore and Malaysia, where we had visits from friends and relatives,”
said Raja Zarith Sofiah, reliving the year’s development that had seen her shed 10 kg off her already petite frame.
“For me, to know that he had gone through this massive operation and to see him in pain was very hard. I knew I couldn’t take away his pain, and I knew he must be feeling afraid.."
“There were times when I would wake up feeling very sad and this went on until the coronation was over.."
“Jalil himself told me to tawakkal but he felt guilty about making us worry.”
She was able to heave a big sigh of relief only after the coronation in March this year.
THE TEARS, FINALLY
“It was only then that I was able to cry. When the tears came, it was such a relief to let it go. Before that, even my children noticed that I was in a daze most of the time. I had no interest in anything. There was a sort of heaviness to do anything. Dressing up to go to functions was difficult,”
said Raja Zarith Sofiah of the ordeal.
However, she was blessed with having a very close knit family and a network of close friends. More importantly, she found solace in her daily prayers and zikir.
Nevertheless, it was fated that the test and challenges for Raja Zarith Sofiah did not stop after the transplant in December.
A routine monthly scan found nodules, small masses of tissue in Tunku Jalil’s lungs and these were cancerous. The cancer had spread from the liver to the lungs. A round of chemotherapy was again necessary.
The chemotherapy, which had taken a toll on not only Tunku Jalil, but also the family, was finally stopped last July. The nodules had not shrunk. This month, another scan is on the cards to see if the cancer has spread or has actually disappeared.
“The complication in Lil’s situation is that he is someone with a liver transplant, not just someone with cancer. So whatever drugs they give, they would have to consider the liver,”
said Raja Zarith Sofiah.
“We are lucky in the sense that we can afford to give him the best treatment, but it doesn’t take away the fact that my son has cancer. However much money you have, health is still important.”
She was also quick to admit that she found it even harder to see children with cancer after Tunku Jalil’s diagnosis.
“I guess it was easier to offer solace to other mothers until you become that mother yourself. I just don’t know why,”
she said by way of an apology, adding that from what her son had described to her of the after-effect of chemotherapy, she just couldn’t imagine how young children would cope.
Tunku Jalil himself is coping by visiting children and adults with cancer. The Sultan of Johor had also set up a foundation in his name called the Tunku Laksamana Johor Cancer Foundation.
Raja Zarith recalled visiting the late Zakwan Anuar, who made news when he was photographed with the visiting Duchess of Cambridge. The 15-year-old boy had acute leukaemia.
“When I heard that Zakwan was not well, we flew to Kuala Lumpur. Jalil was with me. Zakwan was already in a bad shape but he had told his mother that I would never come. His mother then told him that he was wrong as I was there with Jalil to visit him,”
The family ordeal brought them even closer together with the siblings taking turns to visit Tunku Jalil whenever he was in hospital.
“One night when he was in pain, he asked one of the staff to call me. So I went in the middle of the night. My eldest son and all the children were there as well and he was just in bed in so much pain from the chemo,”
said Raja Zarith Sofiah who added that she is a changed person.
“Too much had happened within this one year, from the diagnosis last August till now, moving house, arranging for our son’s wedding, the coronation and all the time anxious about Jalil. I realise now that money isn’t everything. Having good health is very important,”
she said philosophically.
pertama sekali aku mintak maaf bebanyak jilkalau story aku nie ade yg kurang sahih ataupun ada tak cukup garam. perkara ini berlaku dalam hujung tahun ini, berkenaan dengan kawan sama poli aku tapi tak sama batch. lain kelas tapi cuma berkenalan dari bilik prs. perwatakan arwah biasa sahaja, cuma lebih pendiam dan senyum je kalau selisih. nak kata gelak ketawa tu rasenye kalau duduk berkelompok tu pernah agaknya. arwah selalu rapat dengan masitah dengan rohaida. selalu lah kepit ketiga dorang tu.
starting yang aku tahu dia sakit masa ida whatsapp aku kata nak turun seremban. dalam hati aku tergerak maybe dorang nak dating berdua dengan omar mungkin. bila aku tanya balik ida kata nak melawat orang sakit.
kanser tumor stage 4.
meremang bulu roma. ida kata mas amira dah tak sedarkan diri. jadi petang tu omar drive bawak kami ke hospital seremban. sampai je ward then cari katil mas amira. sayu tengok. kiri kanan mesin berselirat di badan. badannya susut, terlantar tak sedarkan diri. uminya kata mas amira tak boleh ditempatkan di ICU sebab nurse mahu mas amira dalam perhatian keluarga jugak. sumpah sebak. orang yang kita kenal tak rapat, then moments masa dia lewat masuk dewan wawasan untuk konvo, suddenly muka dia keluar dekat skrin. semua teringat kat fikiran nie.
ida ada cerita tak silap aku, mas amira mengidap penyakit tu dari tingkatan 4 lagi, pernah buat operation buang tumor dan kimo selepas tu. then arwah selalu tumpang solat dekat bilik masitah ngan ida. jadi dorang ternampak bekas jahitan operate tu tapi dorang tak tanya sampaikan arwah cerita sendiri kenapa sampai jadi macam tu. kalau kite rapat dengan kawan kita sendiri pun kita sedihkan. muda lagi sakit seteruk itu. tapi tabahnya arwah, setiap semester anugerah ketua jabatan dia rangkul. aku rasa bila tengok dia tu macam dia tak pernah hidap pape sakit pun.
arwah tak lalui zaman remaja dia macam kita sekarang nie. bergantung dekat ubat and family dengan kengkawan je yg bagi sokongan padu. pernah ida cakap, arwah kalau sakit, dia tak cakap. cuma dia usap kepala dia then bila umi dia tanye kenapa, arwah just senyum je. Ya Allah tabahnye kau mas. kalau nak bawak keluar, mesti umi dia tanye memacam and memang tak bagi dia keluar tanpa family terdekat.
saat arwah dibawa ke rumah ibubapanya selepas dikafankan dari hospital, hampir semua kawan2 and lecturer polipd yang datang. aku berdua dengan ida mase tu tunggu masitah sampai. syukur masitah sempat tatap wajah terakhir arwah. tapi yang paling aku tak bole tahan sayu, masitah peluk ida sampai sedu nangisnya. even aku tak selalu dengan dorang nie, tapi bila keadaan macam nie, utuh betul persahabatan dorang tu.
Allah duga mesti sebab sayang. tapi setiap ujian tu mesti ada hikmah. even almarhum tunku jalil mahupun arwah mas amira, cekal betul harungi setiap sisa akhir hidup tapi still senyum menahan sakit yg dihadapi. Moga kedua-dua arwah ditempatkan dalam kalangan orang yang menerima syafaat dan beriman. Insha Allah.