Stickman Readers' Submissions April 16th, 2007

I Lost it All

China Hotel Guide
• Jinma Spring Hotel
• Rui Cheng Hotel
• Tianhong Plaza Hotel Beijing
• Capital Airport Hotel

What do you do when you lose everything in your life that you loved and valued?

It happened to me. It could happen to you.

He Clinic Bangkok

Let me tell you how it all started. I came to Bangkok more than ten years ago. Got me a good job, making money, nice place to live, and plenty of whoring on the side. Everything was hunky dory for a while. Then I started feeling an empty
place inside.

You know that feeling, right?

You start wondering if this is what life is all about. You meet a new whore every night. Ask the same boring questions. Make the same arrangements. Bed her. Look for the next one. Going through the motions without any satisfaction.

CBD bangkok

Then one day I met a Thai Chinese guy and we became good friends. He had a small business and a restaurant off Suriwong Road. He was a good guy. I'd go over there many nights, have dinner with him, and sit drinking and shooting the shit.
Regular guy stuff. My life was starting to change. I almost gave up the bar life for something a bit more 'normal'.

As we talked, he often pointed out his two sisters and asked if I was interested in them. Moon faces, a bit dumpy, definitely not pretty. I told him as diplomatically as I could that I wasn't in the market. I enjoyed being single in
this man's town.

One evening after our Thai meal, he said, "I'm taking you to a disco tonight. I want you to meet a good friend of my sisters. She's very beautiful. I think you will want to meet her."

That got me, so I agreed.

wonderland clinic

We turned up at the disco about 10 pm and sat down for some pre-dancing drinks in the lobby bar. My friend introduced me to Took. Yeah. She sure was beautiful. She was slim, with a pair of wonderfully shaped almond Chinese eyes. I couldn't
take my eyes off her.

She was articulate, spoke good English, and obviously came from a good family. Turns out her father was a big property landlord around town, and her brother owned one of the largest pencil exporting factories in Thailand. This was my type
of lady!

That night, we danced, drank, and had a good time together. As she left with her friends at the end of the night we arranged to meet again for lunch in a couple of days.

Hell! I couldn't wait that long. I called her within six hours and she agreed to dinner that night.

We got on well. We had plenty in common and the longer we knew each other the stronger the mutual attraction.

Ah what the hell! It wasn't just attraction. It was a full-blown case of love, love, love.

As I soon discovered, she felt the same way. There was only one fly in the ointment. Her father was a very strict, traditional Chinese man. She had to sneak out to meet me all the time. It was difficult at times, but love will find a way,
won't it?

A few months after we met, her father had a heart attack and died. Took was devastated. She had worshipped him. I was there. So she turned to me for consolation. A few months later we started talking seriously about getting married.

She went to big brother, who was now head of the family. He gave us his blessing, as long as we had a low-key wedding. He didn't want our union splashed in all the local newspapers. It might hurt his business. No problem for me, but
Took was disappointed she couldn't have that big white gown wedding she'd always dreamed of.

So, to compensate her, I arranged our honeymoon at one of the top resorts in Phuket for a week. It was wonderful. We spent the days under the palm trees drinking and eating tropical delicacies, and making love whenever we had the urge; which
was often. We just couldn't get enough of each other.

Within a couple of months she came to me with the good news. She was pregnant. We were both excited. We wanted at least two kids, so we were already well on the way to achieving one of our most cherished goals.

Everything went well for the first few months. Took had the usual morning sickness. No big deal.

I noticed, though, that she was experiencing some major cramps in her stomach. We went to see a gynecologist and she advised Took to take it easy. No strenuous activity. The doctor said Took's body was trying to eject the foreign body
within her. Took had to take a range of pills to help calm her down and to dampen the rejection cramps.

Things settled down a bit, and we relaxed.

Around the five-month mark, Took started complaining again that the cramps were getting worse. One day while I was out of the office on a business call she jumped into a taxi and went to the hospital where she spontaneously aborted our twin
boys before she could get word to me.

It wasn't until four hours later when I got back to the office that I found out Took was in hospital. I didn't even know she was pregnant with twins or that we had lost them until I got there.

I went berserk, accusing the doctors of incompetence, raging around the ward in grief.

When I finally calmed down, I sat with Took and held her hand as she slept off her ordeal. The nurses and doctors were very kind and supportive, despite my outburst. They understood the pain I was in.

Took came home a few days later and we settled back into our life together. At least, we tried to.

I hadn't given up on the idea of having a family. I come from a big family myself and I wanted kids of my own. I have always enjoyed having them around, looking after them, and watching in wonder as they learn and grow into adults. I
wanted us to have the same pleasure together.

Time went by. The months turned into years, but Took didn't get pregnant again. She had changed after losing the twins. She was quieter, more secretive, and we didn't communicate like we used to.

I set Took up with her own clothing business and she took to it like a duck to water. She would go out all day and half the night with her female driver picking up and delivering clothes. She had a team of young girls sewing and packing.
We hardly saw each other except at night when we were both too exhausted to do much more than sleep. Sometimes, Took would come home so late I didn't even see her until the next morning.

I figured she wasn't getting pregnant because of her hectic schedule. After all, it's difficult to conceive when we hardly had time to make love any more.

After we had been married for about eight years, I confronted Took one day. We were both getting older and we still hadn't started our family, I told her it was time to try again. We were comfortable financially. We had a nice house,
servants. Why not?

She tried putting me off, but I told her that I really wanted to have kids and if we left it much longer it would be too late. Losing the twins had put her off getting pregnant again. But I insisted.

She agreed, reluctantly, and within two months she was pregnant again. Turns out she had been on the pill ever since losing the twins. She never told me and I didn't find this out until much later. When she stopped taking the pills,
she got pregnant easily. I was over the moon, especially when the doctor told us it was another boy.

Once more, Took started experiencing cramps, and the doctor advised her to stay in bed and not move until the baby came. I insisted on it, and hired two nurses especially to look after her 24 hours a day.

The pregnancy was difficult, but in the end she gave birth to a seven-pound healthy boy. He was a tough looking kid. Well built, like me. He had dark hair and Took's nose. We were both happy. We named him Joseph.

All went well for the first six months. Joseph grew normally.

Then, one day Took was bathing him and noticed that bits of skin on the top of his head were peeling off. She called me over. It didn't look serious to me, but she was worried and insisted we take him to the BNH for a check up. We arrived
and the doctor looked at it. He wasn't sure what was causing the problem so he advised Took to stay in overnight so they could run some tests.

The next morning I turned up early and immediately noticed that Joseph had a large lump just below his ear. We called the doctor in, and he said he would have to perform a biopsy to check it out.

We waited anxiously. A couple of hours later the doctor came in looking glum.

"We have found indications of a malignant tumor."

"What does that mean, doctor?" we asked.

"The material in the lump consists of granular cells that are probably a sign of Histiocytosis X." he told us.

We looked at him puzzled and the doctor explained. "This is a disease that only strikes young boys up to about six years old. It is 100% fatal. I'm sorry, but your son is going to die."
(Note: These days, some children
do survive the disease, but back then it was always fatal)

We were shocked. How could this be? What was this Histiocytosis X?

The doctor explained that the disease has an 'X' in the name because they didn't know exactly what it was, but that it resembled a form of virulent Leukemia. Joseph's immune system would diminish and he would eventually
die from complications.

After our initial shock I tried to find out everything about the disease I could. I went looking for anyone in the world who could help cure our son. I read all the medical books I could get on the subject. Our doctors were helpful and even
suggested doctors in Europe and Australia I could contact who might be able to help.

They all said the same thing. There was no hope.

Joseph survived another four months in hospital. For a while he underwent chemotherapy, but the doctors told us it wasn't doing any good. Joseph took it well, but you could see he was suffering badly from the treatment. So the doctor
recommended stopping it. We agreed.

We both spent all our time in the hospital with our son. Took and I supported each other as best we could, but our hearts were breaking inside. It's terrible to watch your son slowly dieing. The only bright spot was that he didn't
appear to be suffering any pain. He was happy and quite active for the first three months after his diagnosis. Then he started to deteriorate fast.

Histiocytosis X invades the bone marrow, thymus and lungs. One day, Joseph couldn't breathe. The doctors performed a tracheotomy to open up an air passage to his lungs. Soon after that, he was put on a respirator. His body bloated with
liquid until he became almost unrecognizable.

Took and I discussed cutting off his life support to end his suffering. The doctors urged us to. They said they had no way of knowing how long Joseph would survive in his condition, and it would only get worse.

I just couldn't do it. How could I kill my own son? Deep in my mind I knew it would be better to let him go. But my heart wouldn't let me.

The end came suddenly one evening. Joseph went into cardiac arrest and within a few minutes it was all over.

The next day, exhausted, Took and I filled in all the paperwork. Then we picked up Joseph's body and drove him to our local temple where we paid for a burial plot. I carried him weeping from the car to his grave and gently laid him down.
We covered him with his favorite baby blanket and said our goodbyes. Joseph lies there to this day.

Over the next two years Took and I grew apart. I had spent almost all our savings on hospital fees and treatments. I couldn't concentrate on my business throughout the ordeal. Afterwards, I couldn't pick up the pieces. Our marriage
slowly fell apart and two years after Joseph died we split up.

It has taken me a few years to pull myself together and get my life back on track. These days, I am happily married with two healthy children I dote on more than perhaps I should. Every time I look at them I am so thankful to have regained
the love and happiness I thought I had lost forever.

You never know what life will spring on you. Enjoy every day like it's your last. One day it will be.

Stickman's thoughts:

Oh God, this is truly awful. I don't know what to say, except to offer my belated condolences. It is great that you have been able to move on, and that you have been gifted two lovely kids.

The author cannot be contacted.
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