KUCHING: Phu Joon Meng, 23, who suffers from a grade four malignant brain tumour, has only one wish — to be healthy again.
“My dream to finish my studies on time like others will never be come true.
“But I am grateful to receive this Aegrotat Special Award,” said Phu who was conferred his bachelor’s degree in Quantity Survey based on the aegrotat certificate from University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) on Tuesday.
He told reporters he was in final semester when he found out for the first time in May last year that he had brain tumour.
“When I received the news from the doctor that something was growing in my brain, I felt my whole world had collapsed,” he shared.
Before he was diagnosed with the malignant brain tumour, Phu said he often felt dizzy and experienced extreme fatigue.
“I was very active in taekwondo and I was the president of Taekwondo Club and an instructor with black belt.
“I always felt extremely tired after my taekwondo practices and exercise routines.
“In May 2019, I was diagnosed with grade four malignant brain tumour, the most cancerous one,” he said.
Phu, who studied in the Sibu campus, said he had to defer his studies due to medical treatment in Kuching.
“I had to go for chemotherapy and radiography at the Sarawak General Hospital.
“It was a very stressful time as I was right in the middle of completing my degree.
“After my first surgery in June 2019, things seemed to be alright. And after six months, I resumed my studies in Feb this year.
“However, things became much worse later as I often experienced a number of side effects from my chemotherapy treatment, including dizziness, headaches, nausea, insomnia and loss of appetite,” he recalled.
The continuous support from his family, friends and lecturers, Phu said, kept him fighting for his life.
“My family members, especially my parents, have been supportive throughout the hard times and they always try to make everything available for me even though I didn’t ask them for anything.
“My brothers and two close friends, too, always made themselves available to me,” he said in a teary voice.
Phu said it was not easy for people who suffered from chronic illnesses like him to accept their fates.
“Health is very important. Don’t take this blessing for granted. You don’t know how it feels when this blessing — our health — has been taken away.
“When your health has deteriorated, you can only rely on other people to take care of you,” he said.
It is learnt that the cancer cells have spread to other parts of Phu’s body and he has been advised to stop the treatment and enjoy the rest of his life.
“All I want to do now is to spend the rest of my life with my family, especially my parents.
“I want to create more memories with my parents and my brothers before I leave the world,” he said.