Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Legacy of Dalilah Tamrin

WE were totally lost in that place called 1 Utama. Shahieda from Cape Town was depending on me to find the place where the mak cik Bloggers were meeting but even after numerous phone calls for directions, we were still nowhere near. 

Finally we were told to stay put as someone was sent to rescue us. Within minutes, we saw our saviour, her face breaking into the biggest, most cheerful smile and arms outstretched she embraced us, one after another. This saviour, who walked the distance from the eatery to find us, was Dalilah Tamrin or better known as Raden Galoh of the now hugely popular blog onebreastbouncing.blogspot.com.

Dalilah left us exactly a week today after succumbing to the dreaded C.

But she didn’t go without a fight. She fought to her last breath and left behind a legacy precious and educational. The walk that she took to “rescue” us was indicative of what Dalilah was — not one to sit back and wallow in self pity. No such thing as “I am the one suffering, so come to me”.

Indeed, as many had pointed out, looking at Dalilah and her glowing smile, her infectious positive attitude and, most of all, her fighting spirit, there was no sign at all that she was a cancer sufferer.

Different people deal with adversities in different ways.

When a friend Ruby Ahmad passed away from cancer, it took me a long time to reconcile the vivacious, active and forever positive Ruby with the person who had succumbed to cancer. She never talked about it and I only found out via a long email from her husband. She chose to deal with it quietly but, at the same time, she tirelessly gave talks, networked and gave her all before passing on. 
Dalilah chose to share her experience, the highs and lows that had benefitted not only sufferers but also carers of sufferers and those close to them, for they too suffer.

This mother of two young boys would have been 43 last week. Paralysed by fear of the dreaded disease and the attendant problems as well as what is now the inevitable outcome, Dalilah started a blog that would act as a catharsis to the turmoil within, a journal that had taken its readers on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and a painful but meaningful diary of a dedicated and loving mother and wife. Onebreastbouncing was indicative of the humorous nature of someone who refused to be defeated. Breast or no breast, she soldiered on.

She had and still has a huge following.

She appeared on TV shows, gave talks and created awareness about the disease.
As if that wasn’t enough, she wrote a book: Kanser Payudara Ku: Perjuangan Dan Kesedaran (My Breast Cancer: The Fight And The Realisation).

According to Nasirah Aris, a close friend of Dalilah and advisor to the Pride Foundation, a charity supporting cancer sufferers, most cancer sufferers are positive in sharing their experiences to create awareness and participating in programmes such as walks and mountain climbing.

Dalilah seemed to have that boundless energy. During her last few months, she seemed preoccupied with her own project, a charity project for cancer sufferers. Gifted with words, she penned down what would seem her final message, in preparation for her last journey.

The cyberworld offered a helping hand in the form of a songwriter friend, Intan Nazrah, who lives in Dubai, who helped out with the lyrics and eventually sang the piece that is now resonating in blogs and Facebooks of her followers.

For Intan Nazrah, who writes for the likes of Anuar Zain, it was a painful journey too as her own mother had died of breast cancer.

The song was ready just before Dalilah left to fulfil her last wish. Whether she had listened to it was still uncertain.

Dalilah wanted to perform the umrah, the mini Haj. She was high in spirits before she left but it wasn’t the same Dalilah who returned. Her last status on her Facebook reflected the feelings of someone who was reconciled with her fate.

Despite her pain and discomfort, Dalilah, who was being looked after by her mother, worried more about interrupting the latter’s sleep with her tossing and turning. She knew that she was at the end of her journey, and all she asked for before her last breath, was for the taming of the raging pain within. Goodye Dalilah, you’ve been a source of inspiration and your legacy will live on.

The mak cik blogger world will be a less cheerful place without you.

AL FATEHAH

Picture of Dalilah Tamrin reproduced in NST and in this blog with kind permission of Datin Mamasita.



30 comments:

Bergen said...

She helped me understand cancer in ways I can never thank her enough.

Kak Teh said...

Salam Bergen, Hope you are well.

Fiona1 said...

Thank you for this post. My mum had cervical cancer and I'm grateful for her still being here today.Bless Dalilah and women like her

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Any mention of her still brings tears to my eyes...

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hello Zah, I kinda missed her too but in a way, I’m happy knowing that she’s gone to a happier place.

My relationship with RG was always purely casual, buddy to buddy type just like normal friends would do & no I’d never offered her any info or help / advice on the cancer subject as I’d always knew that she’d probably very well versed on that topic, better than any of us would know. I sensed she kinda like that too, a fresh change from that usual cancer related talks. Well she was a very talented & gifted woman in her own right. Indeed she did leave a mark on most of us.

With fond memories,
Tommy

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Teh,

Saw your writeup in The NST. It's funny how illness can teach us so very much. But at the end of the day, I guess the biggest lesson is not the illness, but how we choose to deal with it. I am reminded of that every day.

Aunty Dalilah got the 'how' very well.

I hope I will learn to handle the 'hows' in life as well as she has.

Hope you are well, and Uncle Hulaimi and all the kids and cats too.

Jordan said...

She was definitely one of a kind. An inspiration to cancer survivors everywhere, myself included.

mamasita said...

I will always remember that special warm smile and how she waved at me..I miss you RG..

NanaDJ said...

She is Unforgettable (Mamasita aptly dedicated this song to her when we met for the last time). Sadly my memory of her will always be too poignant to describe. I want to remember her smile and her warmth, I am trying to. The tears will continue to flow for her...
Love and hugs

tireless mom said...

Hi Kak Teh

I read your article in the plane and I was telling the passengers next to me that I know aruah, as well as the writer. She is truly missed.

Wan Sharif said...

Semuga Redha Allah bersama Puan Dalilah melebihi redha Dalilah dengan ujian Nya..

Kak Teh said...

Fiona, am so sorry to hear that. How is she now? Let's meet up one of these days...before or after Ramadan. My hectic schedule is almost over.

Puteri, yes, it is so so sad...but she is in a better place, Insyaallah.

Kak Teh said...

Tommy, like most cancer sufferers, she knew her time was near and she wanted to do everything. And by doing do people are all the more richer, gaining so much from her experience.

daphne dear, we are fine thank you. and the cats too - but Kissinger and Tabby have gone walkabout again...boys will be boys. But I do hope they come back soon.

Kak Teh said...

Jordan, she was indeed an i nspiration.

Mamasita, i want to remember that smile!

Kak Teh said...

Jordan, she was indeed an i nspiration.

Mamasita, i want to remember that smile!

Kak Teh said...

NanaDJ - its the same with the memories I have with my childhood friend. I saw her just before she went, and she was indeed in pain. II have tried to recall happier times, but that memory keeps coming back. Love and hugs to you too.

TM, although I hardly commented on her blog ( I didnt know what to day :( ) I did follow her ups and downs and yes she will be missed.

Kak Teh said...

Wan Sharif, Amin!

Justiffa said...

Salam KT. i never knew her but i wish i did. semoga dia dibersama mereka yg beriman & bertaqwa.

jaflam said...

Kak Teh thanks for the great write up on Dalilah.

Dimanakan ku cari ganti
Yang serupa dengan mu
Tak sanggup ku menahan sedihnya
Melihat kau pergi dan abadi...

Al Fatihan.

Kak Teh said...

Justiffa, she was a wonderful lady - an amazing one.


Dato Jaflam - thank you.

mekyam said...

dalilah and ruby were both gifts and blessings to those whose lives they touched on and offline. thank you, sweet flowers!

thank you God, for them!

al-Fatihah!

Kak Teh said...

mek yam, you are right. we have been blessed with their friendship, no matter how brief.

[danial][ma] said...

hej! Kak Teh...my deepest condolences and heard the beautiful song too...

Kak Teh said...

Thank you Danial!

Life for Beginners said...

God bless her eternal soul. I only met the late Dalilah Tamrin once when she gave me a copy of her book to pass to you, Kak Teh. This was last year.

An incredible lady.

Kak Teh said...

kenny, yes i rember you meeting her to get the book for me. Thank you. she was one brave lady.

Temuk said...

Salam
Belasungkawa utk arwah Dalilah itu, seperti juga yg dinukilkan utk arwah Ruby dahulu, amat menghibakan sekali. Namun di sebaliknya juga tersisip jelas kisah kegagahan & ketabahan wanita-wanita itu menghadapi ujian Allah. Malah, dalam keuzuran, mereka masih mampu melambai dan menggapai insan lain, rakan rapat ataupun yang asing. Mereka hebat! Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas roh mereka.

Ailin in Stockholm said...

Salaam Kak Teh. I got to know about onebreastbouncing just a few months ago. And now to hear about the owner's passing.... :(

Hey! Bergen is here!!!! -waving- speak of the devil!

Marina M Batchelor said...

i am Malaysian residing in America. Jan 2010, i was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer at 36 years old. My baby girl was 15 mths old at that time. 9 months later, after double mastectomy (which i choose by choice) and 4 rounds of chemotherapy (also i decided to have by choice), i live and lead a different life now. I am a happier and more confident person than i had been for the past 36 years. I am now cancer free but my 'journey' dealing with breast cancer will always be with me forever. I believed we are the chosen ones. I believed that this illness was given to me partly to help me educate and help my fellow Malaysian ladies about breast cancer awareness. By educating ourselves better about breast cancer, we can avoid this beastly illness and even if detected, we can detect it early. Sharing is caring everyone.

Tinta Publishers said...

Hi, I'm trying to reach out to any fan/friend/bloggermate to the late Dalilah Tamrin (aka Raden Galoh) to help work on a 2nd and expanded edition of Dalilah's previously quite successful and inspirational book, "Kanser Payudara Ku: Perjuangan & Kesedaran" (2009: Tinta Publishers). I feel that with her passing, an expanded edition of the book detailing her inspirational experience with cancer will certainly continue to benefit and inspire more readers/fans. I suggest the new materials to come from her once extensive blog writings that were heavily omitted in the 1st edition. They are now still available with me as I had been her publisher then and still holds the rights. I think her family would appreciate it too. Anyone interested and willing, please contact me: Riz at 012-2280037 or email tintapublishers@gmail.com. (On another note, Dal's same book is also now being converted to be sold as e-book by an e-publisher, Kotabuku, perhaps available before year's end). Thanks.