Let’s Go Fly A Kite (And See If We Can Pee Our Troubles Into The Wind)

Little B brandishing her kite-flying chops today.

When the going gets tough, the tough go kite-flying.

This past week has probably been one of the craziest, busiest of my life — and yet I did not do a stitch of work.

Of course there’s the whole critical illness insurance debacle, which has caused equal amounts of anger from friends who couldn’t believe that I had a mastectomy but didn’t get a payout, as it did from insurance agents who weren’t so happy that I was ripping CI coverage apart with my bare hands (or pens). See my next post “The Vampires Strike Back”.

Then, faced with the frustration of not being able to sit and work at my laptop for more than 90-120 minutes at a go (I set an egg timer on my desk to remind myself to get out of my seat every 90 minutes), I went to see my partner to tell her the bad news that I couldn’t carry on. Being her, she jumped to a solution that bought us both some time. I don’t know if I can get over this in time to move on along with her, but God has given me a partner who really is in it with me, and I thank Him for her.

On top of it all, my mother-in-law’s maid (who does the cooking) asked to go on home leave these 2 weeks (school hols! Murder!). But her father is undergoing an operation and she wants to be home, so she left last night, and we won’t have her back for 16 days.

To add on to that, my maid (who helps me with Little B) got a job in the Netherlands, thanks to her sister who lives there. So she’s leaving us in three weeks, and Little B’s heart will be just a little bit broken… I am very very NOT looking forward to that.

Plus I pulled my back on Sunday, catching Little B before she leaped over two chairs.

So … fed up with staying home stewing over my list of “issues” I packed the Three Bs, the maid and the mother-in-law and we headed for Marina Barrage, which I had only experienced at the Social Entrepreneurship Awards last November.

There is something liberating about flying a kite. You just have to be ready, and when the wind catches your kite, it pulls it up, up, up into the heavens, and all you are staring at is your moth/face/Doraemon (or in my son’s case, a sotong) and God’s big blue sky.

But it takes patience. Often I try to run around catching the wind, like I’m catching a break. It doesn’t work — the kite flutters and spins and then, plooop, falls nose first to the ground.

But if I stand and wait, holding my kite ready, feeling for the moment that the wind willingly sweeps it up and draws it higher, higher, it’s like my kite could fly on forever.

Yesterday my cell group leader’s wife called me. She has been through her own horror story of DVT, a broken leg, PTSD, but by God’s amazing grace, she is up and at it today, fit as a fiddle, travelling for mission work. I guess it really makes a difference when someone speaks to you who has walked that road before, who knows the moments you feel so hard done by you just break down and cry, who understands the depths of the emotions that are triggered by something as simple as a hug.

She reminded me that God saved my life. That I was rescued for a reason. That my blog has helped many in various ways. That I have been given a gift — that is, to write — and that I must use it.

It made me think, I have used my writing skills less and less as the years went by. I’ve entered into “editing mode”, and now that I think about it, it’s the editing that stresses me out. The reading, the correcting, the restructuring (the vomiting…). It offers me no joy; it is a job to be done. Period.

Which is not to say I don’t enjoy the planning and the thinking part of being an editor. I love it. But maybe, as her words sank into me, it’s time to go back to my gift: To write.

I joked that I am having writer’s block, and she snorted. “You just need to be the vessel. God will speak through you. The Holy Spirit will bring the anointing. You just need to be willing, and to obey.”

I just need to be that kite, waiting for the wind beneath my wings to carry me up, to raise me higher, to do in me what I am created to do. I cannot do it in my own strength, like a kite is useless without wind and an anchor.

But with Him all things are possible.

Big B's sotong in the sky.

Of course, my Three Bs did not have such an epiphany as I, but they each had their turn at bringing that kite up, up, up into the sky, and — like any proud mom would say — they were real naturals.

Finally, sunburnt, and with the breeze becoming intermittent, we called it a day and headed for lunch, and finally, a well-deserved ice kacang at Terminal 3.

Sh*t, There’s A Hole In My Coverage. Make That A Manhole.

Today is probably a really bad day to be blogging because I’ve got me a major case of the blues. So forgive me if this sounds super-ranty, because I am super-pissed.

This sort of fury often brought on by finance-related matters. Yesterday I received a letter from Prudential, with whom I spend nearly $1,000 every month, telling me that I don’t have cancer.

Yep, you read it right. Apparently, according to the experts at Prudential, I lost a breast and went through a 12 hour surgery for… not cancer!

Blows your mind, huh? I’m still trying to find pieces of my brain under the couch after this staggering news.

Truth is, three of my many Prudential policies cover me for critical illness. However, when I signed with my agents, I never imagined that cancer at Stage 0 would be considered by my insurance company that I “do not have cancer”. In fact, there is every chance a woman buying a life plan with critical illness coverage has NO IDEA there is a stage called DCIS, and that her insurance company does not consider it cancer.

So my “imaginary cancer” won’t allow me to claim any of the $200,000 (or more) that my critical illness plans entitle me to.

Please, if you are a woman reading this, go and see your insurance agent and tell him/her/it that you want coverage for EARLY STAGE CANCERS. Make sure your policy document states that you will get 25% or however much for ductal carcinomas-in-situ or Stage 0 breast cancer. To my understanding these are the 2 policies that offer them now:

1. Great Eastern’s PinkLife will pay out 25% of your sum assured for carcinomas-in-situ. Not great an exchange for a breast but at least it’s not nothing. If I had bought that instead I would have $50,000 to allow me to take a break from work for some months, while still being able to pay my monthly bills and kids’ tuition fees and groceries…

2. AIA’s Complete Critical Illness Cover pays out 25% on early critical illnesses (I am assuming DCIS breast cancer is one of these).

Please please please, I beg you, don’t get royally scr*wed like me. Make sure your critical illness plan actually covers you, and you are not just happily giving your money away to insurance companies for their CEOs to buy 10 luxury holiday homes across the world.

Do not be a sucker like me. Please.

Call your insurance agent or financial planner today and make sure, by hook or by crook, you are covered by some rider, anything, for early stage cancers.

I’ve been researching cases of insurance companies who don’t pay out for DCIS breast cancers. Looks like it’s a worldwide disease. The insurance companies are the disease, I mean.

I lost a breast to this threat.
My histological report finds the cancer cells ARE malignant and aggressive, and most certainly were life-threatening — or I wouldn’t have needed the mastectomy.
I just happened to discover it before it became an uncontrollable growth.

Tell me how this is not cancer.

In my Googling I found this BBC clip. It makes me so, so sad that all around the world, women like me are shortchanged by insurance policies that they pay through the nose for.

I have paid close to $32,000 for one policy and over $25,000 for the other.

This clause in Critical Illness contracts NEEDS TO CHANGE. DCIS is cancer (and in my case, malignant) and it should be awarded accordingly and automatically. Sadly, Prudential covered its backside in its small print, which I had no understanding of. It makes me sad that they expect me to have Stage 1, or 2, or 3 or terminal cancer and chemo and radiation before I qualify to make a claim. Losing a breast is forever. Surely that must count for something.

For women in their 20s or 30s reading this — if you have had a grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, female cousin contract breast cancer, make sure you get yourself proper coverage (see box above).

A close friend who is a decorated journalist was horrified to hear it was likely I could not make a claim on my critical illness plans. “They should change that,” he said (after uttering “Wah lau eh, sh*t!”). “I can write a story on that.”

He should. I think I will be calling him soon. Also I am relooking at my Prudential policies now — maybe it’s not worthwhile carrying on. I should get my money back. Pity the surrender value is so pathetic. Bet that CEO already bought his 11th luxury holiday home.

Never mind, lessons learned. READ THE SMALL PRINT, AND FIND OUT WHAT THE EXCLUSIONS MEAN.

So, I guess I have no choice but to haul my sorry ass back to work.