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February’s here! Check out our list of activities around the Klang Valley and for you and your family to explore.

1. Transparent Fish Exhibition

Science meets art in this exhibition at the education corner of Aquaria KLCC. More info here.

Dates: January – March 2019
Venue: Aquaria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

2. Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us at Genting

Screenings of the latest Pokémon film up at Genting Highlands! More info here.

Dates: 2nd – 24th February 2019 (selected dates) at 4.30pm and 8.00pm.
Venue: Genting International Showroom, Resorts World Genting, Genting Highlands

3. In the cinema: Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Picking up from the events of Taco Tuesday, the new Lego movie takes us back to Bricksburg, now a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Emmet still pretends that everything is awesome – but new adventures await!

Dates: In cinemas 7th February 2019

4. Puja Pantai with the Mah Meri

Celebrate the ancient ritual with the Mah Meri and be part of their mysterious tradition. Puja Pantai is the last of the important rituals still practiced by the Mah Meri. More information and bookings here.

Date and time: 9th February 2019 at 9.00am to 3.00pm
Venue: Mah Meri Cultural Village, Carey Island, Selangor

5. Activities at Taman Tugu

Taman Tugu at Lake Gardens has loads of kid-friendly events happening in February, including jungle activities, guided walks, and workshops. Full schedule here.

Dates: Every weekend
Venue: Taman Tugu, Kuala Lumpur

6. Mechanical engineering for kids

During these maker workshops, kids can explore the field of mechanical engineering and discover what engineers do. They will learn all about machines and will work together to design and produce innovative projects. More info here.

Dates: 10th, 17th and 24th February 2019
Time slots: 12.00pm – 1.30pm / 3.00pm – 4.30pm / 4.00pm – 5.30 pm

7. Theatre: Twelfth Night

The HandleBards, the world’s only cycling theatre company, return to Malaysia with their riotous all-male version of Shakespeare’s hilarious and heart-breaking comedy. The production promises an array of inventive props and costumes, physical theatre and some clever improv theatre. More info here.

Dates: 14th – 20th February 2019, various showtimes
Venue: PJ Live Arts, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya

8. Once upon a time – Story Telling with arts and crafts

Storytelling of A Knit and A Knot, a story about determination, helpfulness and kindness, followed by an art activity and playtime. More info here.

Date and time: 15th February 2019, 3.30pm – 5.00pm
Venue: Noriter café, 1Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur

9. The Weekend Japanese Film Show

Rudolf the black cat is based on a popular children’s book series by Hiroshi Saito. It is a story of a naive stay-at-home kitten, Rudolf, and a seasoned stray cat and their common adventures. Admission is free, more info and bookings here.

Date and time: 16th February 2019, 10.00am – 12.00pm
Venue: Golden Screen Cinemas (Level 5), Nu Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

10. Storytelling in French – Raconte-moi une histoire: Les monstres

Listen to the stories in French read by the monstrous Grégory. Recommended for children aged 3 to 7 but everyone is welcome. More information here.

Date and time: 16th February 2019 at 9.30am and 11.15am
Venue: Alliance Française, 15 Lorong Gurney, Kuala Lumpur

11. Chinese New Year workshops with Play x Bond

Kids can make a Chinese dragon puppet, dance with it and dive into the story of the Chinese Zodiac. Recommended for children aged 3 to 6. More info here.

Date: 16th February 2019
Time: 11.30am – 1.00pm
Venue: Jam Factory Restaurant, Bandar Puchong Jaya

Date: 17th February 2019
Time: 11.30am – 1.00pm
Venue: Namoo Korean Dessert Cafe n Bistro On The Park, Publika

12. Snow white

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest one of all? Storytelling and a costume party based on Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. For families with kids aged 3 to 10. More info here.

Date and time: 16th February 2019 at 10.30am -12.00pm
Venue: The Story Book, Plaza Arkadia, Desa Parkcity

13. Night walk at FRIM

FRIM’s popular night walk programme is back. A great opportunity for families (minimum age 13) to witness the nocturnal species. More info here.

Date and time: 23th February 2019 at 8.00pm – 11.00pm
Venue: FRIM-MNS Nature Education Centre, FRIM, Kepong

14. KL Highland Games 2019

The Highland games offer a rare chance to admire marching bands with bagpipes and drums, marvel at the kilted heavy athletes competing in traditional Scottish sporting events and follow an international junior rugby tournament. There will also be a Kids’ Village with fun rides and activities, as well as food stalls. More info here.

Date and time: 23th February 2019 at 8.00am – 8.00pm
Venue: Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort, Kuala Lumpur

15. Harry Potter: Imperium Musicus at MPO

MPO’s Family Fun Day will be full of mesmerising melodies and tricks galore when conductor Naohisa Furusawa and the MPO conjure up the sounds of Harry Potter films. For kids aged 4 and above. Dress code applies. Full details here.

Date and time: 24th February 2019 at 2.30pm and 4.30pm
Venue: MPO, Tower 2, PETRONAS Twin Towers, KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

16. Workshop on Dyslexia

Dyslexia Malaysia: Altuz Academy – Orton-Gillingham Reading Specialist offers a workshop for anyone looking for expert help with their children’s reading, spelling, and writing. More info here.

Date and time: 23rd February 2019 at 9.00am
Venue: ELM Business School, HELP University, Damansara Heights

17. Theatre: The Gruffalo

Join Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep, dark woods in this stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s award-winning children’s book. Performance is suitable for ages 4 and up. More info here.

Dates and times: 25th February – 24th March 2019, various showtimes
Venue: PJ Live Arts, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya 

18. The Spartan Kids Race

Although in March, anyone hoping to attend should sign up early for the Spartan Kids Race. This is a race for kids who want to jump, run, get muddy, help each other, and have a good time while conquering obstacles. Full details here.

Date and time: 2nd March 2019, 9.00am onwards
Venue: Semenyih, Selangor

19. Lion dances in Kuala Lumpur

This month lions roam around KL! For a list of best places to see lion dances, head over here.

 

 

This post is a collaboration between Makchic and Happy Go KL.
Happy Go KL is the go-to site for fun family activities in KL and kid-friendly travel in Asia. It is written by a bunch of KL parents who want to share what they know and love about their hometown and this beautiful region.

I am a mother of four, and I have Stage 4 cancer. It is incurable. But no matter what many others may believe, I firmly believe having advanced cancer is not a life sentence.

It has been a year since I discovered I had bone metastases, which means the cancer has spread to my bones. I was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in November 2016, but this metastases discovery automatically upgraded my status to a Stage 4 cancer patient.

What’s it like being a Stage 4 cancer patient?

I know what people think about Stage 4 cancers, and that they think that’s the end of the road for patients like me. But regardless of the time I have left, I must fight. I have four children who still need me every day, and every hour I have with them is so precious.

And there are others like me. We want to live. I want to see my kids grow up and graduate. We want to do so much, and we are up for anything, but there seems to be something always stopping us from trying to prolong our lives.

The sad truth is that despite having to fight this disease, patients have to struggle with an incredibly tough system. When patients are refused treatments or must go through too much red-tape to get treatments, their survival is then hampered. Their lives slowly dwindle.

Let’s talk about time

To date, Stage 4 cancers are incurable. Thus, the objective of treatment is shifted from curing the disease to giving patients quality of life, and to prolong life as much as possible. These treatments can be in many forms, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy or a combination of any of the treatments.

Do not disregard the significance of these treatments. Based on medical reports, the median life of a Stage 4 cancer patient is two years. But I have sat down at the same table with advanced breast cancer patients who have survived more than 8 years! I know of some who have lived 15 years.

These are the same people who were told by the doctors in government hospitals years ago to just go home and pray. That there is nothing they can do for them. Can you imagine what that must feel like?

The truth is that they can do something for these patients, but when it comes to costs, they favour early-stage cancer patients who have a chance at recovery. When patients are refused treatments because their cancer is incurable, what happens then?

Patients who can self-fund, or have insurance, may proceed to get treatments at private hospitals, but what about those who are unable to afford this? Not all cases referred to public hospitals are a lost cause, as proven by those who have survived.

At a breast cancer event organised by the Breast Cancer Welfare Association.

Improving a system

Some patients also face extra charges from public hospitals if they had first received treatments at private hospitals due to the urgency of their situation. Perhaps they have exhausted all their funds, or initially received treatment or an initial investigation at private hospitals.

Why should patients be charged more just because they initially went to a private doctor? I feel this is thoroughly unjustified. There are many reasons why some patients opt for private institutions at first. It could be the long queue to get the first appointment, but the condition has worsened. Or the patient initially had insurance which has now ceased coverage. It could even be a general medical check-up that turned out to be cancer. We just want to be treated fairly.

As earlier stated, I was initially diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. The truth was, I actually have a rare cancer known as neuroendocrine carcinoma. It just so happens to be in the breast, and so it was misdiagnosed as breast cancer.

If it was not for my nature of wanting to read and research every single medical term in my histopathology report, I would not have known the rareness of my cancer. I would not have known how aggressive it was. Most of all, I would not have known if I was getting the right treatment.

After enquiring about this cancer, I found out there are no specialists in Malaysia for this cancer. As there are very few cases around the world, there has not been a consensus on the right treatment method.

The event that inspired me as a Stage 4 cancer patient.

Can you imagine my horror?

I went into fight-or-flight mode. I had to self-advocate, and I reached out to the right people across the globe. I’m glad I did what I did. I managed to get in touch with one Neuroendocrine Tumour (NET) guru, one NET specialist and a NET nurse who are all advocates for the NET community. Through this community, I met less than a handful of cancer patients around the world with the same diagnosis as me.

I learned that although there is no one treatment for all patients of this cancer, there are first line, second line, third line treatments that have been used and which may work. With this knowledge, I discussed with my local oncologist and decided on a procedure that will hopefully suit me.

Being hopeful’s real costs

Yes, I have Stage 4 cancer, but I always have hope in my life. Every day I hope to hear positive improvements in our national health system. I always hope for the discovery of new cancer drugs that can somehow spark a miracle.

Understand that I am hopeful for a reason. It was just announced, for example, that the generic drug for Herceptin, a very effective medication to prolong life for Her2-positive breast cancer, was approved in Malaysia. Yay!

This is good news for Her2+ breast cancer patients, as they would otherwise need to fork up a whopping RM8,000 to RM10,000 per vial of Herceptin.

For the early stages of this breast cancer, patients would undergo between 16 to 18 cycles of treatments which would cost them around RM150,000! For advanced breast cancer patients, they need to undergo these treatments for as long as they have the funds in order to live. Although the price of the generic drug has yet to be revealed, it will certainly reduce the cost by some, and give more hope to patients.

This important co-relation between costs and the time left means patients like me need to do more than just sit back and wait for fate to take its course. It’s crucial for patients to know what they can do, and for others out there to treat us like we are still very much present and living.

These ladies keep me sane, and treat me normal!

My journey

I have been through a lot, and I have seen many different ways people react to the diagnosis of cancer. There are three phases. The first will be grief. Most, if not all, will find it hard to accept at first. Cry if you must. The next phase is getting back on their feet and facing the disease. This is acceptance – when a patient has learned to accept their situation, they can be positive while going through treatment. The third phase is redha and tawakkal, having faith in the Almighty.

What do I feel about things now? I have faith in the Almighty about my situation. Nevertheless, it does not mean I am throwing in the towel. I believe I must do all that I can.

World Cancer Day

On this World Cancer Day, I want to say thank you to the caregivers of cancer patients. You, who have stayed by the side of your loved ones, helping them through this dreaded disease. You make things better for us, and we thank you for being our backbone.

But caregivers, we know how strong you must be to support us emotionally, physically and mentally. Sometimes you fall, and you are not so strong. Please think about yourselves too, we want that for you. Take a break for yourselves. Refresh yourselves and feel good. My mother sacrificed everything for me and almost cancelled a trip to Japan because of me – I couldn’t accept that.

I salute every cancer patient who strives to fight cancer and live just like any ordinary person. My heart and prayers go out to all who have succumbed to it.

My family and support system.

To those who may not know what to say or do when faced with a cancer patient like me, I’d say this:

We don’t want to be treated any different. Just listen when you can. You don’t need to respond with advice or tips, trust me, we hear enough from our doctors and caregivers. Just listen. Help us fight. We still want to live life and enjoy ourselves.

I still work, I need to work. I am a parent, and although I want to be the mother who is all loving and tender with her kids, I still find myself nagging them! But that’s the parenthood journey, it’s not all glory. Learn from everything and reflect on everything. I am still learning.

What does a day mean for me now?

Everything I was planning to do with the children in a few years, I want to do now. If I live long enough, then let us do those things again. But for now, I want to let them experience things while I’m around, and to create memories with them.

I just want to create memories with the kids.

One more day means one more chance to enjoy the company of my loved ones. I wish I didn’t have to feel the pain, which is the first thing I feel every day. But I take my medicine and then I’m good for the day.

I want to value everything now. If there’s something I have learned through everything, it is to not give up easily and to always look at the better and brighter side of life.

By Hasnita Rosli

Hasnita is a Systems Applications and Products consultant and a computer programmer for the past 18 years. She’s also a momager to her 4 children, who are sometimes busier than she is. When she gets some ‘me time,’ she enjoys the spa and loves the hunt for good food.

All photos are from Hasnita’s personal collection.

 

Screen time is not all that bad.

For better or for worse, the advancement of technology has permeated every aspect of our lives and profoundly affects the way we live. Digital literacy has become an essential part of a child’s development now more than ever. As parents, it is important to recognise that not all screen time is bad. Instead, we should learn to embrace and adapt to it positively.

Here are tips to help ensure your child uses screen time positively:

1.  Educate them when they’re little

Don’t wait till they turn into sullen teens intent on keeping their own privacy. Teach your young kids now about a balanced approach towards technology. Keep an open and honest conversation with your child about the positive and negative impact of screen time. Instil in them good habits for self-control. Like everything else, there will come a time where it will be impossible for you to monitor your child. So before that time comes, you will need to perhaps be less militant and give them the space to learn to make the right decisions.

2.  Technology together, not apart

Studies have shown that engaging technology together is a wonderful way to bond with the family. There are plenty of high-quality materials in the market that promotes active engagement amongst family members. Whether it is having a dance-off on your Playstation4 or working together to deliver a variety of dishes with Overcooked, your children would love to see the fun side of you. If you are in for some downtime, perhaps you could stream a movie on Netflix that the whole family can enjoy together?

If bursting the internet quota is a worry, families could opt for a plan like MaxisONE Prime which allows them to rest easy with the magic word – unlimited. Unlimited mobile internet for the whole family (principal and all shared lines), all under one easily manageable package. As the average Malaysian spends a total of RM229 on data, with MaxisONE Prime, they can save up to RM42 per month*.

*depending on size of household

3. Parents to promise too

Even as adults, we may have moments of weakness when spend a little too much time scrolling our Instagram feed. Unfortunately, unless you lock yourself up in the bathroom, you most likely have little pairs of eyes observing you. According to Anya Kamenetz, author of The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life, “Managing your own use is crucial to successfully helping your kids self-manage.” It starts with having a family agreement on what is a reasonable amount of time to be spent on our screens, for everyone. Some families go to the extent of signing a pledge which could be something your family could do too.

4. Keep the connections strong

Let the kids understand the very best thing about technology – that it allows us to keep loved ones close. Programmes such as Skype and FaceTime allow us to stay in touch on a regular basis without costing us much. Our children may easily communicate with their grandparents who might live in a different state or with a cousin who might be in a different country. In this instance, do not worry about the screen at all. Having back and forth conversations helps with their language skills and social interactions!

If you as a parent had to be away for a work trip, separation anxiety would certainly be minimised thanks to technology. Parents and families who are MaxisONE Prime customers can take all the time in the world for calls with their little ones, with unlimited Free Family Roaming in all ASEAN countries. Gone are the days of watching the clock, worrying about those crazy roaming charges!

5.  Encourage Resourcefulness

Your children could be like the students who are taking more responsibility for their own learning, using technology to gather information. Programmes such as Google Classroom provides opportunities for students to communicate and collaborate in ways that were previously undreamt of.

Your child could learn to be resourceful not only through educational materials but through games as well. Kim Komando writes about the hidden benefits of Minecraft, a popular computer game, for USA Today: “One overlooked value of most strategy-based video games is resource management. The player has a finite amount of resources at any given time and needs to decide wisely how to use them most effectively.”

Although your child, even you, may not notice at the time, these skills are essential for later on in life. It is your role as a parent, to ensure that technology is rightly utilised. Organisations like Common Sense Media lists reviews about age-appropriate apps, games and programmes to guide you in making the best choices for your children.

6.  Recognise behavioural changes

There are plenty of guidelines out there on how much screen time a child should get. However, we need to recognise that every child is different. As a parent, it is important to watch out for changes in your child’s behaviour. Do they experience bedtime and wake up battles? Do they suffer from mood swings, is there any loss in appetite or any sudden weight gain? These could be signs that they are spending too much time with their devices. Speak to your pediatrician about it if necessary. As a rule of thumb, screen time should not affect sleep, studies, family time and exercise time. You could have the option to control your kids’ internet time by assigning internet quotas such as MaxisONE Prime DataPool.

7.  Tools for filtering and monitoring

You can support your child’s learning with the right content. But with such a wide and scary variety of websites and information out there, how can you be sure your child is surfing safely? Statistics show that a low percentage of parents installed parental control software because 59 per cent of them never heard of such software.

But there are many programmes available that can assist you in monitoring your child’s usage, such as MaxisONE Prime’s KidNanny. The only parental control for cyber safety you’ll need, KidNanny allows you to filter inappropriate websites and ensure that your child can only access family-friendly apps. You can also manage and track screen time and remotely prevent unwanted access to your child’s device.

8.  Stranger danger

Children need to be instilled with proper internet etiquette and learn to be diligent about what is being posted. They need to understand that anything they post online, will forever be part of their internet footprint. Where possible, try to ensure that your child’s privacy setting is set to the maximum. Once they have reached a certain age, talk to them about the existence of sex offenders and the possibilities of them hiding behind different identities in social networking sites and online games, among others. They should be confident enough to know to leave the website and inform a trusted adult immediately if they feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried.

 

This post is sponsored by Maxis, now with the MaxisONE Prime, an easily manageable family plan that provides unlimited internet for your home and all your mobile lines. This plan is open to new and existing Maxis customers. Just subscribe to any MaxisONE Plan and any MaxisONE Home Fibre Plan to enjoy all of these MaxisONE Prime benefits: