Desire Aesthetics: Get An SG50 Promo For An Award-winning Facial Treatment :)

Desire Aesthetics

If you enjoy a good facial and massage (I sure do!), then you might love what I have in store for you in this post! Desire Aesthetics is offering a special SG50 promo for my readers, which you’ll find at the end of this post! :) But first, here’s a brief introduction to the company…

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Desire Aesthetics is a premiere aesthetic boutique that offers a complete range of aesthetic services for the rejuvenation of body, mind and spirit. The programs are customised to each individual by qualified staff producing clinically proven results.

Desire Aesthetics has won awards from Singapore Tatler’s Best of Singapore every year since 2008! Want to try their award-winning treatments? :)

Desire Aesthetics invites you to enjoy a treatment consisting of:
– Deep cleansing
– Non surgical skin tightening
– Massage

All for just S$50! The total value of this package is S$200! Only available at the International Plaza branch (10 Anson Road, #03-33, International Plaza, Singapore 079903) *Strictly by Appointment only: +65 6222 8586

Stay beautiful, folks! :)

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*This post is part of my 50 for SG campaign – details HERE. Business owners who donate a minimum of S$50 to the Children’s Cancer Foundation will get a feature (at no cost) on my blog. :D

Kinworks Tsubaki Hair Care: Claim Your SG50 Promo Code Now :)

Kinworks Tsubaki

Established in 1932 (in Spain), KIN Cosmetics is an international hair-care brand with a strong presence in more than 20 countries. KIN Cosmetics is a market leader among the professional labels, using the natural ingredients and formulations to deliver products of the highest quality.

KIN Cosmetics Singapore has won several awards, such as:

  • 3 distinctive 2015 Hair Awards by The Singapore Womens’ Weekly
  • 2015 Hair Awards by Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore
  • SME Asia Award 2014 by Asian Business Journal

KIN Cosmetics Singapore specialises in a wide array of professional hair products, such as hair colouring, hair and scalp treatments and home-care products, with an island-wide presence of over 200 salons and still growing.

Their latest arrival is KINWORKS Tsubaki, a simple 2-step home-care treatment that consists of a shampoo and a mask. The 400ml shampoo is paraben-free, and the 200ml mask is both paraben-free and silicone-free.

What is Tsubaki Oil?
Tsubaki oil is a natural beauty ingredient used by the Chinese and Japanese for centuries. It contains high levels of Vitamin E, Omega 3 and Omega 9 acids. KINWORKS Tsubaki Oil Shampoo (S$38) & Mask (S$40) will smoothen, moisturise and add shine to all hair types. This treatment has a warm and seductive fragrance that evokes a relaxing experience.

It is available at authorised salons and online at www.kin.sg/shop (Use promotional code “gracesg50” for 10% discount on all items and get free domestic delivery)

For enquiries, call +65-62580118.

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*This post is part of my 50 for SG campaign – details HERE. Business owners who donate a minimum of S$50 to the Children’s Cancer Foundation will get a feature (at no cost) on my blog. :)

Soteria Face And Nail: Claim Your SG50 eStyle Promo Now :)

Soteria Face and Nail

Soteria Face & Nail has won numerous awards such as the Asia-Pacific Brand Award,
2014 Singapore Brands Award, SME Asia Award ,Queen Of Substance Award. and many more.

And here’s why customers love the Soteria experience…

Soteria uses Babor facial products from Germany, and as a treat for all customers, there is a foot soak before every facial! And the session ends on a sweet note with dessert and homemade ginger tea. :)

Soteria Face and Nail also provides professional nail services – try their pedicure and foot spa! Skilled manicurists provide art manicure service for Crystal Nail, Nail Art
Painting, Nail Decals, Japan 3D Nail and Gel Nail.

For the ultimate pampering experience, Soteria offers eStyle™ treatments powered by proprietary technology that delivers outstanding results to help tighten skin, rejuvenate skin, treat acne and remove unwanted hair.

For hair removal, hair follicles are precisely targeted and destroyed using the revolutionary elōs combination of bi-polar radio frequency and light energies. Both men and women can achieve permanent hair reduction on almost all body areas. Only elōs is proven to remove lighter colored hair, on all skin tones. This is a no-downtime procedure and you can return to normal activities immediately after treatment.

Follow Soteria on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/SoteriaSingapore

SG50 Reader Promo: FIRST 5 Readers to call 62840887 / 62848870 and quote my name ‘GRACE’ get to enjoy one FREE session of eStyle skin rejuvenation worth S$320! :D

Soteria Face & Nail is located at 203 Hougang Street 21, #01-47, Singapore 530203.

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*This post is part of my 50 for SG campaign – details HERE. Business owners who donate a minimum of S$50 to the Children’s Cancer Foundation will get a feature (at no cost) on my blog. :)

Siam Botanicals’ 100% Natural Skincare

Siam Botanicals cleanser and face serums

Even before trying the products, I was already drawn to Siam Botanicals’ packaging which is made from recycled material. The entire look and feel is probably best described as “back-to-Nature”. :D The products themselves wow customers because they are 100% natural, with no synthetics, no sulphates, no parabens, etc.

And I use the Siam Botanicals products with confidence because I can read the ingredients list! No chemistry degrees required! :) You should check out the range of Siam Botanicals products available in Singapore, either online or at Scent Witch Wellness in Novena’s Square 2 (#02-24/25). Alternatively, take part in my facebook giveaway and win the Rose Geranium Milk Cleanser! :)

Because I don’t usually wear makeup, it doesn’t make much sense to buy a bottle of makeup remover. Hence the preference for cleansers which can do double duty and remove makeup when needed. :D The Siam Botanicals Rose Geranium Milk cleanser is one such product.

Why a milk cleanser? Because it’s gentle on your skin and even suitable for use around the eye area! After washing my face, my skin feels soft and clean, not tight and dry. Because of its all-natural content though, the cleanser is a bit pricey at S$36.90 for a 90g bottle.

And this next product is my favorite because it smells really good…

Siam Botanicals Natural Balance Face Serum

It’s the Siam Botanicals Natural Balance Face Serum (S$16.90). As I apply it to my face, I keep breathing in the scent which is so soothing. This may be a face serum, but I’m quite sure it can be an aromatherapy product as well! And why does it smell so good? Surprise surprise, it contains lavender and grapefruit oil! Remember my blogpost about Lavender being the #1 sold-out scent during the exam period? Little wonder why. Products with lavender smell really good and are calming and relaxing.

This face serum is also said to be able to “help preserve the natural balance and elasticity of your skin and protect it from the harmful effects of extreme weather and pollution”. I’m not sure about this point but protection from pollution is definitely welcome.

Once again, a multi-purpose product. No wonder I like this range.  :)

There is also another face serum: the Replenish Face Serum, which has moringa and argan oils. This particular face serum is a bestseller because of its anti-aging and skin-repair properties. It also helps “detoxify and cleanse congested skin of the harmful effects of pollution”.

Purchase them online HERE [ Use code Grace10 to get 10% off regular-priced items now till end-July. Get the same discount in-store by quoting my name :)

Siam Botanicals Face Serums

~ GIVEAWAY ~

One lucky WINNER will receive the Rose Geranium Milk Cleanser worth S$36.90 in the giveaway on my facebook page. Hurry over and take part now. Good luck!~

Siam Botanicals giveaway

http://www.scentwitch.com/

Caffeine Helps Combat Hair Loss – No, It’s Not About Drinking Coffee!

I attended a very interesting presentation on hair care recently, and one of the main takeaways from the event was the stunning realization that “white hairs are good hairs”. Dr. Alvin Wong shared that the (black) pigmentation is gone after about 10 hair cycles, so people start seeing white hairs when they are about 40 years old. However, these hairs are good hairs (they just don’t have the pigments anymore!) so we shouldn’t be plucking them out! Instead, the doctor recommends that we simply dye our hair.

And of the many concerns people have with regard to growing old(er), the main ones are hair loss, weight gain, and wrinkles. The top 3 factors we think are responsible for our hair loss are (1) Stress, (2) Too Many Chemical Treatments and (3) Vitamin Deficiencies. A survey done this year showed that 72% of respondents actually use hair volumizing products! If you are concerned about hair loss or poor hair growth, read on ‘cos this blogpost is for YOU! :)

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On a HOT day like today, a hair wash with cold water is quite a treat. If money is not an issue, and I’m a real tai-tai, I’ll be getting my hair shampoo-ed daily in hair salons such as J’s Salon:

J's Salon

This picture was taken on a recent visit. And as you can probably tell, a hair spa here is a luxurious treat. The plush seats are so comfortable, and there’s even a foot rest! And beneath your feet is a stunning view of the Singapore River. Ahhh…

I was introduced to Plantur’s range of haircare products during that visit, and took home two sets of products – I’m giving away one set… at the end of this blogpost :D

Plantur 21 Nutri-Caffeine range

Made in Germany, the Plantur range helps to combat poor hair growth and premature hair loss. The brochure states that “caffeine activates the hair roots and improves hair growth” and the products also come with valuable micronutrients such as biotin, zinc, calcium and magnesium. Even if you don’t end up purchasing these products, do take note of these micronutrients and ensure you get them via your diet. *wink*

I’m currently using the Plantur 21 Nutri-Caffeine Shampoo and Elixir. The shampoo comes in the form of a colorless, clear liquid with a faint but nice smell. Despite the name, I’m not sure if the Elixir really works (I hope it does), so I’m just keeping my fingers crossed. And honestly, there’s no real way to tell. I’m most certainly not going to count the number of hairs I lose on a daily basis. LOL.

Plantur haircare

I’ll be giving away the Plantur 39 range. It’s for people above the age of 40. The products also contain active ingredients like soy and white tea – “phytoflavones, active botanical ingredients that… help to strengthen the resistance of the hair roots and improve their energy supply… [supporting] growth and regeneration.” If you, or someone you love, is above age 40 and would like to try these products then take part in my giveaway! :)

*You can find Plantur products in pharmacies and supermarkets islandwide.

~ GIVEAWAY ~

Plantur 21 Giveaway

I’m giving away the Plantur 21 Nutri Conditioner (since my hair is rather short, and I have no use for this) and the full set of Plantur 39 – for people aged 40 and above!

Head over to my facebook page for details on how to win these products! :D

The #1 Sold-Out Scent at Scent Witch Wellness During The Exam Period

Scent Witch Wellness

I love perfumes and beautifully-scented shampoos and body care products, but I have never paid much attention to how scents can help relieve stress too. So imagine my surprise when Yugui, the owner of Scent Witch Wellness, shared with me that the #1 scent which gets sold out during the exam period is LAVENDER! :)

Despite the numerous other scents available, lavender gets sold out the fastest – be it lavender body lotion, essential oil, reed diffusers or soap, the products sell faster than she can stock them! (“Don’t know whether it’s the parents who are stressed or the children who are stressed,” she joked.)

Other Popular Scents include:

Bergamot – antidepressant, antiseptic, calms inflamed skin

Eucalyptus – helps to fight cold and flu, insect repellent, anti-inflammatory

Peppermint – promotes alertness, helps to fight colds and flu

Lemongrass – invigorating, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, insect repellent

… and many more …

And in the picture above are the products Yugui recommends for combating stress and to promote deep sleep. Pop by Scent Witch Wellness (#02-24/25) at Square 2 (just above Novena MRT station) and smell the various products. It’s instant (and free) aromatherapy when you step into her store. I loved the lemongrass scent coming from the diffusers at the entrance when I was there on Tuesday to purchase some “herb bags” – they look like tea bags but are made from various herbs and flowers and do not contain caffeine! :D #mynewlove

The pretty essential oil diffusers:

Essential Oil Diffuser

And are these CANDY?!!!

Scent Witch Wellness

Nope! They are scented soy wax melts which are handmade with 100% soy wax from USA. There are some really interesting ones like “iced tea”, “clean cotton”, “cherry blossom” and “himalayan bamboo”! You can take your pick and bring home a 100g box. :)

I love the cute name of this shop too but have never quite gotten around to asking the lady boss about why it’s named “Scent Witch” though I guess it’s because something really cool is always brewing in here. Go visit even if it’s just to get free aromatherapy! Hehehe! :D

Scent Witch Wellness

And here are 4 products you might want to check out when you pop by Scent Witch Wellness:

1) Bodhi Shower Gels and Body Lotions

Scent Witch Wellness

I’m using the 250ml Green Tea shower gel on those days I’m feeling very tired because it smells so good and is an instant perk-me-up. Also, it’s in such a precious small bottle. I need a 1-litre bottle! Don’t quote me on this, but I think the scent reminds me of that super lovely smell that Ion Orchard has – you know that amazing smell that hits you when you exit from Orchard MRT station? This shower gel is about 70% similar to it, with a few other (different) notes, of course.

I’m also using the Lotus Geranium body lotion from this range because it has a lovely scent which is not too strong, and is great for application just before I go to bed.

2) Bodhi Himalayan Salt Body Scrub (Pink Grapefruit is my fav!)

Scent Witch Wellness

The tea tree one is pretty interesting too – if you have acne on your body, do purchase this product. I enjoy the scent of grapefruit so I’m only getting this one. I’m not a big fan of coconut so the Virgin Coconut body scrub is really not something I’ll buy. You can try them all at the shop.

With these scents and spa products, it’s so easy to recreate a spa experience in the comfort of your own home. Plus, the products are so affordable, especially with the ongoing promotions right now…

3) Reed diffusers at 10% – 30% OFF (A GSS Promotion!)

Scent Witch Wellness

Many products are on offer right now because of the Great Singapore Sale. You can shop online at http://www.scentwitch.com/ too (use my discount code Grace10 for 10% off regular-priced items till end-July) or pop by the retail store and mention my blog name for the same discount! *yay*

4) Scented Linen Bags 

Scent Witch Wellness

The scented linen bags retail at S$9.90 with refills at S$4.90 each. Very affordable since the scents last for a couple of months. I like lemongrass and lavender most. I don’t think the champagne rose one smells anything like roses but you can go give it a sniff and tell me what you think. LOL

Hang them in your wardrobe or shoe cabinet to instantly make everything smell great. You can even hang these linen bags in your car or gym locker! :D

What’s in my “Home Spa”???

Scent Witch Wellness

I’m currently trying out the Siam Botanicals 100% natural skincare range which has no synthetics or parabens and contain only 100% pure natural cold-pressed oils. Watch out for the review soon.

~ GIVEAWAY ~

If you want to win some of the Siam Botanicals and Bodhi goodies sponsored by Scent Witch Wellness, pop by my facebook page for the giveaway! :D

My Thoughts After Spending S$1,999.84 at Willow Stream Spa

Willow Stream Spa Singapore

[All pictures in this blogpost are from Fairmont Singapore’s website, unless otherwise specified]

“Those who say money cannot buy happiness just don’t know where to spend it?” :D Well, there is some truth there. But I guess what’s most important is to have the good health required to spend that money and enjoy what it brings. This is why I love massages and relaxing facial treatments. It’s ‘me time’ and often, rest time for me as well because I am away from my digital devices and can truly relax.

I have spent a fair bit at Willow Stream Spa – close to S$2K. And no, the Spa did not sponsor my treatments, and neither are they paying me to write this. For the skeptical folks, here are the invoices for each session:

Willow Stream Spa Singapore

Located at level 6 of Fairmont hotel (next to Raffles City), this is one atas spa. The prices reflect this: a couples’ massage costs S$512.54 after tax. It’s certainly not a small sum but as a special treat for an anniversary celebration, I think it’s worth it. For a good hair spa, I’d recommend J’s Salon at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. :)

As for Willow Stream Spa’s facial treatments, I would highly recommend their 90-minute Ultimate Caviar Facial (about S$309 after tax) for really clean and glowing skin – this lasts for at least a few days after the facial. :D I believe this is the facial treatment that many beauty editors have been raving about in magazines too.

As for the facilities… There’s usually no one in the relaxation lounge whenever I visit, unlike what’s shown in this picture:

Willow Stream Spa Singapore

You get to lie down and chill before your therapist comes in to lead you over to the treatment room. The lounge usually has wellness tea and some fruit (green apples?) for guests to enjoy. There’s a lot of exclusivity and privacy. And you don’t usually get to chat with anyone other than your therapist.

If you don’t usually go for spa treatments, you might want to indulge at some point – maybe your birthday or after a long work week. You’ll step out feeling like a million bucks. It’s hard to describe that feeling. :)

And Willow Stream Spa also has other facilities for paying guests and members to enjoy. The hot and cold tubs don’t look exactly like this in the ladies spa area. But it’s where one gets to enjoy the steam room, jacuzzi and shower amenities.

Willow Stream Spa Singapore

Interestingly enough, I find the water in the hot tub too hot, and that in the cold tub too cold. Haiz. So while other guests happily slide in in their swimwear, I tend to give these tubs a miss. It’s a case of Goldilocks. :D

Above all, what I like best about this Spa is that there is absolutely no selling within the treatment rooms. Unlike other facial places I’ve been to, where the therapists try to sell me a membership package or some ampoule or other, the therapists here do no such thing. Also, they stay in the room 99% of the time, and do not head out to serve other customers during the ‘steaming’ or ‘masking’ process.

And there’s also a GSS promotion going on now. I purchased a massage treatment (90 mins) and got to enjoy a 60-minute Deep Cleansing Facial at just S$39 before tax.

If you’re considering a spa treat for yourself or your loved ones, you might want to contact Willow Stream Spa at +65 6431 5600.

Willow Stream Spa at Level 6 of Fairmont Singapore

80 Bras Basah Road, S(189560)

Why Are Original Source Shower Gels So Popular?!

Original Source Shower Gels

I’ve seen the ginormous Original Source ads at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, and know that these shower gels are very popular among younger folk. And I got this value-for-money set from online shopping platform GoBuyLah. I’ve already used up the Mint & Tea Tree and the Shea Butter & Honey ones. Hence the two bottles in the middle of this picture above are empty. :D The 3rd bottle I’m using is the Lavender one.

I brought the Shea Butter shower gel with me to Japan recently as it was still rather cold when I visited and this shower gel plus my moisturizer helped prevent cold rash on my legs, which I’m usually susceptible to. And I do like the Mint one pretty much, because (believe it or not) it leaves a tingling sensation on your skin after your shower – it’s like what Halls mint candy does to your mouth. LOL.

This set of 6 costs S$32.50 on GoBuyLah.sg (and comes with zero delivery charge – read my blogpost here for an additional discount code) and while I like the cap’s location at the base of the bottle as it means there’s very little wastage and you get (almost) every last drop, the shower gel might leak out of the bottle during delivery or on a flight overseas. For the latter, please be reminded to seal your toiletries in (separate) ziplock bags. GoBuyLah wraps them in bubble wrap so I got mine intact.

What I think Original Source has done really well is their branding. I love the bottles and how they state the quantity of the (main) ingredient in the shower gel e.g. “40 real zingy limes…”, “157 relaxing lavender flowers…”, “7927 tingling real mint leaves” (in each shower gel bottle). It is both intriguing, and helps justify the slightly higher price you pay for this brand of shower gels, which are vegan, come with natural fragrance and are not tested on animals. :) Very clever indeed.

Just as I love Herbal Essences shampoos because they smell so good, I’m really liking this colorful range of shower gels which have natural fragrances and also make me think about what goes into each product. 49 bee miles for one bottle of this Shea Butter and Honey? Very interesting indeed. ;)

My Beauty Diary masks – Amazingly Low Prices at Guardian Stores

My Beauty Diary

Thanks to fellow blogger Mummy Rei, I came to know about the My Beauty Diary sale going on at Guardian stores. I like the My Beauty Diary range of face masks because they are very affordable (I find the new range a tad pricey though) and most importantly, they work. I used to apply two masks daily till I got lazy. And in Singapore, you have to be careful about where you purchase these masks from. The official distributor, Alphico Marketing, stocks these masks at Guardian, Watsons and SASA stores. If you find the masks elsewhere, they are likely parallel imports… or fakes.

And yes, there are fake My Beauty Diary masks. I found some in China previously. Each box was going for about S$4 when the usual price is about S$14.90! And the packaging is exactly the same. You’re unlikely to notice the difference – everything is the same, from the font to the feel of the packaging, to the masks themselves. The only difference I managed to spot was a very small one: that little perforation at the top (which helps you tear the packet open) was in a different shape! (@_@)

As for the current sale, the My Beauty Diary x AIKO FUKAWA range (with the cute cat and rabbit illustrations on the box) are going for S$8.45 per box. I think that’s a discount of 50%! You’ll find 12 masks in each box, which means each mask costs just 70 cents! The taller ‘Prettier Day by Day’ sets are even cheaper – at S$5 per box of 12 (i.e. 42 cents per piece).

These sets are in extremely limited quantities, so count yourself lucky if you find one. Some of the masks (sold individually) are going at 2 for S$2. I bought the Black Pearl and Vanilla Moisturizing Aroma ones.

My favorite will, however, still be the Hyaluronic Acid ones. :)

*If you’re into beauty- or kid-related lobangs, do follow blogger Mummy Rei on Instagram (@reinni) or via her blog – Mummy Rei.

“I Take You To Be My Wife… In Sickness And In Health…”

Faizah and Farhan

I came to know about Siti (Faizah) and Farhan’s inspiring love story and decided to interview them for my blog. When Siti was diagnosed with stage-2 lymphoma, and relatives and close friends doubted their idea of marriage, Farhan disregarded the “noise” and married Siti, sticking with her through thick-and-thin.

Siti has also participated in a half marathon despite feeling weak due to chemotherapy. And she is a finisher!

Siti has since lost 20kg of the weight that she gained while undergoing chemotherapy – she goes for yoga and zumba sessions, and other fitness programmes four days a week.

Farhan has also donated his bone marrow about half a year ago and helped save the life of a patient, who was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma!

Both of them are such beautiful and courageous individuals… and here’s their story:

1) Both of you got married after Siti’s diagnosis? Why? What’s your love story? :)

Farhan: Yes, it was already planned. Siti was diagnosed in the midst of our wedding preparations and I decided to proceed as I would like to take care of her, not out of sympathy, but purely because she’s my other half and I know she needs me to fight this disease together. And I know for sure that she will fully recover, and whatever happens, I will take care of her. Not because I have to…but because I want to.

Faizah: We met at our previous workplace. We were really close although Farhan had a girlfriend back then. We had common interests and similar taste in music and food. We hung out most of the time after work and even on our off days.

Farhan: I realised that I wasn’t happy with my girlfriend back then. When I was with Faizah, everything was easy with her and everything somehow falls into place perfectly. By then we both know that we like each other. I decided to man up, break up with my ex-girlfriend (who wasn’t a good girlfriend) and be with Faizah. And the rest is history.

2) What is the chemotherapy process like?

Faizah: I had to go through chemotherapy via the intravenous (IV) route. I was told to go through 6 cycles of chemotherapy and 1 cycle consists of 2 sessions. (Imagine going through 12 sessions!). Each session is 5 hours long and I was required to be treated once every 2 weeks. I was injected with 4 different combinations of drugs (2 injected via huge syringes and 2 bags via the drip).

Nurses had to be careful when administering 1 of the drugs from the syringes as it might burn my veins, which actually happened during the first session of my 2nd cycle and it was a horrible feeling. It took a while for the pain to subside and for my veins to recover.

The worst was yet to come.

The side effects kicked in on the 7th day after every session. Each individual who is undergoing chemotherapy will experience different side effects. I was quite lucky, as my side effects were considered quite minor. I had constipation for the first few days, heatiness in the mouth (thankfully, no ulcers!), upper back pain and at the shoulder area (which lasted for about 3-4days), bloatedness (from the anti-vomit meds), indigestion, weight gain and hair loss (not all but probably ¾ of my hair and this was a huge blow for me as I was afraid my hair will not grow in time for the wedding).

3) What would you say to encourage people who have been (recently) diagnosed with lymphoma?

Don’t give up hope. I know it’s easy for me to say it but you have got to keep pressing on and always stay positive. Cancer is not the end. It can be a start to an awesome life. :)

4) What would your advice be to the friends and family members of people who have been (recently) diagnosed with lymphoma?

Make them feel normal and do normal things. Don’t treat them like a sick person and always, always be there when they need you. Accepting the fact that they have cancer is already hard, so don’t make things harder for them and always stay positive no matter what.

5) What was your bone marrow donation process like? Please give us all the gory details, if any, so we can be adequately prepared if we choose to be donors.

Farhan: There is nothing gory about my bone marrow donation process. In fact, you are given two options as to how the bone marrow is extracted.

Method 1: Bone Marrow Harvest

The bone marrow is removed from the back of the pelvic bone using a special needle. The entire process takes 45 to 60 minutes whilst the donor is under general anesthetic (GA). Although there is no surgery involved, after a GA it is recommended that the donor stays overnight to rest in the hospital and goes home the following morning. The amount of bone marrow harvested is less than 5% of the body’s marrow and this is naturally regenerated within 4-6 weeks.

Side Effects:

Other than the remote chance of a reaction to anesthesia or an infection, the risks to bone marrow harvest are minimal. Donors generally feel no pain during the bone marrow harvest as the procedure is carried out under general anesthesia. After the procedure, there may be slight discomfort in the lower back lasting a few days, which is much like a muscle ache or similar to pain felt on the tailbone after a fall.

Method 2: Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvest (PBSC)

Peripheral Blood Stem Cells are those blood cells that are usually found in the bone marrow. The donor will be given 4 daily injections of a hormone called G-CSF (Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor) to stimulate the growth of their stem cells and to mobilize them into the blood stream. This is usually done in the morning and the donor can continue their normal daily activities. On the fourth day, the stem cells will be collected in an outpatient procedure that is very similar to blood donation except that it will take between 5-7 hours. Once complete, the donor is usually free to go home.

Side Effects:

Donors might experience some flu-like symptoms, slight bone pain, or a feeling of heaviness during the 5 days when the injections to stimulate and mobilize the stem cells into the blood are being given. These discomforts usually disappear soon after the collection is completed.

I actually opted for Method 1 because it would be faster but the patient wanted me to proceed via Method 2 instead. I was willing to do what’s best for the patient so I didn’t mind.  A few days before the procedure, I was given the daily injections to stimulate my stem cells. And when the day came, all the doctor had to do was to extract the stem cells via the harvesting system. So, the blood goes out from one tube (from your arms) and goes into a machine where the stem cells are extracted.

Once done, the blood goes back via another tube into the other arm. However, due to difficulties in finding the main veins in my arms, the doctor decided to put a tube directly into my jugular vein on my right collarbone. It was weird but I did not feel anything at all, just a little uncomfortable when lying down. No matter what, they will make you feel as comfortable as possible.

I recovered quite fast as the wound was really well taken care of. And some of the perks of being a bone marrow donor is you get free full health check-up and you’ll be staying in an AA ward at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Novena), which was a first and an interesting experience for me.

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This courageous and loving couple leaves me speechless. I wish them all the best, and to keep on doing what they do and inspiring the people around them. :)