PETALING JAYA - Comedian Zaibo already had a feeling he had contracted cancer even before the doctor delivered the news.
In a phone interview with Star2 from his house in Johor, the actor, best known for his roles in local series Spanar Jaya and Singaporean sitcom Under One Roof, recalled the first time he felt something was wrong.
"At one particular meal, I choked on my food so terribly that it was difficult to even breathe.
"So, I tapped the back of my neck and vomited. Then I could breathe," the 62-year-old recounted the incident, which took place two weeks after Hari Raya.
"The reason I thought of that was because both my parents died of cancer.
"My mother had breast cancer, which later spread to her brain, while my father had pancreatic cancer."
After a series of check-ups, the doctors confirmed his fears.
Zaibo, whose real name is Zainal Ariffin Abd Hamid, has stage four cancer.
The doctors found two tumours on his oesophagus and the cancer has spread to his lungs, liver, stomach and lower left rib.
Zaibo, who resides in Rengit, Batu Pahat, said he felt down initially after the diagnosis but later had an epiphany.
"Why must I be so melodramatic, as if I'm in one of those Hindustani movies?
"Am I feeling any pain? No. I can still talk, walk, laugh, and if I want to, cry," said Zaibo, who was energetic and talkative throughout the hour-long phone interview.
Zaibo has five schoolgoing children living under his roof. He has gone back to his daily routine of taking care of his children's needs, as his wife travels outstation for work regularly.
His cancer treatment will most likely begin sometime next month.