fbpx

“One thing I learnt from this is that Hope is the belief that something positive will happen. One need to find ways to live with difficult situations and overcome the challenges. Attitude affects everything. My cancer journey was not easy. But I always believe that there should be a good reason behind this.” This was the lesson that Mdm Irmawati had to learn through her cancer journey.

SCS55 V2 8r

 

Mdm Irmawati, 42, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2013, but she also found out she was pregnant at the same time.

In 2011, she found a lump in the right breast, but she ignored it, thinking that the lump would be non-cancerous. Two years later she felt multiple lumps and went to consult a doctor. She was advised to go for a biopsy. But just before her biopsy, she found out that she was pregnant with her second child.

She was afraid that the situation would get complicated if she went for biopsy. The mother was under tremendous stress due to concern for the safety of the unborn child. As there was no family history of cancer she decided not to go for the biopsy and she did not want anything to affect the baby. 

At 32 weeks of pregnancy, Mdm Irmawati had terrible back pains and she was strongly advised by her doctor to do the biopsy test. She was then diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and what they found out was that her pain was due to the cancer which had spread to the bones.

She was given morphine daily to manage the pain. She was worried that the morphine might affect her unborn child. She was given an injection to speed up the lung development of her baby and she underwent a C-Section at 34 weeks.

After giving birth, her child had to be tested for any withdrawal symptoms due to the morphine, Mdm Irmawati recalled feeling worried as her child was tiny. She was depressed as she could not fulfil her maternal needs for her child at the time.

She decided to not for Chemotherapy treatment, having heard the negative effects of it. She was scared and wanted to be there for her children. She then decided to take herbal treatment instead.

However, after a MRI, she found out her cancer had progressed to stage 4 and there was a chance of her getting paralyzed. Mdm Irmawati decided to undergo cancer treatment, enduring 6 cycles of chemotherapy (once every 3 weeks) and hormone therapy for 6 months.

But she suffered a relapse, the cancer had spread from her breast to the rest of her body. She was treated with a higher dosage of chemotherapy again weekly. This year in February, she had to go through bone surgery to insert metal in the bones of her left thigh.

Her family supported her very closely throughout her ordeal. Her young children gave her the motivation and will power to overcome struggles.

One of the struggles which she had to overcome was the financial difficulties. The ongoing treatments caused her and her family financial strain as she had minimal financial support and lives in a rental flat.

Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) has been supporting Mdm Irmawati with SCS Cancer Treatment Fund (CTF) for her CT scans, blood tests and chemotherapy since April 2015 to-date. This has helped her to manage her finances and reduced the burden of treatment cost. Her eldest daughter who is in Secondary School receives aid from our SCS Education Financial Assistance Scheme and tuition (under the SCS Help the Children and Youth Programme).

Even after all the physical, mental and financial obstacles the disease challenged her with, her warrior spirit remains determine, she proudly states, “Now my baby is 6 years old. I will keep fighting for myself and my daughters. I have been given this second chance in life to be a better person and a mother. I have come to accept my situation and not give up. Just live one step at a time. Cancer is not always the end.”


Cancer diagnosis can impose a tremendous financial burden on the patient and family especially for needy families. SCS provides a range of assistance schemes to alleviate the financial burden for needy Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. Providing cancer patients with avenues for assistance at every stage of treatment: from pre-treatment, when they are first diagnosed with cancer, during treatment and beyond.

Patients are referred by their doctors or medical social workers for SCS CTF. Since the inception of CTF in 2005, more than $15.4 million has been disbursed to more than 4,635 cancer patients.

About the Cancer Treatment Fund

This fund provides financial assistance to needy cancer patients to subsidise part of their cancer treatment costs. More than 4,200 patients have been assisted through the disbursement of over $14.5 million in cancer treatment subsidies since 2005.Cancer patients are referred to the Society by their healthcare professionals or medical social workers from various restructured hospitals in Singapore.

Learn more information about the Cancer Treatment Fund here https://bit.ly/2kB85Q3 or email welfare@singaporecancersociety.org.sg

 

About the Cancer Treatment Fund

This fund provides financial assistance to needy cancer patients to subsidise part of their cancer treatment costs. More than 4,200 patients have been assisted through the disbursement of over $14.5 million in cancer treatment subsidies since 2005.Cancer patients are referred to the Society by their healthcare professionals or medical social workers from various restructured hospitals in Singapore.

Learn more information about the Cancer Treatment Fund here https://bit.ly/2kB85Q3 or email welfare@singaporecancersociety.org.sg

Have A Story To Tell?

Your words have the power to heal. Share your stories of hope with the wider cancer community.

 

Share Your Story