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Bringing you Caregiving Stories from the CaregiverAsia Community

The Story Of A Cancer Survivor

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 21, 2020 11:30:00 AM / by Calvin Leong

Cancer survivors go through two stages: having no signs of cancer after finishing treatment, and living with, through, and beyond cancer. With that in mind, cancer survivorship begins at diagnosis. This blog article features the memoirs of Ms Wei-Qing, a cancer survivor.

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This Is Her Story...

My name is Wei-Qing. I’m just an ordinary girl with an extraordinary experience. I graduated with a summa cum laude recognition in Actuarial Science from Drake University, Lowa, U.S.A. and worked with several prestigious insurance companies.

However, at the peak of my career in 2014, Iife pulled me down. My whole life shattered and my worst nightmare began when I stumbled upon the word “cancer” at the age of 27. I had Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a form of aggressive blood cancer. I thought I was never going to live past my 30th birthday. My life was changed abruptly and the second half of 2014 was packed with never ending torments!

My near death experience kicks off with the most dreaded craniotomy, to remove the life-threatening brain tumour. Despite having warned that I may have side effects such as balancing problem and the slurring of speech, I’m glad that I did not experience any of these symptoms and I conquered them all with flying colours! I was even able to recite the tongue twister “She sells seashells at the seashore” at my fingertips the next day after my brain surgery. I thought my treatment would end there, but it was heart-wrenching when the results of my biopsy report revealed I had a malignant tumor!

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I endured the chemotherapy merry-go-rounds in a private hospital for six cycles, each with six days of hospitalization, once every three weeks. The most challenging part was the lumbar puncture procedure that followed each time during my chemotherapy, which involved infusing the chemotherapy drug Methotraxate via my spinal cord directly into the brain. The worst part was not the pain, but the torture of having to lay flat on the bed for six hours after treatment to prevent spinal fluid leakage!

On top of that, I also went through a 20-day radiotherapy routine, helplessly witnessing the radio waves zapping away each and every of my baby hairs grown after my chemotherapy.

My treatment didn't stop there. I was scheduled for an autologous stem cell transplant thereafter. A full month of torture had taken a toll on my fragile frame, as I lost six kilograms during the transplant and shed all the weight I had gained from my previous chemotherapy treatments.

My stem cell transplant finally concluded my anomalous cancer journey. Today, in 2020, I’m proud to say that I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR, FIVE YEARS IN REMISSION!

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From the bottom of my heart, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my family members for being the pillar of support during the deepest and darkest moment in my life. Thank you to my friends and relatives for your everlasting motivations and encouragements. Not forgetting National Cancer Society Malaysia, serving as a one-stop centre, providing support, dietary advice and counselling services for cancer patients as well as caregivers.

As the saying goes:

“Life is just like a dark tunnel, there may be humps and bumps along the journey, but there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.”

“The greatest glory in life is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”

I’m sharing the bits and pieces of my story here in hope that you will all cherish life and treasure the people around you. Stay positive, stay healthy and never give up!

~Ng Wei-Qing~

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*Pictures of this blog are courtesy of Ms Ng Wei-Qing

 

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Singapore, accounting for 28.8% of the total number of deaths in 2018. Screening enables the detection of early signs of cancer or pre-cancerous conditions before symptoms appear. Many cancers are treatable and curable if effective treatment is rendered in the early stages of cancer. 

 

For more information about cancer survivorship, visit:

Singapore Cancer Society 

Cancer Support Groups 

 

Updated on 21 July 2020 by CaregiverAsia.

 

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Topics: Wellness

Calvin Leong

Written by Calvin Leong

Calvin Leong holds a Master in Medical Education from the University of Dundee, United Kingdom. He has 15 years of clinical and lecturing experience focusing on Traumatology, Medical Sciences and Mentoring in Healthcare. Calvin is also a Train the Trainer certified by HRDF, Malaysia and a Life Member of The Malaysian Association for the Study of Pain (MASP). In his free time, he enjoys coffee with a slice of cheesecake.