2021, February, Health Info

You will not walk alone in your cancer journey

You will not walk alone in your cancer journey

A cancer survivorship story by a recipient of NMCares Cancer Assistance Programme at Nilai Medical Centre

A cancer diagnosis can be heart-stopping. I was 59 and had been enjoying my full-fledged career with an aviation company which I’ve been part of since I was 19. I’ve got a go-getter attitude and I’m always motivated. But little that I knew, a cancer diagnosis would easily crush my good spirits in just a blink of an eye.

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An unexpected diagnosis

In May 2019, I experienced bouts of recurring fevers. Worried with the sudden onset, the situation alerted me to get my health assessed. Since I’ve always diligently been going for medical check-ups every year, the recurring low-grade fevers felt like a red flag. After going through a few blood tests at a GP clinic, the doctor revealed that my results were all fine. I was relieved to hear the good news. However, when I’m back at work, the unwellness creeps again. Feeling nervous, I decided to do a full medical check-up at Nilai Medical Centre.

This time, the news wasn’t so great. Wounding news in fact. A lump was found through the mammogram procedure, and after another scan was conducted, it was confirmed that the lump was indeed cancerous. The revelation wasn’t only heartbreaking; it actually tore every positivity that I had in me.

Back then to me, a cancer diagnosis felt almost like a death sentence. I don’t know how to break the news to my family. When the consultant asked if I want to proceed with the necessary treatment, I agreed immediately but requested for the news to be kept secret from my family. I was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 2A and was scheduled to go through 6 chemotherapy session and 20 radiotherapy session — and I wanted to face this on my own.

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Hope is here.

A silver lining that I didn’t expect after the diagnosis, was the tremendous support that I’ve gotten from the staff members at Nilai Medical. As much as I was too devasted to share the news with my family members, one advice that was given by my doctor stood out to me.

She said, “You do know that death is inevitable right? So while you are still alive, why would you want to give up? This is not a death sentence. You have your family, you have a career, and you look fine. So please don’t give up.

Her assuring advice strikes me and I felt hope started flowing within myself. With great courage, I shared the news with my family, and the feedback I received was nothing but acceptance and endless love. I then knew that I wasn’t going through this journey alone.

While the treatments had been tough on my physical and mental wellbeing (a fever once landed me at the hospital for 8 days), I learned to experience the journey one day at a time. The fact that Nilai Medical is less than 10 minutes away from my home eases a lot of anxieties, knowing that I will not inconvenient my family to travel far for my treatment.

The reception I received at the hospital was exceptionally warm, and it touches my heart deeply. From the doctors to the staff nurses and customer service personnel, I was mesmerized by how at home I’ve felt. Getting my treatment at Nilai Medical was the best decision I’ve made — as I was also receiving financial support under its NMcares Cancer Assistance Programme.

The road I’ve travelled during my cancer journey wasn’t easy. I take solace in the assurance that my family loved ones and friends will be there for me during my trying times. And I plead to all cancer patients to please not give up. There is a future for us. Cancer is not a death sentence.

And please do help spread the word around: The NMCares Cancer Assistance Programme, in collaboration with the National Cancer Society Malaysia, is available to reach a broader spectrum of cancer patients needing financial assistance for their treatment. You’ll never know … you might just save someone’s life.

Nilai Medical Centre’s NMCares Cancer Assistance Programme - an oath to support cancer patients in need

For patients struggling with the overwhelming costs associated with cancer, you can get help paying for treatment from NMcares Cancer Assistance Programme’s RM8 million allocation. The Programme is open to Malaysian cancer patients from the low and middle-income groups, and who are undergoing radiotherapy treatment.  

While the NMCares Cancer Assistance Programme is for all cancer types and stages, it is specifically offered for radiotherapy treatments. Some patients may undergo radiotherapy treatment in combination with other cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Patients who qualify can certainly see the financial difference in covering the costs of their radiotherapy treatment. 

There will be one-to-one sessions with the oncologist who helps patients understand their condition and the treatment plan. The treatment plan will also be monitored closely. A team called the ‘WeCare Ambassadors’ will continuously check in on patients’ well-being right from the start – updating on the status of an application, ensuring treatment plan is on track, during and after therapy sessions. 

For patients who are in need of financial assistance, please contact Nilai Medical’s WeCare Ambassadors at wecare@nilaimc.com or 010-219 9838 or visit www.nilaimc.com or ‘Like’ our Facebook page. Even if you are not a Nilai Medical patient, you can apply.