Mdm Irmawati, 40, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2013. And she was 32 weeks pregnant…
Mdm Irmawati first discovered a lump in her left breast at the age of 20 which was non-cancerous. In 2011, she found a lump in the right breast. Thinking that the lump would also be non-cancerous, she ignored it. Two years later she felt multiple lumps and went to consult a doctor who advised her to go for a biopsy. But just before her biopsy, she found out that she was pregnant with her second child.
She decided not to go for the biopsy as she did not want anything to affect the foetus. But as the months went by, her back pain became unbearable and she was strongly advised by her doctor to do the biopsy test. Mdm was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
She was given morphine daily to manage the pain and she underwent a C-Section at 34 weeks. After giving birth, she underwent six cycles of chemotherapy (once every three weeks) and hormone therapy for six months.
Despite intensive treatment, sadly she suffered a relapse and was treated with a higher dosage of chemotherapy again weekly. Her family supported her very closely throughout her ordeal with her young children giving her the motivation and will power to overcome their struggles.
These struggles included financial difficulties. Which is where the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) could offer help.
SCS has been supporting Mdm Irmawati with SCS Cancer Treatment Fund (CTF) for her CT scans, blood tests and chemotherapy since April 2015. Her 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).
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.
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. They provide 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.
You can help with the great work of the SCS by supporting ANZA Action and Casual Coffee’s Biggest Morning Tea. Come along to the event at the Australian High Commissioner’s Residence on Friday 29 June. Mark it in your diaries and support Singapore Cancer Society. Register here.
With thanks to Singapore Cancer Society for sharing Mdm Irmawati’s story.