Singaporean Mother Of Two Shares Her Brave Breast Cancer Survival Story
Mdm Irmawati was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 32 weeks pregnant in 2013. Read more about her brave struggle and recovery here!
Mdm Irmawati was in her thirties when she first underwent surgery to remove a lump on her right breast – but it was not cancer then.
Two years later, a lump showed up again and this time bigger than before. However, Mdm Irmawati dismissed any suspicions of breast cancer because she thought it was the same lump as before.
It was not until she was 32 weeks pregnant when she was eventually diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.
“I had to go for a biopsy cause (sic.) of the unbearable pain on my back. The Doctor suspected it might be due to the lumps I felt.”
Mdm Irmawati was beyond shocked by her diagnosis and could not believe that she was in such an advanced stage of breast cancer. It certainly did not help that she was also about to deliver her baby.
“I had to accept the situation, but (I was) more worried about my unborn baby. How bad the side effects will be for the baby and even if it will survive,” Mdm Irmawati recalled.
With the birth of her newborn baby, her anxiety worsened and she felt like she was being deprived of her new mum experience that she was keenly looking forward to.
“I was also depressed that as a mother, I could not hold my newborn as much as I wanted to do as I was still in bed. I was also upset that I could not breastfeed her, something that most mothers look forward to. My family had to take care of me and my newborn,” she said.
Her treatment was also taking a toll on her physically as she went through two different types of chemotherapy during the first two years.
“In both, I experience loss of hair, diarrhea, nausea. My body changed drastically. I had no hair, was pale and weak and always in pain.”
But despite her condition, Mdm Irmwati continued with all the treatments and kept a positive attitude. She also had the constant support of her family who were always there by her side.
Her recovery was also made smoother when she received a financial grant from the Singapore Cancer Society.
“One of the most challenging aspect for any cancer survivor is the cost of treatments, especially if one has 2 kids (with a newborn). But Singapore Cancer Society helped me to manage my financial burden and that helped me to recover with a peace of mind.”
Now six years later, Mdm Irmwati is a mother to two beautiful daughters and a stage 4 breast cancer survivor.
“I’m still going for regular treatment & checkups. I’m a better person now spiritually & I’m happy with what I am.”
Her breast cancer journey has also shown her the importance of being a mother and how other mothers should take care of themselves.
“As a mother, you are important to everyone in your family. You play a vital role and impact all in your family. Cherish your life. Early detection of cancer can save lives. If you are a cancer patient or cancer survivor, be positive and think of you can get better and give back to the community in your own ways. Sharing your experience and encouraging other women out there to take the step to fight against cancer is something we all can do,” she advises.
Thank you, Mdm Irmawati for sharing your very inspiring story with us.