A reader has sent us this tragic story of a cancer stricken mother who is appealing for donations through online platform generousity.com because the government has refused to provide her any form of welfare.
Read her account here:
“My name is Ming. I am 46 years old. I want to tell you my story and ask for your help. My life has been a struggle for the past few years but I am consoled as I have a 4-year old son. He is my greatest pride and joy.
The worst has happened to me when I was diagnosed with a rare type of ovarian cancer called “Ovarian Clear Cell Carcinoma”. I am usually fit and healthy but noticed that my abdomen swelled up as if I was pregnant in March 2015 and I had severe pain and nausea. I underwent major surgery on 6th April 2015 to remove my womb, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, lymph nodes and cervix as the doctor told me that I have ovarian cancer based on Ultrasound scans and CA125 cancer marker blood tests. This was further confirmed when the diseased ovarian cyst was sent to the lab for frozen section.
Subsequently, I started chemotherapy on 21st May 2015, receiving Carboplatin and Paclitaxel chemotherapy for 6 cycles every 3 weeks as my medical oncologist said that it is an aggressive cancer (clear cell type) and is likely to come back despite surgery. At that time, I was told that I had Stage 1C Ovarian clear cell cancer, i.e. the cancerous ovarian cyst (measuring 12.5 cm) had been leaking cancerous fluid into the surrounding area.
During that period of chemotherapy, I suffered from debilitating side-effects such as low immunity, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue, low blood count, persistent diarrhea, weight loss, numbness in the hands, pains, and shingles twice. There is also the fear of severe complications of infections from a weakened immune system. All these had passed as I completed the 6 cycles in September 2015. Despite the side effects, I persevered through this chemotherapy in the hope that I can survive to raise my son. I will do anything for him. Being 3 years old at the time, he did not know much. But, he saw me lose my hair, vomit, lying in bed unwell for hours and could not play with him – he could not comprehend or understand the reasons.
I thought it was all over and I can go back to lead a normal life. Then, the unthinkable happened. On the 21st September 2015, my medical oncologist suggested that I undergo another CT scan for a routine check-up after my chemotherapy (immediately after I finished my chemotherapy that same month). Bad news: Who would have expected the cancer to return so quickly? But it did. The cancer is resistant to the two strongest and best chemotherapies against it! The 6 cycles of chemotherapy was useless. The cancer came back with a vengeance and it has spread to the mediastinum lymph node and various spots in front of my heart area, more growths in the lungs, a lesion in the liver, a lesion next to my spine and multiple growths in my abdomen, compressing a nerve resulting in permanent numbness in my right thigh. The doctor told me it is now impossible to either operate or cure since the cancer has resurged aggressively to Stage 4 in such a short amount of time. My heart sank. I need more treatments but any treatment now is not curative. The doctor told me any treatment now is merely palliative.
I am a single parent and the sole-breadwinner. My unemployed ex-husband has left the country 3 years ago, leaving behind debts in my name to clear. Oftentimes, I skip meals in order to save up enough money to feed my son proper meals, as he was born prematurely and underweight. Sometimes my colleagues would offer me biscuits or bread at work if they noticed that I had not eaten the whole day. I have met many kind people but the amount of help that I need is more than what my normal acquaintances can help.
I live in a small, barebones, 45-sqm, 1-bedroom HDB flat, which I had paid up entirely from my own CPF monies. I have sold off everything that I can sell, including my wedding ring and watch, in order to survive month-to-month.
I hope that your donation would be able to help me to pay for the subsidised medical bills at the National University Hospital (Singapore) and more importantly to pay for basic necessities for my son, my elderly mother and myself. I have no private health insurance at all. Furthermore, a counselor advised me that cancer patients usually end up in hospice care, towards the end, once I cannot take care of myself. Apparently, hospice care requires approximately $1,200 in cash payment monthly, even after subsidy at the very cheapest facility.
My doctor tells me that the 5-year survival rate for this cancer is not good and I am unlikely to survive very long given that this is an aggressive cancer and it is now at Stage 4. Yet, I need to survive this fight for my life, for at least another few more years in order to stay with my son. He is just too young to lose his mum.
Please help me.
I am appealing out of desperation as I have exhausted all my social connections and charity appeals. In fact, the neighbourhood family service centre told me off very curtly that they “have no money to hand out to anybody” and they told me to just fend for myself somehow. I have sold off anything that is of value in my small house.
My radiotherapy and second round of chemotherapy treatments have already started on the 24th March 2016, leaving me unwell again with all sorts of side effects, nausea, weight loss and no appetite.
Any help, no matter how big or small, will make a big difference. Thank you all kindly.”
If you wish to make a donation, please go to http://www.generosity.com/medical-fundraising/battle-against-stage-4-metastatic-cancer