When I was sent to get a second mammogram, I tried not to worry. There was no history of breast cancer in my family, so I was hoping for the best. But my doctor called me soon after and confirmed that it was invasive breast cancer. I was in my Bible study group when I got the news. I didn’t shed a tear, and I didn’t tell any of the women at church – I just carried on with the Bible study. I kept the news to myself for a very long time.
I consider myself an open book, but when I found out that I had cancer, I didn’t want all the noise – everyone telling me what to do and that they were so sorry. I kept working, but I didn’t tell my colleagues. Besides my husband and my niece, who I live with, and my sister back in Singapore, I kept my diagnosis to myself.
Instead, I turned to God. I told Him, “OK God, show me how to get through this. Everything is under your control. Guide me.” God told me to be still and so I surrendered. During that surrender, I felt peace. I could see all the good things that were appearing at this time in my life. They were little things – like the timely surgery, my chemo and radiation treatments going like clockwork, and everybody in the hospital being so kind to me. I thanked God that everything went so smoothly.
I shaved my head proactively, a few days before my chemotherapy started, because I knew that losing hair could be very traumatic and I didn’t want to go through that. I bought myself a wig but I only wore it twice. I loved being bald and also wearing head coverings. I like bright colours and I’d try to find coverings to match all my outfits. Looking for different colours and patterns became my favourite pastime. That was another of the little things that was a blessing for me.
Everybody wants to look beautiful, whether it’s inside or outside – especially when you’re sick. I didn’t want to let cancer rule my life and win the day, so for me it was important that I still looked good and healthy. The Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) workshops were amazing. I loved learning how to do my eyebrows. And the instructor, who was a breast cancer survivor, was great. She really knew what we were going through.
No one can walk this journey for you, but God will carry you through and the people who love you will walk beside you. I’m also so grateful for my health care team and resources like LGFB for being by my side throughout my journey.