I am Leana Ong, 56 years old. Sometime in late May 2019, I found a lump on my left breast and went for a check-up. To my surprise, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being an active person who hardly falls sick throughout my working life, I was shocked that such bad thing would happen to me. At that point, I had many thoughts running in my mind – What’s going on? What would happen to my future? Am I going to die very soon? There are still many countries which I haven’t travelled to; I have a long to-do list, etc.
After the diagnosis, I had a surgery at the end of July and another in September to remove the lump. I then went on a short trip to Korea for vacation before I started my chemotherapy & radiation treatment. I really enjoyed the journey with my friends. After the trip, I came back to Singapore with a peaceful heart and calm mind.
Chemotherapy treatment started in October 2019. I came to know about 365 Cancer Prevention Society (365CPS) from a friend and I decided to drop by their centre to understand more. I found out that there are daily activities for cancer patients conducted at the centres. The activities happen to be my favourite activities and they keep me fit, healthy and happy. Not only that, I can also interact with new friends and share experiences with one another. This helps me and motivates me a lot. Healthy lunches are provided for free as well. The centres also have dietitian to guide and advise us on our diets. The counsellors and care leaders from 365CPS are also very friendly who really help me along the way in my cancer fighting journey.
Since the start of circuit breaker, we were not able to go to 365CPS physically for activities and that has really made me feel gloomy and I especially missed the fun and the people there. When 365CPS started daily activities through zoom, I was so excited and I joined all activities – Detox Exercise, Line Dance, Dance Fit, Zumba Gold, Restorah Exercise. These activities help me a lot and I feel lively once again. Health talks and relaxation exercises have also broadened my knowledge and helped me gain peace and calmness. I especially like the art therapy sessions as I have no prior knowledge on how to draw. My right hand’s finger joints hurt due to chemotherapy treatment. However, after attending these classes, I started to draw so much despite the pain in my finger joints. This is a good therapy for me because when I draw, I focus only on the drawing and think of nothing else. As I draw, my pain and my worries are all gone!
Thank you 365CPS staff who are always very nice and patient, and thank you to all volunteers and donors who help cancer patients go through this difficult and painful period. I would like to encourage other cancer patients out there to join various activities, health talks, and get to know more people as we are not alone. There are many kind souls and lovely people who will help us fight cancer and journey alongside with us.