Close encounter with cancer

The lobby of Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
I was just 12 years old when I overheard that word being whispered among the adults in our family when they discussed about an uncle who was very ill.  At that time, the very mention of cancer sounded like a death knell but now with the advancements in modern medicine, more and more cancer patients are in remission and living normal lives again.

Back in 2012, I had the opportunity to meet cancer survivors in events organized by the JB Breast Cancer Support Group (BCSG) and I was deeply encouraged by their positive attitude towards life after cancer.  Since then, I have been part of their Pink Ribbon events and got to know many of their members, both survivors and volunteers.  In early February 2014, I joined friends in the BCSG in their celebration as they moved into their recently renovated new centre at Jalan Ru in Melodies Garden (NST 20 Feb 2014).

My place card at the dinner hosted by PCC at the event
Last April, while I was working on an article to highlight the services offered by the Parkway Pantai Patient Assistance Center in Johor Baru, I met the team in the JB office as well as some of their associates in the Marketing team from Parkway Cancer Centre (PCC), Singapore.  Through PCC, I read the stories of cancer survivors both local and from Asian nations, who went on the journey to wellness with courage, determination and their doctor’s advice.

Early this year, I worked on an article, “Keeping cancer at bay with an organic diet” (NST 4 March 2014) about a stomach cancer survivor in JB who wants to share his story with others.  It was encouraging to know that he is now happily retired and ready to help others in their choice to adopt a change in diet and a healthier lifestyle. 

Charming Duck & Hippo Trolley Buses that took
us on a tour of Singapore sights
Then I received an invitation from PCC to join a regional familiarization trip for the media launch of Champions Tumograft in Singapore.  Needless to say, I was both intrigued and interested to learn more about this revolutionary cancer technology where cancer patients can benefit from it.  After getting the green light from the Editor of Life & Times Health, I joined medical and media representatives from 17 cities in Asia at the launch event where I had the privilege to hear about this new technology from imminent oncologists and scientists.  This event was reported in “Customised cancer treatments” (NST 25 March 2014).

Dr Lim ZiYi of PCC [Far Right] showing media and
medical representatives the well-appointed ICU suite
in Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
While this trip was distinctly different from the familiarization trips that I go to for Life & Times Travel, the organizers took very good care of us and even included a Duck & Hippo tour by the City Trolley bus.  I was charmed by the vintage-looking bus and quickly bagged the front seat [next to the driver in the non air-con section!] and enjoyed the breeze and unobstructed views. 

This was certainly a tour with a difference because they took us on a route to see some of the popular landmarks as well as the sites of the various hospitals in the city!

At pre-dinner cocktails with Dr Ang Peng Tiam [Right] and PCC colleagues

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