Battle on...brave hearts!

Johor Baru BCSG has been reaching out to women
from all walks of life in the past 10 years!
To celebrate International Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the JB Breast Cancer Support Group will be holding an "Exercise for Health" event at a local hotel on Oct 18.  The recurrence of cancer is becoming more rampant among survivors and they remain vigilant by consciously making a change in their lifestyle.  One way is to have a regular exercise regime.

Survivors, their family members and friends are invited to join this event to learn a variety of exercise options and reach better health.  They will be introduced to exercise groups that may be found in their own residential areas and are encouraged to join their exercise activities regularly.  

Contact JB BCSG for more info on this event!  [Updated on Oct 11 /pl]

Survivors who have fought the battle with cancer live with greater appreciation for life because they know that every moment is truly a gift.  For more than 10 years, the Johor Baru Breast Cancer Support Group (BCSG) has been reaching out to help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and survivors get on the road to wellness.  

BCSG members understand what it means to have a second chance in life and when they meet new patients, they share their own experiences to help others face fears and anxieties, and give them encouragement and hope. 

The group works closely with health practitioners in JB and doctors refer newly diagnosed patients to BCSG so that members and volunteers in the Health Team may reach out to give them emotional support.  A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and patients normally experience fear, sadness and a sense of loss, especially with the threat of losing their lives.  But most women feel stressed about the changes in their body, not only about how they look and how others see them but also about how the illness may affect their relationship with their spouse.

Zhang Xiu distributing literature on breast cancer
awareness in public hospitals
Zhang Xiu, a survivor who is a member of the BCSG Health Team, understands the whole gamut of feelings that may change rapidly from denial, fear, sadness, depression, anxiety to guilt and the spiral down to abject loss.  

Every Friday she goes to Hospital Sultanah Aminah with the Health Team to give emotional support to new patients and help them on their road to recovery.  Members of the Health Team also follow up the visits with calls to let them share their feelings and encourage them from their own experience.  These patients are then invited to the centre to participate in activities that help to boost their morale and inspire them to fight their own battle with cancer. 

Poh Luan Eng is an inspiration to patients
battling with cancer
“It’s normal to be terrified when you are first diagnosed with breast cancer but there is no need to hide from others because you feel you have been disfigured by the disease,” said Poh Luan Eng, a survivor of 11 years who is grateful for the support of family, friends and BCSG during her difficult and painful journey.  After she was diagnosed in 2004, she went through a mastectomy and chemotherapy.  She joined BCSG after her operation and with her positive attitude she was able to give positive support to others.

When she had a relapse in 2008, she underwent radiotherapy.  In 2011, a tumour was discovered at the right side of her stomach and she went through chemotherapy again.  The cancer then spread so rapidly that she had surgery to remove cancer cells in her large intestine.  Luan Eng was living with stage IV cancer and under palliative care for months but with the arrival of her grandson in Oct 2012, her life was worth living again.  She believes that knowledge is power and it is important to share knowledge about breast cancer so that women are not afraid to seek help if they discovered anything unusual about their breasts.

Honey Nor Azizah Idris with her husband
For seven years Honey Nor Azizah Idris’ annual health screening results were clear but in the eighth year, she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer.   The news came as a tremendous shock and for more than a month, she was in denial and refused to do anything about it.  After much persuasion, she went for consultation at Hospital Sultan Ismail and there, she met with a volunteer from BCSG who advised her to meet the members, many of whom are breast cancer survivors.

She plucked up her courage to call the BCSG Careline and she received much needed encouragement and advice to start her own fight against the dreaded disease.  In two weeks, Honey Nor made the decision for her mastectomy and this was followed by a series of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.  With the support from her husband, children and friends at BSCG, she embarked on the long road to recovery.  Now after being declared cancer-free, she is able to return to her job as a sales promoter with a hypermarket. 
Jessie Lim is grateful for the support
of BCSG for her road to recovery
“I met BCSG members who looked so happy and positive even in their illness and I was deeply encouraged by their attitude and strong support,” said Honey Nor about her first visit to the BCSG centre.  “I soon adopted their “I Can” attitude and went through my treatment with their practical and moral support,” she added.  She joins the BCSG Health Team in regular hospital visits, outings and a range of recreational activities including swimming.

In 1990, before any support group existed in JB, Jessie Lim was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It was a traumatic time for her but with the unwavering love and support from her family and friends, Jessie went through her treatments and bravely fought the battle to eventually emerge victorious.  Living with cancer for 23 years, she is aware of the possibility of recurrence and remains motivated by sister survivors in BCSG. 

“I’m not alone because the BCSG family has walked with me in my journey to wellness,” said Jessie.  To keep herself informed about health trends, she is actively involved with the centre’s activities and attends in-house training courses, health workshops and support group conferences. 

Health talks and advice by BCSG volunteers provide the public with important information that may save lives
Survivors are educated about the use of breast prosthetic products to give them more confidence to live normally again

Every year in October, the world celebrates International Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year BCSG will be hosting an Open House event at their centre on Saturday, 4 October 2014 from 10am to 4pm.  Members of the public are invited to an opportunity to learn more about Breast Cancer and how it affects not only the patient but their families too.

BCSG members celebrating the opening of their
new centre at Jalan Ru, Melodies Gardens
Very often patients discover the disease too late and this becomes more distressing if it is already at an advanced stage.  To help women discover anything unusual happening to their breasts, BCSG will teach the proper techniques of Breast Self Examination (BSE).  Three sessions planned for 10am, 12pm and 1pm, will be conducted in Malay, English and Mandarin languages.  These one-hour sessions will guide women on the proper techniques to check for anything unusual on their bodies. 

For cancer survivors who have undergone treatments, their next question may be, “What’s Next Doctor?” and this and other questions will be answered in the talks by two health professionals.  From 11am to 12pm, Dr Benny Tee will discuss the Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM ways while Dr Wee Siew Bock from the Parkway Group, Singapore, will speak from 2pm to 3pm.  This Open House event will also be an opportunity to ask questions at the Question & Answer sessions after the talks.

So bring your friends and come along to the Open House on Saturday, 4 October!  The BCSG JB centre is located at No. 12, Jalan Ru, Melodies Garden, Johor Baru.  Tel: 607 – 335 7211 or Email:


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