Cervical Cancer Survivor: Getting Over Cancer and Back To Nature
Chew Ah Siang
Female / 66 yrs old / 3rd stage cervical cancer (2008) / Melaka, Malaysia
I am passionate about life and like to live happily each day. I have a special darling, my hula hoop, which has accompanied me for more than a decade. I must have it by my side to be able to sleep soundly. I learned driving at the age of 50. I don’t like to beg others and prefer to do everything myself as far as possible. My hometown is a small village in rural Melaka, where I have a 2-acre farm with over 10 different types of vegetable. My husband and I have survived on it for 10 over years, raising 4 daughters and 2 sons with it. Now my children have all grown up and it’s about time for me to take care of some grandchildren. Then, unexpectedly, I had cancer.
Confronting Cancer with Calm
We are staunch Catholic, so all the children who had been working out-of-town came back home to celebrate Christmas on December 25th 2008. On that fateful day my meticulous daughter observed that I had been walking with my back awkwardly bending forward. I told her I had been having backache for the past month, with some vaginal bleeding. She was alarmed. She took leave the next day and brought me to the nearest gynaecologist. The doctor did a biopsy and suggested doing a blood test and a thorough body check-up, so I went to a local clinic to do the blood test. My daughter went back to KL and waited for my test reports.
I went to get my reports a few days later and the doctor told me I probably had cancer. I was worried but not unduly alarmed. Que sera sera, whatever will be will be. The doctor said I was a tough cookie, because most people would crumble and cry after hearing the news. I told her everyone had to die anyway, especially someone as old as me, but Lord would protect us. I did not tell anybody about the news. When my daughter called, I told her I had already known that I had cervical cancer. I told her not to worry.
At that time my son Alan, who was working in KL, knew a friend who was working in Tombo Enterprise, a company dealing with an antineoplastic called TXL. Alan enquired about TXL from his friend and became hopeful that the product might be able to help me. I started taking it on January 2nd 2009.
Throughout that period my children took me to KL and Melaka to see numerous doctors. I was even brought to Singapore for a check-up during the Chinese New Year of 2009. The doctors were worried about my delaying the therapy. They said my case was very serious since the cervix had ulcerated. Surgery was out of the question. The only options left were chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Each and every doctor estimated the bill of treatment to be tens of thousands.
Regaining Health with the Help of TXL and a Good Doctor
One of my daughters suggested going to the University Hospital for therapy. Though reluctant to do anymore medical check-ups since the procedure was extremely uncomfortable, I followed her to the hospital anyway. I was greeted by Dr. Lim, a young fortyish doctor. Maybe it’s karma, but I liked him instantly and believed that he could cure my cancer. He was the seventh doctor examining me. After the medical examination, he said, “Don’t worry, it can still be operated on. The success rate is around 80%. I have done operations for the elderly before, so no problem.”
The operation took place on February 26th 2009, whereby my womb, uterus and the peripheral lymphatic system were surgically removed, leaving me with a colostomy bag. The operation was a huge success, so much so that I could walk after only 3 days and I recovered really quickly. In March, 3 months later, I started my chemotherapy. It was a terrible ordeal, because I had to be on drips for 10 hours before every chemotherapy session and the side effects were unbearable. My hair dropped off, I threw up and could not eat due to poor appetite. I would even vomit at the smell of cooking. The side effects were so bad that I had to have a longer rest period in between sessions. But thanks to TXL and Tian Xian Essence, I began to recover more quickly in between each session. Even my hair started to grow back. I finished the 4 chemotherapy sessions in September 2009. The October medical report declared that I was totally free of cancer cells. I stayed in my daughter’s house in KL for 10 months in order to finish the therapy. When I went back to my home in Melaka, all my neighbours were amazed that I was still alive and kicking.
The Shadows of Chemotherapy Side Effects
I grew tired and wary of chemotherapy. In order to avoid another chemotherapy and a relapse, I continued taking TXL, which helped me regain my strength so quickly that I could play with my hula hoop again. A lot of close friends recommended numerous health food supplements but I stuck to TXL because it was very effective, so effective that I could almost feel the blood flowing after taking it. I had quite a number of ulcerated wounds on my lower legs after the chemotherapy. It suddenly occurred to me one day that I could apply the dregs on the cover of the TXL bottle on my legs so I tried it out, and the wounds and the pain healed nicely after a few weeks. Now TXL has become another darling of mine.
Learning to Let Go and Enjoy Life
I was leading an unhappy life before I had cancer. Life was just a bundle of nerves then. I had to tend to my farm before daybreak. Picking and selling vegetables needed accurate timing. I couldn’t afford to have any day-off. I even had to fertilise the soil and harvest some vegetables on the first day of Chinese New Year. I used to be very impatient and the farm life did not help. I flew into a tantrum easily. When I had cancer, I was forced to sub out most of my farm to other people and retain only a small part. I became less impetuous and more carefree. Now, tending to the farm has become a hobby and I have more time to ‘love’ my farm ‘babies’.
I know it’s not easy to get rid of my impatience but in order to stay healthy and bring harmony to the family, I have to slow down and free myself of unnecessary stress. I believe good health originates from tranquility and a stress-free life.
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord for making me see the bliss around me when I was down with cancer! I like to stay with my husband in the countryside. I have never liked the life in a big city because the air is filthy and it is simply a concrete jungle out there. I have a lot of greenery in my hometown where I can spend my time with, and all the nice and familiar friends that come for occasional chats. My children will come to visit with their children during festive seasons. They love me very much.
It’s a big open space in my hometown, with a lot of fresh air, sunshine and gentle breeze. They fascinate me. You can also see the moon and the stars clearly at night. I love everything about nature. I love walking on rural soil and feel the power of nature.
(Text and photograph: March 20102010)