Struck by a rare cancer in my 30s

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Judy Anthony, Late 30s
Senior Enrolled Nurse
Singapore National Eye Centre

A loving mom, a dedicated nurse, a fighter.

  1. When were you diagnosed and at what age?

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Fallopian tube cancer in 2014. I consulted my gynecologist about a painful sensation in my left abdomen which pain killers could not relieve.

  1. What was your first reaction when you were told that you had cancer?

It was a big shock to me as my family has no history with cancer or other illnesses. My cancer was rare in Singapore and I required surgery and chemo therapy. At first I didn’t want to go for any treatment as I feared the side effects of chemo.

  1. How did you find the strength to go through the treatments?

I was lucky to enjoy the support of my family and close friends who gave me the assurance to commence the treatment. They were very supportive – always calling and messaging me just to ask if I was ok. During ‘good weeks’ when I was feeling well, I would meet up with my friends for a meal and catch up with them. This made me feel like life was still normal.

  1.    What did friends or family members do or say that meant the most to you?

Cancer was easier to deal with compared to being bald and feeling ugly. That was so tough to deal with. My family and friends would always tell me I still looked the same. They bought me scarfs and presents to brighten my day. When I was almost at the end of my chemo I experienced memory loss and it was scary not to even know my address or NRIC number. As such, my 16 year-old daughter would make sure I was never alone as even counting money was difficult. My friends would also offer to fetch and send me back to ensure my safety.

When I came back to work, my hair was so short but my bosses and colleagues were so kind and told me it was cool. In addition, as a nurse, it was almost impossible to avoid being exposed to infectious cases. But they would look out for me by volunteering to take over.

  1. What are the things you are able to do now as a result for winning the battle against cancer?

Looking back at my journey I am truly blessed to have good support from family, friends and the cancer group. It’s been two years since I was diagnosed and each day is a blessing to me. I want to live my life to the fullest and be a role model to those who have cancer.

  1. Can you share anything about donating to the Run For Hope cause?

I took part in my first Run For Hope last year and promised I would run every year. I was further encouraged to be a better nurse and help those in need. I make an extra effort to eat healthy and have a good balance between work and play.

Even though I am a nurse, the battle was tough. The fear of pain and death was constantly on my mind, and no one should suffer alone. To combat loneliness, I attended parties and feel good make up sessions. All these would not have been possible without the kind donations. I truly believe that every dollar donated would make someone feel better.

Thank you for this opportunity. I hope to raise awareness and help others.

Judy will be participating in Run For Hope 2017. Join her and thousands of other survivors to raise awareness and support for cancer research at http://tinyurl.com/zn6kqyd.

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