Fay Lim, in her 30s
“Birthdays, weddings, family gatherings – you never realise how precious these are until it hits you that you may never attend one anymore.”
Cancer was the last thing that Fay expected to happen to her.
“I was only 30 then, just got my MBA and a new job as a strategic business consultant. I also recently got married. So imagine my shock when I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Large Diffused B-Cell Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.
It started with a lower back ache that escalated into a searing pain. I couldn’t walk, sit, dress myself nor carry my bag. An orthopaedic diagnosed me with a slipped disc. But during a CT scan, a radiologist noticed the lesion in my lower right back and alerted the doctors. More scans, blood tests and a biopsy confirmed my fears. It was definitely cancer.”
Death didn’t terrify me
“A year earlier, my two-year-old niece had died from Malignant Rhabdoid Tumour, a rare and aggressive tumour in the kidneys. When the doctor asked if I wanted to save my eggs, I said no, unsure that I would survive the ordeal.
I underwent six cycles of chemotherapy, one cycle of high-dose chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant which left me weak and ill. Because chemo killed off my immunity, I was confined into an isolation room and had limited physical contact for weeks. I was dispirited and lost the will to live. Then a ray of hope appeared. My blood count spiked, which meant I was on the road to recovery.”
The lump in my belly
“Ten months into my remission, I spotted a lump in my belly. Fearing it was a relapse, I quickly alerted my oncologist who ran some tests. The ultrasound scan showed that the ‘lump’ was a 16-week-old foetus! After the chemo, my menstrual cycle became irregular. This was probably why I didn’t realise I was pregnant sooner.
Our miracle child, Eliza, was born healthy in May 2011. Now three years old, she’s a burst of energy. And just as I felt life couldn’t get any better, I found myself pregnant again and my second baby girl was born in September.”
Time to celebrate
“My brush with cancer has taught me to celebrate life’s milestones. Birthdays, weddings, family gatherings – you never realise how precious these are until it hits you that you may never attend one anymore. I’m thankful that I can be there to celebrate yet another birthday with my family.”