What is it like to beat breast cancer? We talk to three women who battled the disease and have emerged feeling empowered, educated and enlightened. Read Jasmine’s story, the third survivor we profiled for Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
Jasmine woke up on November 29, 2018, as a regular working mum of two young children but by the end of the day she was a breast cancer patient and her world had come to a standstill.
“We were trying for baby number three and I did get pregnant but then I had a miscarriage, so we went to my doctor’s office to find out what happened,” reveals the dance studio co-founder.
“I never once asked ‘why me?’ because I know cancer does not discriminate”
“After a full body check-up, and several trips to an obstetrician-gynaecologist and then an oncologist, we confirmed that I had Stage 1C breast cancer. It was a shock to the system when those words fell out of my doctor’s mouth but, in retrospect, thank goodness for the miscarriage because otherwise I would have found out much later that something was wrong.”
After seeking a second opinion, Jasmine powered through with the clearest course of action: A full mastectomy of her left breast where a 2-cm cancerous lump lay in wait.
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“I found out I had cancer in November. By December I was booked in for surgery, and in January, I started the first of four cycles of chemotherapy,” Jasmine shares.
“Throughout my ordeal, I never once asked ‘why me?’ because I know cancer does not discriminate. My mum had breast cancer, my grandmother also had breast cancer, so I knew that maybe one day I would have it too but I didn’t know I would get it at this age.”
A positive mindset was crucial to Jasmine’s recovery process. She says she made it a point to always find the bright side of her situation.
“My mum had breast cancer, my grandmother also had breast cancer, so I knew that maybe one day I would have it”
“For many women, losing their breast may be traumatising, but because I’m a dancer, having smaller breasts actually helps me dance better! I have the same attitude towards hair. My hair started falling out but I knew it’d grow back and at least when I was doing housework, I wouldn’t find strands of hair on the floor,” she explains with a laugh.
“A lot of the time what heals you is all in your mind. So I made sure to surround myself with positive people and I read the right stories about recovery, not death.”
Worried about your risk of getting breast cancer?
While nothing can prevent cancer from attacking the the body, early diagnosis is key to nipping the disease in the bud and improving your survival rate. Learn how to self-examine your breasts at home to detect any lumps or changes with our inforgraphic below:
To encourage more women to go for a mammogram screening, the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS), Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) and National Healthcare Group Diagnostics (NHGD) is providing funding assistance through their Community Mammobus Programme. If you’re having a mammogram for the first time, it’ll be free! Find out more here.
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Photos: Frenchescar Lim
Art Direction: Ivy Choong
Styling: Debby Kwong
Hair: Ash Loi & Shawn Lee/Ravissant Hair Studio
Makeup: Audrey Wee using Chanel
Location: Slap Dance Studio