In December 2014, Chua Bee Khim felt pain in her underarm area, and consulted a doctor. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and started treatment immediately.  The news hit her hard as she had never believed that she would have cancer at 45 years of age.

At that time, she had to deal with her medical condition while managing her emotions. There were thoughts of fear and uncertainties of her future. She shared, “During my recovery, I did a lot of thinking. I asked myself the meaning of life. I refocused my life, defined what was important to me. I saw my “blind spots” which were areas in my life that I need to improve on. I had to manage my stress levels and learnt to appreciate the people in my life. I started to engage in leisure activities such as rhythmic exercises, singing, dancing and painting. I made new friends while doing these activities.” 

The treatment phase was a long and arduous process. During treatment she worked out in the park, met and bonded with numerous people of all ages.  She realised that previously while she was busy juggling between work and family needs, she had neglected her self-care. She had the support of her husband and children as she made self-care her priority. Her mother would call her almost daily to encourage her and share with her healthy food recipes.  

Bee Khim is an active member of several SCS support group programmes including Dance Advocacy and Art Therapy. She loves the programmes as they help her manage her stress levels. The key to recovery is a positive unyielding spirit.

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Chua Bee Khim recently participated in an Art Exhibition titled “Body Language” at UltraSuperNew gallery, together with her fellow SCS Art Therapy programme members. Pictured here with Minister of State Gan Siow Huang, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Manpower who was also her former colleague in the Air Force.

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She explained, “Find a reason to live, it will make the fight worthwhile. The right attitude and perspective on life are important, they will keep us on the right track.” During Covid for instance, especially during the lockdown, she learnt to adapt to the new life situations. She enjoyed bonding with the family, watching movies, cooking and playing board/card games together. As a retiree, her diagnosis has given her a new perspective on life – and she has picked up dancing, painting and learning to play the ukulele. All these have brought so much joy to her.

Her word of advice to women “Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Make regular screening a healthcare regime. Early screening saves lives.”

Thinking of volunteering?  Learn more about SCS’ volunteering opportunities at https://bit.ly/volunteer-scs

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