Sunway Cancer Buddy Stories: A Tale of Friendship & Shared Hope
Breast Cancer (Stage 3) | Breast Cancer (Stage 2)
Pei Chen (40) | Carol (46)
Meet Pei Chen, a breast cancer fighter and Carol, a breast cancer survivor, whose lives were inexplicably intertwined through the Sunway Cancer Buddy Programme—an initiative by Sunway Cancer Centre where cancer survivors volunteer to provide support and encouragement to patients undergoing cancer treatment here at Sunway Medical Centre, Sunway City.
Read on as they recount stories of unwavering support and guidance provided as Pei Chen navigated her cancer diagnosis and treatment journey alongside Carol, who was her Cancer Buddy.
Pei Chen’s Story
I am Pei Chen. I'm a housewife, home tutor and breast cancer fighter.
As a cancer patient, my biggest fear was to lose all my hair and become bald. Naturally, as a woman, I wanted to look pretty. When I started losing my hair, my children were very worried about it, especially my youngest son. He did not want me to meet his classmates or teachers, as he did not want them to know that his mother was bald.
Discovering Courage & Comfort During Her Cancer Journey
The first time I met my Cancer Buddy, Carol, was after my surgery. She came to visit me, and I immediately sensed that she was a very positive person.
During moments of sadness and confusion, she was a constant source of positivity, providing me with much-needed comfort and guidance.
Back when I received my diagnosis, I was at a loss as to what to do. At that time, I could not sleep; it was in the middle of the night. There was only one person, Carol, who willingly stayed up to provide guidance and answers to my questions.
After meeting Carol, I do not feel as sad anymore, and I am no longer as fearful or uncertain. She has helped me realise that cancer is not a death sentence, and has always told me not to overthink, worry too much and also to love myself.
To Carol, I would like to say, "You're the best. Without you, there would not be me."
I am Carol. I am a mother of three children and the founder of a cancer volunteer group. I am also a breast cancer survivor.
When I first discovered I had breast cancer, I was fearful and worried about losing my hair, as hair is a symbol of femininity.
Being an Ever-Present Pillar of Support for Her Cancer Buddy
The first impression that my Cancer Buddy, Pei Chen left on me was that she was very panicked. When I met her, she was crying uncontrollably and would not let me go. She had many doubts and many questions to ask me.
During that period, she needed to undergo chemotherapy and I was also still undergoing targeted therapy. We had our therapy sessions scheduled at almost the same time. I was there with her during her first chemotherapy session and her last one as well. Throughout this time, she would call me daily, asking questions and sharing her worries with me, and I would always be there for her. Whenever she needs me, I will always be there.
I have changed a lot. Whenever I interact with Pei Chen, I feel particularly emotional. I felt that I was quite naive back then. Thinking back, crying was a waste of tears because cancer is not as terrifying as I thought, and chemotherapy is not as difficult as I had imagined.
Finally, I want to say this to Pei Chen, “Whenever you need me, I'll do my best to be there for you.”