Sunway Cancer Buddy Stories: From Strangers to Sisters
Breast Cancer (Stage 1) | Breast Cancer (Stage 3)
Kar May (31) | Gin (42)
Introducing Kar May, a breast cancer patient, and Gin, a breast cancer survivor, who were brought together through our Sunway Cancer Buddy Programme—an initiative by Sunway Cancer Centre where cancer survivors willingly volunteer to support patients undergoing cancer treatment here at Sunway Medical Centre, Sunway City.
Read their stories of how hope, courage and strength were found through companionship and support as Kar May journeyed through cancer treatment together with Gin.
Kar May’s Story
Hello, I am Kar May, a 31-year-old mother of two from Bentong, Pahang, and a breast cancer patient.
When I first discovered that I had breast cancer, I was extremely saddened and devastated. At that moment, I felt like my life had come to an end.
Finding Support Through the Sunway Cancer Buddy Programme
Fortunately, during this time, I met my Cancer Buddies through the Sunway Cancer Buddy Programme.
I remember the first time we connected. They shared their stories and experiences with me as well as encouraged and cared for me. At that time, I was devastated and felt very insecure. They would comfort me, care for me, and teach me how to cope with the days ahead.
When they knew I was losing my hair, felt ugly without it, and did not dare to go out to meet with people, the sisters from the Sunway Cancer Centre Buddy group gave me a hat to help me feel less insecure and sad.
Because of my Cancer Buddies, I became happier and braver as I went through the treatment process, learning to cherish and love myself more.
I am deeply grateful to my Cancer Buddies. I'm thankful for them; since I got to know them, I have been happier and less sad. Whenever I feel unhappy, I’ll talk to them, and they’ll guide me and lead me into a different world. I am truly thankful for them.
Hello, I am Gin. I am 42 years old and have a two-year-old baby. I am both a wife and a mother. I am also part of a cancer volunteer group and am a Sunway Cancer Buddy.
I discovered that I had breast cancer in September 2022. At that moment, I was shocked to learn that I had cancer at such a young age. It was something that I really could not accept. Also, my baby was still very young then. I was worried that there would not be anyone to take care of her, and that I would never get the chance to hear her sing "All Mothers Are the Same” to me.
Journeying with Her Cancer Buddy Every Step of the Way
I think Kar May’s impression of me was that I am a very positive person. She seemed to feel more at ease with me or the other Cancer Buddies around. Perhaps she feels a sense of companionship, and that with us, she was not alone. We understood her emotions and knew what her next steps should be.
As Kar May’s Cancer Buddy, I helped her by sharing my treatment journey with her. I also shared with her essential details about daily life as a cancer patient, such as what to do if you have any wounds, or what is allowed and what is not during chemotherapy. Some examples of this included things like needing to apply ointment after radiation therapy, and that hot showers should be avoided, among other things.
Through some effort of being with her and sharing advice with her, she gradually changed. Now she can journey with other cancer patients independently, guiding them to live their lives positively, choose the right treatment, avoid folk remedies, and ignore negativity from others.
Once again, thank you for giving me this opportunity to grow.