Like all mothers, Madam Tan wanted the best for her family. She was contented living in a 4-room HDB flat with her husband and two sons. However, their lives all took a turn when she was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer, or nose cancer, in 2008. Despite radiotherapy, Madam Tan started to experience numbness on her face and soon lost her part of her hearing and sight in her left eye.
With the couple’s older son serving his National Service and the younger one still in school, the main caregiving role fell on Madam Tan’s husband, a lorry driver who was also the sole breadwinner of the family. As the heavy medical bills took its toll on the family, it was not long before they had to sell their home and move to a 2-room rental flat. In September 2014, Madam Tan’s husband was retrenched because of his frequent absence from work to accompany her to medical appointments.
Upon her doctor’s referral, Madam Tan came to Assisi Hospice Day Care. A strong-willed and independent woman, Madam Tan did not want to trouble anyone during her time in Day Care even though her health had weakened. The nurses would constantly monitor her condition and symptoms closely to ensure that she was not in pain. If she needed to see the doctor, she would be accompanied by volunteers. To ease the family’s financial burden, Assisi Hospice extended financial support to Madam Tan including transport subsidies for her medical appointments and supermarket vouchers for their groceries.
Now, Madam Tan is calm and cheerful despite her condition and participates actively in the daily social activities at the Day Care Centre. More importantly, Madam Tan’s husband no longer worries about leaving her at home in the day and he can focus on his job search. They can finally start to put their lives back together.
As Madam Tan said, “Assisi Hospice has helped to lighten our burden and given us a peace of mind. Thank you, Assisi!”