Cancer survivors passing on the love

“Some patients may feel that it is the end of the road, but they don’t realise that there are people who survived" - says Penang-based Sukhveer Kaur. She's married to another cancer survivor Daljit Singh

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By Christopher Tan | Buletin Mutiara |

CANCER is a ‘journey’ that patients have to understand. Cancer survivor Sukhveer Kaur, 55, said the six-letter word is so scary to many people.

“Some patients may feel that it is the end of the road, but they don’t realise that there are people who survived.

“It was frightening to me as well. But I was very strong when the doctor told me that I had cancer.

“However, I didn’t know what my future is. The moment you know that you have cancer, the doctor will prepare you for surgery. After surgery, it’s the treatment. And after treatment, where would you go?

“That’s where we come in. We provide counselling, we do laughter therapy, we empower patients and we become the patient advocates,” Sukhveer, the founder of Himmat Support Group, said in an interview today.

Sukhveer was diagnosed with carcinoid tumour (a form of neuroendocrine tumour) in 2008 and had total gastrectomy (removal of the stomach) in the same year.

“It was on July 21, 2008 – the day when the doctor performed the anastomosis (a surgical connection), joining my oesophagus and my small intestine.

“It was on July 21, 2008 – the day when the doctor performed the anastomosis (a surgical connection), joining my oesophagus and my small intestine.

“At the beginning, I always had diarrhoea for a few years. Now it’s vomiting, especially if I eat something that cannot be accepted by my body, because it goes into my small intestine. Or else, I’ll be burping until I don’t vomit.

“I think I’m used to it now. I still have to go through this, and it does not change my appreciation of life. I love food and food love me.

“I have to watch my diet. Food that are high in carbohydrate and sugary stuff, they always cause problem. I take more proteins when I go out, but when I’m at home I become ‘naughty’ occasionally.

“So, it has been about 12 years since I lost my entire stomach and I am very proud of myself.

Her husband Daljit Singh, 57, also shared his journey as a cancer survivor.

“I am a strict vegetarian. I love to jog; I love hiking and I’m a health addict.

“So, when I was diagnosed with left renal carcinoma (kidney cancer) in 2011 during a whole-body CT-scan, I could not accept it,” he said.

Read the full story, ‘Cancer survivors passing on the love’ (Buletin Mutiara, 4 Feb 2021), here. Sukhveer Kaur and Daljit Singh are also active in leadership team at Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Penang 

 

RELATED STORY:

Cancer survivor Daljit to lead Penang gurdwara (Asia Samachar, 17 June 2018)

 

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