Personal Account of a Cancer Survivor

I recently met up with one of my life-savers. She is now a staff nurse with Ward 77 at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and we now meet once a month for lunch.

SGH was where I spent 7 months having rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant less than 4 years ago due to acute myloid leukaemia (AML).

It isn’t a common occurrence to hear from the doctors that one has 6 months left – I did.

The first feelings that I had at that point were bewilderment, anger and, after a long while, acceptance.


Health was something that I easily took for granted. I don’t like junk food, I like exercise and I exercised regularly, being a PE teacher in the past. However, I neglected my mental and emotional health.

Negative thoughts and feelings of not being good enough often plagued me. I also couldn’t let go of relationships that were hurtful, and I continued to hold on to them, thinking that I could change the people around me. That was a mistake – for change can only come from myself.

I also used to think that giving meant sacrificing myself, and a mentor told me as I was recuperating, “If you have sacrificed yourself, there is no more to give.”

We often hear that Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) drugs should not be mixed, as Western doctors often do not have experience with TCM. Chemotherapy was not my first choice of treatment, though it was what I went through. Additionally, I have found TCM and advice from a good TCM doctor to be extremely helpful for my full recovery during my recuperation.


I am also very fortunate that, before I received my diagnosis, I had my insurance already reviewed and updated with Unicorn, which covered most of my medical bills.

I had bills from May 2015 – Jul 2016, from episodes of hospitalisation to follow-ups with the doctor, which were as often as twice a week.

One bill itself, which included my transplant, was $135,723.64; and that was only for 43.5 days of hospitalisation.

Imagine my total bills for more than a year!

Adding to my work as a Financial Planner

Doing the work that I do now is very close to my heart, as I have gone through the ups and downs of health as well as the ins and outs of claims.

It is my sincere wish to see all my loved ones and friends around me benefiting from the work that I do, as the consequences of not doing so can be quite dire.

You are exposed to different risks every day. Have you ever asked yourself:
Are you confident of achieving your financial goals? Why not?
What are the risks that can possibly derail you from achieving these financial goals?

How important are these goals to you?

Are there any blind spots?

And what can you do in your power to mitigate those risks?


“Financial Independence is not about long-term planning; it is about understanding the future consequences of today’s decisions. If your life is worth living, your Goal is worth achieving.” – JNP


Author: Sophia Tan