Case Study

Scenario of Case Study

I am Nicole. My daughter, Lee Zi Yen is the middle child of my three children. She was born normal. Her growth and developmental milestones were normal. She had been a cheerful, active & fun loving child until March 2015, when she had fever, loss of appetite and lethargy. She also had bloated abdomen and was severely anemic. Bone marrow examination revealed that she suffered leukemia. My husband and I were devastated. After our initial grieving we went all out to obtain information to source for a medical center that would give our daughter the best of care.

We were given the contact number of JB CanHOPE office on 28th April 2015. Ms Angela & staff nurse Chin brought us to PCC at Mount Elizabeth Hospital to see Dr. Anselm Lee, who is a specialist in pediatric hematology and oncology. He has more than 20 years of experience in caring for kids afflicted with cancer. Many of his patients have survived to adulthood and most of them have children of their own. After more specific blood tests, we were told that our child had ALL L1- leukemia which responded well with chemotherapy.

Within 3 weeks Zi Yen began chemotherapy. In the 1st month of treatment we rented a place within easy reach to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in case our daughter needed hospitalization should she develop an adverse side effects to the cancer drugs. Initially our child needed to stay in hospital fortnightly which lasted 5 days per hospitalization. Her reaction to the drugs is vomiting and hair loss. Milk is the only food that sustained her life in that period. We e-mailed Dr. Anselm Lee whenever we encountered doubts or when we felt distressful. He is prompt to respond. His teaching and reassurance eased off our tension and he gave us courage to carry on helping Zi Yen to battle her cancer.

By the 5th and 6th months into chemotherapy, Zi Yen’s condition became stable and she only attended day care weekly or once in two weeks. She regained her weight and vitality and was back to her bubbly self. My eldest child, who is 2 years senior to Zi Yen, is most understanding and accepting of her sister’s need for their parents’ full attention.

This is a period of learning for me. I joined the support group. I learnt from other parents caring for their children afflicted with cancer. The provision of good nutrients is vital. I gathered cooking tips to awaken Zi Yen's appetite and to keep her well-nourished with freshly prepared food. This improves her immunity to battle the cancer cells. We invested some money on a unit of multi-purpose cooker with which I could produce many dishes within a short span of time. I have to change my mindset in food preparation to ensure that my other family members receive adequate nourishments from my cooking. We also reduced the frequency of eating out.

Presently Zi Yen is being monitored once a year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Anselm Lee and his team of nurses and personnel from other allied health sciences in helping Zi Yen in her healing journey. To parents walking the journey I once trod, I would like to tell them that cancer is not a dead sentence. Their kids too would be well again and enjoy a normal life, If they are treated properly in a medical center that provides holistic care.