Admitted to St Luke’s Hospital (SLH) following a major surgery, the former Principal Engineer, Mr Chew, confronted the devastating diagnosis of Stage 4 prostate cancer at the age of 75.
After experiencing a fainting episode at the mall, Mr Chew was promptly taken to the A&E, where he discovered that the cancer had metastasised to his legs. What he once dismissed as mere numbness, attributing it to the inevitable process of ageing, now shackled him to a stark reality – a maximum of five years to live, even with chemotherapy.
He shared, “I had envisioned enjoying my retirement years after years of hard work. Being diagnosed with cancer felt like a sudden blow. Despite maintaining a healthy diet and daily runs, I find myself grappling with a disease beyond my control.”
Initially bedridden due to the surgery that removed cancer cells from his left leg, Mr Chew was disinterested in participating in social activities and even post-surgery rehabilitation sessions. In fact, most of his time in bed was spent on sleepless nights contemplating the meaning of life and struggling to accept the harsh reality. After interacting with the staff at SLH, he slowly embraced the concept of acceptance and decided to challenge cancer head-on, living his life to the fullest.
This marked the start of him taking his first steps since the surgery and being receptive to social activities such as gardening, playing the ukulele, and arts and crafts organised by the Leisure Rehab team. Through the weekly rehab and leisure sessions, he gradually realised that life held more than dwelling in the negative. Motivated to focus on the present, he is determined to work on his mobility.
“With each passing day, I see more and more patients in the ward gaining the courage to walk, inspiring me to have hope in my own recovery journey. One incident that moved me was a patient across my bed, initially struggling to move his limbs. However, within a few days, I witnessed him walking with the assistance of the Physiotherapists (PT) and Occupational Therapists (OT). Seeing their progress, I can’t help but think, ‘I too want to be like them.'”
“Now that I am back on my feet, seen not just in my own recovery, is a huge testament to the professionalism and the spirit of excellence of the staff here, particularly the Rehabilitation team. Their constant encouragement, support, and expertise have not just helped patients like me regain physical mobility but also allowed us to reintegrate back into society, doing the things we were once able to.”
Now discharged, Mr Chew is set to return to the Day Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) for further follow-up rehab sessions. One of the items on his bucket list is to travel with his family, eventually parting ways with the walking stick, and immersing himself in the newfound leisure activities he has learned.