The Final Reunion Dinner

Reunion dinner has always been a big part of Chinese New Year, and especially so, for Mdm Chng Boon Hwa. It would be a special one for her this year as it probably it will most probably be her last reunion dinner due to her palliative conditions. 

Boon Hwa, 69, took a few hours leave from the palliative care ward to join her family for dinner last week.  Her son’s family had flown in from Australia to join her at this dinner with immense significance.    

Over dinner, the family chatted and dined. Boon Hwa was amazed how her active grandson managed to sit beside her throughout the session. Like any doting grandmother, she dutifully put food onto his plate. With joy, she exclaimed, “He ate up whatever I gave him!”   

Boon Hwa was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015. Since then, it had been rounds of treatment and relapses. The treatment plan for her last relapse in 2022 proved futile and rendered her weaker. Boon Hwa decided to stop treatment and receive palliative care. Her family supported her decision. 

To Boon Hwa, opting for palliative care was not a difficult decision. “I can finally relax. Now, I live every day with comfort and am not bothered by any more problems. Being free from worry, for me, is the best medicine,” she said with peace in acceptance. 

Her last wish is, to make thank you cards for all those who had cared for her, especially her oncologist and siblings.  

If you are in Boon Hwa’s thank you list (you know who you are) and reading this. A big thank you on her behalf. 

Boon Hwa’s cheerful personality continues to shine bright as she receives palliative care.
Boon Hwa enjoying an early reunion dinner with family (photo provided by interviewee).