Mummy Clara first noticed the lump on her breast in November 2017.
"I thought it was a blocked duct, which I normally had..."
"But the lump didn't go away, and it was painful..." So, she went to see a gynaecologist.
Blocked Duct Or Breast Cancer
Until then, things were going fine for Malaysian mummy Clara Eng. She and her husband Daniel Cheong run a tuition centre together in Kuching, Sarawak.
The couple have a daughter, Natalie, who turns 2 in June.
Clara tells theAsianparent, "Both my confinement lady and gynaecologist assured me that it was a normal lump, from breastfeeding."
"After a while, there was no more pain too and I listened to both of them, so I lived on..."
Things took a turn for the worse in March 2018.
Clara recalls, "In early March, the lump suddenly grew bigger, my breast was swollen, and I had backache. So, I decided to check with another gynaecologist."
"He advised that biopsy be done immediately. So I had my biopsy, ultrasound scan and CT scan done."
She remembers that fateful day, "My daughter was 1 year and 9 months old then. I had breastfed her until 21 March 2018, a day before my medical report was released."
Diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer
Clara can never forget that day, when she received the diagnosis.
"I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. The cancer had spread to the bones, liver and lungs."
"So many treatment options came in immediately, be it medical science, natural therapy, traditional chinese medicine, the list goes on. But it was urgent, so I chose medical science, which meant chemotherapy and targeted therapy."
"Also, I am careful about my food consumption now."
Sadly, Clara had to stop breastfeeding after the diagnosis. Thankfully, her little one was very understanding.
"I explained to her about my breast condition in simple words, and she understood. She is a very understanding girl. She didn't ask for breast milk from me anymore. Instead, she sympathised with me, and comforted me."
"My family, relatives and friends were all shocked! Because I look well. But they have been extremely supportive. Many of them came forward to help and even offered their prayers..."
Clara has this important warning for all mums, "Do not ignore any breast lump, even if mummy is breast feeding. Also, do not neglect any body changes or pain, especially if the pain persists."
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Clara. We hope and pray that you get well soon...