Daughter gets help as cancer-stricken dad fulfils his last wish of dying at home: 'It was not easy'

Her father was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in March 2021.

When cancer strikes, it impacts not only the patient but those close to him as well.

Madam Chen said: "Our daily life was put on hold. Everything was affected, especially the ongoing and unexpected expenses."

Her mum is also a cancer patient with chronic myelogenous leukaemia.

The daughter said: "It was a challenge for me as the caregiver to persuade my dad to seek treatment as I believe in his mind, 'cost' was an important factor.

"However, I assured my dad that he did not need to worry about the cost and finally he agreed to further his treatment."

Mr Chen was in his late 80s when he started chemotherapy at the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) in the National University Hospital Medical Centre. Subsequently, he sought radiotherapy and was admitted frequently.

"On his final stay in hospital, the team and doctor discussed with me and felt it is better for my dad to be home as this is his wish," said Madam Chen.

Dr Esther Chan, a senior consultant in the Department of Haematology-Oncology at NCIS, said: "When Mr Chen’s cancer relapsed, he was very frail at that point in time. Thus, further treatment would not have been possible.

"As it was patient's wish to be at home, he was found suitable for compassionate discharge with end-of-life support at home being made available."

Madam Chen said: "It was not easy as I faced challenges with my mum who was not prepared for him to pass on at home. I am grateful to the team for discussing with me the options and avenues."

Ms Hazel Foo, a senior medical social worker at National University Hospital, said: "We have known Mr Chen and his family from the point of his diagnosis, assisting him and his family with medical expenses and also providing counselling support for him to cope with his cancer condition.

She said the patient was someone who loved his family and they loved him too.

"Being home was important to him and it was his wish. Bringing him home was a tough decision for the family, especially his daughter. She would like him to be home but was very worried about how to care for him.

"Fortunately, we have the NCIS Cancer Fund. Funding was obtained within just a day and we were able to bring in private nurses who took care of him in his last days at home."

Madam Chen said: "For me as a caregiver, I did my best to give him all the care and support during the course of his cancer journey and fulfil his wish on his final journey in life."

Her father died a few months ago.

To raise money for the NCIS Cancer Fund, The Last Mile Concert is being held at the School Of The Arts concert hall on Nov 30 evening.

Performers include classical pianist Azariah Tan and singer-songwriter Joanna Dong who won third place in the finals of Sing! China in 2017.

Join Joanna Dong 董姿彦 and other renowned local artistes for a night of soul-stirring music at The Last Mile Concert,...

Posted by National University Cancer Institute, Singapore - NCIS on Wednesday, 22 November 2023


Proceeds from the sale of tickets will go towards the NCIS Cancer Fund to help financially needy cancer patients who have been given a compassionate discharge such as Madam Chen's father.

The fund has helped 440 patients with close to $1.8 million since it was set up in 2016. It will also fund research, healthcare workers’ professional development and public education related to palliative care.

Tickets are available at Sistic.