You could say Patricia de Silva has a huge appetite for life. While her weekdays are consumed by work, weekends will see this mum of two whipping up new dishes for her daughters, walking their pet dogs, and unwinding over dinner and good music with friends.
Her happy, carefree life today is a stark contrast to the emotional turmoil she was going through in August 2013. Following the discovery of a small lump on her chest, she was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. It was a cruel twist of fate, as just a year earlier, her husband had died of cancer. “I was devastated. Not because I was diagnosed with this disease, but devastated because my family was struck by cancer twice in just two years.”
Foremost on her mind was to seek treatment immediately and make a full recovery as soon as possible. “I didn’t want my children to lose another parent to cancer,” she says.
Not letting go of the freedom to live her life
“When my husband was battling cancer, he tried his best to lead a very healthy lifestyle, giving up much of what he enjoyed. As a result, he became depressed. And I think that’s how he succumbed to the disease. Seeing how he had suffered, I wasn’t going to let cancer win again,” says Patricia.
While she had to take a break from work during her cancer treatment, this feisty lady didn’t give up her favourite food and activities, and continued to enjoy her life during that period. And even before she allowed herself to lose her hair, she had it all shaved off.
“The worst things in life don’t always have to mean the end of the world. To fight cancer, you must be positive,” she says.
Confidence to focus on herself 100%
“I think I got back on my feet almost immediately because I continued to live my normal life, even during treatment. I also didn’t have to worry about the cost of chemotherapy as I had insurance,” says Patricia.
However, she never thought much about financial protection before her own brush with cancer: “I always saw it as an extra, redundant cost. But if I didn’t have insurance coverage, I’d have had to dig into my savings to cover my treatment costs as well as my daily living expenses when I wasn’t working.
“Having a good protection plan allows you to seek the best treatment possible without financial stress. And the last thing a sick person needs is fear about not having money to support themselves during treatment.
“I was able to focus completely on getting better because I didn’t have to worry about my finances. It helped me to overcome cancer,” she says.