GEORGE TOWN - A 36-year-old woman suffering from cancer is appealing for financial help to remove a 20kg tumour growing from her left shoulder all the way to her elbow.
Thum Mei San used to be an optimistic young woman, but is now weary after battling the cancer for the last six years.
Mei San's life began to change when she was first diagnosed with bone cancer six years ago, which manifested itself in the form of a small lump the size of a 20-cent coin on the back part of the shoulder.
"I often felt pain in my left arm and back, and went to a hospital where I found out that it was cancer. I was told that I would recover if I get my arm amputated, but the surgery would cost RM36,000 (S$13,900)," she said.
Mei San said financial considerations forced her to drop that option.
Within two years, the lump grew into the size of a fist.
"After some time, two more tumours grew on my back and arm. Early this year, all three tumours merged into a gigantic mass.
"The growth has affected my daily life. I can't sleep well and I am in pain all the time, even when I breathe," said Mei San, who is now bedridden.
She went to the Seberang Jaya Hospital three weeks ago for a biopsy, with results expected next week.
Worried that the tumour would affect her heart as well, Mei San was also referred to the Pantai Hospital Penang yesterday for an angiogram.
"I am not afraid of losing my arm. All I want is to get rid of the tumour," she said at the hospital yesterday.
A hospital spokesman said they would also help her to apply for aid from the Khazanah Fund.
Mei San, who stopped working as a supermarket promoter four years ago, said that she hopes to return to work and lift the burden off her father who had taken care of her all this while.
Her father, Thum Foo Seng, 63, said his wife Chuah Boon Koon, 53, needs dialysis thrice weekly.
Donations can be sent to Kwong Wah Yit Poh Press Bhd - Charity Fund at 19, Lebuh Presgrave, 10300 Penang, or Guang Ming Ribao Sdn Bhd (Charity Fund) at 67, Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang.