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A Solitary Path Paved with Strength and Love

A Solitary Path Paved with Strength and Love

A Solitary Path Paved with Strength and Love: Din's Journey as a Cancer Caregiver

“In the face of life’s harshest trials, our story emerged as a testament to the strength and love that carried us through a challenging journey. As a cancer caregiver to my beloved wife, Nel, I embarked on a path filled with uncertainties, but with one committed objective, which is to support her battle against breast cancer. While it was extremely difficult, I am grateful to say that it was a journey marked by profound love and unwavering positivity. We realised that these values that fuelled our determination to win could serve as an inspiration to others facing similar challenges. Our mission in sharing this story is to give hope and encouragement to patients and their families, showing that even in the darkest moments, one can find the inner strength to carry on. This narrative is a tribute to our power of resilience, love, and proper insurance planning which empowered me as a cancer caregiver,” – Din.

A Solitary Path Paved

In life’s most challenging moments, the solitary road can often be the path less travelled, but for Shaharruddin (Din, aged 51) and his wife Naliza (Nel, aged 50), it became the journey of a lifetime – marked by profound love, unwavering positivity, support and patience in the face of one of life’s harshest trials: breast cancer.

When he first heard Nel’s diagnosis of late stage 2, breast cancer in February 2020, the news casted a shadow of uncertainty over their lives, yet, Din knew that they had only one choice: to arm themselves with knowledge and face the unknown together. He took the lead, consulting doctors and seeking guidance from cancer support associations.

Thanks to Nel’s job with comprehensive medical coverage and multiple insurance plans, including five critical illness policies and a medical card. The payouts from these policies freed them from financial burdens, allowing them to maintain their lifestyle even as Nel took a year-long illness leave. So far, they’ve utilised more than RM250,000 from the medical card, leaving only a small balance for future treatments.

Their journey began during the unprecedented pandemic period, amidst movement restrictions. But neither Din nor Nel allowed these challenges to deter them. For three long years, they navigated treatments, with Din as Nel’s unwavering caregiver. Mixed emotions filled their days, especially since Nel’s weakened immune system made her more susceptible to infections, including COVID-19.

Din’s flexibility, running his own retail business in the same building as their home, allowed him to always be on standby to Nel’s needs and emergency requests promptly. Despite becoming familiar with Nel’s condition, he knew that there were times to rush her to the hospital and even moments of unexpected hospital admissions during routine check-ups, depending on Nel’s condition.

A Solitary Path Paved

In the daytime, Din continued to work, as he had no helper to ensure his continuous income. Simultaneously, he shouldered the responsibility of household cleaning, given Nel’s weakened immune system during treatments.

“We have been married for 10 years and Din knows me best. Even what needs to be packed when I leave for the hospital, I don’t need to utter much. He knows what to do. While we had family and friends around us, but it was Din who played the main role in motivating me to go on. Because I am sick, he had to do more than just taking care of me, he had to take care of everything else. During those times, he was not lonely but alone,” said Nel.

A Solitary Path Paved

In moments of despair, Din found solace in the company of his cats. These brief respites allowed him to rejuvenate and regain his strength, always returning to his role as Nel’s caregiver. He shielded his wife from his own fears and worries, offering her a simple yet powerful mantra: “Stay Strong and Positive.” “Being positive is as important as good communication,” Din noted. He emphasised the importance of addressing issues immediately to prevent them from escalating into negative situations.

Nel, too, had words of wisdom to share. She believed that a woman’s worth is her mindset that determines her strength. Nel had become an active member of a cancer support group, offering the same support she had received to fellow patients. She stressed the importance of having sufficient insurance coverage, including life, critical illness, and medical policies.

She completed her treatment in June 2023 but faced a five-year waiting period before being declared cancer-free. As they looked back on their arduous journey, Din and Nel knew that these traits were the foundation of their fight for a cancer-free life. Without them, the road would have been lonelier, and the chances of recovery slimmer. Cancer, they realised, did not discriminate. It could happen to anyone, anytime. Their message was clear: live healthily and plan for proper insurance coverage.

A Solitary Path Paved

Din concluded with an important reminder: “One might wonder why we needed so many insurance plans, but when adversity strikes, you find yourself asking, ‘Why didn’t I get more?’ Once diagnosed with a critical illness, obtaining additional insurance becomes a challenge. We must live with what we have and hope it’s enough.” Their journey was a testament to resilience, love, and the power of the human spirit when faced with the solitary road of cancer caregiving.

It is never too late to start insurance planning to protect your financial well-being and provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Starting early can often lead to more affordable premiums. Take charge of your life now by purchasing PRUCancer Safe (this is an insurance product) with a minimal monthly premium of just RM6.50* for a coverage of RM50,000.

Click here to customise your cancer protection plan now!


*Assuming male non-smoker with standard risk, Age Next Birthday 19 and have selected the plan with monthly premium frequency.

Reference: Shaharruddin Bin Rosli, and Naliza Binti Fahro-Rozi. “A Solitary Path Paved with Strength and Love.” 20 Aug. 2023.

1Schliemann, D., Ismail, R., Donnelly, M. et al. Cancer symptom and risk factor awareness in Malaysia: findings from a nationwide cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 20, 464 (2020). – https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-020-08581-0#citeas

Other citations: Pantai Hospital – https://www.pantai.com.my/ms-my/oncology/cancer-statistics-malaysia#:~:text=By%202040%2C%20the%20incidence%20of,1%20in%20every%209%20females

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