When Financial Burden Makes the Recovery Difficult for Someone Who has Cancer

The Cancer Voice Asia | You'll never understand until it happens to you.

Raising awareness campaign for cancer is fantastic yet hard to work reaching out people who need to be addressing their needs. The community should basically get to know everything from cancer prevention to nutrition to environmental health issues. But little we may realize, how could these cancer patients and family be able to cope up with the recovery if one of the burdens is finance.

Cancer is one of the most expensive medical conditions all over the world. The financial burden of cancer greatly affects the physical and emotional health of cancer survivors. The obvious result for this, patients will tend to delay medical care, skip follow-up visits, discontinue medications or could not even afford for a second opinion from another doctor.

Creative Mess has a lot of questions that need to be dealing with. Since it has started to build campaign and advocacy to Vietnam community especially in Ho Chi Minh, the determination of Creative Mess’ vision has become stronger.

For instance, Creative Mess started to have a personal interaction with Tien Nguyen, a Vietnamese lady with thyroid cancer. As her personal life is closely followed by Creative Mess, one of the questions emerges is how will she be able to recover from cancer if financial distress is the major hindrance at the moment. If 8 out of 10 cancer patients experience the same burden like Tien, where is the “HOPE” that we are campaigning with?

Tien has done 2 surgical removals of her tumor when she was 21 years old and the most recent in 2017. When her cancer returned, her life was even much worse. After the surgery, she has rushed again to the hospital for she was not able to breathe and unconscious. Eventually, abnormally low level of calcium causes that incident.

At the moment, Tien keeps losing weight. Emotional distresses are attacking her where she thinks she feels useless and already exhausted with her life. As for financial burden, it is the major factor that keeps her from continuing her medical care. She has given a lifetime medication but her body somehow could not receive food and she actually vomits each time she eats her meals. Her doctor advises her to look for more medical attention in one of the hospitals in Singapore and a very close friend of Tien, Jammy Nguyen is trying to find a way to make it happen.

It is not the end for Tien with this fight against cancer, she has shown her determination and willingness no matter how difficult the finances are. At first, she was scared when Creative Mess asked her if it’s okay to create a fundraising event and crowdfunding for her. She cried because she was worried that people close to her will be able to know her condition. Constant encouragement for Tien, she finally works together and cooperates with the campaign intended for her.

Tien is a professional and talented Graphic/Web Designer. She had already brought in many designs from basic to complex to many companies in Vietnam.

A fundraising event and crowdfunding have done for Tien both online and offline. Hoping that this will help her to kick cancer’s ass. She is very lucky to have friends who are supporting her not only financially but also mentally and emotionally. She needs it, and even anyone that has cancer. Stress or emotional downfalls could increase the risk of developing cancer and make it more aggressive.

And not only that, it could also be a right timing for this year for Tien and for the rest of the Vietnamese who are hoping for innovations in fighting cancer. Last March 17, 2018, experts from health technology has finally reached Vietnam. The biggest community of pharmacy professionals in Asia, SwipeRx, introduced by Ms. Beth Ann Lopez, Regional Manager of mClinica. It is a free pharmacy practice app that offers an easy and convenient way to connect and collaborate with the community. Mr. Will Greene, founder and director of Tigermine Research who is successfully making things happen especially in health sector in Asia.

Even myself is excited to see changes that will happen in the near future for Vietnam in the health sector. What could be the changes can contribute especially for those who have cancer, that is I am going to anticipate, too.

Join Creative Mess in spreading cancer awareness here in Vietnam. Let’s make cancer conversation easy. Together, we can do this!

Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash


My name is Cielo, the author of “The Cancer Voice Asia”, a blog that aims to support and inspire anyone who is facing cancer. I know how it feels to be diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of cancer, Leiomyosarcoma, at the age of 29. I know the challenges, the fears, the hopes, and the joys of living with cancer. I want to share my story with you and connect you with others who understand what you are going through. Together, we can empower ourselves and fight against the disease. Join me on this platform and let’s make our healing journey a meaningful one.

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