Family, Health

She was pregnant – then they told her she had cancer. How did she cope?

By Faith Lim , 7 June 2022

Cancer is a scary word. Now imagine having it while pregnant. That’s exactly what Faith Lim went through. This is her story of struggle and strength.


Around mid-2021, I discovered I was pregnant with my second child.

During a check-up with my obstetrician, I also took the chance to point out the two lumps on my right breast.

At that time, I didn’t think anything was wrong. The lumps weren’t painful and there was no unusual discharge. But I wanted to be extra safe.

The doctor ordered an ultrasound scan of my breasts and also asked me to do a biopsy.

What I never expected was a phone call from the hospital that sent me into a tailspin.

The bad news

“Your biopsy results are out,” said the hospital worker on the line. “Are you available tomorrow? The doctor wants to speak with you.”

My heart sank as I braced myself for the worst.

The next day, I was officially diagnosed with Stage 2 ER+/HER2+ breast cancer.

Faith at her fourth chemotherapy session, during her second trimester.

I bawled my eyes out. Nothing could console me. I lost my composure.

“I was officially diagnosed with Stage 2 ER+/HER2+ breast cancer.”

The doctor said many things – but all I recall is asking question after question, my mind racing.

“What happens next?”, “Will I be okay?”

But most crucial to me – “What about my pregnancy, my baby?”

I was at a loss.

Weighing my options

I was told that my chances of survival were high and my breast cancer was curable.

Still, I was terrified. The two tumours were huge; the cancer cells aggressive.

“Surgery wasn’t an option as general anaesthesia might put my baby at risk.”

I was first asked to go for a mastectomy, which meant removing my breast.

But surgery wasn’t an option as general anaesthesia would put my baby at risk. I wanted to keep her, no matter what.

The doctor then offered me an alternative treatment plan – four sessions of AC chemotherapy.

The chemo drugs used in this case are relatively safe during pregnancies. However, there was still the possibility of miscarriage.

It was a really hard decision for me. But in the end, I knew it was the best option I had given the situation.

Losing my hair

I started chemotherapy when I entered my second trimester.

Nausea hit me after each session. I once severely vomited after forcing myself to eat even though I had no appetite.

“What really affected me was when my hair began to drop.”

Thankfully, though, my side effects were largely manageable. I was physically okay for the most part.

But what really affected me was when my hair began to drop. This started soon after my first chemo session.

After much thought, Faith decided to shave off her hair. Her supportive husband did the same.

I thought long and hard about shaving my head – and finally did.

My husband showed his amazing support for me by doing the same. I was so grateful for his act of love!

I also thank God for the family members and friends who checked in on me during my difficult journey.

One day, as my hair fell out in chunks, a friend texted me to see if I was alright. She reminded me that I am always loved, no matter what.

Her kind words came at just the right time. They made me feel better.

Trusting God

As I went through my treatment, I sometimes felt my hope slip away. The fear of death crept in.

But I chose to focus on praise and worship songs. They reminded me that God is always good and in control, no matter what happened.

I was especially drawn to the lyrics of Desert Song.

Some of the lyrics from Desert Song

“I felt an unspeakable peace amid all the chaos.”

As I surrendered my life to God, I saw Him show up again and again, always assuring me at the right time that I was not alone.

I felt an unspeakable peace amid all the chaos.

Giving birth at 32 weeks

My baby was growing well. Thus, both my obstetrician and oncologist decided I would be induced at week 32 of my pregnancy.

The earlier birth meant I could go for more targeted chemotherapy.

“Whenever I visited my daughter, I felt guilty and upset as I was unable to breastfeed her.”

I gave birth to my premature baby in January 2022. She was soon after transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Whenever I visited my daughter, I felt guilty and upset as I was unable to breastfeed her. I’d already put her through so much because of my cancer.

Safe and healthy

I prayed to God, asking Him to keep my baby safe and healthy.

And guess what? He did even more than I expected.

The hospital staff initially told me that my daughter needed to be hospitalised for at least 46 days.

Faith’s baby made quick progress in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and was ready to be discharged in under a month.

“In less than a month, she was fully discharged!”

But, in less than a month, she was fully discharged!

My husband and I brought her back home on Valentine’s Day 2022. By then, she was growing well and able to breathe on her own.

Today, she’s a happy and healthy infant! 

Faith’s daughter has grown well and is currently a healthy four-month-old.

Whenever I look at her now, I see the power of prayer. Her health reminds me that God knows exactly what we need, often before we even lift our worries up to Him.

Continuing the battle

As my fears about my baby subsided, I restarted my chemotherapy.

With treatment, the two main tumors shrunk. However, many potentially cancerous spots remained.

“My most recent biopsy shows no trace of cancer from the removed cells.”

I thus needed to undergo a mastectomy and further chemo.

Today, I’m happy to say that my surgery went well! Even better, by God’s grace, my most recent biopsy shows no trace of cancer from the removed cells.

My treatment worked. But I still need another round of chemo due to the hormone-sensitive nature of the cancer type.

Faith looks forward to making more memories with her family.

My whole journey has been an ordeal – and it has taught me this:

Suffering is an inevitable part of all our lives. But amid any pain, God is always with us, ready to lift us up at His right timing (1 Peter 5:10).

What we need to do is to trust and turn to Him in faith.

Since I became a Christian, I have felt first-hand the tangible presence of God in my life.

I can’t explain it scientifically. Yet I know that God is love and His love never fails.

Some people call me brave – but, really, I am not.

My strength comes from knowing that I am a child of God. It is my identity in Christ that gives me hope for the future, whatever it may be.

Lyrics illustration by Anne Ng. 

A version of this article first appeared in

Click here to join our Telegram family for more stories like Faith’s.

He’s a single dad who raised 4 kids on his own – but almost gave up

This nurse lost $240,000 to a love-crypto scammer. Here’s how the truth came out

Related articles
Tell Me More
Feeling lost in life?
This is default text for notification bar