SINGAPORE – The hospital is no conventional location for wedding shoots, but for Ms Artika Raemi, 26, and Mr Aziz Abdullah, 28, the chemotherapy bay at The National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, bears great significance as it was the place where Mr Aziz, her fiancé, rendered her with emotional support and comfort throughout her breast cancer journey.
Ms Artika, who is currently a nurse, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2018. She had to undergo a mastectomy in September that year, and started chemotherapy in December. Her treatment ended in April last year and she has since recovered.
The couple took their wedding pictures at the institute on Saturday (Nov 28).
“It was not until I got on the operating table (for my mastectomy) when I realised that I was going to lose a part of me that makes me a woman. It was incredibly difficult for me, and I could not look at myself in the mirror for a long while,” she said.
“Though the journey to self-love is a long one…I have an incredibly supportive family and a (significant other) who was there for me, which truly is a blessing,” she said.
It is rare for young women like Ms Artika to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and women under 30 account for less than 5 per cent of all breast cancer cases.
Throughout her months of chemotherapy, Mr Aziz, who is a teacher, kept her company while he looked through his students’ papers.
“The place now serves as a reminder of how we overcame our toughest phase of our relationship together. Though it’s a place I don’t wish to visit as a patient again, it’s somewhere I never want to forget,” she said.
The couple will get married on June 12 next year.