The squares of Billy Wong’s shirt match the chequered cushions in his cosy living room. A wallflower, though, he is not. Billy Wong is an outgoing, charismatic man who is well-loved for his friendliness. The retired licensed insurance broker is more than happy to share his story about what it’s been like to live with lung cancer since 2012.
“I’m not sad, and I’ve no anger. I don’t know why I got cancer, but from day one, I knew that there was no one to blame for my situation. It’s very important to be forgiving,” he says.
Besides crediting his religious beliefs as a source of serenity, Billy also draws strength from his loved ones. “Different people have different goals when they fall ill. I’m not rich, and so I can’t travel for example. For me, it’s my family that keeps me going,” says the loving husband and proud father.
Billy’s approach to coping with his illness was to learn as much as he could about it and understand what his treatment options were. “I’ve spent a lot of time researching to prepare myself to cope with my disease and learn how to take my medication,” he says. Hospis Malaysia helps keep his symptoms under control and provides an outlet for Billy to socialise with other patients outside of his home environment.
Billy’s flair for writing and a keen interest in research fuels his goals of reaching out to support groups and sharing information with other lung cancer patients. He also plans to write a journal on his lung cancer research. “Most of all, I want to be able to share with other people what I’ve learned, with the hope that it could be useful to them,” he says.