Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Hello. I have breast cancer.


Well. It's been a long while, and I guess I should start by saying... 

I have Stage 1 HER2-positive aggressive breast cancer.

I mulled very long before deciding to come out and say I have cancer publicly like this. 

When I first heard the news, I only told the boy, a few of my closest friends and those like my work superiors who needed to know.

Part of me didn't want to burden others with this sad news, part of me wanted to wait until after Mummy's birthday before telling my extended family, and also part of me wanted to grieve quietly and not want to deal with all the questions, advice and messages, however well-meaning, while I was still processing the news myself and didn't have all the answers.

Even for Lil Pumpkin, she only found out recently on Mon 10 Oct after her Seconday 1 year end exams as we did not want to affect her exams. I mean, she knew I was seeing the doctor and getting check-ups and everything but she didn't know how bad it was.

Lil Pumpkin was shocked when she heard, but don't worry, our darling girl is coping well and did not cry at all.

In the beginning, I also felt like I needed my own space and every time I thought or talked about having cancer, I would cry. Definitely less so now, about a month after my diagnosis.

As much as I appreciate the love and concern, I didn't want to be reminded about my cancer or handle having so many people ask me "are you ok?", "shall I come visit?", "do you want me to go to your appointments with you?" or "what did the doctor say?" ever so often as I know would happen. 

I didn't want to hear "you should stop exercising and rest" or "you should eat this or that" or "I heard XXX is good for cancer treatment".

However, I think the time has now come where I'm ready to open up more about having cancer... especially since I will be going for my breast mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries tomorrow {Thu 27 Oct}

There's a very low possibility that anything bad would happen, but in the event that anything did, I don't want to leave without a word to all my other family and friends, whether IRL or online.

I still don't want to be treated like a sick person and I also want to go about my days as "normally" as possible without someone pointing out that I have cancer though #fyithanks 

If all goes well after my surgeries, I will continue recording my cancer journey on the blog as writing makes me happy, and helps me to process my thoughts and emotions. Plus, I'd need something to keep me occupied when I'm recuperating haha. 

It is also to easily update everyone on what's happening without me repeating myself countless times to individual people, provide information to anyone that seeks it {I found a lot of hope reading other survivor stories and yet I also find some breast cancer & training after a mastectomy information lacking}, as well as to just note down everything that happens as I fear perhaps, Lil Pumpkin may suffer the same fate... and we need to look back on this chapter of my life.

Some of you may have questions about how I came to discover I have cancer or how my doctors are so far, so feel free to check out what's been happening since the early detection in the posts below.

Just like my Genesis Gym or fitness training with Superman diary, I really have to emphasize that my breast cancer fight is personal

It is my personal truth, no holds barred as I don't owe anyone anything or have any sponsorship affiliation with them. What I write about my experiences with my doctors, hospital staff, medicine, products I use etc. is truly my own, and you may or may not encounter the same thing, good or bad.

If you need to, take my account for reference but please don't judge whatever or whoever I talk about based on my experiences only. My situation may be different from yours. I'm not here to influence you but perhaps if you are a lady, it would be good if you are reminded to be proactive about your breast health and increase your survival rate by detecting breast cancer early.

As my dad says, "cancer shows no respect to age". 
Do not take for granted that youth or fitness equates to health. They do not. 

I am considered young for breast cancer, live/ eat relatively healthily and am definitely fit... and yet, this has happened. 

These are dark days but thank you for any encouragement you may show me. I would of course appreciate you keeping me in your prayers too.

For now, physically, I really am feeling top form and not sick at all. If you see me now, you won't know that I have cancer. I have been celebrating life these past few weeks and doing all the physical activities and gym training with my PT, Superman I love and know I will miss in the months that I'm on treatment when I would likely need to slow down.

Mentally and emotionally, I am weary and scared at times, of course. Spiritually, I'm not lamenting or blaming God. I know He has plans for me and some of which I may not understand or grasp like this but I still believe my God is a loving God who will have mercy and protect me.

Overall, I am ok and have come to accept my fate.  

It's a tough pill to swallow for someone as active as me to hit this wall, but as with everything tough I've come across, I will take it as a challenge to overcome and come out the other side stronger than before. I will stay positive and survive to thrive.  

You may follow my breast cancer journey here on the blog, Facebook, or Instagram {#AiFightsCancer}.

*****

Before mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries

 

5 comments:

Alissa said...

This has to be a total mix of emotions for you. Stay true yo you.

Sock Peng said...

愿你一切顺心~

Indah Nuria Savitri said...

Fight, fight, fight..

You will nail it, Ai. This is indeed a personal journey towards a better you (as I have personally experienced) and you know what's best! Bon courage..

Rosey said...

I am so shocked and of course, supportive of your road back to 100%. It’s really such a quality message to write and encourage us all to be proactive on exams. Thank you for sharing your story. You have so many people on your side, me included. Xoxo

Theresa Mahoney said...

Your online family is here for you, Ai. Like Indah said, fight, fight, fight! I'm sorry that you're being put to the test right now, but you're a freaking warrior. Kick cancer right in the ass, my friend. Sending you love from afar ♥