Family support keeps me moving on!


“It’s been 10 years. I dare not say I’ve combated it and won completely, yet I’ve learnt how to live my life fully!” says Vivian, who has fought breast cancer twice.


Towards the end of 1996, Vivian accidentally detected a small lump on her breast. She consulted the doctor when she went for a gynaecological check-up. The doctor comforted her and said that it might be a short-term symptom of menstruation. However, Vivian was doubtful so her doctor referred her to a specialist for further examination. After various blood tests, x-ray screening and biopsy, the specialist told Vivian that calcification points were found on her breast. The diagnosis of stage 1 breast cancer was confirmed, in black and white, on the examination report.


Vivian recalls the moment when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She did not know how to respond and was too shocked to cry.  She kept asking the doctor what happened. “The doctor repeated the same answer three times: it’s breast cancer, you need surgery!”


“On vacation” in the hospital


From Winter Solstice to Christmas, Vivian spent 10 days in the hospital. It was an unforgettable experience - Vivian realized that she was not alone there. Her family and friends were with her.


“My husband and son visited me at the hospital every day; my husband used up all of his annual leave to look after me. That has never happened since we got married. Before I got breast cancer, we kept ourselves busy and worked very hard for the family. We did not have much time to communicate with each other. But in the 10 days “vacation” of mine in the hospital, I really felt his love. The intimacy between us came back.”


All the support and encouragement from her husband and son gave Vivian motivation to fight her cancer.


After recovery, Vivian returned to her work. Her hectic work distracted her from taking good care of herself and one day, in 2008, Vivian detected a small lump under the armpit on the side of her breast affected by breast cancer. Medical examination confirmed that the tissues were harmful and she was advised to go undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy.


Ten years on, Vivian is doing well in recovery. She realised that exercise is crucial to cancer prevention. “After the first surgery, I did exercise and walked in the park often at the beginning, and it felt good but as I got busier with my work I did less exercise. As a result, my condition became worse again.”  During chemotherapy, a friend recommended Qi Gong to Vivian, and this time she dared not be lazy again. She maintained her Qi Gong practice for two hours every morning since then.


Surviving the breast cancer, Vivian now has a different perspective on life. She is no longer a workaholic, and has learned how to treasure life after the recurrence. She lives a disciplined life with regular exercise and a healthy diet. In the treatment process, she realised that hers was not the worst case. Many other women suffer more severe situations than she did. Being grateful, she has committed to voluntary work in the hospital to help other patients.


Vivian advises all her peers that cancer is not incurable. Listen to the doctor’s advice, use both Chinese and Western medical treatments, be confident in modern treatment, be determined to undertake the treatments, don’t be afraid of the pain. Be persistent in taking good care of oneself. Learn to “release” and “relax” oneself and let everything follow the flow. Then life can be very wonderful in the days ahead!