Tuesday, October 16, 2018

New Meanings to Breast Cancer Awareness Month


First of all, sorry for being MIA (missing in action) on this blog for the past few months.  I meant to drop a few lines, in many occasions, to explain the reason.  Somehow it just didn't happen.  Stepping into October, I have no excuse to postpone it any further. If you follow me on other social media, such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter, you know that I'm still active (and pretty much alive) and you might have already knew the reason for my lack of new posts here.

Simply put, I was taking some much needed time off to focus on my health.  I still create recipes and videos for my clients.  But taking a break on my own blog was necessary, given the frequency of  all of my doctor visits and treatments.

Why did I choose October to post an update?  That's because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month!  I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer back in March.  I didn't post an update regarding my health issue here for a few reasons.

First of all, I started this website as a family food blog, I wanted to share happy things, such as family time, travel experiences, and fun recipes with you guys.  Who wants to hear me whine about my illness, struggles, and sadness, right (that's what I originally thought)?  So, I didn't think sharing my diagnoses here was appropriate.

Second of all, I am still on this journey, battle, good fight, or whatever you like to call it.  When my journey is still an on going one, there are many uncertainties and I truly not sure where it will take me.  I simply don't know where to begin to explain either.

Lastly, I guess I'm just a private person.  I didn't need the whole world to know my struggles or what I'm going through.  Sometimes, I even think telling my friends and family might add burdens on their shoulders.  Am I the only one who think this way?

So, you might wonder why I wanted to share it now, isn't it?  Honestly, I believe things happened for a reason.  You can look at this illness as being bad luck for me because, come on...cancer sucks, it simply sucks.  No one wants it in their lives, nor their friends and family's.  But if my "misfortune" can somehow spread the message and help someone out there, even just one person?! I think it's well worth it to share my story/journey.


But how can I really help?  What message should I share?  Honestly, before I was diagnosed, Breast Cancer Awareness Month didn't mean much to me.  Sure, I saw this pink little ribbon flying all over the internet for the whole October. I will click on the share button and pass on the little pink ribbon.  I got the message that self check (self breast exam) is important.  I do get my annual check up and mammogram and I thought I did my part. I sure didn't know what other signs to look for.  I didn't think breast cancer could happen to me in the past because none of my close family has it and I didn't considered myself as high risk.  

In October, my focus was way more on looking for costumes for my kids to wear on Halloween, and what treats to share at school with their friends, rather than breast cancer and check for symptoms!  That pink little ribbon didn't really help me much!   





Until recently when I've came across this "Know Your Lemons" picture!  Simply click on the image to enlarge.  Or click here to go to their website for an interactive video for more information.  I think I'm a very visual person.  This picture really helps me to visualize the different signs of breast cancer and what to look for.  I hope it'll help someone out there as well.   

In my case, I first noticed a hard lump on my breast that raised my suspicious since last September.  However, mammogram and ultrasound both shown as negative. The radiologist and doctors told me there's "nothing to worry about"!  Until the lump grew bigger this March and I did more rounds of testings and biopsies to confirm.  After this whole incident, one important lesson that I learned from my breast surgeon was that mammogram and ultrasound are not 100% accurate.  The only way to find out is to get an biopsy of the lump!!!  If I knew this back in September, the cancer might not have spread to my lymph nodes.  I guess sometimes we need to be persistent as a patient!

Did you know, 1 in 8 women would develop breast cancer in their live time?  Simply think of 8 women around you; your mom, daughter, aunt, cousins, close friends, etc; and imagine one of them would get diagnosed, that really hits home!  Ever since I was diagnosed, I realized many around me had gone through similar journey.  It's not an easy battle, but I know that I'm not fighting alone!  I was blessed to have so many friends and family around me who show supports and encouragement.  This illness surely brought us closer together!    

Cancer surely changed my life!  Who knew I would be so grateful for waking up in the morning, breathing, and not feeling pain! Who knew, having a bad hair day is nothing significant compared to having handfuls of hair falling off your head because of your treatment.  I often rush my kids when it's time to take off to school.  Now, I wanted to just hug them a little longer, a little tighter before they take off to school.  Cancer gives me a different perspective in life as well as realizing what really matters.  Now, I try to slow down and try to live in the moment.  

If you pass me by on the street, I might look healthy and normal, just like every other person.  People probably wound't associate me with the word cancer! Walking down the street, I wonder how many people I came crossed are fighting with cancer and struggling with their own battle!?  Cancer taught me to be more patience, to be more kind to others as I don't know what they are going through in their lives.  

I am so thankful that I had a wonderful team of doctors who take care of me.  They taught me to have hope and never give up!  They truly saved my life and I'm grateful for that.

On my journey, my husband truly shown me what our wedding vow "to love and to hold, in sickness and in health" really means! He taught me what is unconditional love, patience, support, with his actions.  I am a fighter and a survivor because he believed in me!  Today, it's our 14th wedding anniversary.  This is my special message to him, "Happy Anniversary, my Love! I look forward to many many more celebrations to come. I love you!"     

Ever since the diagnoses, I tried to eat more healthy and cut down on sugar and carbs.  I promise, I'll share some of my healthy recipes with you next time!  If you're interested to know more about my journey for better health and my cancer treatments, feel to leave me a message below and I'll share with you on future posts.  Otherwise, I would change gear and switch it back to a food blog!  After all, sharing recipes is what I do best! 








2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing with us. I am so sorry to hear this news about you. I wish you much luck and success in getting better. I really look forward to seeing new recipes from you!!! Please take good care of yourself!

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  2. Hi Amy,
    I visit your blog from time to time as you always have great recipes! And I did wander what happened. I'm saddened to hear about your health issues, but so glad you're doing better! It takes a lot of courage to open up and share such private information. Thank you for sharing your journey. If there's anything I can help with, give me a shout. Wishing you the best. Take care!

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