Going Public – A Letter To My Friends

Middle B took this photo of me when we were holidaying in Redang - one week before I discovered the cancer in my right breast. This photo is like an obituary pic for my mammary!

Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m chuffed that “opening day” was a success!

Do leave me a comment okay? I know it’s a little not-so-comment friendly but the comment button is actually on the left column under the date (“Leave a comment”).

I had many emails and personal messages and SMSes today when the blog went public. I have to admit I was a little concerned if publicizing it would

a. Make people feel sorry for me, which is the last thing I want
b. Make people look at me weird the next time we meet, since they know I am now single-nippled (half a milkmaid, Barbie-doll like etc etc)

But from the messages I received, it seemed more like

a. Daughters of breast cancer patients, like me (my mom had breast cancer 2+1 times) were telling me their own stories, and appreciating the fact that a BC daughter was telling it like it is. Many times I wanted to talk to someone when I was 19 and just discovered my mom’s condition, but there wasn’t someone who understood the stark fear I was experiencing, a death sentence by heredity. I hope, judging from the response, that A Clean Breast will be a place for BC daughters (or sons, or husbands) to ask and discuss.

b. People were inspired by what God has done for me! That makes me happier than my kids on Free Ice Cream Day at Ben & Jerry’s. Comments poured in about how good God has been to me, that He has given me faith and courage to walk this road. Happy, happy, happy!

c. A few friends were surprised that I could be funny about my “condition”. Well… laughter is the best medicine (corny, but true). And for me, seeing the funny parts helps me cope with something that otherwise has the power to plunge me into depression. Good thing I am not a Crazy Horse dancer or a Pussycat Doll, for whom having both nipples is a job requirement.

I think most of all, I am encouraged by my friends sharing the message of this blog. I hope to get the message out to 1000 people in the next 2 months (SO PLEASE SUBSCRIBE! I’m working on adding Share buttons, I promise), the message that

a. Cancer kills, but you can kill it first if you can catch it first.

b. Breast cancer can hit someone in her 20s, or 40s (like me), not just women in their mid-50s or 60s, though it is true the risk grows the older you get. What I mean is, know your body. Do your breast self-exam after your periods. Try not to (be like me and) miss your mammograms. Be vigilant!

c. It’s really not that bad. I know mine’s a bit of a “cheat” because I don’t have to go for chemo, but I have friends who have had to go through chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone drugs like Tamoxifen for 5 years. Yet, they bravely did it, because they knew their time wasn’t up yet, that they still had a life to make a difference to the world. Those women are my heroes. I hope I can get some of them to share their stories.

Help me build this – send me your stories, share your comments, your experiences, your thoughts. If I die knowing that even ONE woman was helped by this blog, I will have lived a worthwhile life.

Theresa

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19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Danielle
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 16:40:26

    Hi Theresa, thanks for sharing ur blog…

    My mom was diagnosed w breast cancer 10yrs ago and had a relapse 1 yr ago. She had a mastectomy too and is still living life to the fullest today.

    Thru all e scares and fears, I never truly knew how it felt to be in her shoes (she’s a strong woman esp before her kids), I got a glimpse of it from ur blog…

    Not sure if u’d be interested in joining e breast cancer foundation…they have been and still are a great support network for my mom… Do lemme know if I can help put u in touch w them.

    Love ur strength and courage! Stay strong!

    Cheers!
    Danielle

    Reply

  2. Carol Marsh
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 16:51:35

    Theresa

    I didn’t know until I saw your blog. You are so brave to go public on what’s happening to you.

    You are a trouper – a role model for those who are suffering from cancer. God always turn bad things into good things. A light and testimony for others to see.

    Love you!

    Reply

  3. Ros
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 17:20:36

    (Thanks for the instructions I found the “Comment” button :p)

    Agree with Danielle – You’ve helped give me a glimpse of how my mom must have had felt when she was going through the ordeal. Wished there were people back then who could share with her.

    When we bravely share info and talk about things, it helps to unmask the darkness and fear surrounding it. I’m sure this blog will be a blessing to many.

    Thanks for boldly stepping out.

    Reply

  4. Edmund
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 17:38:12

    Hi Threez

    Thanks for sharing! I did not know until I saw facebook today.

    I am sure that your story will be a great encouragement to all the women out there! So glad to know a brave mummy like u! πŸ™‚

    Reply

  5. Arthur
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 00:17:07

    God is good, all the time. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  6. Rosalind Ng
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 02:28:59

    Lovely blog! Yes we need more positive thinking survivors to bring hope to others. I’m so happy that you’ve taken cancer by the horns & threw it out of the window πŸ™‚ Cancer makes us appreciate the things we have taken for granted…. like a good shower!
    *hugs*
    Ros

    Reply

  7. threezframe
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 08:27:58

    Ros Ng – your visit really strengthened me! Thank you for being my cancer buddy haha! I have to back-blog your visit… And I am doing my exercises daily to gear up for dragon boat, haha!

    Ros Yip and Danielle – you guys make me want to go on. We should form a Breast Cancer Daughters’ group. I think I pitched it to Mrs Sheryn Mah before (when she was President of Breast Cancer Foundation), years ago…

    Edmund, Arthur – thank you gentlemen for your kind comments πŸ™‚

    Reply

  8. Lydia
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 12:01:07

    Dear Theresa,

    I didn’t know of what happen to you. Before I read your blog, I was concern about you. But after I read your blog… my goodness.. it’s such a great encouragement.. to me personally. Your vision and compassion, to be a blessing for many, with your sharing … inspite of your circumstances… has indeed a great BLESSING. So inspired, you are a woman with really a great purpose and great destiny God has. This blog has indeed refreshed me…. and I’m sure has reminded many woman out there of great purpose each has πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your life, your heart, and who you are!! Keeping you in my prayer… always…

    Reply

  9. kheng
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 15:07:57

    wow, i love your writing-

    God must have blessed u becos of your spirit, and humor-:) but most of all, of your faith.

    I am very inspired, tonite- and u ve shown me another side of sporeans- (now, i ve had a very negative view of how ‘shallow’ sporeans are- that we’re taught to only pursue a whole load of material well beings etc)

    may u have a lover-ly recovery, and yes, u definitely will go on to inspire many many people-

    God bless-:)

    Reply

  10. Slegna
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 20:28:05

    Just read through your entire blog, I’m so inspired by your courage and outlook in life Threez. Truly you still have the nicest breasts! (that’s cause you’re a C cup and I’m an A, if I were to buy Elle Macpherson’s bras, I’ll be an A-)

    So, thank you, thank you for sharing your journey. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  11. Fang
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 07:14:40

    Hi!
    We have always met and exchanged silent “Hi” while chauffeuring our little ones to their pre-school but never got to really talk.

    I love this blog! I am encouraged by your sheer grit and optimism…and your funny thoughts and the way you convey emotions through writing.

    Have taken the liberty to share your blog with other friends who battled breast cancer or with family members battling some forms of cancer now.

    Take great care! πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • threezframe
      Aug 11, 2010 @ 08:54:54

      Hi Fang… are you Vera’s mummy? Thank you for your kind comments and for passing it on. I really hope someone who might be facing a diagnosis of cancer will have hope after reading this. Staying positive really is half the battle. Thanks again and see you at school πŸ™‚

      Reply

  12. Klessis
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 08:13:05

    Inspired by your positive mindset and great faith in God as always. =) Jia you, Threez… =)

    Reply

  13. Daphne
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 15:42:58

    Love it. Not the cancer but everything else – the writing, the candor, the wit, the brutal honesty, the courage. Thanks for telling it like it is. You’re like that guy in Kickass who takes a solid beating and still gets up to save the world. Except way more awesome. I hope you feel better soon!

    Reply

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