I now take time to smell the roses around me

I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in December 2006. I was 36 year old then.

At that very moment I found out about my condition, I thought I was going to die. I asked my oncologist ‘how long more do I still have?’ That was when I gathered knowledge that breast cancer is actually treatable and chances for recovery is high. Hence I had started to read more about cancer and find out the kinds of treatments available.

During the period of my treatment, I was practically counting down to the end of my 8 chemotherapy sessions, and 30 radiation sessions. What’s all on my mind was to get it over and done so I could continue to lead on with my normal life – full working schedule, travelling overseas and my favorite golfing activity!

Now that all is over, I keep my fingers crossed that I will not have any relapse. Even if it happens, I am definitely prepared to fight the Big C again!

Looking back, I am very grateful, for my parents were always around to take care of my every need. They accompanied me through my check-ups, to seating with me through my treatment period. In addition, they would also read up on articles from the website, newspapers to find out more about cancer. As we become more self-aware, we would be clearer of the dos and don’ts for a person seeking cancer treatment.

Besides my closest kin, the most commendable group of motivators/supporters during the harsh period was the doctors and nurses. They are my pillar of support and were always on the lookout for small little facial expressions I gave out whenever there were any discomforts during treatment. My oncologist had provided his mobile number too so that I can call him directly should there be any complication after each chemo treatment. My company’s doctor even opened his clinic on a Sunday (they are not opened on Sundays) just for me to obtain my daily-dose of injection in view of my cancer treatment. I was very touched by this special arrangement the doctor did for me.

Cancer has definitely changed my perspective towards life.

Before I had cancer, I was physically active, engaging in golf, brisk walking and jogging. Right now, I still exercise regularly and on top of that, I’ve adopted a healthier diet by eating in moderation and include more fruits and greens which I used to dislike. In addition to that, I am now a less workaholic as compared to before. And I now take time to ‘smell the roses around me’!

A piece of advice personally to young people who are diagnosed with cancer; Fear not. Keep Calm and Fight On. Cancer is not a death sentence. Many have been diagnosed with cancer and many have walked out of it as awesome warriors and survivors.

Hopefully cancer researchers will find a ‘cure’ for breast cancer and all other forms of cancer soon so that no one has to go through such unpleasant experience. We definitely need more support with cancer research. Doctors and researchers need our assistance to arm them with the equipment and manpower necessary to understand cancer and to search for a cure. However, they cannot do this alone and will need our support. Our support through monetary means will help them go a long way in their cancer research.

The Run For Hope 2012 is an event to raise funds for the NCC Research Fund with the purpose of paving the way for a cancer cure through research. I have been supporting the Runs for cancer research by assisting the organising team with the event communications. Prior to the run, we have many internal company activities to help raise fund in conjunction with the run and I would actively participate in them as well.

In my mere presence, I would like to call out to as many runners as well as non-runners to step forward and be part of the 10,000 runners this year for Run For Hope 2012. Let’s create a milestone towards a cancer-free future.

Adeline Lee, 42

Marketing Executive Assistant, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Asia Pacific

July 2012

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