My cancer story (part 5): Combating the monster

Previous: My cancer story (part 4): The struggle continues

 

Combating the Monster

The endometrial cancer had been causing all the irregular bleeding and blood clots for one year and three months. My defective cells, something that I could not feel or see, had been havocking my life. That’s the bad news. The good news was that it was a stage 1 cancer.

I was young, healthy, slim and ate well (at least I thought I was). All the doctors I saw said I was not a “textbook” case for cancer patients. Cancer of the uterus is rare in women under 40 years of age; it most often occurs in women between the ages of 60 to 75 years. Women are at a higher risk of uterine cancer if they are obese, have late menopause, or do not ovulate regularly etc.

endometrial cancer from healthmeup

Photo credit: healthmeup

“So what are my treatment options?” I was not sure whether I should be happy or not that I was not a textbook case. I wish I could be unique in some other ways.

“Total hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy, which involve removing the uterus and perhaps it’s best to remove the ovaries too just in case. That’s the best way to get rid of the cancer,” the oncologist paused, “but if you decide to preserve your fertility, we can try something conservative, say medical therapy and radiation therapy.”

 

Next: My cancer story (part 6): Struggling with the monster

First Raw Chinese Festival brings raw foodists and experts to Hong Kong

Being a vegan seemed to be such a taboo a few years ago in Hong Kong, but with the popularity of Green Monday and Newstart detox programs here, veggie diet has suddenly become sexy and cool. It takes some time for vegetarianism and veganism to find a space in the mainstream market in Hong Kong, which has been relatively slow in accepting this health trend. Raw foodists will find it even harder to survive in this concrete jungle. Fortunately, Dr Simon Chau and his team are ready to rock this place with their first Chinese Raw Festival.

For the first time, there will be a party where all raw foodists in Hong Kong, mainland China and other countries meet and share experiences on their raw lifestyle. Janette Murray-Wakelin, author of Raw Can Cure Cancer, and Dr Simon Chau, veteran green campaigner and leader of the local raw movement, will be some of the speakers at the event. All are welcome to share their experiences in healing and transforming life and the world by going raw.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Chau and also trying their raw vegan food a few months ago. The quality of ingredients and presentation of food are delighting, and the talks and sharing connect people and empower aspiring vegans to take a stride in adopting a healthy lifestyle. For those who want to find out more about raw vegan lifestyle, this is the place to be. See you there!

First Chinese Raw Festival at Greenwoods

Date: September 9, 2014 (Tue, also a public holiday in Hong Kong)

Time: 2:30pm – 5:30pm

Venue: GreenWoods Raw Café, 13/F, 2 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (Exit D2, TST MTR)

Fees: HK$388 (members HK$348, Senior citizens and full time students HK$288), FREE for anyone who is on a totally raw diet since June 2014

Enquiries and reservations: 3428 2416 or WhatsApp 6627 7500

 

My cancer story (part 4): The struggle continues

Previous: My cancer story (part 3): Moving to Ohio

 

The struggle continues

After staying in the motel and a co-worker’s place for months, finally a house in Newark was confirmed. Newark was 10 minutes away from Heath and had less than 50,000 people (slightly better than Heath, which had a population of 10,000). There was no military base nearby with all the fancy facilities like those on Holloman Air Force Base. All the cool stuff like cinema, self-help center and department store for military personnel and family were nowhere to be seen. Only a dozen of active military personnel and a few Department of Defense contractors, such as Boeing, were operating from that small military installation in Heath. The closest military base with a hospital was Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, which was about 100 miles away.

Newark downtown, Ohio

Newark downtown. Photo courtesy of City of Newark.

We moved to Ohio in June but I could not get a referral to a civilian gynecologist until December 2008. Almost exactly a year after the unforgettable plane ride, it was time to do a biopsy. The result did not look good. A dilation and curettage (D&C) was suggested, which is another diagnostic tool for conditions that cause abnormal bleeding from the uterus.

After several visits with this clinic, I knew I could not let them handle any more lab tests or procedures on me. Instead of arguing with the clinic and Tricare (the military insurance company) on the phone for three hours about my insurance, driving two hours to Wright Patterson Air Force Base did not seem to be such a bad deal. Despite the disappointing medical services I received on Holloman Air Force Base, I decided to give military doctors a try again.

My first D&C was performed on Wright Patterson Air Force Base end February 2009. After the procedure, the worst was confirmed – I had cancer.

 

Next: My cancer story (part 5): Combating the monster