Windy joined the Maggie’s Centre’s annual fundraiser “The Fayre of St. John’s 2018”, sharing her touching story with over 300 attendees. Here is her story:
I’m a mental health nurse. My mother and my younger sister died of lung cancer. In October 2017, I was also diagnosed with lung cancer. Although I was prepared for it coming to me sooner or later due to my family medical history, I felt dismayed when I was told my cancer was already at late stage and I have only 2 to 3 years to live. I told myself I have to be strong and get through it.
However, life has put me in tough situation which I could hardly stay calm when I learnt that all treatments I have taken were ineffective. At that moment, the frustration and helplessness I experienced were beyond words. I was so confused and in fact that was too much challenge, in terms of the decision making on my further treatment plan. During this unbearable time, I was fortunate enough to learn about Maggie’s Centre. From the moment I stepped into the Centre, I felt relieved and warm. Oncology nurses were very helpful and knowledgeable, they provided useful information and practical support to me so that I could choose my treatment plan carefully and practically. What is more, they also recommended me to join different workshops and programmes in accordance with my personal needs and physical conditions. I attended Chinese Nutrition Talks and learnt to recuperate my body; I joined the life and death course which consists of various workshops run by different professional speakers, teaching me to write my will and making funeral arrangement. These all helped me a lot to make a better end-of-life planning and feel relieved. Moreover, I also participated lung cancer support group and I am glad that I have made friends who shared similar cancer experiences. We supported one another in times of fear and doubt, discussion and sharing of our life issues and cancer-related information were enormously helpful to relieve my stress and fear.
Meeting with clinical psychologist helps me to realise my deep down worries about my family, especially my elder sister. My elder sister refused to accept the fact that I was diagnosed with cancer and it recalled her traumatic memory that my mother had enormous suffering from her cancer treatment, my younger sister even attempted to commit suicide when she could hardly deal with the terrible impact from cancer. That experience cast a darkest shadow on her heart and therefore, she shut herself off to the outside world once she heard about my illness. I was extremely worried about her negative emotions and depressive mood much more than my own cancer. Receiving warm encouragement from clinical psychologist, I invited my sister to meet him with me. At the beginning, she was reluctant to go as she considered it as useless and simply a waste of time. However, thanks to the professionalism and compassion of the Clinical Psychologist, my sister started to open up and said, “I hope that I could be as positive as you if I am sick in the future”. I am incredibly touched! I have never thought my cancer experience and optimistic attitude can influence other people and set as a good example to my family and children.
The ups and downs that I had been through allows me to understand the meaning of suffering and challenge. I learned a valuable lesson, instead of holding onto the past and grumbling over what we have lost, we should treasure what we have at the moment and live happily in the presence. I believe I still have the ability to love and deserve to be loved even when I am sick, weak and fragile.
Tonight, I am standing here as a cancer patient – but still, I have the strength to share love and my journey with you all. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the professional team at Maggie’s Centre – for their hard work, passion and dedication. Thanks for accompanying me when times get hard and life gets uncertain. I would also like to thank my dearest family, colleagues and friends, as well as Dr. Lo and Dr. Tin from Oncology Department of Tuen Mun Hospital, they all made me surrounded with love throughout my cancer journey. Last but not least, thank you to every single one of you here tonight for supporting Maggie’s Centre, for being not only my audience but also my witness. Through taking on this meaningful opportunity, I hope can raise more support for Maggie’s Centre to keep its door open, also bring hope to people who are experiencing the same as I did.