In life, whether or not you want it, what must happen has to happen. People on earth call it fate.

When I was diagnosed with HER2 Positive Breast Cancer two years ago, I took it as my fate. I also know that we can somewhat change our fate, or work around it to our advantage. Because, it is not what happened to us in life, but how we react to it is what matters more.

So, I did not waste my time feeling sorry for myself. Instead, I choose to empower myself and rise above the challenges I faced during and after my cancer treatments.

I just kept on ‘running’ as fast as I could so I could outrun cancer.

I feel like I had gotten onto a supersonic train rushing forward bravely along the tracks. I checked my ticket stub thousands of times, verifying my destination. I missed all that beautiful scenery along the way.

But time waits for no one. And time is essential in dealing with a critical illness. Particularly one that is a fast growing and aggressive type of breast cancer.

I spent two years of my life doing my best to outrun cancer. And I ran too fast these two years. Somewhere in the middle I was beginning to doubt if I have strength and energy to keep running.

I was tired. I was physically and emotionally drained. I still do. But I have to keep going. Time waits for no one.

Betty White once said, “You gotta, you gotta keep going. You gotta keep going. You gotta shape up or ship out.”

Keeping this in mind, I want to live my life as if I never had cancer. I started working again soon after I started chemotherapy. I am blessed to have supportive and understanding employer, boss and colleagues. I was assigned only projects that I can handle while undergoing cancer treatments, working from home most of the time. I am in gratitude to Advance Pact.

And I do my best to shape up for greater things to come in life. Now that I have completed my cancer treatments, I’m beginning to take on more projects at work.

While undergoing my cancer treatments, I focused out by paying it forward to help people through Nel’s Kitchen white flag fund and giving financial aid to three students to facilitate their education. I also focused out by giving emotional supporting to cancer patients and survivors like myself.

Somehow, helping other people became my own coping mechanism in dealing with my own illness and pain.

Now I have completed my cancer treatments and there is less need for the white flag fund. So, I plan to focus out by contributing my time and energy in Breast Cancer Welfare Association by taking a volunteer role in the executive committee.

During Breast Cancer Welfare Association 35th Annual General Meeting on 26 March 2022, I was elected as Vice President alongside Kim Lim as President. Our exco team for 2022 – 2023 comprises very capable members with illustrious careers and are on top of their profession in their respective industries. I am truly humbled to serve BCWA together with a team of awesome people.

As Betty White said, you gotta keep going. You gotta shape up or ship out.

I choose to shape up – and play a bigger game.