Ma’am Vivien fought and survived cancer – twice.
“The first time I was diagnosed with cancer, it was thyroid. I fought it for five years. I was cleared. And then in 2014, they discovered a lump in my breast; it turned out I had breast cancer. Just like my first cancer, I didn’t undergo chemotherapy; I took medicines. It’s been two years since my doctor declared I’m cancer-free. But I would have to wait for three more years to be classified as a cancer survivor.”
“It shatters your heart, your soul, every piece of you. One can only fight his/her hardest, and we only make it because of the people who love and care about us.”
“Having cancer – it puts everything in perspective. They say that everything happens for a reason. When you are badly ill, you will know what that really means. I have an 8-year old son. I guess he’s the reason I’m still alive.”
Has your perspective towards health changed after what you’ve been through?
“You bet it did. It’s been said, over and over again, that having time off, loosening up, winding down a bit is necessary for survival. I think that’s an understatement. Pausing for a bit amidst all the juggling [of work and other responsibilities] and running around will save your life. My failure to do so made me cancer-prone. My lack of discipline in my diet gave me cancer. Some lessons are learned the hard way. So, my friends, two things: know when to stop and know what to eat.”
Photo by RENE PASCUA
Interview & Text by RONA LIN