I want to tell you this story from my life.

In 2015, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. I was told my 5-year survival rate was 20%. I plunged into a dark period of my life. When I had to fly back to Hong Kong alone for treatments, I assumed I was saying my last goodbye to my two young sons and husband. Hong Kong is where the best treatment is for my cancer which is particular and most common among Asians.

During the treatments, eating was not pleasurable. It felt like a task, a job I had to do. Because of the radiotherapy, my throat was raw and my salivary glands were damaged, chewing and swallowing were not difficult but impossible. My taste buds didn’t work as they used to be. Food and drink tasted strange and dull. Chemotherapy gave me nausea. I remember the ironic feeling of seeing food with an empty tummy but afraid of eating it, not only because swallowing was painful but throwing up could further damage my throat. My wish at that time was simple. It was to be able to taste a piece of chocolate again.

The cancer journey has been hard. Unfortunately, I am still on it. However, it taught me to notice and appreciate every tiny little miracle around me. Clear air, fresh water, a shelter, a clean blanket and the energy to talk or read are all miracles. This unwanted cancer experience directed my perspective towards “Life is Beautiful”. It may sound crazy, but all those things that used to matter to me, don’t seem important any longer. And all those little things that I previously ignored, have become my treasures. I have learned that when I am open to treasures, they come to me.

I continue to have pain and challenges in my life. But those difficulties have encouraged me toward self-reflection, which has led to fresh new perspectives. Since the beginning of this journey, I’ve learnt to seeing life in a different perspective. I have learned what to let go of, what to hold onto tightly, and most importantly, how to stand still.

May this story feed you and be a shelter for your life.

by Daisy Chung