Hello my name is Kimberley and I’ve cancer. Back in December last year, I wrote a long note on Facebook about journeying with cancer. I wrote the note because I was tired of keeping up with the web of lies that I had spun when people asked where I had been the past year.
Much to my utter surprise, many people actually shared my note. Others got in touch with me saying that they were very inspired by my writing.
Another reason I wrote that note was because I wanted to demystify cancer. Cancer is a disease that till today has no cure. It is a disease that doesn’t discriminate and can affect everyone and anyone. Yet what we know is often mixed with half truths and superstition, hearsay and grandmother-tales.
Recently someone sent me a message telling me to stop drinking cold water as it freezes my guts, causing it to malfunction and eventually leading to cancer.
The honest truth is that as much as I wanted to demystify cancer, blogging about it scares me. It scares me because chronicling everything in a manner that is easily understandable and stripped of medical jargon means that you guys are better able to understand what battling cancer is like, and are able to ask questions. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to hear from you and please do feel free to ask away. It is just that it forces me to deal with things openly and to stop hiding in the shadows.
Maybe because I have been insatiably consulting Dr Google, stories about other cancer patients, such as Ming’s and Mao’s, kept appearing on my feed. Something Mao said struck a cord. According to her people in Japan rarely talked about cancer and that people only hear about the disease when someone beats it or dies from it. To me it feels like it is pretty similar here in Singapore as well.
Exactly seven months since my first note and battling a relapse, I’ve finally found enough guts to carry on their legacy and to put up this blog.
This is going to be a raw and unadulterated journey, and it takes guts. So subscribe if you would love to journey with me.
In the meantime, live boldly:
9 thoughts on “Hello My Name’s Kimberley and I’ve Cancer”
Will pray for you, stay strong ❤️
Stay strong dear kimbo..Prayer goes all the way to you
I am shy ah (really …), so I will just go by “Dee” for now. I came across your blog when one of our mutual Facebook friends reacted to your post on Facebook of publicising the blog 🙂 (cannot say which friend ah, cos I think the friend doesn’t know abt these things I’m sharing. Or the friend might have picked it up, but I haven’t disclosed to her. Haha. I’m quite reserved about what I’m to share, hence the cloak of anonymity :p)
I don’t know what it’s like personally to have experienced cancer, though I know family, very close ones who have been thru this, also had a friend my age who had a cancer scare (was negative, in God’s grace) recently – if I’m not wrong, I’m a year older than you.
While I can’t relate specifically to the cancer challenges in a personal way, I can, however, relate to the difficult decision of telling your family/parents about a diagnosis, the horrible ignorance of (sometimes well-intended) people who try to prescribe anecdotal cures. -_-
You see, in 2013, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (the details fluctuate and change but suffice to say, that was when I formally got my nonsense a name. Haha.) – like you, I went to the emergency without my parents. Like you, I came back wondering how to explain to them. I had no idea what my parents’ understanding or views on mental health were. They wanted to, but didn’t know how best, to empathise with the initial side effects of starting anti-depressants (it was BAD. But okay lah once it settled, all was well. Ended up on a bit of trial and error w my doc and we’re settled on a combi for awhile now, yay) I actually wondered if they would scold me for not telling them, not allowing them to be at the IMH emergency with me … but I think at the time they were so taken aback they were just glad I had the sense to ask someone else along, I went with my cell leader who’s also a good friend. And … most of all I think they were glad I returned home. I just told them I was out and would be back late, without more details. Oops!
And then ah, ignorant stupid “cures” are the best.
“Aiyah, what anxiety depression, just drink lah then all your troubles will go away!” – friend, or rather ex-friend, whom I suspect stopped being my friend in large part owing to MH crap. Umm, so ok I’m not supposed to drink when on meds, & although sometimes I cheat a little (!!) by drinking water in between or drinking at a meal so it will not be so concentrated … let’s just say a Lychee Martini at Timbre caused me to almost puke (almost cos I’m slightly emetophobic and no way in hell would I let that happen in front of people anyway), and as much as I said, “promise – I’m okay, let’s go already”, they responded with, “but your hands are trembling leh. And so ice cold …” – so woohoo.
Anxiety isn’t just cured by drinking my sorrows/fears away, a wrong combi can exacerbate things!
Or – “don’t worry, calm down k?” – mentally killed you in my head a million times and reconsidering friendship. Because anxiety is not a choice. Because the best case scenario is that the person you’re talking to doesn’t have an anxiety disorder, and is feeling super stressed out, and now they’re making a mental note never to invite you around again, because you’ve being so monumentally unhelpful. & then the worst case scenario is that the person you’re talking to does struggle with an anxiety disorder, and your garbage advice makes them feel both more anxious and ashamed to speak out about their experience. So yeah people r annoying with their “eh calm down k just chill” and related. CAUSE IF I COULD SWITCH OFF I WOULD har har.
So I just wanted to say that yes, I can commiser(y)ate (har har) on some of the unfortunate experiences you have gone through – eg likewise, I think I look “too well” too. Or too confident, when reality is me planning out my conversations in my head before therapy ha ha ha. But appearing confident becomes like, when you disclose your MH concerns at a job interview and ask for flexibility to accommodate appts, only to be told, “but you look so put together what!!!” in return. Um. K. It’s just a look. If I don’t look this way you wouldn’t even consider me, just saying.
People can be ignorant and suck (intentionally or inadvertently) sometimes. But I’m thankful for the friends who, when I disclose my issues to them and hide away in shame (?! IDK, I just am. I don’t think it should be a shameful thing but I feel it anyway), they come sit next to me and inch even closer, both literally and metaphorically. I’m thankful for those who recognise I’m still the same me – I’m not “inspiring”, I’m just .. me!? I’m thankful for those who say, “I’m glad you’re trying when it’s so hard”, or “HEHE come lah I’ll sit with you kkk”.
I will say, though, that writing has been a very healing outlet (maybe cos I have too much whiny thoughts in my head haha), so .. good on you for blogging! I hope you come to learn more about yourself & grow in love for the written word thru this (-:
Won’t say you’re an inspiration, cos that devalues the person you are and falsely elevates you owing to a condition you now have (when you’re still you!!!), but I will say, this is really brave. & when you write, (sometimes) the blogging community/readers will write back. All the best, xxx
PS, this is v. personal and I’ve only ever openly disclosed this to maybe a single digit no. of people, but … it’s true & I’m not pretending to “get you” just to appear empathetic – https://thetapestryproject.sg/2016/02/18/from-darkness-to-light-dees-story/ there, oops. Haha okay, admittedly cos that’s on the same pseudonym of Dee! :p
ok shy, this ended up way longer than expected, kthxbye.
Thank you for writing back! (: Really nice to hear from others like yourself. Yes! Writing things down allows me to make peace with things and to let it go. I really like how you’ve said that saying someone is an inspiration devalues the person cause that’s a bit of how I feel.
Praying for you too that may you have the strength and courage to go through all that life throws at you.
I am sure you will get all sorts of advices, suggestions.. If the conventional treatment(chemo/radio..) works out, great.. If God forbid, the doctor ever gives you a death sentence of 3-6 months. Please look into Gerson Diet/Gerson Therapy. Your body has the ability to eradicate cancer provided with proper environment/nutrients..
Was sad to hear about your story from Thana yesterday. After reading your blogs, I can’t help but feel that you are carrying your Cross with so much grace. I will continue to pray for your recovery. May you continue to find joy and hope with Christ.
In his love,
Thank you Nick for the kind words and prayers.
Rip… your spirits live on…. I have been living with depression for the last 6 months…. the person I love found someone & couldn’tstop hurting me…. time over time… I choose to stay by her side because hurt as it might be… without her hurt even worse.
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 1 week ago…. nothing need to be done at the moment…. but I chose to keep this a secret…. from family… from the person I love…. because they talk to each other. I don’t want any changes of heart because of pity . But I have also lost the fight for life… not because of cancer…. but because of depression….
But I still find your fight inspiring …. may god in heaven rest your soul…. and comfort to those around you and those who love you.
– CC , a friend who u use to know