Proving Your Pain

Today I called an airline for a refund on a flight I had scheduled prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was quite an ordeal.

In November 2019, I bought tickets to travel to Austin, TX, in May 2020. I had no clue that I would be diagnosed with breast cancer weeks later, how expensive cancer be as I worked to improve and maintain my quality of life, how challenging it would be to interact with medical providers and loved ones, how much pressure it is to take care of others even when I needed care, how the COVID-19 pandemic would intersect with my cancer and fertility treatment, how emotional freezing my eggs would be, and how George Floyd’s murder would place the United States’ racism under a magnifying glass in ways that reminded me of the ways others and myself have experienced racism in this country.

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Tell Me About Yourself: Figuring Out What is Extra in Your Life

The past few weeks, we have followed the pandemic stories of my friends on the West Coast, East Coast, and Midwest. Now we will travel around the globe to the Philippines—virtually of course—and hear from one of my relatives in Manila.

Since COVID-19 has grown across the world, there has been much discussion on defining who and what is essential: essential workers, essential businesses, and essential services.

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Photo from Flickr

In clarifying what is essential, we have to define what is extra too.

In today’s profile, my cousin (or de facto cousin) shares what is extra for her.

What is extra in your life?

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Tell Me About Yourself: When You Don’t Want to Return to a Bland Life

In my last post, I shared how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted—even improved—my friend’s life in Iowa.

Today we are following the experience of my other friend who lives in the Boston area. In his story, there is no ER visit like what we saw in The Stories That Don’t Make Headlines. There is no delayed medical treatment like what happened in Tell Me About Yourself: When Family Planning Is Put on Hold. At the same time, there is not a long list of ways that his life is more convenient like what we read in Tell Me About Yourself: Admitting that the Pandemic Makes Your Life Easier.

As he would tell you, not a lot has changed in his life since the pandemic hit.

Interestingly enough, even when a global pubic health crisis does not dramatically change your life, it still might transform how you perceive it.

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Photo from Flickr

How has the pandemic changed how you perceive your life?

Here we will find out how it has changed his perception of his life.

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No, Travel Is Not a Frivolous Hobby for Me

If you have been following my blog regularly, you are aware that I’ve lost a lot in the past couple years:

Last winter, I lost loved ones to death.

Last June, I lost my appendix in a much needed appendectomy.

In February, I lost my breast to a mastectomy (but yay, it was so I could lose a tumor).

In March, I lost a lot of eggs, but it was to preserve my fertility as a cancer patient. Simultaneously, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, March was a time that I lost a lot of direct contact with friends who were doing chores and errands for me during my recovery from my mastectomy.

As you could imagine, I’ve lost money to medical bills that accompanied my unanticipated cancer diagnosis. I also lost income by taking a leave from work.

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Photo from Flickr

I may have lost some other things, but those are the major losses that come to mind.

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Tell Me About Yourself: When Family Planning Is Put on Hold

Last Saturday, in The Stories That Don’t Make Headlines, I shared an old friend’s experience in a California ER during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today we are switching gears from the West Coast to the East Coast. I am sharing the experience of my other friend, whose office is based in New York City and who is currently working remotely.

She and I did a Q&A. After reading the transcript of it, I related to her experience in three ways:

  1. The stress of observing others who do not take precautions in public: As a breast cancer patient, I too get stressed when others do not practice social distancing and other recommended public health measures.
  2. The annoyance of not having your typical outlets for self-care: What do you do when your usual suspects for coping, relaxation, and entertainment are no longer safe? I’m still figuring that one out.
  3. The frustration of family planning being put on hold: Although I am not trying to have a family this minute, both cancer and this pandemic are not making it easy for me to have babies.

What part of this interview is relatable for you?

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Photo from Flickr

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