Friday, May 23, 2008

Tactless, Honest Q & A

There may be some questions you want to ask but don't, because you're not sure if they're appropriate. I won't say this for all cancer patients, but you can ask me anything that's on your mind, as long as it's not mean-spirited. So, here are some questions you might have, but haven't had the courage or tactlessness to ask:

1) How long do you have to live? Statistically, looking at average survival rates for my particular situation, anywhere from a few months to a year. By some counts, I should already be dead.

2) Are you afraid of dying? The process of dying worries me. But being dead, not at all. I'm counting on there being no afterlife.

3) When chemo makes your hair fall out, does all your hair fall out, not just the hair on your head? Yes. No bikini waxes needed.

4) Has cancer affected your sex life? Yes. As much as having two kids who keep coming into our room at night.

5) Can you have more children? No. The chemo I've had, plus my age, plus the fact that chemo has put me into early menopause make having more kids impossible for me. But some women can and do have kids after chemo.

6) Do you want your husband to remarry after you die? Yes, as long as she's not a bimbo and she's a good mother to my kids. I don't think any woman could love Tony and the kids as much as I do. But I'd love for somebody to spend the rest of her life trying.

7) How do you like your reconstructed fake boobs? Love them because I don't have to deal with wearing prostheses and worry about them slipping out or floating in the pool when I go swimming.

8) Do you think you did something to give yourself cancer? Yes. As much as anybody else - breathing polluted air, drinking polluted water, eating veggies and fruit with pesticides in/on them, eating meat and dairy products with growth hormones and other harmful chemicals in them, eating animal protein, smoking, drinking, not sleeping enough, not exercising enough, working and stressing too much, and just being alive in today's toxic environment. Read more in my past blog post, "What Causes Cancer?"

9) Have you thought about stopping treatment and just enjoying the time you have left without suffering the side effects of chemo? Yes. And if the side effects get too bad for me to enjoy being alive, I'll stop treatment.

10) Why don't you become a Christian now that you're facing death? That's a cop-out. If I were going to find God, I'd have done it long ago. My earlier posts, "God's Problem" and "Why I Am Not a Christian", as well as the accompanying comments address this question.

Any other questions I haven't thought of?


stella said...

You mentioned in this post that you're counting on there being no afterlife. Given that, do you ever find yourself envisioning yourself in an "afterlife" (such as heaven), especially as it relates to your children (ie: "watching" over them)? Or is that image completely bogus to you? Do your children impact your view at all on an afterlife? If you actually envisioned years from now your children saying to others that they feel their mother's presence with them everyday/watching over them, does that stir anything in you? What does that make you feel?

In short, do you ever find yourself thinking about the existence of a spiritual (not necessarily religious) connection with your husband and kids when this is all said and done?

I understand the upfront answer is "no" based on your posts, but I feel as though at times there may be differences between a person's stance/belief and from what their mind actually wanders off and thinks about on it's own, and I'm curious about your take on that.

Thanks for such thought-provoking blogging! My thoughts are always with you.

Shin said...


Good question. I think I'll address this in a future blog post so stay tuned. I have a number of other reader questions to answer first, so I might not get to this one for a week or so.

Thanks for the thought-provoking question!

Anonymous said...


Has Josie asked you why you are sick and her friends' mummies are not?

Actually, I like to know her questions and how you have answered them.


Mylinh said...

I can't think of a better person to be a cancer blogger than you Shin. Thank you for tackling the questions with such honesty and humour. You educate as well as entertain. This is so you isn't it :). Thank you so much. I read your post on what causes cancer. I often think that for many of us given the lifestyle we live, it might be only a matter of time. In terms of medical insurance and financial matters, what are the factors/costs should we be prepared for to manage cancer if we get it, or sustain quality of life... Not sure if you want to share this in a public forum. XX

Shin said...


Josie hasn't asked why I'm sick and her friends' mothers are not. But she's asked me a number of other questions about cancer and death. I'll address this in a future blog post. Stay tuned...

Shin said...


Very good question. I have a great deal to say about the financial cost of cancer and medical insurance. I'll address that in a future blog post. It might take me a few weeks, though, because I have about ten other posts in the can waiting to be published.

Anonymous said...

It was good to see you in school today. Shiqin enjoyed the attention you gave to Baby Millie. She is very proud to be Little Mummy.
One question which popped into my head when I saw you was, How can we fatten you? If you have a recipe, had it over to me. I'll cook for you.

Yit Peng

Shin said...

Yit Peng,

Thanks so much for your concern. A number of other people have asked me about my weight loss, so I think I'll talk about this in a future blog so others can see my answer. I may not get to it this week, but maybe I'll be fat enough by the time I DO get to it!