This fund is dedicated to my mother, HuiFen Chu, and to all the women in my family, including my daughter. My mother went through treatment for Stage II breast cancer in 2002, and I breathed a sigh of relief 5 years later when she successfully passed that significant anniversary free of recurrence. Unfortunately too soon breast cancer struck again--this time at me. In 2010 I was only 35 when I was diagnosed and had already suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for over a year. After dealing for many long months with chronic illness, my family and I were again devastated. An academic physician by training, I confronted a new swarm of uncertainties as I considered my family, my career, the anticipated physical suffering, and, not the least, my own mortality. I learned quickly that developing a positive attitude and taking things one day at a time were not only necessary coping methods for me, but also essential for the well-being of my loving husband and young children.
My chemotherapy experience was horrible and because of my fatigue issues, resulted in weakness that prevented me from going through radiation. Thus I had no choice but to ultimately have mastectomy after first attempting lumpectomy. Nevertheless, I have gained a new appreciation for life and just how beautiful it is. I am reminded of everything I can be thankful for--my lovely family, devoted friends, sound mind and intact faith, even health insurance. Amidst the discomfort of treatment and the inability to work or care for my family consistently, I try and can appreciate more than ever each day that God gives me. Thus, my terrible cancer journey has resulted in blossoms of fortitude and hope.
I've been a knitter for over 20 years and it often has been a source of comfort and a relaxing way to pass time. Unfortunately, during chemotherapy there were some days when I was too weak to knit, too weak even to read pages of text. Confined to a bed or a recliner, to pass away long hours I paged through the lovely pictures in lace knitting pattern books and dreamt of shawl designs. It was during these times that I began to design knitting patterns as a way to keep my mind occupied for short periods of time. Specifically, my Seasons Shawlette tells in part the story of my cancer journey, and a portion of its sales is donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.