Shirley Yu’s breast cancer came as a massive surprise. She was adamant about receiving mammograms every two years and had previously been in the clear. She herself had witnessed her “niece” (though not technically related) Rachael Hsin pass away from the disease. Regular screenings gave her piece of mind, especially because she had already overcome uterine cancer.
One day in 2017, she awoke with intense breast pain. She felt like the angel of Rachael was telling her to go to the doctor. Within two weeks, Shirley was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and began treatment, which included a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and a full reconstruction. Though it was all difficult to face, the fact that the treatment would make her lose her hair devastated her: “I cried and cried to my husband at the thought of being bald.”
Looking back, Shirley is so grateful to be celebrating 5 years cancer free. She credits Rachael, her forever guardian angel, for guiding her down the path of recovery. When asked what advice she would give the newly diagnosed she says, “don’t worry. Doctors will do whatever they can to help you. Trust them and it will be ok.”