Ming-Jean Tang, 54. Valet Grocery, Single.
How did you find out you had breast cancer?
Every year I get a reminder from Woman’s to get my annual mammogram. You go into these appointments thinking it’s never going to be you, but this time it was. After they did the initial scan, they asked me to wait, then they took some more photos and finally they told me the doctor wanted to see me. My heart was pounding.
What was your reaction?
I was shocked – this couldn’t be happening to me. Why did this have to happen when I was trying to get my business started? I cried and cried, and then I prayed and asked God to help me. It calmed me.
What treatment methods did you undergo?
I was so lucky that my cancer was a Stage 0. Dr. Michael Hailey did a biopsy and I underwent radiation.
How has your illness affected your perspective on life?
My life is so busy with our valet grocery business. I work 12 hours a day. When I asked God why this had to happen now, I realized that it was actually a blessing – a blessing that He allowed it to be found at a Stage 0. Anything more advanced would have been too hard for me to manage. I’ve become even stronger in my faith and do not waste a single day. I’ve also found that anger only hurts me, so I am more patient and kind with others. Despite my company’s financial struggles, we found a way to give back in return for my good luck. Since we are a home delivery service for groceries, we have waived some of the delivery fees for cancer patients who don’t have the strength to shop for themselves. It’s a small token but being a cancer survivor, it was important to me.
Do you have any advice for others with breast cancer?
Get your annual checkup. It can save your life like it did mine. Find a physician you trust completely and who develops a treatment plan you agree with wholeheartedly.