The beauty of cancer

As a girl, I love dressing and getting dolled up with make-up and hair. I wouldn’t consider myself vain but I was one of those girls who liked to pamper themselves with mani-pedis, massages, shopping sprees etc. That’s why I also enjoyed working because it allowed me to earn and spend my money on these activities.

As a single-twenty-something-year-old-young-woman, those were my only priorities.


But when I was diagnosed with cancer, I was so afraid that everything that I “valued” would soon go away – my looks, body and hair. Now looking back, I realized that I was a very superficial person. 

Having spinal bone cancer, the first thing that was taken away from me were my legs. I had to say goodbye to high heels, sandals, rubber shoes and cleats and said hello to physical therapy.


Next, to prepare for chemotherapy, I decided to cut my long locks into a short bob. In fact, I actually liked how how the bob looked liked! Then after a few weeks of doing chemo, my scalp started to be extra sensitive and my hair was falling in bundles — so I decided to have my hair completely shaved.

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At the beginning, I became very insecure. I mean who wouldn’t be? Then I started putting humor into it by giving myself nicknames like Mr. Clean or Professor X from X Men — it made me feel lighter. Also, my family and friends gave me a lot of wigs to choose from. I actually enjoyed having a lot of wigs because it gave  me a lot  of looks to choose from.

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I started getting insecure as every surgery would leave scars left, right, back and front of my body. But what really caught me off guard was the sudden super weight gain from my medications which also included a battalion of stretch marks.

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At first, these changes and new marks gave me a lot of bodily and image issues.. For awhile, I hid myself from the social world because I thought people wouldn’t recognize me or talk about me. Then I realized that I should be proud of these new changes because it shows that these marks of victory and grace. Besides, in the end we would be judge by the beauty of our soul not by appearance alone.

With these experiences, I have a new definition of beauty: how a person shows strength and courage throughout any adversity. Besides, scars are the new sexy. 😉

Beautiful inside and out,








3 thoughts on “The beauty of cancer

  1. Beautifully said, Pia. The strength and wisdom you’ve displayed throughout this challenge belies your twenty-something years.
    Stay strong.


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