Edmond Chan is from Burnaby, B.C. He is the caregiver to his wife who was diagnosed with AML in 2003 and then MDS (or pre-leukemia) in 2012. Her current active treatment is Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) to manage the Graft VS Host Disease from her most recent of two bone marrow transplants that was done in 2014. Edmond joined the Your Life After Cancer Advisory Committee because he wishes to help others know that there is light, hope and support despite the hardships cancer brings.
"My wife and I were married for not quite two years when she was diagnosed with AML in 2003.
After treatment that helped put her AML in remission, we gained a new perspective on life and we re-evaluated our priorities. We live out many of the common mottos people often hear: “Don’t take things for granted”or “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Those phrases may get thrown around a lot,but we take them to heart and we believe we are living a better, more fulfilled life as a result.
More than a decade after the first diagnosis, my wife was diagnosed with MDS (also known as pre-leukemia) in 2012. This diagnosis was probably even more shocking and scary than the first, but we dealt with it the same way we did the first time –by focusing on one step at a time.
My wife’s treatment included two transplants and since then, the immediate threat of cancer has once again stretched further into the past as time went on. It has been a constant roller coaster of medical ups and downs that bring along the emotional ups and downs. Through it all, as we adjusted to our new normal and remain guided by the same principles that we have learned and lived by since 2003: “Don’t take things for granted”, “Don’t sweat the small stuff,”and “Always keep an even keel.”
Our life after cancer is filled with just as much laughter (if not more) than life before cancer. Of course, there are at times still fear and tears but we choose not to allow those to consume our living moments. We know the difficult times will always pass. We choose to enjoy our life after cancer."