Fear Upon Cancer

It’s a big word.

I don’t speak for everyone but I would bet that we don’t speak about it enough.

Fret not, this ain’t a post where the objective is to leave you feeling depressed and down on life.  On the contrary, I hope this leaves you seeing “fear” in different perspectives, even uplifting.

Fear is a familiar concept for me, without having felt it on countless occasions, I wouldn’t have experienced all that I had so far.

Did I have any fears about moving to Spain by myself at 32 years old?  OF COURSE!  I was determined to do it anyway.

Did I have any fears about ending my last relationship with a kind and compassionate partner yet deciding it was for the best?  YES.  Does the thought “Will I ever meet anyone that good again?” sound familiar?  We’ve all been there.  I had to do it anyway.

Did I have any fears about moving to Hong Kong, pretty much starting over, working for other people, having bosses to report to, after having been Viva Vertical ladyboss for 7 years and was just starting to climb the ladder in the entertainment circle?  YUUUUP.  Did it anyway.  I was hungry for experience, for growth.


Did I have any fears when I shot the first episode of Body Blaze, that moment when you realize there are a LOT of people manning several cameras and lights and directors and producers and more people aaaaalllllll watching you host a show for the first time?  No script, ham-it-up-American-style, execute exercises with perfect form, be in tune with your demonstrators behind you, try not to squint, try not to sweat…  YESOMGiTWASNERVEWRECKING.  When I embraced my insecurities, everything changed.  The star of the show became something called having The Right Attitude.  Do it.

Did I have any fears when I decided to leave all my American friends and mom behind for Malaysia when I turned 19?  YOU BET.  Despite it, I saw more of what I don’t want and chose to do something that could morph into a million more things.  I did right.

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Perception of fear varies within all of us.

Personally, I have found it useful when I accepted those fears and find a way to use that energy.  They were used as my fuel.  Having said that, I can now share that I think about death quite often…without anyone worrying about me (because today’s society has shown signs of being more emotionally fragile than ever, hearing someone think of death might just make them call docs on me).

So let’s elaborate.  I think of death because we will all die one day.  When I was about 12 years old, I had this weird thought that I wouldn’t live long and that I should quit school and just work to help my parents support the family  (I DIDN’T quit school, my parents handled THAT conversation).  In my teens, I was stretching myself out juggling multiple jobs, shifts, school.  The motto then was “I better do all this shit now when I’m young and able”.

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For the past decade, thoughts of death kept coming, they never really stopped.  Instead of fighting it and injecting more thoughts into why I was experiencing them, I had to make it useful, at the very least.  So I thought of death in the form of departure timeline and contribution.  I visualized my funeral and my tombstone many times, after each visualization, I always ALWAYS felt more motivated and amped up about pursuing whatever goal I had at the time.  Interesting morph of goals from self-centered career orientated to now wanting to be a decent human with opportunities to contribute to society on a larger scale, additionally, to quote something Jim Jefferies popularized – “try not to be a cunt.”  In short, I feel more purposeful in living, despite living with more uncertainty.

Mira (look), just because I’m coping with cancer doesn’t mean I feel entitled now and know all about life and its wisdom, it isn’t the reason why I’m writing.  It has, however, prompt me to wanna share more of what goes on in my mind that I think someone could benefit from reading.  Embracing death makes life even more meaningful, and I’ve never been more in-tuned with how I feel, how I interact with my family and friends, how I interact with folks I’ve never met on social media, how I prioritize what is purposeful and how I realize this is a rare opportunity to learn something valuable for future contribution.


Perception isn’t everything but it sure as hell is a Hall of Fame Player.

My most recent little fear is losing a big part of myself – my sensuality, feeling pretty, feeling fierce, feeling strong.  This new haircut had a lot to do with it, it’s like losing the one thing that made me feel like I look the part of sensuality.  The combined feelings are what I thought drove my movement to music, I wasn’t sure anymore, truth.  So when I decided to reconnect with music and movement at the studio, I actually felt nervous.  Had to do it anyway, I had to know.

Filming every song helped me – it reminded me to be present with my movement, to flow rather than plan, to feel rather than execute.  Took a while, since I didn’t last long through each song, there was a lot of panting after only about 45 seconds of freestyle.  All types of music were played, my usual style wasn’t fully back and I didn’t have hair to flick but hey, I got to move, I kinda danced, I noticed a lot more neck isolation, I wasn’t completely lost – that was enough for me.  🙂

Shared it on my IG and Facebook.

Now… how do I deal with this fear of swimming without a nose clip…

Eleanor Roosevelt Fear





Published by Emily Lola Tan

I've been told that I'm tiny but tough, so I must have gotten SOME things right. On the inside, I feel like a mushy marshmellow who's a hopeless romantic and find corny cute. Writing "About Me" sections had evolved in the past x years of online profiles, currently, it sits at me still hungry for enlightening experiences and insightful traveling, particularly with human connections. My story at full length on the "About" page :) Thank you for poking around!

One thought on “Fear Upon Cancer

  1. So inspiring…. you’re right darling. We feel fear in so many decisions we make, I definitely still feel fear about living in France and trying to settle in and find my way here. This is another one of those things you will face head on with both fear AND strength. Sending you lots of love beautiful! :*

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