Cancer on Social Media

What I don’t tell you on my Facebook and Instagram posts…

… that I cried in bed alone last night, woke with swollen eyes feeling shitty, yet managed to pull myself together nonetheless because I was meeting Jonathan Fung at Warrior Hong Kong, who believed in me enough to offer his time. I can feel my time there streamlining a warrior spirit.

… that every time I think about my out-of-shape body and increased body fat, I feel another layer of defeat. It wasn’t until Andrew Cox of Joint Dynamics reminded me that my body has taken a beating, and still is, to be kind to myself, offering me solace and teamed me up with Exercise Physiologist Geoffrey David Bland, who has experience working with chronic care patients.

… that I often get stricken with worry when my heart rate increases so rapidly that I have to lie down. Sometimes, my heart rate increases for no apparent reason as I’m trying to fall asleep. One of the chemo drugs side effects includes affecting the heart. (Ain’t that some messed up shit. The only methods that help are the breathing and meditation exercises I learned from Gianni Melwani and Robert Morris Monroe , both were complete strangers yet I found myself trusting their kindness.

… that I often feel undeserving to receive. It’s all on me. I mean, these folks welcome me over and over to their community, yet I’m sittin’ here feelin’ incapable of repayment. On top of the folks I’ve mentioned above, it also includes Trybe HK family and Andres Vesga Movement Sessions. My soul feels torn – one yearning to be near tribe-mates while one feels inadequate to contribute. Ea Nitsche Holm never allows me to sink in that awful state, with her presence, her words and her actions. I think she really does have superpowers. Speaking of superpowers, Tracy Cheng channels Wonder Woman aura, not only keeping me connected with movement practice but constantly makes me feel worthy of to receive.

… that I cry every fucking day. Not just from sadness but when I’m moved. Continents apart yet there’s so much love felt from this incredible community of pole and love for flow movement. There are things that people have done in aid that I didn’t even know about at Viva Vertical Malaysia with Nana Shan Liew. Recently, Marlo Fisken is using her extensive social reach to raise awareness about bone marrow donation. This is fucking incredible – and I’m happy to cry about it.

… that I feel so fuckin embarrassed. Here I am, unemployed and essentially a charity case. I started doing odd jobs when I was 14, then started working after school when I was 15. I don’t really know what a typical American teenage-hood is like because instead of hanging at the mall and movies, I was working in restaurants and nail salons. (I think the reason why I passed Geometry in high school despite sleeping through the semester is probably because my teacher found out I work nights after school, so wait, that might have been charity case #1). Thing is, I’ve been independent for a long fucking time. Now…well…you might have been invited to join the group called Caring for Emily Lola Tan. My heroes Alix JamesJohn Wong and V Lea are relentless with support. They are the ones who got the FB group and fundraising campaign going. I AM FUCKIN DRIVEN TO GET BETTER FOR MY HEROES.

… that I share videos and photos of me moving and smiling because it is a way of reminding myself that I am not alone. All that I’ve been able to put out are results of people who motivate me with love. I don’t believe in lying to myself so I wouldn’t lie to y’all either, tryin’ to front like I’m all OK and normal, because I ain’t. 
That ain’t gonna stop me from putting myself out there, as an example of vulnerability. I’ve preached about having more meaningful conversations, so here’s to talking about perspective when living precariously #backingmyshitup

The intention of this video is to share that living in a hospital room for 18 days gets pretty demoralizing. I slapped myself out of self-pity several times when I am reminded that I am fucking LUCKY to have a room all to myself! With Biorna Quantics saving me with food, my brothers saving me with drills & skills, Teddy Lo & Dany saving me with nunchucks & yoga mat. I get to move in privacy and be cared for by a medical team. I am one lucky mofo.



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!

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