Ngu Hue Chau was diagnosed in 2003 with breast cancer, she was 35 years old. She was petrified. She is a single woman, supporting herself working as a seamstress. She underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. In late 2009 her cancer returned. By the time it was found it had metastasized to her lungs and brain. She is now being treated at the hospital with chemotherapy. She has some financial and emotional help from her brother and sister. She continues working when she can. She tries to be very positive to keep the disease from spreading. She says she is very happy, she believes in life. Chau has a beautiful spirit about her. I am sure that her attitude will help her greatly in her fight.
In 1987 Cao Thi Lien suffered from a variety of skin diseases, she had to take many drugs that were very toxic to heal her skin. In 2004 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, in 2008 she was diagnosed with skin cancer. In 2010 she was diagnosed with carcinoma of the skin and four days before I met her she had major surgery to remove the cancer and to try to repair the multiple ulcers that would not heal on her body. Her little finger and part of her hand were removed. Her omentum and the skin on her stomach were removed and used to graft onto her heel. The doctors performed incredible surgery on her. She is a single woman supporting herself and her mother. She was in tears worried about her future, will cancer return again? If it does, how will she support her mother and pay for her treatment?
When I first met Nguyen Thi Huyen she was awaiting the results of a liver biopsy to see if she had cancer. Two days later the married mother of a 24 year old son and a 16 year old daughter found out her biopsy was negative. We all had a good reason to smile.
Nguyen Thi Mun is 43 years old, married with one child, she cheerfully showed me the site of her surgery. This was a Tuesday, she had her surgery the previous Friday.
Luu Van Hue is 41 years old. He has been a paraplegic since age 9. He sells lottery tickets on the street to make a little money. In September 2010 he was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, he has a very poor prognosis. His mother and younger brother are helping to care for him.